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Thursday, January 7, 2010

La Maison de l'Audiophile closed! The times they're a-changin'



Yes, folks... I'm truly sad and bemused as I just learned from a gentleman living in Paris that La Maison de l'Audiophile, once in Rue de Belfort, then at 11-17, rue de la Chine 75020 PARIS (tel 01 40 33 11 33/fax 01 40 33 07 70) sadly closed about three months ago.

M. William Walther, the patron for decades, wasn't "perfect" - like most of us isn't;-) - but he sure gave more than he took!

I know... he's not dead... voices of bankrupcy aren't death... sure it's very sad learning about the closing of the shop with Onken W speakers and Verdier's turntable with SME 3012 and DL-103 which was a sort-of "buen retiro", an ideal of "where things began", eons ago, for many of us... Onken/horns/Altec/tubes/J. Hiraga...

I went there several times, both in old and new, last shop and 'twas there I met J. Hiraga... in my early days as a young, passionate audio and music lover, it was like meeting (few minutes chatting, nothing more...) Tubegod in person on mount Olympus' top;-)

Something happened at some point and later, gone to different shores Hiraga-san and gone also the Western Electric 15A on-top of Onken W... W. Walther relocated the (still) classy shop at Rue de la Chine... but Hiraga's spirit was still "there", I well remember...

I also remember the raw, yet passionate and kind persona William Walther was with me... I already met him three or four times and an afternoon of some years ago I saw him closing the shop and bringing me up and down narrow and even narrower streets, reaching an hidden small record shop where he - knowing I'm a double-bass music and records collector - gifted me of a couple of Ludwig Streicher's Telefunken's discs I was looking for and he remembered were available there...

Nice stroke, William...

He only answered at the phone for technical advice for one hour a day, only few days a week, and LMDA's grey or green or pale blue catalogs, still ordered and shipped using "snail mail", were something to cherish and handle with utmost care, so full of weird, fabled tubes and parts and schematics and hints...

... then was the WEB...

Simply said... I'll miss that place a lot, more like a shadowed ideal of days-gone than a brick shop with a flesh and bone owner.

Times they're-a-changing, would say "someone"...

2 comments:

Tubes for sound said...

At that place I 1st heard high effiency speakers that made my ears raise....thank that place for that...

twogoodears said...

... me as well...