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The Real Value of Hi-Fi Music Listening


The Real Value of Hi-Fi Music Listening

By Craig Allison

The very first hi-fi shop in Northern California was opened by Audio Engineering Society (AES) member Mr. Charles Catania in 1948. Back then, almost every system was custom-designed/installed and very few of today’s typical component categories even existed. But the motivating concept was the same I uphold today, i.e, guiding folks who care about music to a point of far greater reward from intent music listening at home. In 1982, I was hired at the Santa Rosa branch of Catania Sound, and here we are today.

At this juncture, I can look back at 32 years of both audio specialty component and system sales as well as a similarly lengthy career, now retired, as a gigging and recording musician and band leader.

I became deeply engrossed in music starting at about age 12, and interest in hi-fi followed shortly. I sold ice cream on Broadway in NYC to buy my first stereo in 1966 after having a progression of early record players etc.

Today, at age 64, I am advancing the cause based on the now medically-confirmed wellness benefits of intent listening to music reproduced with low distortion as a sole activity. Doctors have been prime clients for my entire career, and these are the folks in whom we place maximum trust re: Better health. They listen to music on fine stereos for profound relaxation and true, non-pharmaceutical stress relief. This is the true value of our chosen passion; it enables us to be the best we can be. Last but not least, child brain development needs this unique stimulus for which there is no substitute.

We are currently encouraging women, the biggest music-buying U.S. demographic, to understand that having clean, low distortion sound quality at home is simply a logical element of a high quality lifestyle. Just as so many have moved to organic food, filtered water, etc., so does having clean sound at home make perfect sense; nothing weird or esoteric about it, just basic quality of life. Beautiful sound at home lifts up one’s entire life.


I remember Cantana sound!  I grew up in Novato, and if memory serves, there was a branh in Marin at Terra Linda.  I believe they had Marantz, Superscope and Dalquest DQ-10's.   Good memories.

Jim Voos
Templeton, CA