We Ask 10 Questions For High-End
During Enjoy the Music.com's very special 25th Anniversary we're asking various high-end audio manufacturers to answer the same ten questions. Their answers may surprise you! This month we're featuring Peter Mezek, Pear Audio Analogue's Managing Director And Designer. Pear Audio Analogue is not interested in the quick and easy answer, but believe objects of real worth take time to create. First and foremost, their team never forgets that what they're trying to capture is - music. Without music there is no purpose. All aspects, from the size and shape of the parts to the materials they are made from, are subservient to the music. Even the finish applied to various parts is carefully considered with respect to the effect it would have on the music. Every last detail, down to the type of rubber used in the feet on the plinth, has been tested for resonance characteristics and is then listened to by trained ears. Nothing is left to whim.
The design of Pear Audio Analogue's turntables and tonearms follow a key philosophy - achieve a magnificent marriage of materials. Each material, on its own, might be common and unremarkable, but the way materials perform together, to maintain the proper phase of energy throughout the system, is how the magic begins. No frequency is overly diminished or amplified. No frequency is overly damped or allowed to sustain. Every bit of energy is carefully managed across the spectrum, from the motor itself, through the tone-arm and in the stylus as it is driven by the grooves on the record. Thus a turntable where the whole is worth more than the sum of its parts is created. From the ultra-low torque motor, to the mechanically damped unipivot tone-arms, these seemingly simple-looking turntables have loads of clever engineering skill concealed within them.
Q. What is your first memory of falling in love with music?
A. Since my early childhood, we were always listening to great music at home.
Q. How did you first get introduced to high-fidelity audio gear?
A. My father had good gear at home. Reel-to-reel, turntable, FM radio etc, and I got my first gear when I was 14. It was a turntable with stereo loudspeakers.
Q. What is your favorite piece of vintage hi-fi, and why?
A. I can name a few, Quad system including the famous 57 loudspeakers, Infinity Servostatics, Garrard turntables, Shahinian loudspeakers, Bedini amplifiers, Harman Kardon Citation 13 loudspeakers, Stewart Hageman's amplifiers and loudspeakers, Sequera tuner, plus the Linn LP12 and Naim audio products, etc.
Q. When did you decide to start a high-end audio company?
A. This was always my passion. So I was anxious to get involved in with hi-fi as long as I can remember, and this is exactly what had happened. I started as a retailer and distributor, later as manufacturer.
Q. What, and when, was your company's first product?
A. This was a brand called Rational Audio. Innovative Turntables and Amplifiers. We even had loudspeakers with cabinets made of wound glued paper. Complete system sounded really musical, and I can claim, it was ahead of its time. This was 1985.
Current models are made since 2003.
Q. What challenges did you face during those early years?
A. I worked very closely with my good friend Tom Fletcher who designed our three Heritage models: Kid Howard, Kid Punch and Kid Thomas, and the Cornet 2 tonearm , and those early years were very important, as they gave me the necessary experience, knowledge and confidence to continue developing new products as well as improving on the existing ones. My past involvement with other important analogue products (Linn, Well Tempered, and Nottingham) gave me an excellent base, so we can continue strongly with interesting and innovative designs and great products.
Q. How have your products evolved over the years?
A. Each year we have been improving on established models doing small, but important steps, improving the sound quality, and also we have introduced approximately one new model per year. We have also introduced a completely new line of power supplies, which is an important addition to the range.
Q. What is your company's most popular product(s)?
A. Kid Thomas / Cornet 2 established itself as a quite special yet affordable Hi-End turntable, and off course the Little John (pictured below) / Cornet 1 and Captain John Handy/Cornet 1 are also quite popular, especially since they are available in attractive Hi Gloss Finishes and a very affordable when you consider their very high performance.
Q. What is your next planned product offering and its' features?
A. We have just introduced our new reference turntable, the Odar (pictured below)which comes with a Cornet 3, 12" tonearm and external Power Supply. The Odar already got fantastic reviews since it introduction at last years Munich High-End Show, where it won Best Sound from several magazines; The Absolute Sound, Positive Feedback and, last but not least, from Enjoy The Music.com.
Q. What advancements do you speculate high-end audio will offer ten years from now?
A. I hope high-end audio will continue to develop in a way, where performance/price ratio will improve. I would like to see, that better sound becomes more affordable, and I believe that retailers in this case could become more important again, as I believe deeply that high-end audio will always need high-quality retailers, who can consult and install top gear in customers' homes.
North American Distributor