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Reviewer's Bio

Dean Cacioppo
It Started At A Young Age...



  My first job was unloading and stocking mid-fi audio at a business that had commercials running on TV. In high school I did not have a bed in my room – instead, I opted for a sofa and a huge speakers.

In my 20s through my 30s I worked on and off, for a high-end audio shop that had been around since I was a kid. We sold very high dollar equipment but the focus was always on value. Since I didn't have the kind of money many of my clients had, I became committed to creating my own “better sounding” setup that I could afford. That meant I really had to match components, set up my room well and try every tweak everything imaginable.

My first website (a really long time ago) was called The Audio Garage. At the time, it was the site for high-end home audio that ranked first on Webcrawler. I made myself somewhat memorable at the time because everything I would review or write about was full of misspellings. One time, after reviewing the Genesis 500s, Arnie Nudell, called me up to tell me (in the nicest way) that I had not calibrated their equipment correctly (which I had), and went on to say that fact I misspelled everything drove him crazy and made my review invalid anyway. LOL!

For over 25 years, I was the guy that sacrificed all usability of my living space for audio.  If you didn't like the fact that the speakers had to be into the center of the room and you had to step over speaker wires to walk to the kitchen, then you shouldn't be coming over. Even with a wife and children, I managed to get away with that at home for a long time.

Now, I have six children and run a busy office out of my home on the water, right outside of New Orleans. I no longer have long, girthy interconnects running across my living room.

Today, what I have is a real-world listening environment, with real-world compromises. I no longer see life as "some people spend their money on a nice car, I want that pre-amp instead".  Even the main system (consisting of older Audio Research and Wadia components) plays movies in my living room in two-channel.

I still have multiple systems with ever-changing equipment, but today I don't force all my friends to sit "right here" while I jump from song to song.  All of my children have grown up with continuous music playing as opposed to a nagging television running all day.  As a music lover with a passion for the equipment that produces it, I pride myself on the ability to create a beautiful sounding system by properly matching components, room setup and tweaks as opposed to just throwing money at it.


The Way I See It
For me, any piece of audio equipment must have some level of value. Although $150,000 speakers are a prized novelty, for me, audio system components must have real-world applications.  Although I can fully appreciate the upper echelon of fidelity, it is hard for me to justify spending five times the amount of money for a minuscule  improvement.  I am more impressed when a company puts out a slice of audio nirvana within a price range that meets a wider range of music lovers.  Until "money is never an issue" for me, I will continue to search and strive for the best value in audio equipment, while truly delivering powerful music that moves your soul.





























































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