Analog "Guru" Wally Malewicz R.I.P.

Analog expert and my friend and mentor Wally Malewicz passed away unexpectedly Wednesday, June 6th after suffering a heart attack and being rushed to a Minneapolis area hospital where he later died. Wally had just returned home from a successful month-long European trip during which he gave turntable set-up seminars at High End Munich and later visited the Clearaudio factory to give the company the benefit of his expertise—something he generously offered to just about anyone who asked.

Wally, who was in his mid-seventies, was born in Poland where he grew up after WWII. He was a no-nonsense degreed mechanical engineer who applied his knowledge and skills to improving turntable designs and especially to vinyl playback.

Most of what I know about this subject is as a result of what Wally (and a few others) taught me. In a world filled with some crazy ideas and theories, Wally's expertise and advice was always grounded in hard science and facts. In my world Wally's set-up tools, particularly his Wallytractor overhang gauge, are indispensable. Without Wally's advice and help I don't think I would have been able to produce the "21st Century Vinyl...." turntable set up DVD. Had I managed without his support I'm sure it would not have been as well-grounded in mechanical fact.

He never asked anything of me for all of his help other than crediting him in my articles, which I did, though I offered. Even after the DVD became successful beyond either of our expectations he didn't ask for anything though I again offered.

Wally was staying in the same Munich hotel as I was last month, so we had a chance to spend some quality time and I'm grateful for that. Wally appeared healthy and I told him so. He told me to be sure to take good care of myself. He was always asking if I was still going to the gym at least three times a week and I told him I was.

Wally was an intensely religious man, though I only found that out today. He didn't wear his faith on his sleeve and never pushed it on others. How refreshing.

Wally was a doting grandfather, avid tennis player and shared my passion for SAABs. Between vinyl and SAABs is it any wonder we were friends? I have nothing to add other than to say I'm shocked and saddened by this terrible news and I will miss Wally very much.

The photo below is a much younger me handing Wally a Stereophile Product of the Year award in the early 2000s I believe in a hotel room at the old Alexis Park CES venue in Las Vegas.

Goodbye Wally, I will miss you very much.

Jim Tavegia's picture

Losing too many industry vets that will be greatly missed.

Quadman's picture

I've know Wally for 25 years, we shared a lot of great moments together exploring this hobby. No nonsense is right he always said get the science right then the ears can decide what it likes. The community has lost a great man, he will be deeply missed.

Rest in peace my friend.

analogdw's picture

I’m happy to say I had a small interaction with Wally; he measured the SRA of a previous cartridge of mine. I found him through one of your articles a few years back. I’m very sorry for your loss Michael.

volvic's picture

Growing up and learning turntable setup, it was Mr. Malewicz’s articles and insights that first taught me how to get started. Over the years I would still lookup his setup videos on-line to further enrich my knowledge. Our industry and hobby has lost a great teacher and mentor. My heartfelt sympathies to his family and friends.

Miner42's picture

When I first read this on another site, my first thoughts were of you, and, how this must be affecting you. You and Wally's family on in my prayers. He was certainly a giant mentor to this subject we call analogue.


map856's picture

Condolences to you Mike and to Wally's family, and may Wally rest in peace.

WayneC's picture

I will really miss Wally he was such a nice guy. I met him at the Alexis park one year and during a technical discussion I pulled out my HP-15C Wally beat me to the answer in his head. A great set of ears also.
Sorry for the loss of your friend Mike.

Flash's picture

Wally will be missed by all who knew him. An industry friend for over 25 years, Wally was the person I called when a friend needed his LP12 adjusted and Wally did a great job. He was pleased to set up our turntable at CES several times.
What the industry should know is that Wally was cherished by his local neighbors. He was warm, kind and gentle; kids, their parents, and even their pets were drawn to him. He played tennis almost every day and stayed in shape, so his suffering a heart attack surprised everyone.
Rest in peace, my friend.

AnalogJ's picture

Most of those who are the real turntable designers are relatively old. I'm wondering who, of the younger generations, who are being pioneers of analog technology?

Anton D's picture

Anybody know what the resolution was for the controversy surrounding him and his non-delivery of products?

Hats Domino's picture

What controversy? I ordered five things from him 15 years ago. I called him about them, he said he was working to get them out to me. So far, nothing... Maybe they'll find my check when they go through his belongings and send it back to me.

mflaten's picture

Wally was a good friend who came to my home many times (he lived 5 minutes away). We worked on azimuth procedures using oscilloscopes and then listen to music. Wally was also a little quirky. He always wanted coffee (made a very specific way) or orange juice (1/2 juice and 1/2 H2O)and cookies before and midway through our sessions.
He also loved America and often talk about his first meeting with the American GI who gave the young Wally a Hershey bar and liberated the labor camp where he and his parents were. When he told the story he often had a tear in is eye. My father was a WWII European theater vet and Wally greatly appreciated their sacrifices for his family and other Poles.
Wally will be missed.