Roasting Chad Kassem This Weekend At L.A. and Orange County Audiophile Society Gala

That's a photo of Chad Kassem and me from 1997. We go back a long way—to the 1980's actually. He's getting a "lifetime achievement" award on Sunday December 7th from the Los Angeles and Orange County Audiophile Society.

Society President Bob Levi asked me to "roast" Chad before the award is handed out and I said "yes" so that's where I'll be this weekend. But I wanted to give readers a heads up about what's coming here:

The Bruce Springsteen box set review is half way completed. It will be in depth but unlike the Beatles box, the entire set will be reviewed in a single story. Many record reviews are coming as well, that are partially finished, including reissues from Mobile Fidelity (Miles, Dylan) and Analogue Productions (Beach Boys, Duke Ellington) and there are equipment reviews coming as well that are partially finished.

Also, we'll have some holiday gift giving suggestions including books and accessories..

audiof001's picture

We met Chad in 1990 or so - and even dropped in on him in Salina, KS in the mid 1990's after he bought the church and built Blue Heaven Studio. Love the guy, but sure wish his free shipping minimum wasn't so high at $89. We'd be buying much more from him - told 'em so yesterday. I'd rather give Chad my money than Amazon.

Zerv's picture

Couldn't agree more on shipping. I'd also much rather give my money to Chad than Amazon!

markfig's picture

I hear you re: shipping.

But on the other hand most businesses can't compete with Amazon on price. A small business competes based on great service and dedication to their craft. That does cost a little more. Not every business can get mega contracts with UPS, or sell everything at 1% margin just to steal marketshare.

Not every customer can afford to pay a little more just to support the entrepreneurs who are keeping vinyl alive. Sometimes when we're shopping, every dollar counts. I've been there.

But if you're fortunate enough this year to be able to spend a few extra bucks to pay for your own shipping to ensure your money goes where your heart is... to support a vendor who prices honestly and can't afford to do the crazy things giant corporations do to steal marketshare from the little guy... don't think twice!

Doing that is how we keep great people and great businesses going against a huge corporation that sees vinyl as just another SKU to sell at a 1% margin and deliver via a herd of robots. But not every business can operate at that scale.

I am guilty of buying from Amazon from time to time. But this holiday season I'm trying to buy direct whenever possible from the people who produce the things I love, because that's how we keep them in business, making records. I'm lucky to be able to afford it (even though it's painful sometimes) and feel good about doing it.

Jorge's picture

Cant wait to read your take on The Beach Boys reissues. Hope they turn to be as great as The Beatles Mono Masters

Paul Robertson's picture

I can be an aimless "surfer" like most, but to be honest my only regular site checks are with Analog Planet (pretty much daily, and love it), and with Acoustic Sounds when I'm keeping up with new vinyl. I'm a Canuck but visit LA for work quite a bit, so Amoeba is always part of the visit. Was there a couple of weeks ago and as always, left exhausted but scored tons from my list. Part of my score were the most recent Tommy release, and Volto's Incitare. These were spurred on by great and thorough reviews from this site, as in combo with my own taste I have never been steered wrongly. Amoeba is a great store and I'm a "bricks and mortar" fan, but if there's one area they can fall a tad short in it's in the more non main stream and/or import pressings department. Nothing is wrong with that, and you can't be everything to everyone. None the lass, I did have four 200 gram pressings from Chad's Quality Record Pressing's plant on my radar, which Amoeba did not have. Strangely I've only bought rare/used LP's on line, and luckily I've had great success with respect to their condition so I'm aware of how well packaged up for transit they can be. Along comes Cyber Monday and I thought Chad's Acoustic Sounds is offering 10% off of already fair pricing, and free shipping domestically in the States to my LA office. As a cheap Canadian, I was sold. The experience of purchasing through Acoustic was super comfortable. My LA office will worry about the shipping to me, if you know what I mean ;-) I should also note that one of these pressings is Tony Joe White, of which I'm a fan having already picked up his 2013 record that is killer. I had noticed in Michael's past reviews, a great description of Tony Joe's Homemade Ice Cream from the beloved mid-70's........I can't wait to spin that. Keep the great reviews coming Analog Planet, and thank you!

Dpoggenburg's picture

You make a fitting pair. Hopefully someone will record (audio and/or video?) the roast. I'm curious: is that picture from the San Francisco hi fi show? I was (and still am) a regular customer of Acoustic Sounds even back then and I remember Chaz manning the booth.

Michael Fremer's picture
I have WiFi on the airplane... so. If the roast is not on line I will post the script here Sunday evening or when I get home...
Brother John's picture

I've had the fortune to meet up with Chad at quite a few NYC shows In the past and have to say that he's genuinely one of the friendliest most knowledgeable people In Audiophile circles I've had the pleasure to smooze with over the years. He's also very helpful with customer service and has a lot of reliable sales people working for him at his company.

yree33's picture

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