Harry Pearson, January 5, 1937–November 4, 2014

The founder and until recently the long-term editor of The Absolute Sound, Harry Pearson (left above), has passed away. His protege Michael Fremer (right above) offers an appreciation here and Robert J. Reina, a long-term friend, is writing his own rememberance of HP in the February 2015 issue of Stereophile. (The January issue has already gone to press.)

tonykaz's picture

Jim Theil , HP and quite a few others .
As an Importer , Retailer and Manufacturer I knew HP since the early 1980s .
Classical Music stuff might gain his Blessings , everything else was B at best .
He was KING but the larger World of iPod and iTunes made him less than revenant to the realities existing and dominating the marketplace . We now wear our IRS system over our ears , for better or worse .
I last saw him hosting a Seminar at one of the Audio Shows , he looked to be in good spirits & health , taking hits from John Curl , I'm probably older than he was so anyone kinda-fresh can impress me .
I didn't expect his passing , I'm a bit surprised , he was a constant , a given , a part of something , hmm , now he's gone . Another constant is gone ! , a tap on all our shoulders that this sort of thing is just around the corner for all of us .
The new replacements for HP are way hipper , a guy in Montana does a wonderful job of reviewing and keeping all things in perspective using fresh media tools never before available , a little guy in LA does internet reviews of In Ear Monitors that better most of the reviewing of the last 4 Decades , Audiophile Clubs are cropping up all over the World with reporting done by rank amateurs - the Internet Blogs connect them , product advancements are happening at an accelerated pace , product quality is becoming universally outstanding , new designers are breaking ground on performance levels ( such as Bit perfect Digital conversions ) . Phew , where is all this going ?
Not long ago I heard Old Ivor at Linn Products giving a speech ; he's gone digital ! , Ivor of all people . Of course he's kinda retired , it's his young lads running Linn nowadays .
Well , HP had a very good run , he was Powerful , perhaps too powerful and perhaps his power was bigger than what he could safely handle , Old Henry Ford was a bit like that but WE gave HP that power because he could write about what we wanted to hear , we created HP with our votes by our subscriptions and we wanted what he was trying to describe , he was Our Man !! , our Voice , he spoke our desires .

Tony in Michigan

Osgood Crinkly III's picture

We wear IRSs on our ears?! Do you have ears? Have you ever actually heard the IRS, or do you just resent it? Do you go to live performances, so you have something to compare to? Do you have any idea of the degradation of audio quality that digital files represent, far worse even than the CD?

Sounds to me like you profit from selling inferior digital crap.

I recommend that everyone go to The Absolute Sound site for a more robust discussion of HP's importance. After all, Stereophile was his competition.

With friends like you, Tony, HP didn't need enemies. Didn't your mother tell you it's not nice to spit on someone's grave?

Allen Fant's picture

Thanks! for sharing Tony.
Read the piece by MF- he did an outstanding job!

tonykaz's picture

I'm a peer of HP , an elder Peer , I never worshiped him or was a member of the TAS Cult . Still , I liked the man , even though he blackmailed us Manufactures and died with a debt owed to a great many , let him rest , fair enough , all of our demise is only around the corner .
Anyway , what I said about HP I've said to him and to Industry folks like me that had to work-around his trickiness .
He was a great person and a scoundrel , at times . I thought he was in Good health and enjoyed seeing him back in 2009 I felt that we all were a bit relieved that he wasn't back controling the Public's perception of things Audio . He did a good job with his seminar which turns out to be his Grand Finale .
Bon Voyage HP , he had a good run , for three decades or so , we'd all probably wish him well if we could , he seemed to be a Constant .
Tony in Michigan