Tony Federici

Back in the spring of 1986, I was visiting a hi-fi show in Lucerne, Switzerland. In the KEF/McIntosh/Perreaux room, I was engaged by a voluble American, who wanted to talk about the changes I was making with the English magazine Hi-Fi News. The conversation shifted to the hotel bar, then to a restaurant. The American was one Tony Federici, who at that time was distributing Perreaux gear in the US. With an education in the philosophy of science, Tony's comments were insightful and challenging. He was never at a loss for an opinion! After I moved to the US to take the editorial reins at Stereophile, Tony stayed in touch, and many were the conversations we had about audio magazines, the audio business, and music.

In 1987, Tony became the business partner of rag-trade alumnus Paul Rosenberg and the pair formed Mondial Designs. Their first product was the 4004, a nice-looking, good-sounding, solid-state power amplifier, styled by then-TAS cover artist Robbii Wesson and designed by Krell's Dan D'Agostino. More amps and preamps followed, including the 200Wpc 8008, which became Tom Norton's reference after he reviewed it for Stereophile in 1996. The parties thrown by Rosenberg and Federici at the Las Vegas and Chicago CE Shows became the stuff of legend, and I remember Tony at the 1993 Chicago party good-naturedly badgering the band (made up of audio journalists and reviewers, including yours truly) to play the entire Who's Next album.

Tony Federici was always outspoken, as you can see from my 1996 interview with him at I lost touch with Tony following the 2001 sale of Mondial to Klipsch, but I read with interest an on-line diatribe. on the state of audio reviewing he had written last May. Same old Tony!

I was saddened to learn at last week's CEDIA Expo in Indianapolis that Tony had passed away in August, apparently of a heart attack. Details are scant, but I believe Tony was in his mid-50s. The high-end audio industry is a less colorful place without Tony's energy and ideas. I, for one, shall miss him. Salut Antonio! Grazie for forcing me to pick up my Fender bass after too long a hiatus.