Naim's Julian Vereker: May 7, 1945 - January 14, 2000

On January 14, anyone calling Naim Audio heard an Elgar recording, and visitors to the Naim website forum learned the sad news that founder and managing director Julian Vereker had died. The company—indeed, British hi-fi as a whole—is mourning the loss of one of its brightest and strongest personalities.

Julian started in audio some 30 years ago, getting into hi-fi almost accidentally, when people asked for replicas of the amplifiers he'd built for his own recording work. With vigor and enthusiasm, he took on an establishment that, in those days, denied the very existence of "amplifier sound," and set an agenda that seemed wildly heretical at the time.

That agenda is still in effect today, and Naim has steadily grown into one of the bigger and best-regarded specialist brands in the UK. Julian himself chaired the Federation of British Audio (later British Federation of Audio) industry body for years, and was awarded with an MBE by the British government for export achievement in 1995. Julian was a big man with great energy and zest for life, and hi-fi was just one of the enthusiasms and achievements of this genuine modern polymath—his other activities included building high-performance sailing boats and folding bicycles. He was held in great respect even by his commercial rivals, and will be sorely missed.

Julian leaves his wife, Lesley. All of us at Stereophile extend our sympathy and condolences to his immediate family, and to everyone at Naim Audio.