Audio Charity Rakes It In

The final numbers aren't in yet, but all indications point to an astounding show of support from the audiophile community for the Audio Charity Auction conducted by Audio Asylum's Rod Morris and Audiogon's Arnie Chinta. The numbers are still stacking up, but as of Sunday, October 7, the benefit had raised $173,738 from over 400 closed auctions.

Morris says no more equipment donors are needed, and that there will be a few additional items listed over the next week until the final closing date of October 15. He points out that one of those items remaining is Ralph Karsten's Atma-Sphere M-60 Mk.II.2 class-A OTL triode amplifier, currently hovering around $1200, which by all estimates should be fetching over $3k.

According to Morris, donations were received not only from all corners of the audio industry, but also from countless individual audiophiles like Jim Vouvakis (14 auctions) and Todd Krieger (18 auctions). A list of corporate contributors is also online. All benefits from the event go to help victims of the September 11 tragedy.

Morris reports that the unique offer of a personal concert and evening with the world-renowned violinist Arturo Delmoni went for $1720. Winning the award for the highest price over retail was none other than Stereophile's own John Atkinson, who donated a complete signed set of his CDs valued at $175.85, which fetched $405. Capturing the highest price for a single auction was Park Marks of Thor Audio for his TA-1000 line-stage control preamp, closing at $5450, a real bargain.

While many items closed at and even above their retail values, due to the generosity of the audio community, many other bargains were had. A pair of Thiel's legendary CS7 loudspeakers ($13,500/pair retail) closed at only $4661, while BAT's flagship VK-50SE preamplifier ($7500 retail) went to a lucky bidder at $5094, and Kimber Kable's BiFocal XL cables sold for only $1381. Morris says that while the high-priced items and big savings draw attention, "the success of this event lies in the hundreds of smaller donations for $15, $20, $50, $100, or $200, like Sam Kennard's Vibrapods—50 winners paid $50.01 each for a set of 20 pods—and Art Dudley's five Listener #1 issues closing at $66 each.

Summing up, Morris says, "Audio Asylum and Audiogon would like to thank everyone involved in this event for their generosity and support. Our original goal was to raise a paltry $100,000. We never dreamed that the response from the industry and individuals to donate goods would have been so great, taking the event to over $170,000. Yet, in addition to the donors of goods, our hats go off to the hundreds of individual bidders that came out to drive up prices and to the volunteers that are now helping to manage and complete these auctions ensuring that all monies collected go directly to the charities to help victims."

Audiogon's Arnie Chinta, who was instrumental in the auction's success, adds, "As all of us try to resume our normal routines, it should be helpful to know that we were able to make a difference, especially for those families whose definition of 'normal' has been forever changed. We are thrilled by the solidarity and concern demonstrated by the audio community worldwide. Our thanks to all of the participants for helping promote this worthwhile event."