Remembering Stereophile's Founder

On Saturday evening, at show's close, Bea and Luke Manley of VTL, with the support of Nordost, hosted a Martini tribute to the recently departed founder of Stereophile, the inimitable J. Gordon Holt. Located outside Nordost's Humboldt Peak room on the Denver Marriott Tech Center's mezzanine, the tribute drew a huge crowd of industry icons.

Forty-seven years after Gordon published the first issue of Stereophile, his son, Charles Holt (above), joined John Atkinson, Gordon's long-time friend Bob O'Neill, veteran tube-amp designer Roger Modjeski, and fellow publishing icon Harry Pearson of The Absolute Sound in raising a glass to the irascible pioneer.

Gordon's cutting-edge analysis of the best and worst that the high-end has to offer was founded on the premise that the best way to review audio components is to listen to them. As common sense as that concept may be, it's amazing how upsetting it remains to people who think that audio is about everything except how the music affects you. Thanks, Gordon, for constantly reminding us that our passion is rooted in the love of music.

icebreaker's picture

One does not have to agree 100% with an individual to honour their service to great hi-fi. Well deserved praise!

His Ghost's picture

Gordon Holt would turn over in his grave to see what was at the RMAF on the "high end" equipment and tweaks department. He hated such nonsense and said so in this link don't try putting words into his mouth after he has gone by "honoring" him at that festering sore of a trade show. No wonder he quit while he was ahead.

Ted's picture

To "By His Ghost": and you think that your opinion matters more than JGH's very own son (in the photo above) because why exactly?

Ted Clamstruck's picture

Please read the link to JGH's article above. If you want to read what J. Charles Holt had to say in the Stereophile forum, please read his post at this link: made it into a "tiny URL" to make it easier to copy and paste into your browser.

John Atkinson's picture

"One does not have to agree 100% with an individual to honour their service to great hi-fi." Exactly the point. Gordon and I disagreed about many things, but we managed to work together successfully for 13 years until, among other things he was dissatisfied with my unwillingness to devote the magazine 100% to multichannel music, he resigned for what he felt at the time would be greener pastures. Compounding our relationship was the fact that while he was Stereophile's founder, he had sold his equity in 1982, whereas, as a partner in the company that owned Stereophile, I was Gordon's boss. A potentially awkward situation that we both managed to manage fo 13 years. Despite our differences, I was proud to have known and worked with Gordon and I felt privileged for Bea and Charles to ask me to give the opening address at the RMAF event.

Frankly Amused's picture

Way to go posting bull shit Atkinson. Holt hated your way of turning his creation into yet another ass kissing rag that only cares about money. Must be nice knowing your credibility went away a long time ago once you ignored your conscious.Good luck being remembered after your death as a man with integrity.

John Atkinson's picture

I am saddened, "Frankly Amused," that you take advantage of the anonymity offered by our blog engine to use the passing of J. Gordon Holt to promote your own agenda. If you have issues with me or the post-1982 Stereophile, then I suggest you email me your opinions for possible publication (using a real name) at or post them in our on-line forum. Regardless of whether or not your comments bear any relationship with reality, you are behaving in a boorish manner that is disrespectful to the memory of the man you claim to honor.

Your Conscious's picture

I love how JA keeps removing my comments so he has the LAST word hahahah loser boy. You are DOOMED to die being known as the idiot that ruined Stereophile. Sleep well knowing that!Bring back Gorgon Holt as a zombie editor please.