High Fidelity Review – Writer Biographies

Robert Bienstock

Robert first listened to multichannel audio in 1970 when he and a roommate hooked up two pairs of speakers in a Haffler array. Two years later, he got a quad system and amassed a large collection of quad recordings. He later temporarily reduced the number of channels in his system to two, the better to appreciate the early recordings of the Sex Pistols and the Ramones. He got his first surround sound processor in 1987 and has listened to everything, music and movies, through at least 7 speakers since the late ‘80s. Robert is an ardent supporter of multi-channel sound and firmly believes in mixing techniques that use all channels, most importantly, the center. Robert is most emphatically not an audiophile believing that the technology must serve the music and not the other way around. He would much rather listen to his favorite records or play his guitars than worry about whether his system has the requisite number of magic bricks or green markers.

You might say that for Robert Bienstock, music is in his blood. His father worked with Elvis Presley and was once the head of Chappell Music prior to that company’s sale to Warners. His mother was one of the founders of Atlantic Records. Robert got his first gig in the music business when he worked as an intern in the Atlantic Records Studios during the summer break after his freshman year of college. That lead to a series of jobs as a recording engineer at Starday Studios in Nashville, Fantasy Records in Berkeley, California and other studios. In the late ‘70s, Robert did A&R and Professional work for a New York music publisher and also assisted certain record producers on various projects, including Leiber and Stoller, and Andrew Loog Oldham. This lead to various record producing gigs and to Robert’s creation of Badge Records, a short-lived new wave label based in London that died a merciful death due to a total lack of hits, notwithstanding awesome expenditures of capital. Robert then temporarily abandoned the music business, getting a law degree and then practicing law for 10 years, specializing in property law, both intellectual and real. Since 1994, he has been the Senior Vice President of Business Affairs for a New York based music publisher.

Contact: [email protected]

Chris Briscoe
In 1975, at the age of fourteen, Chris traded his Schwinn for a KLH FM/Phono rig and its been downhill sledding since. After serving in the USMC as an Aviation Electronics Technician and working for a defence contractor in Dallas, Texas (thereby acquiring a nearly crippling appetite for BBQ), Chris decided to turn his love of music into work and has been involved in the A/V electronics field since. Chris is presently the owner of See Hear Consulting, a home theater design and installation concern in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.Chris is ISF certified and believes strongly that one should use one’s knowledge and skill to improve audio, as well as video performance, rather than simply throwing money at equipment. Chris has also worked as a photojournalist for SMR Group.After meeting a woman who would abide six-foot tall speakers, Chris married and has two children. An enthusiastic amateur musician, Chris is presently studying piano. An even more enthusiastic epicure, Chris is compiling a teaching cookbook.Contact: [email protected]
Sanjay Durani
Sanjay Durani was born in Bombay, raised in New York and currently lives in Los Angeles. Obviously, his family felt it important to be in cities that have a really good Chinatown. Swallowing formal education like bitter but necessary medicine, he raced through college, graduating from NYU’s film school a mere three months after turning twenty. He worked on commercials, music videos and guerrilla-style low budget features on both coasts. Due to what he would only describe as “creative differences” he eventually left the biz (though his publicist insists they remain “good friends”) and settled into the relatively stable world of sales.He inherited his love for photography and all things audio/video from his father. His non-conformist nature came from his mother, further exacerbated by her insistence that his early schooling be done via the Jesuits. Their constant questioning of accepted dogma would eventually end up influencing even his hobbies. While fellow audiophiles were clinging comfortably to their stereo systems, Sanjay was doing anything he could to break out of the hobby’s self-imposed 2-speaker prison. More than for movies, surround sound was especially important to him for music listening. After brief flings with several Yamahas and Fosgates, he fell in love with a Lexicon processor and brought it home. The honeymoon hasn’t ended.Writing for High Fidelity Review has a special place in Sanjay’s heart as the website represents a place where people finally share his love for music reproduction using a multi-channel/multi-speaker presentation. Home is where the heart is and his ideas have, at long last, found a home.Contact: [email protected]
Buzz Goddard
Buzz Goddard has been fortunate enough to combine his love of music and passion for technology with his vocation. Although primarily a flautist in high school, he also began studying electronic music and subsequently took up sax and guitar. He developed his own curriculum centered on Musical Technologies at Hampshire College.Buzz became actively involved in the home entertainment business in 1973, servicing and installing equipment. In retail sales or service capacities he worked for Bryn Mawr Stereo, Nantucket Sound, and Tweeter Etc.He witnessed the birth of the home theater revolution while working with Henry Kloss at Kloss Video Corporation and subsequently was hired by Lexicon in 1986 to get the company into the consumer electronics business. After Harman International’s acquisition of Lexicon he also briefly ran the Citation and Audioaccess companies, transitioning them into subsidiaries of Madrigal.Buzz began independent consulting after thirteen happy and successful years with Lexicon and worked again with Henry Kloss, as well as Cambridge SoundWorks/Creative Labs and the TAG McLaren Group. He worked full time for TAG McLaren to establish TAG McLaren Audio in the U.S.He currently consults for a variety of companies, specializing in (but not limited to) the consumer electronics field.

Contact: [email protected]

Mark Jordan
In the mid-1970’s, the young Mark Jordan delightedly discovered that hard rock music annoyed the rest of his family. That contented him until he was twelve and discovered classical music, which both annoyed and perplexed not merely his family, but virtually everyone in earshot. He has been listening ravenously and loudly ever since.In addition to his listening pursuits, Mark has won writing awards from the Ohio State University, Case Western Reserve University, and the Ohio Theatre Alliance. The other great love of his life is theatre, for which he has won awards from the Ohio State University, the Ohio Community Theatre Association, and the Theta Alpha Phi drama honor fraternity. His original stage play ‘Ceely’ – based on the true story of a young woman who murdered her entire family in the summer of 1896 – will receive its world premiere performance in October 2003 at Malabar Farm State Park, in Lucas, Ohio.Mark currently holds the office of First Vice President of the Board of Trustees of the Mansfield Playhouse in Mansfield, Ohio, where he is also frequently seen as a director. Mark has been seen as an actor throughout north central Ohio, in such roles as Ben Franklin (‘1776’, MPH, 2000) and Lloyd Dallas (‘Noises Off’, Renaissance Theatre, 2001). He is also a member of the improvisational comedy troupe “Under the Influence” which performs extensively in the north central Ohio area.Until that day comes when he can make the leap to full-time professional artist, Mark begrudgingly continues his “day job” as a purchaser for a large packaging logistics corporation.Contact: [email protected]
Nigel Pond
Nigel is a UK expatriate now living in Wilmington, DE. A Barrister by training and a graduate of the University of Oxford where he studied law under Jeffrey Hackney at Wadham College, Nigel is now an in-house Corporate Counsel (specialising in M&A) for a large multi-national corporation. He has been married to his wife, Kris, since May 1995.Nigel’s interest in and involvement with home theatre began in 1993 with the purchase of a satellite receiver with a built-in Dolby Pro Logic processor (a Pace MSS-1000) and Laserdisc player. When he moved to the USA in 1995, an M&K subwoofer was added and the rest is, as they say, history. In 1996 the satellite receiver paid for itself as a trade-in for a Lexicon DC-1 and Sunfire Cinema Grand power amplifier. Nigel began contributing to SMR Forums in 1996 and wrote his first article for SMR Groupin 1997. Since then more reviews and show reports have followed.Nigel’s main area of interest is home theatre (he has a large collection of laserdiscs and DVDs) but he also has an extensive music collection from a variety of genres. He is also musically inclined having been a singer and double-bass player at school.Contact: [email protected]
Stuart M. Robinson
In June 1970, Stuart was born into a world of journalism, audio and music, the appreciation of which is often overlooked by those within the consumer electronics industry. As a teenager he learnt both guitar and percussion (drums) performing in a recognised English youth orchestra.Stuart is owner/publisher of the SMR Group of web sites and a technology journalist/reviewer whose work regularly appears within the two leading English home theatre magazines, ‘What Video & TV, What Home Cinema’ and ‘Home Cinema Choice’. Stuart’s work has also been published within ‘Total DVD’, the American magazine ‘Audio’ and countless industry journals.Stuart also finds time to be actively involved in the English sport of horse racing and has close ties to Chester Racecourse, the oldest horseracing venue in the world. He is unmarried but lives with a gorgeous redhead named Honey.Contact: [email protected]
Brett Rudolph
Brett is a soon to be student at Temple University where he is going back to attain his MBA/MS in e-business after a successful career as a retailer, a software designer and computer consulting firm owner. He is divorced and lives in the suburbs of Philadelphia where he has two children and a dog who thinks he is the third.Brett’s passion for stereo and home theater came from his grandfather. He grew up with tape players, record players and every new home theater gadget his grandfather could find at the time. When his grandfather passed away several years ago, he inherited his collection of albums and even more of his passion for music and the performing arts.Brett considers himself to be an audiophile and videophile, he has no real main area of interest, only that it all comes together in a state of synergy. He enjoys trying new things and attempting to find the perfect harmony between sound, sight and expectation.Contact: [email protected]
Nicholas D. Satullo
Contributor Nicholas D. Satullo is a litigator in a large Cleveland Ohio law firm, but insists upon calling that a point of compromise. Rather, he accuses a short-sighted and callous publishing industry that, after rejecting his attempts to publish novels in his twenties, forced him into a real job.One could not escape a youth in Cleveland Ohio, particularly in the late 60s and early 70s, without serious exposure to album-oriented, cutting-edge rock, and it was a leading venue for the most progressive air-play and concerts of those days, something frequently recognized by the rock artists and journalists of the times. At the same time, Cleveland then, and now, was always gifted with world class symphony orchestras and conductors, so an FM radio was all one really needed to develop a passion and some modicum of sophistication for music of varied genres.Now forty-something, and finally able to afford more than a FM radio, the advent of surround music with some half-way decent gear permits Nick to offer contributions, from time to time, with reviews on High Fidelity Review. Since he considers his own tastes – musically, from an equipment-orientation, and journalistically – to be more attuned to those of his far more knowledgeable colleagues on HFR, than any other Internet site, it is an affiliation he is proud to claim.Contact: [email protected]