Talking to the people who design and build audio components for a living I was struck by how much passion they have for the job and how much of a kick they get out of it. There are undoubtedly easier ways to make a living but not many that produce the rewards that audio engineering can. Several mentioned that what thrilled them most was the enthusiasm with which their creations were received by end users. These guys, and they are nearly always guys, are driven to build the best sounding components for themselves in the first instance, but in the long term are motivated by the happiness that the products bring to customers.
The effort involved is clearly great and the hours long, but they got into this because of an obsession with sound quality and a love of music. Both come through in their responses, there was no point in asking what they’d be doing if it weren’t building Hi–Fi, they wouldn’t know.
There’s a good variety of personality among the interviewees, you have the deep thinker Roy Gandy, the music nut Nigel Finn and the innovator Touraj Moghaddam. But they all share a common purpose, a desire to make equipment that reveals more of music; the way it’s played, the message it contains, the shape and colour of the recording. These guys know what counts, listen to their stuff, you’ll hear it without trying.
* The interviews were conducted in 2014