Juilan Hirsch, audio reviewer extraordinaire - RIP

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Brian L, Dec 3, 2003.

  1. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    I saw a note on CNN saying that Julian Hirsch has passed away on November 24th. There is an article on the NY Times web site here (you will need register to see it):

    http://www.nytimes.com/2003/12/03/ar...partner=GOOGLE

    I grew up reading his stuff in Stereo Review, and always enjoyed his "no BS" approach to equipment evaluation.

    I find it interesting that in the Times article, they do mention that he was a frequent target for criticism for his analytical approach. That would be an understatement, to be sure.

    In any event, I did enjoy his writings in SR, right up to his retirement.

    BGL
     
  2. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    I am very saddened to hear about this audio pioneer's passing. Unlike Lee above, I found Mr. Hirsch's test reports in Stereo Review to correlate nicely with what I heard in showrooms and in my various listening rooms.

    Since this man tested and reviewed audio equipment for a living (having pretty much written the book on audio reviewing), I'm moving this thread where it will get some better exposure, in After Hours. (I'd move it to Receivers/Amps, but I'm not sure our younger members will know who this man is.)
     
  4. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    I too find this sad, that many will not notice his passing, along with the barely mentioned passing of Dr. Clark Kerr.
     
  5. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    i remember reading stereo review as a youngin' still in junior high / high school. although i mostly remember going wtf (just cuz i couldn't understand what the heck he was talking about), i do remember thinking i liked his approach.

    i always got the feeling he had a 'common-sense' approach to audio. i daresay a lot of my current beliefs about audio came from him (and my uncle [​IMG] )....

    a true legend of the industry.

    edit - who is dr. kerr?
     
  6. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Clark Kerr was one of the fixtures of the UC system. He was the chancellor at UC Berkeley and IIRC was president of the UC system until he was bumped out in much controversy towards the end of the 1960's.

    Edit: here's a Kerr obit: http://www.bayarea.com/mld/mercuryne...al/7393411.htm

    "Reagan campaigned for governor on a pledge to clean up Berkeley, which he called ``a hotbed of communism and homosexuality.'' He asked Kerr to join his Cabinet, but Kerr declined. In 1967, as president of the board of regents, Reagan orchestrated Kerr's firing."
     
  7. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    Thanks Jack...I really had no idea where to post this.

    In this day and age where reviewers replace wall sockets and claim to hear a difference, it is very sad that there are not more reviewers like Julian.

    While the AudioCritic certainly follows in his footsteps, those sort of reviews are few and far between.

    BGL
     
  8. Drew Bethel

    Drew Bethel Screenwriter

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    I did not hear about this. He still did some editing for the newer Sound & Vision. Sad news.

    I actually bought my Pinnacle Classic Towers based on a Julian review back in 1995. He was delighted with the Pinnacle's performance and he was spot on in my book.
     
  9. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    Living in New York City in the late 50s I remember going to one of the early Hi-Fi Shows at the New Yorker hotel and meeting Mr. Hirsch. Sitting in a room listening to those immense speaker systems in a process called "stereo" was quite a revelation. I remember the sound effects presentation... taking a ride in the subway (that's how I got to the show) and listening to a ping pong game. Finally, a full orchestra performed and shook the floor. All of this was on audio tape, of course. Wonderful stuff.
     
  10. Scott Strang

    Scott Strang Screenwriter

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    I'm sad to see him go too. I read his stuff since I was about 9.

    However, when Bert Wyte (sp) and Richard C Hayser passed away, I don't remember hearing anything about it other than in Audio Magazine.

    When Tom Stockham dies, I wonder if we'll ever hear anything about it.
     
  11. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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  12. Iver

    Iver Second Unit

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  13. MikeH1

    MikeH1 Screenwriter

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    I only became serious about audio around 1996. When I first starting buying various magazines to help inform me about this hobby, there was the odd article by Julian that I always enjoyed.

    RIP
     
  14. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    I also followed Mr. Hirsch's reviews and enjoyed his common-sense approach to the hobby of audio. For me anyway, he helped me to keep it fun and save some money in the process.

    Very sorry to see him go. I'll bet he and Henry Kloss will have some good conversations................

    LJ
     
  15. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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  16. Tim Fennell

    Tim Fennell Stunt Coordinator

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    Julian Hirsch was responsible for a lot of the way audio equipment was speced if I remember right. Terms like Peak Power and other such marketing BS was shown to be just that and we got into more standardize power measurement like 20-20K both channels driven. Peak Power included stuff like the lamps in the unit (Well I might be joking there but it might as well have )

    Tim
     
  17. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    Yes, truly sad. I read his articles too, but way back. We would even compare articles on the same equipment and then break out Mr. Hirsch's article as the standard to base the rest upon.

    To Ted Lee, I read those in school too, and the scary thing was, I did understand them.

    Glenn
     
  18. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

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    Thanks for the Sound and Vision article Ted.
    There is a link at the end of it to a brief bio written by Mr. Hirsch's son. Well worth reading.
     
  19. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    I "blame" Mr. Hirsch for getting me into this money-sucking hobby....it was his review of the NHT SuperOne that did it. I've always enjoyed his reviews and especially his "Technical Talk" articles. I missed his writing and insights when Stereo Review became Sound & Vision.

    RIP Mr. Hirsch
     
  20. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Yet another audio pioneer has departed. [​IMG]

    I didn't subscribe to Stereo Review until the mid 80s, but I enjoyed Julian's reviews and articles. I did notice during the magazine's last few years that his reviews became more and more truncated (it was obvious if you dug up an older magazine and looked at those reviews), but perhaps after performing thousands of reviews he found it hard to say something that he hadn't already said before. I don't think I ever personally listened to more that two or three speakers that he reviewed, but I found his description of their sound to be dead-accurate.

    Here's a link to another S&V mention of Mr. Hirsch.


    http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/art...ber=1&preview=
     

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