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Impressions:  Highlights, and My Portraits from the 2019 LAOC Audio Society Gala Event

12-15-2019 | By David W. Robinson | Issue 106

David W. Robinson, Leavenworth, WA, 2012 (photograph by Lila Ritsema)


Last weekend I attended the Los Angeles/Orange County (LAOC) Audio Society Gala in Buena Park and Orange, CA. Held in early December each year, this gathering represents the finale for the LAOC AS annual calendar. The LAOC AS is the largest high-end audio society in the world, with some 2,700+ members. They have monthly events in association with various dealers in the LA area, and are also linking up with other audio groups for expanded audio happenings in 2020.

Also in attendance were members of the Positive Feedback creative community, hosted by Managing Editors Dave and Carol Clark, at the PF banquet table.

The LAOC also sponsors the Audiophile Recording of the Year Awards (ARYA). The ARYA committee, chaired by me, gives consideration for the best albums in two categories:  Best New Production, and Best Reissue. Those awards are given at the Gala Banquet, with beautiful trophies and public recognition the reward for superior production work.

While I'm on the subject, the winners of the 2019 ARYAs were:

Best New Album

Anthony Wilson, Songs and Photographs, Goat Hill Recordings LP/Book box set. Produced by Joe Harley and Anthony Wilson. Recorded February 25-27, 2018 at Sphere Studios, Los Angeles. Mixed at Studio 835, Los Angeles. Engineered and mixed by Michael C. Ross. Assistant engineers:  Wesley Seidman and Alejandro Baima. Mastered by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio, Los Angeles. Digital preparation by Dan Hersch, D2 Mastering, Los Angeles 

Best Reissue Album

Impex Records, Michel Legrand, Legrand Jazz, on 45 RPM LP. Mastered by Chris Bellman and Bob Donnelly on Bernie Grundman Mastering's all-tube cutting system, Hollywood, California. Analog mix-down transfer of the original 1958 work tapes by Mark Wilder at Battery Studios, New York, NY. Plated and pressed at RTI, supervised by Rick Hashimoto

This year's Gala also saw Andrew Jones of ELAC received the LAOC Founders Award. George and Carolyn Counnas of Zesto Audio were recognized with the first Innovation Award.


I was busier than I would have liked to have been with tasks associated with the LAOC AS Board dinner and Gala Banquet, but I did get some opportunities to do real work.

Anyone who has followed my photographs in PF over the years knows that the making of portraits is far more important to me than either images of the gear or the photo-documentation of gatherings.

People are the heart of the audio arts; people are what matter.

And so…

Carol Clark

Dan Meinwald and Dave Clark

Michael Fremer:  a portrait in fresco

Carolyn and George Counnas

Dave Clark and Andrew Jones

Hajime Sato

Dan Meinwald:  a portrait

Bob Levi and Andrew Jones

A portrait of Danny Kaey

Chip Moore and Roger Skoff

Doug Mechaber and Dan Meinwald:  a moment

Mark Freed

Chip Moore

Ars gratia artis....