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 Interview With Marshall Blonstein-President of Audio Fidelity

Interview With Marshall Blonstein-President of Audio Fidelity MuzikMan: Where are you from and how long have you been in the music business?

Marshall: I’m from LA, but I lived in Chicago and NY. I’ve been in the music business since 1965.

MuzikMan: Your Audio Fidelity Label is picking up where your DCC label left off with production of 24k Gold CDs, is there anything different with the process today compared to previous releases?

Marshall: It always starts with the original masters – that’s always been the key. I also give a great deal of credit to Steve Hoffman, who has a knack for always finding the master tape. We’ve also used a proprietary vintage playback system, which is an analog to digital converter which gives our 24kt a unique sound.

MuzikMan: Everyone seems to be looking for that ultimate sound, a pristine full crisp surround sound. How do the Audio Fidelity SACDs, 180 gram Vinyl and 24k Gold releases compare and contrast? How do mastering processes differ?

Marshall: As I mentioned above the mastering process is proprietary and gives all of our discs a rich broad sound. There is no harshness. It’s as close to an original analog recording as you’re gonna get.

MuzikMan: What kind of equipment would you recommend people purchase to enjoy Audio Fidelity releases?

Marshall: I never recommend any equipment. I try to stay objective and know that speakers and playback systems are personal choice. I just know that our music would sound good on any system – that’s our guarantee.

MuzikMan: Your business is specialized and has very particular clientele, how does Audio Fidelity separate itself from the competition and remain profitable and self-sustaining?

Marshall: It’s always been down to the selection of artists. One company may have a specific direction in mind, which might be similar to Chesky. Their choice is new recordings and they sound wonderful. The market niche we’ve chosen is 60’s & 70’s rock-n-roll. I like this area and love the music. So whenever someone is looking for great rock-n-roll from the 60’s & 70’s they will know that Audio Fidelity is the label to look for. And – if we guess right and do our jobs properly we will be profitable.

MuzikMan: Are you one of the folks that believe vinyl sounds just as good as or better than the CD format? For me it is more than sound, it is a generation gap thing. I grew with LPs and 45s. There is something very special about album art and opening up a gatefold sleeve and looking at pictures and so forth rather than pulling out a tiny booklet from a CD.

Marshall: I have my feet planted in both areas. I love the LP, especially the large graphics with the gatefold, the high gloss, the whole nine yards. At the same time, I like the flexibility that a CD gives you, where you can tell a story not in 45 minutes, but in 70 minutes +. It’s also much more convenient to play a CD in your car as opposed to an LP, which is I recall, at one time there were players installed in cars for LP’s. You just had to be careful not to go over any bumps!

MuzikMan: What are some of your favorite albums of all time? Your personal collection must be enormous and quite impressive!

Marshall: My favorite album of all time – The Doors “The Doors”, Carole King “Tapestry” , The Quartet Tres Bien “Killamanjaro”, Les McCann, Eddy Harris “For What It’s Worth”, Stan Getz “Jazz Somba”, Marc Almond “The City”, Spirit “The Family That Plays Together”, that is just some.

MuzikMan: What are your expectations for the label moving forward this year and beyond?

Marshall: I fully expect to be surrounded by wonderful music and artists that I truly love. I know if we can consistently associate ourselves with classic artists, we will be just fine. We will be sharing some great music with people all over the world.

© Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
Posted By: Keith Hannaleck

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