SPICA: John Bau interview – Interstellar Overdrive

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John Atkinson (Stereophile) writes .....

Elsewhere in this issue, I review the new Spica Angelus loudspeaker, only the fourth product to appear from this Santa Fe-based manufacturer since it started operations at the end of the 1970s. You will have to read the review to learn what I thought of the speaker, a distinctively styled floor-standing two-way, but I also thought it would be beneficial to talk with Spica's founder and chief engineer John Bau. I therefore made arrangements to meet with him in their facility just a couple of blocks from Stereophile's old Early Street HQ. I had been told that John was tall, but until he unfolded himself from his stool in his laboratory, surrounded by computers and computerized test equipment, I had not realized how tall! Undaunted, I settled into a conventional chair, pointed the microphone in a vaguely upward direction, and asked John how he had gotten into loudspeaker design.—John Atkinson

John Bau: I've been a musician since I was 12 years old—I play acoustic guitar and bass—and after a certain point, I got more interested in studio work. By 1976 or '77, I was working in a recording studio in Albuquerque. It was a pretty nice facility, considering it was in Albuquerque—it had two 16-track recorders. When you listen to an instrument in the studio, you move your head around to get the sweet spot and you place a microphone on the instrument, but when you go back into the control room and listen to what's coming out, it isn't the same. I mean, the disparity between the live and the reproduced was pretty awful.

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