Linn’s founder, Ivor Tiefenbrun, wanted to sell turntables. He did this in the early 1970s by building a great product, certainly. But more than just a product, he threw a bit of wisdom into the high end lexicon that I believe has had more of an impact than anything else I can think of.
The idea he put forth—that information locked away in recorded media, once lost or distorted, can never be recovered—was neither revolutionary nor original, yet it was profound, and for all the right reasons.
During those early days of audio the world viewed stereo kit as appliances, giving no more thought to their performance than that of a vacuum cleaner (and no, I don’t mean they all suck, but it’s a good line). When Tiefenbrun came round the timing was just right. He had, on his lips, the right thing to say at the right time and our world hasn’t been the same since.
The idea he put forth that all turntables were not the same, that some lost information, while others uncovered more, was a revolutionary thought—spoken at just the right moment—striking a chord I refer to as the quest for buried treasure.
When I first started down this lifelong journey of high end audio, it was the prospect of buried treasure that resonated with me more than anything. I believe I am still in search of treasure to this day. Hearing more in the music than I had known was there lights my light, floats my boat, sends chills down my spine, my raison d’être.
I have Tiefenbrun to thank for flicking the light switch in my head, for pointing out the obvious—when the obvious wasn’t clear—and for helping all of us realize that once lost, information cannot be recovered.
Losing or distorting information is akin to misreading the treasure map and digging in the wrong place.
No matter how deep the hole, if you’re information is wrong or distorted, you’ll never find the treasure buried deep within the music.