First published in 2012
David Lander / Stereophile writes:
Madrigal's chief executive officer is known for working well into the night, but that's been a goal of his since boyhood. For many years he dreamed of becoming a professional guitarist, and even dropped out of Yale to satisfy a ravenous musical appetite. "Enough of trying to be a Renaissance man," Phil Muzio recalls thinking at the time. His aim was to be out there on the bandstand making music.
Muzio was born in 1954 and grew up on his family's 47-acre vegetable farm in North Haven, Connecticut. (The land, which his Sicilian-born grandfather bought in 1902, is just a 35-minute drive from Madrigal's Middletown headquarters, where Mark Levinson and Proceed components are manufactured and where the marketing of Revel speakers is handled.) At age 16, while still in high school, he took a part-time job at a New Haven audio shop called David Dean Smith. The eponymous Mr. Smith was one of America's first hi-fi specialty dealers.
Phil subsequently entered Yale, but left after his freshman year to study music at the University of Hartford's Hartt School and at the University of Bridgeport, where his teachers included the jazz guitarists Neil Slater and Sal Salvador. He continued to work at David Dean Smith and, one Thursday evening in 1974, he recognized a young musician who strolled onto the sales floor—a bass player, whose picture had appeared on a Paul Bley album cover.
That chance meeting with Mark Levinson was the real start of Phil Muzio's career, which now occupies more hours—day and evening—than he ever envisioned it would.
David Lander: You began working at Mark Levinson Audio Systems in 1974, two years after the company was established. What were your duties in the early years?
Phil Muzio: I was first doing odd assignments for Mark Levinson—delivering things, picking things up. When I started working inside the company, Mark had .....