Originally written and posted 8 July 1996.
Content last modified Saturday, 9 January 2021 .

Who or What Is Sonic Purity?

Why that would be…


“Bzzzz-click-RRRRRRRRAASSSSSSSPPPP-hummmm-clank-clank-clank”—these are not the sounds audio equipment is supposed to make (at least not when playing Track 1 of the Philips 5A test CD...). Well, they’re not supposed to make these sounds, but often they do, esp. when broken.

It became a long-standing joke at the home audio (“stereo”) repair shop where i used to work (Resistance Repair, Berkeley, CA U.S.A.) that high-end audio devices renowned for their “sonic purity” (extreme accuracy of reproduction) often produced the most interesting and extreme sounds of distortion and impurity during failure. Often the owners of such equipment would describe what we considered rather blatant obvious failures in language indicative of the highest degree of subtlety (to our great amusement).

One day at the end of the ’80’s-beginning of the ’90’s, some forgotten piece of overpriced high-end silliness was bleating away in the depths of failure on my bench, when fellow repair tech. and generally brilliant human AJR (Allen J. Romano) walked by and uttered the shop joke, “Sonic purity…”, in regards to the audio ugliness ensuing. It was at that moment that all the washed-up, wak temporary air names i had been using since bailing on “new Rat” fell by the wayside, and i had myself a new identity….

But far from being merely a radio DJ air name, Sonic Purity became me, and i became Sonic Purity… i AM Sonic Purity, in the true (sarcastic) meaning of the phrase as defined and refined at Resistance Repair, a name that is mine and will remain part and parcel of me and what i stand for from here on out (or at least until the next name smiley). So… don’t forget to pronounce my name correctly: with your tongue firmly planted in your cheek. winkie

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