Late obituary: Hi-fi audio genius Dick Sequerra, who died last October at 92, made Marantz a household name

Homepage Business Late obituary: Hi-fi audio genius Dick Sequerra died last October in…

This is a late but necessary obituary. I had just read an article about the death of John Koss, the man who popularized stereo headphones in the 1960s. I was wondering what had happened to Dick Sequerra, one of the pioneers of hifi audio equipment. It appears that he died without an obituary or funeral in October 2021. He was 92 years old.

Sequerra was a legendary name in the audio industry. He didn’t give many interviews, but you can read the one he gave to Stereophile in 2009 here.

Dick was famous for being a boy wonder in the industry when hifi audio was just beginning to develop. In the 1960s, he worked with Saul Marantz to make Marantz Electronics a household name. Dick was already famous for his loudspeakers and tuners. Before there was satellite radio and streaming etc., people heard music from radio stations on FM tuners. Sequerra invented the Marantz 10B, a famous tuner that plugs into home preamps and integrated amplifiers. Now, in addition to recording albums and tapes, you had a way to bring the FM signal into your home with premium sound.

Sequerra left Marantz in the 1970s. He created and lost his own company. called Day Sequerra. Then he launched R Sequerra Audio. Its home speakers, which range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, have become cult favorites. In 1989 my friend Bruce MacDonald – who 33 years later is a seasoned audiophile – wrote to Dick for a pair of his rare ribbon speakers. This is where I first heard the name. We have become two of his many devotees. Bruce still has a three piece set, hand built by Dick, and I still use my Met 7.7s which have a glorious full sound.

I met Dick in the 2000s, visiting his home in Connecticut and his factory. He was a real Mr. Wizard at a time when more and more people were turning to small speakers, portable systems. iPhone-like music heard through small earplugs. As the systems went down, so did the music. But it was Dick who was responsible for building and maintaining the studio of New York’s premier classical music station, WNCN.

With the return of vinyl, the next generation may want to hear their music well. Alas, there isn’t much left of Sequerra stock (I asked his wife, Ilene, about it – there may be stray parts available this year). You can look on eBay or audio exchange sites and find Dick’s Met 7 speakers at great prices. Buy them. They will blow your mind. Even the little ones.

Dick leaves behind his wife, Ilene, and two adult children. I don’t think there is an Audio Pioneers Hall of Fame, but there should be. Before digital, we revered names on the nameplates of stereo equipment. It was when you sat down and listened to music, from classical to jazz, Broadway shows, crooners, big bands and complex rock and roll recordings (there’s nothing quite like it anymore now). Dick Sequerra topped that list.

Author

Roger Friedman started his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years at Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His film reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes and he is a member of the film and television branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years, including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid-90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn’t). not so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. . He is also screenwriter and co-producer of “Only the Strong Survive”, a selection from the Cannes, Sundance and Telluride festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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