Thanks for visiting Bob Rapoport’s Essence For Hi Res Audio website. We manufacture and sell our own award-winning Essence HDMI DACs and we’re the US dealer for Acoustic Energy Speaker Systems from the UK, FIBBR Ultra Pro HDMI v2.0 Fiber Optic Cables from China, the KORG DS-DAC-10R Hi Res DSD Audio DAC for SACDs from Japan, power amps by ATI (formerly SAE), Amphion Speakers from Finland, and the UNITY Wireless Headphone. Nobody knows more about the products we sell than I do and eliminating the typically high overhead of brick and mortar stores makes Essence and its companion products an extraordinary value.
As a teenager in the 60’s living in No. Hollywood, Calif, I was surrounded by the best movie theaters in the world; Graumann’s Chinese, The Pantages, The Egyptian, The Paramount, and later the Cinerama Dome, all built in the Golden Age of Hollywood on a grand scale by the Studios to showcase their productions. They had the biggest, widest screens and speaker systems so I was spoiled at an early age with motion picture soundtracks that featured the widest dynamic range and bandwidth, able to deliver more sonic impact and realism to audiences.
Home systems of the day could not come close to this level of performance for lots of technical reasons but we had a NorthStar in those movie soundtracks to show us how good it could be someday at home. It’s fair to say that Hollywood evolved the audio visual arts and we all benefited from that endeavor.
I installed the phono cartridges and turntables for all my friends. I caught the hi- fi bug when I was 8 years old and was fortunate to grow up around one of the best speaker systems of the day, the 3-panel Triple KLH 9 Electrostats. In the early 1970’s this was the state of the art. We listened to live recordings from open reel master tapes of the LA Philharmonic that had much more dynamic range than the same music on vinyl at the time. For me, its been the pursuit of a lifetime, chasing the holy grail of high fidelity, a one to one copy of the original recording to play at home. Since 2008, the Blu-ray disc has been able to do that for the first time in audio history.
After college, I started a long and successful sales and marketing career in the audio industry as a manufacturers rep in So. Calif selling Bang & Olufsen and Sennheiser to start, then Bose Speaker Systems, Stanton/Pickering phono cartridges and headphones, Phase Linear Electronics, Rabco Linear Tracking Turntables, and Discwasher, the best selling cleaner for our records. I started my own rep firm in 1974 selling SAE, Design Acoustics, Micro-Acoustics, Boston Acoustics, ESS, Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, and many other great brands of the day. I’ve been at the leading edge for some of the biggest improvements in high fidelity over the years, introducing and selling some the most important audio technology milestones in history, including:
- The first line of high-end power amps of the solid state era by SAE.
- The Acoustech 10 full range electrostatic speakers and headphones by Arthur Janszen, designer of the KLH 9.
- The Heil Air Motion Transformer speaker systems by ESS.
- The first digital add-on Surround Sound processor, the Audio Pulse Time Delay by Peter Tribeman.
- The first audiophile vinyl albums by the legendary Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab.
- The first dts add-on digital decoder for Laserdiscs and first 5.1 channel DVD-Audio discs, the Millennium 3.2.1.
My design for the world’s first modular electrostatic speakers by Final in the Netherlands won Best New Speaker of the Year 2002 at CES. In 2004 I pioneered the introduction of HDMI digital connectivity in the USA for high resolution digital audio and video in all professional and consumer applications. I’ve been a leading voice in the industry for the adoption of Blu-ray for Hi Res Audio playback via HDMI as the replacement for the CD and RCA cables.
In 2020, I am still leading the way with with our 2nd generation HDMI v2.0 DAC Preamp / Headphone amp, the HDACC II-4K with 4 x 1 HDMI v2.0b switching for the latest Hi Res Audio 4K soundtracks and TVs. I’m proud to welcome back an old friend, Morris Kessler and his ATI power amps that derive from the great tradition of SAE; amazing speaker systems by Acoustic Energy UK and Amphion Finland, the world’s best HDMI fiber optic cables by FIBBR, the world’s best vinyl archiving DSD Hi Res Audio DAC by KORG.