Sorry to here that. Bob was nice enough to answer some of my questions over on Audio Asylum. He was always there to help others. Bob will be greatly missed.
That is sad news indeed. I had occasion to converse with Bob via email for most of last spring regarding some upgrades he was making on some pc's of mine. He commented at that time that he was not moving as fast as he had been due to a recent stroke. I guess that there were more health issues there than he let on.
My condolences go out to his family and to the audio community as we have lost a great friend.
I met him several times at shows. First he was honest, and would be willing to admit his setup was not sounding good at the time. This is a rare comodity at shows. He was a music lover first, an equipment designer second, albeit a darn good one.
I will sorely miss him. Always a joy to speak.
May he be hearing the celestial coruses now
My current cables are TG's, which I purchased shortly after speaking with Bob. Just a nice down to earth guy, the kind of guy who you know you could sit back with and enjoy a couple beers, bullshit and watch the world go by.
He may be gone but is certainly not forgotten, still making us smile every time we hear his cables or gear.
Thank you Bob.
I'll raise my glass to him as well. We spoke a number of times on the phone, and he was a real pleasure to talk with. We shared much of our political outlook, and as everyone says, he was always generous with his advice.
My two regrets are that I never got to meet him in person and that the deal for a Blowtorch never came to fruition because of his increasing health problems.
He was one of a kind, and the universal warmth with which he is remembered speaks volumes about the true nature of the man. The world is a poorer place without him.
Oh my, God! This is terrible news...
He was a true character, and wonderful person. While many in these audio threads do not conduct themselves in the best ways, Bob was one of the most entertaining, good hearted, funny, and obviously, knowledgeable people we have been lucky enough to have here. I'm sure I'm not alone when I say I enjoyed him. Sadly, he's already missed.
Brian Walsh, close friend of Bob Crump and definitely one of the good guys, has arranged for Bob's traditional Friday evening party at CES to live on as the Bob Crump Memorial Beer and Pizza Party. Kickoff is at 6 PM on Friday the 6th of January, room thirteen-oh-something Alexis Park, if memory serves me.
Link to Brian's announcement at the Asylum:
You're all invited.
i've been thinking of what to write about bob for a few days, as it takes time for such finalities to sink in.
as are us all, i'm obviously quite sad about bob's death, but i'm not at all surprised. even after his stroke, he was not going to be denied his marboro reds, damnit! exercise? HA! those doctors don't know shit!--classic bob. (but unfortunately led to his untimely demise)
part of what made him larger than life was his stubbornness and his hell-or-high-water i'm doing it my way approach to life. from his public feud w/ BFS to his loyalty to his dealers, that man had courage and strength of character that few can approach. bob wasn't short of opinions nor was he one for apologies, but then again, he had few quarrels. how could anyone take umbrage with an audiophile version of santa claus?
what i am surprised with, and take comfort from, is that his life, the way he wanted it, went more or less by design. he didn't have a wife or kids, as he said he didn't much want them, which i never knew to believe or not (he did want but unfortunately never got that skinny hippie chick he wanted---the dream of eugene OR unfulfilled). he never seemed lonely to me, and i think the volume of posts at audiogon & at AA are testament to how many people he was friends with, and how he may have lived alone but was never seemed a loss of company or companionship. when i'd visit him, his phone always had a ring or two; knowing bob, he didn't have too many enemies or unpleasant acquaintances, so if the phone rang, it was usually a friend to him. and almost always, he was having way too much fun, something that seems a bit shorter in supply now.
bob touched a lot of us, my wife & i included. he'll be missed, but not forgotten.
Great guy indeed. I had exchanged quite a few emails with Bob. He always had a great sense of humor. He always remind me to pay more attention to my family rather than hobby. His original idea got me into thinking and design my own cables.
His cable will be remembered.
Here is his original invention for the very first audio grade power cord.
I knew Bob for over twenty years, first as a fellow audiophile, later as a friend and owner of TG Audio. For many years, we made a point of weekly listening sessions either preceded or followed by a trip to Bob's current "favorite" restaurant, most recently a small neighborhood Italian bistro named Napoli. During that period, he introduced me to a wide range of music that I would otherwise have missed, most what I would term acoustic or folk, Misty River, John Renbourne, Bert Jansch etc. Bob's tastes were fairly eclectic, though I don't think that he listened to much classical music. Bob truly loved music and it was unusual for the sound system ever to be turned off. In later years, the sound system became a tool through which he evaluated his wire products. I think that he was most proud of his collaboration with John Curl and Carl Thompson on the Blowtorch preamp.
Bob had many acquaintances but few close friends, most somehow connected with audio. He spent many hours on the computer and phone answering questions on wide ranging topics. Bob never married or had children of his own but did become very attached to the children of his last real love, Eileen, but that was many years ago. Bob was not always an easy person to be around. He was highly opinionated and did not always take kindly to alternate views, particularly those in any way critical of his products or his service which could be maddeningly slow.
Most of you will know by this point that Bob had significant medical problems earlier this year and that he was hospitalized at that time. I was at the hospital at one point when the doctor was discussing the problem with Bob. Although the doctor thought that Bob might have had a mild stroke, the real problem was a combination of Bob's weight, his smoking and high blood pressure coupled with severe anxiety attacks which caused Bob's blood pressure to spike. At that time, the doctor wanted to keep Bob in the hospital for further tests but Bob wanted to go home to take care of his cats, smoke his Marlboroughs and drink his Peet's coffee. As it turned out, that was probably not the best decision that Bob could have made. Bob's friends and faimily, particularly John Curl and Brian Walsh, in the last weeks tried to talk Bob into going back to the hospital, particularly in the last few days before he died as his erratic behavior and memory losses became more pronounced, but without any success. By the time Bob died, his weight was close to 500# and he was smoking 6 packs of cigarettes a day.
Why bring any of this up now? I guess because I miss Bob and wish that he were still around and know that this tragedy could have been prevented.
>>>"Why bring any of this up now? I guess because I miss Bob and wish that he were still around and know that this tragedy could have been prevented.<<<
That is doubtful. Once we (all of us) pass 40 our habits and routines are hard to break. Habit starts to dictate lifestyle, especially for those of us that include nicotine or alcohol, or even an endorphin releasing habit such as music, into our lives.
Bob lived his life the way he chose and enjoyed every minute-- from what I understand. I think a celebration of Bob's passion and shared experience is in order. He brought so much shared experience and selfless energy to the job that he earned an entire category of fans-- like no other.
This tragedy gives us perspective into what is truly important in all our lives. I celebrate Bob's passion for music and design. I KNOW Bob planted the seed of high-fidelity with so many people that his legacy will endure. If any of us could leave such a legacy with family and friends, we could only hope to be as impactful as Bob Crump.
Let's take the torch and try to pass Bob's passion for high-fidelity on to another. That would truly, do Bob's memory and life's passion justice!
Bob was a generous and helpful audio friend, always ready with good advice and good cheer.
There was the CES I functioned as Bob's "fashion director", sending him a black derby that was...er...large enough to actually fit his head. He'd offered to trade me a TGA SLVR pc for the derby, which was much too generous on his part.
When I opened the box he eventually sent me, not only was the SLVR in there, he'd also included additional assorted goodies -which included 3 Acme outlets.
Checking my e-mail files, I see I have several years of hilarious correspondence from Bob regarding the state of the world, the state of audio, music, cats, favorite food and silly pictures. I still have a message on my recorder, with Bob's gruff voice saying: "Wait to buy a new CD player, Harmonia (my AA nic). Go sell another couple half a million dollar houses and get the new one we're cooking up." Sigh.
Bob met the world on his own terms, with great good humour and zest for living. He definitley did things "his way". It's hard to believe he's gone. The world seems a little smaller somehow without him in it.
What a great post Rackon. Thanks for sharing that side of Bob Crump.
I also appreciate the words of Fred Crowder, a long time friend who spent a long time with me on the phone yesterday morning discussing this. I was not nearly as close to Bob as Fred Crowder but greatly saddened by his early passing.
Thanks for posting the details Fred. It really helps to have some sense of his struggles and choices, and certainly gives we who only knew him via phone or email a bigger picture of the man and his life.
I asked on AA, buit didnt get an answer.... How old was he? I was never sure from his voice, and hadn't spoken to him a many years.
I believe I have a tech lab volume control for a Spectral pre he build for you Fred. It was an amazing upgrade at the time from stock, and both the pre and the volume pot, plus a DC umbilical he made for me will be up for sale soon. He left quite an impression on me as a young audiophile back around 1990. And his cords and volume control made that spectral gear sound wonderful, just when i was getting ready to sell it as being threadbare, he came up with a solution.
Some good posts here, notably Fred's and Harmonia's. Since I was closer than most to Bob, I may be able to offer some additional information.
Bob had been married, I think once, but after that ended he chose less formal arrangements. If I recall correctly, Donna and "Crazy Ilene" were two who followed, the latter referred to in Fred's post.
Bob was very fond of his two black cats, Stan and Fred. Freddie was a 'fraidy cat, hiding in the closet or under the bed from strangers, but Bob always claimed Stan must have been part dog, the way he would walk right up to you or sit next to you on the couch while listening. Stan was small, I think around 9 lbs., while Freddie was about double his size - Bob described them as identical twins, but that Freddie was "much more identical than Stan". Bob was very sad to have to put his buddy Stan to sleep late last year.
Bob also had to cope with his mother's death earlier this year, although he knew it was only a matter of time before she would pass on. Although he hadn't been in touch with her on a frequent basis, her passing was difficult for him.
What may have been one of the highest points in Bob's life was Misty River performing live "unplugged" at CES 2004 at his room. Anyone who attended that annual pizza and beer party knew something rare had occurred: a party with a wide range of notable audio personalities and people from all over, good food and drink, and a fabulous music performance where you could just about hear a pin drop as the audience was spellbound. Bob was clearly beside himself that night. Any time that night was mentioned, Bob beamed with pleasure like a joyous child.
Bob's health problems of the past year, beginning with a stroke whose effects were observable at CES 2005, increased as time went on. Sad to say, his ability to complete and ship product ground to a halt as he spent more and more time sleeping. He had reduced his coffee consumption to virtually nil, but according to Fred his smoking had greatly increased. Bob's brother said he weighed 481 lbs. at time of death, which although he was 6'3" and was large boned, is very high.
Bob looked forward to moving to Eugene, Oregon, having visited there a few months before his stroke and wanting to get out of Houston and go to a place with a more laid back lifestyle. "Skinny hippie women" and folk music in coffee houses were much to Bob's liking.
In what turned out to be his final weeks, Bob had some memory issues and admitted to me that he did. I urged him to see a doctor, but knowing how stubborn he could be and not wanting to push him too hard, there was only so much I could do. Due to circumstances beyond my control he didn't make it to the neurologist a doctor friend (and fellow Blowtorch owner) referred him to. I'm certain that trip would have saved his life, at least for the time being.
All of that said, Bob lived life to the fullest. He really got pleasure from music and enriching people's lives through his products, his enthusiasm, his good nature and sense of humor, and his willingness to help. We're all a little poorer without Bob.
Rest in peace, my friend.
Well......'splains why I had not heard from him in a while. I always razzed him about living in Houston, as it was to neither of our likings. I escaped and lived to tell about it. Too bad Bob didn't.
People always ask "Why are all your friends such characters?"
Because life is more fun when you experience it with characters. We now have one less to share the ride with.
I would like to thank Brian and Fred for their efforts to help Bob. You both were friends when that was a difficult thing to be to Bob. Bob was my business mentor and I had hoped that we would be neighbors in Eugene. I can just see the big guy with a skinny hippie woman sitting on the front porch drinking Peets Fancy Ethiopian coffee together. RIP Bob.
JUST saw this and am shocked. Bob was a truly good guy. He will be missed by MANY.
I will relate a story that I hope will be of interest to more than just me. Several years ago, when I had gotten back into two-channel audio, I was visiting a shop in Berkeley, California. Two guys were in the shop milling about and talking to the guys working there. One said he was there to pick up a copy of Stereophile because he did not want it seen delivered to his house anymore. :-)
The two of them struck up a conversation with me and were very pleasant and offered me a couple of suggestions regarding some questions I had. At the time I thought to myself that these guys knew more than anyone in this shop, or most any shop I'd been in, for that matter. Very unusually, I did not introduce myself, nor did either of the two. When they walked out of the shop, the owner said, Great guys, huh? - or something to that effect. I said, yeah, do they live around here? He said, you didn't know that those guys were Bob Crump and John Curl?
Later, I had several conversations with Bob and he joined a "cartel" of four of us that pooled in money on a Wally Azimuth Tool when he could have just bought one himself.
I first got to know Bob a few years ago, as we spoke on the phone after I purchased a Blowtorch from an original owner --- he called me to find out about the new owner of one of his babies. Since then we enjoyed time together at CES shows and Ribfest '04. My wife and I still recall how much fun it was to have Bob as our house guest for an entire day just listening, drinking, eating, and of course "having way too much fun". I know it was his time to go, but will always regret he was unable to move to Oregon for at least a few years. I've been grieving the loss of Bob all week, but tonight I'll celebrate his life at a Misty River concert here in Bend,OR. and I'd like to think he'll be listening in.
Just a quick update. Maybe Bob will finally make it to Oregon or at least Washington. His body has been cremated per his wish and his brother will be taking the remains to the northwest when he returns home. On two other fronts, I believe that John Curl will be completing several remaining Blowtorches that have been promised to customers and that an interested party has been found that will be picking up the wire portion of Bob's business. The gentleman in question has been in the manufacturing and sales end of the business for over twenty years and was involved with Townsend Audio when it was manufacturing product in the US. Although nothing has been finalized, I believe that he will be purchasing the remaining assets and trying to reinvigorate the business, initially focusing on Bob's current designs. Hope that this happens as it would be nice to keep the TG name alive.
About 3 years ago Bob loaned me some of his speaker cables for a shoot-out with the anaconda-sized 18 K dollar Kharma Exquisite cables on a top-notch system that included big Kharmas, Manley Reference DAC and the belt drive CD player the name of which I forget right now. The results were very, very close. Bob was the best.
How many of you know what "TG" stands for, in "TG Audio"? Bob must of had a heck of a sense of humor.
This is part of a thread from AA for those of you that may not have seen it.
A wonderful guy with a zest for life. When I had and ultimately sold my Blowtroch, he couln't have been more of a gentleman. He would call to just to check in and see how it was working. He was in the Chicago area in the late sixties or early seventies and on occasion we would reminisce about the Chicago folk sound from that era.
Bob told me once that his company was originally called Throbbing Gristle Audio, as mentioned in the asylum thread (link provided above). Apparently he had a customer who wanted to make a substantial purchase, but the customer's wife was offended by the brand name. So Bob amended the name to TG Audio, and the sale was, ah, consummated.