Sad news, indeed, no matter what one's opinion of him was.
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I was sad to hear of HP's physical problems but The Absolute Sound is a shell of what it used to be. I seem to remember that the first issue that I put my hands on was around 1983. TAS called a Carver amp a boat anchor. What TAS has become is a slick organ of the industry that lives on its advertising. Can you imagine the magazine publishing a review like that today? I think not.
My hope is with this new venture that Harry can talk about whatever he wants without any censorship. That would be worth reading . I never met Harry but I the arrival of the Absolute Sound in the past would have me away for hours reading every word. Today if I find and article or two in it I consider it a success. I hope Harry uses this opportunity to get back to his roots and please call something (anything) a boat anchor again!!
HP was an early HEA mentor for me. TAS was at times complex and frustrating but also compelling for a teenager to digest. TAS/HP helped me develop the same appreciation for music as well as fine audio equipment. When an audio publication reaches the level of 1980's TAS, I will subscribe regardless of cost!
HP, warts and all (he could be pompous and indulgent with his use of language) was, IMO, the most relevant audio reviewer to ever appear in print. Relevant because his reviews (especially in the early days) always related to MUSIC not just sound. In his reviews and opinion pieces there were always substantive discussions and descriptions of how what he heard from audio equipment related to music and the sound of that music performed live. No other reviewer in my experience has been so unyielding in his/her dedication to what (wether some are willing to acknowledge it or not) is the loftiest goal of this hobby. I look forward to his future writings and wish him health.
The majority of audio enthusiasts and philes are older rather than younger, so I feel for anyone who is of ill health; It happens more and more in our demographic. Hope HP does fine and finds enjoyment in retirment. At 57 I unfortunately have a long way to retirement and begin to see my own mortality. This is one of the reasons I keep striving for the best music-producing system. Enjoy each day you have because health can turn on a dime!