Remembering Frank Betz

I recently learned that retailer par excellence Frank Betz (Soundex, Outlook Audio) died last August. While this may have been old news, it was news to me and I mourn the death of an old friend and spiritual guide. In thinking about his loss I feel diminished and immensely sad.

I imagine other music lovers along the Philadelphia-NYC axis had the same experience as I had: the privilege of working with a bona fide genius, an auteur who had an innate gift for creating musicality out of boxes and wires, life out of what is lifeless. I'm grateful for all that Frank taught me, and I shall miss him.

Salve et atque, stout-hearted friend and mentor.
I bought many pieces from Frank at Soundex, and am sad to hear of his passing. He knew audio thoroughly & was a straight-up, low-key, fair trader. While visiting Soundex and waiting for Frank, I always enjoyed listening to him making deals on the phone with a vast number of customers. My sense was that he was an internet unto himself.
A few years ago in the month of April, my friend, Bill Legall of Millersound called to tell me that Frank Betz had just left Soundex. This was a dealership with a full 1 page Stereophile ad, with one of their Porsches zooming by the humongous, brand spanking new dealership they had just built, in the photo. Bill said, "They'll be closed by the end of the year. Mark my words." I didn't think it was possible It just didn't sound logical, this was a thriving dealership, and had been for many years. But, Bill was right, somewhere around Thanksgiving, Soundex closed down. The reason everyone gave, Frank Betz was no longer there.

A salesperson I know who worked with Frank often talks about Frank's innate ability to work with a customer through all manner of techniques (trades, etc.), and have them wind up in a system that they would have never been able to afford without someone working with them creatively in the way Frank was able. Having watched such a large entity as Soundex go belly up so quickly, he obviously was worth his weight in gold.

Apart from being a great salesperson, it seemed that just about everyone who knew Frank really formed a special relationship with him. I know that at his funeral several months ago, many, many people were there. Most had a connection to him through audio.

Thank you for initiating this thread, Williamsims. You've proven that it's never to late to stop and remember someone missed.
What happened? That's so sad to hear. When I first moved to this area 13 years ago I went up to Soundex and heard some great systems via Frank. Coming from New York it was so refreshing to have his no pressure attitude and well informed views on all things audio. What a great guy. He will be sorely missed...