RIP - Richard Brown, BEL

Richard passed away October 10,2009. I was first introduced to Richard’s amp about 10 years ago. I purchased a pair of the MKII’s off the gon and was very impressed by their performance. So I got in touch with Richard and told him I wanted the upgrades to MKV statis. I enjoyed my conversations with him over the two year period I was waiting for him to begin the upgrades. (Begging with him at the end of each phone call) It was a very painful two year wait but well worth it! I did understand he had a life outside of audio. Subsequently I had him perform his MKV upgrade on another pair I purchased several years later. The previous owner had his name in for the upgrades so I was automatically in line. I only had to wait about 3 months this time around. Just recently I had the opportunity to purchase 2 more of his amps and had them shipped to him to perform yet another MKV upgrade. Not so lucky this time around.

I only new Richard through this hobby. He was a great guy who conducted his work life on his terms. His passing is a real shocker to me! My blessings to his wife. He will be missed.

I was a BEL dealer way back in the day. Richard was a wonderful man. He was always concerned and supportive about my business and very helpful with anything that I needed.

I'm very saddened by this news.

RIP Mr. Brown...
Sorry to hear, my best to his family.
This is sad news, indeed. I spoke with him about a year ago concerning using long runs of his speaker wire and sending my 1001 in for a "tune up" and possible upgrade. He was very gracious, patient, and helpful, and put me on his waiting list (he told me about a years wait) for the amp mods. BTW, my 1001 was manufactured in 1985; I bought it used in 1988, he modified it in 1990, and I am still using it today, 21 years later. It has given me immeasurable hours of pleasurable service....
I am also saddened by this loss. I have owned three MkV's, two of which remain the heart of my system and my pride and joy. I've exchanged many emails and had several phone conversations with Richard. His was the kind of mind and level of drive that inspire awe and produce greatness. He was also kind, patient, and respectful in all of our dealings. I will never forget him or his exemplary and hard-won achievements, his excellent amplifiers being but one of many.

Paul Pearah
This is indeed a sad moment. The audio world has lost a great designer. I was in touch with him recently about buying a MkV. It looks like I'm too late.
Never owned a pair of Mk Vs but I did audition in my home.
Best sound heard to date.
The man had great ears.
I'm very sorry to hear of his passing. This is one amp that was always on my short list of "must try", but it wasn't the easiest product to find or audition. It must be one heck of an amp, you don't see many folks that owned one letting it out of their hands.
I'm very sorry to hear this, he was a good man. He really was a throwback to the golden age of audio. He could not only make technically good amps, but also ones that sounded great.
I have a BEL 1001 MK V that is in need of repair - can anyone help me with this issue?

Bob H - 508-244-0587

You might want to contact Sal Zambrano at Audio Summa in SoCal. At RMAF last year he was representing BEL cables (which he later let me demo) and had mentioned he had taken over the assets of the company. He also mentioned he had the schematics for the amps. Perhaps he can assist you in finding a competent repair person.
Thanks! I have indeed contacted him and I will report back to all you Agoner's about my experience with him- good or bad.
I used to have the original version of the BEL 1001. I'm wondering what are the differences between Mk.I and the subsequent versions?
I would also be interested to hear what Sal has to say. I spoke with him at RMAF regarding possible service on my Mk. I 1001 (it is over 25 years old and may possibly need recapping), and he referred me to Brooks Berden (sp?) in So. Cal.. I emailed them however they did not respond.
Apparently noone has been able to figure out how the BEL amps sounded so good. Mr Brown must have been doing some tuning or has knowledge of his circuit that is not readily apparent from others purusing the schematics.

Is this still the case, and former BEL owners still out in the cold?
Sal Zambrano told me that he intends to carry on with Mr Brown's philosophy - see below in his own words - he seems like an honorable and caring person:

I have all BEL amp repairs performed by Tom, the technician at Brooks Berdan, Ltd who
knows Mr. Brown's amps well.

I am focusing on learning about Mr. Brown's amp design, and how I may bring Mr. Brown's
BEL 1001 amplifier back to the market in a couple of years...

I plan to continue Mr. Brown's legacy, respect his design philosophy, and remain true to
his design ideals.

I do own the BEL trademark, and will be exhibiting a BEL 1001 amplifier at THE SHOW,
Newport, and at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest.

And, I manufacture and sell Mr. Brown's BEL "The Wire" cables (P-1 and D-1
interconnects; S24 and S12 speaker cables).
Why can't his circuit be copied exactly with royalites to the estate if the IP is protected. The man seems to have done something right with SS. I would certainly be in the market for a new MKV with no mods or tweaks that would make it something other than a Mr. Brown creation.
I've used a pair of 1001s for, let's see - 19 years now. Brooks died in July, but his son is keeping the store open. I'll be there today and try to get a sense of what's happening with these.
I contacted Sal Zambrano by email asking about repairing my BEL amp. He said he would repair it and had me ship it to him. Months have gone by and he has not responded to mulitple email and phone calls. I do not believe he is carrying on Mr Brown's philosophy.
Are you saying he has had possession of your amp for months with no communication? I had contacted him several months ago regarding inspection and possible upgrading of my 1001 and he did respond, saying that he was testing an upgrade using some more current quality caps in the original design. He told me he thought he would have some results in a month or two. I emailed him about a month ago and he has not responded to my inquiry. Perhaps there are some extenuating circumstances as he seemed helpful at RMAF 2011 when I spoke to him (and even sold my friend a pair of speakers without a hitch), and did respond to my original (though not recent) emails.
Any update on your amp? Has Sal returned the BEL to you, and did he repair it?