A Wisconsin native, Jeff built his first amplifier from a schematic in the RCA tube manual at age 14. His hi-fi sales career came to an abrupt end when he told a customer to take his big check up the street to the local Levinson dealer for much better equipment. 15 years as a commercial photographer led to writing about the rapidly expanding world of digital imaging at the turn of the century, writing for Macworld, CNet, Studio Photography and many others. He has also been a consultant to Adobe, Roland DGA and Olympus Cameras. He still takes a very active role in the images produced for TONEAudio, contributing a major portion of the magazine’s visuals.
These days, the Pacific Northwest is home, where you can find him in the local record stores, music venues, or in search of a great steak.
Jean’s early studies of fine art and marketing were spent at the University of Southern Oregon. She later moved to the Southwest to work on her tan and finish a degree in design at the University of Arizona.
Her 25 years worth of art direction and design for a string of Fortune 500 companies along with high end prepress skills provided the necessary background to create the look and feel for TONEAudio. Every pixel of the magazine falls victim to her watchful eye.
When she’s not digitally designing, you can find Jean at the local gardening shops looking for cool things to add to her garden or dreaming about living in Tuscany.
Liza joined TONEAudio for issue 2, and has been supplying us with comic relief ever since. She has been a staff cartoonist for The New Yorker since 1982 and has worked for other publications including American Photographer, National Lampoon, Cosmopolitan and the New York Times.
She has written a number of children’s books and has shown her work in numerous exhibitions around the country. She lives in New York with her husband and two daughters. More information about Liza, her work and appearances can be found at: www.lizadonnelly.com
Veteran music critic and copy editor Bob Gendron is a frequent contributor to the Chicago Tribune and the author of the 33 1/3 series book on the Afghan Whigs’ Gentlemen album. He owns far too many records, continues to attend an unhealthy amount of concerts, spends far too much money on craft beer, and enjoys playing hockey. He also writes for DownBeat and formerly served as Music Editor for The Absolute Sound. He’s also been published by Rollingstone.com, The Source, and various other outlets.
A staff writer and editor with luxury lifestyle magazine Robb Report since 2007—a position that has afforded him access
to some of the world’s best hi-fi gear, not to mention jets, yachts, hotels, food and booze—Bailey is also TONEAudio’s gear editor, a frequent contributing writer and social media guru. Prior to his current editorial endeavors, he served as editor in chief of a student-run art and literary magazine at the University of Iowa, where he studied creative writing, literature, journalism and art history, in addition to editing and designing the North American newsletter of an international non-profit organization.
Bailey has played music his entire life and there is little he loves more. When he’s not listening to music, he’s either beating up his beloved Martin guitar or blowing into a harmonica—or both. He is also a very passionate writer of poetry and fiction (you can read excerpts from his novel and keep up with his poetry blog by visiting www.plightofthepoet.com), and he proudly brews his own beer. Bailey lives in West Los Angeles.
Managing editor and reviewer Rob Johnson spent much of his professional career in technology marketing consulting for a Fortune 100 company. After 25 years in the corporate world, Rob followed his passion and joined the TONEAudio team in 2013. That means he’s Jeff’s right-hand man if there’s a heavy amplifier that needs lifting. As an audio enthusiast his entire life, Rob’s other past roles included time as a disk jockey and as a concert hall recording engineer. With all those opportunities to be surrounded by fantastic sound, Rob’s several-decade obsession for great home audio gear took root at an early age.
How do you properly introduce a legend? Many of you know contributor Ben Fong-Torres from the many articles he wrote as the former senior editor of Rolling Stone magazine; others know him from his place in the movie Almost Famous. As an insider who’s seen and done just about all of it, he continues to stay busy in all aspects of music media.
Born and raised in Akron, Ohio, Andy Downing became a regular contributor to the Chicago Tribune in 2006. He recently moved to Madison, Wisconsin to become a staff arts writer for The Capital Times. He’s also written for Rollingstone.com, Spin, and The Absolute Sound. In addition to an unhealthy obsession with Radiohead, he also enjoys the Drive-By Truckers, fantasy sports, and working obscure references to Yngwie Malmsteen into his writing. Unleash the fury!
Jacob Heilbrunn lives in Washington, DC, where he is a senior editor at the National Interest, a foreign policy magazine. He also writes regularly for the New York Times and the Huffington Post as well as contributing to The Absolute Sound.
His interest in all things audio dates back to his childhood, listening to 10″ Jelly Roll Morton LPs while munching on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches during lunch hour. He studied trumpet at Oberlin College before plunging into the political fray. His book They Knew They Were Right: the Rise of the Neocons appeared in 2008 and was named one of the 100 best books of the year by the New York Times.
Since mid-2010, John Darko has been committing his experiences with digitally fronted audio systems to pixels by way of Digital Audio Review. He cares little if digital audio is better than vinyl (or not); the differences between DACs alone are of sufficient interest. John is very much an ‘integrated amplifier and standmount speakers’ guy – systems that work in small(er) living spaces, funded by small(er) budgets.
His first musical love remains David Byrne and Talking Heads. He has an an aversion to the beige of audiophile music. ”Your system shouldn’t dictate the music you listen to” is a thought that wakes him daily. He does not dig Marvin Gaye or Melody Gardot. He loves the disconnect of IDM/techno and the humanity of Tom Waits.
John is an American trapped inside a British body; and that body has lived in Sydney, Australia since 2002. Follow his additional thoughts at www.digitalaudioreview.net.au
Ken Kessler is an American-born, UK-based journalist whose articles on hi-fi, watches, pens, and cars have appeared in more than 140 different publications in more than 20 countries. After working as Assistant Editor for the short-lived Stereo – The Magazine, in 1983 he joined Hi-Fi News & Record Review, where he still serves, latterly as Senior Contributing Editor. Ken is among the most widely published hi-fi journalists at work today, and is the author of Quad: The Closest Approach and McIntosh…For The Love Of Music. He lives near Canterbury with his wife, his son and three cats.
Our publisher can’t remember if he first met Jerold at a Badger game at the University of Wisconsin or standing in line waiting to see the Rocky Horror Picture Show on Milwaukee’s East Side.The staff hermit, Jerold now also resides in the Pacific Northwest where he listens to a lot of 60′s and 70′s rock music, restores old BMWs and vintage tube amplifiers. He is the only member of the staff that does not own a TIVO.
Jaan Uhelszki was one of the founding editors at Detroit’s legendary Creem magazine. Since that time, her work has appeared in leading publications including USA Today, MOJO, Uncut, Rolling Stone, Spin, NME, Guitar World, and The Village Voice.
Currently the editor at large at Relix, she is the only journalist to have ever performed in full makeup with Kiss. These days she only feels compelled to put on Serge Lutens kohl black eyeliner and Dior mascara when she goes out to grill rock stars over an open pit.
Yeah, she’s married to that Rundgren.
Michele is a self professed “has been”, having been a trapeze artist, a singer & dancer on Broadway, a member of The Tubes as well as being a back up vocalist (and brood sow) for Todd Rundgren. She has also appeared many times on MTV and the David Letteman Show.
She is currently writing a musical and a play while bouncing between San Francisco and Kauai, taking care of business. As Michele likes to comment, “Someone has to live in paradise, I voted me!”
You can keep up with her busy schedule at: www.michelerundgren.com
David has been taking pictures since he was a little boy. Experimenting with his father’s Canon before his father was tired of fighting over the camera and bought David his own Polaroid at a garage sale. Nowadays you can find David in the photo pit of concerts and festivals or riding his BMX and shooting anything that catches his eye. He rocks both a Nikon D90 with an array of lenses and a Fujifilm Instax 210. David provided the image for the Miike Snow article and we expect to be seeing more of him in our upcoming issues. You can view more of his work at www.mrdavidthai.com
A Native New Yorker, Tom is our other musical encyclopedia and a discerning audiophile to boot. A devout Jimi Hendrix collector who has “everything but Jimi’s casket”, Tom brings a wealth of knowledge to the staff. If it has anything to do with popular music from the 60′s or 70′s, he’s got it and usually has at least 20 different pressings to compare. (And he’s got a pretty awesome collection of GI Joe’s too!)
Tom lives in the suburbs of Atlanta with his family and his collections.