Dealer Spotlight: Hanson AV – New Showroom in Dayton, OH

By Jacob Goldwax

Have you had the chance to explore the new Hanson AV showroom in Dayton? If not, it’s a must-visit when you’re in town. Hanson has recently unveiled its new showroom, a true marvel in Dayton, Ohio. Whether you’re in the market for a complete smart home setup or a top-of-the-line Hi-Fi System, Hanson has it all. What’s more, their meticulously designed displays and demos are sure to leave you in awe. 

But it’s not just about the impressive aesthetics. Hanson boasts a team of exceptional, knowledgeable staff who are true experts in their field. This, combined with their top-notch installation pros, strategic brand partnerships, and world-class displays, creates an unparalleled experience. Each showroom follows a comprehensive approach, ensuring that no matter what your dream system is, Hanson is ready to make it a reality. 

Hanson has been servicing the southern Ohio region since 1999 and has become a high-end audio and integration staple. They combine the best qualities of your local Hi-Fi shop and the shock and awe of the latest Luxury Integration technology. You get a sense of the Hanson team’s passion for their profession every time you meet them.

“Hanson’s primary objective is to help you select the optimum solution for Home Theater, Hi-Fi Audio, and Smart Home Automation in your home or business.” – Hanson

The Hanson team talks the talk; you better believe they back it up at every step, every time. 

If you find yourself in Dayton or Cincinnati, I cannot recommend stopping by for an audition enough. 

Dealer Spotlight: Soundings

Denver, Colorado

By Mike Marko

Professional Service and Selection Meets the Front Range

With over 50 years in the audio business, Soundings founder, Mr. Rod Thompson, has dedicated his career to building music systems with care and dedication. He also provides proper video entertainment solutions as well. The wealth of experience Rod has enjoyed has served him and his clients well over the years.

Soundings was started nearly 40 years ago in the Denver area and recently opened their brand new location in Greenwood, Colorado, a suburb of Denver U.S.A. Most relationships with customers are decades old and the current staff of professionals led by store manager, Jess Engleking, are certainly leading the way for a new generation. Most store personnel have over 20 years experience each in high-end audio and video design. 

Top Brands

The selection of brands that the store carries is much more than just a “product of the month” club. Lines sold by Soundings undergo a stringent selection process that ensures longevity and true value in servicing their customers needs. Artisanal offerings are sought out that offer unique, reliable solutions for all clients. 

Soundings has carried Nordost’s Reference Odin 2 cables for many years, along with the likes of stellar brands such as Boulder amplifiers, Rockport Technologies speakers, Linn, Acora, Kef Reference, Dr Feichert and Primare. You are assured of a competent system including ‘white glove’ delivery and set up. 

The Master Set Process

Rod and crew have perfected the system of interfacing sound systems in real rooms with a scientific process that is implemented with passion and talent. This results in a widely sought after system integration that properly designs systems for the rooms they are in, while taking in to account the whole family’s needs and desires.


9625 E Arapahoe Rd Unit L, Greenwood Village, CO 80112

Phone: (303) 759-5505

Dealer Spotlight: HiFi Hub

By Bjorn Bengtsson

Join me in welcoming one of the newest high-end stores in the world, HiFi Hub! But don’t be fooled by its recent November launch date, there are definitely no newbies behind this massive undertaking!  

Henning Morken and Øystein Hasnes are two incredibly well-seasoned HiFi professionals with 30 years in the game between them. As with many in this industry, their journey into hifi started with a genuine interest in music: Henning’s interest relates to his background in the music industry; for Øystein, this means years of actively playing in various big bands and marching bands. The two met at one of Scandinavia’s biggest HiFi stores, where they worked together for 13 years. Recently, however, they decided to fulfill their hifi dreams– opening an establishment of their own. 

True to form, the duo fulfilled their dream with an “all or nothing” attitude and started HiFi Hub with a BANG! When you visit HiFi Hub, you’re met with a three-story villa, outfitted with five, beautifully furnished and fully equipped listening rooms. One of the great things about having five listening rooms at your disposal is that you can listen to various levels of components so that you can match your desired sound experience with your preferred price point.  

HiFi Hub is conveniently located 10 minutes from the Oslo Airport and 20 minutes from the Oslo city center, so it is easy to visit. However, Henning and Øystein completely understand the importance of auditioning audio gear in your own listening environment. To aid in that, they offer extensive opportunities for home visits to ensure well-educated equipment purchases.

Dealer Spotlight: Bliss Acoustics

By Bruno de Lorimier

There’s an impressive, new destination for audiophiles and music lovers that you may not have heard of in the city of Ottawa, Canada. That’s because they only officially opened a short while ago, in the summer of 2022. If you’re in the market for some serious, high-performance, hi-fi gear, you have to add Bliss to your list!

Bliss Acoustics is a labor of love for Dragan Reljic, a lifelong audiophile and music lover. His home-based business is located in an area referred to as “The Glebe”, situated near The National Historic Site and the Rideau Canal. His mission is to provide one-of-a-kind, personal experiences while representing some of the finest audio brands on the market. His collection of beautifully crafted, impeccably designed, analog and digital components includes both well-established and up-and-coming brands that share one commonality: changing the landscape of the musical experience. 

I first met Dragan in person last summer when Nordost VP, Michael Taylor, and I traveled to Ottawa to perform our two-day intensive Certified Nordost Specialist training, during which Dragan received Nordost’s highest level of intensive product training. Both Michael and I were greeted with a warm welcome and given a tour of the facility. Up until that point, I had never seen such an impressive and extensive in-home setup. In no less than four, very tastefully designed listening rooms, Dragan had an impressive number of products on display, hooked up and ready to be demonstrated. All the hits are waiting for you to hear when you visit Bliss: Nordost, Alluxity, AudioNec, Audio Vector, Aurender, ClearAudio, Dynavector, Focal, The Gryphon, Harbeth, JSIKORA, Karma, Kroma Atelier, Leben, Luxman, Magico, MSB, Nagra, Naim, Pilium, Shindo, Riviera, Vivid, and more!

Even though he is a relatively new hifi dealer, he is far from a novice to audio! Dragan has been around music from a very early age, and he will impress you with the knowledge he has cultivated over the years. Throughout high school and university, Dragan DJed at student clubs and alternative venues. Initially, he was a guest DJ and volunteer, doing it for the love of the music rather than the money. Then, as a side project, he started making “First Date Tapes” which developed a cult following. Those soon evolved into Encore Tapes of The Comedy Cafe, the second-largest standup comedy club in London, that he enthusiastically started managing during his studies.

In the beginning, despite his love for music, Dragan pursued a different career path. Born in Sarajevo, he began studying veterinary medicine and earned his first degree as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. He subsequently moved to the UK and completed his masters in London at the Royal Veterinary College. Then, about 30 years ago, he moved to Canada where things became a little more academically and politically complicated for him to pursue his Ph.D., encouraging him to take a different path.

With his experience bartending, DJing, and managing clubs in his youth, Dragan figured, why not do the same here? A new era began when he started running a very nice brewpub in the 90s, followed by an Italian restaurant in the ByWard Market, Mamma Grazzi’s, which he ran for over 25 years. As a side business, he also began investing in real estate, renovating, renting, and selling properties…all the while never losing his passion for high-end audio. 

Bliss Acoustics: The Best Of Toronto Audiofest 2023 Award (

Dragan had often entertained the idea of procuring personalized high-end experiences for music enthusiasts in the nation’s capital, and it was thanks to the amazing support and the blessing of his wife Anastasia, a devoted music lover in her own right, that beautiful Bliss Acoustics was founded in the summer of 2022.

If you are a hi-fi enthusiast, please give Dragan a call and make an appointment to visit him. I can guarantee that you won’t be disappointed.

Bliss Acoustics

20 Third Ave

Ottawa, ON

K1S 2J6

Phone: (613) 415-4475



Dealer Spotlight: Speaker Shop

Curating Audio Excellence Since 1977 in Buffalo, NY

by Amy Hansen

In the heart of Buffalo, New York, there’s a place where music enthusiasts find solace—a haven called Speaker Shop. For over four decades, this establishment has been more than a shop; it’s a testament to a passion for sound and a commitment to delivering the best audio experience.

Established in 1977, Speaker Shop has been an integral part of Buffalo’s audio landscape, evolving alongside the ever-changing world of sound technology. Stepping into Speaker Shop isn’t merely stepping into a store; it’s stepping into a legacy—a legacy of expertise, knowledge, and an unwavering dedication to quality audio.

On my recent visit, I stepped into a vibrant retail space alive with constant activity. Customers continuously coming and going, assisted by engaged staff, creating a bustling symphony of activity.

Speaker Shop curates a collection that caters to diverse tastes and preferences. They’ve got you covered with brands such as Wilson Audio, Magico, MSB Technology, Aurender, Luxman, Hegel, McIntosh, Nordost and more. 

What sets Speaker Shop apart isn’t just the impressive array of audio equipment but the passion and expertise of its staff, Guy, Ed, Paul and Mike. The team comprises enthusiasts deeply entrenched in the nuances of sound.  Whether you have a cherished pair of vintage speakers that require repair or you’re seeking something new, Speaker Shop is dedicated to meeting your needs. If you’re a seasoned audiophile or a newcomer seeking advice, their enthusiastic team is ready to assist you by sharing their expertise and aiding in the discovery of a sound setup perfectly tailored to your preferences.

For those in Buffalo seeking to elevate their sonic experience, Speaker Shop isn’t just a store—it’s a destination. It’s where music aficionados find their sonic haven, where every visit promises an exploration of the endless possibilities of sound.

So, whether you’re on a quest for the perfect speakers or simply looking to immerse yourself in a world of audio bliss, Speaker Shop stands ready to be your guide on this melodious journey.

Speaker Shop

3604 Main St

Buffalo, NY 14226


Dealer Spotlight: Top Sound in Copenhagen

By Dennis Bonotto

In the heart of Østerbro, arguably Copenhagen’s most relaxed and refined neighbourhood, and only a few blocks away from the city’s largest park, Michael Winther has reshaped Top Sound into a haven for audiophiles and music enthusiasts. This renowned audio dealer has been making waves in the Danish capital, offering a splendid range of audio equipment and exceptional listening experiences. Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of coming back to Top Sound with Erik Hansen, our Danish distributor, who together with Michael invited listeners for an evening demo of Nordost’s recently launched QB8 MK3, QSine, QWave and QB10.

Top Sound is truly a hidden gem: once you go through the narrow entrance, the store unfolds into several spaces with plenty of gear to cater to all tastes, creating an environment that encourages customers to explore and appreciate the world of high-fidelity audio, most notably analogue/vinyl, clearly the local specialty, alongside some great, fresh coffee from their own machine.

Our demonstration went ahead with a full house in the main listening room, allowing clients and visitors to get up close and personal with our newest product, which played with Wilson Audio Sabrinas, powered by an Audio Analogue Absolute integrated amplifier. We streamed through an Auralic Altair and our own QNET, powered by the QSOURCE. The whole system was cabled with a Tyr 2 loom.

Danes are clearly passionate about music and sound, and very knowledgeable when it comes to HiFi, which made the experience much more interesting, as we showcased the full potential of the audio equipment on display, allowing the audience to lose themselves in the music, to experience every note, every detail, and every emotion.

Copenhagen is constantly ranked as one of the happiest cities in the world and it certainly helps when when you’re able to experience the combination of such a welcoming environment, a curated selection of top-tier audio equipment, and the great hospitality of Michael and his staff.

If you find yourself in Copenhagen and have an appreciation for good music and cutting-edge audio technology, a visit to Top Sound should be on your itinerary. It’s a testament to the power of sound and the joy it can bring to our lives. 

Dealer Spotlight: Kazoo Audio

By Mike Marko

John Ferry, of Kazoo Audio, is a true veteran of the Michigan audio scene. Kazoo is a bastion of audio bests in the suburban town of Portage, located outside of Kalamazoo, MI, which John operates alongside his business partner, Chris Zainea. Both Chris and John are dedicated to providing the perfect mix of top-tier audio equipment and service. In their search to find the best audio equipment to create the most memorable musical experiences, they found Nordost, and have been an exemplary Nordost dealer ever since.  

Before Kazoo Audio was born, John operated out of the former Classic Stereo, which served the audiophiles of Michigan until the financial crisis of 2008/2009 forced Classic out of business. However, after being brought to tears by an especially powerful musical performance in Nashville with his daughter, John realized the importance of creating an emotional, musical connection in the home. He was inspired to get back into the business, and two months later, Kazoo Audio was open!

John and Chris moved to their current location in 2016. They designed the shop around the love of music, staying true to their chosen mantra: “Where Music Matters”. 

When you enter the store, you are greeted by a beautiful selection of equipment. Not to mention, superior service and knowledge from the Kazoo Audio team. As you move through the store, you will find a wide selection in price and performance levels, with several systems on display for audition. As an added bonus, most of the systems feature Nordost cabling and power products.

At Kazzoo, they pride themselves on offering an honest and professional presentation of audio systems in both two-channel systems and home theater set-ups. Kazoo has a little something for audio enthusiasts and music lovers alike.

If you find yourself in the Kalamazoo/Portage area, be sure to stop in for an experience you won’t soon forget.

Dealer Spotlight: Suncoast Audio

By Seth Snyder

In the audiophile community, it is becoming increasingly important for the most enthusiastic of us to act as spokespeople for the pursuit of great sound. Michael Bovaird has been preaching the good word from Florida since 2015. You can find this shop in Sarasota, Florida, where he and his team have both the gear and the expertise to impress even the most ardent audiophiles. 

When you schedule an appointment to visit Suncoast Audio, you will be treated to three different, spectacularly appointed listening rooms, designed to help you choose the best components for your own personal system. Michael and his team have access to countless prestigious brands for anyone to choose from. For speakers, Mike has chosen a wide variety of technologies and prices from well-known brands like Bowers and Wilkins and Focal, to beautiful and unique brands like Clarysis Audio and Avantgarde Acoustics. When it comes to electronics, you will find gear curated to blow you away. Looking for a new processor for your theater from Trinnov? Or a new Block Audio amplifier with enough Class-A power to drive cattle? Whether it be a streamer, processor, DAC, or amp, the team at Suncoast is ready and waiting to exceed expectations with the best brands at any price. And of course… they can furnish any system with the best of Nordost’s cable and power solutions! 

For the past four years, Suncoast Audio has been giving audio enthusiasts the opportunity to experience world-renowned gear at the annual Florida Audio Expo. Shows like these are where the audio community comes to listen to both brands they already know and love, as well as the newest emerging brands breaking into the industry. It’s so important for smaller companies to prove their merit among the giants of our industry in venues like these. For “industry insiders” like us, it’s where we come to meet old friends and share stories, favorite albums, and advice about the gear that we love. Michael not only seeks to meet the expectations of his Suncoast Audio customers, he pushes our industry forward with all the work he does outside his shop as a co-owner of shows like the Florida Audio Expo. 

If you find yourself in the Sarasota, Florida, make it a point to schedule an appointment with the team at Suncoast Audio: 

7353 International Place 

Unit 309 

Sarasota, FL 34240, USA 

Monday – Friday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, EST 

Or visit them at the 4th annual Florida Audio Expo on February 16th-18th 2024 in Tampa, Florida. Visit their website to plan your trip! 

Dealer Spotlight: Saying farewell to Harry’s Hi-Fi

Harry’s Hi-Fi, longstanding audiophile retailer, closed March 31.  Now, we say farewell to a true Canadian Hi-Fi Institution!

By Bruno de Lorimier

We were all saddened by the loss of Harry about a year ago, and no person more than wife and co-owner Pat Sotropa.  A little over a year after this tragic and totally unexpected incident, Pat came to the heart-wrenching decision to close the store at the end of the month. Pat isn’t exiting the business for financial reasons but after 40 years, she has earned a rest and is calling it a day. 

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Harry and Pat Sotropa are owners of Harry’s Hi-Fi. PHOTO BY TROY FLEECE /Regina Leader-Post

I have personally known Pat and Harry for over 25 years and consider them friends.  In Regina, Saskatchewan, Harry’s Hi-Fi was one of the first Canadian dealers to come on board with Nordost. Like everyone, I was extremely shocked and saddened by Harry’s passing which came so suddenly as he simply didn’t wake up on the morning of April 8th, 2022. One may find comfort in that he passed away peacefully in his sleep, but that doesn’t diminish how much we’ll miss him.  Everyone who knew Harry will tell you that he was a truly unique and remarkable individual with a vibrant passion for life and for music (and gardening). Even today, we continue to love Harry! 

Now, with the permanent closure of Harry’s Hi-Fi, the audio industry will also be losing a truly special and extremely supportive dealer that was devoted to providing the most comprehensive, attentive, and caring sales advice, quality products, and support to all its patrons. 

Harry’s hi-fi obsession was rooted in his love of music “What’s better in life than music?”

The first thing you should now about Harry is that, although everyone referred to him as Harry (including himself and his wife Pat), his real name was Vern Sotropa!  Here’s the story behind the name…

Custom Stereo is the name of the store where Harry got his start in hi-fi equipment sales in 1976.  He was 26 and working the summer as a staff clerk for the Department of Labor and spending a lot of his student loan money — meant for University of Regina sociology studies — at Custom Stereo.  He was in there often enough that the owners, Tom Clelland and Richard Grassie, offered him a job which he happily took.

Fast forward six months or so: the three are sitting in the bar of the Royal International Inn — formerly the King’s Hotel, demolished along with the store in 1978 to make way for the Cornwall Centre. As Harry told it, “Tom goes, ‘Custom Stereo is a lame f—–g name.’ He goes, ‘We should change the name of that place,’”.

Pat interjects: “You know this is all going to become public knowledge.”

“I don’t care,” Harry answers. He goes on: “We should name it Tom, Dick and Harry’s.” So they had a Tom, they had a Dick, and from the time we crossed the street from the Royal International to the stereo shop, the name stuck like s–t to a Hudson Bay blanket. And that was it.”  Harry was born!

Through three Custom Stereo locations, to the founding of his own shop in 1983…Through sales of turntables, the players of those “unlistenable” early CDs, car stereos, home theatre, and the popular resurgence of record players — he’s been known as Harry. Not Harry Sotropa. “It’s like Prince or Madonna,” he says laughing. “It’s just Harry.” 

A couple of men standing next to a drum set

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Harry (wearing shorts) and Pat stand in one of their listening rooms. PHOTO BY TROY FLEECE /Regina Leader-Post

Harry and I also a had funny ritual.  Quite often, almost exclusively on Fridays, he would call me after 5:00 pm my time (3:00 pm for him) as sort of a joke. He would say “Am I too early to disturb you yet?  I can call you later if it further disrupts your weekend”. We would then proceed to tell each other jokes for the first few minutes (sometimes more) before moving on to more serious business.  I miss those calls.

It’s Pat who has the real Harry tales to tell. She told me: “I bought a stereo from Harry and I was married to someone else at the time. From that moment Harry and I were together for 44 years. We both listened to all different kinds of music, it was a passion for both of us that did not diminish.” Since childhood, Pat and Harry have been in love with music and it was no secret that both were huge fans of Nordost. They recommended Nordost cables to every customer who walked-in the door, and they practiced what they preached, since their entire home system was wired with Valhalla.   

As a 50th birthday present to his wife, Harry had earrings, a bracelet and pendant made from a piece of Valhalla speaker cable!

Harry was inspired by one of Pat’s stories about Valhalla Interconnect that she had been regaling a customer about the merits of Nordost cables in a system. At the end of the conversation Pat mentioned that it sounded incredible, but that it was also so beautiful and that one could wear it as a necklace.  That clearly didn’t fall on deaf ears. When Harry asked our North American V.P., Michael Taylor, for a foot of Valhalla and Michael passed it on to Nordost’s owner, Joe. At first, Joe was suspicious of Harry’s intentions. He had never heard someone make such an unusual request. However, Joe finally did agree, and Harry worked with a local custom jeweler to get it made. Pat wore the set regularly, especially when attending Hi-Fi shows. Harry always pointed out that Pat was wearing audio jewelry!

Harry’s Hi-Fi was known for creating a welcoming and inviting environment. Walking into Harry’s Hi-Fi on Rose Street, their location since they moved from 1239 Albert St. in 2000, was like walking into a music lover’s home: Brick walls, wooden floors, music-themed artwork on vibrantly coloured walls.  There’s a listening room to the right, a pseudo-living room. Comfortable leather armchairs face a window that’s flanked by awesome-sounding and expensive Bowers & Wilkins stereos wired with Nordost cables.

Adjacent to that space, there’s another similar setup.

Both rooms have stacks and stacks of vinyl records on shelves — you can’t very well test the analog players without records to play. (It’s not the 5,000-strong collection they have at home — which, according to Harry, is “not that crazy” a number.)

From Elvis Presley talking his way through a Sun Studio recording, to a British pressing (i.e. higher quality recording) of Patsy Cline, to Dave Brubeck’s smashing piano — there’s a decent array.  On rotation lately, they’ve had The Franklin Electric, The Avett Brothers, The Barr Brothers, Case Lang Veirs, The Lumineers, GoGo Penguin … The list goes on.

The point of their work was to give people a music experience as close to live as possible. According to Harry, you can’t actually have a live band in front of you…as he was known to say, “Nothing beats live music,”.

The music at Harry’s would switch from The Killers to The Band, Tracy Chapman, to Classical and Jazz as they demonstrated the equipment’s sonic diversity.

A song at a time: “It’s not the usual way someone would listen to a record. Usually you’d clean the record, clean the needle, sit down and listen until the arm lift signals Side A’s end, flip the record over, clean the record, clean the needle, sit down and listen …” Harry said.

Harry and Pat were big on vinyl.  They witnessed vinyl’s comeback in their store, and even in their own house, although they had never completely abandoned it.  They had a very strong opinion about the importance of a properly set-up, good-quality turntable, which didn’t have to cost a fortune.  At Harry’s Hi-Fi, prices ranged into the tens of thousands, but a decent turntable could be bought for only $400.

“When people say, ‘You know records are back, right?’ I’m like, ‘Man, records didn’t go anywhere.’” But for a lot of people, they did. The rebound has been strong, maybe detrimentally so.  “It’s just silly right now. Everybody has to have a turntable just cause…,” says Harry. “It’s trendy.”

Having a record player has “become a cool thing, and that doesn’t mean that it’s good,” says Pat.  One of the problems with this trend is cheap turntables.  “That’s one of the reasons why we try and tell people, ‘Don’t play your records on your great-aunt Dorothy’s console,’ ” says Pat. “You might think it’s a cool piece of furniture, but it’s not good for your records.”  Quality counts, and here’s why: Turntables need to be aligned to properly play a record.  Even an expensive turntable can ruin a record if it’s not set up right.  “We’re talking about a diamond here, and a piece of vinyl,” says Harry.  The groove of the record is engraved soundwaves, tinier than you can see. That diamond is the needle (a.k.a. stylus), which traces the groove and vibrates, making the sound when amplified.  “The information that’s in the groove of a record is smaller than the pit of a CD. It’s microscopic inside,” says Pat. “We’re still amazed that a technology that’s 130 years-plus is still the best sound quality we have.”  At least, when they’re set up for quality, which Harry estimates 99 percent aren’t.

A market full of “groove grinders,” as Harry calls them — a bad needle, improper geometry and weight — are literally chipping away at records as they play. That’s how records get a hissing and scratching sound. Like tires on a car, they’ll eventually wear out — but they wear out faster if you don’t take care of them.  When they are taken care of, they sound fantastic.  Before any turntable leaves the store, Harry makes sure it’s set up correctly: The stylus is correctly angled, right down to the micron. He uses a microscope in the process.

“Part of it has to do with a point of pride, that when every table, every cartridge walks out of here, it’s the best it could possibly be,” says Pat.

“We try really f—–g hard,” Harry says “and we will for as long as the store is open”  … and they did

Harry works on properly aligning a record player before selling it. PHOTO BY TROY FLEECE /Regina Leader-Post

In his teenage years, Harry’s parents never had a turntable; they’d borrow a neighbour’s for a few weeks at a time.

Pat and Harry bonded over their love of music more than 40 years ago. In fact, as I mentioned earlier, it’s how they met.

“It was a pair of Klipsch Heresy’s with Luxman L30 amplifier,” Pat says, remembering her first Custom Stereo purchase from Harry. She was working downtown too, a block away, managing T-Shirt City.  After seven years working for someone else, in 1983 Harry became an entrepreneur.  They remortgaged their house at an obscene 19-per-cent interest rate to make it happen.  “The economy was in the toilet and we’re opening up a new store,” says Harry.  “Not sure if we were stupid, (or) young,” says Pat. “I know it’s just what I wanted to do,” says Harry.

“I was kind of along for the ride at the beginning,” says Pat. “I didn’t sell anything, I just sat back and listened to him, and that’s the best way to learn how to sell is being mentored by somebody who’s really good at their job.”

When their son Dylan was old enough for daycare, and daughter Alicia was in Grade 3, Pat quit her jobs at Bi-Rite Drugs and the Pasqua Hospital to work alongside Harry.  “We work together extremely well,” says Pat.  Their love of music united them for 44 years.

Pat is thankful for the customers who helped put mac and cheese on the table of her Normanview bungalow for the last 40 years. She could have tried to sell the business, but as Harry once said “anybody who has the knowledge to do it has got a better paying job right now, though some of the gear is pricey, there’s little profit in hi-fi sales.”

“Selling the business to someone else isn’t an easy alternative”, Pat said. “High fidelity equipment requires a level of expertise, knowing how to put systems together, figuring out what works with what; the devil is in the details.”

That part of the job is where Pat and Harry found joy: educating customers about the products and talking about music. Through those conversations, a connection with the customers was formed.  “You have to give people a reason to buy better quality goods. Just because it’s expensive, doesn’t necessarily make it better,” said Pat.

Harry always described the business as a three-person operation run by two people. With Harry’s death, it became a one-person show and Pat is just tired.

“In addition to helping customers who walk through the doors of the Rose Street location, I was handling the books, ordering, shipping, receiving, providing technical support for customers, setting up turntables — everything.”

Throughout decades of selling sound, Pat has witnessed technological advancements in audio and entertainment, as well as changes in perception of women working in the field.  “It’s been an interesting ride. For me, as a woman, there’s very few women in our industry that are in my kind of position — way more now than when I first started,” she recalled.  “I remember when I first started on the floor selling, guys would always refer to Harry and Harry would say, ‘I don’t know. Ask her,’” Pat said with a laugh.

Looking back, she remembers feeling frustrated at points and wondering why no one would talk to her. Nowadays, she says the men who walk in do not question her knowledge or ability.  The people she did speak with over the years have made lasting memories, as customers of all ages have purchased audio equipment from Harry’s, including the children and grandchildren of customers of years past.

Although Pat recognizes that Harry’s Hi-Fi still has a lot of loyal customers — including ones from out of province, who make a shopping trip every few years, Pat says. “It’s too much. I’m going to be 68-years-old. It’s time to wind it down,” “I’m really emotional. It’s hard because I will miss the people. I won’t miss the business end of it, you know the paying of bills…”

Pat Sotropa, owner of Harry’s Hi-Fi, inside the store on Thursday, January 19, 2023 in Regina. She is retiring after the March 31 closure and has been running the business herself since her husband, Harry, passed on in 2022. PHOTO BY TROY FLEECE /Regina Leader-Post

Pat has no plans to jump into another venture any time soon. After four decades of working, she is going to do some thinking instead.

“I need to sort of figure out who I am as a human being, without my life partner, without my business partner and without my business”.  “It’s going to be an adjustment for me, but we made such good friends. Our best friends have been customers and they still continue to be.” “It’s still for me a great joy, it gives me a real giggle, when I can do a good demo for somebody and they go, ‘wow, I’ve never heard that before”.

It’s time to enter a new era for Pat and for each one of us.  It will be quite different without Pat and Harry, of that I’m certain. Thank you for your generous contribution to  the Hi-Fi world, your friendship, and for all the fond memories!

(Thank you to the Regina Leader-Post for some of the material included in this homage)

Dealer Spotlight: The Audio Store

By Amy Hansen

All of us at Nordost would like to extend our congratulations to Bernard Manocchio and his friendly, knowledgeable staff at The Audio Store of Newington, CT, for their well-deserved success, providing audiophiles and home theater lovers with world-class service and well-respected, high-quality audio equipment for 35 years!  

Bernard met what turned out to be his great friend and eventually business partner, the late Harry Misteri, in the 1970’s, while working in Newington’s Hi-Fi Stereo House. The Audio Store was soon born in Rocky Hill, CT under their mutual supervision and expertise. After promising beginnings, they moved to what is their current location in Newington, CT.  

As a passionate and affable audiophile, Bernard believes that everyone should be able to enjoy music and sound as much as he does. This passion is what drives him and his team to make sure that every product in the store provides superior performance. He and his staff, comprised of Jon, Greg, and Patrick, have helped countless people find the right equipment to bring their sound to life, earning him a much-deserved, dedicated customer base.

For audiophiles, The Audio Store offers a wide selection of some of the best audio equipment including, but not limited to, Focal, Naim, Bel Canto, Krell, Roon, Clearaudio, Paradigm, Anthem, Musical Fidelity, and, of course, Nordost!

The Audio Store is one of the best locations for music lovers. You don’t have to take my word for it, though!  Just look at the glowing Google reviews from customers who were fortunate enough to stop in.   

For those of you looking for more than a standard speaker setup, two-channel is not The Audio Store’s only specialty. Bernard and his team are equally savvy at Home theater design, custom installation, and smart home automation!

If you want a sound system that sings, head on over to The Audio Store and let Bernie and the staff show you the way. 

The Audio Store

Address:2457 Berlin Turnpike
Newington, CT 06111
Phone:(860) 666-5006