Ode to an Audiophile

Paul Rosenthal has died.

Perhaps you’re an Audiogoner, and know him by his handle “pubul57“, but whatever. Paul was a friend, and that’s enough.

Back in 2008, Paul introduced me to Merlin, a brand I knew little about other than it had been referred to me by another audiophile buddy of mine as a lark. Martin, the joker in question, thought I’d be captured by the name “Merlin” simply because I was into science fiction. He had settled on Totem’s biggest speaker, the Shaman, for his personal needs but thought the more modestly-sized Merlins would fit my room to a “tee”. Paul took the time to show me how insightful that recommendation was.

It was during my flailing about, looking for info, that I asked someone online about the brand, and it was Paul, a resident of Baltimore, that offered to let me come hang out at his place and hear his Merlins driven by a some tube amps, the Ars Sonum Filarmonia, a big CAT amplifier and the little RM-10 from Modjeski Labs. I was thrilled.

That evening, Paul introduced me to a couple of audiophile classics, stuff I’d never heard before. I must have seemed a bit clueless, because he sent me a follow-up email the next day with the following list:

  • Shelby Lynne, Just A Little Lovin’
  • Mary Fahl, The Other Side of Time
  • Aimee Mann, Bachelor No 2.
  • Eva Cassidy, Songbird
  • Patricia Barber, Nightclub
  • Linda Thompson, Versatile Heart
  • Lucinda Williams, Lucinda Williams
  • Robert Plant/Alison Krauss, Raising Sand

Today, I learned that Paul recently passed away.

It’s a cliché to say that “he will be missed”, but sometimes clichés are so for the simple reason that they’re true. Paul will be missed.

I thought Paul to be extraordinarily generous with his time, his knowledge and his expertise. I remain indebted to him for his time, his musical taste, and his audiophile style as well as his guidance over the years. He was a good guy and I’m happy to have called him friend.

Godspeed, Paul. Rest in peace.

About Scot Hull 1030 Articles
Founder, Editor and Publisher at Part-Time Audiophile and The Occasional Magazine.


  1. I’m also sorry about the passing of your friend. Friends and family, that’s what it’s all about, really.

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