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 1063 Articles
Scot started all this back in 2009. He is currently the Publisher here at PTA, the Publisher at The Occasional Magazine, and the Executive Producer at The Occasional Podcast. There are way too many words about him over on the Contributors page.


  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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