I saw a little note taped to the door, congratulating Gary Dews of BorderPatrol on his anniversary. Apparently, he’s spent 30 years “doing time” in high-end audio — a remarkable achievement for what has largely been a one-man-band, cheerfully beating the drum of “quality power supplies” and “tube audio sound” in a time that seems to have largely stepped out of that mode. I first met Dews at the Capital Audiofest back in 2010, and as I wrote then, I was gobsmacked by the sound of his decidedly not vintage-sounding gear. Took me the better part of a decade to “correct my error” and get me some, but BorderPatrol has been a keystone in my personal reference system ever since. It was that first CAF experience that upended several of my own personal biases about “good sound” — and it was his room that made me want to go tell folks about the incredible treasures that audio shows had to offer those of us willing to just make the trip to one.
At AXPONA, Dews of BorderPatrol once again joined with peers Greg Roberts of Volti Audio and “Triode Pete” Grzybowski of Triode Wire Labs. This triumvirate has become a regular thing on the audio show circuit — and that is a Very Good Thing. Each of them has brought something magical to the match and the results are must-listen experiences. Horns, tubes, and bespoke wire — it doesn’t get better than this, and much like that first “conversion experience” I had with Dews back in 2010, I can’t recommend a trip to their demo enough. Here, the sound was rich and full, fast-as-all-hell, and dynamic enough to peel a grape tossed in the air before it hits your mouth. It’s just fun. If you can, shove that dude that’s Bogarting the sweet spot out and get ready for an epic imaging experience.
And whether you’re here at AXPONA, or only manage to catch him after, do say “congrats” to Gary Dews. He’s English, so this should make him wildly embarrassed, and that’s a Good Thing, Too.