DENVER (PTA) — If you haven’t met Kevin Deal (the Tube Guru) of Upscale Audio, and more “recent YouTube fame“, you definitely need to make it to their retail location or at least do a Google search. At this year’s Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2019, Upscale Audio was hosting a passive display for PrimaLuna, Pathos Acoustics, Feliks Audio, Sbooster, Tannoy, and possibly more.
Upscale Audio (founded in 1994) was originally known to me first and foremost as the most trustworthy source online (or possibly in retail) for vacuum tubes of all kinds. New, old, vintage — you name it.
But tubes isn’t the whole story as Upscale Audio is a dealer for many great brands, and can satisfy customers whose needs are small or larger than either of us could ever imagine. The point is, they don’t just sell hi-fi products or build amazing systems, they supply the experience of music.
Through good service, good product curation, and fair pricing it would be easy to say that Upscale Audio and Kevin Deal has developed a loyal following, and built friendships throughout all sides of the industry.
On the retail side of things, their brick-n-mortar location is what you would expect. A large Southern California dealer, with Monday through Friday store hours, multiple listening rooms, stereo systems, headphones, and other things to discover in the arena of hi-fi.
Well, it was a combination of Kevin’s voice and the silence of tube electronics, un-powered, connected to nothing, with only the glare of center focused spotlights, and the dark contrasty background that gave me anything worth listening too.
The room was busy with passers through. All laughing and having a good time, asking questions, and in turn Kevin seemingly knows everyone, or treats everyone like he’s known them for a long time. I think for Kevin it’s as much about building a business relationship as much as it is building friendships. That’s what I heard, and that’s what it sounded like.
Also bass, there was bass.