Breaking News from the President

Allen Taylor
President and CEO

I am pleased to announce the selection of William (Bill) Low of AudioQuest fame as the 2023 recipient of the FOUNDER’S AWARD!

Everyone in our industry knows and respects Bill! What a great December 2023 GALA it will be for our Society’s 30th anniversary and the presentation of the Founder’s Award!

AudioQuest’s founder, William E. Low, has described himself as “an absolute hedonist.” In the December 2008 issue of The Absolute Sound, Low explained to TAS’s Neil Gader, “Everything I’ve learned about hi-fi or cables is purely the result of being interested in getting high on music.” In his early days of selling high-end audio equipment, William E. Low allegedly discovered that the sound of an audio system was easily influenced by the quality of the cables connecting its various components. Hi-fi journalist, Richard Hardesty explained:

“With experimentation Bill found that better interconnect and speaker cables could make bigger audible improvements than many costly upgrades to amplifiers and speakers. And he recognized the opportunities afforded by this new category of audio components. He founded AudioQuest to explore and develop new and innovative wire, connectors, and accessories.”

Board of Director Changes For 2023
  1. Alex Chavez has graciously volunteered to take the position of Executive Vice President of Communications and also assume the duties of Rich Revell and continue supporting Carolyn Counnas for Raffles at LAOCAS events. Rich Revell is Executive Vice President At Large and we wish him well.
  2. Michael Pelletier will be replacing Gary Rotter as the new Executive Vice President for Digital Media. Gary Rotter has volunteered to be part of the website support team.
Board of Director Changes For 2022


We learned that via interactive ZOOM sessions, we could have access to international and out of state seminars and manufacturers such as Holger Stein in Germany or Chad Kassem from Quality Pressings in Salina, Kansas.

  1. Chip Moore, as the Executive Vice President Global Conferencing, will continue to support LAOCAS from Santa Barbara and lead the team to find, schedule, and support virtual events that attract, excite, and inform our membership.
  2. Larry Stimac, the new Executive Vice President Programming and Events, will lead the team that plans, coordinates, and implements the in-person events that attract, excite, and inform our membership. He will also focus on manufacturers, and technical experts as well as addressing the changing environments of dealers.
  3. Carolyn Counnas, Executive Vice President Membership & Development, will lead the team that addresses a growing and inclusive demographic for existing and new members that attracts, excites, and informs all elements of our society to include developers and manufacturers. Carolyn goes the distance in always supporting the society in every way she can! Thank you, Carolyn!
  4. Gary Rotter, the new Executive Vice President Digital Media & Communications, will lead the team that maintains a sustainable LAOCAS website, technically supports information updates, and is responsible for transitioning website, social media, and email communications to include LAOCAS events and information to his team. There is immediate need for adding other members to his team in order to transition the GREAT website support from Judy Wang and George Counnas and to supplement the GREAT email support thru Constant Contact from Rich Revell. Thank you, Judy, George, and Rich!



Last month, October 2022, is the one-year anniversary of our first live monthly meeting, since the start of COVID, held in October 2021, at the Common Wave in Los Angeles hosted by Wesley Katzir and his staff.  Sunday, October 16th, we were again at the Common Wave.

For all the in-person events this year, thank you again to Wesley Katzir, thank you Dr. Dragoslav Colich and Audeze in Santa Ana last February, thank you to EveAnna Manley at Manley Labs in Chino last March, thank you to Alon Moscovitch at Shelly’s Audio in Woodland Hills last April, thank you to Sunil Merchant at Sunny Components in Covina last May, and thank you to Jason Lord at The Source in Torrance last August. Additionally, thank you Ethan Opolion from CanJam which was held in September, and we participated as one of the event sponsors.

We went back to Sunny Components on November 5th. It was a FUN and Very informative event!

The 29th Society GALA is approaching on December 4th and will be one of the highlights of this or any year thanks to Bob Levi’s efforts and support!

Board of Director Changes

Tom Dagostino has asked to be relieved of his responsibilities as Executive Vice President of Hospitality. Tom did a wonderful job taking care of our stomachs during several years’ worth of Society meetings. In fact, he earned a President’s Award for his hard work. We wish Tom well. I am happy to announce that Chris Ishida has agreed to take over Tom’s responsibilities and is hereby appointed the new Executive Vice President for Hospitality. He has already begun his new duties by managing the Hospitality room at CANJAM SoCal this past September 25-26. Chris Ishida was already on the Board as Vice President of Membership & Development. His new title supersedes that but he will continue to provide support to Carolyn Counnas who is the Executive VP for Membership & Development.

At the LAOCAS Holiday Gala and Awards Banquet Dr. David Robinson, Executive Vice President and also Editor-in-Chief of Positive Feedback announced the winners of the third annual Audiophile Recording of the Year Awards. Winning for best new album issue in 2021 is the vinyl LP of Promises, a composition for Saxophone, Strings, Keyboards, and Electronics by Sam Shepherd and performed by Mr. Shepherd (Floating Points), Pharoah Sanders, and the London Symphony Orchestra and issued by Luaka Bop records (
album promises floating points
Honorable Mention for best new album went to: Patricia Barber, Higher and Clique. Impex Records SACDs.
Patricia Barber Clique Album Cover Patricia Barber Higher Album Cover
Winning for best reissue is Gillian Welch (with David Rawlings), The Lost Songs, Vols. 1, 2 & 3 — 3-LP box set on Acony Records (
Honorable Mention for best reissue went to: Blood, Sweat, & Tears, Blood, Sweat, & Tears. Mobile Fidelity UltraDisc One-Step 45 RPM two-LP reissue.
The Society encourages all Society members, and all audiophiles and lovers of good music everywhere to check out these fine recordings.
On Sunday December 5, 2021 the Los Angeles and Orange County Audio Society held its 28th Annual Holiday Gala and Awards Banquet at the Holiday Inn and Convention Center in Buena Park, CA. The Society honored George Cardas of Cardas Audio with its highest honor, the Founders Award. George Cardas was introduced to the audience by Michael Fremer of Stereophile and The Second Annual George and Carolyn Counnas Innovation Award was given to Dr. Dragoslav Colich of Audeze LLC recognizing his unique achievements in planar headphone design. Dr. David Robinson of Positive Feedback announced the winners of the two Audiophile Recording of the Year Awards (ARYA). Look elsewhere on the web site for more information on the winners. Former Society President Bob Levi was honored with the President’s Award for meritorious service to the Society. This award was delivered by current CEO and President Mike Wechsberg. The afternoon culminated with a huge raffle with more than $50,000 in outstanding audio prizes. Great fun was had by all.
George Cardas winner of the Founder's Award
LAOCAS attends CANJAM SoCal 2021

The Society attended its first face-to-face event of the year at CANJAM SoCal 2021 held at the Irvine Marriott on September 25-26. The event organizer is Ethan Opolion from and the LAOCAS is one of several sponsors. There were more than 45 exhibitors and several hundred attendees, all observing local COVID protocols. Lots of fun was had by all and it sure was great seeing and talking to friends we haven’t seen in over a year!

2020 ARYA Award Winners

Although the 2020 Gala was postponed due to the Covid pandemic, the Society did conduct a competition to name two ARYA award winners for 2020. The winners were notified in December 2020 and the trophies were created. The Society strongly recommends these releases to our members for their overall quality.

The ARYA Judging Panel, led by Dr. David Robinson selected as the 2020 Audiophile Recording of the Year winner for new releases to:

Igor Levit, piano, Beethoven: Complete Piano Sonatas. (Qobuz 96kHz/24-bit or Sony CD)

Congratulations to Igor Levit, Sony, and to Qobuz for bringing these outstanding works to the public. Igor Levit is a German-Russian pianist who focuses on the works of Bach, Beethoven, and Liszt. He is also a professor at the Musikhochschule Hannover. His traversal of the Beethoven piano sonatas has been widely praised in the audio press and by the LAOCAS judging panel. In addition, the Sony recording team has done an impressive job of capturing the nuances of the performance. The judging panel evaluated this recording as a 96kHz/24-bit download from Qobuz, hence the Society trophy is being awarded to the folks at Qobuz. This release is also available as a 3 CD set.

The ARYA Judging Panel, led by Dr. David Robinson selected as the 2020 Audiophile Recording of the Year winner for reissue recording to:

Zubin Mehta, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Complete Decca Recordings, Decca Records (38 CD box set)

Many Society members have very prized recordings of individual landmark LA Philharmonic Decca recordings conducted by Zubin Mehta. Now the Decca Music Group has pulled all of these together into a 38-CD boxed set. The performances range from fine to definitive, and the recording quality on all the discs is outstanding. This is a must-have collection for those of us who value fine audio.


Mike Wechsberg

Mike Wechsberg
President and CEO
Los Angeles and Orange County Audio Society
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