|Chris and Melissa Owen at CES|
At a local car audio show sometime in 1990 - in Kansas I think -, a guy looked at my red Sentra and said that it was very nice. He listened to it and asked about my 9 pound Cabasse tweeters. He then asked if I was interested in listening to his car.
At the time, I was still quite ignorant about anything audio. I enjoyed every minute of these shows but was not getting predictable or repeatable results in my own system despite of my now well recognized hearing ability. So, spending time with people who shared my interests was a fun way to be useless to society.
|Not Chris' Z but close to what it looked like|
Where's the radio, I asked? With a sinister look, he pulled out a Sony Walkman. While holding the modified disc player on one hand, he reached for a tinny black cable from under the seats. The disc begun spinning and voilà.
|Radio Shack Minimus 7|
Where are your speakers? I asked, very disoriented. "Under your legs", he said. What? I looked in disbelief as a pair of cheesy Radio Shack Minimus 7's were firing upwards from the floor and towards the windshield. They were not even fastened to the car.
To be fair, I later found out that Chris modified everything. So don't go out and buy these components thinking that they will create the same magic. In fact, this is what makes Chris awesome. He is the perpetual underdog. He loves teasing people with things that don't make sense. He loved demonstrating that his Frankenstein sounded better than any Phoenix Gold or Rockford based mega system of the time. And you know what? He was right. It smoked everything I had heard. While there were vehicles that imaged very well, like the Speaker Works' Grand National, none did everything as well and as musically as what I had just heard. His system had just proved that you can in fact input garbage, from the car to the components, and get perfection as output.
From that moment on, our relationship started out of my fascination with his great insights. Chris and I would go on to spend thousands of ours together in a never ending balance where we would teach the other something new all of the time. Chris has been the most intellectually stimulating person I have shared audio with.