Posted October, 2011
I’m not an audiophile but I think I know good sound when I hear it. I also don’t mind investing just a little bit into a set of speakers or amplifier in order to hear my music as perfectly as I can on my meager budget.
Over the years, I’ve accumulated five sets of Bose speakers of different types and configurations and I really do love them. I even have a pair of Bose Q3 headsets that I use while traveling. One of the sets of speakers I use quite often are the Companion 2’s that hang off of my Boomerocity computer. I thought that they were a great speaker with the best sound for the money. They are and they were . . . until a couple of weeks ago.
At that time I was introduced to a little Plug-In that I downloaded to my computer. After a couple of minutes of setup and configuration, I opened up my iTunes library and picked one of my favorite instrumental songs, Cajun Pass, by guitarist, Phil Keaggy.
I was, like, “Wait a minute!”
I toggled the Plug-In on and off, not believing my ears. With the Plug-In on, the sound emitting from my speakers was crisp, clean and clear. When I turned off the tool, my beloved and cherished Companion 2’s seemed to sound like a cheap AM transistor radio by comparison. This little gizmo blew my socks off!
After listening to my music through my newfound set of ears (and after retrieving my socks), I wanted to know more about the story behind this fantastic application.
Oh, yeah. I bet you’re wondering what this miraculous gizmo is called. It’s called the Digital Power Station and it’s the flagship product produced by Bongiovi Acoustics.
Now, if you’re like me and mangle the king’s English, that word before “Acoustics” might seem to be hard to pronounce. However, if you’re into rock and roll, I’ll bet you your next download that you know how to pronounce it. Think “Bon Jovi”.
Ring a bell? The founder and big kahuna of Bongiovi Acoustics is Tony Bongiovi and, yes, he’s related to Jon Bon Jovi (second cousins). However, Tony’s pedigree isn’t based on leveraging family relations. In fact, Tony preceded his cousin in the music business by a few moons.
Mr. Bongiovi story is the stuff of legends and the American dream. Young Tony was interested in the science and mechanics of sound and amplification at an early age. At the age of seventeen, the Raritan, New Jersey teen was experimenting with sound and uncovered the secret to replicating the Motown Sound.
Tony contacted the Detroit-based record label and immediately impressed its brilliant president, Barry Gordy. So much so that the music mogul regularly flew the young Bongiovi back and forth from Jersey to Detroit to engineer records for the likes of Diana Ross and the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, the Temptations, Gladys Knight and the Pips and many others on the Motown label.
Tony was eventually wooed away to a little studio a bit closer to home: the legendary Record Plant in New York. The studio implemented his acoustic design talents to work to improve an already great facility. The result was the “Tony Bongiovi sound” and was heard on rock radio in the 60’s. Tony engineered albums there for such talent as Jimi Hendrix, Dr. John, Vanilla Fudge and John McLaughlin.
It didn’t take long for another studio, Media Sound, to hire Bongiovi away where he added artists like The Isley Brothers, Gloria Gaynor, The Ramones and the Talking Heads to his engineering resume.
By 1977, with a resume loaded down with gold record credentials, Mr. Bongiovi designed and started up Power Station Studios. Built within an abandoned Con Edison power generation station, the studio provided rooms designed specifically for multi-track recording that gave recordings a live sound.
Ultimately, Tony’s talents and studios have made significant contributions to over 40 gold and platinum albums for artists as the Scorpions, Ozzy Osborne, Aerosmith, and his cousin’s band, Bon Jovi. He also had a major part in the largest selling disco record in history: Star Wars from the Meco album, Star Wars and Other Galactic Funk.
With this incredible musical history bound up into this one man, even a simpleton like me could see the greatness behind the little Plug-In that I downloaded. I knew that I had to chat with this amazing man and within a couple of days, a phone interview was arranged.
Our conversation started out with Mr. Bongiovi giving me the Reader’s Digest version of the history of the DPS and how long it’s been available.
“It’s been available for a couple of years now. This all started many, many
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