Archive for the ‘Hephaestus Audio’ Category

Personal Goals

Sunday, November 8th, 2009

John Performing the Iron Cross 

I love to set personal goals.  The feeling of always reaching for something that you can just barely touch with your fingertips.  The above picture is my father-in-law John performing the “Iron Cross” on the gymnastic rings.  He used to perform the “Flying Rings” on Muscle Beach back in the day.  Wow.  Gymnasts make it look so easy, but the most humbling experience you can have is to actually try it.

Like I said I love to set goals for myself, and not just in audio endeavors (e.g. design a great new amp).  I’m not what you would call an “in-shape” person – in fact just two months ago I couldn’t do a single chin up!  Now I can do a single good one (no kicking, swinging, etc.)  I have installed a pair of gymnastic rings in the garage and my personal goal is: to perform a single “Muscle Up” on the rings!

My next goal is to someday perform the Iron Cross on the rings…hey, it’s important to have dreams!  🙂

Happy Belated Birthday!

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009


Oops, time flies and I didn’t notice that an entire year has passed since Hephaestus Audio was officially founded!  I guess that means we should be walking now?  😉

A lot has happened in that time.  I’ve had some great feedback and some very happy customers, but I’ve also come face-to-face with the realities of juggling a startup, a day job, and a family.  They say most startups fail within the first year and now I have experienced exactly why: it’s far too easy to just give up!

The most important part however is that we’re still here and we’re still making one of the finest amplifiers you’re likely to come across.  Happy birthday to us!

Hephaestus Audio Announcement

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009


Following on the heels of my previous announcement I have a much better announcement: my brother, Mike White, has joined the Hephaestus Audio team!  His strong business background will be perfect for directing  sales, marketing, and business development (i.e. all of the things I’m not so good at).  I will now be able to focus more on what I do best: the manufacturing and R&D of audiophile class-D amplifiers.

I can’t express how excited I am to find somebody that not only complements my abilities so well, but also somebody I’ve known all my life!  We’ve got the start of a killer team here – the best is yet to come.  🙂

Hephaestus Audio Transition

Monday, August 31st, 2009


Well, it’s been nothing if not interesting.

In trying to more or less single-handedly start my own audio company, I have discovered something: I have absolutely no clue how to market and sell a product!  No doubt it is obvious to those with sales and marketing savvy that a designer might be ill-suited to this task.  Such being the case, I will transition Hephaestus Audio from a commercial site to a site devoted to those who love audio and audio electronics.  Really though, it’s been that all along…kind of like the Tin Woodman and his heart.

There will be some changes to the website soon.  I will change the product section to a project section that shares various projects I have worked on, such as the HMA-1000 monaural amplifier and the VK-1 dipole loudspeaker.  Also, I will keep chugging away with audio-related posts and articles at my relatively glacial pace.  I hope these are useful and enjoyable for my fellow audio enthusiasts.  You can still reach me via email ( with any questions or just to chat about this great hobby.

We tend to be good at what we’re passionate about (or is it the other way around?) so I’m going to stick with what I’m good at: audio design.  Who knows, maybe someday down the road I’ll be fortunate enough to meet up with somebody who shares my vision, has a gift for sales and marketing, and is just crazy enough to love the audio industry.  Anything is possible.  🙂

Gratuitous Self Promotion

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

The world’s first review of the HMA-1000 received the elusive Maximum Mojo Award! 


Reviewer Bill Schuchard who calls the amps “The Hephas”:

“The Hephas sound effortless, powerful, and transparent. There is a sense of ease and subtle detail.  The details don’t jump out at you yet you just hear more of what’s going on.  I was consistently hearing things I had never noticed and popping in headphones to verify. The highs are delicate and airy with a huge sense of space. The soundstage is taller and wider and surprisingly deeper than I am used to. Music in the foreground was not only a little closer than I expected but simultaneously the music in the background seemed further away than usual. Typically, I have found amplifiers to sound either forward or recessed but having both shows the delicate balance it struck. I attribute this to the amplifier’s ability to delineate the subtle lower level detail that sets up the space. String instruments not only had an added sense of air about them but some midrange bloom. Getting midrange bloom from a class D amplifier just goes to show that they are not all the same. One main striking aspect of the Hephas is its ability to attack transients. It is lightning fast and makes listening to energetic and uncompressed music so much more enjoyable. Lastly, the bass is interesting in that it’s a tad less controlled than the Bryston 2B SST and slightly richer; almost tube like. When pushed loudly, the bass stayed powerful and controlled all the way up until my woofers started to bottom. At the risk of shredding my GR Research M165X woofers, I had to be a little judicious with the volume knob.”

This is a great parting note from Mr. Schuchard in the review:

“Money speaks larger than words. I purchased the amps and couldn’t be happier with them. If you can’t stomach the price, take a listen and think again. If you can’t afford them, listening is just a tease. The 7 year parts and workmanship warranty and 90 full day ‘no questions asked’ return policy make it easy for one to take the chance on them.”

Bill Schuchard and James Darby of Stereomojo have been wonderful to work with and I couldn’t ask for more from an audiophile publisher.  To say I am surprised and thrilled at receiving the Maximum Mojo Award is an understatement.  As I put it in my first tweet regarding this topic, “Is this how musicians feel after a spectacular performance?”

Gratuitous Self Promotion

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009


Hephaestus Audio continues to grow!  I am very happy to share these press releases and web ads for the HMA-1000:

From Mr. Srajan Ebaen’s 6moons:

From Mr. Matej Isak’s Mono & Stereo:

From Mr. Clement Perry’s Stereo Times:

From Mr. Steven Rochlin’s Enjoy the Music:

How Can I Thank You?

Sunday, November 16th, 2008


You can never really thank all of the people in your life who deserve thanks. However, sometimes it is important to just pick a few and do it. These three individuals have been instrumental to my audio career.

Thirty minutes is not a long time, but when you are a young person desperately trying to get a start in the audio industry and that thirty minutes is from such an icon as Nelson Pass, then it is an eternity. Mr. Pass was kind enough to spend half an hour with me on the telephone five years ago when it would have been just as easy to put me off and work on something productive and profitable. He had many words of good advice that have helped to steer me in the right direction since. Thank you Mr. Pass.

Recent graduate? No experience in the audio industry? You live 2,500 miles away and need to be relocated? No problem, you’re hired! This is what it seemed like when Stephen Siegel hired me as the new amplifier design engineer for Ashly Audio. Mr. Siegel was wise enough to see that I was passionate about audio and had the potential to design great things, even though I didn’t really fit the mold. I like to think that I have not disappointed. Thank you Mr. Siegel.

Everybody needs a mentor – somebody you can bounce your hare-brained schemes off of and get a bit of real-world feedback. For me, that individual was the President of Ashly Audio, Bill Thompson. Despite many more pressing responsibilities as President, Mr. Thompson always made himself available and was tremendously patient as I learned the ropes of amplifier design (i.e. screwed up a lot). Thank you Mr. Thompson.

Thanks are never complete, however, without thanking family, friends, teachers and employers – thank you all.

A Journey of a Thousand Miles…

Saturday, November 15th, 2008


So I finally did what I promised to do – I started my own audio company, Hephaestus Audio, and I have designed an amazing hand-crafted amplifier that is quite unlike anything out there and…why isn’t the phone ringing off the hook? Yup, inbox empty again, hmmm…

Now is the really challenging part of my dream: an interval where I am absolutely champing at the bit to show the world something where I really “did it my way”. It is an interval where I must not lose heart, or lose my voice for that matter, shouting from the mountaintop. This is the time that will determine if Hephaestus Audio is a name on the tip of every audiophile’s tongue, such as Pass Labs or Jeff Rowland Design Group, or another of the frightening percentage of new businesses that fail. Although, truth be told, I would rather “fail” at something I love than “succeed” at something I feel only lukewarm about.

For now, I am determined to work on educating my potential customers about my product, about switching amplifiers, and about audio in general, via this section and the philosophy section of the website, as much as I am able. However, something tells me I am likely to learn much more from them than they are from me.