Goodwin's High End

History Part II - The Extended Remix

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          History Part III—Dan's biography

The LONGER History of Goodwin's High End

Goodwin's was founded in 1977 by Alan Goodwin—from whence the name obviously comes. The original location was at 33 Newbury Street in Boston and it was set up to sell the finest in high end audio by appointment. The business grew and finally outgrew the space, so in 1981 the business was moved across the river to Harvard Square in Cambridge. This new location was called Goodwin's Music Systems.

The business grew and again outgrew the ground floor space in Harvard Square—and so in 1985 the space was doubled by securing the upper floor of the building too. On the upper floor, a custom built high end listening room was built with a floating floor, sloping convex shaped ceiling, channels in the floor for cables, and built-in flush mount custom cabinets. After the room was built it was treated with modular acoustic treatments which greatly improved the sound. What was especially convenient for hooking and unhooking equipment was that the flush mount cabinets were designed with access from the back via a hallway and had individual doors behind each of the four cabinet bays. In addition a high end video projector and electric roll-down screen were added to also show high end video.

In 1988 the Harvard Square location was destroyed in a fire. Less than a day later new phone lines were installed in a temporary location to ensure that all of the customers could still be taken care of. Three days after that, Alan was standing in the next location on Commonwealth Ave. in Brookline. Two months and three days later, a new store called Goodwins Audio was opened up there.

In 1990, Alan Goodwin left Goodwins Audio and founded Goodwin's High End in Brookline to pursue high end audio that was up to his personal standards. (A number of years after Alan's departure, Goodwins Audio was renamed to avoid confusion. And he is no longer associated with that store.)

In 1995, Goodwin's High End moved to its present location in Waltham. This is the finest—and incidentally the largest— facility dedicated to high end in New England. On premises there are a total of six custom-built listening rooms. In 1997, a custom designed recording/listening room was completed. Because this room has adjustable acoustics, when a special recording project is not being done, it can also be utilized as a high end listening room. Basically from 1995 to the present, the facility has continually been upgraded and refined—a process which will likely go on for the foreseeable future.

The LONGER Biography of Alan Goodwin

From earliest memories, Alan Goodwin was inspired by classical and folk music. His mother played classical piano and was especially fond of playing Bach. And the mono music system would often be playing Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart—or Burl Ives, Pete Seeger, and Joan Baez.

Alan was born in Media, PA. At age five, he started taking classical piano lessons. At age 12 he switched from piano to bass viol and played in a student orchestra for three years. Subsequently, Alan played electric guitar and bass guitar in a rock and blues band. In 1980, he took up finger-picking acoustical guitar. And most recently started playing and composing on a Midi keyboard synthesizer/sampler. So having been exposed to music from a musician's viewpoint all of his life, he has developed a keen and sensitive ear to music.

In 1974, Alan Goodwin started selling high end audio systems. In 1977 he founded Goodwin's in Boston to purvey high end audio systems by appointment. And in fact he was the first person in the modern era of high end audio to show high end by appointment.

To find out more about the earlier years of Goodwin's in the Boston area, see the History portion of this web site. Essentially, from 1974 to the present Alan has worked at the leading edge of high end audio with the top people in the field. And he has a long roster of satisfied clients who have continued to patronize him—some for over twenty years.

In 1978, Alan invested in a state of the art recording system. Using it to record on location at Boston Symphony Hall, Jordan Hall, Paine Hall, Brown Hall, Emmanuel Church, etc., it was a tremendous learning experience. The reason why this was so important is that for anyone to truly understand music playback systems, it is important to understand music recording. Put simply, a music playback system doesn't reproduce music, it reproduces recordings of music. In fact a music playback system really should be thought of as half a system, the other half of the system is the recording system.

In 1983, Alan attended a Syn-Aud-Con seminar on studio recording and control room acoustics. For three full days he absorbed the concepts that the top designers in the world were working with. This was the start of long years of focus on room acoustics.

Most recently the listening rooms at the present Goodwin's High End location have served as an experimental acoustics laboratory. Because three of the rooms were built identically in terms of both size and construction techniques, by trying different acoustical treatments they can be easily compared. All of the rooms have been treated over and over again with different acoustical treatments to hear what different approaches accomplish. And complete custom rooms have also been designed for clients which have proven to be excellent with the clients being delighted with the results. In addition to designing rooms, elements such as HVAC systems, electrical systems, doors, and windows have also been studied in some depth.

So Alan Goodwin's major life focus has been one of playing and listening to music, recording music using high end equipment and purist sound-field techniques, working at the highest levels of playback system design, and pursuing a working knowledge of acoustics.

Other pursuits besides music have included: hiking, camping, sailing, windsurfing, skiing, bicycling (off-road and on), motorcycling (off-road and on), roller skating, squash, etc.

In addition to audio, Alan also enjoys reading on a variety of subjects including: history, biographies, novels, business, spiritual philosophy, cars, computers, music, and photography.


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