Victor Goldstein R.I.P.

Few analogPlanet readers know the name but no doubt some do and I feel compelled to say a few words about my friend Victor Goldstein, shown here with Stereophile writer Jonathan Scull probably back in the late '80s when Victor was working with speaker manufacturer B&W (photo used without permission but I'm sure J10 will not mind). Goldstein passed away last night, a victim of the Covid-19 Pandemic.

I met Goldstein shortly after joining The Absolute Sound. I was a nobody just beginning to figure out how to negotiate my way around the "high end" and meeting all of the people I'd only seen in magazine photos. For some reason Victor, the sophisticate with the thick Romanian accent (and a degree in nuclear engineering), chose to befriend Mikey, the (fill in the blank). I would often visit Victor in his business apartment located in the same building in which he lived with his wife Judy, a renowned pediatrician. Victor was then repping or doing publicity or whatever for B&W and Jadis among other brands priced beyond my ability to own or, for that matter, to review. Victor's musical tastes were sophisticated and his knowledge of classical music overwhelming. I soaked all of it in. Who else but Victor would have as a tech Da-Hong Seetoo, a violinist and award winning recording engineer?

Victor would take me and my TAS co-worker Frank Doris out for fantastic dinners to the best restaurants in New York—and not because at the time I was in a position to help him with his clients! Perhaps he saw where I was going (wherever that is!) before I did, but whatever it was, Victor took me to the best NYC restaurants like Le Cirque (admittedly on the expense account dime, I'm sure!) introduced me to fine Italian wine, and to Parmigiano Reggiano—the finest Parmesan cheese I'd never heard of but which made what I thought was Parmesan cheese taste like Desenex (not that I've ever sprinkled that on anything but my toes).

At some point I mastered a pretty good imitation of him and he brought me into his other apartment to meet his children. He had me do my imitation and one of his daughters responded "You don't sound at all like my father!", which disappointed me until she added "You sound exactly like uncle (I forget his name)!" Good enough for me!

As the business changed and grew from the personalized to the corporate, Victor kind of withdrew from it and got involved in real estate. A few years ago he re-emerged at audio shows around the country and appeared happy to be back.

The last quality time we spent together was in April of 2017 when he invited me to see The San Francisco Symphony Orchestra in a program that included a John Cage piece, Shostakovich's Cello Concerto #1 and Bartok's "Concerto For Orchestra". His email invite was:

Can I interest you in a concert at Carnegie next Friday Apr.7 at 8PM ? The program comprises the Shostakovich Cello Concerto #1 and Bela Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra.
It is all analog, have no fear!
Let me know please.


Before the concert (we sat 5th row) we dined, shared a chunk of Parmigiano Reggiano and reminisced about the "good old days".

Goodbye Victor, "I must tell you!"

Jim Tavegia's picture

Sorry for your and his family's loss. Losing too many great folks lately.

Robert Trunz's picture

Victor was a great ambassador for the B&W 800 Series in my days at the helm of B&W. His love and knowledge of classical music impressed me so much that I bequated him John Bowers mmassive classical vinyl collection - how it fitted into his NY apartment I never found out. RIP Victorious - may you sit peacefull on your clouds and play your favoured pieces of music !

JMiller's picture

I remember Victor also. I saw him at many CES shows and always liked his conversation. He always had a knack about finding new European Lines and they turned out to be great. Didn't Victor throw out tons of records at one time from his apartment? Just to let everyone know Martin DeWulf of Bound For Sound also passed away recently. He was 65. I was leaning back one year at Chicago CES and fell in Martin's lap. He saved my fall.

Lasercd's picture

I met Victor at the tail end of the 80s. He was doing modifications to Ariston turntables and I brought him my RD11s to work his magic. We developed a friendship that found me visiting his upper east side apartment for listening sessions. Some odd fellows - I assume other customers - would join in. I remember well the massive Duntech speakers being driven by Jadis mono blocks. Victor would put on Varese's "Ionisation" and we would sit back in our seats with a firm grip on the cushions - something out of a Maxell commercial. He sold me on Jadis electronics. Somehow we managed to squeeze a Defy-7 amp into the front seat of my Honda Prelude and I happily got it back to Hoboken. After he stopped working with Jadis we didn't see each other as often - mostly at high end audio shows. His room was always a show stopper. Victor knew good sound. Our musical tastes didn't overlap very much but I taught him a bit about progressive rock and he taught me a bit about classical. Eventually we lost touch but I would hear stories about Victor - the one about his record collection winding up in the dumpster was one of legend. He was brilliant, kind, had European flair, and a good sense of humor. I'm sad to read of his passing. These days industry could use more "characters" like Victor Goldstein. He pushed me along in my journey up the high end audio ladder.

When I read Michael's post about Victor passing away I mentioned it to my wife. The first thing out of her mouth was "Veek-tor?". She never met him in the flesh but used to speak to him on the phone. Thats the way he was. Once you spoke to him you never forgot him.

RIP Victor Goldstein. You made a difference.

Ken Golden

Michael Fremer's picture
Yes! I got many thousands of great ones from that dumpster. Most inexplicable. I was going to include that in the story along with a picture but didn't...
lindisfarne's picture

Ken Golden, you don't me and I don't know you, but I've just read your post and I want to tell you it's beautifully constructed top to bottom.

Many decades ago, while my mom was at Sloan for over a month, I took a break and called VG. He answered the call from a total stranger and invited me to come over and listen to music. Once you met him, you never forgot him. Another bad loss. Artie, now Victor.

Jancuso's picture

Very sad to hear this. He was a wonderful and unique gentleman. A few years ago, at an RMAF, my husband and I had the pleasure of sharing an evening with him. He told us his life story over supper. An immigrants journey filled with challenges. And he spoke of his love of analog records and classical music. One of a kind, though Michael, you did do a good impression of him, or his brother.....

dazeofheaven's picture

Over the years, I have purchased Jean Marie Reynaud speakers and Lector Audio components, both lines were represented by Victor in the past. Based on the sonic profile of those two manufacturers, Victor curated warm, organic, artisanal, and supremely musical lines of equipment. And European too. He seemed to be a man of intellect and culture and those attributes are so necessary in a civilized society. RIP and my condolences to his family.

Frank Garbie's picture

Victor Goldstein was nothing short of a magician. He would build a stereo system and you would be astonished with whatever he created. You wanted to buy it. I for one was captivated and drawn into his sphere of influence immediately. I became so involved I sold my company and joined him in furtherance of his company Fanfare International as a mover and a shaker. I recommended we do CES and he said are you crazy! We took off after that.
Nobody could compare to his elegant persuasive personality as a virtuous kind person. We successfully grew the company then parted our ways because of expansion differences. Nothing last forever. I never forgot Victor or his tremendous influences upon me and his beautiful breathtaking personality. I was sold on him forever. When first hearing of his leaving us I literally cried. I was not prepared for this. We never are. I called my former spouse in Chicago and to my amazement said she was thinking of Victor prior to my call and started to cry. I would never have had my family if not for Victor Goldstein. How unbelievably is this? It really happened. He was my best man at my wedding in Chicago. This is very sad. I pray for his beautiful wife Judith and his magnificent daughters. Thank you Victor for being in my life. I will always owe you.

Dan998's picture

I met Victor at the 1996 Stereophile show in NYC at the Waldorf Astoria.
Victor was demonstrating a prototype speaker called Artesuono from Italy. The speaker kind of looked like the Wilson Watt Puppy with the monitors looking like a Sonus Faber Extrema monitors. The bottom part of the speakers in a separate cabinet used two 8 inch woofers. The speakers sounded very airy and the cabinet was gorgeous.

I remember Victor told me he always liked the Reference 3A La Suprema speakers and of course Jadis Tube equipment including the Jadis Tube Dac and Jadis Transport. Victor was a funny guy and this is such a sad loss losing Victor to this virus.

cundare's picture

Jeez, so soon after the devastating loss of Art D. Let's hope that this is the end of the bad news. Mike, stay safe out there in the epicenter.