This past weekend my wife and I ventured to Pasadena, California-my old college stomping grounds- and to one of my all-time favorite audiophile haunts, Brooks Berdan Ltd. (which is technically in Monrovia, California). For those of you not residing in So. Cal, Brooks Berdan Ltd is arguably one of the finest, most respected, audiophile dealers in the country, carrying high-end brands such as Wilson Audio, Quad, Vandersteen, Jadis, VTL, Audio Research, Chord and Rega to name few. Brooks Berdan's shop is also a factory certified service center for many of the before mentioned brands as well as several defunct labels such as Hovland.
About six months ago Brooks Berdan expanded his Monrovia store and added a several new sound rooms, an expanded consignment shop but more importantly an entire wing dedicated to his personal collection of vintage hi-fi equipment. As it turns out, over half the patrons mulling around Brooks' store this past weekend were visiting because of his vast collection consisting of hi-fi milestones. The museum, which I'm told is nowhere near completion, is awe inspiring and reads like a greatest hits collection on the history of two-channel playback. It was all present and accounted for, McIntosh, Infinity, Klipsch, Marantz, Scott, Heathkit and oh so much more.
For over an hour I meticulously made my way through the back rooms and hallways of Brook's shop marveling at some of the pieces; some I'd only read about or seen in old issues of Stereophile,but never thinking that I'd someday see them up close. Even my wife, who has come to accept my obsession though she doesn't understand it in the slightest, was rendered speechless a few times at the beauty, craftsmanship and otherwise unique nature of some of the vintage pieces-especially the pair of Jadis Eurythme Brooks had on static display. If I were a rich man I'm sure I'd be listening to those same Jadis Eurythmes as I write this for my wife really, really liked them.
It was a great way to spend a few hours of a Saturday afternoon. If you live in Southern California or are planning a trip here soon, you owe it to yourself to carve out an hour or two and stop by Brooks Berdan Ltd. Whether you want to check out his museum (free of charge by the way) or hang out in one of his numerous, properly setup, sound rooms the visit will be well worth the trip I assure you. Where else are you going to be able to see a pair of Infinity IRS Betas and Wilson Audio Alexandria X2s in the same place?
Brooks Berdan Ltd.
110 West Olive Ave.
Monrovia, CA 91016(626) 359-9131