The Richard L. Hardesty Audio Perfectionist Memorial Page

When Richard L. “Dick” Hardesty passed away in August of 2014 Richard Vandersteen and the Vandersteen Audio family lost a close friend of many decades and audio enthusiasts everywhere lost one of their finest teachers and fiercest advocates. First as a retailer and then as a writer Dick was a consummate educator who excelled at making complex concepts understandable to virtually anyone. His sharp intellect and deep understanding of electronics and engineering helped legions of customers and readers assemble stereo systems capable of providing profound emotional satisfaction for many years.

Dick’s widow Paula Hardesty has been kind enough to allow Vandersteen Audio permission to republish the entire library of The Audio Perfectionist Journal, Dick’s crowning achievement in writing and publishing. Dick was APJ’s Editor-In-Chief and its publisher. APJ eschewed advertising, as Dick’s goal was to serve his readers interests alone. APJ’s readership was as fanatical as it was exclusive, and for its devoted readers it remains an essential resource and knowledge base today. We thank Paula for her generosity in allowing us to share this amazing series of audio magazines with you, truly a gift.

Dick Hardesty is survived by his loving wife Paula, daughter Sheri Jones, Pi-Chi, his Belgian Turvuren and sister Edee who also played a crucial role at the APJ. Rest in peace Dick, we miss you.


APJ Issue #1 Premier Issue: High Fidelity Approach to Music Reproduction, Equalization Can't Fit Your Room Acoustics, High Fidelity Approach to Home Theater Audio, Home Theater Myths

APJ Issue #2 Journal Two: Where Do I Put This Stuff?, Subwoofers From a high-End Perspective, The Vandersteen 2Wq Subwoofer, How To Get Near-Perfect Bass in Any Room, Good Acoustics in Real Living Rooms 

APJ Issue #3 Journal #3: More About Subwoofers, Vented Versus Sealed Enclosures, Excursion Graphs, The Natural Order of THings, System Drawing, How Many Channels?, New Surround Formats

APJ Issue #4 Journal #4: The Truth About Movie Sound, The Truth About Surround Processors, The Truth About DVD Players, Theta Dreadnaught Review, Vertical Biamplification

APJ Issue #5 Speakers Part 1: The Truth About Loudspeakers, Meaningful Speaker Measurements, Interpreting Speaker Response Tests

 APJ Issues #6 & 7 Speakers Part 2: Crisis in the Industry, Time and Phase Not Just a Craze, Dunlavy, Dunlavy Graphs, Thiel, Thiel Graphs, Vandersteen, Vandersteen Graphs, Journey To Enlightenment

APJ Issue #8 Speakers Part 3: Value?, CES Report, Speaker Time Domain Performance, Dunlavy SC-IV.A Review, Thiel CS6 Review, Vandersteen 3A Signature/2Wq Review, The Truth About Center Channel Speakers, The Truth About Surround Speakers, High-End Speakers and High SPL

APJ Issue #9 Source Components: Analog, Turntable Physics, Brooks Berdan, Blue Collar Confessions, Joe Harley, Digital, Optical Disc Players, Ayre D-1x, Arcam FMJ DV27, Ayre CX-7, Opus 21, dCS Verdi & Delius, Tri-Vista, Wadia 861, Methodology 

APJ Issue #10 Amplification Components Part 1: Introduction to Amplification Components, Phono Stage Preamplifiers, Line Stage Preamplifiers, Surround Sound Processors, Charles Hansen of Ayre, Luke Manley of VTL, Processors vs. Preamplifiers, PREAMP Preamble, Aesthetix Calypso & Rhea, ARC Ref 2 MKII, ARC SP16L, Ayre K-5X, Ayre K-1x, BAT VK-51SE, Linn Linto, Rogue Audio Magnum Ninety-Nine, Emmeline CA-2 & XR-2, VTL 7.5, VTL 5.5, What Did We Learn Today?

 APJ Issue #11 Amplification Components Part 2: Introduction to Amplifiers, Amplifier Power, Amplifier Sound, David Reich of Theta, Modified SOny DVP-9000ES, Amp Survey, ARC VT100 MKIII, Ayre V-5x, Parasound Halo JC1 Monoblocks, Nagra VPA, Theta Citadel Monoblocks, Theta Dreadnaught II, VTL 450 Monoblocks, Quick Hits, Not Recommended, Amp Survey Conclusion, Multichannel Amplifiers, Amplifier Anthology

APJ issue #12 Speakers Part 1: Bias or Astute Selection?, Solid Tech Racks Review, Wadia 861se Review, How Drivers Work, How Crossovers Work, How Speakers Work, Vandersteen 5A Review, Interview Pat McGinty, Dispelling Common Myths

APJ Issue #13 Speaker Measurements: Why Flat Response?, How Can You Tell, Importance of Time & Phase, Evaluating Time & Phase, Minimizing Stored Energy, Evaluating Energy Storage, Importance of Bass, Evaluating Bass Performance, Thiel CS2.4 Review, Interview with Jim Thiel, Interview with Richard Vandersteen, Engineering Double Standard

APJ Issue #14 Analog Sources: Audio Research PH5, Ayre P-5xe, Hardesty on Phono Stages, SME 20/2 Turntable, VPI Super Scoutmaster, Linn LP12 Upgrades, Lyra Cartridges, Hardesty on Turntables, Vinyl Revolution, Essential Analog Accessories, 40 Great Records, Hardesty on Records

APJ Issue #15 The Audio System: Yes, There Is A Natural Order of Things, Interview with Ivor Tiefenbrun, Pro-ject RM-9.1 Review, dCS P8i Review, Initial Audio System Assembly, How to Upgrade an Existing Audio System, Don't Forget Acoustics

APJ Issue #16 Cables & Accessories: Subjective-vs-Objective Evaluation, Introduction to Cables, Interview with Bill Low, Power Line Conditioners, Interview with Garth Powell, Vibration Control Products, Interview with Michael Latvis, Acoustic Treatments, Bypass Testing, Aesthetix Callisto Signature Review, ARC Reference 3 Review