RIP - Heartfelt thanks to Paul Chambers of Goodwin's High End!

ack

VIP/Donor & WBF Founding Member
May 6, 2010
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#1
Steven Stone just wrote:

<<It is with great sorrow that the Goodwin's High End family shares the news of the passing of Paul Chambers, a beloved friend and colleague of many years.
A favorite in the audio world, he will long be remembered as humorous, caring and a self-described curmudgeon.
We share deep condolences with the Chambers family at this time, and know that he will be greatly missed

>>

REALLY SAD DAY FOR ME AND EVEN WORSE FOR HIS FAMILY!

Thank you my friend!

 

Tomictime

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May 31, 2020
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#2
RIP
 

ack

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May 6, 2010
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#4
Ever the truthful professional! Really heartbreaking news...
 

Al M.

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Sep 10, 2013
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#5
Very sad news. Paul has helped me greatly in my audio journey over the years. He was always friendly, and never pushy, which I very much appreciated. Just a great human being to deal with.
 

knghifi

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2014
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#6
Very sad news indeed. First met Paul when he was working at Stereo Shop on Mass Ave. in Arlington, MA. Great guy with a sense of humor. Bought my 1st High End pieces, Krell KSA100s and Sonic Frontier SFL-1 from them.

RIP Paul!
 
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marty

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2010
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#7
I was saddened to learn this news. Paul was wonderful, even when I wasn't a customer. in fact, when Paul left Goodwin's, I stopped dealing with them for a variety of reasons, but Paul's absence was a key reason. He was old school. He'd leave you alone for hours in the big sound room and rather than berate you with a sales pitch mentality, he'd just let you listen and make your own decisions based on what you heard. Always helpful. Never a hindrance. Those are rare audiophile showroom experiences IMHO. I will miss him.
 

MadFloyd

Member Sponsor
May 31, 2010
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#8
I am so saddened by this news... I just saw him a few weeks ago...
 

audioquad

Well-Known Member
Oct 30, 2013
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#9
I only dealt with Paul once by way of phone.He was a great help In acquiring a custom length speaker cable that was essential for my system. Really sad to hear this news.

R.I.P. Paul
 
Likes: jazdoc

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
11,539
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#10
Wow...that is indeed sad. He was as Marty says old school. I saw him 3 years ago listening to the Altair 2s with MadFloyd, and he absolutely left us be, coming in to check on us from time to time. May God bless him and his family.
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
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#11
I met Paul Chambers more than ten years ago when I walked in cold to Goodwin's High End. He greeted me with some pleasantries and asked me about my system. After hearing the mix of components, his first real comment to me was that I assembled the system without the help of a dealer. He must have known that no dealer in New England carried Eggleston/Pass/SME/Harmonic Technology. He was right, and wrong. I bought the gear from a friend of his who happened to be a distant cousin of mine. That fellow manufactured Symdex speakers and was now a small dealer who hardly advertised. The guy had a rather eccentric wife, whom I knew quite well, and Paul was found of the couple. With those memories of this couple, Paul and I hit it off from the start.

We sat down in Goodwin's large listening room. He asked what I wanted to hear. I told him I had no idea as I was not familiar with the gear he sold. I guess he was not used to people like me walking off the street into his store. I liked the fact that he was always very candid with his opinions. He loved Pass gear, but could not sell it because of conflicts with his represented brands. He loved SME turntables but they were not a dealer and strongly committed to Basis. He did not really like Magico, and much preferred Rockport. He told me exactly what he thought about various designers and their products. I found that very refreshing.

He also told me what he thought about my audio buddies, Madfloyd, Al M., and Ack, that is, when he had me alone. We had often come in together. I never really bought anything from him because I do not buy a lot of gear, and Magico was the only brand he carried in which I was interested. So we talked Magico, though it was probably painful for him. He called me and invited me to all of the Magico debuts in the store. I once told him that I felt bad about coming in so often and never buying anything. He told me not to worry about it. He enjoyed the visits, told me I never wasted his time, and one day, possibly, I might buy something. "One never knows", he told me. I did send him new clients and Goodwins did do some expensive repair work for me over the years.

Paul had a very relaxed personality. He held strong opinions, but they were mostly delivered in a kind hearted way. He would open the door, take me and a friend or two into the listening room, turn on the gear and tell us to have fun. I always brought LPs and he usually commented on my taste in music, once telling me that he had not seen that record in years and didn't think anyone ever listened to it anymore. I think he relished in knowing his customers and letting them know what he thought.

Paul was the face of the only audio dealership I regularly visited. He sat behind that desk of his and tended to his customers. He got things done, and was always helpful. I read that he thought of himself as a curmudgeon, but I never found him to be ill-tempered. He just seemed a bit tired, perhaps weary of being in the industry so long. I think he thought he had seen it all. I considered him a friend, and I am sure he had opinions about me, just as he had about everyone else. I liked him and Goodwin's will not be the same without him. Take care Paul, and rest in peace. I will miss you.
 

ack

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May 6, 2010
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#13
Thank you for your eulogy Peter, very well written!
 

ack

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#15
The reason I wanted to pay tribute to Paul is exactly because he makes this industry and hobby so beautiful and really fun!
 
Oct 8, 2019
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#16
This is really sad news. I last saw Paul about a year ago, on my most recent visit to Goodwins. I was in town on business and dropped in to listen to the new Nagra HD X DAC. As has been noted, he was ever the polite, patient professional. Condolences to Paul's family and to his family at Goodwins.
 
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tony22

Active Member
Nov 4, 2019
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#17
RIP. I always liked the Goodwin's store. I’m sure it was because of his vision.
 

JustinL

New Member
Sep 17, 2020
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#18
I met Paul maybe 8 years ago. I had interacted with a salesperson at Goodwin's in the prior year, looking at some Devore Fidelity speakers. I was a total audio newbie, loved nothing more than my favorite music, and wanted to have a real system at home. The salesperson I had chatted with no longer worked there, and so I met Paul on a visit.

I knew virtually nothing about high end audio. Paul treated me with so much respect from that first interaction. He had a way of letting me just come into the store, and chill out.... frequent friday afternoon sessions. Always encouraging me to bring the music that I loved, and to just camp out and listen. It was usually just me, but sometimes I'd bring a close friend for a session. I can't tell you how many hours I have spent in the last 8 years, sitting on the sofa at Goodwin's, trying this amp or that one. Rockports or Magicos or Devores or Audio Physics or whatever struck my fancy. Hegel and Nagra and Berkeley and dCS and Constellation. Paul would give me an hour or so, and then check in. "What do you think?" he would say. I'd give him my gut take, and we'd talk about it. He never, ever, ever tried to push me in the direction that most appealed to him. If I asked him, though, he would most certainly give his honest take. He loved Rockports. Didn't love Magicos. I could tell there was a tube lover at heart with some gear... even if tubes weren't really the thing at Goodwin's. He loved Nagra.

He very much had opinions on equipment... but he wanted me to form my own. He learned quickly what I was after: connecting in the most emotional way possible to the music I was most passionate about. I guess that's what we are all after. For me - Grateful Dead. Miles. Phish. Music with groove. Stuff that, frankly, was very imperfectly recorded. Did Paul love this music? Nope. But he complemented it, in a genuine way. He saw what I connected with in it and he got it. He could tell if I was digging the gear I was listening to. Very occasionally I would get up and boogie a little in solitude in that Goodwin's showroom. He'd pop in and love it.

His goal was never to sell me the most expensive gear possible. It was to let me figure out - with his guiding hand - what resonated with me.

Paul has been to my house probably 30-40 times over these last 8 years. Easily. To demo gear, to deliver gear, to buy Devore O/96 speakers and then Rockports. And so on.

He would always be candid with me about other products (that Goodwins didn't sell) if I asked him for an honest take. He loved certain tube gear. More than once he would say, effectively, "this designer is a terrible business person and we can't deal with him on my end, but his audio gear sounds absolutely incredible. Brilliant designer. You should check it out if you can."

The greatest irony, in a sense, in my relationship with Paul was that as the years passed, my audio interests lead me farther away from what his store sold... but I appreciated his honesty, his integrity, his class, his genuine and earnest support more than ever the farther I travelled away from Goodwin's.

And so, I find it perfectly fitting that it just so happens that in the days before Paul passed, my final purchase with him happened: two beautiful Box Furniture wood amp stands for my 300b amps to sit on. He witnessed my changing tastes (or maybe discovering my true tastes), he supported it, he loved that I was finding joy in music, and within 24 hours of his passing I took delivery of these - to let the Japanese amps I love so much sing to their fullest potential. Paul never discouraged for one little moment finding the audio joy that spoke to me. He loved it!

That was Paul. In this crazy audio hobby I think we can all agree that many folks are fast to share why their sound, their approach, their system is best. Paul only wanted me to find what was best for me.

I am absolutely heartbroken at his passing. This hobby I care so much about - the passion we all share so deeply for music here - Paul was my closest connection to that in many ways. I am sad and I really can't believe he's gone. Thank you Paul for all your help through the years. Thank you for your decency, your class, your kind spirit, your approach.

I miss you already. Rest in peace, my friend. My deepest condolences to his family, closest friends, and colleagues at Goodwins. I know his presence is missed greatly.

Justin
 

ack

VIP/Donor & WBF Founding Member
May 6, 2010
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#19
Thank you for your beautiful eulogy. Yes, that was Paul!
 
Sep 18, 2020
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#20
The thoughtful tributes to Paul on this forum are both right on point, and a reminder that people can rise above trivial audio disputes to meet the moment when called upon. It’s wonderful (emotional)to read.

I was one of 4 people working at Goodwin’s when I joined in 1998, and Paul came on board some time around 2000. I had the pleasure of being his colleague for 14-16 years. As such, I’ll try to add some Professional insider color to the Paul Chambers story.

Paul was a Blue Collar guy in the best sense of the term. He loved the job of being a store manager, and he loved being an audio salesperson. Unlike me...he enjoyed being around people in the industry. Essentially, Paul’s work was a big part of his identity. He didn’t have to fake that. He was fully in it. You could sense that genuine involvement as a customer (as you can read from others above), and you knew it as a colleague. He was a professional, full stop.

It’s no surprise then that Paul would always be one of the first to get to the store in the morning, and one of the last to leave. He got his hands dirty. Even at audio shows he’d lend a hand in set-up. No stuck-up high end audio snob here. Paul had his foundation buried well below the shiny surface. And that’s another genuine trait anyone could feel. Paul didn’t care for formalities or hype. There was something more permanent and real there. That’s where the patience came from. Audio gear comes and goes. Paul was more substantial than audio fashion and opinions.

Part of Paul’s charm was this contrast of a very “meat and potatoes” guy in a part of our industry which can too often take itself too seriously- all truffles and Wagyu. He was too experienced and real to let “what he sold” get in the way of things that really mattered. He cared about your enjoyment of the music you loved through the system you chose. From behind the curtain, I can tell you that was genuine.

As a colleague, Paul will be missed greatly. Refreshingly basic (meaning what you saw is what you got). A true professional. No guff or excuses. A reliable human being.

There’s a big hole in the audio industry, and I’m sure in his family too. My condolences to everyone affected, and thanks to all who have added their words. They resonate.

Allan Moulton
The Absolute Sound
 

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