Stereophile interviews Cameron Jenkins of Stranger High Fidelity: can he bridge the gap between pro audio engineering and home hi-fi?

“Why is there so much separation between the professional audio and audiophile worlds? Is that separation by design, or even necessity?” asks Julie Mullins in US hi-fi magazine Stereophile. Mullins is putting the question to David Denyer and Cameron Jenkins, who are challenging that separation. Jenkins is an award-winning recording engineer and record label owner who has worked with Lana Del Rey, the Verve, John Cale and many others; he recently launched Stranger High Fidelity, a bespoke high-end audio retail service that operates from his UK pro recording studios.

“On the surface, audiophiles and recording engineers appear to have much in common,” writes Mullins. “Both groups have a deep interest in the conveyance of music’s core emotional message. Audio engineers are—or should be—expert in creating the sounds that audiophiles want to hear, and probably spend more time listening intently (though differently) than all but the most zealous audiophiles. So why aren’t more audio engineers involved in the hi-fi world?”

“It’s extremely rare for someone to actually straddle the divide,” says Denyer, who is helping Jenkins’ new venture, Stranger High Fidelity, to do precisely that. From a bespoke listening room in the world famous Real World Studios in Wiltshire, Jenkins showcases a hand-picked choice of high-end systems and separates from a selection of brands he personally rates, including Clearaudio, Computer Audio Design, DS Audio, Kerr Acoustic, MBL and Townshend.

Stranger High Fidelity demonstration studio

Having spent many years in the great control rooms of the world, Jenkins is keen to share the benefits of his experience with audiophiles; he approaches his retail customers’ needs in essentially the same way he approaches his own: by bridging 
the gap between the recording and playback at home. “I was trying to make it so that you can go from the initial process of making the record to how you’re hearing it in this space now, and that’s what it’s all ultimately about,” Jenkins said. “It’s all about music, in the end.”

Read / download the Stereophile interview in full.

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