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Happy Father's Day: Generations Of Sound


Colin McAleenan, a man who was heavily influenced by his grandfather’s passion for music and love for Klipsch, tells his story of family traditions and how he has kept them going. He discusses his childhood, how he witnessed his grandfather’s beloved collection of Klipsch speakers, and the importance of sound. Colin is a father to three kids and has instilled in them the importance of music and how good it can sound with quality products, just as his grandfather did to him.

K: Tells us about yourself and your love for being a father?

CM: I am a 31 year old father of three kids, and a husband to a great wife. Being a father is part divine comedy and part incredible test of patience and effort. I say divine comedy because I know I am/will be punished for the things I did to my parents through their actions, and I see attitudes and behaviors reminiscent of a young me. I say incredible test of patience and effort because, for as much as I want to protect them and share my knowledge of the world with them, I know they need to experience things for themselves and form their own opinions. There are two big influences I absolutely push on them, unashamedly: Notre Dame and great sounding music!

K: Your grandfather was a big Klipsch fan and musician, so obviously he had great taste in audio and music. How did that influence you as a kid growing up?

CM: When I was in middle school (6th grade), I had to play a musical instrument as an elective. My mom played clarinet and inherited her musical talent from her dad, who played saxophone and dabbled as a song writer. I learned that he played in a small traveling jazz band outside Los Angeles in the late 30’s prior to WWII. I ended up choosing clarinet and then saxophone, and became enamored with ensemble music. I remember visiting my grandfather in Florida well into his retirement and seeing his four (two pairs) Belle Klipsch loudspeakers. He had them hooked up to a 4-channel receiver and a turntable. It was that moment that I took notice of Klipsch.

K: Did your grandfather pass down any stories about his Belle Klipsch speakers?

CM: He was extremely proud that they were hand-built, sonically matched, and could play as loud as he wanted without distortion. When he moved in with my mom and dad in the early 2000’s, his speakers sat in the basement, unused. Turns out he hadn’t listened to them in quite some time. I found that, between the dust and mild corrosion, the bride on the back of the cabinet where the crossovers were held were extremely dusty and somewhat corroded, so they must have been blocking some of the electricity. I cleaned them up and viola – music! He and I enjoyed listening to them together in the basement.

K: Did you inherit the speakers?

CM: The speakers were split up among his kids when he passed. Unfortunately, a family member inherited them. I often consider committing a minor crime to get at least one pair back.

K: Describe your relationship with your father when it comes to music and speakers. Was he a fan of Klipsch as well?

CM: Both my parents enjoy listening to music, probably my mom more so than my dad. She bought my dad a pair of Klipsch Cornwall’s back in the 90’s and now has them in her office…so I am not so sure who that gift was really for back in the day, haha.

K: What was the first product you purchased from Klipsch?

CM: I own a pair of RP-160’s hooked up to a Peachtree Nova65SE and I LOVE THESE SPEAKERS!

K: What have you taught your kids about the importance of great sounding speakers?

CM: I compare listening to really clear, transparent music to “stopping to smell the flowers”. It really is the same thing. Take time to enjoy, respect, and appreciate what carefully crafted music can sound like and what it can do for the soul. I love sitting in my office on my couch with a glass of bourbon, listening to my setup. It is a nice withdrawal from everyday hectic life to take some time for me to “repair the mind,” so to speak.

K: What does Father’s Day mean to you and how will you celebrate?

CM:
As a dad, I feel like if you are doing your job and doing it well, every day is Father’s Day. If you are constantly working to improve your kid’s lives and set a good example, they will reciprocate with love and appreciation. OK, maybe I don’t always get angelic attitudes, especially when they get grounded, but I am a happy guy and know I am doing a good job when I get an “I love you Dad” at bedtime.

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