Bruce Pea is using some rather outdated technology in his new business – his hands.
Pea spent the last 22 years in information technology and technology development, but put his computers away to pursue a life-long passion: making handcrafted speakers. Why?
Pea vividly recalls the summer day back in 1972 when his best friend Scott asked him to come over. Scott had two giant plywood boxes sitting on his back porch, and each box had two 15-inch speakers mounted in them. When Pea arrived his friend dropped the needle on an album and an enormous wall of sound rolled across the yard. It blew Pea away, and he’s been hooked on speaker building ever since.
“I’m inspired by a time when audio gear was made with the best materials, attention to detail, and a sense of pride that’s hard to find these days,” Pea says of his new profession.
“Most manufacturers – and consumers – have drifted from these standards.”
For Pea, his new venture, Ars Harmonia, is for those who haven’t drifted from those standards, for those who want a speaker as unique as the music they listen to and the artists who perform it.
Ars Harmonia comes from the Latin for “art of harmony”. Pea calls his speakers “Desmond” as a tribute to Paul Desmond, best known as Dave Brubeck’s saxophone player. Desmond was one of the most popular musicians to come out of the West Coast’s “cool jazz” scene and was well known for his melodious style of playing.
Each Desmond Speaker is built entirely by hand in Champaign, IL. While most assembly-line speakers are completed in a matter of hours, Pea works meticulously through the 47 steps and 11 days it takes to produce each speaker.
And there’s something else unique about Pea’s Desmonds: while the 3 1/2″ full range driver used in the speaker is imported, the cabinet lumber, packing materials, and everything else involved in each speaker are all sourced and purchased in the U.S.
The end products are speakers that bring listening experiences unlike most have ever heard. Each 12”x7”x71/4” speaker has a unique wood grain pattern,color, tone, and shade.
Matched to compliment each other as much as possible, no two speakers look exactly alike.
“The Desmond is a rare delight in a world of ‘me too’ products,” says Geoffrey Poor, Director of Sales at Balanced Audio Technology. “I have enjoyed the Desmond from the first few bars played. A real prize!”
The Desmond is a single point source of sound producing a wonderful sense of coherence that leaves nothing between you and the music. The imaging is detailed and revealing, providing a holographic listening experience. The sound is clear with well-balanced bass that has depth and authority.
Pea accepts orders through his website, by phone and email.
More information about Ars Harmonia, the Desmonds, and Pea can be found at: