Tom DeVesto, Tivoli Audio
Tom DeVesto, founder of Tivoli Audio, worked at building his reputation as an audio industry innovator long before he ever got involved in producing a single model.
Well ahead of his own involvement in the manufacture of high-performance audio gear at Advent, his years in hi-fi retailing brought him the recognition from his suppliers as a marketing genius. But early on, he developed a Champagne taste for well-reproduced music that was hard for someone fresh out of the Navy, and of modest means, to satisfy.
The pursuit of high-fidelity audio in the late ’60s was ordinarily the province of hobbyists with the financial wherewithal to feed their habit for sublime music reproduction. That was part of the reason DeVesto had to settle for buying a lower-priced compact system at an appliance store, one that paled in comparison to the gear his buddies had brought back from overseas. “I went to a local hi-fi store and they had products there from a company called KLH, these compact music systems that sounded as convincing as some of the bigger, more expensive hi-fi equipment. I bought it, and that was my first real hi-fi. And that system would live with me the whole time I was in college.”