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Sad news indeed when I found out Joe was terminally ill and recently of his passing. I think in many ways it marks an end of an era in Australian high-end audio.   I knew Joe since 1987 in t

I am really saddened by this loss. Joe was one of the first of the "big boys" to support me personally and my vision for StereoNET. He didn't hesitate getting behind us, even though he was a little ol

Sad to hear but the legend lives on. I have a tt I purchased from him a few years back - he was always willing to discuss technical issues with me and at length over the telephone. 

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I am really saddened by this loss. Joe was one of the first of the "big boys" to support me personally and my vision for StereoNET. He didn't hesitate getting behind us, even though he was a little old school and didn't totally understand what we did. That was over a decade ago, and in that time we would argue back and forth most often by text messages, about what StereoNET does and how we do it. This even happened as recently as just weeks ago, and even after he understood his diagnosis. His commitment to what he did and loved was second to none.

 

I owe a lot of thanks to Josef. He carved out the high end industry, and delivered many brands to the market that this country may otherwise never have experienced.

 

With help from the family and industry colleagues, we have prepared a much larger tribute piece to Josef, almost a biography if you will, that will be published later today.

 

Rest in peace Joe.

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Very sad to see,  Joe was a real legend and a character in the industry , I learned early on to not get in an argument with him he was always opinionated but he was invariably correct !

 

I bought most of my gear from him and followed him from his humble days at Bankstown Hifi to his flagship AudioConnection store(s). 

 

I fear for the future of any form of high end retailers with Joe no longer around.

 

Vale Joe

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Damn, this is terrible news. 

 

I only saw him a  few months back - he was still his normal self telling me to upgrade my gear as the new models are so much better:).   I had known Joe all the way back from his days at Bankstown.  I will spin some songs on my big Wilsons today as my own tribute.

 

RIP Joe.

Edited by metal beat
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This is devastating news for the Australian hifi industry. He was so passionate about this industry and it always showed whenever I spoke to him, which would have been about a six weeks ago. He always graciously gave his time to me whenever I visited his store. I grew up in Banktown and fondly remember 'Bankstown City HiFi'.  I went there as a kid and bought all my records from there and lusted after all the equipment. 

 

I'd like to express my sincerest condolences to his family and all those at Audio Connection.  He will be missed. 

 

Vale Joe 

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Sad news indeed-whether one liked him or not--I agree one of the giants of a depleting Bricks and Mortar industry.

 

I can count myself as a friend having known him since 1987 and we'd done many buy/sell deals together over the years since.

 

I actually spoke to him about 6 months ago but knew he had been not in good health for awhile.

 

The Nigel fellow I don't know -I gather Phil is no longer associated-also the Son -wonder if he will step in.

 

Maggie is smart I'm sure she will steady the ship--condolences to her and family.

 

RIP my friend

 

Willco

Edited by Willco
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When I was a young pup sometime in the ‘90s, I saw an ad for a local hi-fi shop, so wandered down as I wanted some bookshelf speakers. I was amazed at what was on display, this place wasn’t the usual white goods store that sold electrical equipment that I was used to. I was automatically attracted to the items with the highest price tags, if stuff was this expensive I thought it must be good- right?

 

I ended up talking to this bloke standing next to me in paint spattered overalls (apparently he was painting his new shop). Well this bloke really knew his stuff, he directed me away from looking at the price tag, and explained what I should be looking at, and pointed out me to this lovely black pioneer amplifier as an example.

 

After talking to him for a while, I decided on some bookshelf speakers (along with a Krix centre speaker). On my way out I thanked him for the chat, then he gave me his card, it was Josef.

 

I remember leaving thinking ‘”what a top bloke”.

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Vale Josef.

 

I also grew up only about 5km from the store at Bankstown and subsequently, as a budding audio enthusiast  I used to visit the shop when I was on my lunch break from a job I had in Bankstown, as well as any free time I had.

 

To me as a young man starting out, this was like getting the Golden Ticket to the Wonka Factory and I shall never forget  browsing the treasures therein, wishing I could buy them and planning on how to get the money to buy some of them in the Golden Age of audio.

 

RIP Joseph and thank you so much for the memories.

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I never met Josef, but bought an amp from Audio Connection. My first and only visit to the store was only a few weeks ago and I must say it's probably the most impressive Hifi store I've seen. They have an incredible range of medium to very high end gear. You could spend hours there. Undoubtedly, a great legacy of the man.

 

R.I.P Josef

 

 

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A very sad day.

There will be many stories told about this characterful and very knowledgeable man.

I was fortunate to first run into him in 1992 at the Bankstown store where I was treated with respect and made to feel welcome even though I made a relatively small purchase.

This relationship continued to the present day .

In the early days he would come and set up the equipment himself even though I lived south of Sydney.

His mind was very sharp as he would quickly identify what could be done to improve your system often with recycled/recently traded items.
One time at Leichhardt many years ago he wandered in when I was there.He was in hospital garb having discharged himself from the cardiac surgery ward.

Josef stated that he was just lying around wasting time and that it was time to get back to work.......

I will really miss you Josef.

My sincere condolences to Maggie and family as well as his loyal staff at the Audio Connection.

We will not see his like again.

Edited by Road Kill
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Very sad day indeed. I had the pleasure of knowing Joseph for 3 decades and always popped in for a chat with him and Janson when I was in Sydney.

 

I still remember how Jo and his Brother (he always joked that he had about 20 brothers) drove down to Melbourne from Sydney with a pair of traded in Sonus Fabers to hand deliver to me in the 1990's.

 

He was a warm honest and funny guy. 

 

My sincere condolences to his family and the team at Audio Connection. We lost a great Australian Hi-Fi personality.

 

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Thanks to Joe I had the wonderful experience of owning and playing with so many pieces of hi-fi in the Golden Age of the Bankstown shop.  It started for me around 1989. The days of VTL amps and the Martin Logan CLS speaker and REL subs. I still have my Artemis Eos speakers (were driven by VAL 211 SET monoblocs) and Clearaudio T/T and Cardas Golden Cross I/C. I regret selling my Kebschull 150 preamplifier (with the matched phono tubes E283CC in situ)...

 

But the real attraction was the gregarious personality and generous nature of Joe himself. He would lend me anything I wanted if the occasion called for it, and identified me as a music lover first--and hi-fi nut second--early on in our acquaintance (this after my listening to his Kondo Ogaku and Sonus Faber Guarneri speakers playing).  We got on famously because of this. So did nearly everyone else who met Joe as he had time for every music lover and hi fi lover he met.

 

A mate bought his Sonus Faber Extremas from him and that seemed to me then to be the Everest of attainable sound reproduction. Thanks to Joe I was able to hear the Quad ESL-63 at home for extended listening, as well as the Jadis Defy 7 amplifier. What a great time to be alive!

 

I suppose that things got out of hand after that decade in terms of cost, as many top components became 'excessively' priced as far as I was concerned. But for many years you could get your hands on great gear without selling an organ or something.

 

I used to try and understand how everything matched together--or, rather, how I could buy a piece of gear and just have it slot into my system. Joe was a stickler for system matching. Once he said to me, "I wish you would just trust my judgment instead of buying what you think will work...". Usually I did trust that knowledge...it was expensive and detailed. Coupled with a very fair resale process and a very fair profit margin Audio Connection was the place to be.

 

Thanks for everything Joe.

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I have to admit that I am not familiar with this gentleman (I guess I should have been), but from the comments here it is obvious that he was very well regarded.

 

Well chosen words Marc.

 

RIP Joe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Joe sold me my first set of speakers about 1990. A pair of Rogers LS4a.

 

He was a pleasure to deal with back then and he was pleasure to deal with earlier this year. A true gentleman. 

 

Thank you very much Joe. 

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5 hours ago, muzzagruzz said:

This is devastating news for the Australian hifi industry. He was so passionate about this industry and it always showed whenever I spoke to him, which would have been about a six weeks ago. He always graciously gave his time to me whenever I visited his store. I grew up in Banktown and fondly remember 'Bankstown City HiFi'.  I went there as a kid and bought all my records from there and lusted after all the equipment. 

 

I'd like to express my sincerest condolences to his family and all those at Audio Connection.  He will be missed. 

 

Vale Joe 

RIP.

 

I always thought Bankstown City Hifi (Rudi) was downstairs and Audio Connection (Josef) was upstairs and they were two different entities?

 

Bought my first amp from them (still have it).

 

Josef, Len and Ceto were the big 3 in the day and if they couldn't help you....

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Rockford said:

Josef, Len and Ceto were the big 3 in the day and if they couldn't help you....

 

What a fantastic trio of Australian retail hi fi pioneers.

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6 minutes ago, Rockford said:

I always thought Bankstown City Hifi (Rudi) was downstairs and Audio Connection (Josef) was upstairs and they were two different entities?

 

That's correct - it's mentioned in our tribute, and Josef often said that had it not been for Rudi's advice and early guidance, The Audio Connection would never have survived those early years.

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19 minutes ago, Marc said:

As mentioned, here is our tribute to Josef - it would never be to a standard he would be satisfied with, but then he always strived beyond perfection.

 

https://www.stereo.net.au/features/a-tribute-to-josef-riediger-founder-of-australian-high-end-audio

Just read this, what a wonderful read. Really brought back some memories for me. The horrible parking at Bankstown and invariably having to carry that 25Kg amp about 200M to where ever you found a spot or you risked the drop off zones and hoped the parking inspector didn't get you. But you knew you'd be in the store for ages talking to him about things.

 

Sometimes you wouldn't even get upstairs as Rudi would be chatting to you and sell you something instead!

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1 minute ago, Rockford said:

Sometimes you wouldn't even get upstairs as Rudi would be chatting to you and sell you something instead!

Classic! I am sure it worked well for both of them.

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R.I.P. Joe :( Good times over at Bankstown and when you used to linger at our shop back in the 80's and 90's. I remember Phil as far back as his school days and getting off the train at Mount Kuring-gai, same suburb the Gibsons lived in. Sad day for the HiFi industry though, one of the entertainers gone.

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I first met Joe at his Bankstown store in 1990. I had specially made the trip down from Brisbane to visit the stores in Sydney. His store had the most esoteric and interesting gear. 

 

In 1994, I traded my B&W 801 m2s for a pair of new Apogee Stages. And have popped into the new stores from time to time over the years. 

 

The last memorable time was when he had a pair of Wilson Sashas hooked up to D'Agostino mono amps driven by an ARC Ref5 - I can't remember the source. The sound was holographic and spanned from wall to wall in his large upstairs listening room at the Drummoyne store. He always had a good ear and knew how to tune his systems. His talent will be missed. 

 

RIP Joe.

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Great tribute to Joe. Thank you Stereonet for honouring him. 
 

I remember the day I bought my Gryphon Diablo 120 and Joe telling me that it was the amplifier I should’ve bought the first time. 
 

And he was right. Thank you, Joe. 

Edited by muzzagruzz
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Ahh...1989, Thursdays nights hanging out upstairs at Bankstown. Some of the rotating brands, trading upgrading. Bill Beard, Ensemble,

Gryphon,  Apogee, DPA,  Kebschull, Oracle, Sota, Audion....

And even a trip on Joe to the Chinese around the corner. Lazy Susan.

Memorable misspent youth thank to Jo.

I dont think life has been that good since.

Miss you Joe.

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i learned the sad news this morning.

i also first met joe when i ventured out to his bankstown emporium in the early nineties.

i was mesmerised by the endless racks full of esoteric gear such as gryphon, sonic frontiers, vimak,

enlightened audio designs, classe, jadis, martin logan.......amongst others.

i was there to purchase my first 'hi-end' speakers, a pair of atc scm-20's standmounts.

when we went down to the  garage to load the speakers into the car, joe asked me what amp i was going to 

run them with. when i told him of the 600w per channel p.a amp that i had, he said, "that amp is ****. you should buy this", and proceeded to unveil a monster pre-owned krell. i said i can't afford that, thanks anyway.......but as always he was right; i ended up buying a krell, 5 or so years later after experimenting with a few other amps. 

joe knew where i was heading before i did.

those equipment racks went from shop to shop and are still in use today at leichhardt. 

 

over the years, i have developed my passion into an obsession, and joe and his loyal staff, many who have been working with him for many years, have always been there to help, advise and realise some dreams, as well as become

good friends along the way. i have met many great people in this hobby from all sides of the fence including retailers, wholesalers, label anoraks, equipment hoarders, cable tweakers and music lovers. joe once asked me who i thought was the craziest, maddest about hi-fi guy in australia was, and i answered, "you".

"correct", joe said with a knowing smile.

 

joe was always humble though. willing and able to share extensive knowledge. he always made time to sit down and listen and offer genuine advice or talk current world issues even if there wasn't a sale in sight. he was a tough negotiator, but fair and his word was bond. he was also generous and modest even though he was a card-carrying titan of the audio industry.

you will be missed - may you rest in peace in perpetual musical bliss, joe.

 

james

 

 

 

 

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so sad to hear about joe,
i had the privilege of meeting joe way back in the early 80s,he would drive down to melbourne in a van hunting quality second hand hifi gear,i at the time had a pair of amcron es212 electrostatic speakers advertised in the trading post,joe rang me and asked if he could have a look at them he turned up at the time he said he would took one look at the speakers and bought them ,they were in excellent condition,it wasn't till a few years later that i realised this hi end hifi shop in sydney,was the same man i had met and had a pleasant encounter with years before,
condolences to his family
rip joe.

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Truly sad news , I actually met Josef in his ' pre Bankstown ' days when he used to buy and sell from the Trading Post and had a delivery van as his mobile office , In fact i actually managed to sell him something before he sold me something . I have been a customer ever since , he had a knack of coming up with an irresistible deal that you couldn't refuse and for an item about 3 rungs up the ladder from what your budget allowed . I think from memory he was the 1st to sell VTL in Australia . I remember those trips to the Chinese Restaurant on Thursday evenings after the Bankstown shop had closed . Once during the late 1980's he came to pick me up when I was unemployed and gave me a weekend's work helping set up gear at the Sydney HiFi show , he pointed to a guy in the back seat and said , ' Oh , Chris , This is Fleming ' ... ( Of Gryphon fame ) .... Everytime I fire up my Diablo & Wilson Sashas I will think of him ....

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4 hours ago, Chris Launder said:

Truly sad news , I actually met Josef in his ' pre Bankstown ' days when he used to buy and sell from the Trading Post and had a delivery van as his mobile office , In fact i actually managed to sell him something before he sold me something . I have been a customer ever since , he had a knack of coming up with an irresistible deal that you couldn't refuse and for an item about 3 rungs up the ladder from what your budget allowed . I think from memory he was the 1st to sell VTL in Australia . I remember those trips to the Chinese Restaurant on Thursday evenings after the Bankstown shop had closed . Once during the late 1980's he came to pick me up when I was unemployed and gave me a weekend's work helping set up gear at the Sydney HiFi show , he pointed to a guy in the back seat and said , ' Oh , Chris , This is Fleming ' ... ( Of Gryphon fame ) .... Everytime I fire up my Diablo & Wilson Sashas I will think of him ....

Wonderful little note and thanks for sharing.

🙂

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Sad news indeed when I found out Joe was terminally ill and recently of his passing. I think in many ways it marks an end of an era in Australian high-end audio.

 

I knew Joe since 1987 in the Bankstown store. I was a young doctor with a passion for music and high end gear but without the  deep pockets to afford it. I had many trips out to the Bankstown to peruse the trade-ins and to listen to the gear. In those days it was Phil and JoJo (or Little Joe) and Josef running the store. My friends and fellow audiophiles always referred to Josef as 'Uncle Joe'. This was the guy that was going to look after you even if you knew he was going to sell you something more expensive than you planned!

 

The thing about Joe, even from those early days, was a strong conviction in his beliefs and a sense that whilst it would cost you, he indeed would look after you. Call it good business acumen if you like but Joe was a person who always kept his word. He was a man of honour and sometimes in later years boasted to me how people trusted him with large sums of money that he kept on account. I personally know of at least one person that did this. I ended up buying many pieces of gear from Joe and he could always be trusted to keep his end of the deal.

 

That trust was also given by Joe to many of his customers. In a sense it was part of his business strategy. I recall many times in the early days Joe encouraging me to take stuff home on long-term loan/audition. There was rarely a time period set and he would throw in cables or whatever else you needed. There was a book system for stuff out on loan but I swear there was many a time it was not recorded. He did however have a phenomenal memory to back up his trust in you! He was shrewd enough to know that if he loans something for long enough it likely would never come back. You got to used to the superior sound quality and ended up buying it.

 

Importantly, in those early days at Bankstown, Joe always had time to spend with you even if you were trading up on some of the second hand gear and couldn't afford any of the new stuff. Joe was smart enough to look after his customer base whatever their budget. The boys would happily audition the high end gear even if they knew you couldn't buy it....... yet! Favourite music tracks were produced and people just enjoyed the the fun of being an audiophile. Something, I think is sometimes missing today.

 

Cash flow at times was pretty tight for Joe at Bankstown. I recall one evening he turned up to my house with a Wadia that was out of my price range but which he knew I coveted. He sold it to me at a drastically reduced price explaining he needed the cash to pay his staff.

 

That style of doing business with trusted customers continued through to the present day. I ended up buying Gryphon mono blocks and many other items from Joe. On the rare occasion that something went wrong he would just fix it.

 

I recall a very memorable dinner with Joe and Flemming Rasmussen and invited guests.

 

He continued to have time to chat in later years when I would need to speak to him about this or that. He spent nearly an hour on the phone with me when my best friend passed away over a year ago. I sold all of his audiophile gear on behalf of his widow and it was done through this website. Joe took the time to advise me what everything was worth and what was a fair price to expect. Since then we have spoken a few times about gear or when he would simply "pocket dial" me. We would end up chatting about where high-end audio was heading, life or sometimes his medical situation. He was just happy to chat.

 

'Uncle Joe' was truly one of life's characters, a larger-than-life character, someone that you thought would always be around. My thoughts go to Maggie and the family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 23/09/2020 at 7:43 PM, shovel said:

Ahh...1989, Thursdays nights hanging out upstairs at Bankstown. Some of the rotating brands, trading upgrading. Bill Beard, Ensemble,

Gryphon,  Apogee, DPA,  Kebschull, Oracle, Sota, Audion....

And even a trip on Joe to the Chinese around the corner. Lazy Susan.

Memorable misspent youth thank to Jo.

I dont think life has been that good since.

Miss you Joe.

We must have been at the same dinners ?

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