Vale Josef Riediger
It is with great sadness that we learned this morning of the passing of Josef Riediger, one of the pioneers and forefathers of the Australian hi-fi industry.
Josef had been unwell for some months, and despite wanting nothing more than to head into the office of Advance Audio, he remained at home in his final weeks surrounded by loving family. His passion for hi-fi and particularly his love for the high-end, saw him forge a successful career spanning decades and an enviable reputation that traversed continents within the industry.
Founding one of the country's most respected and high-end specialist stores in Bankstown in 1987, The Audio Connection soon became the Mecca for audiophiles. Josef called it how he saw it, and while some didn't like the advice given at times, one thing you could bank on was that he was almost always right…
His success and demand soon saw him travelling the country's main highways, serving his customers around the nation and personally delivering and setting up system after system. From the finest brands in the smallest corners of the world, Josef had likely represented it with his wholesale business at some point.
Josef and wife Maggie
Josef amassed one of the largest collections of historic and iconic hi-fi components, and astonishingly, could recite where each piece came from, the history of the item, and what they fetched on the second-hand market on any given day. Such encyclopedic knowledge extended to what would also be one of the largest personal record collections in Australia.
Personally speaking, he once walked me through his collection (which spanned two very large rooms of a warehouse) and asked me to let him know if anything was of particular interest. After selecting a few titles, he refused to sell them to me at any price – as when pushed, I could not tell him about the label or the specific title's history! Joe could likely tell you more about any given record release than you could ever find on Discogs, such were his values and the importance he placed on respect and knowledge.
The industry has lost one of the greats. A man who showed enormous dedication, support and loyalty to his many staff over the years, he single-handedly built one of the largest databases of audiophiles in the country – people who looked to him for advice, and ultimately became customers and his friends.
Josef once told me during a casual chat that his vision in later years was to uphold the strong reputation as one of Australia's oldest and leading hi-fi and custom installation suppliers. He noted that times had changed, and the internet was now such an essential part of the industry. He wanted to ensure that his business remained at the forefront and was not left behind.
To this end, Josef recruited his nephew Nigel Ng into the company some years ago. He passed on his industry knowledge to him – and Nigel has also brought in his own, more contemporary ideas. Josef can now rest in peace, happy in the knowledge that his two businesses – Audio Connection and Advance Audio – are in the best of hands. May his legacy live on.
Please read StereoNET's tribute to Josef, and a celebration of his career achievements.
Vale Josef Riediger, 29/09/1949 - 23/09/2020