Q&A with Richard Cesari of Esprit Audio

Loudspeaker cables,
Digital cables
Q&A  with Richard Cesari of Esprit Audio

What ignited your interest in the high end? Did it come from the music side or the electronics side?
I heard Rhapsody in Blue for the first time when I was 11 and I believe this is where it all started. My love for music never stopped growing with the discovery of Mahler pieces, Bill Evans, or John Coltrane.

What gear made up your first high-end system?
It was a long time ago, and my first system was made up of a Thorens TD 166 turntable, a Luxman L3 amplifier, and self-constructed loudspeakers.  I was 18, and all my first salaries were used for this purpose.

When did audio change from a hobby to a career?
I believe never...But I live this passion very professionally!

What education did you receive?
I am trained in electro-mechanics. Very useful for avoiding big mistakes when conceiving my products, but it can be counter-productive for innovation and exploration of territories outside “the box.”

Do you play a musical instrument or study music?
I learned to play drums and saxophone when I was very young, as I was first “caught” by Billy Cobham. A little bit later John Coltrane and Michael Brecker made me switch to saxophone...The practicing of those instruments helped me consider music as a whole thing, and not as bass, midrange, and treble only, which is often a mistake.

What does the expression “high-end” audio mean to you?
To me, what we used to call “high end” is the ultimate representation of high fidelity (with no absolute link with “high price”), just the closest possible step to live music. It is the Formula One of audio, without any compromise.

Do you have a preference between analog and digital? Why?
I’ve personally always had a preference for analog. I’m still using a turntable, for the emotion it conveys with the music I listen to. But I must say that the arrival of new generations of DACs on the market make me appreciate [digital] more and more. Digital recordings have become much more fluid and natural.

How did you get involved in the cable industry?
I started to conceive cables for my own use, then I went on at the request of some friends. This is how it all started. 

How would you describe the company philosophy?
Our slogan: “The Spirit of Music” is a perfect summary of our goal, i.e. to create the most authentic products to reproduce music at its best. 

What is the greatest misunderstanding people have about cables?
That cables are tone correctors. A cable is a technical object to convey a signal from A to B without any alteration. 

What are the greatest challenges facing the high-end industry in the next few years?
Keep on designing music and authentic sound-oriented equipment and to avoid becoming an industry of luxury. 

Outside of audio, what do you do for fun?

What inspires you about your work?
Without placing myself at their level in any way at all, I take my inspiration from artists such as Bill Evans, John Coltrane, Mahler, Arvo Pärt. These four names are just a thousandth part of the list I could draw up, but I find their works extremely inspirational.