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Keith Jarret our most musically acclaimed Townshend Rock Turntable Owner

"Keith Jarrett: Piano Supremo and Proud Rock Owner"

"The only turntable that played music correctly" 

Max Townshend’s record collection had one undisputed cornerstone: Keith Jarrett’s iconic album: ‘The Köln Concert’

The mesmerizing photograph of Jarrett at his piano isn’t just an image—it’s a symbol of the ultimate achievement in acoustic piano music. This album’s enduring allure continues to captivate and inspire, embodying the very essence of musical excellence.

Years ago, when acquiring a Rock turntable in the UK had a rebellious flair, the US market was eager for a product that would redefine performance standards. Our audience in the US has always embraced bold innovations, often challenging the established norms of the audio community in the ‘old world.’ One such pioneer was Lee Lansberg, a hi-fi dealer with a passion for the new and unconventional.

Lee said recently about meeting Max

“I first met your Max in Chicago when CES did the audio show there.  I saw the table at the convention centre and fell in love with it.  My dad and I met Max in a bar, took an immediate liking to one another, and bought his inventory on the spot.  We became his first distributor in the US.  I used the Helius tonearms with the table and we got some recognition through the audio magazines.  It’s possible that Keith might have contacted me based upon an article he may have read.

     I can’t recall precisely how I met Keith.  I recall playing tennis with him on a number of occasions.  He and I both had pictures painted by George Mueller, a well renowned artist and audiophile who worked for me.  Keith purchased a complete system from Landes Audio that included our Terpsichore speaker system, tube electronics that I believe were VTL, and the Rock turntable.  I recall visiting his studio above his 3 car garage.  He asked if I would like to see a new harpsichord that had been built in Japan for him and hear a new piece he had written.  Of course I said yes.  When he played it for me, I commented that is sounded like returning to ones’ homeland.  He gave me a shocked look and said that the name of the piece was “Homeland”.  I discussed the sale of the Rock to Keith with Max.  Max asked if we could get an endorsement from Keith and I told him I would ask.  I don’t remember if there was a “quid pro quo”, but knowing the character of the man, I believe that Keith offered the endorsement openly, with no strings attached.

He certainly wrote a glowing endorsement of the Rock.  I had a hand written copy of it that I have yet to find in my papers.  I took the pictures I sent you along with the endorsement that Max used in his advertisements at that time.  The content of the endorsement is vague to me, but I seem to recall that Keith mentioned the accuracy of the tables reproduction. 

Subsequently, Keith began to postulate in a number of audio magazines; not necessarily about the Rock but about audio in general. 

I just wanted to convey to you that although I haven’t had the opportunity to visit with Max in some time,  my fondness for him really hit me when I heard of his passing. 

I really liked the character of the man, his love of life, and his endless pursuit of audio perfection.  He remains, for me, the ultimate audiophile, always seeking the holy grail of pure sound.  Moreover,

I always considered him a good friend.   I miss him very much.

Max would say about Keith views on the Rock: “He only gave one recommendation for one hi-fi product and that was for The Rock/Excalibur”.

“The only turntable that played music correctly” 

Picture of HIFI MUSE

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