About the Designer
The Memory Player, designed by Mark Porzilli, is the latest creative project in a distinguished 30+ year long career in high-end audio. Mark is the designer of the entire line of Melos Audio products, as well as the original Pipedreams and Scaena loudspeakers.
Mark was a child prodigy whose late father, Anthony, was the head electronics technician under Lucio Vallese at ITT, during the development of the world's first working laser (ruby). At the incredible age of 5, Mark was wiring small circuits and drawing simple electronic schematics. At age 11 and 12 he entered two state and national science competitions, and won First Prize in both. One award was for a home-made X-ray machine, cobbled together from parts of discarded TV sets. In 1974, when he was 16, Bausch & Lomb recruited four laboratories to design a minimalist timer for use in their contact lens cleaners. Mark's design for Bender Laboratories was chosen based on his use of the least number of components, and its insensitivity to temperature and humidity. The same year, he also designed a series of cutting-edge multiple channel biofeedback and alpha-wave monitors, sold to Children's Specialized Hospital and other hospital systems around his home state of New Jersey.
He began his studies in physics and chemistry at Rutgers University while still a high school student. As a teenager in the 1970s, he was one of the few documented cases of an IQ of 200 or greater in the United States, according to the Peapack Institute.
In 1979, Mark met George Bischoff, then an owner of a local high end audio salon. Bischoff introduced him to the art, and they partnered along with Charlie Gavaris, U.S. importer of the renowned British Strathern Ribbon speakers used in the Infinity QRS, to form the now iconic Melos Audio.
Melos became the third largest vacuum tube audio component manufacturer in the world. Over the span of two decades, Melos had 10 products listed in Stereophile's Class A and B "Recommended Components" for 10 consecutive years, received 17 Editor's Choice awards from The Absolute Sound, and enjoyed over 400 positive reviews from every U.S. audio magazine, as well as magazines in many countries. Melos was featured on covers of audio magazines in England, Greece, Italy, Taiwan, Thailand, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Hong Kong, Korea, Germany and South Africa.
In the United States, among the dozens of Best of Show awards from TAS and Stereophile, in 1992, the Melos SHA won Stereophile's Product of the Year, following two rave reviews by Cory Greenberg and John Atkinson. The SHA was originally designed for Joe Grado of Grado Labs, but its popularity as a pre-amp and a headphone amp made it a reference for many brands of headphones. Melos products were used by Dudley Moore, Jerry Seinfeld and Bette Midler. Even Keith Jarrett owned one and gave the SHA a glowing endorsement.
During this time, Melos sold over 14,000 products in six continents.
In 1998, Mark designed an ultrasonic noding line array loudspeaker, now known as the Pipedreams. By moving the nodes into ultrasonic regions, a contiguous line array with multiple drivers was finally possible.
The Pipedreams were acclaimed as "the finest speaker in the world" by the late Harry Pearson of The Absolute Sound, and again, by Jonathan Valin of The Absolute Sound. In 2000, Pipedreams was awarded The Golden Ear and was the first product to be featured on the cover of TAS. The Pipedreams were also praised as the world's best loudspeaker by Ross Wagner in The Audiophile Voice. In 2003, Pipedreams was awarded U.S. Patent Number 6628793.
In 2003, Mark designed the now famous Scaena line array ceramic loudspeakers. The Scaena loudspeakers won Best of Show six years in a row at CES, T.H.E. Show and the RMAF. They were given three rave reviews in The Absolute Sound by Harry Pearson, and also won The Golden Ear.
In 2005, Rod Handley, George Bischoff and Mark Porzilli formed Nova Physics Group LLC, in order to develop and market The Memory Player.
In 2006, Mark met Sam Laufer, who later purchased The Memory Player and its associated technology, and launched their partnership.
In 2013 and 2015, Sam and Mark were awarded two U.S. Patents for the jitter reduction techniques used in The Memory Player.
Mark and his wife Carolyn live in Southern California.
About The Founder
Sam Laufer, partner and principal investor, purchased The Memory Player and its associated technology from Nova Physics Group in 2007, and has since been working with Mark Porzilli to enhance its performance and manufacturability.
A long-time music lover and audiophile, Sam started his career as an attorney with the law firm of Mudge Rose Guthrie Alexander & Ferdon, specializing in Intellectual Property, Contracts, and general corporate litigation. After practicing for five years, he joined the family business as President of NABS, a global supply chain logistics company specializing in component parts distribution for the high-tech industry. After 14 years, he sold the company in 2006 to a publicly traded company in the supply chain area called Supply Technologies. After the sale, Sam focused his attention on introducing a number of new products to market.
In 2006, Sam established his company, Laufer Teknik (), specializing in the distribution of audio products that implement cutting-edge new technologies, in furtherance of the reproduction of music. During that time, Sam co-invented a new mechanical device for preserving wine and other liquids, for which he was awarded a patent, and has additional patents pending. In 2009, Sam partnered with the leading composer of music for animals to establish Pet Acoustics (), a company specializing in therapeutic music for dogs, cats, and horses.
When Sam first heard The Memory Player in 2006, he was amazed by its sound, but dubious about its technological foundation. After disassembling a unit, he was convinced that it was nothing more than a computer. In fact, he was largely correct. But it was a special type of computer optimized for music playback in a way that had never been done before. After learning more about the product and the challenges that had existed, Sam teamed up with Mark Porzilli to revisit and enhance The Memory Player.
Little did Mark or Sam realize that they would discover a new way of minimizing jitter to levels never before imagined, all through software. Patent awards on this new jitter reduction technology are expected to be implemented not only in high-end audio, but also in the areas of high definition video, medical imaging, and VOIP systems, among many other areas of potential.
When not working, Sam spends time with his family at their home in Connecticut. An avid vegan and entrepreneur, Sam is one of the few true gentlemen in high end audio.
About The Memory Player
Since the birth of digitally recorded music and the Reed-Solomon codes of 1982, listeners have had to either get used to, or overcome, a unique problem affecting the sound of music playback. Although there have been many methods to alleviate the sonic problems faced by the modern digital audio listener, their primary cause is simple. Known universally as "jitter", it is the experience of hearing a recorded bit arrive or play back late.
When comparing the sound of digital music to analog (LP) or live music, many audiophile listeners complain of harsh treble and upper midrange, artificiality in tone and a loss of "air". The Memory Player offers a complete, unprecedented solution to the jitter problem. In fact, two long-time analog veterans of high end audio in two separate high end audio magazines claimed that for the first time ever, digital audio sounds as good and even superior to analog (see Reviews and Testimonials) in several areas. Through The Memory Player, jitter is lowered to levels rarely, if ever, experienced in a digital audio device.
The Memory Player is no ordinary digital audio player. The Memory Player is an intricate and powerful music server that accomplishes its goal through a comprehensive jitter erasure system, which:
1 - Copies music through re-reading from a CD, DVD or music file to a block of Fractionalized Memory,
2 - Eliminates digital volume control losses and other system losses by upsampling to 32 bit audio,
3 - Eliminates jitter-creating signal splitting by playing from a 64 bit sample,
4 - Removes jitter from the music data before you play it (something not possible when playing a moving disc or a file directly),
5 - Using the shortest signal path possible in a DAC, achieves a huge, deep image with air throughout the stage and around each instrument, seemingly unlimited dynamics and a sweet 'analog' tone, never before heard in digital playback.
The Memory Player's refined DAC design is a welcome departure from the high tech, circuitry-burdened devices now in use. D2D creates the clearest, cleanest, least colored and simplest path from the DAC's first moment of analog to the outputs of The Memory Player.
The Memory Player received over 20 rave reviews between 2006 and 2012, and by 2015 was awarded "Most Wanted Component" by The Stereo Times for ten years.
RUR, IDEAS, D2D DACs and now, our latest Computer Audio Solutions – The Virtual Battery, The DAC Power Supply, DeFractionalized Memory, and The Clock Mapper, have brought The Memory Player to the very summit of where digital audio is now, and where it's headed. They have opened doors to explore how to reduce jitter, and revealed how jitter measurement is often fooled by jitter created very early in the chain. Someday, we may be able to reduce jitter to genuinely inaudible levels, and narrow the gap between digital and analog to the vanishing point.
You'll find more on how The Memory Player uses its technologies to achieve its transformative sound right here on our website.