Author note: I originally wrote this on my blog with the title “The hero of DIY audio, Pow Chu Moy.” I can’t really add more to what I wrote some years ago.
The hero of DIY audio, Pow Chu Moy,
It came to my attention that Pow Chu Moy the man behind Head-Wize and the Cmoy headphone amplifier passed away in Reno Nevada (US) on February 12, 2016.
Kevin Gilmore was the bearer of the sad news in the headphone community Head-Fi.
I never had the pleasure of talking with Chu Moy, mostly because his forum went down more or less at the time I finally had access to the Internet, but I know a lot of his work, especially the Cmoy amplifier.
Chu Moy is one of those rare online personalities of whom you can’t find a picture via google.
It’s amazing that a man so loved by the DIY audio community never placed a photo online for us to know his face, but something tells me he didn’t want fame or money.
If that was the case maybe Head-Wize would still be around sponsored by audio companies and with draconian rules uphold by professional moderators to protect the flowing of money.
Chu Moy is probably the best example of a true patron of DIY audio. Others tried to emulate his work but they never achieved his fame, after all, he does have an amplifier with his name.
All headphone audiophiles know the Cmoy amp and sooner or later some build it or buy it.
Pow Chu Moy is to DIY audio what Sony was to Portable audio in the 80s.
I offer my deepest condolences to his family, with hope they know his importance to all of us headphone enthusiasts.
Update: 21 Out 2016
More shared online about him.
On innerfidelity.com, the user Jssnow1 wrote:
“I was saddened to hear about Chu’s passing. I attended high school with Chu and just googled his name to see what he was up to and came across this sad news. As there does not appear to be much info about Chu, I can share a little bit. Chu grew up in Chinatown, NYC and attended Poly Prep CDS before going to Yale for undergrad. He was a very nice person. He was reserved, mostly kept to himself, very studious and hard-working. I will attempt to post a picture of Chu from high school (class of ’79). Best”
On lowyat.net, Jssnow1 also shared:
“Hi, I was very sorry to hear of Chu’s passing. I was a high school classmate of Chu’s and was just trying to catch up with what he might be up to. Foe some background, Chu grew up in Chinatown, NYC and attended Poly Prep CDS in Brooklyn. He was a very serious and good student; extremely straight-laced with excellent principles. A very nice person. After high school, he went to Yale, and I lost track of him after that. I’ll try to dig up an old photo and figure out how to post it. Best,”
On head-case.org Tyll Hertsens wrote:
“So I decided to call Frank Patten at the Washoe County Public Administrator office to see if he could tell me any more about Chu.
He was surprisingly forth coming. He said Chu was “traveling light”, and had few if any possessions. He was renting a one-room apartment week-to-week. It was almost completely empty but for an unopened Amazon box with a Bissel vacuum sweeper inside. There was no bedding. They could find no job or source of income. He did have a PayPal account but the only thing they found is a few contributions to political parties and disaster relief efforts. They found his deceased dad, and they think he had a sister but can’t find her. He was born in New York. He evidently died suddenly and inexplicably.
And yeah, being alone doesn’t mean he was lonely…but boy, it was a little hard hearing that stuff.”
Words from old acquaintances and friends:
Mr. Martin Clark from www.acoustica.org.uk
“…Chu Moy and his early forum provided a source of inspiration when I was starting to play with headphone amplifiers and similar 20years ago, and so your ‘headwizememorial ‘ is a lovely thing to see for those who remember what Pow Chu Moy facilitated in the early days, especially in the generosity-of-spirit and sharing he fostered…”
Update: 11 March 2019