DIYer Spends $1 Million on Audio
Ivan Messer sunk a fortune into over 50 Richard Gray products and almost 100 McIntosh products -- and he’s very happy about that.
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May 19, 2008 by Rachel Cericola

Ivan may know his stuff when it comes to the audio, but the video he left to Roger Galvin of Precision Video. “That’s a real art; it’s definitely a niche,” he says. 

The family uses this room every day, with Ivan logging in private demos at least once a week. If you’re one of the privileged few, you might be one of the partygoers at his end-of-May gala, which invites about 150 potential clients and close friends to experience the room and all of its glory. “Once again, we’re going to get a whole routine of just how varied and how widespread this system can handle anything from just subtleties to bone-crunching rock ‘n roll,” he says. “It really is better than front-row-center. It really is just an experience. You have to be there.”

While many think Ivan is a bit intense about his audio, this soft-spoken enthusiast likens his experience to a very long ladder. Sure, he’s hit every rung, but each of those hits has made some pretty beautiful music. 

Ivan says the days of buying just one Pole Pig are over. “I’ve pretty much started a craze; you can really go further.” He’s not only a leader, he also follows; at the time of this interview, he had added a McIntosh as early as the night before. However, he does admit that things can get a bit tight.  “I’m out of real estate; there’s just no more room.” 

Now, he’s turned his energies to his summer home on Cape Cod. He doesn’t expect it to rival his current theater, but you can definitely expect something big. “Knowing me, I’m not going to be happy with much less,” he says. “I don’t know what the word budget means.”

Quick Hits:
Year Completed: 2003
Room Size: 22 x 26 feet
Length of Project: 12 months
Total Cost: $1.1 millon

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Rachel Cericola - Contributing Writer
Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at

Equipment List

Alchemy2 D.DAD Digital Line Delay
Audio Authority 1154A AutoSelector
Audio Control SA-3052 Analyzer
Audio Control SA-3052 SE Analyzer
Bright Star IsoRock 4 (Assorted)
Bright Star IsoRock 5 (Assorted)
Bright Star Little Rock (Assorted)
Bright Star Little Rock 4 (Assorted)
Bybee Technologies Balanced Blue Interconnects (Assorted)
Bybee Technologies Coax F Video Filters (Assorted)
Bybee Technologies Quantum AC Chargers (Assorted)
Bybee Technologies Quantum Force RCA Filters (Assorted)
Bybee Technologies Quantum Purifiers (Assorted)
Bybee Technologies Super S Video Filters (Assorted)
Camelot Dragon 5.1 Jitter Plus Filter (4)
Camelot VPS-1 Crystal Vision Comb
CinemaTech Custom Reclining Seats (8)
Custom Mahogany Wall Unit
DirecTV Dish 3-LNB (3)
Furman IT Reference Power Units (2)
Grace M902 Headphone Amp
JBL 18-inch Subwoofer & Cabinet
JBL BX-63A Crossover
Kaleidescape 3U DVD Media Server
Lumagen Radiance Video Processor
Marantz RC-2000 MKII Remote w/ RF2 (4)
MartinLogan ETC Spikes (Assorted)
McIntosh C-15 Pre-Amplifiers (2)
McIntosh C1000-C Controllers (2)
McIntosh C1000-P Pre-Amps (2)
McIntosh C1000-T Tube Pre-Amps (2)
McIntosh HT-2 Subwoofers (2)
McIntosh HT-3F Dipole Speakers (2)
McIntosh MC-162 Amplifiers (2)
McIntosh MC-206 Amplifier
McIntosh MC-275AG Amplifier
McIntosh MC-402 Amplifier
McIntosh MC-501 Amplifiers (4)
McIntosh MC-602 Amplifier
McIntosh MC-1.2KW Amplifiers (24)
McIntosh MC2KW Amplifiers (4)
McIntosh MCD-201 SACD/CD Players (2)
McIntosh MCD-301 SACD/CD Player
McIntosh MCD-1000 CD Transports (2)
McIntosh MDA-1000 D/A Converters (2)
McIntosh MLD-7020 LaserDisc Player
McIntosh MR-85 AM/FM Tuner
McIntosh MQ109B Environmental Eqs (2)
McIntosh MS-300 Music Servers (3)
McIntosh MVP-871 Universal Players (2)
McIntosh MX-135 Processor
McIntosh PC-2 Power Controls (3)
McIntosh PC-4 Power Controls (2)
McIntosh R-778 Dealer Displays (2)
McIntosh WS350 In-Wall Speakers (2)
McIntosh XCS2K Center Speaker
McIntosh XCS350 Speaker Systems (2)
McIntosh XCS350 Speaker Trim Black (3)
McIntosh XLS-112 Powered Subs (2)
McIntosh XR27 Speakers (3)
McIntosh XRT2K Speaker Systems (4)
McIntosh XRT30 Bass Cabinets (2)
McIntosh XRT30 Speaker Systems (2)
Nespa Pro CD Finalizer
Niles IRC Repeater & Sensors (Assorted)
Panamax MAX 5400-EX Fan Control
Panasonic DMP-BD30K Blu-ray Players (2)
Parasound ZBreeze Fans (Assorted)
Pioneer Elite BDP-95FD Blu-ray Player
Pioneer Elite Pro-700HD Rear-Projection TV
Pioneer Elite DV-09 DVD Player
PS Audio Noise Harvesters (10)
Richard Gray’s Power Company 400 PRO Line Conditioners (4)
Richard Gray’s Power Company 600S Line Conditioners (12)
Richard Gray’s Power Company 1200S Line Conditioners (30)
Richard Gray’s Power Company Pole Pig Line Conditioners (4)
Rotron Whisper Fans (Assorted)
Sennheiser HD650 Headphones
Sharp AQUOS 13-inch LCD
Shunyata Black Mamba Cable (Assorted)
Sony Bravia 40-inch KDL-40V3000
Sony Bravia XBR 52-inch KDL-52XBR4 LCD
Sony 50-inch Grand WEGA KDF-E50A10 LCD
Sony HD Digital Receivers (2)
Sony VPH-G90U Projector
Stewart Filmscreen 120-inch Screen
SurgeX SX20-IR2 (Assorted)
SVS Lift
Symposium RollerBlocks Series 2 (4)
TiVo DirecTV Receiver
Wireworld Audio & Video Cables (Assorted)
Wireworld Gold Electra Cables (Assorted)
Wireworld Gold Eclipse V Bi-Wires (Assorted)
Wireworld Gold Eclipse V XLR Wires (Assorted)
Wireworld Gold Eclipse V RCA Audio (Assorted)

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