Audiophile Spends 25 Years Building the Ultimate Stereo Experience

Audiophiles are known to pour lots of time and resources into their passion, but few go above and beyond to fulfill their dreams. One such individual spent over 25 years building what many consider the world’s best stereo system.

Ever since he was a teenager, Milwaukee native Ken Fritz knew that music and sound were his greatest passions. In high-school, he was already building his own advanced speakers, and, as an adult, he turned his passion into a successful business that helped him fund his greatest dream – to build the world’s ultimate stereo system. It took him over a quarter of a century to do it, but today his creation is regarded as the best sound system in the world by both professionals and fellow audiophiles.

Photo: Ken Fritz

When you think about a sound system, you probably just envision lots of speakers, amplifiers and the sorts, and while Ken Fritz’s setup does feature some very impressive gear, there’s a lot more to what makes it the best in the world. The audiophile knew that in order to create the ultimate stereo experience, he would need the right acoustic condition, so he created the perfect room in his home in Chesterfield County, Virginia.

There is more to the room that houses Fritz’s advanced sound system than just tasteful 18th century motif. Underneath all the nice exterior is a lot of science and design that few people in the world even think about, let alone implement in their own homes.


The ceiling design copies that of a concert hall in Osaka, Japan, with the ceiling to floor dimension at the front of the room being 11.5 feet, expanded in five different planes to 17.5 feet at the rear of the room. The side walls are skewed out by 2″ from front to back to help reduce slap echoes, and both the front and the back of the room incorporate a curve design that would help scatter sound.

The walls were built with 12″ cinderblock and Durawall wire reinforcement was incorporated in between each vertical course.  A 1″ rebar was inserted into every other vertical cavity and then the cavities were filled solid with 3500 PSI pea gravel concrete. Purlins were inserted and spaced 48” apart in each vertical cavity.


The floor was poured using 3500 PSI concrete to a thickness of 8″, and the ceiling was built using trusses on 16″ centers spanning from the front to the rear of the room. Fiberglass insulation was installed in the walls before ¾” plywood sheeting was glued over, and then two layers of 5/8″ fire code sheetrock were then glued, with Durabond 90.

And that’s just the room that Ken Fritz’s sound system sits in. The installation itself consists of 3 thirty-five thousand watts, nine-foot-tall speaker towers and a 1,500-pound custom “Frankenstein turntable” built by the audiophile himself. Although the 79-year-old won’t talk prices, he admits that the electronics alone are worth a small fortune.


“I’ve seen turntables that sell for $100,00, $120,000, and they’re nowhere near as complicated and as involved as this,” he told his son Scott.

“I believe I’ve built the best stereo system in the world,” Ken Fritz said. “While I was designing it and building it I knew it was going to take time. Every part of this system is part of me and that is a good feeling. It took years and years to build all of this. Thousands and thousands of hours.”


Ken Fritz’s 25-year-long epic project became the subject of a moving documentary called One Man’s Dream.