At the Intersection of Life and Love of Music 

Wyred 4 Sound Carries On the SST Legacy

  James Bongiorno

James Bongiorno

Tracing roots through Marantz, Dynaco, SAE, SUMO Electric, Great American Sound Company (GAS), Constellation Audio and his last self-started company, Spread Spectrum Technologies (SST), James Bongiorno's imprint on the audio industry was as wide as it was deep. Recognized as one of the "pioneers of audio" by The Absolute Sound magazine and one of the preeminent audio designers of our time, Mr. Bongiorno is credited with designing the first full dual-differential complementary amplifier topology that is the basis for nearly all modern solid-state amplifiers today. Certainly the name “Ampzilla” is one many audiophiles around the world fondly remember as one of the most popular amplifiers developed. James' circuit topologies are the stuff of legend, lore and imitation. His deep love for the music drove his desires to create timeless works of audio art and in the end he created a lasting legacy realized in his ultimate creations— the products for Spread Spectrum Technologies.

Later in life, it was apparent to James that he needed a partner to honor his designs and help with manufacturing. James had known about EJ Sarmento of Wyred 4 Sound because EJ had been earning a reputation as a brilliant engineer and Wyred 4 Sound products had been making a significant impact on the current audio landscape. EJ was also well known in the OEM world as someone who possessed mastery of circuit design and execution and deep knowledge of manufacturing. Initial meetings included mutual friends and associate engineers like Bascom H. King. The great BHK had been associate designer for both EJ and Jim for some time. A great synergy was beginning to take shape among like-minded audio pioneers.

In the early days of this partnership, EJ provided manufacturing improvements and a “repeatability quotient” while honoring the circuit genesis and ingenious power supply design of James'. EJ’s job was to make these products work in a manufacturing environment that had equal parts refinement and process control. This proved to be a wonderful exercise for everyone involved. At no time did EJ stymie or contain these ideas. Even down to the outrageous cosmetics of James' products, EJ simply made it all possible in a repeatable and reliable manufacturing environment. Everyone was happy, and the dreams of a legend were slowly taking shape.

More products were in the works, and EJ was at the helm of both development and manufacturing. Concurrently, his reputation for designing and producing audio products of his own that were innovative, reliable and sonically brilliant continued to grow. At this point, the story began to go viral and a growing underground buzz around this collaboration and product line was taking form. Particularly in the rarefied circles of the high-end Asian markets, the SST brand and products had begun earning a stellar reputation for quality and artistry. The momentum continued to grow.

Unfortunately, some important decisions had to be made due to health concerns of James' and the sustainability of the brand. James and EJ (with the help of others) were beginning to map out a long-term plan for EJ to take control of the ship. Eventually, EJ was able to purchase the company and the rights to build these products and others that were already on the drawing board prior to James' passing. It was important for EJ, then and now, to honor the man, the designs and the spirit of their collaboration.

Today, we have a vibrant company with some exciting products like the re-designed Son of Ampzilla II amplifier and Thoebe II preamplifier. These products carry on James' tradition of innovative circuit designs, power supplies and cosmetics. It’s a perfect marriage of classic yet innovative design with the talents and forward-thinking of new leadership, and most importantly, a pledge to make these audio products the best the industry has to offer.

We would like everyone to know the depth and level of our commitment to SST’s abbreviated but vital history and our plans are to expand this line, including adding a dealer and distributor network. These are truly exciting times for SST, and we are looking ahead.

Read the official press release here.