A Tribute to Mark Markel

A year ago today, as some, or many of you know, Analysis Plus founder and president, Mark Markel, passed away suddenly. Not only was he an extraordinary father, husband and humanitarian, he was a downright terrific friend to all of us. And for 27 years he was also a friend to countless customers, dealers, vendors and more. In the time since his passing, we have heard from so many of you who have, from your comments, attested to those wonderful attributes.

We all miss Mark terribly, but make no mistake, his legacy, influence, style and passion for extreme customer service lives on in his company that continues to thrive today as a result. We are dedicated to the mission that successfully brought us to the place we are at and the direction we’re going. He will always be with us.

We recently uncovered an unsourced interview Mark gave three or four years ago and we thought you might enjoy hearing more about this man we admired in his own words.

Mark Markel

Q: What ignited your interest in the high end?

Mark: I have always enjoyed the magic of live music and how powerful it is. It grabs your attention and makes you live in the moment. In this day and age of multitasking, great music draws you in and keeps you in the present. When I listen to recorded music I have always wanted to recreate that. It has led me on a constant search for the best equipment to create that feeling.

Q: Did it come from the music side or the electronics side?

Mark: Both, I like the challenge of engineering equipment to be able to faithfully reproduce what the artist created. I have heard systems that change the music and some people might prefer the sound. However, when I listen, I don’t want the cables or any piece of equipment putting their imprint on the sound. I want a violin to sound like a violin.

Q: What gear made up your first high-end system?

Mark: I had JBL 250Ti speakers, Adcom electronics, Pioneer turntable, and Monster cable.

Q: When did audio develop from a hobby to a career?

Mark: Two of my engineering friends and I started an engineering company in 1993. We were hired by the largest cable company to use computer simulation and testing to provide information that they could use for marketing. After many hours of testing and computer simulation, we found out that what they were teaching in school was an oversimplification of real-world physics. We came up with a cable design which took that new information and insight and created our patented hollow oval design.

Since we were all audiophiles, we wanted to hear how it sounded and did a small production run. A friend of ours created a website for us and in return we gave him a set of our cables. He had a Radio Shack audio system and he put in the new cables. When his wife got home she asked him if he bought new speakers, since it sounded so much better. He told her he just changed the cables and we knew then, if they could hear such an improvement on this system, we really had something. We then put time and effort into coming out with a full line of cables.

Q: What education did you receive?

Mark: I really enjoyed going to the University of Michigan and received a bachelor’s degree in Physics as well as in Electrical Engineering. I also received a Master’s in Electrical Engineering. I was going towards my Phd in Nuclear Engineering when I decided I wanted to leave academics and start working on some ideas that I wanted to bring to market.

Q: How do you define the difference between HiFi and high-end audio?

Mark: Buying high-end audio gear one hopes would lead to HiFi, but unfortunately there are many variables that can get in the way. The high-end audio gear you buy must match up with what you are trying to do. Is it a small or large listening room? What volume will you be listening at? What type of music will you be working with? Our cables don’t have the frequency problems other cables have, and are very neutral. Therefore, our cables make it much simpler to get HiFi from your high-end equipment.

Q: Analog or digital – what is your preference and why?

Mark: I have heard both done very well. If you do digital, it is critical you use a great DAC. Digital is not very forgiving and can really fatigue the ear if not done right; analog is more forgiving.

Q: Analysis Plus operates in the Pro and audiophile markets. Do you approach them differently?

Mark: Yes, the cables that are used in Pro Audio are subject to much more abuse and movement. They are designed to minimize handling noise and have extra strain relief for the connectors. One of the weak links in Pro Audio is the Jack, so we have the new patented QJack that will really improve the sound. The good thing is it will make the recording sound better and that means better sound for the audiophile to.

Q: What is the greatest misunderstanding people have about cables?

Mark: The most important thing is the geometry of the cable, then the materials. People love to talk about the materials used in the cable, but if the design is flawed the best materials can only help so much. If you make a Yugo car out of titanium, for example, then you will have a better Yugo but not a supercar.

Q: What interesting fact or aspect about Analysis Plus might surprise audiophiles?

Mark: I find it interesting that when working with great musicians how many are blown away when they use our instrument cable for the first time. They cannot believe a cable can make that much difference, whereas an audiophile already knows how important it is. For many of these musicians, this is an eye-opening experience and leads them to question their speakers, amps, and much more – they are now more interested in high end audio and what it has to offer.

Q: Personal listening, headphones etc., is increasingly popular. What does this mean for the high end?

Mark: Headphones are great in that you can take your music with you and not bother anyone. I also think it is a bonus that the new generation, with the better headphones, will want to hear better recorded music. Once they hear what they have been missing, they will want to experience what high end audio has to offer. In high end, it is great that you have more options.

Q: Looking towards the future, how will high end systems change in the next ten years or so?

Mark: I think advances in how we perceive and process audio will influence how music is recorded and reproduced to bring us even closer to live sound.

Q: Going forward, what are the greatest challenges confronting the high end?

Mark: In some ways technology is a problem for the high end. It has made it easy for anyone to record music in their own studio, but it takes experience to really create a great recording. I think the ease of anyone able to create a recording is exciting, however it has reduced the quality of the music. If the source is not great, the music will not be great, even with the best equipment. I feel if the source was better, people would be more interested in finding the best equipment to get the full enjoyment out of the music.

Q: Outside of audio, what do you do for fun? What (still) inspires you about your work?

Mark: Fun is experiencing life and trying new things. I love to travel, try new foods, see how other people live and think. I love competition and enjoy competing in golf, volleyball, basketball, weightlifting, and most sports.

At work, I really enjoy inventing things and making things better. I was just inspired by Professor John Goodneough who invented the lithium-ion-battery, who at 94 years old just invented a better battery with three times the energy density. It is solid-state and noncombustible. It even performs well in sub zero-degree weather. This is amazing, and he did this at 94 years old.

Hope you enjoyed this interview. Hopefully you can see Mark’s passion for this industry. We at Analysis Plus want to thank you all for your heartfelt condolences and your continued support and patronage. Please leave any comments and feedback below. We love hearing from you. 

Best wishes from your Team at Analysis Plus Inc.

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.” – Plato

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21 thoughts on “A Tribute to Mark Markel

  1. Jack Bornstein says:

    My sincere condolences to the family. I had no idea Mark passed. I was introduced to Mark and AP by Albert Von Schweikert (Von Schweikert Audio) back in the late 90’-early 2000’s. At the time, I was a dealer for VSA. Albert claimed the AP Oval 9’s were the “sweetest cables, cost no object” that he ever worked with. In fact Albert used AP cables for his internal speaker wiring choice then. I immediately became an AP dealer. I found Mark, knowledgeable, personable, dedicated and accommodating for my cable needs. I’m saddened by Mark’s loss but glad his legacy remains alive! Thank you, Mark!

  2. Leon says:

    Like many folks who hear the pro audio cable for the first time, I couldn’t believe what I had been missing. Reading about Mark here I think of what I had really been missing – Meeting Mark and knowing him. Condolences to the AP family.

  3. Tom White says:

    I am sorry to hear of Mark’s passing. He was a great man that was knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful to me over the years I have known him. My sincere condolences to his family. He will be missed. Rest in peace.

  4. Greg Robideau says:

    I didn’t know Mark had passed away. I was introduced to AP years ago from DSS a dealer for them. I’ve used them ever since! I spoke to Mark several times on phone calls and enjoyed his knowledge of the cables and kind hearted nature! Best wishes to his Family & friends.

  5. Joseph A Bohan Jr says:

    I can’t say how surprised and sad I was reading here that Mark had passed away. Thank you for sharing this amazing man with us all. I will miss what he could have discovered next. It’s now up to you. I could afford to buy high end cable only once, so I looked for many months before I found a cable company with a proof of function I could understand. When I grasped what your cables’ square wave response would do to preserve music’s dynamics I knew I had found what I wanted. I still want to try your power cables. Keep up the good work!

  6. Edward Collins says:

    I still remember our phone conversations, always helpful and great at solving issues. Everytime I send or receive an email his name comes up, and memories begin to flow endlessly. He’s gone to a better place but in my heart he still hangs around. Thank’s Mark.

  7. Larry Wysocki says:

    Did not know Mark had passed away until receiving the tribute email. Always enjoyed seeing Mark at winter NAMM in Anaheim. Mark had great passion for what he did and was very focused on making/delivering the best audio products available in the audio market. My heart is heavy with his loss, I value the friendship we had and his expert advice he will be truly missed. Will always remember Mark with his joyful smile/laughter, my sincere condolences to the Markel family. Larry Wysocki – Wysocki Custom Guitars

  8. Igor Saavedra says:

    A wonderful human being, a fantastic professional, I keep the best memories from him, and to honor him, my ears and the ears of my audience I will keep using Analysis Plus Cables for the rest of my life….

  9. James Collins says:

    Sincere condolences to the family and the company. Analysis Plus interconnects, speaker cables, and power cords are the best I have ever used. The world lost an exceptional designer with his passing. R.I.P Mark.

  10. Shari says:

    Thank you all for your wonderful comments and stories of my husband. I have heard Mark talk of all the wonderful people he has meet at CES, NAMM and all his all other shows, as well as his conversations via email and phone calls.
    I have seen first hand the wonderful generosity of this industry this past year. Thank you all, I love hearing about your interactions with Mark.
    My children Sydney and Hunter do as well. We are so grateful for your support.💕

  11. Ferdinand LuDo says:

    Sincere condolences to the family & company. I met Mark in the few shows I attended in the USA. CEDIA, Rocky Mountain Audio Festival..
    Analysis Plus is the first product we became dealers of way back 23 years ago…
    So sorry to hear his sudden loss. Great guy, pleasure to deal with !!
    We will miss you Mark!!

  12. Buddy Zapata says:

    I only knew Mark professionally but he treated me and my family like more than that and I definitely thought of him as a friend too. I was lucky enough to have dinner with him twice at NAMM, and am still grateful that Mark was the first person to offer my son Henri Cash a sponsorship. He took care of our needs when the help was immediate and never asked for anything in return. My heart broke and I cried for a friend when I learned the sad news of Mark’s passing. I truly think of him often. PS I wear my blue wingtips in his honor

  13. Russ Hewitt says:

    Mark believed in me and my music from day one, and for that I will be internally grateful. I can still hear his distinct voice over the many conversations we had over the years. I always looked forward to hanging out with Mark throughout the day at any given NAMM and our customary dinner or two, those times will be dearly missed.

  14. Juergen Sachweh says:

    I met Mark the first time in 2003 (+/-) at he CES in Las Vegas. He has had a very small space with his computer and he showed me patiently the advantages of the hollow oval design of his cables. You could feel his competence and -much more important to me- his fine and honest personality. I knew he would never fool anyone. That was not his way. He was like his cables: sincere, honest, not loud but 120% correct and full of shades, colors and deep emotions. Unfortunately I met him way too rarely, but I felt we were brothers in spirit.
    And I am sure all people who knew him just a little will agree: A gentleman has gone. I will always keep a sincere and honest memory of him.
    I wish his family strength, courage and the love he exuded.

  15. David H. says:

    My deepest condolences. I’ve become an AP fan from another hobbyist and the AP products have helped me to see that my system is just that, a system. Clearly, this company is a community formed by knowledge and friendship. I’m sure everyone is shaken by Mark’s passing but this tribute shows how much he gave to you all and that you will carry his love and wisdom forward with you. All best wishes.

  16. Jay & Andrew Molina says:

    Our sincere condolences to the Markel family. Mark always helped artists trying to obtain that “perfect” sound. We met him about 5 years ago at NAMM and from the first time using his cables we could hear the difference in sound and feel the difference in quality. He was always so nice when we stopped by his booth at NAMM to catch up, and whenever we needed anything he was always there to help and answer any questions.. Will miss him dearly. much Aloha Mark.

  17. Russ Thomas says:

    I was shocked an saddened to hear of Mark’s passing. Having been a AP dealer for nearly 10 years, I always enjoyed my conversations with Mark concerning customers systems. His suggestions and advice was always spot on and very much appreciated. The mark of a great man is the influence he has on friends and co- workers… he will live on in all of us who were so lucky to know him.

  18. jangwook lee says:

    We started working with Mark in Korea since 2014. Many customers in Korea have sold analysisplus cables. I met at the AXPONA show and ate together. We had a great time together at the German high-end show.
    I like him and his products and always appreciate his technical skills. Unfortunately, we love him and hope that he will be remembered forever and the product will be loved for a long time. Sent from Topaudio in Korea

  19. Garrett Hongo says:

    Me ke aloha…

    I have this feeling in my heart for this terrible loss. I found out only today—over a year later—and I am stunned. Mark was such a generous, gracious presence to me, both as an ephebe just starting to find my way in audio, then as a writer for SoundStage! He was a grand man.

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