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Millennia

John La Grou’s passion for audio was sparked when his dad brought  home the first stereo reel-to-reel home tape recorder, a 1/4" half-track machine made by the Voice of Music Company. John starting playing electric guitar at seven and was building amplifiers and guitar pedals in junior high school. After his first AES Convention – 1974 at the LA Hilton – he was hooked on audio for life.


Audio remained John’s passion, but his professional life took a slight detour. In 1985, John became the third member of a Silicon Valley computer company startup called Multitech Electronics, which they later renamed Acer America. John managed Acer America’s OEM division during a period of dramatic growth – from scratch to over $100 million. Today, Acer is world’s third largest manufacturer of PCs and peripherals, and trending to surpass HP as #2.After those years in Silicon Valley, John and Cynthia La Grou founded Millennia Media. John began working around Northern California as a classical music recording engineer in 1991. He has worked with some of the world’s greatest classical and jazz artists. Today, Millennia’s remote division produces scores of recordings each year for public radio and other clients.


Millennia’s engineering and manufacturing division was conceived during John’s earliest recording sessions with the Sacramento Symphony. Realizing that the recording equipment then available was limiting his ability to achieve great sonic results, John determined to apply his years of experience in recording and audio design to develop tools that would respond to the most critical and creative professionals in the industry.


John immediately set out to design a microphone preamplifier that could deliver a much higher degree of transparent acoustic reproduction. Leaving theoretical disputes aside, he took a direct, empirical approach, spending well over a year experimenting with an exhaustive array of circuit topologies in a multitude of variations. Eventually, his most sonically inaudible and musically transparent design was built into 24 channels of preamps for his personal use. The sonic quality of John’s recordings improveddramatically.


John had been using his new mic pre for only a few months when his friend Jack Vad, chief recording engineer for the San Francisco Symphony, heard about it and asked if he could try it out. After using John’s design for a week, Jack called to ask “Can you build me eight channels?” Jack also did something unexpected – he asked John if he could send one of the preamps to a friend at Home and Studio Recording magazine, who was planning a “shoot-out” of 9 popular mic preamps. John said “Why not!” The magazine editor called John to reassure him. “Don’t worry,” he said, “if your mic preamp doesn’t do well, we won’t mention it in the article.”


When the results of the bench and listening tests were published, John’s mic pre was “the hand’s-down choice for acoustic music recording,” besting nine other professional preamps. It wasn’t long before John was getting calls at home from engineers around the world, ordering his mic preamp. Early customers waited for months to get one of those hand-built “living room” HV-3 units.


Since that first magazine review, Millennia has grown continuously, delivering increasingly more preamps in each successive year. As of 2008, Millennia has shipped over 35,000 channels of HV-3 mic preamps, and worldwide interest continues to grow significantly. Our product line has expanded to include the unique Twin Topology tube / solid state designs, dynamics processors and equalizers, the STT-1 Origin rack mount input channel, the TD-1, compact recording channel, and a portfolio of high-performance tools for specialized audiophile applications.



Though it’s often been a wild ride, John and Cynthia have never lost sight of their vision and commitment. Absolute sonic and musical purity, uncompromising product build quality and longevity, and unparalleled customer focus are and always will be our highest priorities. Millennia will continue to build on its reputation for excellence in all facets of business and customer relationships.



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