CE Pro Video Q&A: RIVA Audio Founder Rikki Farr Talks Beatles, Pink Floyd, Eric Clapton, Bob Marley

Rikki Farr tells how a chance encounter with John Lennon led to a lifelong career in audio working with Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Pink Floyd, Bob Marley and others. It eventually to the creation of RIVA Audio wireless multiroom audio system.


When Rikki Farr bumped into John Lennon in 1960 on a rainy night in Hamburg, Germany, little did he know that 50+ years later he would still be at the forefront of the audio world. 

That chance encounter led to Farr “putting on shows” for the Silver Beatles (an early name for the Beatles), Rod Stewart, the Yardbirds (with Eric Clapton), Rod Stewart, Spencer Davis Band (with Steve Winwood), Bob Marley and Pink Floyd.

“I was involved at the very beginning that we all look back now on as legendary,” says Farr, founder and chief creative officer for RIVA Audio. The company recently made a splash at CEDIA 2016 with its new wireless WAND Series multiroom audio system aimed at CE pros. 

Unlike other wireless speakers, the RIVA WAND series offers multiple connectivity options, from a single direct connection to a whole-house wireless networked audio system that can simultaneously stream to up to 32 speakers without acoustic latency. The system can even create its own ad hoc network. 

Dealers can use the RIVA WAND app to create zones, stream different music through the environment, voice control the system and in the future get additional features from RIVA CONCIERGE.

RIVA's WAND series starts with the compact WAND ARENA and full-range, tabletop WAND FESTIVAL speakers, both featuring RIVA Audio's patented Trillium audio technology. Trillium uses three discrete channels to create stereophonic sound much larger than the actual speaker size.

Farr's experience in music, and knowledge of audio quality, is what led him to create RIVA. Watch this fascinating Q&A to learn his history, hear some of his stories, and the disappointment he hears in today's audio quality. 

Bonus: Which famed band did Farr help collect gas money from the crowd because the band did not have enough gasoline to get back home after the show?

RESOURCE: 301 Must-See New Products for 2016

About the Author

Jason Knott
Jason Knott:

Jason Knott is Chief Content Officer for Emerald's Connected Brands. Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990, serving as editor and publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He joined CE Pro in 2000 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of that brand. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He has been a member of the CEDIA Business Working Group since 2010. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California.


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