Hy Bloom was born in Ottawa on July 15, 1921. At the age of eight, he first encountered the fascinating world of sound under the guidance of his father. In elementary school, he was able to build basic microphones. Frequent visits to the library and regular attendance at various radio shops augmented his Lisgar Collegiate education. Part-time work was rewarded with components rather than cash, which Hy used to build his first amplifiers and Lisgar’s first public address system.
In the 1930’s, fresh from high school, the youthful Bloom headed for New York City, where he haunted recording studios and radio stations. He learned the trade well and was soon experimenting with yet-to-be-perfected 45 rpm singles and 12-inch LP’s. These times were exciting for Hy as technology was about to change dramatically. He returned to Ottawa, initially to work at Orme’s Music Store and, subsequently, in the Military section of the National Research Council, followed by a stint in the army. It was at this time that his experimentation gave way to production, and he opened his own company - Soundmaster. Recognizing the demand for reliable amplifiers, Hy’s Soundmaster products were individually made and guaranteed. Over the years, Soundmaster has sold in excess of 30,000 amplifiers.
At the same time, Hy also opened a small recording studio, which soon attracted a young Orval Prophet, the first of many entertainers to come under his influence. Hy promoted Prophet and many others who came to his studio, which had quickly become a gathering place for musicians and singers. Expansion took him too more spacious quarters on Bank Street where the bells on the streetcars passing in front of his store often interrupted sessions.
The business of sound was making large and rapid leaps forward, and Hy traveled extensively in Europe to learn the latest advancements. His studios always had the newest equipment available. His reputation, earned from adherence to detail, made him the ideal choice to provide sound for a succession of Prime Ministers and for state visits of dignitaries.
Sadly, Hy passed away on July 19, 2017 at the ripe old age of 96.