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With a very heavy heart I must inform you all that John "Buddha" Camille passed away yesterday, after a long, valiant battle against cancer.
Buddha was a mentor to us all, untiringly passing along a practical knowledge of electronics that was totally unique in its depth and breadth. In fact when he was first diagnosed with cancer, rather than slowing down, it only motivated him to work harder than ever to get down in writing as much of his knowledge as he could, so that the rest of us could carry his ideas forward. I was in fairly frequent contact with Buddha over the past year or two, and along with the material we have already published in VALVE, I have in my possession even more of Buddha's writings, sent to me for use in future issues. Buddha also recently gave Smoothplate a huge stack of his notes, and Smoothplate tells me that the names of the people who corresponded with Buddha over the years for design help reads like a tube audio Who's Who.
I needn't really write about the content Buddha's published work here, you have all plunged in, read, shook your head, reread, struggled to understand, and then seen the light, diving in with both hands to implement his revolutionary ideas in active loading, layout, and noise reduction. Suffice it to say that his contributions to this art and science of tube audio will be considered key elements in the new wave of engineering that will take SE to greater heights in the next few years.
To those of you who never met Buddha, I can only say, I pity you. John was absolutely brilliant and at the same time funny as hell, a true gentleman, a lover of clasical music, but one who could cuss like the tough looking old Texas fighter jock that he was. John flew F-4 Phantoms in the Viet Nam war, where his bald pate acquired him the call sign "Buddha", and his skills and ability acquired him several MIG kills. Buddha continued to serve his country after his flight days, working for years as an engineer for Texas Instruments on their "black projects", where he refined his knowledge of noise reduction as well as grounding schemes, one of the more baffling aspects of electronic design.
His experiences allowed him to speak with confidence about damn near anything electrical, and his ability to teach was unmatched. A highlight of my time in this business was when John came out from Texas to help teach a beginning class in amp building here at ET. It wasn't just the students who would flock around Buddha to learn the proper way to solder, we instructors were right in there taking notes too. Buddha would explain the significance of proper solder joints by explaining that he would have come home from Viet Nam a fighter ace, "if I hadn't had two missiles fail to fire because of goddamned cold solder joints!"
Everyone came to class extra early the next morning, and I never saw a bunch of guys put more effort into soldering perfection!
I could go on here for days about Buddha's brilliance, his wit, and his love of this stuff, but I am getting a bit misty.
We'll miss you, boss. Hope you're flying high.
I am left stunned at the news of his passing.
I only met John a couple of times at a couple of the VSAC shows, but his presence will forever leave an impression on me. This man made a difference!
The world is a colder, darker place without him. His filament burned bright in his bottle.
One's family, friends, ideas and works are one's Earthly immortality. John Camille will live on in his family, friends and designs. Should a collection of his works and musings become available, I would be honored to read, and if possible, own a copy of "A requiem for Buddha".
John Camille was a true giant. Sadly he has fallen. I met John at VSAC99 and was impressed and in awe of someone special from the first moment. John was a giant on many fronts.
John was an accomplished theoretician as well as practioner of the audio arts. His intellect, his rigour, his discipline was and is a model for all of us in audio to emulate and, most of all, admire. John also had the greatest of people skills and John also knew how to enjoy life and have fun. I wish I could carved some canyon roads with John the motorcyclist.
On the personal side John was an extremely admirable individual. Standing tall and as big as Texas John was a very gentle individual. I remember musing at VSAC99 about how great of physical conditioning John was in and how he was already retired and in his mid-swixties if I have this right. It was just a few short weeks after VSAC99 that we all learned that John had been struck with cancer and that it was a particularly agressive form. It dumbfounded me then and it hurts me now that he is gone. He will be sadly, sadly missed. My heart is heavy for our and his loss.
John, I will always remember you and admire you. May all the angels be with you in perpetuity.
I met John at the last VSAC show. You could tell right away that he was one of the "nice guys" of the world. Everything said about John was always positive. We'll miss him.
Bet he is still listening to the music!
In sympathy, Gill
I never met John in person. He spent four years mentoring me over the phone. He always gave more than I ever received. So much was over my head. And he kept giving, not just in electronics, but in things that mattered. His heart was bigger than Texas and I always felt more grounded after talking to him.
I'm very grateful to have known him.
I miss him.
I was fortunate to meet John at VSAC 98 and am thankful for the candor of his answers to my seeming plebian questions. I am also thankful for the warmth of his smile, the strength of his handshake, and for helping to rekindle in me pride for haveing served my country. I know that He would be a touch embarassed by my blatant disregard for flag etiquette but at my house the flag flies today at half staff. Good bye John and thank you.
My condolences to his family and friends.
Well, shit. Buddha was a real piece of work, and you were not just willing, but happy to go out and stand with him and the other smokers at VSAC (hey John, hey Mikey) just to get some clarification on one of his suggestions or to hear a few stories. A hell of a guy - Pat
I knew the man only through his writings. This is sad news indeed. My condolences to his family.
To all who knew him:
I didn't, but wish I had. The man was obviously brilliant and at the same time considerate and caring enough to willing to share his tremendous insights with even the least of us bottleheads, of whom I count myself
The greatest tribute to him is that he touched so many with his love
and devotion to this hobby and took it to levels that we were previously unaware of.
I think of the improvements that his mods have made to my Paraglows and
every time I hear, feel and connect with the very real emotion recreated
by my system I thank him for just how much better it is because of his committment.
He will live on in both our circuits and our hearts and his spirit will
heat our filaments with an even greater warmth.
Please extend my condolences to his family. There never are enough good guys to go around and clearly "Buddha" was one of them.
..My deepest condolences to Mr. Camille's family..
Quest :^ <
**he's now up where DeForest,Fleming and others play....
I bow my head. I listen. I understand a little more.
Mr Camille's writings added to my understanding with every reading. I wish I had known him. Our deepest condolences to his friends and family.
John, Dena & Lars Dahlman
ygbsmos... i first got to know john on a long ride across texas from houston to austin. i can't begin to describe it, but i'm just beginning to understand some of the conversation. talked to john tucker this morning - i knew the end was near, but wasn't ready for this. i'm stunned. how little i appreciated him when he was here. he had no time for anything that wasn't important; did anyone notice that gorgeous LOUD
hum on his telephone?
Every time I have happened upon Buddha's notes that you have published, I really have scratched my head and reread what is written. I then read it again a few days later. Then again in another few weeks. Each time I read the notes I recognize another subtle intricacy I did not notice before. I can tell he had serious fun with this hobby.
It truly is sad that the brightest flame burns out the quickest. My sincere condolences. I've never met Buddha but it seems like he would have liked it if those that mourn for him would honor his memory by emulating his drive, passion, and enthusiasm for the path of life they have chosen.
Is is sad to hear that John "Buddha" Camille, an unusually great designer and fellow lover of music, has passed on. Person's like this make America the premier intellectual and economic country from which others borrow. His legacy will live on in the equipment that I use daily for my sound system so he will be fondly remembered and his special contribution to my life will continue for many years... Thank you Dan Schmalle, Wesley, Ellen, and others at Electronic Tonalities and Valve for bringing his great design expertise to us all.
Well put, Dan.
As one who lost my father to cancer, I am sure that Buddha's family and friends find some comfort amidst their sorrow in the knowledge that his suffering has ended.
I admired his work, and am sure that one so well-loved must have been a fine man, indeed.
My condolences and prayers to all, with hopes his spirit and memory will remain with you always.
Sincerely, Bill Leebens.
Condolences to all.
I am relatively new to this board,and though I have had little to contribute,because of my inexperience in electronics and little contact of those who have shared their expertise on this board,I cannot help but feel the sense of loss you have expressed toward someone who obviously had a love in his heart that compelled him to share his passions with everyone who came in contact with him.There are,regardless of their backgrounds or proclivities,those who touch us in ways we never expected,and the world is truly poorer for their loss-
May we carry on the spirit in John,
"A very heavy heart" sums it up for me, too. A real prince of a human being, a mentor, role model, and great teacher. The world is a poorer place without him.
I only met Buddha very quickly during the two VSACs.
It was easy to see how much he knew and how friendly
he was. I can still remember the admiration that was clear
in your voice when you talked about him while I was with
you the day after the second VSAC. Having read his
articles at SP I could understand it. Reading his many
ideas and notes in Valve after that only made me also
an admirer. We will miss him. My deepest condolences.
Now the news the Eduardo( above ) was lost to a auto accident....on the day of posting this. Both Budda and Eduardo will be missed for all the contributions and the gift of life that they brought to us all in wisdom.
Hats off to these great givers.
Thank you Doc for the wonderful message,
I sit here, presented with a decision to make: Should I feel sorry, and regret the fact that I had yet to meet him
Be thankful that despite the horrors of cancer, Buddha continued to think, build SE, and mentor all of us, leaving a legacy of information for us to continue with?
I think that I will follow your lead Doc and celebrate his success and courageous fight against his cancer. I extend my prayers and thoughts to his family; the loss I feel can not compare...
I choose to meet his passing like this: death is not horrible, what is horrible is how we view death. I hope that wherever he may be right now, he has plenty of N.O.S., a true ground, a fine stack of vinyl, his favorite recliner, and heavenly AC.
Regardless of Buddha's current whereabouts, his ideas and creations will live though us; his passing presents us with a challenge: We must pick up where he left off, keep building, keep thinking, and most importantly, dare to be different; who cares if they don't understand the theory, just let them listen!
I end this sentimental ramble with a simple thank you; to a man whose genius, dedication and fine builds have helped us step closer to our goal of true sound...may he now listen to the music of the angels!
And with deep regrets.
I was looking forward to meeting John at the last Valve meeting, which I had heard rumor that he would attend. Alas, his health was too frail to allow him to travel to the Pacific Northwest. I am sorry that I never did meet him. I would have liked to tell him how much I enjoyed his work.
I carry his article on the Afterglow mods, and another on current source benefits, with me in my briefcase. Like Doc wrote, I read, re-read, struggle, light comes on, goes off again. I lack the physics and math to truly understand Buddha's designs, but at an intuitive level, there is an underlying beauty, layers upon layers of it.
It must be a reflection of the author.
Doc, Smoothplate, and others: I am deeply sorry for the loss of your friend and mentor.
I came to the second Valve State of the Art Conference as a real neophyte with the intention of hearing as many SE amps as possible. The most memorable experience was sitting next to Buddha in Tucker's room listening to the Exemplars driven by his P-feed 45s and the exception preamp. John had played my CD "Strike a Deep Chord" with Dr.John and Odetta duetting on "Brother Can You Spare a Dime?", and Odetta serving up a transcendent rendition of "America the Beautiful". I asked Tucker to play it at 1/3 the volume and Buddha was on the edge of his chair listening intently. I said his C4s was a real trick circuit and he said,"One of those rare times when the theory IS the reality; so that right here in this room Odetta can make you believe in it all over again." He was so kind to suggest reciprocity, though so far down the path. He really earned his nickname that day for me. True Grief is Praise for what has gone. My condolences to everyone.
In the relatively short time I've been involved with DIY tube audio, I have learned a great deal from John Camille's writing and notes, both on the Bottlehaed Forum and in Valve.
My sincere condolences to his family and friends. He indeed sounds like the kind of man I would like to have known.
When I opened up the forum and saw the topic:"With a heavy heart", I really didn't have to read further- I knew what it referred to.
One of the great regrets in my life, is that I didn't get the chance to know Buddha better. Our chance meetings were only at the two VSAC shows, but I was always impressed by the basic friendliness and humble humanity of this man. As for knowledge, Andy Bartha summed it up after that amp class at ET, when he noted that:"A couple of thousand bucks, would be cheap just to listen what this man has to say!"
A lengthy book could not begin to cover what Buddha gave to everyone. He will be sorely missed by everyone. Please extend my condolences to his family and friends. But, be happy and grateful that you and Smoothplate
can continue to bring forth his knowledge after he has gone.
God Bless you John--You WILL be missed.
I hope that if I say YGBSMO, those that know the great man's words will understand my shock at this news.
Sincere condolences from the UK.
I never met Buddah. The loss is great. His legacy lives on. He was obviously well loved.
My deepest condolences.
A sad day, Dan. Please pass my condolences on the John's family and friends and let them know that my prayers are with them.
Sad to hear of John Camille passing on.
Could we all take a moment & pray to the Lord Jesus for comfort & strength
for John's Family & Loved ones.
The Meaning of Eternal Life is this... John 17:3, "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." <> <
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