"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." - John 15:13
David Paul Siau - June 25, 1983 - July 17, 2022
McKenzie Joy Siau - December 30, 2020 - July 17, 2022
On the evening of July 17, 2022, my oldest son David Paul Siau gave the ultimate sacrifice of love when he knowingly gave his life to save those he loved. He took three shots from a 12 gauge shotgun so that his wife, children and sister could be spared.
David is survived by his wife Christy Siau and their two oldest children, ages 6 and 3. His 18-month old daughter McKenzie was killed within moments of David. I have no doubt that David and McKenzie entered into God’s glory hand in hand.
My daughter-in-law Christy Siau was shot and nearly killed in the incident. We are grateful that she is now out of the hospital making a full recovery.
In the end, my daughter Christina Siau fought the attacker with a knife and prevailed. She sustained many knife injuries and it is a miracle that she lived. She is now out of the hospital and making a full recovery.
We ask your prayers for the healing of physical and emotional scars. We have been overwhelmed by the love people have shown to our family during this difficult time.
My son David began working at Benchmark Media Systems, Inc. when he was just 16. He continued part time while attending college, and later returned to full-time employment. David has been Benchmark's Production Manager since 2008. Recently David completed 24 years of service at the age of just 39. Over the years many of his coworkers have told me how impressed they were with David as a person and as a manager. As his father, I often found myself admiring the love that he showed to his wife Christy and their three young children. Christy and David would text several short "I Love You" messages back and forth on any given day. I would see him glance at his smart watch, smile, and then say it's Christy! He loved God, his family and his country. He was a shining example to all of us.
On July 9, 2022, David and his family set out on what was to be a two week camping trip from Syracuse to Glacier National Park and back. We watched with great joy as they sent photos of visits to many of our national parks and landmarks along the way. This was shaping up to be the trip of a lifetime.
We have an abundance of photos, like the one below, showing David and McKenzie enjoying each other and enjoying life.
Although David was an example to all of us, he would have told you that he was a sinner saved by God's grace and not by works. David's exemplary life was the result of his love for his Savior Jesus Christ.
We all have some lessons to learn from David's example and our hearts are torn with sadness. We are never told how many days we will share on this earth and this experience has been a sobering reminder that we must spend our time bringing joy to others.
My natural inclination would be to harbor anger against the man who intended to kill six members of my family with his truck. Instead, my daughter-in-law Christy and I are not experiencing anger. Neither of us understand this absence of anger other that the fact that it is a gift from God.
When we received news of these unthinkable events, God immediate brought the words of the Lord's Prayer to my mind. Three familiar phrases stood out:
"Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name"
"Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who have trespassed against us"
"For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, Amen"
Forgiveness brings freedom and joy. Anger brings acts of evil. Anger festered in one man's mind, leading to this act of premeditated murder.
My charge to you is this: Choose one person each day and then intentionally be a blessing to that person. Create happy and lasting memories while thanking God for the time he has given you together.
Let our response to "premeditated murder" be "premeditated kindness".
Make things right with your family, your friends and with God. We never know which day will be our last.
David and McKenzie spent the entire last full week of their lives enjoying each other and enjoying the life that God gave them. I thank God for the joyous memories they gave us.
As David's earthly father and boss at Benchmark, I speak the following words:
"Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!" - Matthew 25:23
I have no doubt that David heard these same words from his heavenly Father as he and McKenzie arrived to share in God's glory.
- John Siau, July 29, 2022
Secrets contributor Sumit Chawla recently caught up with Benchmark’s VP and Chief Designer, John Siau to get a little more in-depth on several subjects.
Q: "Benchmark is one of the few companies that publishes an extensive set of measurements, but you also balance that with subjective testing. Can you talk about the equipment, the listening room, and the process for subjective testing?"
Q: "Was there ever a time where you learned something from a subjective test that was not captured by measurements?"
Q: "You conducted some listening tests to determine whether distortion in the “First Watt” was audible. What test material did you use for this, and what did you find?"
Q: "The AHB2 amplifier incorporates THX Audio Achromatic Amplifier technology. When and how did the partnership with THX come about?"
Q: "Linear power supplies have been and remain quite popular in high-end devices. You favor switch-mode power supplies. When and why did you make this switch?"
... and more!
At Benchmark, listening is the final exam that determines if a design passes from engineering to production. When all of the measurements show that a product is working flawlessly, we spend time listening for issues that may not have shown up on the test station. If we hear something, we go back and figure out how to measure what we heard. We then add this test to our arsenal of measurements.
Benchmark's listening room is equipped with a variety of signal sources, amplifiers and loudspeakers, including the selection of nearfield monitors shown in the photo. It is also equipped with ABX switch boxes that can be used to switch sources while the music is playing.
Benchmark's lab is equipped with Audio Precision test stations that include the top-of-the-line APx555 and the older AP2722 and AP2522. We don't just use these test stations for R&D - every product must pass a full set of tests on one of our Audio Precision test stations before it ships from our factory in Syracuse, NY.
Paul Seydor of The Absolute Sound interviews John Siau, VP and chief designer at Benchmark Media Systems. The interview accompanies Paul's review of the LA4 in the December, 2020 issue of TAS.
"At Benchmark, listening is the final exam that determines if a design passes from engineering to production. But since listening tests are never perfect, it’s essential we develop measurements for each artifact we identify in a listening test. An APx555 test set has far more resolution than human hearing, but it has no intelligence. We have to tell it exactly what to measure and how to measure it. When we hear something we cannot measure, we are not doing the right measurements. If we just listen, redesign, then repeat, we may arrive at a solution that just masks the artifact with another less-objectionable artifact. But if we focus on eliminating every artifact that we can measure, we can quickly converge on a solution that approaches sonic transparency. If we can measure an artifact, we don't try to determine if it’s low enough to be inaudible, we simply try to eliminate it."
- John Siau