Modern Living

Thank you for the music

AUDIOFILE - Val A. Villanueva - The Philippine Star

Those familiar with Reference Audio and RB Audio must also know Rody Apolinario, who also owns the chain of Gerry’s Grill restaurants.

Rody is so passionate about the hobby that he has dedicated almost half of his life not only to finding the right equipment to suit his own musical taste, but to later sharing them with the thriving audiophile community.

With some like-minded close friends, he formed Reference Audio in 1985. The company has become one of the country’s leading distributors and dealers of well-known audio and video equipment for home and commercial establishments. 

Rody upped the ante further by expanding his audio business in the form of a new enterprise, Decibel Audio, which recently opened shop at the Bellitudo Lifestyle Strip, on Katipunan Road in White Plains, Quezon City.

With excellent customer service and well-experienced agents, Decibel Audio today delivers a wide range of world-class, high-quality brands. Along with its 1985 main product Rotel, Decibel Audio also offers formidable products such as REL, Sherwood, Tributaries, TAGA Harmony, Canton, Kharma, Meridian, Music Hall, Conrad-Johnson, and Jolida.

Rody says that his main motivation remains his burning desire to serve the burgeoning audiophile community which has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years, fuelled by the comeback of vinyl records and tubed electronics.

“Profit has never been part of the equation,” Rody says, stressing that the little he earns from his audio business is plowed back to looking for more brands which the community can appreciate and enjoy at home.

He explains that the vinyl comeback, which has jumpstarted the phenomenal awakening of the audio passion among music lovers, has been the main mover of audio companies serving the dynamic audio industry.

“We offer reasonably priced high-quality audio products, and our loyal customers can attest to that,” Rody says, as he describes the brands his store offers.


This company boasts pedigreed audio/video equipment which it has been making since 1961. Its more than five decades of service to the audiophile market includes the manufacture of high-performance receivers, preamplifiers, surround sound processors, power amplifiers, CD players, tuners, and multi-zone electronics for hi-fi and home theaters.


REL Acoustics Ltd. of Bridgend, Wales, was founded in 1990 by Richard Edmund Lord.  Dissatisfied with the commercially available subwoofers then, Lord set out to build himself something better. Almost immediately, word spread about the Welshman who had built this incredible-sounding sub bass system. Soon enough, audiophiles began seeking out these legendary subs that were built like no other.


Since its establishment in 1953 in Chicago, Illinois, with the distribution of an amplifier deigned by engineer Ed Miller, Sherwood has been a standard for innovation and performance excellence. Over the last 60 years, while competitors have come and gone, and audio technology has been invented and reinvented, Sherwood has prevailed. The Sherwood brand, now an international icon for quality electronics in over fifty countries, can truly be defined as world-class.


Tributaries Cable is a privately owned American company based in Orlando, Florida. Unlike many companies in the cable business, its products are manufactured under tried-and-true scientific principles and premium materials.


The friendship and partnership of William Conrad and Lewis Johnson, both economists and serious audiophiles, resulted in the development and refinement of a vacuum-tube preamplifier in the mid-1970s. This state-of-the-art preamplifier is now considered their lasting legacy to the audio community. Since then, Conrad-Johnson has been recognized worldwide for its musically satisfying components.


Established in 1977, Meridian Audio’s goal was simple: to put the listener at the heart of every recorded performance. Since then, this English manufacturer of superior, high-fidelity audio and video components has been continually pushing the boundaries of sound reproduction, redefining possibilities at every step of the way.

These products are just a few of the exceptional brands that Decibel Audio offers. Rody is grateful that his search for the ultimate in audio gadgets that Filipino hobbyists can enjoy has been a source of pride and fulfilment in his exploration of the wonderful world of music.

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For comments or questions, please e-mail me at [email protected].

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