"Every time I open my mail, someone has sent me the most important recording in their home," says audio-restoration specialist Eric Van der Wyk of his King Tet Productions. "People send me cassettes, reel-to-reels, and out-of-print records to remaster and convert to CD. Sometimes, it'll be a tape of their old high school band or a soldier in Vietnam talking on a little three-inch tape or maybe a demo record by some garage band that never got signed 30 years ago."
Van der Wyk -- a self-taught jazz and blues musician -- says his is one of the few local companies set up to remaster from vinyl sources.
"I've handled some really rare 78 RPM acetates; mostly jazz but also things like a set of battle reenactments that were issued in tiny numbers by the Treasury Department."
He just finished remastering the Second Coming album by local punk legends Battalion of Saints.
"George Anthony -- he's one of the only members who's not dead -- he couldn't find anyone else in San Diego who could remaster it from vinyl.... I just made a deal to do the reissue, too."
Other locals he's worked with include Holly Hofmann, Mike Wofford, Shep Meyers, and 84-year-old jazz guitarist Mundell Lowe, who lives near him in Tierrasanta.
"He gives me free rein on his lemon tree." The King Tet catalog comprises around three dozen CD releases, including Van der Wyk's releases and authorized reissues of other musicians.