Chamber, symphonic, opera and early music. Areas of focus include 20th century and the avant garde for its complexity and exploration of expression. I’m drawn to dark eclectics such as Arvo Part and Jocelyn Pook. Equaling my classical interest is 50s/60s jazz and swing. I’ll chose Artie Shaw over Benny Goodman and Shirley Horn over Ella Fitzgerald. Artists such as Eric Dolphy and Ornette Coleman echo my love of anything “out there”. This leads to my love of electronica. Composers such as Jorge Reyes, Klaus Shultze and the late Bryn Jones of the Muslimguaze project fascinate me. My popular music tastes include; classic rock to NIN, singer songwriters, and stalwarts such as Frank Sinatra and Mel Torme. I tread gingerly into the country with Cash, Jennings and Nelson. I love bluegrass and finger picking music (exposed early due to the first Philadelphia Folk festivals staged a mile from my house).
Classical: Puccini, Wagner, Verdi, Berlioz, Bach, Mahler, Honegger, Stravinsky, Saint-Saens. Jazz: Davis, Dolphy, Coleman, Corea, Jarrett, Rollins, Sun Ra, Evens, Horn, O’Day, Wilson. Rock/pop/other: Airplane/Starship, Zappa, Fleetwood Mac, NIN, Gabriel, PJ Harvey, RL Jones, Young, Joni, Sinatra, Torme, Scruggs, and Doc Watson.
1. Realism triggers: space/air, phase coherence for image placement and loudness/dynamics. The more a system or recording reproduces or captures the air of an event and the space within and around the instrument(s), the better. The more a system or recording places such instruments or images in a realistic field, the better. The more a system or recording can reproduce the loudness and air volume movement of being at a live event, the better.
I find I’m drawn into the illusion if the system has wide dynamic capabilities plus has the ability to play soft and loud. Like real life.
2. Realism inhibitors: excessive compression within a recording followed by system mid bass humps. Most every new recording or re-release has compression levels set to maximum. Often, the subtleties of a ppp become ffff. Even Harmonia Mundi is guilty. The 50 CD dhm 1958-2008 box set is, at times, sadly compressed. I’m OK with brightness. I don’t run the other way when a system is revealing on top- only when it’s coarse, if that makes sense.
Longtime concert, theatergoer and subscriber; Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Lansdowne Symphony, the Wilma, the Philadelphia Folk Festival. I’ve attended numerous Spectrum and Wachovia Center rock concerts. Past board member: Berman-Nelly School of Music. Founder: the Philadelphia Audio Society. I am an Episcopal Minister’s son, sang in the children’s choir, decades of choir and organ listening. I play the electric guitar. I limit my vinyl addiction to 10,000 each.
Number 1: 14x24x8, plaster walls, wall-to-wall carpet over hardwood floor with a wool oriental on top. Bay window overlooking a lighted garden. Three dedicated 20amp lines.
Number 2: 12x20x8, pinewood walls, wall-to-wall carpet over poured concrete floor.
Current reference equipment:
High Resolution, Higher Efficiency Loudspeakers: Coincident Pure Reference Extreme.
High Resolution, Lower Efficiency Loudspeakers: MBL101e.
Vintage Resoluton Loudspeakers: 2 sets of Bozak Concert Grands, one pair outboard bi-amped, 2 sets of Bozak Symphonys.
Display: Pioneer Elite 60” Plasma.
Linestage preamps: Conrad Johnson Premier 10, (2) Motif MC-7s, Sam Kim-Luxman CL-34, Sam Kim-Heathkit AA-11, Walleee Speers linestage.
Phonostage preamps: (2)Motif MC-11s, (2) Denon PRA-2000s (used lineout), Lukaschek PP-1 Phonostage.
Power amplifiers: Jadis JA-500, Krell KM400 Monoblocks, Krell KSA 200, Conrad Johnson Premier One (updated), Melos Gold 400 Monoblocks, Phase Linear 700 Series 1, Komuro 845s, Komuro 212Es, (2)Pioneer M25s.
Integrated amplifiers: Heathkit AA-151, Eico HF-81, Pioneer A-27, Revox B-251.
Analog sources: (3) Pierre Lurne’ Audiomeca J1s (all with outboard standalone motors), Goldmund Studio.
Arms: (4)Infinity Black widows, Goldmund T3, (3)Mayware Formula IVs.
Phono cartridges: van den Hull Grasshopper Gold III, Goldbug Mr. Brier, Cello, Koetsu Std., Audioquest 7000, Klipch MC, Shure Bros. V15 MK III, Signet TK10 w/van den Hull tip.
Digital sources: Sony Vaio Desktop, Emu 1616M outboard sound card/system, Timber TT-1 DAC, Conrad Johnson Premier 9 DAC.
Cable and interconnect: Tara Labs, Crystal Cable and Highwire.
I specialize in both high powered systems and in very low powered systems. Plus, I have expertise in analog with multiple tables, arms, cartridges and reel-to-reel decks.
Equipment strategy is ROI. I will implement new, classic or vintage to achieve audio satisfaction. I believe the loudspeaker is the most important component [in concert with the amplifier.] I am a near-field, long-wall listener.
Other interests/about me:
Competitive road cyclist, USCF ranked master, currently (and subject to race results) top ten ranked in the BAR (best all rider) for the State of PA masters riders 55+, tennis player, fly tier, rod builder and fly fisherman, collector of outsider art. I'm also an artist- medium acrylic. Plus, I’m a car nut- with track experience. I am a Dad, Wharton graduate, investment expert/advisor and FinTech/Internet entrepreneur.