Twisted Systems

    Climbing to the Audio Summit Part 3: Speakers and Stuff

    Issue 53

    As I bring this “Climbing to the Audio Summit” exercise to a close I am not just taken aback by the total amount of gear that I purchased over the years but also in the responses that many of you have contributed.

    Because of some of your incredible lists I also have recalled items that I had forgotten.

    In the amp list I forgot that I owned a Quad 405 amp/34 preamp combination (1983) . I also owned both a Crown DC 150 and a Crown DC 300 (1978). While Crowns have been shown to be reliable in professional sound reinforcement use, they were utterly terrible in regards to high end audio reproduction.

    Having now just about ending this exercise, I have this observation:

    Just look at how much money and time we have collectively spent in pursuing an the elusive “absolute sound”.

    How much have we spent “lifting the veils”.

    Wallowing in the latest “jaw-dropping” gear and tweak.

    We just seemingly couldn’t wait to call our friends and have them come over to hear the latest awesome audio breakthrough.

    And, while I have had fun remembering what I bought and when, I also realize that there are many other products that have not been cataloged in this exercise.

    Items like CD Players, cassette decks, reel to reel tape decks, tuners, LaserDisc Players, isolation devices, compressors, expanders, Dolby devices, equalizers, dust bugs, fluids, sprays, pens, belts, record cleaning machines, record weights, isolation cones, sorbothane feet, power conditioners and power cables and, of course, speaker and interconnect cables.

    Just casually listing all this ‘other’ stuff has my head spinning not to mention all the magazines that influenced us (and our buying habits) such as (to name a few)

    Stereo Review, Audio, The Absolute Sound, Sound & Vision, Stereophile, The Audio Critic, Hi-Fi News & Record Review, What Hi-Fi?, Hi-Fi +….

    Let me just quickly address some of the above gear which, most notably, also coincides with items that are (by and large) no longer relevant in the hi end pantheon (exception: reel to reel tape decks, like some insanely priced record players, appear to be rising like a very, very rare phoenix at the highest and most esoteric levels of hi end.

    CD Players:  First owned was a portable Sony Walkman (1984) and currently a Marantz SA-10

    Cassette players:  First owned was an Advent 201 (1974) and at the present time only have an ION tape to PC deck for archival purposes.

    Reel to Reel tape recorders: Revox A77 mk. 3 1970

    None owned at the moment

    Tuners: Last one owned was a Sherwood. None owned at the moment.

    Back to the list…

    Speakers I have owned since 1967:

    KLH 6  1967

    KLH 5 1967

    KLH 5—not seen very often these days.

    AR 3A  1968

    JBL L88  1970

    JBL L100  1970

    Double Advents (Large)  1970

    Ohm Fs 1971

    Think Stacked Advents are the bomb? Try Harry Weisfeld’s stacked Ohm Fs!

    Bose 901’s  1972

    Acutex  1977 (mini’s)

    Altec Lansing 15   1977

    Bertagni  Geostatic panels  1977 (duct-taped above the Altec 15s, driven by twin Phase Linear 400s—crazy!)

    B & W  DM-16   1983

    Acoustat 2+2  1984

    Apogee Duettas  1985

    Spendor LS35a  1986

    Thiel 1.5  1994

    Vandersteen 2C  1996

    Thiel 3.6  1998

    Monitor Audio Silver 7’s  2004

    Genelec 8030A     2009 (for studio recording analysis)

    Adam “Pencils”  2012

    ZVOX Sound bar  (for home video)

    Peachtree Deep Blue (for home video) 2015

    Audioengine 2+2  (for computer)  2016

    Wilson Sabrinas  2017


    Next up: Equalizers: why they should no longer be a dirty 10-letter word.

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