I started playing records at age 3 using a player that my uncle made for me. He was an extremely talented man and could make or fix anything at all. to my regret, I did not inherit his talent, though I have surprised myself sometimes and found that i am not entirely useless. I am interested in the technical and theoretical side of the hobby but would need to apprentice to a Brett, a Tony, a Rick etc., in order to feel as competent as I would dearly like to be. Anyway at age 3 I was sufficiently competent to drop the needle on the record often enough to drive my mother crazy with repeated hearings of Eachy Peachy Pie and Peter and the Wolf and on and on…. Which is another way of saying that i have been at this a long time. My uncle built a fancier model for me as I entered my teens. As a youngster the radio had introduced me to Nat King Cole, the Weavers. and Hank Williams and a little later to John Lee Hooker, who utterly blew my mind. Now I was enjoying the first two RCA Elvis albums (which to this day I consider the only ones truly worth listening to) At 15 I moved my bedroom to the basement which meant LOUDER music, beer and more John Lee plus Jimmy Reed, Nina Simone and a little later Joan Baez. I liked occasionally to hear some Broadway lps belonging to my parents. The Pyjama Game and Guys and Dolls stick out. No Hifi i yet I suppose but when I put Ian and Sylvia on and they sound like I heard them then, I am happy. HiFI was something for folks with more money and or time and or skill.
From 20 on music remained important to me but my life style did not allow for great equipment until about 30 when I dumped my Garrard with it pre Thales , no tracking error arm, gave away my Monitor Audio speakers which I never really liked and my Pilot integrated for a Linn Breuer, LS3/5A, Doxa, a short lived Swedish, black box with nothing in it, solid state pre- power combo, which by the way subsequently managed to get a favourable if short review in the good old days pre advt. Absolute Sound.
Had a lot of good listening with the Chartwells and if you can believe it , originally set them up in my new add on 18′ by 30′ room. I did not know enough to know that they would not be satisfactory in a room that size and had some shocking moments from the drum on I think, Shostakovich Cello Concerto or maybe the drum was on the other piece on the lp…Deutsche Grammophon, Rostropovich, Ozawa…
After some time, realizing I was never going to put Hartsfields in there I moved the modest system into the living room. where I currently have my system. My musical enjoyment took a step back when I bought the ESL 63s and failed to make them sing in several years of trying.
By this time I had moved to my Verdier and have loved it unconditionally since day one, putting up with, oil leaks ( part of the design) speed inconsistencies ( I added a battery power supply). I was also a McIntosh man . Still have the original CD player, my solid state tuner but sold the solid state amps in favour of the sweet el34 depth of Tim De P’s EAR 834. with this I started to get acceptable sound of the Quads, but a family emergency required me to sell them and the Reissue 275’s .
Soon thereafter came Lowther and the rest is history..
Here are my favourite pieces of classical or sos called serious music. Beethoven opus 131, op. 132, op.110, op.111, Waldstein Sonata, Grosse fuge, piano Concerto #4 followed by everything else Beethoven wrote…Schuberts String Quintet in C, Bach Cello Suites, Haydn, opus 20, opus 76 and everything else he wrote, Mozart, 466 and 467 and his clarinet Quintet…Brahms Piano Concerto #1,
plus many many others.
Classical musicians… Furtwaengler, Moravec, Arrau, Fischer, LeFebure, Rev, Argerich, Szeryng, Milstein, Casals, Navarra, Mainardi, and hundreds more.
Jazz and others.. Bechet( I love the sound of jazz clarinet) Budd Johnson, Earl Hines, Monk, Mingus, Coltrane, Armstrong, Davis, Evans, Lofaro, anyone named Jones ( incuding Hank, Elvin, Sam, Thad, Philly Joe, Jo et. al), Nina Simone, Susannah Mc Corkle
Labels that have given me special pleasure apart from the well known Blue Note, Decca, RCA etc., Valois, Calliope, Black and Blue, Jeton,
I would be remiss not to mention this GTAA of ours which has introduced me to the social aspect of Audio. The practical and inspirational help from club members has been invaluable to me, not to mention the simple friendships that have come about because of it. I am truly grateful to every member and friend of our club.
Speakers – Goto Horns / Lowther below 1000 herz
Amplifier – Goto Euphoria/ Wyetech 211 monoblocs
Preamp – Kondo with phono / Wyetech Opal
CD Player – McIntosh
Turntable – Verdier La Platine / Lenco (Nantais)
Arm – Schroeder / SME M2 12R / Brinkmann/ Triplanar/ Ikeda 407
Cartridge – Koetsu Platinum Rosewood Signature / Koetsu Rosewood Signature Mono/ Kondo IO/ SPU Classic/ Ikeda Kai