27 April 2003
Dr. Day and our friend Lee Roitberg became my mentors in the DIY world. They have helped me take my system to levels I could only dream of on a teacher's salary. Brian Kurtz of Sound Mind Audio in Austin, TX has helped me tweak the front-end components that I am not ready to tackle in the DIY world. My life partner of 14 years accepts and encourages my hobbies just because they make me happy. She appreciates that I try to make things look good.
My audio goal is to have music in my home that is subtle and dynamic, that has slam but no edge, that is detailed but not etched. I want the music in my listening room to draw me in. The components and individual parts of the system are means to this end, thus they deserve attention. However, music is what it's all about.
I listen to music in fits and starts; sometimes it is all-classical for a long time, sometimes it's all pop, then something else. My main genres are classical, classic rock (what they don't play on the oldies stations!), contemporary old fogy's music, American folk, world music, and new age that is not massage table music.
It is hard to settle on one set of evaluation recordings, so here is a scattershot:
Rick's comments about his system:
AA: "Rick, how would you describe your system's sound?"
RP: "I enjoy this system more and more each day. You could say that it has a "tube sound" but this is only because it lacks harshness. It is fast and detailed without being etched. The soundstage is realistic and nicely defined. The system sounds really good down to about 40Hz; below that, neither the speakers nor the room are quite up to the task. However, the sealed boxes make bass that sounds like a low-frequency melody, making the lower register more than just the beat."
AA: "Do you think there is room for improvement?"
RP: "There is always room for improvement. The speakers were the last major project and I think that the crossovers are nearly finished after 6 months of fiddling. However, the crossovers are still out of the boxes and easy to modify I would love to have a bigger room, but this is probably not in the cards for me in the near future. I am giving some thought of bi-amping so the 300b's experience no strain at any listening levels. I may go with solid state on the bottom end to further tighten and accentuate bass; besides, the IM distortion should not be audible in the bass range."
AA: "Have you got plans for upgrading?"
"I just ordered some silver mica
coupling caps for the 300b amp. Aside from that, money (or
lack of it) will put off any improvements in the foreseeable