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SL1800 12-18-2018 10:03 PM

Will travel for high-end audio.
I have the good fortune of working in a seasonal industry which affords me about 6 months off every year. This down time is usually spent listening to and tweaking my own audio system and wood working.

This year I have decided the only way to determine what my system really needs is to travel and hear other peoples systems. I know most would do so by attending shows and their local dealers but that hasn't proven to yield what I'm looking for. So the next idea was to travel to other AA members homes and listen to their systems. These trips have yielded some good listening sessions and great friendships.

It started last March and again in October, traveling to hear Timobi's great system in Louisiana, 500 mile drive each way. Tim is a super nice guy and let me listen to his mighty Martin Logan CLX speakers. If you haven't ever heard these speakers you really should. And OMG the ClearAudio Innovation!!

Next trip was a short one to visit with gadawg in Texas. This was my first chance to hear the Wilson Sasha II speakers with top flight Levinson gear. George was a gracious host and let me even bring my own dac for comparisons to to Esoteric K01Xs. This was one of those systems that really showed me how badly I need a bigger listening room, you could fit 3 to 4 of my rooms in George's room.

My last trip of the year was a flight to Seattle to spend 5 days hanging out with 2fastdriving aka Marc, For The Love of Music aka Ed, and Antonmb aka Tony. Marc was gracious enough to let me crash at his house for the duration. Both Marc and Ed have Wilson Alexia speakers but completely different electronics. The listening session at Ed's was short but fruitful, it left me once again yearning for a larger listening room. Do to distance and time constraints I wasn't able to hear Tony's system, maybe next time. Over the course of several days Marc and I were able to improve his system with some tweaking of room acoustic placement, making his Alexia's really come alive. After returning home I have gone to work again on my room acoustics to bring out some of the qualities I heard in all of these systems, stage depth and image placement.

I'm sure your asking what I plan to purchase after hearing all of these systems? I had already bought Audio Research gear, same as Marc's, before I went there. But after visiting Tim's, I came home lusting for a ClearAudio Innovation TT. As for speakers the hunt for perfection is still on.

Thanks to all for your friendship and for sharing your great systems with me.

Masterlu 12-18-2018 10:11 PM

Steve... I’ll leave the light on for you. :ok:

audioguy3107 12-18-2018 10:20 PM

Steve - the ATL is always open for ya, but remember, with a visit here you also have to be on kid duty with rambunctious 5 and 8 year old girls.! We need a nanny, come on down! :D

- Buck

For The Love of Music 12-19-2018 12:09 AM

Fruitful, but we had pizza.

Glad you enjoyed your trip, I believe we all had a good time, great group. Now take Marcís and my valuables off Craigslist!

2fastdriving 12-19-2018 12:22 AM


Originally Posted by Masterlu (Post 945272)
Steve... Iíll leave the light on for you. :ok:

Are you sure you want him in your house, he'll be rearranging your acoustic panels in 5 minutes!

Seriously it was good having you over, Steve. We did a lot of listening, I learned lots of new artists and demo tracks. I know I had a lot of fun visiting Ed and having Tony over as well.

Steve didn't mention, but we also spent some time at Definitive in Seattle and Bellevue, listening to multiple systems. We were not very impressed with the Lilium they had, but we were more impressed with the Sasha DAW, Alexia 2, and Alexx. We also came away with a real positive impression of the Linn Klimax DS, which sounded better than the DCS Rossini with clock, to our ears. It was fantastic.

The Alexx was our favorite, though. Sounded great with vinyl on the Clearaudio master innovation and stand and Goldfinger cart. Amplification was all D'Agostino momentum.

We did some interesting tests while steve was here, too. We tested the MicroRendu vs. straight from my music server to the dac (toss up...). We tested cheap wireworlds vs. my TA Reference speaker cables (no contest there, which is good considering the difference in cost!). Finally we tested the merits of different filters, upsampling and clock on/off in my Esoteric front-end. Mostly not many changes between upsampling and filters to his ear, but I still prefer S_DLY2 filter. Clock definitely made a difference at times, other times it was hard to hear much of a difference. Kind of just depended on what we were listening to.

All in all, a fun time. I sure wish I had some AA buddies really close. The closest is Ed, still 40 minutes away or so, and we are both pretty busy and rarely get together. Next up for me is a trip to visit Tony, nearly 3 hours away.

MtnHam 12-19-2018 01:14 AM

I'm located in San Francisco and would welcome any AA members who might be interested in a visit. SF is my 2nd residence and has a different, evolving system about which I would appreciate feedback. The system listed below is located 2 hours away in the boonies, but shares some attributes.

2fastdriving 12-19-2018 01:23 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Here's proof of life. Ed made Steve display a record store find. Haha

Attachment 57490

Antonmb 12-19-2018 01:36 AM

Will travel for high-end audio.
I also very much enjoyed our get-together in Seattle. Iíve been meaning to get to Marcís place for some time now, and Steve arriving was that little extra push I needed to make the 3 hour drive. Marc has a great system, and getting a chance to meet Ed and listen to his excellent system was the icing on the cake. I enjoyed spending time with Marc, Ed and Steve, and came away with some great music suggestions as well.

Hereís a short video clip of Marcís system - ignore the iphone sound quality, itís a an awesome system.

Hereís Steve listening to Edís system.

And hereís the famous pizza at this great place in South Seattle Ed took us to.

gaboudreaux 12-19-2018 08:07 AM

Very cool thread... that's what it's all about!

bart 12-19-2018 08:52 AM

Thank you for sharing! :thumbsup:

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