The system components have remained largely unchanged, but for the additions of a large Minus K platform for the turntable, a pair of 15" subwoofers to augment the lowest octaves and the installation of a robust electrical sub-system--powered through a Controlled Power 10kVa isolation transformer. The main change is the room--we relocated from New York to Austin, TX in 2017 and I now have a longer, narrower room that occupies most of the 2nd floor of the house.
Gents: Nice to see both of you virtually. All ok here in Austin for the moment- though it's not good for economy, I like how quiet everything is, and since I've become a hermit, my life style hasn't changed much.
Mike- our talk on isolation systems was very helpful and I thank you again for that.
Syn- too bad Munich was a bust. Maybe next year. On the cartridges, the stone Koetsus seem to give an added dimension to the sound that complements the strengths (and weaknesses) of this system, particularly in the fuller tonality of the bass. Though I've heard complaints that the Jade makes everything sound "the same" it really likes working on the Airline arm. I bought a Tiger Eye as well-- more hi frequency info than the Jade with a similar holographic character in the mids and rich tonality in the bass. The Airtight Supreme was rebuilt by Peter, who kept the original cantilever but put a new stylus in the tip and realigned the thing. Haven't played it since I got it back some time ago. FWIW, the Jade sounded fine right out of the box. The Tiger Eye was a little harsh at first and took time to settle in.
My best to both of you-- btw, you probably know each other, yes?
Aball-- good to see you here too! Sorry, I'm not terribly responsive. I still remember our discussion about those vehicles from Sant'Agata Bolognese and have fond memories of driving the B roads of Sicily.
love the pictures of your Austin room, somehow never seen them before. looks like a great place to listen, love all the little touches. first class gear line-up. hope you are staying safe and enjoying the music.
Thank you both, Dan and NoRo, for the invites. I have slowed down on travel as well, but I've got you if I am ever up your way. I was in NY metro for 36 years. Texas is a whole different critter. There are some serious audiophiles here, several of whom post on the 'Gon. Not nearly as many dealers as NY metro and environs. But, I'm not really a hang out in a hi-fi store kinda guy any more either. Maybe it's a sign of aging or just that I'm not in gear acquisition mode. The records are huge fun, though. Research, history, the performances, the masterings, have been twirling my propeller for a while. Thanks again for writing!
Bill, I really appreciate the invite, but I live in the Pacific Northwest, and tend to not travel. If you are ever in my area, ( I live on Whidbey Island, in Washington State), an appearance from you would be very welcomed.
Hi Bill, Indeedy on the cost verses performance - I've heard some dreadful systems that were very expensive. I'm at the ESL/idler/Decca/tubes stage of life and love it. Not much in the gut impact department however but I've outgrown that level of loudness due to sensitive hearing. Thanks for the kind offer of a visit. Likewise. I'm in New England.
Hey, guys (noromance and dan): I rarely see my system 'up' in the queue of recent postings since I don't add much to it myself. I was talking with a manufacturer a few months ago-when I first started to dip my toes into digital-- and after explaining my system, he said "well, you sure have a lot of expensive stuff." Yeah. Whether that means good is another story. This system is sweet, and revealing, but I've heard systems that would put it to shame in the bass and gut impact department and were not more costly. It's very, very good on some stuff though-- I'm a midrange guy, having grown up with the old Quad ESL. The rest is gravy. Both of you are welcome to visit if you are ever near Austin -- I live very close to downtown.
Bill, yours is a system I would dearly love to hear. It is spectacular in every way, your analog front end is impressive, so much so, it makes me wonder how much I'm actually missing, with my largely DIY system. I haven't heard much to make long for more, but I'm sure yours would.
Just beautiful, what a joy it must be to be able to treat yourself in such a way on a daily basis.
System photos and description finally updated to reflect a new room and the installation of a few new ancillaries (Controlled Power Isolation Transformer, Minus K anti-vibration platform for TT, additional subwoofers). We relocated from NY to Austin, TX earlier this year (2017). The system sounds great in the new room--I had originally planned to build a separate building in our new location, but for now, I'm pretty satisfied with the set up on the top floor of the house- a restored period Victorian located just across the river from downtown Austin. We are a few blocks from South Congress- the "strip"- which was the heart of the revitalization effort in Austin some years ago, and the home of "Keep Austin Weird."
My focus remains on older records. A second system, based on a pair of the original Quad ESLs, with matching Quad II amps, has been fully restored and set up in our front parlor. Though the systems are dramatically different in size, cost and overall presentation, both are highly engaging.
Gents, including ladies and those of gender neutral persuasion:
My apologies- I haven't looked at this system page in quite a long time. We have moved, from NY metro to Austin, the system hasn't changed substantially in its main elements but the set up is different, as is the room (obviously). I have added a few things, including a big Minus K platform for the turntable and also set up a second system composed of vintage equipment that had been languishing for years, including a pair of Quad ESLs that I bought in 1973, an old pair of Quad II amps, my original SP-10 turntable, all freshly restored.
I should, when I have time, update this page, along with photos, accordingly. @2ndliner - you are most welcome to chat by phone- i have not heard the latest generation of Avantgardes but glad to tell you of my experience. You can reach out to me by searching on the web for a page with my name William Hart and see references to my CV as a copyright lawyer in NYC. (Now retired). There is both an email and a phone contact.
@tzh21y - the RCM is a Monks, fairly current production called an Omni.
Thank you all for the kudos. If any of you are in the Austin area, you are welcome to visit.
Hello Bill = Your system looks incredible! I recently heard Avantgarde Duo XD's and was amazed at the sound they convey. Is it possible to chat by phone? I'm curious about your experience with horn speakers. Best, Michael
Fantastic system, Whart. And I like the way you've taken advantage of the layout of the room, including a cleaning station. I assume you're running the preamp "Balanced" across the room to the monoblocks.
Such an awesome well picked system. You've got some really special gear there with the Veloce, Kuzma, Lamm & Avantgarde all really each at the top of their class. Glad to see you cleverly set it up so to get the most from it. Cheers,
Syn- am aware of it, but have not seen it in the flesh- doesn't really appeal to me at this point since I am usually running the Monks and the KL in parallel during intensive cleaning sessions, which means that I am there, able to change out records in the KL. (PS: in my most recent website article about washing in the KL and drying via the Monks, I credit you for the concept). best, bill
Hey George, I think we talked at one point about your horns- you were/are friendly with a member of WBF who lives in Mexico if memory serves. Happy to hook up. Will reach out to both of you via PM once I'm back in Austin after New Year's.
Hey, Audio Builder- Yes, right now, I'm back and forth between Austin and NY. I'm teaching part-time at UT and doing some other stuff there, but haven't relocated fully to Austin, which I still plan to do. I'm looking forward to avoiding winter in the NE. Are you local to Austin? (Sorry if you told me you were and I forgot). best, bill