This hobby began for me in the early 80s when a local stereo shop opened its doors up to a young kid and his buddy who rode their bicycles up to his store. The owner of the store quickly took notice of our interest and awe. The store was empty of people and one showroom happened to have a pair of Khorns, Mac, Krell, and Nakamichi gear. The owner turned over his music collection, said have fun, and closed the showroom door. HOOKED!
Fast forward to the late 80s and the purchase of my first Nakamichi and KEF system with the original Uni-Q bookshelf speaker. I quickly learned the necessity of having quality power to drive speakers at a level I enjoyed listening to. Blown drivers led me to make a temporary switch to the more efficient Paradigms of the day but my ears missed the imaging, clarity, and smoothness of the KEFs. I ended up buying a used pair of KEF C20s to finish out my college life.
My audio hobby continued throughout the years. I upgraded to an Arcam AVR, added a used Adcom GFA5802 power amp, and learned that used is the way to go in this hobby. I also upgraded my KEF speakers along the way. Through a recent blessing I was able to make a large step forward to the system you see above. I had already replaced the Arcam AVR with a McIntosh C-2500 pre-amp. I always loved McIntosh, both for the aesthetics as well as the "warm" McIntosh house sound, but once I had a piece in my system there was no going back. There really is some impressive about a "Wall of Mac". I have many things I still want to do with my system. The next will involve GIK Acoustics for room treatment. I cheated by getting a great deal on a used MEN-220 Room Correction Unit. Suffice it to say that piece is a "Magic Box" in my system. To state the changes are "Night and Day" is an understatement.
I love this hobby and I have experienced many different products at shows and private events. There are a number of companies out there who make insanely good products with a price to match. Perhaps there will be a day where good fortune allows me to add some of those pieces (D'Agostino, dcs, Wilson, etc.) to my system. Until that time, the greatest thing I can say about my system, and my compliment to McIntosh, is my ability to listen to this system for 14 hours a day with zero listener fatigue. On the days I work from home, I can listen to background music all day, then switch to a quality recording (currently through TIDAL or on CD), and finally watch a movie at night run through this two channel system. The room correction unit has even made up for the lack of subs, which are out of reach at the this moment. All good things come to those who wait!