Welcome to the tenth installment of our Meet the Audiophile Style Community series. All previous installments can be found here, in the series index.
Please send me a message or email if you'd like to participate. The response so far has been wonderful. It ranges from hardcore audiophiles to those who are more interested in numbers and graphs, and even people in the industry are eager to participate. This series is all about getting to know everyone and sharing a bit about yourself that others will find interesting.
Thanks for participating. I look forward to publishing more of these in the coming weeks and months.
Thanks to Audiophile Style community member @AudioDoctor for participating in volume ten of this series. I love reading this stuff even more than publishing it. As I say to myself after reading each one of these, you guys are so much more interesting than me.
1. General area of the world in which you live?
St Paul Minnesota, Native Minnesotan with real Viking (from Norway, not the atrocious football team) blood running through my veins.
2. General description of what you do or did for a living?
I currently fly a small corporate jet for a family friend that owns two local companies that if I named, you would all know. Previously I practiced medicine in a local ER, and in the US Navy. Before that, I enlisted in the Marine Corps at the age of 17 and did my 4 years before being accepted into an ROTC program and attending the University of Michigan for both undergrad and medical school.
3. What are your hobbies?
Other than listening to music, I enjoy sailing and fly fishing. I guess you could say my car, 2016 Porsche GT4, is a hobby as well. I enjoy tracking it, and socializing with other Porsche owners in the local chapter of the Porsche Club of America. I like the outdoors as well, hiking/camping/etc… are some of my favorite activities.
4. When did you start this wonderful journey into music listening?
Music has always been a part of my life. Growing up my parents were always participating in the local chorale, bringing us to performances of the MN Orchestra and Jazz performances at The Dakota jazz club. My Dad had an extensive record collection and lots of musician friends as well. We never had what I would call a HiFi system, the emphasis was on the music and appreciating it and the art more than the gear it was played on. I remember listening to The Jazz Image with Leigh Kammon on Minnesota Public Radio, on Saturday nights, in the den with my Dad on a tabletop radio. I have a very special vinyl album of Duke Ellington and Alice Babs in Paris in 1963 titled Serenade to Sweden that came to me via a friend of my dads from Leigh himself. It was the background music he would play during the time in-between songs and is absolutely beautiful music.
5. What was your first “album?”
The first album I remember buying was, of all things, Michael Jackson’s Thriller on CD...
6. What does your music collection look like, number of physical records, CDs, etc… and number of “favorited” albums streamed?
The majority of my music collection is vinyl albums that I mostly inherited or was given by friends and family. I have over 6000 vinyl albums of which maybe 150 I have purchased. I have roughly 500 CDs currently ripped and another 500+ left to rip, and 1300 give or take favorited albums in Qobuz. I no longer buy a CD unless the music isn’t available in any other format digitally, not counting MP3 which I do not buy unless again, no other source.
7. What was your first audio component / stereo?
My dad gave me his Marantz 2230 when I went to college.
8. Is there one component that you no longer have that you wish you wouldn’t have sold or that you wish you still had?
Yes, the Marantz 2230 my Dad gave me when I went to college.
9. Is there one current component that you wish you had in you system?
Not really, I am happy with the equipment I have now. Where I go from here depends on whether or not my ear situation is resolved. I am in the process of building an audio specific room in the house my Wife and I just finished rebuilding/rehabbing so the only equipment I am considering are power related such as an isolation transformer.
10. How much time to you spend listening to music each week and on which systems does this listening take place (main system, car system, mobile system, office system, etc…)
Actively listening, only a few hours a week at the moment, if that. I am in the middle of moving to a new house, not to mention its summer in MN and that time is meant to be outdoors. Family issues have taken up a lot of time lately as well. However, that Klipsch bluetooth speaker thing I was asking about a while back has been getting a lot of use lately.
11. What’s the first concert you ever attended, best concert you’ve ever attended, most interesting concert venue you’ve ever attended?
I have no idea what the first concert I ever attended was. The first one I clearly remember was going to see The Nutcracker performed by the Bolshoi Ballet Company, along with their own Orchestra to perform the music, here in St Paul when I was in HS with the rest of my Russian class. Trying to pick the best is nearly impossible, so many of them have been so great. I remember seeing Diana Krall live which is when my crush on her started, haha. More recently Kat Edmonson was a fantastic show. I am not a country fan but I saw Faith Hill once live, and met her backstage, that was memorable. Other shows are memorable not for the performer, but the company I saw them with. I have seen my parents perform Beethovens 9th with the MN Chorale during a holiday performance/dinner event. Every concert I have attended has a reason it is special or unique and I could write pages and pages about each and every one of them most likely.
12. What components are in your current audio systems and can you provide a photo?
I can promise I’ll provide a photo when I am done moving… Currently I have a McIntosh MAC7200 pushing its 200 watts to a pair of Sonus Faber Olympica 1 monitors and a Zu Undertone Sub. I am using a Schiit Yggy instead of the DAC2 module. The bits are provided to it via a Raspberry Pi4 running an NAA image. I also have a Technics SL1200G with a Lyra Delos cartridge and a Zesto Audio Andros 1.2 phonostage. I have a headphone system as well consisting of a Donald North Audio Stellaris Silver Special head amp, a pair of HiFiMan Susvara headphones, a Lampizator Pacific Balanced w volume control and a Sonore Signature Rendu SE Optical. None of this stuff is hooked up at the moment however due to the move. Additionally, I may be selling off the higher priced headphone stuff due to my ear problems that arose shortly after it all arrived in my house. I have also recently completed a build of a CAPS server following Chris’s guide almost to the letter, which will run Roon server and HQPlayer desktop. Regarding networking, I have a whole house Ubiquiti system consisting of a Dream Machine Pro, multiple wireless access points, and hardwired connections for the audio gear in place awaiting connection. I will shortly have Fiber Gigabit internet as well, it will be a great day when I tell Comcast to stick it.
13. Anything else you’d like to say?
Music is meant to bring people together, not divide them.