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  • Meet The Audiophile Style Community | Volume 15

     

     

    Welcome to the fifteenth 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, email, or telegram 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 @Blake for participating in volume fifteen of this series. As always, I love reading this stuff even more than publishing it. 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?

     

    Salt Lake City, Utah

     


    2. General description of what you do or did for a living?

     

    Attorney
     
     
    3. What are your hobbies?

     

    Avid skier (I am fortunate to have 7 world class resorts within a 45 minute drive from my house 😍), rock climbing, golf, cycling, private pilot, doing slickrock Moab trails in my Jeep.  Interests: music, film, modern art, modern architecture and furniture, typography and graphic art.

     

    1925655939_PowderShots-Snowbird.thumb.JPG.ae4384a54928ebcc6bd890013334f826.jpg
     
     
    4. When did you start this wonderful journey into music listening?

     

    Around 2000.  One of my first clients after graduating from law school was Al Eckilson, owner of one of the greatest (unknown hidden treasure) brick and mortar audio shops I have ever seen, Primus Audio Pleasure in Kansas City, Missouri. 

     

    Here is an article about the shop: LINK


     
    5. What was your first “album?"

     

    Devo - "Duty Now For The Future".

     

     

    6. What does your music collection look like, number of physical records, CDs, etc... and number of “favorited” albums streamed?
     
    Currently around 300 CD's, 50 vinyl albums (I don't really listen to them anymore as I now almost exclusively stream, so I gave away most of my physical music collection). I have lots of streaming playlists with thousands of songs.  I am constantly on the hunt for new music and artists.  I mostly listen to lesser known, underground type electronic music (i.e. not the fist-bumping, cheezy DJ stuff like Skrillex...  aka "brostep"), but I do mix it up with alternative, new wave, vaporwave, goth, and reggae/dub like King Tubby, Augustus Pablo, Basic Channel, etc. 
     
     
    7. What was your first audio component / stereo?
     
    My first audio system was an "all-in-one" disco console that my dad won in a golf tournament, that he gave to me- a record player, 8-track, receiver and adjustable disco lights that would pulse to the beat of the music (I think it was the basically like the model pictured below).

     

    profig.jpg
     
     

    Later in life, I basically had an assortment of boom boxes. Once I had enough money to move up from ramen noodles and peanut butter sandwiches I transitioned from a boom box to my first real system: Totem Arro speakers, Classe CA-100 Amp, Classe CP-45 Pre, YBA Integre CD player, Miller & Kreisel VX-100 Sub, purchased from my friend/client Al Eckilson at Primus Audio Pleasure.  

     

    SYS-2.thumb.jpg.406a419785da7d6d11fbecc3cd20f98d.jpg

     


    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?
     
    No. 
     
    9. Is there one current component that you wish you had in your system?
     
    No.

     

     
    10. How much time do 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...)?
     

    I was a new wave, punk, alternative scenester in my youth.  First Concert: at the Indian Arts Center here in Salt Lake City (a Native American cultural center that would rent out a room with a stage to punk bands to make money), headliner:  Black Flag!  I was a young teen and had no idea what I was in for as I'd never been to a concert.  Henry Rollins was a beast on stage.

     

    Here is a YouTube video with someone showing off the unique transparent ticket for this show:  

     

     


     
     
    11. What’s the first concert you ever attended, best concert you’ve ever attended, most interesting concert venue you’ve ever attended?
     

    Most Interesting Concert:  I moved to London, England with some friends after high school and my friends and I went to this infamous 1985 concert by The Jesus and Mary Chain, where a riot ensued, bobbies showed up and shut it down.  The atmosphere was bonkers.      

     

    Old video on YouTube about the show:

     

     


     
    12. What components are in your current audio systems and can you provide a photo?

     

    Various bits and bobs.  At home I have a 2-channel set up in a dedicated audio room (I have a nice wife), and in my home office I have a separate headphone setup  Office at Work: Desktop speakers/small sub.  

     

    A-1.thumb.jpg.0ede72da6945caa6c9c09d37c3834453.jpg  Office-1.thumb.jpg.a9a573749d35d77a393ccd0b7de9891d.jpg 

     

    Office-2.thumb.jpg.06a1379dbef209a40b80e576b3a688c3.jpg

     

     

     
    13. Anything else you’d like to say?

     

     have been a member here on AS since around the first year of its existence.  Ah the old days!!  We had a few real crazy characters participating back in the day.  Anyone remember the member "prot" and his other-wordly DIY power cord experiments?  



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    Thank you, @Blake! If you don't mind, I'd love to hear more about your Blue Circle gear and how you found them, and why you chose them vis a vis other brands. I hope you won't mind sharing because we all hear so differently and w/ personal preferences and with room particularities. Lately I've been wondering/reading about esoteric brands with strong "word of ear" followers like Blue Circle.

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    @feelingears  Nice catch on the Blue Circle gear.  My photos stink so I am surprised you noticed.  I discovered Blue Circle pretty quickly after starting in this hobby. I can't recall if it was a magazine or online review, but something about the design and amazing creativity of Gilbert Yeung just grabbed my attention.  I started off with power conditioners, then a preamp, then power amps and then upgrading within the Blue Circle line.  Due to my relationship with the owner of Primus Audio Pleasure, he let me spend hours swapping around components, both in his store and at home demos so I was able to listen to lots of different gear.  He didn't sell Blue Circle so I had to take a flyer. I wasn't disappointed.  I haven't been as lucky with other purchases and I've flipped a lot of gear over the years but my system is now solidified.  Same with Denafrips.  I've found a DAC and DDC that floats my boat so no need to search further.  Gilbert made most all of his gear himself, which is pretty rare these days.

     

    99.9% of us were not in the recording studio or concert so we have no idea what the original performance sounded like (and even if we were, audio memory fades).  So, we are left with our subjective interpretations as measurements fall way short in telling us how something will sound.  Some say tube gear is flawed and those who favor this technology only do so because we find the sound "pleasing".  No harm in that and it may be true for some, but to me, well-implemented tube gear sounds more like the real thing.  I find that with Blue Circle gear, it sounds very close to what I imagine the performance sounded like- more realistic, with a believable soundstage, detail and clarity.  More fleshed out and three dimensional.  Blue Circle is not warm and gooey (I personally don't search for "pleasing" sounding gear, I want stuff that sounds lifelike), it sounds more real than most solid state gear I've owned and demoed.  I found my sweet spot and stuck with the brand.  If you do some searching, you will see some comparing the gear to Lamm and at the highest end of the line, as good as it gets regardless of cost.

     

    Gilbert retired a few years ago.  He then came out of retirement to work part time doing designs under Gilbert Yeung Designs for Amherst Audio.  The owner of Amherst Audio, Bob Neil, is the foremost authority on the brand.  Well, that didn't last long as I assume it was taking too much of his retirement time.  I believe Gilbert will still repair and modify gear if you are lucky.  If not, there is an Gilbert approved repair facility in Canada.

     

    If you are ever looking at buying used Blue Circle gear, TLP Audio (which was the USA dealer) has a webpage where you can still look up models, specs and pricing (when new).  

     

    Here is the link:

     

    https://www.tlp-audio.com/indexbc.php

     

    On the left-hand side of the webpage it is broken down by product type.

     

    Also, here is a link to Amherst Audio's page for Gilbert's gear and Bob's impressions:

     

    https://amherstaudio.com/?page_id=33

     

    Finally, here are a few (still bad) pics of my current Blue Circle gear:

     

    BC-202 Power Amp on the bottom row (this is a hybrid tube/solid state design):

    1097045864_BlueCircleBC-202.thumb.jpg.ea20e69fa91cd64a6aa326842643c75b.jpg

     

     

    Blue Circle SBT Tube Preamp (two components- it has a separate power supply (pardon the dust and finger prints):

     

    364156393_BCSBT-1.jpg.8495f109076866ce382f7fc439a24a93.jpg

     

    1709006382_BCSBT.thumb.jpg.0b5b897db730c93e3409cb018d389186.jpg

     

    And of course the Blue Circle BC-26 Power amp already pictured in my office setup in the article.

     

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    @Blake Thank you for the background and Blue Circle links–indeed, I wrote Bob just a few days ago and yep, Gilbert is done. 

     

    To your point, it definitely seems that once you find your gear, you set out to build around that sound. However in my case, I only got as far as a BC noise filter, lol! I have to say that I heard it work which to be honest, I didn't really expect it to work, let alone hear it! Glad there are mavericks like Gilbert in the world.

     

    As it happens, I just heard the Denafrips Pontus II and I had high expectations based on reviews. Well, color me impressed, expectations exceeded! I immediately started thinking about how to make a Venus II happen! I note from your signature that you've got the Qutest as well, and I also just heard that unit as well; it is outstanding in my system/room.

     

    Thanks again!

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