Welcome to the third installment of our Meet the Audiophile Style Community series. All 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. None of that matters much because this 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.
Thanks to Audiophile Style community member @firedog for participating in volume three of this series. I love reading this stuff even more than publishing it.
1. General area of the world in which you live?
Israel, live on a kibbutz in the desert.
2. General description of what you do or did for a living?
Been several things: was a date farmer till I ruined my back. Since then I've been a cost accountant (have an MBA); and for the past few years I'm the administrative assistant to the executive committee of the community. Retirement is a few years away and I assume I'll keep the present job till then.
3. What are your hobbies?
Other than audiophilia and music: cooking, baking, coffee, dogs.
4. When did you start this wonderful journey into music listening?
Around age 12-13. Around 1970.
5. What was your first “album?”
First one I owned - Abbey Road - it was a birthday present for my 13th birthday. First one I bought with my own money? I think it was Live Cream, Volume 2. I owned a few singles before that.
6. What does your music collection look like, number of physical records, CDs, etc… and number of “favorited” albums streamed?
I have about 300 LPs. Similar number of CDs. But in the mid 80's I made a conscious decision to switch to digital, and stopped buying LPs. When I got into computer audio I almost stopped buying discs. I still have the LPs and a turntable, but haven't listened to them for years. I ripped them all years ago and listen to the rips. When CD quality downloads became available I almost stopped buying discs. Today I only buy downloads and listen to Qobuz.
The only time I buy a disc is if the album isn't available in non physical form or if it's a deluxe version with a book that isn't available otherwise. My Qobuz favorites list is in the hundreds, probably nearing a thousand. It's just too easy. Today, for example, I added 6 versions of Bartok's "Concerto for Orchestra" to my collection. I do occasionally cull albums from my favorites, though. Streaming is really a dream fulfillment for someone who grew up in the days of physical media - who would've thought I could have access to almost everything ever recorded for a few bucks a month?
The truth is it is difficult for me to assimilate all the albums I favorite. I guess it's a good problem to have.
7. What was your first audio component / stereo?
My first setup was a wooden Panasonic cabinet that had two small built in speakers, a turntable (7 inch), and a receiver. It sucked. Probably some little bluetooth speakers today sound better. It took me a while, but I managed to save up enough money to buy a real turntable (Pioneer with the "S shaped" tonearm), a little Kenwood integrated amp, and some Advent 2 speakers (the plastic ones). That lasted me till the end of college and actually sounded like a real system.
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?
I sold my microRendu and wish I hadn't. I replaced it with a more expensive streamer and then sold that and occasionally use a Raspberry Pi as a streamer, which is fine - but there wasn't any real reason to sell the Rendu. I've had various setups, but I live in a small place, so I don't have room for many "spare" components. I mostly sell stuff off if I'm not using it. I have some old stuff lying around "just in case" my main components have an issue.
9. Is there one current component that you wish you had in your system?
I own Kii Threes, I wish I could afford the BXT addons.
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…)?
Several hours a day, most of the day on Saturday. Sometimes I surf the web and listen at the same time. I pretty much always have music on unless I'm watching television. I listen almost exclusively on my main system at home. I have two smaller systems in other rooms that are used for internet radio-news and sports. At work I have a Logitech 2.1 system connected to the desktop computer and I listen to Qobuz at work.
11. What’s the first concert you ever attended, best concert you’ve ever attended, most interesting concert venue you’ve ever attended?
I'm assuming you mean something other than the symphony....
First one: Hard to remember. Maybe Emerson Lake and Palmer when I was in high school. That would have been in late '73 or early '74. They were competing with Deep Purple for the title "World's Loudest Band" and had a quadraphonic system setup in a basketball arena. I couldn't hear much the next day. Was a really good show, though. I also saw Clapton and George Harrison around that time. Both very memorable.
Best: in terms of performance, probably Bruce Springsteen in 1980 - he had a huge arena crowd wrapped around his finger.
Best musically? Probably Art Pepper in a small club in 1980. Jazz at its best.
Most interesting venue? Either Armadillo World Headquarters in Austin - saw several shows there; or the Roman amphitheatre in Cesarea, Israel. Seen a few shows there, including Eric Clapton and the MET performing Porgy and Bess.
Most interesting? It's a long story, but Carole King gave a free solo performance for the kibbutz I live in. Just her, a piano, me and about 200 friends of mine.
12. What components are in your current audio systems and can you provide a photo?
Main system: Fanless CAPS server, Kii Three, Kii Control, Rasberry Pi Streamer, Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC, Schiit Freya. I sometimes use the Matrix/Freya connected to the Kiis, to listen with tube flavoring. Just for fun. About 95% of my listening is the server direct to the Kiis using Roon and applying DRC for removing a room node. Sometimes I use the RBPi as an NAA for playing with HQP.
I have a SB Touch with a small 2.1 setup in my bedroom, and another RB Pi as a Roon endpoint in the den/kitchen connected to a pair of Morel Hogtalare.
The world's cutest dog (see photo) isn't actually part of the audio system and will never be sold off.....
13. Anything else you’d like to say?
Love my present setup. For the small room I listen in, it's almost the ultimate system. I don't have any upgrade-itis and can just enjoy my music. It's pretty much a dream come true setup for the teenage audiophile I once was and in terms of what I can afford and what will work in my space. If you had told me years ago I'd have something that sounds this good, I wouldn't have thought it possible.