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    The Computer Audiophile

    Meet The Audiophile Style Community | Volume 8

    Welcome to the eighth 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. 


    Thanks to Audiophile Style community member @barrows for participating in volume eight 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?

    At 9,300 feet, above Boulder, CO



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


    Currently, Product Development/Build Consultant with Sonore.  Last actual "employee" position was as Customer Service Manager at PS Audio.  Most experience prior to that was in small businesses which produced specialized products in other areas of my interest.



    3. What are your hobbies?


    Besides audio...  I was a dedicated climber, including rock, ice, and alpine mountaineering (mostly retired from these activities) and I am still a dedicated (formerly sponsored) snowboarder, specializing in backcountry split boarding and snowboard mountaineering.  I also love Mountain Biking (formerly MTB racing).  Due to an impending surgery (now delayed due to Corona) these activities are on hold and I have been attempting to play bass a bit (NS Omni Bass), but I suck at music, still a fun challenge though.  I find through all of these activities I am seeking a similar experience, a heightened state of awareness and a connection with the unknown/unknowable.  Love drinking Etoile with my girlfriend and listening to music as well.



    4. When did you start this wonderful journey into music listening?

    Been an audiophile/or music lover since High School, my Father and Uncle were both audiophiles, so I was kind of raised into it.  Names like Dynaco, Quad, AR, Dahlquist, and glowing tubes were common to me from pretty far back.



    5. What was your first “album?”


    Led Zeppelin III, given to me for my birthday by my best friend at the time, I suspect this was near to its release date, I was kid.



    6. What does your music collection look like, number of physical records, CDs, etc... and number of “favorited” albums streamed?


    I probably have around 700-800 CDs, and lots more downloads.  My collection is not huge, as I prefer to get in deep to the music I like, but I am always looking for new things which might peak my interest, especially world music hybrids, and interesting Prog Rock and Jazz.  I try to get hi res and DSD when I can.


    I ditched my LPs many years ago, as I was living a nomadic life for years after college, and the LPs got too hard to keep in my car.  I have started occasionally purchasing LPs now for collecting (I have no turntable), and I romanticize about having a turntable set up when I have more time in "retirement", if that is ever going to be a thing...


    7. What was your first audio component / stereo?


    My fourth form year at prep school, I received a stereo set up for Christmas.  Both my Dad and Uncle were audiophiles, so I got a handed down Dynaco SS amp and preamp from my father, and a Technics direct drive turntable (unknown cartridge, but likely decent) from my Uncle.  These were paired with small Braun bookshelf speakers.  The following year I went to the HiFi store with my DAD and listened to bunch of speakers.  I ended up with Cizek speakers were quite good for the time, two ways, with a 10" woofer and a ~1" soft dome tweeter.



    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?


    Nah, not really.



    9. Is there one current component that you wish you had in your system?

    That's easy: Vivid Audio G 2s, wish i could afford them, but I work in high end audio...



    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 work from home, and listen to music from the main system a lot of that time, but I try to reserve at least an hour every day for close listening to at least a single full album with no distractions, that would be pleasure listening rather than for evaluating the system or testing stuff...  I have a separate moderate system in my bedroom with the TV, but that gets a lot less use-movies, concert films, etc.



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


    Wow, big question...


    First: Emerson, Lake & Palmer, @ Princeton University, front row center!


    Best: I need to list a few:  Yes @ Madison Square Garden ~77, King Crimson somewhere in LA, ~81, Pat Metheny Group, Radio City Music Hall (NYC), Travels tour with Nano Vasconceles, Yes, on the "Masterworks" tour, Denver (had an out of body experience at this one, no drugs or alcohol involved), almost anytime I saw John McLaughlin, acoustic or electric, with his recent retirement tour being specially memorable.  Peter Gabriel, Secret World tour, Denver, King Crimson, Denver, 2019.


    Talking Heads, Speaking in Tongues Tour, somewhere in LA with an open floor-this was notable as it was just before the movie was made at the Pantages Theater, compared to the restrained performance in the film, it was clear the Heads were kicking out the cobwebs from a long bout of touring, this turned into a massive funk dance party, with the band doing tons of extended soloing and jamming...

    There are many more good ones...


    Venues: Boulder Theater, CO, Red Rocks (if you get close enough to avoid the massive reflection problem), Greek Theater, LA, The Roxy, LA



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

    Focus Audio FS-888 Signature.jpg


    • Loudspeakers: Focus Audio FS-888 Signatures, with slight capacitor mods
    • Amp: DIY Hypex NC-400, currently building a Purifi based amp
    • DACs: Bricasti M3, DIY ESS 9038 based, DIY DSC-2 (balanced), Topping D-90
    • Source: Sonore Signature Rendu SEoptical
    • Rack: DIY with bamboo shelving on a maple frame, shelves damped by sobothane
    • Cables: Iconoclast 4x4 OCC XLR cables, Iconoclast SPTPC speaker cables, Nordost Tyr USB- DIY power cabling
    • Power Conditioning: DIY passive parallel line conditioner with Dark Matter and Oiyade R1 outlets
    • Accessories: Synergistic Orange fuses, Hi Fi tuning Supreme Cu fuses (amp), Stillpoints minis (Rendu)
    • Subwoofer: JL Audio E-112






    13. Anything else you’d like to say?


    Hey folks, can we all forget about all the nonsense and division caused by the so-called objective/subjective debate?  Can we at least try?  Are we not all looking for a similar thing, to enjoy recorded music playback in our homes?  Indeed this is a subjective experience, and indeed the development of audio components requires an objective element to design together with both objective and subjective evaluation.  it is all comes together for me, I want to be transported into the music, and I find the labelling and dichotomy counter to that experience, seeking connection. 




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    Thanks Chris!  can we update my DAC in the article to the bricasti M3?  Sorry, i should have mentioned this...

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    " I immediately called my Mom in Princeton, and asked her if she would be willing to stop by the Jadwin box office to see if anyone had turned in tickets for a refund due to the re-scheduling.  My Mom was awesome, and indeed got two tickets, front row center, to the sold out show!  As the concert was now on Friday night, i could get permission to leave my boarding school for a weekend at home in Princeton, so my roommate and I spent the weekend at my house in Princeton.  My Mom dropped us off at the show, and we had our minds blown by ELP.  My house was only a couple of miles from the Princeton University campus, and we walked home afterwards, through the deep snow, I'll never forget that walk home, my world had been changed forever. "


    I too had a mighty mother. We were lucky.


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    I met B (as I call him) here on AS (then CA) and since then we have had great fun making DIY DACs and more recently cool Sonore gear.  We also met many years ago at RMAF in the PS Audio room where I found you with Ted just hanging out. 


    Speaking of Ted...he would be another great interview for the 'Meet The Audiophile Style Community' series. Anyway, B is a great guy!


    PS: Question #4 does not have a response?

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    26 minutes ago, vortecjr said:

    Question #4 does not have a response?

    I didn’t receive one. I took it as a no comment :~)

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    Great concerts!


    I saw John McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra at Princeton.  Maybe 1973...  An out of the body experience, probably because it was not only great music but LOUD and, well, the usual prep for a concert back then.  Saw Benny Carter too (talk about contrasts).  Probably the same year.  He rocked!  Interesting people as well as great musicians.  



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    4.  Was kind of answered in question 7...  Been an audiophile/or music lover since High School, my Father and Uncle were both audiophiles, so I was kind of raised into it.  Names like Dynaco, Quad, AR, Dahlquist, and glowing tubes were common to me from pretty far back.

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    You seem to be an interesting man Barrows with some fascinating and challenging hobbies.

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