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A big BONJOUR/Bonsoir to the community at CA

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from Tom, living in the Loire Valley in the center France :-)



I am enjoying reading the CA articles roundabout 2 years and I have been subscribed since two month, enjoying a lot of informative discussions and practical tips as well as learning a lot about the strange problems that can occur in semi-pro discussions about an hobby from mostly highly educated honorable adults.


Actually, I had risen one question in one thread started by jriver about a month ago, but I have felt completely ignored as the direction in that thread went once more to the Neverland where objectivists and subjectivists share the same river ...


But I did not want to complain, I have thought for myself, maybe I had better introduced myself before, as etiquette sometimes seems to be very important.


I am German by origin, live in France, had some helpful studies in Longhirst/Northumbria a while ago, have always been very related to Music, starting as a consumer being teenager (I believed being the most dedicated Pink Floyd Fan in town when 13 years old, but that was just before I was caught by the Sex Pistols).

I had a decade of (p)reviewing Alternative music, especially from Australia and NZ for a monthly mag in Frankfurt in my 20s, was DJing mainly on subculture/alternative events and later taking care about the music edition in a free radio project in Hamburg, where I also made first contact with British HiFi as Musical Fidelity B1 and Rega Planar 3, which I was buying then (I still own them ;-).



At this point my interest in SQ in equipment and performance were starting kicking in, but as life goes, other aspects of life (family, home, job, dogs, wine) were substituting the force to discover more of that. I had also not been too happy with SQ of the majority of my mostly Rock/Folk CD's over these years, and afterwards the MP3-SQ made me neither feel interested to listen so extensively to music as much as I do again since the flac standard has been more established in digital audio. I own a music server from Hermstedt, the Hifidelio Pro, which had been branded Olive in the US, since 2005. And it made me quite happy throughout the years.



This year I substituted the old MF Amp by a classic NAD 165 Pre/275 power AMP combination, that in my ears make a big difference with my B&W 805s bookshelfs, which are having a set of Norstone stands on granite plates below them. The preamp is fed by the MF V90 DAC, which has it served by a 2011 DELL Latitude I5/8GB/WIN7 Pro Notebook, that is dedicated to only use JRIVER for music serving tasks from the 1TB Hitachi USB3 source via USB2 slot.



The system is installed in my office room, with natural stone tiles/carpets on the floor, where I have a 1a 3,5 x3,5 m space dedicated for listening. The walls are isolated with paneels and the headspace is up to 4 m in height, with two top windows and two windows on the wall behind my armchair. The shelf with equipment is in between the stands, which are about 2,70 meters away from each others, but about 0,6 m to the wall and both about 3 m to my listening position. I am listening mostly in an armchair, at the top end of a triangle with the speakers directed towards my position/ears.


I am still listening to Pink Floyd (while writing, it is side 2 of the PULSE live recording :-), I have renewed my interest in Live recordings. I used to own a lot of double live records when being teenager, unfortunately I had to sell almost all when starting fathering during my studies back in the nineties. At this time a I had already enjoyed a small 1000 of live concerts during the 15 years before, and I felt that chapter was read by then.

That was not correct, i might state now . And I will wait for a 24 bit remaster of "Live and Dangerous"!!!

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I have found lots of pleasure in listening to music issued by the NAIM Label, e.g. A. Forricone / Acoustic Mania, the ECM Label is a well one of my favorites as I love Keith Jarrett since the end of my Sex Pistols phase (YES!) when I discovered the Cologne Concert, which gave me a lot in the final years of my teenage. Jan Garbarek is another one I would not like to miss, and their collaboration on Personal Mountains is, in my opinion, one of the best recordings I know.



I am a fan of the Waterboys, Cowboy Junkies and THE DREAM SYNDICATE. From more modern music, I really enjoy ARCHIVE with their way of interpreting electronic music , The XX and Warpaint.



On the e-music side, I am, compared to the popular music, kind of blinded by the light, I have some standards I enjoy regularly (Söllscher/Rodrigo, Vivaldi/Menuhin, Beethoven/Kleiber), and I tend to like Violin and Piano concerts more than operas, but I am quite far away from having a sufficient knowledge on different artists playing the same composition, as I do have with cover versions in Rock music.



I regard myself as a kind of objectivist, but not from an engineering point of view, I prefer to understand my investments in technology and like if I am able to hear and explain differences when changing something. Unfortunately I often can't do so.



In addition I have a soft spot for subjective findings and beliefs, as long as they are not made up for a religious or generic argumentation. I believe, the invest in some decent cables is helpful to archive SQ ( I own some Oehlbach, Norstone and QED), but my doubts come at the points where the ratio of achievement/price tends to the doubtful for myself. For example the pricing for the high end cabling as CAT7 Vodka is out of reach for my brain and my pocket. I might never be able to prove that by my ears, but ...)



As I need to regard always the economic side with my investments, I tend more to rational behavior than looking for "high end" per se for just being an audiophile by equipment.


When deciding for the NAD pack, for example, I was deciding against Atoll IN200, a Vincent hybrid, a used Linn Majik and a AA Verdi 100 SE hybrid, which had all been more or less in the price range, but I was aiming for sufficient power +headroom (even I seldom go over low volume) and reliability for the Bookshelfs, rather than warmth and individual classé with known sophisticated high-end market entry, that would read well in my signature. Does this characterize me a bit?



Bon soiree



Tom / Loire Valley

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Welcome Tom!


I like your eclectic approach to music! Thanks for sharing your experiences!


Loved the 805D too, but what I was aiming to at that range was 802D's. A bit too much for my pocket..



I found the whole 800 series very special. I heard the top model once in the studio I was working as a student, but I was more impressed by the build quality than by the sq, even it was really perfect.

The 805's I heard just shortly after, by chance, when actually aiming for some Mission 765, and the hifi guy had just one of each connected to the Cyrus amp. I was just blown away by the B&W. I dared asking for the price of the small bijoux, and decided against buying the Mission. Nevertheless, I was waiting another 17 years before I bought the B&W. As size matters, and I never had lots of space to fill with music, the 805 series had been most suitable for me, When I found them at 50 % of the original price, I knew that it was time to cross the border.


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