“Ciao” music lovers, in this first autumn times when the sun slowly goes down earlier, as the temperature, we in Solidsteel lighten up ourselves with a good listening and a strong spirit.
Audiophile Notes wants to discover passionates’ most intimate journey into Music.
This time we feature Mr. Jason from Virginia, United States.
He has a huge passion coming from his family roots, hugging music and cinema since his childhood and driving him to get a wonderful AV System nowadays, with a Solidsteel S5-5 Hi-Fi Rack for correctly placing the amazing components chosen for his equipment.
– Jason, how did you become passionate about high fidelity?
My first visit to a Tweeter store and hearing a set of Martin Logan Speakers. This is when I really learned I loved good sounding equipment. I was amazed by the beauty of the see-through electrostatic speakers. The sound quality was like nothing I had ever heard before. That day and moment started my journey into HiFi with the purchase of my first Martin Logan’s: a pair of Clarity’s.
– Definitely a Martin Logan fan… So, describe your Hi-Fi/ AV System and tell us more about your components. Is there something from your equipment that you would never substitute?
Martin Logan Models: (Renaissance ESL 15A, Focus ESL C18 , Script i, 4 Motion 4i’s for Dolby Atmos , 2 Motion 35XT’s for Rear Surrounds)
Year Purchased: (2005 – 2020)
Sub – SVS SB16-Ultra
Amp’s – McIntosh MC452, MC301, Anthem MC525, and Rotel RMB-1095
Pre-amp – PS Audio BHK Signature Preamplifier
Phono Stage – Gold Note PH-10 and PSU-10
HT Processor – Marantz AV7703
BlueRay Player – Xbox One X
Projector/Screen – Sony VPLVW295ES and 92″ Stewart Screen
Streaming Video – Apple 4k TV
Streaming Music – Apple 2020 Mac Mini with Chord Qutest
Turntable – VPI Prime with JMW 3D Unipivot Tonearm w/ Audio-Technica AT-ART9XA
Turntable Cabling – All Nordost Heimdall 2 from Tonearm RCA -> PH-10 XLR -> BHK XLR -> MC452 XLR
Streaming Cabling – 2 Channel = Nordost Blue Heaven USB, AudioQuest Water RCA Chord -> BHK
Video Streaming Cabling – AudioQuest Cinnamon HDMI
HT Interconnect Cabling – Nordost Heimdall 2, AudioQuest Water, Tributaries,
Speaker Cables – Nordost Red Dawn
Power – Nordost QB8 20amp w/ Frey 2 Cord, Panamax M5400 EX, Furman Elite-15i
Power Cables – Nordost Blue Heaven, Red Dawn, Heimdall 2, Frey 2
Racks – Solidsteel S5 Series Twin-Shelf Modular Audio Rack, Salamander Synergy Quad 20
Acoustic Treatments – GIK Acoustics, Acoustimac
The one piece of equipment I would probably never substitute would be my Martin Logan Renaissance ESL 15A’s, unless it was to upgrade to a pair of Neolith’s.
– What is your favorite music genre? Which are your reference albums you generally choose for “testing” your system?
My favorite genre of music would be Jazz. Generally: Miles Davis Kind of Blue, Tame Impala Currents, John Coltrane Blue Train, Norah Jones Come Away With Me, and Radiohead Kid A – which I have all on Vinyl. Also Tidal has a Playlist called Ultimate System Testers. That playlist has a lots of tracks on it that are great for testing.
– Which is your favorite “moment” of the day for listening music with your audio system?
It’s a tie between early mornings with a good cup of coffee and late at night to ease my nerves before bed.
– Which audio format do you listen most? Digital or Analogic? Can you tell us why?
Analog. I’ve recently gotten into vinyl and love the sound quality of the music. Most tracks sound a lot better on vinyl over digital in my opinion. But my digital streaming is not the most high end at the moment so it could sound better.
– In Solidsteel we are involved in this discussion: analog or digital formats… this is a continuous debate. Anyway, when you first heard about Solidsteel brand?
When I was looking for a new rack for my VPI Prime turntable earlier this year. It was on the Upscale Audio website for options. Really liked what I saw and the price.
– In which terms have you noticed benefits in using Solidsteel products? (Audio quality, Design, smart components positioning) What would you recommend to other music lovers?
The quality of the product and ease of setup is amazing. Was very shocked at how easy it was to put together. I’m even wanting to upgrade my Salamander cabinet with Solidsteel in the near future. Really want something for my amps and center channel to sit on but a little higher setup.
– Considering your attention for any aspect connected to your components, their proper position and the music room ambient, which advice do you feel to give for those who are approaching the Hi-Fi world? What is “essential” for creating a first audio system?
Well in my opinion I would say the best advice would be to listen to your ears and what they hear. Go and listen to multiple brands of speakers and equipment from low priced to high priced and find out what sounds best to your ears. Then when you find the brands that sound best to you, try all of their product lines. I have been changing out gear since 2005 and only when I hear something I know is going to improve the sound quality in my room. Not when someone tells me it will from online. I test it first with my ears before I purchase.
– What’s your feedback about emotions in music? Do you like attending music concerts, live shows and events?
So I do have an emotional attachment to music and movies. Most times I can hear a song and it takes me right back to when I was a kid and listening to that album with my mother. Or a song or movie I remember seeing or hearing with my wife on our first dates. Some songs bring sorrow but most bring joy into my life while listening. In the end, music has always been a part of my life and always will be.
As for attending live events; I’m more of a Jazz Club kind of person over the crowded concert. Not that I haven’t enjoyed some concerts, but I much rather be in a more intimate establishment listening to great music then at a concert with drunk people yelling and screaming. One of my favorite music memories is staying in a hotel in New Orleans called Royal Sonesta which housed The Jazz Playhouse. We experienced The Glen David Andrews International Band while there and I was blown away by their performance. It was one of my very first in-person Jazz experiences, and I’ve been hooked ever since.
– Suggest three music albums that we absolutely can’t miss.
So it would be easy to just name off the normal Jazz albums or hit albums most known like Kind of Blue or Thriller, so I won’t do that. I’d recommend the following 3 you might not have heard. These are in no particular order.
- Texas Sun by Khruangbin & Leon Bridges; Love this album and it’s in my rotation a lot. Anything by Khruangbin is an instant favorite for me.
- Glimmer of Gold by Baba Blues; this is one of my most streamed albums on Roon. The album is amazing to me and I’d love for a Vinyl version to come out one day. The track St. James Infirmary is remarkable!
- Wheels Turn Beneath My Feet by Fink; another great album I wish I had the vinyl too. Trouble’s What You’re In and Biscuits are my two favorites from that album.
(Solidsteel’s Company do not own any rights on the suggested album covers.)
Many thanks to Jason, we really remained impressed by his passion. If you want to discover more about him check @vinylnoob on Instagram.
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Good music and “Arrivederci”!