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Old 21st October 2012, 12:07 PM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Loxahatchee, Florida
Default This Place is Fantastic

Good morning all.

Long time lurker, new member. Just wanted to say hello.

I actually started a thread here yesterday asking for knowledge sources on Vented Box Systems but because I intro'd myself in that thread it kind of turned into an introduction thread.

Sorry. It wasn't my intent to start an intro thread in the Multi-way forum.

In any event, let me just repeat my intro here so that I can say hello to a broader audience.

For the better part of 30 years I have always wanted to design and build some incredible loudspeakers. I first became an audiophile in the mid 1980's when, walking down the cold streets of Buffalo NY in January, I passed this small storefront called "The Speaker Shop" and stopped in for the heck of it.

Here I am, 19 years old, just interested in a nice "stereo" and as soon as I walk in, I notice that the place only has about dozen or so different speakers, and some ugly looking "stereos" completely devoid of any cool lights, buttons, or knobs!

What a waste of time I say to myself. I could not find a single Techniques receiver (LOL!!!) in the place. So I turn around and start to walk out.

The owner of this small shop see me leaving (I am the only one in his shop) and says to me: "Can I help you young man?".

"No sir, but thank you. You don't have what I am looking for".

"What are you looking for?", he inquires.

"I'm looking for Techniques. I see that you don't have them".

"Why do you want that crap?" He says to me with a straight face.

I was stunned. It was the best selling stereo equipment in the US. Everyone I knew that had a cool stereo had Techniques and either JBL speakers or a pair of Infinitys!

"Don't leave yet", he says to me. I am going to change your perspective on audio. Please sit down. What kind of music do you like?

"Rock bro! I like Rock. Everything else sucks". So said this cocky, know-it-all teen to the old man in front of me.

"I think I'll play some lively classical for you instead", he says to me.

"But I don't like classical. Nothing personal, but classical sucks".

"Give me 5 minutes. In two minutes you will LOVE classical. Now just sit down please".

So I sat in a chair, in front of a pair of odd looking speakers, these Quad ESLs (actually ESL-63s) as he called them, hooked up to some strange Conrad Johnson electronics completely devoid of bass, midrange, and treble knobs, and waited for him to put this Ride of the Valkyries song on the Lynn Sondek LP12 turntable attached to the whole gig.

I was becoming annoyed. Quit wasting my time I thought to myself as I readied myself to get out of the seat and just leave.

Then the music started.

I was blown away. "Ohh my God" I said to myself. Then I said aloud "Wow! The speakers are gone! My brain can't find them! And listen to the detail!"
And so I listened to the entire track, noticing that I had goosebumps on my arms, and that my mood had changed substantially.

Music had never before affected me in such a way.

It was a slow weekday, and he had few customers so he spent two hours with me, explaining the differences between crap and real audio.

I was hooked, and on that day I became an audiophile.

Six months later, after saving every dollar I could, I walked into that store with a little under $2,000 (a huge sum of money back then, especially for a now 20 year old kid) and bought a pair of Paradigm 9SEs, a PS Audio Elite Integrated Amplifier, and a Bang and Olefson turntable.

Thirty years later I still refuse to even entertain commercial mass produced audio.

And here I am today.

Last edited by Frankie Carbone; 21st October 2012 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 21st October 2012, 12:34 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2012
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Welcome to one of the best places for diy audio on the planet. There are many people over in the speaker section who know their boxes and often there are times when there is a lively discussion about mdf versus Baltic Birch plywood. Always interesting.

Now a quick question, you still have that original setup?
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Old 21st October 2012, 03:22 PM   #3
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No I don't. I presently have Paradigm Studio 100's and Anthem hardware.
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Old 21st October 2012, 07:46 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forum Frankie, we met in your other thread already where you have already seen some lively discussion

dave
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Old 21st October 2012, 10:15 PM   #5
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Thanks planet10. Not surprised to see a lot of Canadians and Brits on this site given your nations' lineages of producing top of the line loudspeakers.

I understand that the Canadian loudspeaker companies have a competitive advantage in that they have access to national laboratories for their acoustics research. Is that true?
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Old 21st October 2012, 10:22 PM   #6
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With ESL-63's, I understand that the owner refused to play ROCK... ;-)))

Arne K
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Old 21st October 2012, 10:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frankie Carbone View Post
I understand that the Canadian loudspeaker companies have a competitive advantage in that they have access to national laboratories for their acoustics research. Is that true?
Only those in the Ottawa/Toronto/Montreal area. Us on the Left Coast are far-far away from that facility.

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Old 21st October 2012, 11:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planet10 View Post
Only those in the Ottawa/Toronto/Montreal area. Us on the Left Coast are far-far away from that facility.

dave
I grew up on the border (US side) near Fort Erie Ontario. Canada is a wonderful place and if it were not so cold I'd have considered living there. I've been down in the subtropics for so long that 10 degrees C is freezing for me!

I also love Germany and Denmark, but again, too cold! Great places, and also, if you have noticed, real hotbeds for advancements in audio technology.

I'm a big fan of Paradigms, specifically the reference series.
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Old 22nd October 2012, 12:24 AM   #9
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Florida is too hot

Here, on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, temperature typically ranges from about 5C to 25C with occasional excursions outside that. In the shade of the mountain range that runs thru the centre of the island we get about 1/3 the rain of Seattle or Vancouver.

dave
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Old 22nd October 2012, 09:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planet10 View Post
Florida is too hot

Here, on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, temperature typically ranges from about 5C to 25C with occasional excursions outside that. In the shade of the mountain range that runs thru the centre of the island we get about 1/3 the rain of Seattle or Vancouver.

dave
I probably could adjust to that weather. 5C is not all that bad. It's the -5C that seems to rip through one's bones on a cold January day.

I have never been to Vancouver to be honest, nor Seattle. My travels have placed me all over eastern Canada though. But I understand that Eastern and Western Canada are completely different culturally, is that correct?

I do very much enjoy seeing an international flavor on this site, and that it is not dominated by one or two nationalities. I think heterogeneity is a good thing as broad and diversified perspectives always lead to a more robust advancement of knowledge.

I also found it interesting, as I alluded to earlier, that some of the nations where the world's finest audio has originated are well represented here. I mentioned a few in Denmark, Canada, Britain, and Germany, but then I see a lot of members from other audio hotbeads such as the nordic countries, Australia, and the US. I am too accustomed to North American dominated websites which in my opinion tends to lead to too narrow a viewpoint on some subjects. So I am curious to see if there is a pattern of different schools of thought depending on where each poster calls home, or perhaps that is an oversimplification on my part. Have you noticed that in your travels here?
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