I became intrigued by classical music before the age of ten listening to my dad's old Telefunken radio and RCA pickup. I made my first DIY speaker with a biscuit tin can as enclosure, adding it to the radio thinking that would give me stereo. In my high-school days when my brother and I saved enough pocket money we bought our first stereo system comprised of a Thorens TD150 turntable, Empire phono cartridge, Harmon Kardon 630 receiver, Technics cassette deck and Sinus 3-way bookshelf loudspeakers. I made my wooden audio rack with drawers underneath, one to store LPs and the other for accessories like phono cartridges, record cleaning solution and brush, antistatic guns and what have you.

After graduation I secured a decent job in advertising. A few years of hard work paid off. I married the beautiful girl who shares my life and passion for music and piano. We built our new home around a 6’ Yamaha grand piano and a stereo system included the Denon DP-59L turntable, Nakamichi BX-300 three-head cassette deck, Onkyo Integra preamp and power amp and B&W 801 loudspeakers. Subsequently the whole system was upgraded to Symphonic Line RG3 & RG4, Restek Radiant CD player, Deltec PDM-Two DAC, Dynaudio Facette and Yamaha YST-SW200 paired subwoofers.

Like many music lovers of my age, I was born in the golden age of vinyl. I grew up on Schwann Record and Tape Guide. I scanned through the new catalog each quarter for new recordings by my favourite composers, conductors and pianists. I would place orders if the record store didn’t have them. Those were the days. I am all for multi-channel and high-resolution digital now. At the present moment, I have permanently set up thirteen systems in operation driving more than 90 units of loudspeakers – six being multi-channel and the most complicated one 12.2 made up of DIY speakers. Some stereos are not strictly 2.0 but 4.0, 6.2 or 8.0. Digital source ranges from Oppo Blu-ray players (BDP-83/95/103d/105) to Redbook players (Restek Radiant, Marantz SA8260) and bitstream DAC (Deltec PDM-Two and Little Bit). Analog turntables range from Denon to Rega and B&O (Beogram 4002/4500/6000).

Amplifiers from Class A/B Symphonic Line, Sim Audio, Beomaster (3000-2/4400/6000 4-Channel), gainclone Audio Zone, class D NuForce, Winsome Labs, Virtue, KingRex, Trends to a whole cluster of tube amps. Loudspeakers include ribbon Apogee (Stage/Centaur Minor), bass-reflex Klipsch Synergy F2, Dynaudio Facette and Mark & Daniel, Loth-X and JohnBlue widebanders to in-ceiling Polk and various DIY projects. That’s why my frame of reference is boundlessly eclectic.

Not having any personal preferences actually makes it easier for me to write an audio review. I can start anew each time from an appreciative (as opposed to critical) standpoint. Not having a mind of my own allows me to go into the mind of the designer, understand what goal has been set and let the auditions demonstrate to me how it was achieved. Sounds easy, doesn’t it?

I am fully retired as of 2014, enjoying family, writing, music and art.