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RobDowning's Main System
Last Update: October 30, 2005 at 21:12:29 IP Address:
Amplifier: Fi 421a; also, custom PP 300b monos, custom PP 45, Fi 2a3 monos, Welborne 300b Laurels, Wavelength Venus 45's, Cary 40m mkii mono's, various vintage (Eico 35 and 60, Accrosound, Dynaco 70's), home brew DIY 300b and other set's. I guess I'm kind of an "amp" guy.
Preamplifier (or None if Integrated): Joule, but only used when necessary.
Speakers: Avantgarde Duo's; also, Onken/horn system, Quad 63's w/Gradients, Spendor sp 100's, RCA LC1A's in original cabs, Altec 604's (awaiting new cabinet ideas).
CD Player/DAC: Accuphase 75
Turntable/Phono Stage: Rehabbed Thorens 124 w/custom base and Moerch arm; Fi and other phono stages
Other Source(s): Macintosh 71 tuner
Other Accessories/Room/Misc.:
Speaker Cables/Interconnects: various, but I don't get too caught up in this.
Other (Power Conditioner, Racks etc.): various pro gear.
Tweaks: Good wines. Lots of musical instruments.
Room Size (LxWxH): 24 x 20 x 9
Room Comments/Treatments: Room is dedicated. Never got around to room treatments, even though my wife doesn't care what I do in the room. Someday I should do something here.
Music Preferences and Comments:
Music Used (Genre/Selections): classical and jazz.
System Goals/Comments: Natural sound. Realistic scale and dynamics. I listen to live music every day so I am very aware of what real instruments and orchestras sound like. I never judge audio equipment on specific audio criteria, just overall does it make me want to listen to my system more, rather than do other things with my time.Dedicated music room for system and music practice. Also own pro recording gear.
System Strengths: Dynamics, and natural instrumental tone and image size. The 421a is my most natural sounding amp, thru midrange and highs, stronger bass than you might imagine but sometimes a little out of control. Very quiet too, but don't bother to try this amp on anything but very high efficiency horns etc.
System Weaknesses: Still doesn't really compare to live music, but better than most hi fi's i've heard. Duos are pretty good, no matter what else I try I seem to come back to them. Maybe slightly rolled off on top, but then most hi fi is way too bright, so I deal with it. The Accuphase and the Thorens are wonderful, and will keep going long after I can't hear anymore. All my amps have something good about them, but all have some weaknesses as well. I switch out equipment every so often, but the above Main system seems to make me want to listen to it the most.
Video/HT System: None
Other Interests/Hobbies/Occupation: Former real estate investor/financier/lawyer; sold real estate company and apartment portfolio recently and now run private foundation. Active on some university/school/arts organization boards, and trying to help raise my teenage violinist son. Trying. Daughter appears to be well launched. Like wine alot (See Downing Family Vinyards web site for my brother's winery). History, foreign affairs, economics are interests.

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