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May 29


In a disused post cold war bunker, somewhere under Yorkshire


Sibelius, Frank Zappa, Brian Eno, Roger Eno, Shostakovich, Younger Brother, Nick Drake, Beethoven, Genesis, Gabriel, Hackett, Philip Glass, Lee Ritenour, Bee Bop Delux, Stravinsky, Charie Haden, Antonio Forcione, The Bue Nile, Mahler, David Sylvian, Black Sabbath, The Stranglers, Satie, Harold Budd, Hawkwind, Simon & Garfunkel, Pink Floyd, Steely Dan, Donald Fagen, Carl Orff, Grace Jones, XTC, Jethro Tull, Led Zepellin, Robert Plant, King Crimson, Adrian Belew, Marillion, Miles Davis, Keith Jarrett, Steffano Bollani, Tomasz Stanko, Rush, Wagner, 10cc, Sky, Tanita Tikaram, Paul Simon, William Orbit, Queen, Trichotomy, Weather Report, Brand X, Tord Gustavson, Terry Riley, The police, Sky, Vivaldi, Supertramp, Stockhausen, David Bowie, Bach, Weber, Tavener, Rameau, Ror Harper, Devo, Mozart, Robert Fripp, John Coltrain, Rimsky Korsakoff, Scooter, Kraftwerk, Vaughan Williams, Prokofiev, Scarlatti, Patti Smith, Al Di Meola, Stuart McCallum, Reich, Berlioz, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Bue Oyster Cult, Ted Nugent, Camel, kate Bush, Dire Straits, Stanley Clarke, Thelonious Monk, Verdi, Saint-Seans, E.S.T. Berstein, Boulez, Bobby McFerrin, This Mortal Coil, Schubert, Brubeck, Pat Benetar, Chuck Mangione, Emmerson, Lake and Palmer, Keith Emmerson, The Eagles, Vangelis, Jimi Hendrix, Dvorak, Gounod, Rachmaninov, Alt-J, Widor, The Tubes, Bugge Wesseltoft, and a few more, that I can't recall at the moment.


Cats - stray moggies. Scotland, Sheffield. Mountain Biking, weight training, Real Ale pubs, Curries. Good wine & Single Malt Whiskey. Cmposing ambient drones, washes, textures, and other stuff, in my PC, Cakewalk, Unitiqute & ATC SCM 11 based studio, helping my lovely wife continue to learn the Piano. Walking, DIY, watching my mirror balls, lava lamp, and other FX whilst chilling to some good ambient music, stone cold sober. Listening to Ambient ,Classic FM, Radio 3&4, Tidal via Qute2/ATCSCM7, in the bedroom whilst going to sleep/awakening. Having Boozey sessions with my friends, utilising many of the aforementioned tools, and, resources (excluding the Wife, that is!).


What drew you to hi-fi, and Naim in particular? I've posted mine in my bio, for now, and plan to update it soon.  Should this thread should be somewhere else? I don't know.


Maybe, this could be a place to explore your upgraditis, or satisfaction? People seem to be gradually increasing their response to, someone's suggestion (sorry I can't remember who), for more information, on Richard's hugely successful,  "What are you listening listening to now, and why might anyone be interested" thread, in the Music Room.


In an age of one line, and increasingly, one word replies, in electronic media, how about taking a a little more  time to express yourself. After all Naim take great time, and care in making our regular "fix".


Understandably people have time constraints at Christmas. Posts seem to be decreasing on this forum. I'll bump this thread up, in the new year, if it sinks too far.


Seasons greetings, and Happy Christmas to everyone, whatever your religion or walk of life.


P.S.Just thought, I'll try inserting the first  chapter of my audio bio under here, right now.


Biography (Audio)

I started to listen to orchestral music, soon after birth.  My Mother gave me her Ultra UA4 (4 watts per channel) stereo at 14, when her father died. She inherited his larger music center( on legs), with huge speakers. Ever since, I have given most of my old gear to family, friends,and charity.


Vangelis Albedo 0.39, was my first non classical LP. Fortunately, Mum loved it too. Upgraditis started in '75. I upgraded my reversible stylus, to a "real" Hi-Fi cartridge, A Sonotone V200s. Around the same time, I bought Koss K7/11 phones, and shortly after , Koss Pro 4AA The improvement to that set up was huge, to say the least,  but perhaps my first Mullet. I started buying Hi-Fi Answers in '73.This was the start of a true addiction.


I had to have "proper" hi-fi before, going to University. I bought, Micro Seiki MB10 Turntable, with Ortofon MC10 cartrige/ transformer, Alba UA 900 amp, and a pair of Wharfedale Teesdale SP2's (remember the Isodynamic HF unit?). Most of our parties were in my room, due to the audio, good job it was a big room.


In another mad fit of upgraditis, I bought some Monitor Audio speaker cable. This changed the sound for sure, but unfortunately, the reactance blew one channel of the amp. I can still see, and smell, a thin layer of acrid white smoke, hanging at waist height, all over the room!  I phoned The Audio Center in Sheffield  (anyone remember them) I was thinking of replacing the Alba, with a Creek, which both the dealer, and HFA said was sh!t hot. However, the dealer advised me to put source first, buy a Rega Planar 3, and get the old amp repaired. Wisely  I took their advice. This was a very significant improvement! Even my Mum appreciated the huge gain in tunefulness and clarity. It might have been better for my social life however, if I had bought a more powerful amp! Have you ever tried listening to your system with a room packed with partying people? The sound at the back, is barely audible, maybe that's the main reason the pro's put their speakers well above head height!


Further gains, came by upgrading the cartridge, to a Nagaoka MP30, with a boron cantilever. Boy, was I impressed. I'd long thought, that budget Ortofon MC transformer was acting like a music "sponge" spoiling musical pleasure.


I was still at uni a year later, and bought a pair of Micro Seiki Electrostatic phones, to give the guy upstairs some peace, they gave lots of detail to Mahler Symphonies, but they were not loud enough for prog rock.


The old Alba amp died again, this time, without the help of fancy overpriced cables. I was still reading HFA. They favored amps made by a company called Naim. I had listened to Naim at the late 70's Harrogate shows, with Linn Turntables and  I think, I remember ProAc speakers. I couldn't afford Naim at this time.


A cuople of years later Simply Hi-fi in Hull sold me a Quantum Electronics 102/202D pre/power, which they said was based on an amp called a Naim nac/nap, something, or other, in which the pre, got it's power, from the poweramp, via the signal cable (how strange). I thought this amp was the Dogs B*ll*cks, and kept it for some time.


Upgraditis struck yet again,, when HFA reviewed the Mission 770's, My friend, had also owned a pair, for 18 months, so they were a must. Everything they said in HFA about the Missions, turned out to be true. These Speakers, had lots of impact. The lighter Polypropylene  bass driver, was faster than the old Bextrene cones, found in many 2 cubic foot designs of the time. The bass was difficult to control in my room, so I positioned the 770's 2 feet from the wall, on 15" high QED Stands. My friends and I enjoyed listening to this system, for quite a while.


Next step was a Musical Fidelity A100.  MF, like Naim, value their customers, and still send me catalogs, to this day. The A100, smoothed things out considerably, and heated the room! However, it lacked the punch, and drive, of the Quantum amps. I was attending quite a few Linn dems around then, and bought Nexus speakers, which were good but a bit of lateral move.


In ''86, I replaced the Rega Planar3, with the venerable Linn Sondek LP12. 1986, was a very significant year. I had been lusting after a Linn Sondek, for about thirteen years, and I was now in a position to invest in one. The guys at the Sheffield shop, duly fitted the deck, with an LVX arm, and and K9 cartridge. The improvement in musicality was so great, that I started experimenting, with even more musical genres. I was mesmerized and seduced by the sound, in love with Linn, and their doctrine. In ''89 at the Hallam Tower Hi-Fi Show, in Sheffield, I heard the Linn Ekos (which I ordered on the spot with, £100 discount). This was fitted with a K18 cartridge. I started to realise the significance of the of the term, " Dark Silences",  within the playback.


At the Hallam Tower show, I visited the Naim Room. They had split with Linn by now, and had an LP12/ Armagedon?/Aro/wotever needle/Naim amps and IBL speakers. I can still hear bobby McFerrin, playing himself, just as clearly, even now. I bought the album shortly afterwards.  Bobby sounded more euphonic, and his closely miked chest tapping was deeper at home, but lacked the foot tapping infection/infections of the Naim dem.  Was this the start, of my gradual defection to Naim?


CD was in  it's commercial infancy at this time. Curiosity led me to buy a Phillips CD 104 (first front loader), from Comet (at a very heavily subsidised price). The Phillips catalog, only had around 200 titles at this time. I bought quite a few orchestral CD's, as some of my LP's were a bit noisy, in the quiet movements, after being played on inferior equipment. Later upgrades to the Sondek mitigated most of this distraction, though. My romance with CD was brief, and after buying 70 or so CD's, I found that preferred Vinyl, and only bought a few nore titles, in CD format.


With respect to the neighbors, whilst listening late in the evening. I realised that I needed some uber headphones. Stax cought my eye. I read, that Stax were a force to be reckoned with, thus Gamma Pro, and Lambda pro, with SRDX energiser arrived. Amazing phones! Later I upgraded to a used SRM-T1 energiser and Lamda Signature. Stax brought lightning transients, previously unheard clarity, and depth, to the sound.(Wow!).


At the Stax dealer in Leeds, whilst descending the stairs, I spotted pair of beautiful, tall slim speakers under the stairs. The salesman informed me they, were Linn Kabers. I had to own them. A year passed, and I bought a pair, along with a Linn LK1/LK280 pre/power, as the A100 didn't have enough oomph, to drive the Kabers.


The system was well and truly singing, and rocking now. Musical tastes started to diversify into realms, I had not previously considered, to be within my taste. I was in love with Linn, and starting to appreciate the "jazzier" areas of my music collection.


The addition of a Klyde Cartridge, brought depth, more black silences, and detail, with smoothness.  I Saw the Lingo PSU on the front of a mag, and had to listen - bought one. Now I had "arrived". I was in musical nirvana.


      Will try to bring you the next chapter, ( music desert, and my defection to Naim),  when I have time.



          philipmarkrobinson at gmail dot com   

System Details

N-272/NAP 250.2/NACA5/ATC SCM 40's. Unitiqute 2 / ATC SCM 7's in Bedroom. Unitiqute/ATC SCM 11's with computer recording studio

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Pictures of things valued by Klyde.

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