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Reviewer's Bio

Anthony Nicosia 

  I was born in New York City on May 30th 1951. Upon turning three my family moved me to Greenwich Connecticut, a small suburb about thirty miles away. At age fourteen my father drove me back to New York City to buy my very first audio system. He knew a man who worked in an audio store that recommended a Rotel receiver, Wald loudspeakers and a Garrard turntable. I think I spent about $225 for the entire setup and I loved that system. My father did not know about audio equipment in fact I never even heard him listening to music, not even the car radio. Yet he did this especially for me and I never forgot that. I have two boys, one in college and the other who just graduated. I only hope I can do for them what me father did for me. He gave me the gift of music that has spanned forty years and still counting.

Throughout that time many pieces of equipment have passed through my hands, most of which I wish I had never sold. I always find it difficult to give up audio treasures as they have given me such fond memories of past musical experiences as well as marking life's passage of time and the special events in my life. I will not say that I like tubes more than solid-state or vinyl more than CD, as I find it hard not to love them all in their own way. They are like my children with each having a special spot in my heart even though they are difference. I own tube and solid-state amplifiers both old and new. Currently I have two very large floor-standing loudspeakers in my review system. One is an older pair of Klipsch Klipschorn’s, from 1989, and the other a more modern pair of Legacy Focus 20/20 loudspeakers, each weighing about 180 pounds apiece.

Priced at over $150,000 the Clearaudio Statement Turntable with integral stand is beyond my reach but not beyond my appreciation. I had the pleasure of enjoy a listening session with it and that was certainly a moment to remember. I however own an Oracle Delphi MK1 turntable with Grace 707 tonearm. I purchased this brand new from a store in San Francisco. Today my collection of records is close to 1000 vinyl discs and seems to grow monthly. I have an appreciation of a variety of musical genres. My vinyl collection includes such greats as Judy Garland, Perry Como, Philip Glass, Jimi Hendrix, Simon and Garfunkel, Willie Nelson, Pink Floyd as well as various musicals, classical arrangements and operas.

Having tried my hand at playing piano, accordion and even guitar I quickly discovered that I preferred listening to music to playing it. Between the ages of seventeen and fifty-seven I have been to many concerts, musicals, ballets and operas. Why I was at Woodstock and even the Strawberry Fields concert in Canada that followed shortly afterwards. The first time I heard a McIntosh MA 5100 integrated amplifier, back at my friend’s house in 1967, I knew I was hooked. From that day forward I have been trying to recapture that special moment when I first got what “high end” was all about.

I find it hard to remember what I did each and every summer while I was growing up, but there was one summer I will never forget. I was fourteen years old and would walk three miles to the library, Monday thru Saturday, so I could listen to their vinyl collection. This was the time just before I had purchased my first true stereo. At the library I would listen to opera, classical music and narrations of Edgar Allan Poe stories three hours a day for the entire summer vacation. When that was done I would proceed to walk another three miles to a very small indoor zoo, consisting of a monkey, two snakes, and a colorful Toucan, located inside the town’s only museum. After my visit there I would walk another three to four miles home. To me that was time well spent and it was my first exposure to truly great music. What a wonderful summer that was, a time for me to remember throughout the ages.

I now live in another small town but this one is just outside of San Francisco, not New York City. I have a good wife who has graciously given me two wonderful boys as well as put up with my audio idiosyncrasies. I graduated college with a B.A. in Psychology from S.U.N.Y College at Purchase (Purchase, New York) where I also took many film appreciation courses. I still love films and constantly watch them in my home theater setup. At one time I was a restaurant owner, with my best friend of many years, in the town of Port Chester New York. I was the bartender there and behind the bar was a Nakamichi cassette deck (pre CD days) that I had purchased. People used to love to watch this deck, as it would automatically, and rather quickly, flip the cassette around to play the other side. That was quite innovative for its day. Today and for about thirty years now I have been in sales. Currently I am a sales manager at one of the largest volume Mercedes Benz stores in Northern California. My spare time is spent with my family and my audio gear that usually takes me past the evening and into the early morning hours. Looking back I am very happy with my life, but I still am hoping to find time to pick up that guitar once again.

 

The Listening Environment
The listening room is 18 feet 8 inch long by 13 feet wide. Its cathedral ceiling starts at 8 feet high then slopes upward to 13 feet at its peak in the middle. Flooring is a soft hardwood covering with an oriental rug placed dead center in between (but not under) the listener and the audio system. There are no doors that open or shut into other rooms. There are two large openings one facing the speakers and the other to its side and slightly in front of the right speaker. I have a nice comfortable marble fireplace opposite one opening and in front of the left speaker. As for my audio equipment it is tucked away nicely inside of a Cherry Synergy Twin S30 Salamander audio rack about fifteen inches away from the wall opposite the listening position.

 

Review Equipment
Main Two Channel Review System
Aesthetix Saturn Calypso line preamplifier
Parasound A21 power amplifier
VPI Classic 3 turntable/tonearm setup
Lyra Delos Moving Coil Cartridge
Musical Surrounding Nova phono stage
OPPO Digital BDP-95 CD player
Magnepan 3.6R Loudspeakers placed on special custom made three wooden layer platforms
Magnepan DWM Bass Panel
Spendor SP1/2R˛ Loudspeakers on Skylan Stands
Synergy Twin S30 Salamander audio rack
An assortment of different loudspeaker cables, interconnects, power 
conditioners, and acoustical room treatments

Additional Gear
Harman Kardon Citation II tube power amplifier
Pair of McIntosh MC225 tube power amplifiers (used as two mono block amplifiers)
Bruce Moore D-60 tube power amplifier
Yaqin MC-10L Integrated tube power amplifier
Monarchy Audio SM-70 PRO solid-state power amplifier
Harman Kardon Citation I tube preamplifier
Proceed AVP preamplifier
Pioneer RT-1011L 3-motor 3-head reel to reel tape player 

The Listening Environment
The review room is eighteen feet eight inches long by thirteen feet wide with loudspeakers and equipment kept on the short wall. The cathedral ceiling starts at eight feet on the short wall slopping upwards to reach a height of thirteen feet in the middle than returning to eight feet at the opposite end. The hardwood floor is partially covered by a nine by six foot oriental rug lying down the long ways facing toward the loudspeakers, placed dead center between but not under the listener or the audio rack. The room has no doors but there are two openings. One opening is in front of the right loudspeaker on the long wall giving access to the hallway the other behind the listening position to a formal dining area. There are two large floor standing GIF Tri-trap acoustical panels one in each corner of the short wall in front of the listener and two panels from Acoustic Revive (AR) located on the wall directly behind each loudspeaker. A third AR panel is placed flat against the right side wall with Numerous Auralex Studiofoam squares to found placed along walls and high up in each of the four corners of the room. All the audio equipment is located in a Synergy Twin S30 Salamander audio rack placed about a foot away from and in the middle of the short wall opposite the listening position.

Home Theatre Room
JVC DSL-RS10U projector (ceiling mounted)
Marantz SR880 MKII Surround sound Receiver
Samsung BD-F7500 4K Upscaling 3D Wi-Fi Blu-ray Disc Player
Carada 118" Diagonal Criterion Series Projection Screen
Von Schweikert VR-4 loudspeakers for the front left and right channels
Klipsch La Scala loudspeaker as center channel
Radio Shack RS10 floor standing loudspeakers for rear channels
Martin Logan Dynamo Powered Subwoofer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
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