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Reviewer's Bio

Ron Nagle

 

  How long it's been and how far I've come, I am retired now after 35 years as a Customer Service Engineer with Xerox. I have always been curious and needed to know why and how things worked I guess that's the engine that drove me to this point. In school I was indifferent to things like English grammar but very keen on science subjects. After High School I served with a maintenance squadron in the Air Force as an aircraft instrument specialist. Beyond that, night school and a few more years earned me an Associates degree in electronics.

One day, I guess back in 1960, I found myself walking past a street corner and I heard somebody playing a very loud radio in an apartment hallway down the block. Something tangible in that sound drew me toward the sound coming from that echoing hallway. Then as I rounded a corner I saw four guys I only knew casually caressing an Acapella lyric of lost love and longing. I will never forget that moment and that song, it was The Ship of Love. It was one rare moment in time that changed me permanently and with a compulsion more than a thought I believed, I could do this, I can make music like this. I did join various Acapella groups and we did make a few recordings that got played on the radio.

At the same time I had to earn a living and time and technology as always relentlessly moves forward. It necessitated that I had to go back and take additional classes in the evenings. At first it was in solid-state devices, later I studied digital logic and computer math. All this augmented my company's product training and facilitated my working life as the equipment I worked on evolved from cam actuated micro switches to networked digital systems. Back in 1972 I ordered my first decent audio system from a discount mail order house. It was all Acoustic Research and consisted of an AR receiver and pair of AR 2 Ax loudspeakers with an AR XA turntable. In less than a year I took out a small bank loan and bought my first high-end power amplifier, which was a Dynaco 416 with a C-100 energy storage system. I was for some years an enthusiastic cartridge swapper; I bought an ADC XLM cartridge and every Grado I could get my hands on.

Then a divorce and I only managed to salvage my Dynaco amplifier. I don't exactly remember everything owned in these 30 something years. With some newfound funds I slowly started to rebuild my stereo system. In the following years I purchased Spendor LS3/5a speakers with Satterburg woofers; went through countless cables and four more turntables ending with my present SOTA and Grado Signature arm combination.

More than 20 years ago I purchased my present Quad ESL 63 speakers and never stopped tweaking and modifying them. Eventually, I replaced every electrostatic panel. The Quads are driven by Audio Research electronics are now perched upon custom Gradient woofers. They have a wonderful ability to disappear into the performance within my 22' x 11'8" x 8'3" (L x W x H) listening room. I never lost my love of music especially vocal music and my enthusiasm for the audio systems and the science that brings this love closer to me. Have been writing online and in print publications for the past 12 years and remain an active member of two audio societies and just as curious as ever.

 

Associated Gear

Source components:
SOTA turntable with Grado Signature tone arm and Alpha moving coil cartridge, Blue Point special, and Shure V15v MR, Marantz DV 8400 Universal CD player, Cambridge Audio Discmagic-1 CD transport, Cambridge S-700 Isomagic HDCD D/A Converter, ART DI/O Up sampling D/A and A/D processor, Magnum Dynalab FT 101a and Dynalab Signal Sleuth.

Amplification:
Audio Research SP-9 MK 3 Preamplifier, Audio Research Classic 60 Power amplifier, Hand built modified Hafler 500,

Loudspeakers: 
Main, Quad ESL 63 Rebuilt with Crosby and Mod Squad modifications, sitting atop Gradient ESL woofers.

Second system: 
Aurum Cantus Leisure 2 SE Ribbon tweeter two way monitors on 24-inch stands.
Prima Luna 2 Integrated Power Amp, Michael Yee Audio PA 3 Power Amp. Kimber Kable 8tc 11ft.


Speaker Cables
Onix Grandmaster speaker cables 8ft. (Quad panels)
Esoteric Ultrapath speaker cables 8ft. (Gradient woofers)
Audio Research Litzline 8ft.


Interconnect Cables
Monster Reference 4 pairs, two 0.5 meter, 1 meter and 1.5 meter
Nordost Red Dawn, 1 meter
Wire World Eclipse-2, 3meters
Audio Research Litzlink 2 pairs, 1 1/2 meter
Chord Silver Siren, 1 meter
Home made Teflon 1 meter
Audiobhan 0.5 meter digital
AC Power 
Wire World 10 gauge IEC
Home made 3 pairs, 12 gauge IEC
Islatrol Industrial 20 Amp ac line conditioner
Richard Gray 20 Amp Sub Station
Alpha Core Balanced Transformer Power Supply
Audio Power PE-1 power enhancer
Triad 2 Ampere isolation transformer

Accessories:
VPI Magic bricks
Ferrite RFI cable blocks 
Room Tunes Panels
Argent Roomlens
Gryphon diffusion panels
Radio Shack SPL meter
Rives test CD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
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