I grew up in the Poughkeepsie, NY area with strong love of all things science. I went the University of Texas at Austin where I received my BS in Geology and went to University of Tennessee in Knoxville where I earned my MS in Geology. For fifteen years I worked in the environmental consulting business until that work dried up. After a stint of cutting grass with my wife to pay the bills, I received my teaching certificate. For the past 11 years I have been teaching high-school Chemistry in Austin Texas.
I was exposed to "hi fi" early with my Dad's Dynaco-based system. I spent many an hour in the basement listening to my Dad's record collection while doing various projects. During this period, I listened to a wide variety of music and became accustomed to a certain level of fidelity. After my freshman year of college, I inherited what was left of my Dad's system, the Dynaco PAS preamp and ST-70. I saved up and bought some ADS L620 speakers, a turntable and cartridge, and I was set for the next few years.
Over time my system evolved. Eventually the Dynaco equipment passed away and was replaced by a JoLida SJ202 integrated amp. The ADS speakers were replaced by Thiel CS1.5s. CD players and cartridges have come and gone. The JoLida has gone through several upgrades. I even did a little stint reviewing for another website.
The epiphany for me in audio is when I listened to a homemade SET system connected to some vintage Altec VOTTs. This fellow lent me his fi "X" amp for a couple of weeks. After that I was hooked. Unfortunately, soon after that experience, I had to make a career change that reduced available funds. This put my system dreams on hold.
The fire was re-kindled many years later when I put a iFi Audio iDSD micro in my system. Never had one component made such a difference. Soon after I added the Grado SR225e headphones and I once again had a full-blown case of "audiophillia nervosa". That's how I ended up reviewing Enjoy the Music.com.
When I listen to an audio component, I always ask myself one thing, is what I'm hearing sound like music? My Dad and I go to the Austin Symphony Orchestra regularly. My wife and I sing in our church choir. There is nothing like experiencing live music in person. It is ebb and flow, the glorious timbres of instruments and the human voice. No audio system can quite get there. What I am looking for is glimpse of that experience. Because music is what it's all about.
I don't have a dedicated listening room, just a living room where we hang out as family. It's about 12 feet by 20 feet. We love sharing music with each other. The kids can plug their PEDs into the iDSD. I ask my wife all the time, "What do you think?" Isn't one of the joys of music to be able to share with ones you love?
My very humble system is as follows: