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Reviewer's Bio


Rufus Smith
Lover of Fine Craftsmanship


Rufus Smith Of Enjoy the Music.com


  Of all the things instilled in me by my Father as I grew up in LA (Lower Alabama) was a love of music. In our home, it was rare not to have some form of music playing. While I was exposed to all types of music, I always seemed to spend most of my time listening to classical, opera, and jazz. While my Father created the spark that grew into my love of classical music, a family friend was the one who fanned the flames into a roaring fire. Father Kelly was the Assistant Pastor at the Catholic Church that my family attended. Father Kelly was an audiophile whose passion for audio was insignificant compared to his love of music.

His record collection was and still is the most impressive I have ever seen. The collection was started in the 1950s and grew to over 25,000 albums by the time I met him in the early 1970s. The collection contained all of the audiophile greats such as Mercury Living Presence, RCA Living Stereo, and Lyrita, to name a few. You name it; Father Kelly had it. I spent many hours at the church rectory listening for hours on end to all these great albums.

My knowledge of high-end audio started under Father Kelly but was expanded when I was in college at the University of Alabama. It all started when I dropped by the local audio store to buy some speakers to go with a receiver and turntable given to me by Father Kelly. During my visits, the owner, John Curry, and I developed a friendship. Mr. Curry had another passion besides audio, and that was deer hunting. During deer season, the store would be closed on Saturday's, as Mr. Curry would be hunting. I worked out a deal where I would come in and run the store on Saturdays so he could hunt. Being located in a college town, Saturdays were usually quiet at the store, so I tended to spend the time studying (yeah, right). What I spent most of my time doing was reading his collection of back issues of various print publications.

After graduating from Alabama in 1982, I worked for a couple of years in Louisiana before returning to Dothan in 1986 to begin my banking career at SouthTrust Bank. Soon after returning to Dothan, I started building my first "high-end" system, which ended up consisting of a Sota Star Turntable, Premier FT-3 tonearm, Grado Signature 8 cartridge, conrad johnson PV-2a preamplifier, conrad johnson MV-45 amplifier, and Thiel CS-1.2 loudspeakers. I have been in an upgrade mode ever since.

I have been reviewing audio equipment since 1994. I began my "career" under Tom Miiller at The Audio Adventure. After TAA folded, I joined the staff at Ultimate Audio, and from there, I went to Enjoy the Music.com.

I currently live in Harrisburg, North Carolina, with my wife Julie, our two very goofy Golden Retrievers, Mandi and Lizzy, and my Mother-in-Law Alycia. In 2013, I retired from Wells Fargo, where I had worked for 27 years as a commercial banker.



Room Dimensions
22 x 19x 9 with the listening position 15 feet from the front wall

Verity Audio Otello Loudspeakers

Front End - Analog
Kronos Sparta Turntable/Helena Tonearm/My Sonic Labs Platinum MC Cartridge/Kronos 
VPI HR-X Turntable/VPI JMW 12.6 Tonearm/Miyabi-47Labs Moving Coil Cartridge

Front End - Digital 
dCS Rossini CD/SACD Transport
dCS Rossini DAC
dCS Rossini Word Clock

Line Stage - Audio Research LS28
Phono Stage - Audio Research PH9
Power Amplifiers - Audio Research VT80SE

Phono - Nordost Blue Heaven Tonearm Plus (RCA)

Digital - Nordost Blue Heaven Ethernet Cable
Kimber Kable KS 2120 (AES/EBU)

Interconnects - Nordost Red Dawn Balanced
Nordost Red Dawn Single Ended
Kimber Kable KS 1130 Balanced
Kimber Kable KS1030 Single Ended

Loudspeaker Cable - Nordost Red Dawn 
Kimber Kable Monocle

Power Cords - Nordost Red Dawn
Harmonic Technology Pro AC11

Artesiana Audio Exoteryc Racks and Amp Stands, VPI HWI-17F Record Cleaning Machine, Nordost QBase 8 Mk II Power Distribution Base, custom acoustical panels for the walls, and miscellaneous stylus cleaning products.















































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