Colleen “Cosmo” Murphy, the record-store clerk-turned-internationally known DJ-turned-analog impresario, has set out to change the way we listen, one roomful at a time; based on my experiences at NYAS 2013, she is bound to succeed. I had heard that Ms. Murphy is as sound- and music-savvy as she is lovely, and I can only say those observations don’t do her justice. “Today, music is treated almost as aural wallpaper, as a cheap commodity,” Murphy bemoaned in her opening remarks before spinning the Japanese vinyl version of David Bowie’s Hunky Dory on a truly grand system, including a Spiral Groove SG1.1 turntable with Centroid tonearm and a Lyra Atlas cartridge; a VTL TP 6.5 phono preamp (with integral step-up transformer); VTL’s TL 7.5 line-level preamp and Siegfried monoblock amps; Wilson Audio MAXX 3 loudspeakers and Opus series cabling from Transparent. (When I visited the Classic Album Sundays room, early on the show’s first day, exact pricing details weren’t yet available; suffice it to say, everything was rather expensive.)
John Atkinson adds: Colleen played classic albums all weekend, following Hunky Dory with Talking Heads' (in photo), John Hiatt's Bring the Family, The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds (in mono), Kraftwerk's Autobahn, Steve Wonder's Innervisions, and ending the Show with the truly classic Forever Changes from Love, on a new, superb-sounding reissue from Rhino. I took in two of these sessions and it was a buzz being in a room of attentive audiophiles listening to an album in its entirety. You can find the Classic Album Sundays calendar at Colleen's website.