A Simple Starter System
So, at the 2005 Home Entertainment Show in New York last April, I didn't need to be told to visit the DeVore Fidelity room. It was one of my first stops. This time I brought a stack of my own music. And friends, too. We listened happily to Sonic Youth and the Magnetic Fields and TV on the Radio.
And, again, music is what I heard. As a matter of fact, I had just seen Sonic Youth perform live at Maxwell's, so I had an excellent reference. Immediately, with the first shimmering guitar riffs and blistering hi-hat hits produced by the DeVore speakers, I was taken back to that show.
The experience certainly increased my interest in hi-end audio. I began to imagine how nice it might be to recreate this little bit of magic in my own living room. However, after the Home Entertainment Show aside from hauling equipment in and out of the office and reading about it in our pages I pretty much lost all contact with hi-end gear. Similarly, aside from contacting manufacturers for images to run along with their reviews, I pretty much lost all contact with the folks I'd met at the shows, including John DeVore.
So, I was very happy when, back on September 21st five days into the blog I received an e-mail from John. He wrote:
I'm shocked that, after your boom-box admission, you haven't been deluged by offers of cheap or free hi-fi gear. Maybe you have. I'm certainly willing to send you a pair of my little gibbon 3s for awhile. A sort of non-reviewer exploration of a simple starter system. They could be paired with a cool entry-level piece like the Arcam Solo or something.
Yeah, I was pretty shocked about that, too, John.
Actually, I'm still shocked: John DeVore's still the only guy who's offered. I mean, seriously, hi-fi dudes, I'm a powerful tool around here. Feel free to use me.
Funny, too, that John mentioned the Arcam Solo because I had had my eyes set on it ever since reading Art Dudley's review in our July issue. Art wrote:
Arcam's new solo is the rare audiophile product that swims with, rather than against, the flow of mainstream consumerism toward simplicity, convergence, and relative smallness. Now you can have a mobile phone that doubles as a camera, a laptop computer that doubles as a movie player and a perfectionist-quality integrated amplifier that doubles as a CD player and a tuner.
And that sounded right up my alley.
Literally: Monmouth Street in Jersey City is narrow.
So, near the end of my time at Wes', I sent an e-mail to Kyla Wells, Marketing Coordinator for Audiophile Systems, the people who handle distribution for Arcam, and asked for a loan. I received a prompt response:
It just so happens, a Solo is on its way back from a reviewer and is expected to arrive this Thursday, the 27th.
Sometimes, I do get lucky. The Arcam, as you know, was in my hands on Monday, the 31st.
This weekend, John DeVore will be coming over with a pair of his Gibbon 3s. Yes, we'll be setting up a simple starter system.
By the way, I was lying when I said John was the only guy who'd offered any gear. Just this afternoon, Antony Michaelson of Musical Fidelity yes, that Musical Fidelity stopped by for a quick visit.
Heh heh heh. I laugh Sam Tellig's evil laugh.