Hi Harley,

Yesterday I managed to connect the power and signal cables to the equipment and connect the speakers, then, quivering, I played the Aveline Gram sample you so kindly sent at a low but “room-filling” level to introduce the neighbours gently to the new experience. Oh Joy, Oh Rapture Unforeseen!!

The music took me back to pre-war days in our Devon home with my mother and granny on their pianos. I have neither the ears nor the musical education to analyse the sound but my whole body felt joy and pleasure.

There is a totally unexpected result of your speakers in this tiny room. It is as if I am wearing a very clever set of headphones that have GPS so they know where you are in the concert hall. Even when sitting at my computer with one driver almost level with my right ear and 2 feet away the other speaker is clear and when playing orchestral music fully differentiated by instrument.

And then I listened to Brendel playing 26-32 and was back in Davies Hall (San Francisco) in about 1985. Wonderful

Experiments will continue but I am VERY HAPPY.

(Two months later)…

Dear Harley,

Here are a couple of pictures. (attached left side)

The stand rack is made just N of San Francisco and is beautifully made. The shelves are 1 7/8″ thick about 30 layers of real wood veneers. Each shelf has 2 large cavities full of lead shot. I had to modify the design a little to fit.

On top is a Brinkmann Bardo direct drive turntable with a 12.1′ arm and Pi cartridge.

Below there is a pair of Sutherland phono stages sold together as the DUO. On top is the Benchmark LA 4 line amplifier/control and beside the Duo, the Bardo power supply.

Below again is the Accuphase DP-450 CD player and on the bottom shelf the Benchmark AHB2 and a PS Audio Dectet power center with some surge protection and an on/off switch for when we leave for days.

The speaker you may recognise and its partner is on the other side of my desk. The LA4 has a left/right balance control so no matter where I am I have a good simulation of space. I can also sit at my computer with one speaker close to me and the other filling the room. Impure I know but very practical!

As to the sound it is simply superb for me. From full symphonies and concerti, via solo instruments to a pure single singer such as June Tabor I am in a personal music heaven! And I do not disturb the neighbours.