Newport 2012: Burmester, Oracle, Genesis and Anne Bisson, tuned by Tweak Studio

It was the best of rooms. It was the worst of rooms.

Okay, no, the room was fine, but this is the room were I lost my beloved Chris Jones CD — and all the notes I’d taken of the show. Poof! Gone. [Sigh]. Perhaps one of those that are pictured below will come forward, however, to claim their reward.

So, back to the Burmester room. This room, was, in a word, a tiny, summary-type of word, awesome.

You might ask yourself “why would he say that?” It’s a fair question. I’m glad, actually, that you asked. In short, the room was all kinds of awesome. Allow me to explain.

First up? The lovely Anne Bisson. I’d seen signs indicating that she’d be around this weekend, but I never put two-and-two together (because I’m an idiot) until she actually walked into the room and started signing.

Yeah! You are SO jealous!

It was just me and this other guy (probably the one that swapped my bag) in the room when Robb Niemann of Burmester USA casually flipped the LP over and then Anne just started singing a sort of impromptu duet with, well, herself, from her album Blue Mind. She sang like two or three songs. It was awesome! My own private concert!

Because, you know, that’s how I roll. Ahem.

To be fair to the room, there was some top shelf stuff in here, all tuned up, configured and optimized by Arnold Martinez of Tweak Studio in Chicago. And fronting it all was one of my favorite loudspeakers, the $26,500 Genesis 5.3. It’s a beast — each speaker is fitted with an internal 500w amp to drive the three 8″ aluminum woofers. Would you be shocked to know that the F3 on this speaker is 16Hz? Yeah — hee hee! Un-REAL. Other useful info — it’s a 4ohm speaker with a 90dB sensitivity, and even though the 5.3 version has “corrected” some of the low-impedance amp-bruising of the 5.2, the wise would still plan on bringing a healthy solid-state amp to the party.

Speaking of “healthy solid state amp” (ba-DUM-bump), on hand was a $70k Burmester “Reference” 909 Mk 5. Built like a tank, and very nearly the size and weight of one, the 909 is actually rather attractive. A brushed finish with some chrome accents give the hunk of metal a refined architectural look.

Over on the audio rack were lots more goodies. A $38k Burmester “Reference” 808 Mk 5 preamplifier, a $28k “Top Line” 089 Belt Drive CD Player and a $17,000+ “Top Line” 100 Phono Preamplifier rounded out the offerings from the company that has an over-fondness for camera-defeating mirror finishes.

Up top was the $7,700 Delphi Mk VI from Oracle Audio. Nifty table, all acrylic and aluminum. Fitted out here with the optional Turbo Power Adapter, which brings the price for the as-shown table up to $8,500 (an optional dust cover and hinges is an additional $500). A $2,950 Oracle/SME 345 tonearm and a $5,500 Made-by-Benz Oracle Corinth Reference cartridge. In this room, this was all downright affordable.

As my wonderful just-for-me (and that other guy) concert was wrapping, the neighborhood all went to hell. First, David Robinson, the Editor of Positive Feedback showed up.

Then that other guy from Stereophile showed up.

The two of them were circling each other like wild velociraptors, all tooth and claw, but I was all, like, “Dudes, chill!” And like, they did, which was cool, because there were chicks around. So, we spent the next hour or so jus’ rapping about the biz, work, the show, and, you know, bitches. I was all, like,”wha-?” And JA was all, “whazzza!” And DR was all, “what-is-UP?” It was cool. You know. Just hangin’. With my boyz.

Okay, honestly, they had zero idea I was even in the room, even though I was waving around a GIANT 200mm zoom lens.

Some days are rather Kathy Griffin, if you know what I mean. Ah, well. What can you do.

So, what do you think of my attempt at an HDR shot, below? Might have to actually learn how to do that instead of faking it, but it came out well enough, no?


  1. Keep up the great work. You’ll get there. AND – its not over when you start making money at it. I’m still just as enthusiastic as I was when I started as a teenager at TAS

  2. You know, once you start making money doing this, it is all over ( impartiality that is :)).

    • Don’t you worry. The hole I have to climb out of is pretty deep. 🙂

  3. PTA…

    It looks like you have now doing this as a full-time gig. If so, congratulations on your transformation! It’s quite an achievement to invent your way so that you are living your hobby.



    • No, not even. I’m now able to budget out future events, which is good. So, I’ll be at RMAF and CES. After than, well, we’ll see. But I’m a long way from being able to make this a full-time gig. LOOOOONG way. But — that’d be pretty nifty ….

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