Roads, Travel and Less is Not More

I’ve been neglecting you.

It’s not because I don’t love you, or have stopped caring. It’s not because I’ve become enamored of someone new, or that my life has suddenly been burdened by a new set of competing needs, drivers or obligations.

In part, the problem is this interface. It’s not really set up for the whole multi-threaded thing that my ADD requires. No, I’m not really ADD, but sometimes it feels like it. But posts come and go linearly, and sometimes, that’s problematic. Unfortunately, I’m not much of a coder, so I’ve been limited by what tools have been provided to me. What you see is what you get.

As you’ve probably seen, I’m spending quite a bit of time with show coverage, which takes forever to do better than half-assed — but that’s hardly the half of it. The other inordinately large chunk of my audio time is spent growing out a set of systems. Yes, a set of them. Part of my frustrations with audio reviews is the inability for reviewers to level-match systems. A $500 DAC will routinely get compared to an $8,000+ one — a comparison that I myself will actually be making — without much in the way of sorting out what you might get if you stay in that price category.

Okay, so that may read like a shameful excuse for acquiring far more gear than I can reasonably use, but hey, what’s an audiophile to do? I mean, hell, it’s a damn fine excuse — admit it! Ha ha!

Anyway, more details are on my Reference page, but I’m pulling together the following:

Reference One: this is for the truly expensive shit. Some of the gear falls in the plus-$10k range, but I’m not really putting a price tag requirement on entry. The goal for this system is “full range”. The anchoring bits here are my TW Acustic turntable setup, the Plinius separates, the DAC system from Berkeley and the big Accuphase. For speakers, I’ve been very lucky to have an extended use of some brilliant eFicion F300s, but the speakers that fall here in the main are my Magnepan 3.7s. Yeah, I know, the Maggies aren’t full range. Pour yourself a nice cup of STFU and move on.

Reference Two: this is for the “not full-range” system. The anchoring bit here is my pair of Pulsars from Joseph Audio. I’m looking at pulling in a couple of amps for this system, perhaps something from First Watt, Odyssey and maybe Conrad Johnson. My LampizatOr DAC will probably play first-fiddle here.

Desktop One: this is now finalized, pretty much, with the recent introduction of the new Peachtree Audio Nova Pre/220 Amp pair to the Magnepan Mini system. I’m using an old Oppo as a transport into the Peachtree, but honestly, the DAC in the Nova Pre is showing really well, so this looks like a wrap.

Desktop Two: this is the headphone rig that I’ve been asked about repeatedly. I’ve been using my venerable Stax 404/006t system here, with a USB DAC from HRT. Given how particular this headphone is, with its proprietary connector, it’s just not portable. At all. So, I’ve been pulling out the AKG K-701 headphones and using them for comparisons. They don’t really fit well and I find the sound quality to be a bit light on tone and bass, so that made using (and reviewing with) them painful. However, I’ve recently been given a pair of LCD-2 headphones from Audez’e for a long-term loan and this has changed the game entirely. Red Wine Audio has sent me a loaner Corvina to try out with them, but I’ll be on the hunt for a permanent amp to make those headphones shout and sing.

Okay, so that’s the game plan. Lots of work to do, no time to do it in, even less cash to make it all happen — GO!

So, anyway, if you’re wondering why I’m doing show reports? They’re cheaper than buying new gear. Part-Time Audiophile has already grown from a “hobby” to “part-time job”, and yes, I’m still exploring ways of converting “all this” into something more, so I appreciate your patience while I stretch things a bit.

About Scot Hull 1057 Articles
Scot started all this back in 2009. He is currently the Publisher here at PTA, the Publisher at The Occasional Magazine, and the Executive Producer at The Occasional Podcast. There are way too many words about him over on the Contributors page.


  1. It is definitely a great and valuable part of details. I am pleased you distributed this kind of beneficial details along with us. Remember to continue to be people up-to-date like this. Appreciate discussing.

  2. Best audio blog. Ever. Funny, hip, clever, justifiably eccentric, perfect. Stretch things all you like–I’m looking forward to what comes next. What Dave said about ModWright.

  3. Some amp suggestions for your second system: Modwright KWA100SE, Cary SA200.2.

    • I’m really interested in ModWright, but haven’t had a chance to bring a unit in yet.

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