Publisher Profile

Located:
Berkeley, CA

Jeffrey Bradley

Reviewer

Born in 1948, Jeffrey Bradley was an aerospace engineer before earning his second, law degree and serving as a public defender for 30 years, until his retirement. Jeffrey has been enjoying audiophile quality music and components for more than forty years since moving to the SF Bay Area in 1970. Born in 1948, Jeffrey Bradley was an aerospace engineer before earning his second, law degree and serving as a public defender for 30 years, until his retirement. Jeffrey has been enjoying audiophile quality music and components for more than forty years since moving to the SF Bay Area in 1970: My Audio Journey It was my father who introduced me to listening to music on the radio and on vinyl in the early 1950s when I was five years old. This consisted almost exclusively of classical recordings starting with Beethoven and up to Gershwin. When I hit the teen years it was the Rock and Roll of the early 1960s that grabbed my attention. I have great memories of taking the subway to travel to Sam Goody's flagship store on West 49th Street and paying out what little cash I had for cherished vinyl. Rock music remained my exclusive mainstay throughout the sixties and through the final years of the eighties. By then my taste in music changed as the newer versions of rock didn't mean as much to me. It was then that I began to explore the Blues while also returning to the sound of the music of the classical period that I had ignored for too long. The era of the compact disc that began in the early eighties also had much to do with this transition. There began an outpouring of classical titles that, at the time, caused vinyl to be viewed as low fidelity. Throughout the nineties classical music of all periods was my main source of listening. But starting around 1995 the deluge of jazz recordings that was available encouraged me to sample what was out there. There began the long journey to the present as the enjoyment of all of the forms of jazz music kept me wanting to hear more and more of everything that was available. I am so amazed that I can listen to so many offerings and still be blown away. Listening Preferences My current preferences in music listening are: (1) jazz starting with “Bop” (late 1940s-early 1950s) to the mid-sixties onwards that incorporates the influences of hard bop, modal jazz and free jazz; and, (2) classical compositions from the Baroque (1600 to 1750). Listening Environment Our home was a typical bungalow built in 1922. The rooms are small. The living room is the largest room and where I relax and imagine being in the venue consistent with the music being played: large concert hall to intimate jazz club. I say imagine because the room is the same one that we are familiar with: one neither designed to facilitate the accurate propagation of sound nor with any notion of complementing musicality. Thus begins our quest to unlock the perfect sound we know is produced by our carefully selected combination of audio components but is being compromised by the poor design of the listening space we are compelled to live with because the architect hated music. This presents us with a challenge we undertake with the zeal of a martyr: convincing ourselves, our wives/girlfriends or anyone within earshot, that we are endowed with the sonic acuity of Superman or Tommy Walker (“Tommy” - The Who, 1969). Naturally, this obliges us to spend our money on all manner of tweaks and gizmos. These require us to engage in an endless effort, not unlike Sisyphus, to unmask discernible auditory artifacts we know exist but for the room being, well, imperfect. I've lost count of how many times the voice in my head said, “If they could only hear what I know is missing....” The walls and ceiling throughout the house are lath and plaster, and the floor is maple hardwood. The left wall is broken up by a fireplace and then glass-door enclosed bookshelves where I have my CDs. The right wall is adorned with end tables and a large sofa. There are large pictures on the side walls as well as on the narrow rear wall protrusions. There is no coffee table or other obstructions in the center of room. The room is L-shaped. The long leg measures 12 feet (width), 17 feet (length) and 8.5 feet tall, and is mostly covered by a Persian carpet. The short leg is 5 feet long by 4 feet wide and is also mostly covered by a rug. The speakers are 87 inches apart center to center with their rear ports 18 inches from the front wall behind them. That wall is a large area of windows. The outer edge of the left speaker is 24 inches from the left wall which also has a window. The outer edge of the right speaker is 24 inches from the short leg of the "L." According to the Wilson Audio Room Acoustics Guide, an L-shaped room "offers the best environment for speaker setup" because the "asymmetry of the walls resists the buildup of standing waves." Renovations eliminated the rear wall leaving rear side-walls 42 inches wide and a central opening five feet wide. That opens into the dining room which, at its other end, opens into the kitchen. The boundary between the dining area and the kitchen consists of a half-wall protruding from the left side wall about halfway along the boundary and measuring 46 inches from the floor. Once again, a large open space. The other kitchen boundary is the rear wall of the home. The living room, originally 17 feet long from front to rear before renovations, can now be considered to run all the way to the rear wall of our home. The total length from the front wall (where the speakers are situated) to the opening into the dining area, then to the opening into the kitchen area and then to the rear of the kitchen (which is the rear wall of the house) is 44.5 feet (17+12+15.5). Standing waves are not a problem.

System
						Analog Front End

						Digital Front End
Music Hall c-dac15.3 BluSound Vault 2 music streamer
						Amplification
BAT VK32SE Tube Pre-Amp Creek Audio OBH-12 Passive Pre-Amp Musical Fidelity 550k Monoblock (pair) Naim Supernait Integrated Amp Gallo Reference SA (subwoofer amp)
						Cabling
Loudspeaker: Nordost Red Dawn, Nordost Purple Flare, AudioQuest King Cobra w/DBS Spkr Cables; Interconnect: Nordost Blueheaven (RCA), AudioQuest Black Mamba (RCA), custom made DIN inter-connects; Power : Shunyata Venom-3 Power and WattGate Power Cables
						Speakers
KEF Blade Gallo Reference 3.5
						Headphones
Denon AH-D5000 (closed type)
						Home Theater

						Accessories
PS Audio p_10 Powerplant Regenerator Tice Power Block IIIA Signature Power Conditioner
						Room Treatment
Behringer Ultracurve Pro DEQ2496 Mastering Processor
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