Publisher Profile

Located:
Houston, TX, USA

Fred Crowder

Senior Reviewer

By day, I am an attorney for a large multi-national and spend the majority of my time drafting and negotiating contracts for large construction projects, primarily LNG liquefaction facilities and travel outside the US on a regular basis. I have two grown children and a new grandchild. I live in an area near Rice University in Houston in a sprawling one story ranch style home that has allowed me to dedicate one room to my sound system. My earliest stereo was a KLH combination unit that included a turntable and speakers as a part of the package. Over the years since then I have owned a variety of different equipment, including Dahlquist DQ-10's, an Ampzilla and Thaedra, Crosby modified Quads, Acoustats, Spectral electronics and Infinity speakers, Conrad Johnson, Audio Research, Linn and Goldmund. Of these, the Quad 63's, the CJ Premier One, the ARC SP-10 and the Goldmund Reference are probably the most memorable with an honorable mention to a Spectral DMC-10 and DMA 100 which Richard Lees modified for me many years ago. In equipment, my preferences run to equipment that accurately reproduces tone and timbre, is good at decoding low-level detail and ambient information, is dynamic throughout the spectrum but particularly at the low-end of the dynamic scale, and that creates some semblance of a stage with natural depth and height. Pinpoint imaging is not a high priority. Most importantly, the sound must be musically involving and draw me into the performance. I am particularly fond of those few pieces of equipment that seem to suspend my need to analyse the sound and instead get my toes tapping. LISTENING ROOM: 19 ' by 27 ' by 10 ' with a vaulted ceiling, hardwood floors, tongue and groove mahogany paneling and a large oriental rug on the floor with an oriental rug runner behind the speakers. The front of the speakers is approximately 9' from the front wall. Centered on that wall behind the speakers are two ASC 2' by 4' quadratic diffusers. Large windows measuring 6' by 8' behind the speakers and the listening position are covered with pleated Levilor shades which act to partially absorb higher frequencies. There are 3 dedicated circuits wired with unbroken runs of 10-gauge solid-core copper wire to the breakers. Each circuit feeds a single duplex Oyaide R-1 outlet. The ceiling of the room is laden with two layers of 3/4" sheetrock that have been glued together and are secured to the joists with screws. One side wall is natural stone with a fireplace at the listener end of the room. Sonically, the room is relatively benign but does have a significant, very narrow (low Q) drop out centered at 50 Hz. MUSICAL TASTES: Although I find almost any music enjoyable, I gravitate towards classical (Bach for its structure, Mahler for its lyricism, chamber music for its intimacy), jazz and folk (John Renbourn, Pentangle and the whole British folk/rock movement of the time) with a certain fondness for the rock music of the 60's and 70's (Dire Straits) and for film scores (Bernard Hermann). The majority of my listening is to vinyl, particularly Decca's, EMI's, Lyrita's, Shady Dog RCA's and Mercuries, and Flying Fish, but I am increasingly purchasing CD's and SACD's. Normally, I prefer early pressings to reissues but have been very pleased with the Music Matters jazz reissues as well as some of the Speaker's Corner offerings.

System
						Analog Front End
Rockport Sirius turntable with Ortofon A90 cartridge Pierre Lurne record clamp Yamaha CT7000 tuner Ypsilon transformer and phonostage
						Digital Front End
EMM Labs TX2 Transport EMM Labs DA2 digital to analog converter
						Amplification
Audio Note (UK) Balanced Kegons with WE300B from 1970s Einstein preamp EMM Labs MTRX monoblocks
						Cabling
Nordost Odin 2 (TT to phono) Jorma Prime (remainder of interconnects) Jorma Prime Tri-wire speaker cables Stage III Minotaur and Zyklops Kraken power cords HD Marble PowerSlave distributor
						Speakers
Acapella Triolon Excaliburs
						Headphones
None
						Home Theater
Pioneer Elite 60" plasma
						Accessories
Halcyonic isolation base x 2 Finite Elemente Pagode Reference equipment stand and amp stands Finite Element Cerabases
						Room Treatment
ASC 16" Tube Traps (8), 2' by 4' quadratic diffuers (2) Updated: August, 2016
Articles & Reviews
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DACs | Digital Sources | Disc Media Players | 8 Comments »
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Amplification | Tube | 6 Comments »
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Amplification | Mono Block | Tube | 6 Comments »

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Cables | Interconnects | Phono Cables | No Comments »

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Phono | No Comments »

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Spotlight | System Profiles | No Comments »

2011 CAS Coverage, Part VII

CAS | Event Reports | No Comments »

2010 RMAF Part 5

Event Reports | RMAF | No Comments »

2010 RMAF Part 3

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Digital Sources | Disc Media Players | 1 Comment »

California Audio Show, Part 2 of 2

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Pierre Lurne Record Clamp Review

Audio Accessories | No Comments »

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Digital Sources | Disc Media Players | 2 Comments »

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Jorma Prime Interconnect and Speaker Cable Review

Cables | Interconnects | Power Cables | Speaker Cables | 3 Comments »

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2009 RMAF Coverage 11

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Cables | Power Cables | No Comments »
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Amplification | Mono Block | Tube | 1 Comment »

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Floorstanding Speakers | Speakers | 2 Comments »

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Event Reports | RMAF | No Comments »

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