Headphone Humpday Honey!

tumblr_krkkavaIAc1qzr8cqo1_400 Looks like someone is a bit confused as to where her ears are located, but it's all good! Who am I to judge? I used to do that to my wife's prego belly. Maybe she has twins?

I suppose this is a swell time to mention that I carry Grado headphones! If you own any kind of device that has a headphone jack, getcha some! Improve your quality of life! It's always the little thing that make the biggest difference! Those iBuds suuuuuck.

LFD Phono Pre in Stereophile

IMG_2919The LFD Phonostage LE is in this month's issue of Stereophile. Art Dudley, one of the few reviewers who isn't deaf, liked it quite a bit! There are only 10 dealers in the US. So if you live in Austin, come hear what all the fuss is about!

It’s Zu-rific!

Got the Zu DL-103 a few days ago and have been having a blast putting it through it's paces on the P5. No VTA spacer needed. Set up is easy! With the cart all the way forward on the RB700 you hit Baerwald perfectly. Tilt it in about 1mm. You could probably set it up on your own without a wally-tracter or any other alignment device. The only glitch is it's a heavy little bugger, so you'll need a heavier counterweight. I had to add some "audiophile duct tape" (Blu-Tack) to add some mass until I get a heavier weight from Michell or Groovetracer (the 150 gram). Right out of the gate I was pleased. I've never heard a Denon DL-103 before, Now I know why they call it one of the best products in the history of Hi-Fi. The thing sings! The Auditorium 23 step-up tranny was designed for the 103! Zu have done a great job machining and damping the body. It's an extra $200 over a plain Denon version, but worth it! It doesn't sound like a $439 cartridge. More like a $2K cartridge! So what's a couple Franklins?

The Newman…

I stumbled across Randy Newman's record "Good Old Boys" back in college. It's a great concept record about the South. Solid prolific songwriting indeed. I remember taking a road trip to DC for a wedding and driving through the landmarks in these songs as they were playing through my car's cassette deck. You'll learn more American history in 35 minutes than you ever did in skewl. ; )

the real deal..

An excellent performance from one of the best bands of the 70's. This is how it's done. There aren't any laptops, stupid props (like pointy cheekbones) or lip synching. Just pure funk.

Zu DL-103

"It's in the mail"! Zu's improved upon Denon DL-103 cartridge will be here soon! Looking forward to hooking it up to the A23 step up and letting it rip!

Consign Your Gear Here!

IMG_4090Primare system consisting of the I21 integrated amp and CD21 cd player. Retail is $1495 each. I'll take $995 each. These are LIKE NEW. Check out the Deal$ & $teal$ page for more sweet goodness!

Austin Derby Brats!


My daughter Lily, AKA "BruiseHer", got to open for The Texas Rollergirls bout at the Austin Convention Center Sunday. She's the little riot grrrl third from left. Heck yeah I'm proud! The Austin Derby Brats is a roller derby team for girls eight and up. It's run by The Texas Rollergirls and is a heck of a lot more fun than Soccer! If you have a daughter and live in Austin you should check it out!

Ain’t no shame in this game!


My Triode TRV-35SE integrated amp just showed up direct from Japan. It was a boring, rainy day until it did! I made room for it next to the Naim CD5i, plugged everything in and hooked it all up to the Zu Omens (which, BTW, are breaking in quite nicely!). I powered everything up and inserted Bryan Ferry's Mamouna CD...

Ya know, sometimes I just really nail it! Hit it squarely, right on the head! For all the times I have made idiotic decisions on gear, I can honestly say I have made up for it these past few months. This combo is reeeeeeaaaaally freakin' good. In fact, it even matches. The sangria finish on the Omens are a near perfect match with the red finish on the Tri. The fit and finish is A+. Nice wooden sides just like the Lebens. Japanese attention to quality and detail is apparent. I know the Omens have been breaking in but after hooking up the Tri's EL34 tubes they really took on a whole different persona. Zu really shine with tubes. I like the third input being on the front next to the headphone socket. A very nice touch indeed.

I'm definitely getting more Tri amps in. The TRV-A300SE 300B integrated looks sweet as does the TRX-PM84. A unique Integrated Amp with USB DAC for computer audio, USB memory input, headphone and MM Phono Stage. Covers pretty much all the bases right? If you are looking for a esoteric hi-fi without the snotty price, you have to come hear this combination. I have a really big grin on my face. Tri + Zu = music. It's kind of neat thinking that a few decades ago we were killing each other. Now a Japanese / American system is making sweet music together.


these speakers are the bomb! I've been breaking in the Zu Omen loudspeakers and Mission cables through a variety of different systems. The Omen simply express exactly what's going on in every system I've paired them with. Leben, Naim, Rega, LFD, basically everything I have at the shop I've thrown at them. I haven't done an A/B with other speakers yet. I want to break them in really good and let my ears get completely used to their sound. I already know they'll be vastly different just from their design and use of full range drivers. My first impressions of the Omens were they had that classic USA sound of the 70's, ala Klipsch, but after they've been breaking in they are morphing into a whole different beast. I've been playing with placement a bit, but they don't seem to be insanely fussy. The Mission cables were an eye opener. I knew Sean Casey, Zu's CEO, used to work for Kimber Kable, so I had the Hero interconnects hooked up to the Dynavector P-75 phono pre. I switched them out with the Missions and immediately heard tons more focus and a clearer presentation. They aren't even broken in yet! The Mission speaker cables are very well made and use (if ordered) a locking banana plug I have never encountered before. You unscrew the end and stick it into the speaker. You're left with a long pin that you then insert and screw down, locking the connector into the speaker. I'm looking forward to getting a Zu cartridge in (orders been placed) and eventually the Soul Superfly which are evidently a match made in heaven for tube rigs. The best part of the Zu experience for me is dealing with the guys from Utah. Zu need to be commended for making quality gear at a reasonable price 100% in America. Remember the days when we made stuff and had jobs? Zu are proof that it's not too late or impossible for a US manufacturing renaissance. They just have the balls to do it. They are American after all! Don't be a pinko commie! Come demo some Zu!