I’m into my fifth month of retirement from the day job now. My internal clock is still mostly geared to the hours that I worked, up at 4:30AM, arriving at the lab at 6AM, and getting home by 4PM. I’m sleeping in later and staying up later every day, but not by much.
Even though being retired means every day is like the weekend, every Sunday I still feel like I’ll have to get up and go to work on Monday morning like always. Old habits die hard.
I’m happy to be retired and not working a day job, but I miss the swell group of people I worked with for so many years, and the mental stimulation of being around scientific research that a national laboratory provides.
I still wonder about how the Belle II high-energy physics project upgrades at KEK in Japan are going (and who will be the first Nobel recipient using Belle II’s enhanced capabilities), or how the project I worked on for a new atmospheric science research aircraft is going, or how the project I worked on for a new chemical sciences research facility is coming. All of these were exciting projects to be a part of, and I suspect one day I will hear all kinds of good news about the scientific research that these fine projects will enable.
My buddy Chad told me that it took him three full years to settle into a retired life and forget about work, and to actually feel retired. That sounds about right.
My first four months of being retired were largely a bust on the audio reviewing front. Every single project or review I had agreed to and scheduled in my queue has been significantly delayed or canceled, and I’m not always sure which as not everyone is good at communicating their intent, and that has played havoc with my queue’s scheduling.
I normally like to announce in advance the upcoming projects or reviews I’m going to be doing, but things have been so unreliable of late that I’ve decided to quit announcing them in advance, as it leaves everyone who reads Jeff’s Place wondering what’s up, and I don’t like to let you guys down when you’re expecting to read about something in the near future and it is delayed or doesn’t happen as planned.
Suffice it to say that I think there are a half dozen or more cool things coming up in my queue, but from now on you won’t hear about them until they are in my hands.
What is in my hands right now is Peter Ledermann’s Soundsmith Zephyr Mk III and Carmen Mk II phonograph cartridges, and MMP3 Mk II phono preamp, which are receiving my full attention.
I’ve already told you I was really impressed with the musical & sonic performance of the Carmen Mk II and Zephyr Mk III phonograph cartridges on my CTC Classic 301 and Artisan Fidelity Thorens TD124 turntables, respectively.
Peter’s Soundsmith cartridges are unique in their high-output, fixed-coil, and moving-iron design, and they provide a powerful combination of musicality, sonic prowess, and value that is rare in today’s audio marketplace.
The path forward over the next few weeks is that I plan on telling you about listening to the Soundsmith MMP3 Mk II phono preamp ($800 USD) in my Tannoy Westminster Royal SE system, the Soundsmith Zephyr Mk III phono cartridge ($1500 USD) on my CTC Classic 301 turntable, and the Soundsmith Carmen Mk II ($1000) on my Artisan Fidelity Thorens TD124 turntable.
Will the solid-state Soundsmith MMP3 Mk II phono preamp perform on a level that is the equal to the vintage valve phono stage in my McIntosh MX110Z tuner-preamplifier, as it did with the valve Leben RS-30EQ phono preamp?
Will the Zephyr Mk III phonograph cartridge be as breathtakingly good on my CTC Classic 301 turntable in my Westminster based system as it was on my Artisan Fidelity Thorens TD124 turntable in my Altec A5 Voice of the Theatre based system?
Will the Carmen Mk II phonograph cartridge be as impressive on my Artisan Fidelity Thorens TD124 turntable in my Altec A5 Voice of the Theatre based system as it was on my CTC Classic 301 turntable in my Westminster based system?
Stay tuned as I try each of these combinations and report back to you about the results. Then I’ll move from the first impressions phase of getting familiar with their musical & sonic performance, to the detailed analysis phase as I start writing up their formal review for Positive Feedback, which will probably be done and published by late June or early July.
I’ve got more audio goodies coming in the next few months to write about, which I shall announce upon their arrival. I’m actually pretty excited about what’s coming in for review, and I think you’ll enjoy reading about it, so stay tuned as the plot thickens!
As always, thanks for stopping by, and may the tone be with you!