“If you have time, I think it’d be fun to hear your system (it’s been ages!), shoot some photos, hear what you’ve been up to lately, and if it’s not too much of a pain in the behind, hear Kara’s phono stage in my system too … it’s been way too long since we’ve gotten together and caught up on the Adventures of Pete!”
It turned out that Pete was going to be in town for the weekend, so we setup a Saturday get together, with a special bonus – cool guy Stephaen Harrell (who writes for 6Moons.com) would also be able to join us!
Pete’s Place is like an audio monastery where the resident monks build big horn loudspeakers, play games with vacuum tube devices, listen to a lot of LPs & reel-to-reel tapes, make very cool Woody tonearms & VTAFs, and in between drink a few good brews in the monk tradition. However, at Pete’s Place audio monastery the ladies are not excluded, thankfully, and artist Leslie Cain painted a mural that covers the entire listening room! (Which I personally think is even cooler than the Sistine Chapel that I visited recently!).
Take a look at the monster bass horn that’s built into the rear of Pete’s listening room/building! The raccoon in the horn’s throat provides resonance control.
Pete really enjoys his vinyl collection that spans his 74 years of music listening …
Pete’s Thorens TD-124 with a Woody tonearm does duty on the vinyl front …
Oh by the way, notice that device in the upper left of the photo of Pete’s Thorens above (closeup below)? That’s a Simco ionizing air blower that’s used in cleanrooms for electronics manufacturing. The Simco can flood your whole LP plus turntable with an ion breeze in one shot, and Pete’s vinyl replay was absolutely dead quiet as a result. The Simco comes in various models and sizes, and audiophiles will be shocked to find out that this state-of-art ionizing blower costs less than a fancy power cord. New, the bench-top Simco’s cost less than $700, and used I see them on eBay for $35 and up. They work.
Pete uses a Teac for listening to reel-to-reel tapes …
Another lady that has contributed to Pete’s Place audio monastery is Kara Chaffee, in a big way. Below is the one-off deHavilland / Chaffee Engineering Model 222 tape-head amplifier that Kara added a phono section to specially for Pete.
Pete uses a tube amp for each driver: if I remember correctly, a KT88 amp on the bass horns, 2A3 amps on the mid-range horns, and EL84 amps on the tweeters.
Pete had lots of tasty food & drink laid out in grand hospitable fashion for our get together – it was a definite wow! As Pete, Stephaen, and I enjoyed the victuals, Pete’s hi-fi rig was really sounding really great, with an effortless, silky smooth presentation, spacious & naturally detailed, without even a hint of edge, grit, glare, or any other kind of nasties in evidence.
After an afternoon of listening we closed up shop and brought Kara’s Model 222 over to my place for a little listening session.
Kara’s Model 222 Vacuum Tube Magnetic Tape Playback Preamplifier is about the same size as my Leben RS-30EQ phono equalizer, and took its place on the equipment rack for our Saturday afternoon listening session. I’ll tell you what, Kara is really onto something with this design. While I haven’t done any focused listing comparisons with the Leben RS-30EQ or NVO SPA-II, I was very impressed with what I was hearing from the Model 222 as a phono equalizer. I’d really like to see Kara offer this as an option for the Model 222, I think it would be a hit with those who listen to both vinyl & magnetic tape. I also think in phono-only form it would nicely complement her line stage.
I’d like to say a big “THANK YOU!” to Pete & Stephaen for such wonderful day of hi-fi, music, good food & drink, and great conversation – you guys rock!