John: Great Audio Geek

audio geek john from washington

Describe Your Current Gear

This is my 'quiet time' setup. A Technics SL-23 turntable, purchased new at Tech HiFi in NYC in around 1978, and refurbished a couple of times, most recently at Echo Audio in Portland, Oregon. It is connected to a Cypher Labs Prautes headphone amp (made in collaboration with Coffman Labs). The headphones are Fostex T50RP planar-magnetics. Sitting on the turntable is a German pressing of Sgt Pepper from around 1970, still with the Hor Zu retailer's sticker.

Musical Moment

A person who lived near me in a dorm in the 1970s introduced me to Jeff Beck's "Blow by Blow". Instead of a wall of sound, this album had places where the silences jumped out at me as being as important as the sound. Languid phrasing just seemed to slow down my breathing, making me feel like I was floating along with his playing, rather than jumping to a beat.

Favorite Bands

Jayme Marques - Brazilian guitarist who brought Jazz-Samba to Spain. A real feeling of him having a personal connection with the music, whether it was written by him or by others. Steely Dan - complex arrangements that allow the listener to concentrate on different layers each time, particularly the Elliot Scheiner surround mixes on SACD and DVD-Audio Alfred Brendel - there are some pianists that are technically flawless, but who do not breathe life into their performances. Brendel brings true feeling to his recordings. I've never been able to pinpoint what it is about his playing, but I find myself going back to his CDs more than almost any other classical artist.

Hi-Fi Intro

Most of my earnings during college in the 1970s went to the basic educational expenses. I put together a system that was made up of the best value components I could find from local stores. After graduation, I attended an audio show at, I believe, the Hotel Pennsylvania, in New York City. This was my first introduction to the number of manufacturers, styles, engineering approaches, and designers that never made appearances in my local shops. I think that part of what has kept me interested in hifi is the number of ways a rectangular box can be configured as a speaker to make sound.

Audio Passion in One Sentence

I would say that music is a language that people can appreciate, enjoy, and share, even when they are from different parts of the world. It does not require formal training to understand, and may be the most common experience between the most people on the planet. A good audio system brings the listener closer to what the performer was trying to provide. Whether something was recorded in a cathedral, concert hall, bar, or a studio, being able to appreciate the recording's location helps to bring us closer to whatever location was chosen.


Great Audio Geeks love discussing and sharing pictures of their high-end audio gear, favorite music, and all the latest innovations. For most great audio geeks, their taste in audio gear exceeds their budget. They are never satisfied. Hearing something new in a favorite recording thanks to a new DAC, headphone, or cable fuels their desire to learn, discover, and experience more great sound.

Great audio geeks live on the higher end of the audio gear spectrum, but they may have cheap earbuds too. Everything has a purpose and proper use.

Great Audio Geeks read Stereophile and Absolute Sound, and they probably have an account at Head-fi.org so they can read, debate, and learn. Just as the thirst for new gear is never fully quenched, Great Audio Geeks can never know enough.

Music and gear change quickly. Audio geeks are committed to lifelong learning. Come learn with Moon Audio.

Share your passion. Join the tribe.