Late yesterday morning the fingerstyle guitarist Leon Thum dropped by with four friends, Bill, Chin Tong, Michele and Aaron. We initially didn’t know who Leon was, but his very keen ears and audio recording knowledge prompted us to do some sleuthing online after he left. Go to the International Fingerstyle Guitar Festival 2015 artist list and and look for his profile. He is on Instagram, and is an ambassador for Naga Guitars. Not surprisingly he is good friends with (and has toured with) Maton Guitars ambassador Tommy Emmanuel. And of course REDGUM’s Ian Robinson knows Tommy Emmanuel because Ian designed Tommy’s guitar pickup.
Leon brought some of his own recordings as source material; these were raw tracks from the album he is currently working on. The visitors also listened to a CD that Chin Tong brought along. Our own set of test tracks was streamed from Audirvana+ on a Macbook Pro over USB to a REDGUM RGDAC8 DAC. The DAC’s analogue output was fed into the REDGUM Splendens pre/power combo. Just for kicks Bill streamed from his Tidal account on his smartphone via USB to the REDGUM RGCD5ENR DAC that was also connected to the Splendens. All interconnects and speaker cables were from REDGUM. The speakers listened to were the Axis VoiceBox S, then VBS + EBS, and then the VoiceBox FLS. Also included in the listening session were a pair of Magneplanar 1.7, and a pair of Magneplanar 3.7. The visitors eventually felt that the Axis speakers were more to their taste.
We were particularly gratified when Leon expressed strong endorsement of our approach, which is to assemble a small number of carefully selected and modestly priced components into an audio system that accurately reproduces what composers, performers, and audio engineers created. In other words, we provide our customers with the means to experience sonic art. Leon went as far as suggesting how we might increase awareness about our unique value proposition and approach to audio reproduction.
Towards the end of the visit Leon asked if he could do a reference check of his album in our demo room before sending the album for mass production. Well, of course we said yes!