Customer Music System – Mark B. – Los Altos Hills, CA

Mark B 1

What a warm, comfy looking room.   Mark is a passionate music enthusiast who has built up a simply wonderful system through the years.  The addition of the Shindo preamp and amp has taken it to unprecedented levels.  This beautiful system consists of Shindo Masseto Preamplifier, Shindo Haut-Brion Stereo Amplifier, SME 20 Turntable, Ayre CD Player and Reference 3A Grand Veena Loudspeakers tied together with A23 Speaker Wire.

Besides being into music, Mark is an avid photographer as well.  He just sent me the best looking iphone photos I have ever seen, from a recent Jeff Beck concert with Tal Wilkenfeld.

When I first met Mark, he started off with an Aurieges and Montille, and was completely floored by their compelling musical abilities.

Mark wrote to me, shortly after wiring the Haut-Brion into his system…

” …this is the most entertaining amp I have ever heard, at least in my room. It’s taut and extremely engaging. Reminds me of the VAC but with much more control over pace and tempo. The micro-dynamics are highlighted and allowed to flourish with this amp. The midrange is incredibly enticing, with a full very taut and muscular bottom end. Think fast and sinewy with muscle (weight), but all very delicately put forth. transients are lighting fast, notes start and stop quicker. highs shimmer and float, have an ethereal quality. bass is even more extended… but the added extension is fast, textured and full of life (the toe tapping variety). the music now seems to take direction (take flight), whether the swing of drummer’s stick, plucking fingers on bass, swaying sax player; flow and movement, not just timbre takes center stage. There’s life in the Shindo, lot’s of it… the Haut-Brion is a bigger jump than I expected. More life and soul than the Tom Evans… More dynamic and better treble than The Acoustic Masterpiece M101 (and yes, I hate to admit it, better midrange). This amp has the bandwidth and grip of the Tom Evans (what the TEAD is famous for), but has way more VIBE!! This is a sex kitten of an amp. I now see why Ken named it after a Haut-Brion. If you’ve had the privilege of tasting one, you’ll recognize that post orgasmic thrown-from-the-car-which-end-is-up-feeling!….Whereas the Massetto had an Apollonian effect on me, the Haut Brion is all Dionysian!!!!!

Mission Accomplished.

Photos courtesy of Mark B.

2 thoughts on “Customer Music System – Mark B. – Los Altos Hills, CA

  1. Pix from the show at the Fox in Oakland? An incredible performance! Ok, if I save a copy for my own use?!? I enjoyed the positive comments on the VAC, as I owned some of Kevin’s amps, before I found Shindo.

    1. chris, take the photo and remember that incredible night, absolutely.

      VAC does have that special ‘Vibe” going, but Shindo seems to have a bit more magic. Kevin Hayes is the American Shindo, for sure . . .

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