Customer Music System – Stephen Y. – Santa Barbara, CA

Like all Pitch Perfect Audio hifi setups this one is very special.

Stephen is a skilled carpenter whom completely overseas the full restoration of homes. In his spare time, he builds modern furniture for himself and enjoys the soothing sounds of his new hifi.. Composed of the following gear, starting from the source: vintage Micro-Seiki DD-40 Turtable w/MA505 Tonearm, Ortofon 2M Black MM Phono Cartridge, Shindo Aurieges-MM Preamp, Shindo Montille EL84 Stereo Amp, DeVore Gibbon Super 8 Loudspeakers, Auditorium 23 Speaker Cable, as well as Shindo Interconnects & Mr. T.

Yep, you noticed – this system is analog only.  I just love the clean looks and overall vibe. Most audiophile systems look like science experiments with anti-gravity cable routers, 24 stacked woofers (don’t forget the diamond tweeter arrays), mystical audio space time continuum clocks and cryogenically treated listening room paint.  No wonder why normal people think most audiophiles are nuts – none of that ridiculousness to be found in this system.  Just cool.  Like Steve McQueen cool.

After some re-arranging of the listening chair, within the room, Stephen is partial to listening off-axis. If your furniture arrangement necessitates this and you find yourself a listener who enjoys the tone, timbre, density, presence and realistic palpable qualities of the performance, listening off-axis may still give you all of this – especially with a well integrated music system.  Image and soundstage take second fiddle to the aforementioned priorities.

The DeVore Super 8’s and Shindo gear fit the paradigm of compact and high performance.  In regards to the speakers, John DeVore outdid himself building this sweet pair of Super 8’s, in an illuminated looking wild cherry finish.  Super 8’s pressurize compact to mid size rooms such as Stephen’s, not to mention are a breeze to drive with ‘only’ 15 watts of the gutsy little Montille.

According to Stephen, his next move will be a new cartridge (perhaps an EMT XSD15), and an Auditorium 23 Step Up Transformer, to maximize the Aurieges phono capabilities.

Stephen emotes…

“Please pass on to the Shindo San that there is a guy in Southern California who grew up a poor kid in North Carolina and who, today, realized a lifelong dream of owning something as precious and beautiful is his (Kens) Montille tube amplifier…Thanks for your help with this dream also.  I appreciate it. -Stephen”

Enjoy, Stephen!

Photos courtesy of Stephen Y.

9 thoughts on “Customer Music System – Stephen Y. – Santa Barbara, CA

  1. Stephen,

    Your room and new equipment are extraordinary. You have made a complete 180 degree change from your previous system and I’m very impressed. I’d love to hear the Shindo – especially when I respect your ears and your opinions so much.

    I plan to visit Pitch Perfect when I’m in San Francisco later in the year and hear for myself.

    Best wishes to you.

    JPrice from A. Aficionado.

    1. Julian,

      Many thanks for your nice comments on Matt’s site. Yes, I have made some big changes…

      When I first heard the Shindo systems at Pitch Perfect Audio, in SF, I knew that that was the sound that I was after… I just didn’t know how I would ever sell a whole house full of McIntosh gear and THEN pay full retail for a Shindo set up.

      Anyway, kinda’ a long story how I got here, but I am glad that I did. I simply love it.

      Dealing with Matt has turned into a real pleasure, and I have finally come to accept that paying a little more is actually helping to keep alive something that I really believe in and that feels good.

      To say that it is refreshing to have a “dealer” that really cares about your listening experience would be an understatement. Matt understands music, and knows how to listen to you to help you get the sound that YOU want in your room.

      Now, when I sit down, the music just washes over me and I am not thinking about amps, cables or any of that. Just thinking about the music. Listening deeper into the music that I ever have before.

      It has take me a really long time to understand how important the room is. Matching gear and speakers to the room is THE most important thing, as you doubtless know.

      Thanks again. Enjoy the music.


  2. A lovely room, Stephen. I also enjoy listening to my Super 8’s off-axis. The Sumiko “Iron Chef” loudspeaker setup method worked well for me to dial them in.

    1. The chair is an Eames Lounge chair built by the Herman Miller Company. I bought mine at the local Design Within Reach Studio.

      Thanks to everyone for the nice compliments on the room.

      It is a great place to unwind and listen to music.

  3. Great looking system Stephen. Since my former computer crashed I lost all my mail and have not been able to contact you to find out what you finally chose. Great Choices! Best Regards, Jim, Niles, Ohio

  4. This a great system, both for value and musical satisfaction. Very easy to say as I also have a Shindo Motille amp, but am looking to move up to a Montbrison or Masseto pre, now. Any thoughts in this regard, either as to the benefits or availability would be appreciated.

  5. Stephen,

    What a beautiful room and system. I can only imagine how musical your system sounds. Very tasteful. As a McIntosh owner, like you once were, I hope to cross over to the “Green Side“ and looking forward to doing so. Sometimes less is more.

    It`s all about the music, keep `em spinning my friend,


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