Notable - Part 1

These “notables” are rooms that stood out in one way or another. They kept me interested and engaged. In ways where I wanted to learn more about the design philosophies. Some of them weren’t my “cup of tea” but they had characteristics that I could appreciate.

And here…we…go!


Germany’s AVM has been in the game since 1986. These hardcore audiophiles keep all design and development in house.

We prefer a straight circuit design where every component has its own clearly defined task and have found that often the most simple circuit concept works the best. A part that is not there cannot influence the music, it doesn’t produce unnecessary costs and it can never be defective. HiFi components are not only technical things but primarily are a part of our customer’s home, so we attach great importance on creating wonderful looking products. We also try to make all our components easy to use and work hard to offer the best value for money to our customers.

AVM new’s AVM Audition AM 6.3 active speakers had exceptional sound. The idea that a simpler, active system could sound this good – is alluring. There’s even a “wireless” option in the near future. A fantastic debut for this 1,750Wwpc, 3.5 way active monitor.

Karen Elson’s Wonder Blind was very resolving in the strings and woodwinds. It was punchy, textural, and had a wonderfully engaging vocal presentation. I had a great time listening to this system – while being mesmerized by the shiny Rotation R series turntable.

AVM pushes out quite a large line of products. Check them out here.


These T+A Solitaire CWT 1000-40 loudspeakers were driven by those stunning M 40 HV mono power amplifiers.

Mighty Sam McClain’s When the Hurt is Over had a fantastic, organic tonality across the recording. You just feel his pain as the piano rolls in. And the forthcoming drums help dig that emotion even deeper. Stereo imaging is also world-class and helps you become immersed in this track. A wonderful blend of dynamics and sweetness.


I’m only familiar with their headphones but was surprised to see a 2-channel system in the room.

I don’t recall the components in this Grado room but it had some of the most tonally accurate midranges I’ve heard. This was especially the case for the duet Picking After You by Tom Waits. There are delicacy and body – and it just sounds so damn beautiful.


I’m a huge fan of Dobly Atmos. In fact, I run a 13.2-channel, 9.2.4 system for my home theater with the Denon AVR-X8500H. The ability to place sound precisely in a room is something I never thought would be possible for the average consumer. But it is.

As far as music and home theater goes, PMC is a huge player. There’s always a natural sound I enjoy with the PMC loudspeakers. This UK-based loudspeaker company is found in many studios – including Capitol Studios in LA. In fact, they’re working on a remix of Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue and Sketches of Spain into Dolby Atmos!

The full Dolby Atmos set up in our LA studio reflects our strategic partnership with Dolby and Universal Music Group, bringing the Atmos immersive format closer to the music production market,” he says. “The studio exists of an LCR of MB3-XBD-A monitoring, twotwoSub.2 for LFE channels and a selection of our Wafer on-wall monitors for all the surround and height channels, similar to the systems already installed at Capitol Studios.

The Dobly Atmos music demo was fantastic and I can’t wait to hear these tracks on my own system. I’ll probably start using it more for music than movies. 🙂


Harman International owns many brands. Including AKG, Arcam, Infinity, harman/kardon, JBL, Mark Levinson, Revel, and many others. They are enormous.

Here we have a crowd favorite – the JBL L100 Classic loudspeakers paired with a bunch of new gear:

  • Arcam SA30 integrated amplifier
  • Mark Levinson No 5805 and No 5802 integrated
  • Mark Levinson No 5101 all-in-one SACD music player

I’ve heard the L100 Classics plenty of times. Great sound all around. Not to mention: the comfy couch and breeze from the open window was also a blessing after a long day of listening.

Shout outs to Philip Weiss for showing me around.