Music was my first love. Both my parents were music lovers and in our community they were among the first to own a stereo system. My earliest audio related memory is watching my father’s Garrard Model RC80 Automatic Record Changer with up to ten 78 rpm records on it. I must have been around ten years old and was fascinated by the changer mechanism. When I heard the system for the first time I knew I was hooked for life. I listened to music all the time and when I was in my teens I started to play acoustic guitar. At first I only played and studied classical guitar, then I found out that girls preferred boys who played pop songs on their guitars. That’s when I switched to a more modern repertoire, until I met my first wife and stopped playing altogether. Instead I started to focus on the quality of my stereo system. Since then I have been trying to optimise the sound and make human voices and acoustic instruments sound as natural as possible.
Shortly after I met my second wife, the love of my life, I started to combine two passions; writing and listening to music through high end audio systems. I began writing short stories and reviews of audio components and music for the Dutch internet site Hifi.nl. Later I started to write for the Dutch magazine Music Emotion as well. I have been writing since 2001 and even though I do not have as much time as I used to, I still enjoy it immensely. Almost as much as listening to music itself. The love for music is still predominant and I have managed to pass on my passion to my daughter, who plays the piano and who loves to accompany me in my listening room. I have an acoustically optimised, pyramid shaped, dedicated listening room that is the perfect place for my reference system. Besides that, I have a modest audio system in the large living room of my house that was built in 1933 and has good acoustics because of the wooden floors and the high wooden ceilings.
When it comes to music my tastes are pretty broad. I listen to classical music, pop, rock, country, folk, jazz, blues, singer songwriter and world music as well as electronic music. The complete list of favorite conductors, instrumentalists, singers, bands, orchestras and composers would take too much space but I can name some favorites. Bach, Stravinsky, Mahler, Wagner, Schubert, Schumann, Rachmaninov, Satie, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, Simon Rattle, Valery Gergiev, Mariss Jansons, Jordi Savall, Montserrat Figueras, Cecilia Bartolli, Renee Fleming, Elly Ameling, Maria Callas, Anne Sofie von Otter, Thomas Quasthoff, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Christoph Pregardien, Matthias Goerne, Martha Argerich, Alexandre Tharaud, Michael Gees, Kristian Bezuidenhout, Hélène Grimaud, Mischa Maisky, Pieter Wispelwey, Julia Fischer, Janine Jansen, Miles Davis, Chet Baker, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Joe Zawinul, Milt Jackson, Sonny Rollins, Jimmy Smith, Keith Jarrett, Jan Garbarek, Helge Lien Trio, Esbjörn Svensson Trio, Nick Bärtsch, Pat Metheny, Ella Fitzgerald, Stacey Kent, Claire Martin, Rachelle Ferrell, Shirley Horn, Dianne Reeves, Kari Bremnes, Silje Nergaard, Mary Black, Patricia Barber, Holly Cole, Allison Krauss, Jennifer Warnes, Eleanor McEvoy, Natalie Merchant, Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Eva Cassidy, Joni Mitchell, K.D. Lang, Dire Straits, Pink Floyd, Toto, Kraftwerk, Trentemöller, Yello, Bliss, Anouar Brahem, Bobo Stenson Trio, David Munyon, Alan Taylor, Gianmaria Testa, Johnny Cash, Prince, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Marc Cohn, Peter Gabriel, Fink etc. etc.
Record Player: TW Acustic Raven Two, Tw Acustic Raven AC motor drive
Tonearm: SME 309 internally wired with Deskadel silver cable
Cartridge: Lyra Delos MC
2nd Tonearm: Goldenote B5 Titanium
2nd Cartridge: Clearaudio Discovery MC
Phono Amp: ASR Basis Exclusive
CD Transport: CEC TL5100
Streaming device and CD transport: NAD M50
Server/Storage: NAD M52
D/A Converter: NAD M51
Passive Preamp: Music First Audio Classic V2
Loudspeakers: Harbeth SHL5 Plus on Ton Träger stands
Interconnects: Cardas Golden Reference (Din-XLR), van den Hul D102 MKIII (XLR)
Digital interconnects: Apogee Wyde-Eye XLR, Audioquest Diamond USB, Audioquest Diamond HDMI
Speaker Cables: Triple M SC
Mains power cords: Sonore AC Reference, Triode Wire Labs twelve +, ten +, 7+, Audioquest NRG 1000
Mains: Kemp Elekroniks blocks and HMS block.
Turntable placed on Isenberg Audio Rack with Ginko Audio Cloud 11 L
Other equipment placed on modified Creaktiv Little Reference Racks
Elektrosmog treatment listening room by Gabriel-Tech, Creaktiv Systems & WA Quantum Chips.
Living room system
Record player: Thorens TD-160 Super
Tonearm: SME 3009 series III
Cartridge: Audio Technica AT95EB 9546 MD
Phono amp: Pro-Ject Phono Box USB V
Streaming device: Bluesound Node 2
D/A converter: Northstar Design Model 3 96/24 DA converter, Model 4 96 kHz Sample Rate Converter
Integrated push pull valve amplifier: Unison Research P70
Loudspeakers: Sonus Faber Concerto on dedicated Sonus Faber stands
Interconnects: Siltech Classic SQ28 (XLR, RCA)
Digital Interlinks: Sonore AC Reference
Loudspeaker cables and jumpers: Simply Audio Cadenza
Mains power cords: Siltech Classic SPX-30
Mains: HMS block
Equipment is placed on a USM Haller Audio Rack
Storage: Synology NAS DS 214+
Wired ethernet: Supra