For the last 35 years, Audio Advice has carried some of the best audio gear on the planet. It has been a ton of fun helping clients put together high performance audio systems and hearing the stories of how high quality music has enriched their lives. It’s really fulfilling to also hear how having a great music system helps their children discover all the joys of music.

For the past few years, I’ve been focused on high performance theater, and it is a blast. I would not trade it for anything. During that time I’ve taken home a variety of high performance speakers, but never seriously paired them with reference quality two channel gear. I’ve also checked out many individual high performance two-channel components. Typically, I've done this one piece at a time, without the chance to combine them all of them into one system.

The latest set of speakers to come home was the Vandersteen 5a. I’ve always been a fan of Vandersteen speakers, but it had been almost 25 years since I had a pair at home. Richard Vandersteen recently did an event in our Raleigh store and personally calibrated them for me. He egged me on to get some “real” electronics, cables, and power conditioning in the signal path to see what would happen. Well, thanks to my friends at Ayre, Audio Research, Transparent, and Shunyata, I’ve put together a system using reference level components.

This has been really interesting. Listening in a store, trade show, or going to a client’s house and hearing a system like this is just flat out not the same as having it in your own home. Until you sit in your own room after a long day at work, and experience how a great system can take you from being stressed out to totally relaxed, you have no idea how a system like this can alter your perspective.

I have never had anything in my home like this from an audio experience. It is just simply amazing!  My only problem is this: it is extremely addictive. With the wide world of computer music, I almost never get to the last song! I’ve found myself staying up way too late listening to songs I have heard hundreds of times as if I'm hearing them for the first time. This is a perfect example of  the total experience being  far better than the sum of the parts. For the first time, I really do not have a weak link. Pairing up the Vandersteens with a stack of truly reference level gear made a HUGE difference in the sound. Not subtle - huge!

For those of you who have taken your systems to this level, you know exactly what I mean. If you are considering taking the plunge into a better audio system, I cannot stress how good things have gotten today. A great pair of speakers (I can not wait to set up the Wilson Sashas in my house) coupled with a great front end, power, cables, and power conditioning is just amazing. Back before having kids (23 years ago), I kept a high end system in my home at all times. But I never had music sound like it does now! If you have the means, do not hesitate to dive in. We will help you with the component selection and I think you will be as blown away as I have been the last few weeks!