U.S. East Coast Road Trip

The NYC Area: wonderful food, great company and beautiful scenery

Following the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, AMR's Vincent Luke along with Avatar Acoustic's Darren Censullo took some time out to visit a number of reviewers and customers on the East Coast.

After picking up our rental car, the first reviewer we visited was Art Dudley of Stereophile. Art resides in a very beautiful, picturesque area of Albany which is around 3 hour's drive north of New York. On the day, the weather was atrocious; it was raining cats and dogs making driving on the freeway overtaking huge trucks (a.k.a. lorries) quite a hairy experience. We were 3 hours behind schedule as we had set off late, out of New York the traffic was heavy and to cap it all off, the downpour was incessant. We telephoned Art somewhat stressed out but he was very accommodating and told us not to pick up any speeding tickets.

Once we arrived, we were able to relax. Art's home overlooks some beautiful, stunning scenery (not too dissimilar to the U.K. and made us feel quite at home)


Source: AMR

The Town Hall…

Source: AMR

Darren Censullo of Avatar Acoustics (left) and Art Dudley of Stereophile (right)

Source: AMR

Art has a ‘music’, rather than a ‘hifi’ system. What grabbed us most was the tonal accuracy; the Shindo Garrard 301, Shindo Ortofon Cartridge > Shindo Phono > Shindo Amplifier along with Audio Note – E speakers was capitvating. We only spun vinyl and went from record to record – time flew by.

Art’s focus on vinyl, SETs and high-efficiency speakers certainly struck a chord with AMR – our factory reference front-ends are a Loricraft Garrard 301; Dr Feickert Blackbird; Acoustics Solid One; Technics SL1200 Japan Special Edition and Revox B790 Linear Tracking turntable.

Having spent the afternoon there, with about thirty minutes to go, we suddenly remembered that we were there to drop off the DP-777 Digital Processor! We quickly unpacked the DP-777 and handed it over to Art. We look forward to reading how the DP-777 fares against such a classic vinyl setup…this might sound unusual but those that know us know AMR’s front-end sources are all referenced to serious vinyl sources as we believe these are the true benchmark for making music, as opposed to hifi.

That evening, we joined Art and his daughter Julia for a great meal at the ‘Rose and Kettle’ a local restaurant that is both famous for its food as well as its music! Heck, Art also plays there in a group! (no, Art did not play on this occasion).


New York Deli? – not quite, an AMR customer's home

A few days later, in New York city, we paid a visit to the home of Alex Courtney. Alex is a customer with a MacBook Pro + DP-777 > Emotive Audio Customized Valve Preamp > Emotive Audio Custom E-Linear 6L6GA Amp > Modified Custom Quad57s (Wayne Piquet).

We dropped off some AMR Gold fuses for Alex and then sat down and enjoyed some nice tunes. Alex loves his ‘old skool’ music and who are we to disagree? Alex grew in a record store (something going on with AMR and customers and vinyl) and despite the digital front-end, we really could have been fooled that vinyl was being spun, yes, it was that engaging.

On the pretext of hand-delivering some AMR fuses, we actually wanted to listen to Alex’s system AND tuck into Alex’s famous homemade sandwiches. These pictures should whet your taste buds. On the subject of whetting (or wetting?), the sandwiches went down great with a beer (or two) from the Brooklyn Brewery…

Tasty Sandwiches and Thirst-Quenching Beers at the Courtney Residence

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Source: AMR /


StereoTimes, Clement Perry Residence

Next stop, we paid an albeit, brief visit to Clement Perry, editor of StereoTimes. The system is setup in one of the large rooms on the highest floor of his house.

The system features a Memory Player with Behold amplification and the Sunny Cable Majestic Speaker. Clement’s taste in music is second to none (as evidenced by his show demo tracks that always grab you) and his system ain’t half bad either!

We were entranced by the ‘you are thereness’ of the playback chain. Certainly the speakers have a lot to do with things. Each gigantic speaker is like a Dr Who's Tardis and their looks certainly reflected their uncanny ability to transport you to the venue of the recording!

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Source: AMR  

Laurence Borden: What beautiful scenery surrounds

Before our return back to the U.K., we were kindly invited to stay at the home of Larry and Olga Borden in upstate New York. Larry is Executive Editor for Dagogo.

First off, Larry has constructed a dedicated 30’ x 22’ x 11’ listening room (nice!) and it is still a work-in-progress as he is awaiting further acoustic treatments.

Larry’s system is: Oswalds Mill Audio Anatase Turntable (Lenco-based) / Modded Sony CD player (used solely as transport) + AMR DP-77 Digital Processor > Oswalds Mill Audio Preamplifier > Oswalds Mill AudioParallax Amplifier > Oswalds Mill Audio New Yorker.

For sure, the listening room is quite exceptional and is a great ‘man cave’. We arrived late and even though we were only going to have a ‘quick listen’, before we knew it, it was 1.30am and time for bed…

Over the few days that we spent at Larry’s place, we went out with Mr and Mrs Ogden, Olga. On one occasion, we drove into New York city and met up with Key Kim and had a ‘kosmic’ Korean meal at Dons Bogam. We all lapped up the food and the soju was not too shoddy either…

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Despite their trepidation both Olga and Larry were blown away by the Korean food. Afterwards, we also went to one of Key’s clubs: Third Floor Café.

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and enjoyed some more drinks and the customary fruit plate. Life is good meeting great people and enjoying out of this world meals. The feast was fit for a king (and queen).

It was starting to get quite late and we had a chunky drive ahead of us so we did not manage our customary drink in Key’s other place: MK Karaoke.


On the final day of our stay, Larry and Olga took us to the quite stunning Mount MoHonk (yes, we also thought Mount MoHawk!). It is a really gorgeous natural beauty spot high up in the mountains.

More information is to be found here:

The following are some stunning pictures taken with a very bog-standard Canon pocket camera…

MoHonk Mountain House

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Source: AMR  

The Marina Jetty

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Source: AMR  

Close-Up of one of Mount MoHonk's residents.

Source: AMR

Part of Mount MoHonk's Lake

Source: AMR

Pictures of Mr and Mrs Borden

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Source: AMR  

Overlooking the Valley from Mount MoHonk

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Source: AMR  

We love to combine our show visits with a small road trip afterwards as the ability to relax somewhat and to meet and see more of the U.S.A. and all it has to offer is well worth the effort. We can only heartily recommend the U.S. and its audio-loving people!


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