Some Serious Listening in South Florida



Member racv caught our eyes with his artistic, yet cozy, listening room. From the gorgeous B&W 802 Speakers to the custom-made Acoustic First Wall panels, racv has elegantly transformed his compact space into a place of respite away from the hustle & bustle of Miami.


That’s a lovely space.  What type of music do you primarily listen to?

RV:  I listen to many types/kinds of music. I own over 3,000 cd’s, some stored in the CD-Cubes you see in the picture; but I primarily listen to, in the following order: Jazz, Rock and Classic Rock, occasionally, music in Spanish-mostly 70’s Latin music, Pop and Classical music

   In your opinion, what is the difference between a casual music lover and a true audiophile?

RV:  A casual music lover is the one who enjoys its music mostly while driving or through their iPod/MP3-player while doing something else. A true Audiophile, sits down to specifically listen to music, and enjoys every note, every lyric and every detail their sound system brings forward.


What was the first item you bought that signaled you’d crossed the line into being an audiophile?

RV:  Years ago I wanted to listen to more of the music out of my system, and thought my speakers may be holding onto some of it, not reproducing it all, so I went to Radio Shack and bought 2 stand-alone tweeters and added them to my system. Since then, it has been an ongoing search for more.

I have own equipment made from: Krell, Mark Levinson, Audio Research, Thiel, Monster, Niles, NAD…

My current set-up is:


2 Bryston 7 SST2 amps

2 BW 802 speakers

1 Bryston BP26 Preamp

1 Bryston BCD-1 CD player

1 Velodyne 15” Subwoofer (do not remember the model)

1 Bryston BR2 Remote

1 Transparent Audio Power Conditioner

1 Townshend Audio CD Player stand

Sanus Europe Series Audio Furniture

5 CD-Cubes (4 w/ 3 drawers, 1 w/4 drawers)

Sound Components Reference-Transparent Audio Cables (all connectors)

Wall treatments: Acoustic First Wall Panels 2100/FR701 made to size



What’s your day job? If you could have any job in the world other than your own, what would it be?

RV:  I am a product Manager for a large Logistics Company and enjoy what I do, but….Owning and managing a seaside beach resort in an exotic location would be a dream job.


 What are your favorite recordings?

RV:  I own over 3,000 CDs, I have listen to them all, many are my favorites, some are excellent recordings, but I have to go with the albums that bring back good memories, the ones I grew up with like Abbey Road, Sgt. Peppers, Scorpio/Denny’s Coffey and the Detroit Guitar band, Led Zeppelin 1-4, The Who-Who’s Next.


What would be your “dream audiophile evening?” (time traveling and money are not issues)

RV:  Money no issue…I would add a big skylight to my music room, probably one the size of the entire ceiling (you have to be able to close it during the day). Also, I would upgrade my speakers to Wilson Audio MAXX3 or to KEF Reference 207, also upgrade my Amps to Bryston 28SST2, once the setup is complete, under a starry night,  I would lower the AC to 70, dim the lights, open a bottle of good wine or two and start listening…

High end audio or being a audiophile, is a never ending hobby. Technology keeps pushing the envelope; it is now a 3D sound image coming from 2 speakers, but keeps getting better…of course, depending on the recording, but nevertheless, 3D sound was here before 3D-TV; just close your eyes and, with good equipment, you can imagine you are there, pinpoint where the sound is coming from, listen to all the mistakes or listen clearly, as it were a live performance, to those musical notes or a voice that make you go aaahhh!


What are your hobbies?

 RV:  Photography and tennis are my other hobbies


Any funny or poignant stories that relate to being an audiophile?

RV:  My wife’s ears  were a deciding factor on whether I bought a Krell am or a Mark Levinson one, even though she does not listen to music like I do; she did not liked the harshness of the top-end on the Krell.

When I first bought my speaker-Transparent Cables, I had to return them because they had a defect. My ears were able to discover that in one of them, the wires were inverted. I returned them personally to Peter McGrath and Karen Sumner. They found that I was right. Karen was impressed…

General advice for newbies?

RV:  Advice…start small, test a lot before you commit, try to get the store to let them try at home the equipment before you buy. Later, upgrade slowly as you will see that the benefit of an increase in quality of sound does not equate to the enormous gap in the price difference, let your ear decide for you, not the brands name or the salesperson.

Any advice about room treatments?

RV:  Need to have them! You have to tame the room. Sound reflections can give you the wrong sound and room treatments can help. Before you upgrade your equipment, invest in room treatments; you may find that it is the best upgrade for the money.


What piece in your current system could you not live without?

RV:  With the way technology keeps improving the equipment, it is hard to answer that question, but I came back to Bryston after many years because it gives me the best return for my money…according to my ears.


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