Let me tell you about Gerald. He lives in Hampton, a distance not too inconsiderable from my home. Prevaricate, why yes, I am embarrassed to say I have. But this is my only excuse and not a very good one I might ad, for not having visited Hampton until now, after quite a few request by Gerald. That is not say I haven’t been looking forward to visiting Gerald’s place for an evolution. But, arrive I have, finally.
From over the road I survey his place. He lives in a house that you would expect Gerald to live in. It is a neat house in a small street amongst the gentrified of Hampton. This is the abode of a Hi-Fi guru, clearly. Gerald is Old School. But he is cool Old School, all Brylcreem and pressed shirt of him.
We are shuffled through to the location of the nights frivolities, the room already half full of expectant punters. Looking around one is surrounded by collected items and treasures from around the world. Art Deco lamps thrust out from the nooks and corners of his Sound Lounge, it’s eclectic, a gentleman’s residence, replete with many trappings for comfort.
Now projecting in to what was once his rear garden, is his entertainment room. Or as he calls it, his Sound Lounge. The place for a Pop Night, Music DVD Night, Classical Night, Home Theatre Night or Jazz Night. He entertains them all. What a magnificent room it is. “It is eight meters by eight meters square”, he proudly announces.
He is not a fad follower jumping from one style to another. His life is very much couched in the here and now with a lick of fondness for the old days. Those were days when hi fi equipment was a much more important part of his life. Indeed it helped him earn the comfortable life he now enjoys. He proudly displays and describes equipment he has owned. In his words, “Oh, I have owned that turntable for years and years, maybe about twenty years, let me see……I paid $154 for it”, he recalls in an instant.
No hi fi amnesia here, Gerald is sharp, harmonious, affable, a gentleman, epitomized by his simple approach to life. He may enquire as to your health, and or your hi-fi system. Or he might just say hello.
I meet his son. Gerald introduces him proudly. A chip off the old block, David is. Of course he is polite and well mannered just like his father. He stays to join in the fun of the night and contributes some music, a track or two of his own. A few, including me, enquire after the tracks he chose and why. Gerald your son is like you he enjoys music and the company of friends. He could do well in life following these ideals.
But we haven’t even started yet. Gerald waits patiently for the stragglers to venture forth, with tonight around twenty people expected. We should get to the business end of the night soon. Gerald has a fondness for Klipsch drivers, tweeters all things Klipsch. He is tinkering with the tweeters, at the moment, he explains. They sound fine to me, oxytocin for the ears. But I expect he will coax some more top end out of them yet.
He explains In his own words:
My Equipment: Klipsch 18 inch Bass, Klipsch Midrange Driver with large Electro Voice Horn attached & Klipsch Tweeter.
Speaker boxes made with Solid-Bricks to my DIY design. Pre-Amp Accuphase and Luxman Power Amp.
Power rating 150 watts RMS per channel. Speaker efficiency 97db for one watt, and capable of delivering 121db at full power, ideal for those who are dull of hearing. Turntable is Ariston with FR 54 Arm and Supex Moving-Coil Cartridge. Our listening room is 8 metres length and 8 metre wide built also in double brick on a Concrete Slab and formally called “My Sound Lounge” but in recent times we use it as a “Home Theatre” too.
Always a pleasure to host venues for our Club. Acoustics for the room has been given special attention with the ceiling being made up with Acoustic-Tiles for sound purposes, but I’m still seeking Nirvana !! …Gerald
And he will get there no doubt. Fastidious knowledgable, an audiophile. But it already makes good music Gerald.
The last stragglers are in, the night begins. But what is this? Gerald wants CDs from any and all of those in the room. Quite a departure from previous Pop Nights. Ergo it will be five minutes to midnight before he plays his own music, Slim Whitman sings Down In The Valley. We play ‘This Is All Yours’ by Alt-J. Another a track sung along to, by everyone is Manhattan Transfer, Chanson D’amour. With no theme tonight, something we should explore in future. We play Madonna, The Tremeloes, Savage Garden, Al Di Meola, Ruthie Foster and Martin Stephenson and the Diantees. In fact music, projecting back to the last fifty years. As with all systems some tracks benefit from the massive 18″ Klipsch Drivers. We hear many of these through the night. The Klipsch Drivers produce prodigious bass. But there are always compromises when you fix your speakers to a position. He has built the room around them. But a person with the experience can eke out the best sound. Gerald knows his stuff. There was much nodding when tracks were played that surprised us all.
There’s more but supper is imminent. Somehow Gerald has managed to play music and prepare and coordinate supper. I offer to help, he doesn’t need it. A mountain of food has been produced. It slowly disappears as it is rapidly consumed.
We return refreshed and sated to vinyl and amongst others, play Eric Clapton, The Knack, Rita Coolidge and Tim Finn. But it’s getting late, the night has been great. Such a great host is Gerald that he would have just kept playing on in to the wee small hours. We leave, it is quiet in his street, the suburb is in slumber, the dawn is only a few hours away now.