“As some/all of you know, Komuro has been helping me with some of the electric at the new apartment (John is moving but he doesn’t even need to change his driver’s license). Today over ham, turkey and provolone sandwiches we were chatting about JC Morrison. We discussed that he was departing the country very shortly, more shortly in fact than Komuro had realized so he called JC right then. This led to that and before I knew it I had invited them both over to Monkeyhaus for a farewell hang.” an email from John DeVore
And so it came to be that last Thursday was the Lastminutehaus as bon voyage for JC who’s leaving his home in NYC for a new home in Mollevången, Sweden. Mollevången, a district of Malmo is “…home to many punks, rockers and other independent people” according to World Travel Images. If ever I’ve met an independent people, it’s JC Morrison.
JC Morrison (holding the original Dinosaur ad from Sound Practices), Komuro, Herb Reichert
photo credit: John DeVore
This event also happened to mark the first time ¾ of the New York Triode Mafia have been reunited in years. JC Morrison, Komuro and Herb Reichert along with Don Garber of Fi were instrumental in the revival of hi-fi’s for people who care about music. Yea, there’s the SET-thing and the vintage gear-thing but most of all and above and beyond audiophilia, I’d suggest the NY Triode Mafia were interested in connecting themselves and anyone else who cared enough to listen — to music.
And some people – in a very broad and general sense – feel that in order to do so in your home with a hi-fi, high sensitivity loudspeakers, tube-based pre and power amplifiers and record players offer the path of least resistance. I happen to agree but that’s simply based on experience and listening so feel free to apply a discount if you’re so inclined.
Andrew Klein, John DeVore, Herb Reichert, Jonathan Halpern and JC Morrison in action
JC Morrison has been working with Silbatone Acoustics of Korea to design and create no holds barred phono and line amplifiers, amplifiers and loudspeakers which are direct descendants of what many consider to be the Golden Age of Hi-Fi from companies like Western Electric, Siemans Klangfilm and James B. Lansing. No matter the cost. Of course if you’re going to build on something, you’ve got to know it inside and out so JC has spent the last year more than neck deep in more classic hi-fi gear than pretty much anyone, including me, knew existed in any one place in the world. That place happens to be Korea and we’re talking about a collection of vintage gear that’s larger than all other collections combined. Really.
It’s nearly impossible to comprehend the magnitude of this collection so a few pictures of a fraction of the whole are worth more than I could say.
Of course JC, Herb and Komuro aren’t new to old hi-fi gear. They’ve been elbow deep in Western Electric, Altec, RCA, etc. for decades. I get the distinct impression that JC, Herb, Komuro, John DeVore and Jonathan Halpern can fill a few warehouses with their knowledge and experience of hi-fi that most people have never seen let alone heard. During one conversation, Herb recalled that Walt Bender’s Audiomart initially led him to Arthur Loesch and eventually to JC, Komuro, Fi and Joe Roberts (who currently works as a consultant for Silbatone) of Sound Practices magazine. And the rest as they say…
you want this record
We listened to lots of great stories from JC and Herb and boatloads of great music, some at insanely high volumes and everything sounded better than good – it sounded like more. From big, brash and powerful to subtle, sweet and delicate and everything in between. You know, just like music.
I’d like to wish JC and his family the best of luck in Sweden and if you get a chance to hear some Silbatone gear designed by JC Morrison – just do it. The upcoming 2011 CES and Munich shows will feature his newest designs from phono/line amp to amp to speakers and I’m certain anyone who hears them will be in for a rare and real treat.
Attendees: JC Morrison, Herb Reichert, Komuro, John DeVore, Jonathan Halpern, Andrew Klein and Anthony Abbate.
System: DeVore Fidelity Orangutan Prototypes, Komuro Prototype Single-Ended 845 Stereo Amplifier, Shindo Monbrison, Auditorium 23 SPU step-up, a DeVore’d Garrard 401/Ortofon SPU A, Andrew’s new/old Thorens TD124 with an SME 3012 series 1 and a Shindo SPU/G.
Further NY Triode Mafia Reading:
Playing It Over and Over, by Herb Reichert