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Searching for Audio Nirvana ……. my journey | the Genius of Michel Vanden Broeck

Searching for Audio Nirvana ……. my journey

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An unsolicited letter of appreciation….

As a boy in the late 50’s I listened only to music on the radio since my family did not yet own a record player.   For a young boy in those early days of radio it was really not that much fun.  Fortunately there were a few programs with the younger audience in mind that kept my musical interest alive.

Some number of years passed before my parents bought our first record player.  It was my 10th birthday when I brought home Elvis Presley singles and LP records.  Elvis was certainly my favourite artist back then and, I must say, I play many of those records still today.  Over time, I spent much money buying more and more records to play.  I never imagined back then where this musical journey might go!  

The first thing I purchased after I started working and received my first salary was a tape recorder.   This allowed me to record my favourite tunes from my transistor radio and play them back on cassettes.  

After many years, I turned my attention to high fidelity audio as I was intrigued how much better records sounded on higher quality equipment.  So I bought what I thought to be a really nice tube amplifier.   That was just the beginning of course as many of you can imagine.  Over the years the gear changed quite often, perhaps too often, and of course I spent way too much money along the way.  The satisfaction to hear music as it should sound was (and still is) very inspiring for me.  I realized that music is the goal and the audio system is the simply the means to get there!

About 6-7 years ago I received a phone call from a friend of mine who works in a high-end audio store who said:  “You must come to the store and listen to some really great equipment being demonstrated by Tenor Audio from Canada”.  “Tenor Audio” I replied!” …. “I have never heard of them”!  My friend is a guy with the proverbial “golden ears” so I trusted his judgement and assessment and dropped everything I was working on and went immediately to the store.  I was introduced to a really nice gentlemen, Jim Fairhead, who is the president of Tenor Audio.  He explained to me the story about Tenor Audio and how painstakingly the equipment is built to achieve the most musical experience possible.  It was now time to listen to some music.  Both of us were vinyl fans, so it made sense for Jim to play a record for me.  Boy, was I lost!  Never, ever, have I heard music this way and I have listened to some really great systems throughout the years!  This was really something else!  Sadly it is very expensive gear that at that time I simply could not afford to buy.  Since then the Tenors have been on my “most wanted” list hoping for one day I might be able to afford a Tenor.  One could say: ”After listening to a Tenor, everything is different now as it is a real game changer”!

A couple of years ago I was building a new house for my beloved wife and I had but one request.  I wanted a dedicated listening room.  Yes, I was lucky and my dream finally came true.  Today I have an acoustically correct well treated room with bass traps, diffusors and of course, some voodoo gear.  But still, after all of this, there was something still missing.  For some reason I was not in the music heaven that I imagined.

About a year ago I spotted a French advertisement selling a Tenor 175S stereo power amp that had been used for demonstration.  More than once I looked at this advertisement with thoughts of buying it.   I finally talked with my high-end store friend and his words were crystal clear to me:  “Buy it if you can afford it, you’ll never get this chance again.  How often do you see a used Tenor?” I have never seen one before or after.

No sooner said than done!  I gave the seller an offer and after some emails back and forth we came to a deal.  When the amplifier arrived, in a very nice case I might add, I could not wait to open it and install it and then finally sit down for the listen.  As I listened I was not prepared for the sound that came out of my speakers!  Maybe I was in a state of shock or something.  I could not believe my ears!  I kept spinning record after record, it was like I had a new record collection!  

After about a month of intensely satisfying listening I decided I had to buy the new Tenor Line 1/Power 1 too.  I must have it, no matter what!  Music is, and has always been, a big part of my life as you can see.  The Tenor preamplifier could only take this journey further … at least that was my supposition.

Now that I have lived with the Tenor amplifier and preamplifier combination for a couple of months I must conclude that this is what I have been looking for the better part of my life.  Many years of trying, buying and selling more and more expensive audio equipment, and of course wasting a lot of money along the way, I finally have come to what I believe is the final destination of my musical journey.  Tenor is for me as it is complete “Audio Nirvana”!  For the first time ever I really enjoy listening to music in a relaxed mood and with big emotions - and without the typical audiophile misgivings of what is missing and what gear should I change next time?  

Is there some audio equipment out there that can be better than Tenor? 

I say NO!  

If you really love music, there is no better way to listen to music than through a Tenor system.  If you have the opportunity to listen to a Tenor Audio system, don’t miss it!  You will be convinced that this is the way to go if you’re looking for the best sound and the most well built equipment there is.  Yes, they are very expensive, but as always, the best things in life are.  

Since vinyl is my preferred media, I have now ordered the Tenor Phono 1 phono stage.  It is the last ticket to complete my journey to musical heaven started a long long time ago.  If you really love listening to music, Tenor Audio is the equipment for you!

I will take this opportunity to thank the staff and especially Jim Fairhead and David Johann at Tenor Audio for support and fast response  to my emails.  They really do take care of their customers.

Best regards from a very happy customer in Sweden.

November 2015

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