Brief Visit to Folsom

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 24, 2015
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During my visit to Spokane, Washington, Folsom generously made himself available on short notice and were able to get together in person for the first time!

Fulsom is in the process of selling his house situated high up on a mountain overlooking Spokane, but he has not yet packed up a modest but very engaging vinyl playback system. Folsom designed and built a tube phono stage, a solid-state line stage preamplifier and a solid-state amplifier. A direct drive JVC fronted the system.

The loudspeakers were single driver 4 inchers feeding a small transmission line cabinet. I would not have thought such a big sound could come out of such small loudspeakers. I don't know what is the secret sauce in the design of Folsom's components, but the whole system sounded unexpectedly fun and engaging!

Thank you for a great get together, Folsom!
 

XV-1

Well-Known Member
May 24, 2010
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Sydney
Pictures???
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 24, 2015
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Beverly Hills, CA
I did not take a photo of this system, but Folsom should post a photo if he wishes to.
 

Folsom

VIP/Donor
Oct 25, 2015
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Eastern WA
I did not think I was going to get my own thread. :oops:

The house is currently staged for the market. But when I learned Ron was coming to town about a week in advance I started thinking I needed to put something together, anything. Almost every possession I have is in storage. My vintage receivers, Lenco, Thorens, odd "natural sound" collection of things, etc. I had some vintage speakers that are not operable, and the small ones Ron mentioned by where the TV was at. The rack is a DIY thing my father made for me many years ago that I put a turntable on top of so I had a faux stereo near the entrance; it was either that or a blank wall for house showings (plus I didn't want to have to get a climate controlled storage for the Barclay vintage speakers alone). The bottom shelf has dog toys on it.

So I put on a Shure M3D foil back and metal mat on TT and tuned it up. I ran 10awg romex with special treatment at both ends (product in works), and got the only preamp and amp I could stuff in that fast. (aside from my vintage units we have multiple larger units designed and built, including up to 500w+). So pictures are not flattering because the preamp and amp are in boxes that have been recycled a thousand times for different designs. In fact the amp box has toured the US prior to 2016, been at a show, been in a review, been to Mike's, and transformed into many things up until now.

The speakers are Horn Shoppe Horns left over from my grandfather's stereo, that I have been using for TV speakers because they're small and fit conveniently on the sides of the fireplace. They are not very good speakers but they were available. I've actually tried to sell them, pass them along, on more than one occasion.

I don't know what Ron could see, but I certainly was not trying to show off my secret sauce cabling for power too much because the only aesthetically finished cables are at a reviewers house right now. Peter is correct though that they have everything to do with allowing creation of the sound. I can change the sound of the stereo a lot by doing various things. I went for live sounding energy, trying to capture some real timbre. I admit the speakers fight this in different ways, they are very imperfect. But I believe Ron said he liked the piano. I played an odd Russian album I got because? I don't know, just a random one, I cannot read any Russian and they all sound slightly weird but good. It's a strange recording where you hear the cutter head or the microphone lacking on ability to capture the full dynamics on some parts, but the play between things the artist is doing is beautiful anyways.

Ron was pretty curious about the speakers, and I assure you if you research them you'll learn they're just a fullrange single driver speaker that is perhaps slightly better than some other box designs for the same driver type, and less than others. If anything they're a handicap to the stereo. In fact there is some specific knowledge I have that I haven't seen elsewhere that even allows me to have them play any bass region at all without being backed into corners and on an SET.

Anyway, Ron is really great. If there is anyone you want to be an audio friend with it is certainly him.
 

Folsom

VIP/Donor
Oct 25, 2015
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Eastern WA
I suspect the cables and power delivery were part of the reason the system sounded so good. Likely nothing fancy but well thought out.

From my exchanges with Folsom, he thinks deeply and seriously about this stuff.

And also, yes, there is no rhodium or other weird stuff. Sadly the power cables are "fancy" in the way that they are pretty darn expensive per foot compared to most stuff, despite not being fancy in terms of metallurgy. I am not shy on using very expensive parts if they are the right one (I have boxes of expensive parts I don't use).
 
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