Visit to Experience Music and the best system I've ever heard

jazdoc

Member Sponsor
Aug 7, 2010
2,629
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Bellevue
#1
During a swing to NYC to visit some college friends, I took a day trip up to visit Experience Music in upstate NY. Experience Music is the moniker for Jeffrey Jackson's creations. I consider myself fortunate to own the rare Kahn Experience Music Line Stage and phono preamplifiers and we have bonded over our weird musical tastes. After the demise of Wheel Fi (in part described on this thread: http://www.whatsbestforum.com/showt...ce-Music-an-apology&highlight=jeffrey+jackson), Jeffrey has recently relocated to Rhinebeck, NY which is about 2 hours by Amtrak from Penn Station.

After meeting his lovely wife Lisa, we sat down in the living room featuring his "system small" speakers:
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The sound through a modified beater, old school $50 turntable was surprisingly good.

Next, we listened to a basement system centered around a recreation of the Western Electric 16a speaker fronted by Win Tinnon's Saskia turntable, Schick tonearm with SPU cartridge (not certain which one) through Experience Music electronics.

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The sound was exceptional other than the limited imaging (that's why you buy two :D).

But that was simply the prelude...
 

jazdoc

Member Sponsor
Aug 7, 2010
2,629
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Bellevue
#2
After a quick dinner, we drove to Jeffrey's new World HQ in a Poughkeepsie industrial park. After moving in a week ago, there has been preliminary work on acoustic treatments to good effect...the sound in the space was quite good. The digs include an enclosed work area/storage space which are not pictured.

Front end is a Garrard oil bearing 301 with Schick tonearm and SPU cartridge through inexpensive EMIA (Jeffrey's joint venture with Dave Slagle) preamplification.

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Amplification was via a SET based system using GM70 output tubes which produce 6-8 watts. One of the most beautiful pieces of electronic gear I've ever seen and meant to be wall mounted.

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But that was nothing compared to the speakers....
 
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jazdoc

Member Sponsor
Aug 7, 2010
2,629
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38
Bellevue
#3
Experience Music Giant Horn Speakers

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Photos do no justice to beauty of the walnut and the exceptional fit and finish.

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Another photo for sense of scale...

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Low bass is handled 15" drivers driven by class D amps with DSP.
 

jazdoc

Member Sponsor
Aug 7, 2010
2,629
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Bellevue
#4
I had the honor of being the first official 'visitor' and before my audition, Jeffrey had only played 5-6 album sides to rough in speaker position and initial room treatments. So not surprisingly, the sound was initially a little rough and closed in. After two hours, things really started to open up. By four hours, well let's just say this was the best reproduced audio I've ever heard.

We played all varieties of music (which I will addend after spending some money on Ebay and Discogs). The bass was prodigious and articulate. The mids were palpably lifelike and the treble sweet and airy. Oh, and dead quiet, even with 106-108 dB speaker sensitivity. Weirdly, if you closed your eyes, these enormous speakers really disappeared. I could go on with the audiophile descriptors but it seems futile, akin to describing what makes Janelle Monae so beautiful...kinda pointless. We knocked off at 2am after listening for 8(!) straight hours...and the time absolutely flew by.

We were back at it by 10am the next morning and joined by Dave Slagle who brought a series of different homemade cartridges including a very cool field coil cartridge. The differences with SPU were not at all subtle and really took things to another level, more spacious, more top end bandwidth and less noisy.

Which reminds me, all this is without the Saskia TT, or a killer tonearm or a Kahn phonostage, etc.

The final question is obvious and my answer is "if you have to ask". Keep in mind; this is truly bespoke. For example a pair of 'petals' for each horn takes an entire day to manufacture. Also, the intent is to sell a system, not a la carte. But if you have the scratch and passion, it's worth the pilgrimage to have a listen. An utterly unique, unforgettable and over the top experience. Plus we had a great time spinning tunes!
 
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Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
5,207
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48
Beverly Hills, CA
#8
Very interesting! Thank you for this report!
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,133
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#14
Jeffery is a genius. I heard one of his systems at a show in Vancouver Wa. years and it was the best I ever heard. I wish him luck!
I was in that room in Vancouver too. agree it was an epic sounding room (Goto drivers as I recall). one of the best show demos I've heard for sure. it took lots of courage to go to the trouble to do that show.

I recall that myself and a friend of mine brought some tourmaline guns we had been working on (hair dryers with raw tourmaline crystal pellets and magnets in a screen the hot air was blown though) and Jeffery was kind enough to allow us to treat a few pressings to listen to. how many exhibitors at an audio show would be open to that? of course; VSAC was a bit of a 'different' kind of show.
 

ALF

Member
Mar 15, 2012
226
0
16
Southwest
#15
Those two guys build some really stellar gear...natural, organic, and spot on!

I have the privilege of having one of their EMIA Strain Gauge carts with the tube pre...it is an exciting and super performer, really sweet!

As the youngsters are fond of saying, “Awesome!”

Cheers!
ALF
 

spiritofmusic

Member Sponsor
Jun 13, 2013
6,415
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E. England
#16
Jazdoc, can you elaborate further on the Class D subs? Are they standard box subs seperate from the horns?

I do recall a pic of these beauties having OB baffle subs somehow built into the giant wings.
 

spiritofmusic

Member Sponsor
Jun 13, 2013
6,415
65
48
E. England
#18
Hi Jazdoc, are the OB subs part of the main spkrs/wings?
Or are they in a seperate enclosure?
 

spiritofmusic

Member Sponsor
Jun 13, 2013
6,415
65
48
E. England
#20
Thanks Jazdoc.
It’s not immediately apparent from the photos where these sub drivers are situated.
 

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