Hi-Fi spottings in the wild.

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I get a kick out of seeing quality Hi-Fi in unexpected places, and for a long time I've been meaning to start a thread made up of sightings. So...here it is! If anybody wants to play along, just take a photo, no matter how crappy, of what you have stumbled across and where.

I'll start with a recent one that really surprised me. I was eating at this somewhat trendy Tex Mex 'diner' called Dove's Luncheonette in Chicago, when I noticed the music in the background sounding better than most piped-in background music sounds. I looked up, and right over my head was a Reference 3A De Capo. Then I looked around and there were others hanging around the place as well. I don't know if the owner is an audiophile, or it was simply that Decibel Hi Fi is nearby, and they used to be a Ref 3a dealer....but it was cool to see such a nice speaker doing the work normally associated with some of the most dreadful speakers.

IMG_2323.jpg
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
My wife and I, through various circumstances that ruined our plans to spend the holiday with family, ended up in Chicago for Christmas. Wanting to do something special we spent Christmas Eve in a very cool hotel downtown, The Athletic Association Hotel. The Athletic Association was built in 1893 as a place for well-off dudes to relax and do athletic things while not going to the Worlds Fair. Like, apparently, sitting in front of giant Victorian-Gothic fireplaces smoking cigars and drinking whiskey.

In that hotel is a little bar behind sliding wooden doors called the Milk Room. It was really a speakeasy. The athletic-minded-but-really-just-smoking-cigars-and-drinking crowd would carry around milk with alcohol mixed in at this little bar. However disgusting that sounds, this bar is great. And in the morning, it serves coffee.

The best part? In the background on a shelf is a big 10.5" reel to reel by Teac. An A-3600, I believe. Perhaps somebody could identify the speakers.

IMG_2269.jpg
 

ICTWoody

Junior Member
Dude! I ate breakfast at Dove's a couple years back and noticed the music sounded really nice, even on a crowded weekend morning. I too noticed the upside down Ref 3A's... it sounded good considering. It's one of the reasons those speakers have always been on my short list.

I looked around and if I recall they were being powered by something like a Rogue tube integrated behind the bar and they were spinning vinyl too. That stuff was pretty hidden... I had to go snooping. Who knows if that's still the same config.

Food is good too.

If I remember correctly, someone told me that one of the owners is a recording industry exec or something.

- Woody
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
Dude! I ate breakfast at Dove's a couple years back and noticed the music sounded really nice, even on a crowded weekend morning. I too noticed the upside down Ref 3A's... it sounded good considering. It's one of the reasons those speakers have always been on my short list.

I looked around and if I recall they were being powered by something like a Rogue tube integrated behind the bar and they were spinning vinyl too. That stuff was pretty hidden... I had to go snooping. Who knows if that's still the same config.

Food is good too.

If I remember correctly, someone told me that one of the owners is a recording industry exec or something.

- Woody
Crazy small world we travel in, no? Decibel, around the corner and down Milwaukee Ave, carried both Ref 3A and Rogue so that is a pairing that would make sense if they got them together. There's a lot of hi-fi scattered around Chicago. A bunch of places have Reel to Reels. Off the top of my head, Au Cheval (yummy burgers) and Sportsman's Club Bar have them, and I've seen a few others but don't remember the names.

Below is a shot from Sportsman's Club Google-review page, with their R2R and one of the JBL Centuries.

Screen Shot 2019-01-11 at 7.06.15 PM.png
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
The Chipotle near us has a pair of Klipsch Heresy III speakers mounted in the wall (upside-down):
That's crazy! And good eye. There's a couple of Heresies in one of the old ballrooms at the Congress Hotel in Chicago...I took a picture but they're stuck in the photo purgatory of my previous phone.
 

John Frum

Secret Society Member
The Chipotle near us has a pair of Klipsch Heresy III speakers mounted in the wall (upside-down):

They're going into all the new Chipotles these days. Earlier ones around here used Mirage speakers made to be mounted high with sort of omni tweeters.

It's embarrassing how often when I'm in Chipotle, I find myself positively grooving to their mix.
 

Thermionics

Post Whore In Training
They're going into all the new Chipotles these days. Earlier ones around here used Mirage speakers made to be mounted high with sort of omni tweeters.

It's embarrassing how often when I'm in Chipotle, I find myself positively grooving to their mix.
How is that embarrassing? The other day when I was in Chipotle, they were playing IDLES. How can you not grove to that?
 

Thermionics

Post Whore In Training
You know the chipotle owner has k-horns at his house.
I did not. Now this makes sense.

I'd love to hear they were being driven by tubes, but I can't see the average HS student working at Chipotle being up for swapping out a bad tube. :)
 

prime minister

Site Owner
Staff member
This thread of yours, @JohnVF , has once again got me thinking of Reference 3A speakers. One of my audio loves. Size wise I could make them work, but i don't know that I could give them much space from the back wall. And I know they like that.

@fiddlefye Have you ever pushed yours against the back wall?
 

TubeHiFiNut

Administrator
Just wing it, break all the rules!

Yeah, I think that conjures up the same feeling of "Oh cool, how'd that get there?"

Dick Van Dyke had a TV series from 1993-2001 called 'Diagnosis Murder' where he played a doctor who gets involved investigating a new murder every episode.

Magnepan MG IIs are featured prominently in the Van Dyke character's home.

For those keeping score, Van Dyke did his own dancing, including on top of a desk, in the recent 'Mary Poppins Returns' movie - at 93 years old.
 

fiddlefye

Senior Member
This thread of yours, @JohnVF , has once again got me thinking of Reference 3A speakers. One of my audio loves. Size wise I could make them work, but i don't know that I could give them much space from the back wall. And I know they like that.

@fiddlefye Have you ever pushed yours against the back wall?
I actually haven't tried them up against the wall, at least not in any serious sense. As I'm using them they basically have about 4 ft. behind them into a little alcove. They do have rear venting.
 

prime minister

Site Owner
Staff member
I actually haven't tried them up against the wall, at least not in any serious sense. As I'm using them they basically have about 4 ft. behind them into a little alcove. They do have rear venting.

Sounds like you have them set up perfectly. I'm just wondering what the performance hit might be. If it's 5%, then it might be worth giving them a go. If it's dramatic, then perhaps not.
 

fiddlefye

Senior Member
Sounds like you have them set up perfectly. I'm just wondering what the performance hit might be. If it's 5%, then it might be worth giving them a go. If it's dramatic, then perhaps not.
Give me a day or two and maybe I'll pop them out of the system and try them in a different room. How "right against the wall" would you need them to be? How far from corners and such?
 
Top