Acoustic Sounds

Tracking Angle Writers

Michael Fremer

Michael Fremer is the editor of Tracking Angle and a longtime audio journalist and radio commercial producer and voiceover artist. He hosted a late-night radio show on Boston’s legendary free-form station WBCN-FM and performed as a stand-up comedian opening for The Cars, The Jam, Television and others. After moving to Los Angeles, he co-wrote and voice acted with Harry Shearer, Gilda Radner and Billy Crystal in the 1979 cult classic animated film Animalympicsbefore supervising the Academy Award nominated soundtrack to 1982’s TRON. Moving back east in 1986, he served as The Absolute Sound’s pop music editor before joining Stereophile in 1995 as a senior contributing editor where, when vinyl had been declared “dead”, he started his Analog Corner column. With his current partners he launched in the mid-90s the print magazine The Tracking Angle, which later went online as the vinyl focused website and later evolved into Stereophile’s sister website AnalogPlanet. After leaving Stereophile and AnalogPlanet in 2022, in cooperation with his partners, he started He has also returned to The Absolute Sound as editor at large.

Turntable:  OMA K3

Cartridge:  Audio Technica MC-2020, Lyra Atlas Lambda SL, Ortofon MC Diamond (etc)

Phono Stages: CH Precision P1/X1, Ypsilon VPS-100, MC20-L, MC16-L, MC26-L, (+others),

CD/SACD:  dCS Vivaldi One

Preamp:  darTzeel NHB-18NS

Amps:  darTzeel NHB-468, Music Reference RM-200

Speakers: Wilson Audio Specialties XVX

Cables: AudioQuest Dragon, Tara Labs Zero Evolution, Stealth Shakra (others)

HRS SXR and Stillpoints SS equipment racks

Accessories: ASC TubeTraps, Stillpoints Apertures, KLAUDiO KD-CLN-LP200, Kirmuss KA-RC-1,

Audio Deske Pro, Keith Monks Prodigy and Loricraft record cleaning machines.

AudioQuest Niagara 7000 power conditioner.

Dean Cacioppo

I was a little different as a kid.  Starting in Jr High and through High School, I did not have a bed in my room. Instead, I opted for a sofa so I could position my speakers and listening position properly. Most of the people who knew me back then thought of me as the stereo guy. In my 20s through my 30s I worked on and off, for a high-end audio shop that had been around since I was a kid. I was lucky enough to bring home any equipment I wanted… as long as I brought it back. At the pinnacle of its popularity, I also managed the largest mobile audio store in the area but my passion was two channel home audio. Now, I have six children (most grown) and run a digital marketing agency in New Orleans. Although I'm a terrible writer, I strangely enjoy writing about audio equipment and have done so for a handful of online periodicals over the years, reaching my apex at Tracking Angle.

turntable—Schiit Sol

cartridge—Hana Umami Blue

phono stages—Audio Research PH5, Musical Surroundings Phenomena III

Preamplifier—Audio Research LS2B

Power Amplifier—Audio Research Classic 60

Speakers—KEF LS50, Spendor SP2/3R2

Jonti Davies

Jonti moved from the UK to Japan at the age of 20 and went on to establish himself as a writer, editor and translator covering music, art, culture and technology from his base in Kyoto, the country’s ancient capital. His words have appeared in publications such as The Wire and Time Out, countless museum exhibitions, Japanese newspapers, and the scripts of famous speakers. His occasional leftfield productions and mixes of Japanese music are played on BBC Radio Lancashire's long-running dub-oriented On The Wire show.

Jonti is passionate about vintage audio gear, particularly Luxman, Tannoy, Leak, Quad, Decca, Thorens and EAR equipment (all of which have been in his system at different points). He is also learning to play the double bass, while his son is a budding guitarist who has appeared with legendary John Peel favourites Maher Shalal Hash Baz. A lifelong fan of Japanese underground music, you’ll find Jonti listening at obscure live venues around Kyoto and Osaka most weeks. Introduce yourself and he'll happily buy you a beer.


Current main system (all vintage):

 Turntable—Thorens TD125 Mk. II

Tonearm—Ortofon RS212D

Cartridges—Ortofon SPU-GTE, Decca Maroon, Denon DL-107, Empire D-4000/II, etc.

Amplifier—Unison Research Unico Primo

Speakers—Tannoy Arden


Mark Dawes

Mark Dawes is an educator, writer and artist based in Glasgow. Mark is never far away from the highest quality audiophile components, as he lives two next door to a hifi shop.

2x Technics 1210 Mk2

Ortofon Gold Cartridge

Allen & Heath Xone 23C Mixer

Yamaha NT670CD Amp/Tuner/Streamer/CD Player

Yamaha MCR N870 Speakers

Yamaha YST FSW050 Subwoofer

John French

This high school dropout initially disappointed his liberal Jewish mother (who was one of New York state's campaign managers for John F. Kennedy's presidential run) but went on to form one of metal's most successful bands, Twisted Sister in 1973. When Twisted Sister released STAY HUNGRY on Atlantic Records on May 10, 1984, the metal world was never the same. Containing the iconic hits,  "We're Not Gonna Take It" and "I Wanna Rock" (along with, "The Price"), Twisted turned the music world on its ears and revolutionized MTV with a pair of accompanying videos that became two of the network’s most popular to this day. John "J.J." French is also a serious audiophile/music lover who contributes also to Copper and Goldmine magazines.

VPI 40 th Ann. DD TT

Ortofon A 95 cartridge

Passlabs XP 27 phono stage

Passlabs XP 32 preamp

Passlabs 30.8 power amp

PS audio P20 power regenerator

PS audio perfect wave SACD player

PS Audio Direct Stream DAC II

Magico A3 speakers

Wire world gold eclipse speaker cable

Audioquest Dragon interconnects and power cords

Triode wire obsession power cords

REL T/x7 sub woofer

Degritter record cleaning machine

Jacob Heilbrunn

Jacob is editor of the National Interest, a foreign policy magazine, and a non-resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC. He is also a senior writer at the Absolute Sound. He is the author of They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons and the forthcoming America Last: The Right’s Century-Long Romance With Foreign Dictators. He studied trumpet and history at Oberlin College before plunging into the journalistic world. A former senior editor at the New Republic and an editorial writer for the Los Angeles Times, he has written for a wide variety of publications, including the New York Times, Atlantic, New York Review of Books and Politico. As a tyke he began listening to Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong, both of whom remain favorites. A heavy dose of classical music also features in the rotation.

turntable—TechDas Air Force Zero

tonearms—SAT CF1-9 and Graham Phantom Elite

cartridge—DS Audio Grandmaster Extreme (plus equalizer)

digital— dCS SACD/CD Vivaldi

preamp—darTZeel 18NS

amplifier—darTZeel 468 monoblocks

loudspeakers—Avantgarde Trio G3 loudspeakers

cables—Transparent Audio Magnum Opus

racks—HR-X and Stillpoints


Michael Johnson

Dr. Michael L. Johnson is a Colorado Springs based oboist and music and audio writer. He holds a Masters and Bachelors of Music Performance from McGill University and the Manhattan School of Music respectively, and recently completed his Doctorate in Oboe Performance at Arizona State University. He currently plays oboe and English horn in the United States Air Force as a member of the Air Force Academy Band. Prior to his current position, he was the solo English horn of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. Michael collects, and is an enthusiast of many genres including Classic Rock, Punk, Death and Black Metal, Post-Hardcore, Emo, Garage/Psych, Goth, and Progressive Rock. He is also a collector and enthusiast of Japanese popular music from the 60s through the 2000s. He is a content contributor for The Absolute Sound and HiFi+, and maintains a vinyl-focused YouTube channel. You can follow his vinyl journey on Instagram.

Pure Fidelity Horizon turntable

Acoustic Signature TA-1000 tonearm

Hana Umami Red

Allnic H1202 phono stage 

Hegel H390 Integrated Amp

Oppo BDP-105 D disc player

Denafrips Pontus II DAC

Harbeth 30.2 XD speakers

Rel T7x sub

Fred Kaplan

Fred Kaplan is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, the national-security columnist for Slate, the author of six books, an occasional contributor to several other publications including the New York Review of Books, and a former reviewer for Stereophile and The Absolute Sound. His website is Fred


CARTRIDGE: Ortofon Cadenza Black.


PHONO PREAMP: PS Audio Stellar.

LINE-STAGE PREAMP: Simaudio Moon P-740.

POWER AMP: Simaudio Mood A-860.

SPEAKERS: Ravel Studio 2s.

POWER CONDITIONER: AudioQuest Niagra 3000.

CABLES: AudioQuest (including Wild Blue Yonders, Hurricanes).

ACCESSORIES: Monster Cable Record Clamp, KLAUDIO record cleaning machine, Audio Intelligent stylus cleaner.

Harvey Kubernik

Harvey Kubernik is the author of 20 books, including 2009’s “Canyon Of Dreams: The Magic And The Music Of Laurel Canyon” and 2014’s “Turn Up The Radio! Rock, Pop and Roll In Los Angeles 1956-1972”.  He has also written titles on Leonard Cohen and Neil Young. Sterling/Barnes and Noble in 2018 published Harvey and Kenneth Kubernik’s “The Story Of The Band: From Big Pink To The Last Waltz.” In 2021 they wrote “Jimi Hendrix: Voodoo Child” for Sterling/Barnes and Noble. Harvey and Kenneth are writing a book for 2024 publication by Insight Editions, “Images That Rocked the World (The Music Photography of Ed Caraeff)”.


Malachi Lui

Malachi Lui is a music obsessive, avid record collector, art and literature enthusiast, and cultural observer “attempting to comprehend the post-everything landscape we've found ourselves in.” He writes about culture, music, and the internet on his Substack, The Death Of Culture. Follow him on X / Twitter.

Rega P6 turntable with NEO
Ortofon MC Cadenza Bronze cartridge
Stein Music 'The Perfect Interface Carbon' mat
Liberty Audio B2B-1.1 phono preamplifier
Hegel H95 integrated amplifier
Arcam CDS50 SACD/CD player
SSL 2+ interface/DAC
ELAC B5 bookshelf speakers
GIK Acoustics room treatments
Cabling by SpiralGroove, Crystal Cable, Audioquest

Willie Luncheonette

Willie Luncheonette grew up in Manhattan's Upper West Side in New York City with a lifelong love of art and music. In the past, he ran a Google Plus site with comprehensive surveys of early New York hardcore music, Bob Marley and The Wailers, mid-late 1960s Jamaican rocksteady, and Oi! music from the 70s and 80s. He has guested on EaSt Village Radio (the station name) where he hosted two hour shows on Irish punk music as well as shows titled "1977--The Year Punk Took Over". In 2021 he completed his directorial feature film debut, the 4 hour long The Sun Behind The Sun Behind The Sun, which features over 3 hours of punk and reggae on its soundtrack.

NAD 314 integrated amp

Turntable--Rega P3 w Sumiko Blue Point Special

CD player--Rega Apollo

John Marks

John Marks is a multidisciplinary generalist and lifelong audio hobbyist educated at Brown University and Vanderbilt Law School. He has worked as a classical music record producer and label executive, music educator, recording engineer, and as a music and audio equipment journalist. He’s appeared as a columnist in The Absolute Sound and Stereophile magazines, and his consulting clients have included the University of the South (Sewanee, TN), Grace Design, Fountek Electronics Company, Ltd., and Steinway & Sons.

Parasound Halo CD 1 Compact Disc Player/Transport (Esperanto Audio SPDIF cable)

            Also: JVC XV-N50 DVD player as CD transport

            Apple MacBook Pro laptop computer running QOBUZ and Amadeus Pro II (WireWorld USB cable)

            Bricasti Design M3 DAC (ArgentPur or Esperanto Audio Balanced XLR interconnects)

            Also: Grace Design m900 HPA/DAC/Pre

            Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones

            VTV (Purifi-based) 1ET400A stereo power amplifier

            Also: Nakamichi PA-5 and Parasound Zamp v.3 stereo power amplifiers

             SB Acoustics Sasandu Tx loudspeakers

            Also: Esperanto Audio “Parolanto” loudspeakers (prototypes); various other Esperanto Audio

            2-way loudspeaker prototypes;

           Desktop system: NAD CD Receiver 715; ADS/Braun L 300C loudspeakers

David MacRunnel

David MacRunnel is a lifelong audiophile, who began his love of music, records, and antique audio at age three. He bagan climbing the upgrade ladder as a teenager while while teaching himself to record music and provide live mixing services and audio/video digitization. He later joined the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra recording team among others. Pressure from the Covid pandemic pushed him into a stable full time position in television broadcast engineering. Audio fidelity has always been his goal, and having been exposed to modern digital recording and reproduction, he has over time become less of a strict vinyl evangelist though he still enjoys his approximately 10,000 records and continues to add LPs to his collection. He remains passionate about music and the differences in devices that reproduce it.

Speakers: Dynaudio Confidence C4

Amplification: Hypex NC400 Stereo Amp

Reference phono rig: Technics SP-10mk2/SME 312/Lyra Kleos/SPL Phonos

RCM: Loricraft PRC3

DAC/Preamplifier: Lynx Hilo

Transport: Oppo BDP-105D

Open Reel: Teac X-2000R

Dave McNair

For 44 years, Dave McNair has been a professional recording and mixing engineer, producer, audiophile, and for the last 22 years, a mastering engineer. After stints in NYC, Los Angeles, and Austin, he now operates Dave McNair Mastering in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where he resides with his partner Linda and their cat, Speedy. Dave spends his free time listening to records, reading, meditating, cooking, hiking, cycling, and swapping out hi-fi gear in search of a better sound.

Home system

Qln Prestige Five loudspeakers (soon to be Acora VRC)

VAC Master Preamplifier with phono option

Ampsandsound Zion Monos

TW Acustic Raven LS with Raven 10.5 arm

Dynavector XV-1t,  ZYX Ultimate 100, Charsima Audio Signature One, carts

Forssell Technologies MADA-2a ADC/DAC

Innuos Zen Mini streamer

Cardas and Iconoclast cabling and power cords

Analog Magic, Acoustical Systems Smart Tractor and Wally Tools analog setup gear


Studio Monitor system

Knif Audio custom monitor controller

Pass Labs XA-200.8 monos

Acora Acoustics SRC-2 loudspeakers

Prism Sound Dream DA-2 DAC AD-2 ADC and Prism ADA8 XR DAC/ADC

Equitech balanced power

Rega P10 turntable with various carts

Simaudio 310 LP phono pre

Jan Omdahl

Jan Omdahl is a Norwegian columnist, critic, and author, writing about music, audio, technology, media, and culture since the 1980s. He has published several books, among them a collection of essays on the Internet and the critically acclaimed biography of Norwegian pop band a-ha. His latest book is a detailed history of the Jan Garbarek Quartet’s seminal 1970 album Afric Pepperbird. He is a music freak, record collector and audiophile, in that order.

Turntable: Garrard 301 by Martina Schoener

Tonearm: Origin Live Enterprise C Transcription Reference

Cartridges: Lyra Etna Lambda, Lyra Kleos 

Phonostages: Suesskind Rauschfrei prototype, ASR Basis Exclusive MKII

CD player: Marantz SA15S

DAC: Antelope Zodiac Gold + Voltikus

Amplifiers: Copland CT-408, Devialet 1000 Pro Core Infinity

Speakers: JBL K2 S9900

Headphones; Sennheiser HD800

Speaker cables: Transparent Ultra, Duelund DCA12GA

Inteconnects: Lyra PhonoPipe, Vertere Pulse-R, Black Magic Emotion

Townshend Seismic Podiums, IsoAcoustics Orea, Transparent Powerisolator Reference, PSI Audio AVAA active bass traps, Synergistic Research Acoustic ART system, Nordost Pulsar Points, Roon, Tidal

Dylan Peggin

Dylan Peggin was born and raised in Vineland, NJ and grew up listening to progressive rock bands such as Rush, Genesis and Yes. At the young age of two, he became a member of the KISS Army and never looked back, later starting his vinyl collecting journey in 2014. In 2018 he started The Record Spinner YouTube channel about music and record collecting, uploading videos every Friday based on artist discussions, collection showcases, record store vlogs, unboxings, monthly hauls, and much more. He’s also written for VWMusic.

Turntable - Audio Technica AT-LP120X USB

Receiver- Onkyo TX-NR696 Receiver

Loudspeakers - Pioneer SP-BS22A-LRs

Headphones - KOSS Pro4S

Ken Redmond

Ken Redmond was born in New Orleans, and grew up exposed to the music scene where live music is an everyday event. In the 1970s he managed a high-end audio store and sold many of the brands then available and met the people behind many of them. “I’ll just call it as I hear it,” he says. “If it touches me, you’ll know about it."

Turntable:  AMG Viella V12 JT

Cartridges:  Micro Benz LP-S, Grado Statement 3

Phono Stage: Tom Evans Groove + SRX MK2.5

CD Transport: Jays Audio CDT-3 MK3, McCormack SST-1

Preamp:  SMc Audio VRE-1C, VAC Master w/ phono option, Vinnie Rossi L2 SE w/phono  and DAC cards

Amplifier:  SMc Audio GT23 Ultra, VAC 200iQ

Tape: Studer A810 direct wired to deHavilland Model 222 MK II

Speakers: Acora Acoustics SRC-2, REL S/510 six-pack

Cables: Belden Iconoclast, Cardas, SilverSmith Fidelium, Genesis Absolute Fidelity,     Shunyata

Digital: Innuos Zenith Mk III, Innuos Phoenix USB, Mojo Audio Mystique Y NC DAC

Accessories:  Stillpoints Apertures, Kirmuss KA-RC-1, Wally Tools Cartridge setup gear

Power: Shunyata Denali 6000/T v2, Typhon T2

JoE Silva

JoE Silva has written about music for over 30 years and is currently a regular contributor to Electronic Sound. He's also the longtime host and producer of Georgia Public Broadcasting's Athens 441, an award-winning eclectic mix of modern music.

Turntable: Pro-Ject T1 Phono SB (bought on Michael's recommendation)

Cartridge: Ortofon OM 5E cartridge

Speakers: KRK Classic 5 G3 5" Powered Studio Monitors

Joshua B. Smith

Joshua B. Smith lives in Augusta, Georgia and as the appellate lawyer for the District Attorney of the Augusta Judicial Circuit, regularly appears before both the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court of Georgia. He has written for the Brown Daily Herald, Atlanta Magazine, the Augusta Chronicle, and the Augusta Metro Spirit. His essay in response to Greil Marcus’ book, The History of Rock ‘n Roll in Ten Songs, was chosen by Marcus to appear on the Yale University Press website. He lives with his wife Sara, son Gene, and nine-year-old American domestic shorthair Junebug.

Yamaha  A-S701 integrated amplifier

 Rega Fono MC MK4 Phono Stage

 Rega RP6 turntable

 Rega Ania Pro MC cartridge

 Klipsche KG2.2 bookshelf speakers

 Audioquest cables

Evan Toth

Evan Toth is an educator, professional musician, writer, radio host, avid record collector, and hi-fi aficionado. Toth hosts and produces a weekly music program - The Sharp Notes - on WFDU, 89.1 FM in the NYC metro area. Additionally, he hosts a long-form interview podcast, Radar through The Vinyl District where he’s interviewed many musical luminaries most of which can be found on his YouTube channel. He can be followed at the usual social media places. For more information visit

Turntable: Technics 1200 MK2

Cartridge: Ortofon 2M Black

Integrated Amps: McIntosh 6200 and Marantz 2325

Tuner: McIntosh MR78

Loudspeakers: JBL L100 Classic

Mark Ward

Mark Ward is a Peabody Award-winning radio producer, writer and director whose drama and music programs have aired on NPR, the BBC and other international networks. His short film, “Clinic E,” won the American Film Institute’s Franklin J. Schaffner Award and played at over 40 festivals worldwide. His articles on film and music have appeared in the Financial Times and the Boston Globe. Trained in classical music from age 7, he specialized in early music for his degree at Oxford and wrote his thesis on Bernard Herrmann at a time when few studied film music seriously. He has also dabbled in songwriting and studio production. Subscribe to his YouTube channel, Music on Record.

Turntable:  Well-Tempered Classic (with round motor)

Cartridge:  Micro-Benz Ruby 2

Phono Stage:  L.A. Audio (currently out of commission, so I am using the stellar Schiit Mani 2 - a giant killer)

CD/SACD:  Cary Audio 306

Preamp:  Kora Equinoxe

Amps:  Genesis Monoblocks 60 Amp Valve

Speakers:  Silverline Sonatas with upgraded crossover and Dynaudio tweeters

Cables:  Aural Symphonics

Custom-made stands with Townshend Seismic Sink for Well-Tempered Turntable

Joseph W. Washek

Joseph W. Washek ran his own record labeI in the early 2000s and produced CDs by greats like John Tchicai and Roswell Rudd. He’s done tape transfer work for the Sam Rivers estate, No Business Records and for Mosaic's Coleman Hawkins box. He also practiced law for 36 years before retiring and moving 30,000 LPs, 5000 78s, and 2500 CDs 2300 miles, nearly across the country, with the help of his patient and heroic wife.

VPI Prime, Technics1200-SLMK2 modified to play 78 rpm.

Koetsu Rosewood Signature, Ortofon Quintet Black, Ortofon 2M Black, Hana SL mono plus more

Zesto Andros Deluxe ll, Rossner & Sohn Canofer, Sunvalley SV 1616D, Graham Slee Accession, Graham Slee Elevator EXP

Blue Circle BC3

Benchmark DAC2 HGC, BenchmarK ADC1

Aurender X-100, Aurender ACS10

2 Bryston 4BSST run mono

pair of Revel Ultima Studio 2

Audioquest Emerald cables

Nathan Zeller

Nathan Zeller is a young Canadian audiophile currently studying electrical engineering at the University of Alberta. He hopes to use his degree to embrace the high-fidelity audio world and blur the lines between reproduced music and live performances.

Loudspeakers: ELAC Uni-Fi 2.0 UB52

Subwoofer: REL T/5x

Stands: KEF S2

Integrated Amplifier: PS Audio Sprout100

Interconnects: AudioQuest Golden Gate

Turntable: MoFi Electronics StudioDeck