RMAF 2018: On A Higher Note

Philip O’Hanlon, proprietor of On A Higher Note, knows how to put on a hifi demonstration. Of course this includes the gear, setup (getting the best from the gear in the room), and music. Philip, however, goes the extra mile by introducing each piece of music he plays before he plays it, giving us a foothold in what may be unfamiliar territory while also making the music more than sound. Bravo!

vintage Revox / Sonorus PR99 (priceless)

I arrived in time to hear this Revox machine play Manual de Falla’s Three Cornered Hat from a 2nd generation tape of the first Decca stereo recording. When someone in attendance asked, “What equipment is being used?” Philip swung around while sweeping his arm at the “Gryphon” banners that covered the majority of wall space saying, “You might be surprised to learn it’s Gryphon.”

The Gryphon gear included the new Zena Preamp ($17,500), Antileon EVO stereo amp ($39,000), Pantheon speakers ($52,000), Scorpio CD player ($9,400), and Kalliope DAC ($25,000).

When the tape came to an end, I asked if we could clap, as the listening experience went well beyond reproduction into the realm of performance—full-scale, large-scale, delicate heart-pounding, foot-tapping music. I love when that happens. Bravo!