This could have been the last entry on my impressions of the impact the P12 has made on my system but it seemed more a comment on music in our lives and why it makes our lives so much fuller. So yes, the P12 is thoroughly burned in and making a tremendous difference. Last night I pulled out and listened to Mannheim Steamroller’s Fresh Aire, Fresh Aire II and Fresh Aire III. Tonight I listened to Fresh Aire IV. I’d be curious how many forum readers have a least one of those in their collection? Listening to them I was struck by all the things the P12 made SO much more realistic than I’ve been hearing for the last 40 years but I also couldn’t help remembering a lot of the journey that brought me here.
If I rewind to about 1978, I was wrapping up high school and my brother was getting ready to get married. That meant he’d be taking the stereo that I’d grown so accustomed to being able to listen to whenever I wanted. To be fair, he’d paid for it. So now what? Fortunately, he’d just bought a pair or Dahlquist DQ-10s and he was going to leave me the old Infinities they replaced. He was also leaving an old Technique cassette deck. I scraped together $250 and bought a used 60 watt per channel integrated amp. My brother convinced my parents to buy me a Denon turntable for Christmas and I was in business. Such humble beginnings.
Over the years I’ve listened to those 4 albums on vinyl countless times. I’ve also pulled them out for demos to play for friends who endured my hobby (obsession) over the years. I always enjoy them and I’ve had a friend or two reluctantly admit, that sounds pretty darn good. Listening tonight I was struck by just how realistic the instruments on those CDs sound. By now I have them on vinyl, bought the CDs and even sprung for the remastered CDs. Every time my impression has been, “it doesn’t get better than this. It can’t get better than this!” Happily, it can and it does. The P12 is a magic box in my mind. I’m a mechanical engineer by trade so I can’t hope to understand the electronics inside and why they work. But I don’t have to understand. One thing I do know, without music to play on our systems, all the magic boxes in the world wouldn’t mean boo! I’m grateful to PS Audio for making magic boxes, and to Chip Davis for writing and recording the Fresh Aire series. I’m grateful to my brother, who long ago created this monster in me (most of the time).
So after many systems upgrades I still return to some of the albums that I first heard than made me take notice. I’ve always liked music but it was my brother bring home those Mannheim Steamroller albums the put the bug in me. They sounded amazing and they still do. Actually, more amazing than ever. So my hat’s off to PS Audio for the fresh breath of life the P12 has given every album, CD and tape I own. But if I can ever find that bug that bit me 40 some years ago I might just squash the little bastard. He’s cost me a fortune over the years.