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I checked out Louis Armstrong's hifi today!

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by action pact, Aug 17, 2011.

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  1. action pact

    action pact Music Omnivore Thread Starter

    I took a day trip to NYC, and one of the highlights of my day was visiting the Louis Armstrong House and Museum in Corona, Queens.

    Satchmo's "man cave" is a small room on the second floor, where he had hifi equipment installed INSIDE the walls - very slick! I had an opportunity to take a close look at what he used. He had a solid state Marantz integrated amp and matching tuner. There is also a pair of Tandberg reel-to-reel decks - the one on the left is labeled "for listening" and appears to be a mono unit. The one on the right was his dubbing deck and is a stereo machine. There is also a (dust-covered) Dual 1019 turntable custom-installed on a base/shelf that slides out from the wall. His cartridge is an unlabeled white-bodied Pickering (an XV-15?). The turntable speed is currently set at 78, so presumably the last record he (or Lucille) listened to was a 78. Oddly enough, the antiskating is set to zero.

    I saw a portion of his record collection, which was a mixture of 78 albums and LPs. There were recordings by Charlie Christian and Bessie Smith, as well as a number of his own records. Lots of classical too.

    The room itself is poorly equipped for listening to music. It is a rather narrow room, maybe 9 x 14 or so, and his desk and system are along the long wall. There are two AR speakers mounted inside the ceiling(!!), one above his desk and one above an armchair near the door. I guess that was the most space conscious way to install them in a small room, and he probably thought that was a slick idea. There was a noticeable lack of a comfy chair or couch in the room, although there is a cushioned footrest under the desk; I guess he sat at the desk when spinning toons.

  2. riknbkr330

    riknbkr330 Forum Resident

    Pretty cool!
  3. sushimaster

    sushimaster Forum Resident

    that is very cool. thanks for sharing.
  4. Sckott

    Sckott Hand Tighten Only.

    Sagamore Beach, Ma
    A lot of what he and his wife had were "built in" stuff. Like the blender that was inset to the kitchen counter.

    Louis often made his own mix tapes and illustrated his own tape boxes with art pens and newspaper clips. Blowing into a trumpet and vocals were only a very small part of what he liked to do.

    His man cave was pretty simple though, almost poor.
  5. Very nice, thanks for sharing.
  6. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

    Good Marantz stuff in that pic.
  7. JA Fant

    JA Fant Well-Known Member

  8. bluesbro

    bluesbro Forum Hall of Shame

    I need to make the trip one day
  9. Jvalvano

    Jvalvano Forum Resident

    Same here.
  10. action pact

    action pact Music Omnivore Thread Starter

    It's well worth the trip out to Queens.

    I rather liked the neighborhood too. Today it's essentially a rather congested working class Latino neighborhood, but it has a very lively street scene and didn't seem particularly dangerous. It reminded me of 24th Street in San Francisco's Mission District, but cleaner and safer, and without the hipsters.
  11. bluesbro

    bluesbro Forum Hall of Shame

    I think I was in a very good Colombian restaurant that was close to the house. I need to look that up
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