Searching for the ‘Right Stuff’ — ‘Mooo Mats’, Monolithic Speakers and Mega DACs at AXPONA 2014

Photo by Juan C. Ayllon, Copyright 2014

Photo by Juan C. Ayllon, Copyright 2014

CHICAGO, April 26, 2014 – I was first smitten in 1994.  Behind their ivy-covered brick entry in the well-heeled Lincoln Park neighborhood, Pro Musica played music so pure, so otherworldly that I spent hours in their listening rooms. Scrimping for months, I bought my first serious speakers there as a first year teacher – a pair of black, piano lacquered towers for $900.  

Twenty years later, I’ve bought and sold thousands of dollars’ worth of audiophile gear, and now I’m standing in their display room at the Westin O’Hare, where 4,372 people flock to attend Audio Expo North America 2014.  
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My New Site,, is Now Up!

Good news!  I just setup my new website,  I am excited about it, as it fits my long term plans in terms of helping build my writing and artistic endeavors over the next several years.  Drop in and check it out from time to time!

A Stepdad’s Joy


My stepdaughter, Colleen Shaw

My stepdaughter, Colleen Shaw

My emotions surprised me as I read her texted message, “Hey check it out…your baby girl is famous!!”

My stepdaughter, Colleen, who in May wraps up her Spanish immersion trip to Mexico for Wheaton College (where she double majors in Spanish and education), had just sent me a video link to her promoting their program. How about that! Continue reading

Exciting Prospects

The basic colors are laid down and some details are starting to emerge in my new painting after two several hour long sessions of working on it!

The basic colors are laid down and some details are starting to emerge in my new painting after two several-hour-long sessions of working on it!

It’s a good day. We received news that our school district contract dispute has been resolved, therefore averting our scheduled strike on April 16th, I’ve made decent progress on a painting I started three days ago of my wife working on our front garden (I’ll name it “Suburban wife Gardening” or something like that!), and I’ve located a site that makes quality and reasonably priced giclee prints on paper and canvas.

Whereas the former two are important, the last gem really excites me, as I am planning on making available prints of my paintings on both canvas and paper, which makes them both replicable and more affordable. I am hoping to produce such prints for the upcoming Chocolate Festival in Long Grove, Illinois May 2-4, where additional traffic will be coming through the doors of the Long Grove Artists Guild Gallery.

Future subjects slated for painting and giclee reproduction include some additional music pieces, a series on audiophiles and their equipment, and boxers in action.

Like I say, I am excited.

‘Fabulous Audio Giveaway’ at Audio Expo North America (AXPONA) April 27th

Fabulous Audio Gear Giveaway

Audio Gear GiveawayCHICAGO — AXPONA attendees fill out an entry card while visiting the 12th floor exhibit rooms of Quintessence Audio to be entered in a drawing to win audio components, accessories and recordings! All prizes are courtesy of the manufacturers in the Quintessence exhibits.

Michael Fremer of Analog Planet and Stereophile will select the winners on Sunday, April 27th at 3pm. The drawing will be held on the 12th floor exhibit rooms of Quintessence Audio.

‘A Foul Stench in the Desert’ Revisited

Editor’s Note:  I just came across this old piece I wrote several years ago and thought it was worthy of sharing.

Photo by Mariane Iamele,

as modified by Juan C. Ayllon

Punchcrop2a (30k image)

 LAS VEGAS, April 13, 2006 – It’s not as if fouling is anything new or particularly startling to boxing principals.

For instance, in 1927, former Heavyweight Champion Jack Dempsey hit a surging Jack Sharkey low and, as Sharkey dropped his hands to complain to the ref, finished him with a vicious left hook to the jaw. In 1962, Emile Griffith defeated Jorge Jose Fernandez with a low blow, as Fernandez could not continue and Griffith was ahead on the scorecards. In 2000, Felix Trinidad used the low blow to good effect not once, but several times to derail strong surges by Fernando Vargas en route to stopping him in the 12th round. Continue reading