Our Cellini are here…

Acapella Cellini loudspeakers in a modern gray and white fit very nicely into this mid-century modern home.

Thin deformable walls and make for some bass suck-out, and hard-surfaces everywhere make for an elevated midrange – so we have work to do.

Neli has some family-heirloom carpets that go well here – but they are too small! So what do we do? Get a new carpet that better fits the room? Use two smaller ones, albeit ones that have different patterns from each other? Is the aesthetics of the room really that important? Does it contribute to the enjoyment of the music or it’s only job to stop the sound from bouncing around the room indefinitely?

You know, moving requires us to make So Many Decisions. We are kind of burnt out.

Anyway, lots of tuning to do.



OK. I guess it had to come out sometime. There is indeed a mirror that surrounds the gas fireplace. Not our idea. Seriously.

Have to say that you DO get used to it. But we will probably put some plants there, or paste up old album covers over it, or give people Halloween masks to wear [I will be Terminator and Neli? Trying to convince her to go for the Princess Leia, but…]


We’ll be open soon… !

Pursuing the Ultimate Music Experience… in California

Well, “soon”, anyway.

We decided to rent instead of buy for a number of reasons. One is that we do not know the area well yet. Another is that prices have risen sharply the last year or two or three – now is a good time to sell, not buy.

After a long strange trip of visiting many nice homes, encountering extraordinarily nice and the occasional bizarrely unqualified not-so-nice property managers – we found a place Neli and I and Audio Federation can call home.

[One place we tried to get four different ways and got three wildly conflicting responses (the fourth response is still forthcoming). This contributed to the length of time it took us to find a place. Something that we conservatively estimated would take 2 weeks escalated into 2 months. It would have driven one of us nuts, except that I did not want to go nuts in front of Neli. It’s a sellers market out here, and that leaves room for some sellers who would otherwise be quickly culled from the herd.]

Although we originally intended on getting another house-with-an-awesome-view, we fell in love with Palo Alto, most of which is flat. We especially love Downtown Palo Alto, Professorville, Old Palo Alto and South of Midtown. There is an energy and diversity here that really suits us. Its not just families, or retired people, or Stanford students, or academicians, or Googlers and Facebookers, or young people or old people – there are all of these kinds of people here crammed together.

We *are* trying to keep the burn rate down (aka outrageous megabucks paid for rent), and there is also the ‘luck of the draw’ – you can only pick a place from the places that are available, and this is a very random set of homes at any given time. Whatever houses that happen to be on the market at the time you are looking are the ones you get to choose from.

But in the end we did find an awesome house in Palo Alto and it stood out for us from the others. As you will see below, it really works for Audio Federation and what you may have seen over the years of our ‘architectural preferences’ 🙂

The photos below are a simulation, like the previous posts, of what the systems will look like in then house. Looks like we are going to start unloading the truck today.

This is what they call an ‘Eichler’ out here. Joseph Eichler was real estate developer whose houses have an open layout internally with the rear walls of the home consisting primarily of floor-to-ceiling glass. There are 10s of thousands of these, and their look-a-likes, on the Peninsula.

So, yeah, we like the ‘bring the outside in’ feel of these houses, and they are ubiquitous – many audiophiles out here will have a home like this – so it really does work for us.


This is the living room, as viewed from the backyard. It will be the main listening room. It is 13.5 feet wide by 20 feet long. This is the size of many mid-size listening rooms and is also very similar to the size of the hotel rooms at many shows.


This is the view from inside the main listening room. We will put the main couch here and probably LPs on the rear wall. We will probably go with IKEA LP shelves since they seem to work well and are modern in a way that matches the Eichler home.



This is the dining room aka Listening room 2. This room is 11×18 feet in size. Right now we have a pair of used Avalon Eidolon speakers which will go in here to start with. There will probably be a steady rotation of gear through this room.


This is the 3rd listening room. This will be an office until we need another listening room. It is 11×14 feet in size.


This is the 4th listening room. It has ‘Audio Note corners’ optimal for placement of Audio Note speakers. it is 11×10 feet in size. This is a small room, but many of our AN customers have small listening rooms like this. We might be also end up swapping Audio Note between here and Listening room #3. [just not sure how having one all glass corner will work for these speakers. Guess there’s only one way to find out :-)].

The blog here will go back to being much more about audio than house- and room-selection methodologies – though at some point we will do a more thorough wrap up of all the many, many issues the audiophile has when moving listening rooms from house to house.

Going to California IX

Yep. Still looking. Looking for a place in the Silicon Valley for the store / our home. Tick tock. Tick tock.

Palo Alto

We applied to rent 3 homes in the last 10 days. The first we could not come to an agreement on price. The second we got turned down and we still do not know why [their stated reason just doesn’t make a lot of sense]. The third we are still waiting to hear from but we were not the first to apply, so… it does not look so great.

This is a sellers market, and the way this game of musical chairs is supposed to be played out here is for each renter to apply to several places, and each property to take several applications.

But what happens is a property gives the okeydokey to a prospective renter, but that renter might prefer another place on their recent ‘applied fors’, so they hold off accepting. Meanwhile a renter who really wants this place, hoping for this place, is being stalled because if the first people accepted eventually go somewhere else, then they might actually get the place they really want after all…

So, yeah, musical chairs meets the lottery [or, more like Let’s Make a Deal. Do you want door #1, or #2, or…].

We, however, have been applying to just one at a time. We make such an investment in feeling how it would be to LIVE someplace, and how we can fit us and our businesses and our immediate and future goals into a place. It becomes THE place we can make work. THE place we WANT.

And then we don’t get it.

Not giving up, however, on any of these places yet.

Unlike most people, we are lucky enough to work out of the home – and so we spend a LOT of time there. We ‘give’ ourselves to the home, and bond with it, try to make it a better place while we live there.

This place below is a fine example…



This place in Palo Alto was one we had our eyes on for a long time – 5 weeks+. Spent sooo much time evaluating each aspect of this out-of-the-ordinary home.

For one – it has an elevator. An elevator! [there are not enough explanation points in the universe to express how much this tickles us :-)] For over 20 years we wanted an elevator so we did not have to lug 100 lb amps, 300 lb amps, even 700 lb speakers up the 45 stairs to our listening room in Boulder [and, of course, back down again].

Large parking area. Large-ish yard to separate us from the neighbors. Nice appliances. Lots of parking. A gate of sorts. Very nice.

But the rooms were small, and the Audio Note room would require some kind of pipe and draping [Neli thinks].

We haven’t come to terms yet on the price; it is currently just too much for us to feel comfortable with.

We are still jonesing a little for this place, but trying to move on… The other places we found are priced a little better, and all have their more or less lovable blemishes, so we shall see….

Starting to wear us out some, and no doubt you the reader as well…. :-/ Hopefully this will resolve itself sooner rather than later