When the owners of record stores and hi-fi shops go home at the end of the day, what kinds of hi-fi systems are they going home to? And what kind of records are they playing? That’s exactly what we set out to find out. Peter Hahn is the co-owner of the Turntable Lab, a New York-based go-to music shop for professional DJs, musicians and audiophiles. Here, he talks home hi-fi systems, his first turntable and what his favorite records to listen to are.
The Hi-Fi Setup
What kind of hi-fi setup do you have at home?
I have two setups because I prefer to keep my analog setup separate from my streaming setup. I have a Revo Supersystem for internet radio, FM radio and Spotify connect. For my analog setup, I have a Technics SL-1200MK2 fitted with an Ortofon 2M Blue cartridge. I run that through a NAD C316BEE V2 integrated amplifier with Kimber Kable 4TC cables and Dali Zensor speakers.
I’ve had the 1200 for over 20 years since I DJ’ed in college. Everything else has been added in the last year. My analog setup isn’t the most expensive, but I chose everything for the purity of the components – from the 2M Blue’s nude diamond stylus to the all-analog circuitry of the Nad amp to the gorgeous USA-made Kimber Kables.
As for the Revo, it allows you to access internet radio streams through a traditional button interface. I like being able to listen to KTUH (Honolulu) by pushing one button. I also hate Bluetooth or being forced to use a third party WIFI app, so the Spotify Connect is key. The Supersystem is a hefty piece of gear, very heavy and gets loud.
What was your first turntable?
My first turntable was a Pioneer PL that I co-opted from my parent’s rack system. I still have it at home. That thing was built like a tank.
What’s your “grail” turntable (or system) if the price were no object?
A customized Linn Sondek or Clearaudio Concept with moving coil cartridge.
What are your favorite 5 records to listen to and why?
1. Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works: I could listen to this all the time, reminds me of high school. an album that truly sounds better on vinyl.
2. The Cure, Disintegration: For moody days, love the order of the songs.
3. Voxtrot, Raised By Wolves: I don’t own the vinyl, but I’ve listened to “The Start Of Something” over 200 times this year.
4. John Coltrane, Love Supreme: This is my favorite jazz rec of all-time. It ascends time and place.
5. Bob Marley and The Wailers, Soul Revolution: Lee Perry era Wailers is magical.