When the owners and managers of record stores and hi-fi shops leave 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.
In today’s story, Bob Fuchs, who has managed Electric Fetus, a beloved record shop in Minneapolis, Minnesota, for over 32 years, gives us a glimpse into his home hi-fi system. As well as a few of his most-listened-to records.
The Hi-Fi Setup
Power Amplifier: Rotel RB 991, $999
Stereo Preamplifier: Rotel RC 995, $999+
Turntable: Music Hall MMF-7.3, $1,595
Speakers: Meadowlark Kestral Hot Rod, Learn More
CD Player: Krell KAV-300cd, $1,195+
Cassette Deck: Pioneer CT-F500, $99+
What kind of hi-fi setup do you have at home?
I have built this system over the last twenty years. The turntable I got five years ago, speakers a couple years ago and the rest I’ve had for almost twenty years. What I like about this setup is that for a pretty reasonable price (and I’ve gotten a few good deals) I have a much better than average sounding system. The detail and richness I can hear is so much better than what I was getting from my old system that I had from my college days. When you have a decent system you realize how much music is actually hidden in the grooves.
What was your first turntable?
My first turntable was a Sony linear tracking table. The PS-LX510. I got it when I went to college in 1982. It looked so modern at the time compared to everything else and it served me well. I kept it and used it almost daily until a friend sold me his Ariston Audio turntable in the early ‘90s as he was getting rid of it for CDs.
What’s your “grail” turntable (or system) if the price were no object?
I’ll be honest, I don’t have an expensive dream system. I’ve never been able to afford that so I really haven’t looked much and don’t know that market at all. If I had the cash I suppose I’d buy a McIntosh tube amp but I really have no idea what else is out there. Pretty happy with my current system (it is my dream system!) and with my hearing loss it doesn’t make sense to spend more at this point.
It’s pretty much impossible to choose five favorite records but here are five that I have come back to time and time again over the years:
1. Willie Nelson, Phases and Stages. I love old country music and Willie Nelson in particular. This record is the poetry of heartbreak. I’ve probably listened to this record a couple of hundred times and it still sounds fresh to me.
2. Super Furry Animals, Rings Around the World. As good as pop music gets for me. Layers of beautiful instrumentation. Electronic freak outs. Insightful lyrics. Beautiful ballads and great rockers. The total package.
3. John Coltrane, Coltrane. An amazing quartet. I can’t explain it in terms of music theory but this record “fixes’ me every time I hear it. I’m not sure what is happening to my brain when I listen to this record but it always brings me peace of mind. A brilliant jazz record.
4. PJ Harvey, Dry. This record blew my mind when it landed. An incredible statement of angst, power and beauty. She may have done even better records later in her career but the impact of this, her first record, still sticks with me. Rock and roll at its finest.
5. Talking Heads, Speaking In Tongues. It’s hard to pick a favorite Talking Heads record but this is the one that consistently gets more play at my house. Beautiful melodies and infectious grooves. “This must be the place” is one of my favorite songs, ever.
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