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A king is always right, even when he's wrong. Didn't Harry usually get someone else to design and setup his personal listening system's? Sounds like a king to me.
what "setup" entails. The flip side to the cool factor of having access to a wide range of incredible gear found in his three separate environments is the drudgery factor of schlepping all that (heavy) stuff around. Have you ever tried moving Nola Grand Reference woofer towers? Hint: they weigh 400 lbs. How about a Clearaudio Statement turntable? It weighs 800 lbs. His garage is entirely devoted to gear boxes and crates, some of which are empty while others still have product either awaiting return shipment or have just arrived and ready for assessment. I use that term because there are many pieces of gear which are listened to - but never reviewed for a variety of reasons.
HP has always had "setup" guys who take care of this decidedly non-glamorous aspect of reviewing. As to setup from a standpoint of optimizing speaker and listener placement, cartridge loading, room treatments, etc., that is determined by HP along with guidance by a range of trusted ears who provide input. The last time I was there, I met Mike Hobson of Classic Records fame. Sea Cliff really is a fascinating place to visit given the wide range of gear you see not only actively hooked up in one of the systems, but also the other gear that is used for comparisons at any given time.
Several years ago, I had the pleasure of attending a meeting of the Chicago Audio Society where Dr. West introduced the nine foot tall Sound Lab Majestic 945 speakers. There were several of us there who happily assisted him in the arduous task of assembling and positioning those huge speakers.
...but Harry spoke at RMAF in 2009 - see below.
He is an interesting guy.
While he can be very pompous, he does have a self-effacing sense of humor and can be very entertaining.
He is extremely knowledgeable and I believe there would be no high end audio without him.
There is a reason he is king.
He always chose his own equipment but during the heydays of TAS, he had a set-up guy who helped him with it - Frank Doris in the 1980s and then Scot Markwell in the 1990s.
They were both very perceptive listeners in their own rights and helped HP come up with some of his better equipment configurations/synergy and even wrote some equipment reviews.
These same guys also interfaced with the manufacturers to procure equipment for the reviewers.
Both went on to great jobs in audio.
RMAF Part 1
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