My visit with bigwill

Posted by: tomtuttle

My visit with bigwill - 06/15/05 05:52 PM

Dear Friends,

I opportunely accepted a gracious invitation to visit bigwill during a recent trip to Southern California, and was treated to a truly delightful evening of delicious food, great beverages and joyful conversation.

Unfortunately, my late flight (due to non-union Alaska Airlines baggage handlers) combined with the necessity of procuring provisions on the way made me somewhat tardy. Mark suffered by initial faux pas with good grace, and while his contention differs, I cannot see how the grilled carne asada could have possibly been any better. It was absolutely fantastic Ė tender, juicy and perfectly seasoned. Combined with only-hours-old tortillas, fresh cilantro, onions, avocado salsa and tomato salsa, it was a feast that nailed my culinary sweet-spot. His previous messages had me a little concerned that the salsas might exceed even my healthy appreciation for capsicum, but they were simply fresh, delicious and flavorful. My head remains attached. The accompanying Hoegaarden was a rich and delightful choice for the only sunny afternoon I experienced in five California days.

Markís wife, Stacey, could not have been nicer. She made me feel very welcome while graciously suffering my intrusion into the very tastefully adorned casa de bigwill, and even convincingly feigned interest in the audio and beverages. I would be remiss if I did not share my observation that they have a truly lovely home in all respects. Littlewill is an exceptionally cute and smart 2-year-old; I was delighted to find that he and his Dad are reading many of the same books I shared with my kids during a time that I had thought was not that long ago. I was again reminded of the adage that nice, smart people should have kids so that we continue to have nice, smart people in the world. Great family.

We continued to share some great beverages Ė beer, whiskey and whisky. As I was neither taking notes, nor tasting critically, nor do I possess bigjohnís descriptive powers, I will simply report that the drinks and company were of the highest quality. I will divulge that the Johnnie Walker Green Label was a special treat.

Since the audio hobby is what brings all of us together, I suppose I am obliged to make some report about systems and perceptions and such. I want you all to understand something very important Ė I am an absolute believer in the notion of Room Acoustics being the forgotten component. My experience at bigwillís should not be construed as anything except MY experience in an enjoyably lubricated, non-native environment. Bigwillís listening room and my listening room are extremely different, as are many of our components.

That being said, for what itís worth, Iíll throw out some subjective observations for those of you that have bothered to read this far. Bigwillís Monitor Audio Silver 8ís were similarly good compared to my M60ís; a point I donít think he would dispute based on his previous experience. We did not compare them side-by-side; my observations are based on how I remember hearing familiar music in both houses. The MA finish is considerably nicer. In that room, they seemed to play somewhat deeper and have a somewhat more expansive soundstage. To my ears, they were clearly not as forward as the M60ís. Horns sounded somewhat more vibrant on the MAís, but I did not feel they produced the female voice with quite the effortless airiness that I am used to. The VP150 was a seamless match with the MAís. The QS8ís donít need replacing, either.

Thanks to the Axiom community, Mark and I have been correspondents for several years now, but I still marvel at the personal faith he exhibited that led to our first meeting. I am grateful for his buoyant hospitality, I treasure his friendship, and I eagerly anticipate the next gathering of our families.

Thanks, bigwill!

- Tom

Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: My visit with bigwill - 06/15/05 06:16 PM

Okay Tom, this is getting out of hand. You can't keep visiting people and listening to different set-ups. It's just not fair for the rest of us!

Kidding aside, it sounds like you had a very enjoyable time due in large part to some very accomodating and gracious hosts. Man, that carne asada sure sounds good. . .
Posted by: JohnK

Re: My visit with bigwill - 06/15/05 08:21 PM

Tom, it was great to read of the hospitality that Mark and Craig extended to you during your beer-tasting expedition to southern California. Good that you also had time to listen to those speakers!
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: My visit with bigwill - 06/15/05 08:32 PM

Once again, Tom, a well-written and envy-inducing post. I delight in your good fortune.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: My visit with bigwill - 06/15/05 10:04 PM

I also delight in my good fortune, Peter

Here's a pic of me and bigwill.

Posted by: chesseroo

Re: My visit with bigwill - 06/16/05 12:32 AM

Why doesn't anyone come to Winnipeg?'s Winnipeg.
Well at least i have Bren.


BigW, you look a little red in the pic. Is that from the beer, the capsaicin ingestion or the general modesty of having one's picture taken?

Sounds like you have a great trip Tom. I hope to be in SoCal in the next year or two for a wine region tour. SanFran is a city stop on our list and possibly San Diego as well.
Posted by: bigjohn

Re: My visit with bigwill - 06/16/05 09:12 AM

hey, in that picture, which is tom, which is bigwill..?

OK, it wasnt that funny.. glad y'all had a great time. good food, good drinks, and good friends. sounds just about perfect. i always enjoy hearing about us here on the board getting together.

Posted by: Ajax

Re: My visit with bigwill - 06/16/05 09:14 AM

Nice to see you two guys together. That's a "tan," Chess, not a "red."
Posted by: bigwill2

Re: My visit with bigwill - 06/16/05 01:20 PM

Ha,ha,ha chess.
A combination of high blood pressure, alcohol intake and the California sun.
Judging by recent photos, it seems that my head is shrinking.
Posted by: bigwill2

Re: My visit with bigwill - 06/16/05 01:30 PM

Thank you, Tom, for the visit and the kind words. It was a pleasure to have such a kind and sincere gentleman grace my humble abode. On the down side, Staci has been reminded that not all men are primitive belching beasts that eat with their fingers.
I smiled at your last paragraph. Yes, folks, I am "suspicious and protective", aka, "paranoid".
I believe it must be a genetic trait that nature has selected for success.
Posted by: bray

Re: My visit with bigwill - 06/16/05 09:36 PM

New photoshop ammo.
Posted by: richeydog

Re: My visit with bigwill - 06/16/05 11:21 PM

In reply to:

New photoshop ammo.

Keep up the good work Bray. Looking forward to seeing your next daVinci.
Posted by: BBIBH

Re: My visit with bigwill - 06/17/05 10:48 AM

Perhaps the area's reputation preceeds it.
I remember the saying "The coldest winter I ever spent was the summer I was in Winnipeg". Also having the nick name "Winterpeg" probably indicates that it should not be considered a vacation hotspot.

I must say the few times I was in the 'Peg, it was nice and sunny!

Maybe people are afraid of BrenR? LOL
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: My visit with bigwill - 06/17/05 10:52 AM

Someone ripped that saying off from Mark Twain, who said it about San Francisco -- though I do believe Winnipeg is likely colder.
Posted by: bigjohn

Re: My visit with bigwill - 06/17/05 10:53 AM

In reply to:

Maybe people are afraid of BrenR

lord knows thats true..

its the goatee..

Posted by: AshBoomstick

Re: My visit with bigwill - 06/17/05 11:00 AM

and the stories of the sacrificed goats...
Posted by: BBIBH

Re: My visit with bigwill - 06/17/05 11:05 AM

Havng spent time in both, I would say you are correct...especially mid winter!

Posted by: chesseroo

Re: My visit with bigwill - 06/18/05 12:17 PM

Well i can't comment on heads shrinking BW. Just the colour of the face compared to Tom.
Maybe he just needs to get out more.
Doesn't he live on the rainy northwest coast?