Boutique High-End Audio
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“Gestalt HiFi Recommendation”
“After a road trip from California of almost 3,000 miles to Santa Fe to listen to an amplifier, Analog Domain that I had never heard before with the proper playback source and Stenheim speakers, I needed to share my experience. The audition proved entirely otherwise. Not only was I astounded with what it did to heighten the core of music, it simply satisfied my listening in every way since my first serious dive into audio in 1996.
When I returned to California, I had a chance to install it into my system; the real opportunity was to have my visiting Opera singer trained mother in law Sally Wagner still alive at 93 take a listen. Having been classically trained as a soprano at Cornish, having sung with Beverly Sills, I thought long and hard about the right LP to be placed on my Avid Actus turntable and Air tight P4 cartridge.
I chose Leontyne Price, one of the most beautiful voices in the world in of the 1960’s when this red label RCA record came out that was the header. As Puccini’s Madame Butterfly filled the room, Sally began to tear up. Sally did not speak of the speakers, the boxes generating the sound, she spoke of the voice of a master, the convergence of music from the heart, and above all the emotions of this soprano along with the supporting orchestra.
I will never forget the sight of her sitting there, spellbound, her still watered eyes and thoughts going back through 70 years of singing, all welled up to the triumph over loss that is opera.
Music through Mike’s care and pairing is felt at any extraordinarily personal level. His carefully appointed selections like Analog Domain and Stenheim deliver lifetime experiences. I am so grateful to have waited to audition with him. He is truly the real deal.
Mike has a way of encouraging interested music lovers to put aside any biases, to be with him on a journey, to stay open minded, not explain all of the ancillaries; just listen.
My house now has a system where family members from 7 to 70 are not troubled by volume levels, they loved the sound. Mike Phalan has found the conduit in play back— beam me up!
The Analog Domain fight case was taken to the attic.”
Robert Willis “This is a personal testimonial for Mike that he did not ask me to make. Mike is a pragmatic audiophile who aspires to assemble stereo systems achieving the perfection of musical sound within a client’s budget without cutting corners. He patiently helped me select components over several months with in-home demos and absolutely no pressure to buy anything. His knowledge and experience produce recommendations that incrementally improve systems in a way where you immediately hear (once the equipment burns in) that your money was very well spent. I upgraded five components of my stereo system sequentially on Mike’s recommendations, and each change resulted in refinements of sound that I could hear clearly and right away. After years of taking advice from an assortment of stereo “experts,” Mike is the one person who transformed my listening experinces to the pure, ethereal level to which I’d always aspired. There are a daunting number of choices possible when selecting components, but Mike’s experience cuts to the chase because his keen ears have led him to know which components work the best together at any given price point. You don’t have to spend astronomical sums to achieve magical sound, but you do need to make the right choices. Mike is someone you can totally trust to simplify these complex and expensive decisions with confidence you will be fully satisfied by the end result. When I first met him, I was skeptical, but after two years of working with him, I know he is the real deal when you’re trying to assemble a world class audiophile system at the most reasonable price.”
By Hal Espen / For The Santa Fe New Mexican
“-along with a guarantee that you’ll sit grinning from ear to ear with tears running down your face, “experiencing music in a way that feels like Norah Jones or Neil Young is in your living room.” To showcase the product lines that represent his core philosophy of audio design — Pass Labs and First Watt amplifiers designed by engineering wizard Nelson Pass — Phalan transformed his retail space into perhaps the finest listening room in New Mexico. Sink into one of his plush gray chairs, make a request from Gestalt’s library of vinyl LPs and digital files, and you may be astonished by what you hear.
To let sticker shock scare you away would be a mistake, however. First off, he seems far more intent on sharing the joy of music than pitching his wares. To that end, he founded the High Desert Fidelity Club, which meets monthly in members’ homes (and occasionally at Gestalt), to hold free-wheeling, commerce-free City Different listening parties. (I’ve been. They’re big fun.)”