Member Profile: Howard Ferstler

April 17 2013, 13:01
This is a reclad left speaker for one of Howard’s dream systems. The speaker is shown here without its grill.

Location: Tallahassee, FL

Education: BA in history and philosophy; electronics (bomb-navigation systems technician) training in the United States Air Force

Occupation: Howard is now retired. He worked for 35 years as a library technical assistant.

Member Status: Howard said he has been a longtime subscriber to both audioXpress and Voice Coil.

Audio Interests: Howard is intrigued by all traditional aspects of audio including speakers, amps, receivers, and players.

Most Recent Purchase: He listed two Crown XLS1000 stereo power amps, a Pioneer VSX-1122-K receiver, and several Dayton subwoofer drivers among his recent purchases.

Current Audio Projects: For years, Howard fiddled with audio gear, reviewed products, and wrote articles and books. However, he said he finally has systems he appreciates and has no desire to upgrade. However, he is layering redwood over one final speaker to cosmetically match it with the others.

Dream System: Howard has two dream systems, both of which are in operation. He is an “amps are amps” kind of guy. With speakers, he is considerably more critical. He uses several Allison speakers, and he has been friends with Roy Allison for decades.

Howard’s main system (music only), features Allison IC-20 loudspeakers as his left and right channel speakers. His center speaker (in a custom-built solid-cedar cabinet) has Allison drivers and a crossover based on Allison designs. The surround channels are four refurbished Allison Model Four loudspeakers, and he has dual cylinder subwoofers, with Dayton Reference Series 12” drivers (home designed and built, with a smooth extension to 18 Hz) a Yamaha DSP-A1 integrated surround amplifier, a Crown XLS1000 power amplifier, a Rane THX-44 equalizer #383038 that handles the three front channels, plus the subwoofers, and an Onkyo DV-S939 DVD player, used only for CD playback.

His second system, which features almost as many components, is used mainly as his home theater. This system includes a Samsung 56” DLP TV (down the line he hopes to upgrade to a 70” LED set), and a home-built speakers with  Allison, Tang Band, RadioShack, Dayton Audio, and NHT drivers. The three front systems use vertical MTTM mid/tweeter arrays, with dual woofers at the bottom, a Pioneer VSX-1122-K receiver, dual cylinder subwoofers, with Dayton Titanic Series 12” drivers (home designed and built, with redwood top and bottom panels), a Crown XLS1000 power amplifier, an ART EQ351 mono equalizer for the subwoofers, and a Panasonic DVD/VHS recorder,  a Sony BluRay player, and a RadioShack mini TV (used to program the recorder).

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