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Jon Faddis: Searching for Sonic Truth

Like all audiophiles, Jon Faddis can remember the exact moment he became one. It was 1971, he was 18, and he had just come east from Oakland, Calif., to New York to be the featured trumpet soloist in Lionel Hampton’s band. He moved in with Lew Soloff. (Lots of trumpet chops in that apartment.) Soloff owned a stereo system that was close to state-of-theart for its era. As Faddis remembers Soloff’s set-up, and rattles off the brands and model numbers, you can hear the fond nostalgia in his voice: “Lew had Bozak Concert Grand speakers with 14 drivers a side. The system was tri-amplified. There was a Crown DC300 solid-state amp on the bass, and two tube McIntosh 2105s on the midrange drivers and tweeters. The preamp was a Mac C-28, and the turntable was a Thorens.”

Faddis is slightly disappointed in himself that, from 1971, he doesn’t remember the phono cartridge. He says softly, “Lew and I used to sit up and listen to records until the wee hours. That system was something beautiful. It was just a revelation to me, the way it sounded.”

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