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Ken Fritz's awe-inspiring system

Discussion in 'audio' started by ToTo Man, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. ToTo Man

    ToTo Man the band not the dog

    Ken Fritz, long-time contributor to the Tannoy yahoo group, has recently been diagnosed with ALS and is sadly facing the reality of finding a new custodian/s for his awe-inspiring audio systems. He posted this moving video, filmed by his son, on the Tannoy group last night and has given me permission to repost it on pfm, as I believe it should be viewed by as many like-minded enthusiasts as possible.

    Though by his own admission unlikely, Ken hopes that his main system (the one shown in the video) can be sold complete with the house to a wealthy individual who wishes to own what is possibly the best audio system in the world. For those of us who are mere mortals however, he does also own some more attainable kit, including quite an extensive Tannoy collection (DMT 15, DMT 12, System 1200, System 600, TS10, etc), which I believe he is willing to part out. Interested parties should contact Ken via the yahoo group or drop me a PM and I'll pass on your details to him.

    PhilofCas, Rana and Alfie like this.
  2. JensenHealey

    JensenHealey pfm Member

    Serious hobby there!
  3. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Wow, a multi-rug system!
    justiceklopper and S-Man like this.
  4. topoxforddoc

    topoxforddoc pfm Member

    That's a true lifetime's work in a short video, lasting a mere few minutes. Amazing what a dedicated individual can do with knowledge, application and perseverance. I hope Ken can enjoy his music for several years more, before his ALS (motor neurone disease) incapacitates him severely.
  5. Darren L

    Darren L pfm Member

    A serious commitment and achievements
  6. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    Massive amounts of money also. Feel sorry for the bloke, ALS is rather unpleasant.
  7. ToTo Man

    ToTo Man the band not the dog

    One of Ken's posts in October 2018:

    "The general thoughts that went into the overall plan in designing this room was to accommodate not only audio but video. The acoustic plan was to eliminate as many parallel surfaces as possible. The side walls are skewed out by 2” from front to back to help reduce slap echos. Both the front and the back of the room incorporate a curve design that would help scatter sound. I replicated the ceiling design from a concert hall in Osaka, Japan. The ceiling to floor dimension at the front of the room, 11.5 feet, expanded in five different planes to 17.5 feet at the rear of the room.

    The walls of the room were built with 12” cinderblock. Durawall wire reinforcement was incorporated in between each vertical course. A 1” rebar was inserted into every other vertical cavity and then the cavities were filled solid with 3500 PSI pea gravel concrete. The walls were framed with 2 x 6 studs on 12” centers. Purlins were inserted and spaced 48” apart in each vertical cavity.

    A dedicated 200 Amp service supplied all the power requirement for lighting, HVAC, wall outlets, and dedicated 220 volt outlets for all of the equipment. Fiberglass insulation was then installed in the walls before ¾” plywood sheeting was glued and screwed over all of the studs. Two layers of 5/8” fire code sheetrock were then glued, with Durabond 90, and screwed to the ¾” plywood.

    The ceiling was built using trusses on 16” centers spanning from the front to the rear of the room. The trusses were designed with a space varying from 10” to 24” in between the top and bottom cords. This space was designed to accommodate additional insulation, lighting, and HVAC. The ceiling was finished using ¾” tongue and groove western ridge cedar. This was glued and stapled to the trusses. The floor was poured using 3500 PSI concrete to a thickness of 8”.

    Acoustic testing was then done by a Richmond company, “Acoustics First”. ETF measurements were taken and sound panels were then designed according to a patented algorithm. The panels were then built by Owens Corning according to prescribed specification.

    The finished trim in the room was done in 18th century motif that incorporated a combination of hardwood raised panels and appropriately painted trim. Hardwood tongue and groove flooring was applied over a ¾” plywood substrate glued and fastened to the concrete floor.

    The main electronics in this system mostly come from Krell. I have always been a fan of their electronic design and robust construction. Their reputation for quality electronics made my choices easy. The choice of additional electronics pretty much fell in line and the choices can be viewed in my list.

    From the time the room was finished until present, I have had four different loudspeaker systems starting with a pair of Electro Voice Patricians I built 50 years ago. Being a DIY guy, I always built loudspeaker systems that were tailored to my personal sonic choices rather than having to settle for speaker systems designed by others for mass appeal.

    Being an audiophile, I am always searching for better sound and the equipment it takes to experience better sonic satisfaction. The only limitation is my lovely wife Sue."
  8. Darren

    Darren All Business

    Bless that man. I hope the future is kinder to him than he thinks it will be.
  9. pocketkitchen

    pocketkitchen Registered User

    What an amazing achievement! Hats off to him.
  10. Rana

    Rana pfm Member

    Indeed. Thanks for sharing ToTo Man.
  11. AndrewR

    AndrewR pfm Member

    Let's hope that Ken's efforts will be delighting and educating generations to come.

    God bless,

    topoxforddoc likes this.
  12. Andrew C!

    Andrew C! Been around a while....

    Loved watching the video...
  13. garyi

    garyi leave blank

    I don't think I could get one of those speakers in my sitting room laid down flat.
  14. D-C

    D-C pfm Member

    Just wow. Pure passion for Hifi there.
  15. Rockmeister

    Rockmeister pfm Member

    well, since most days I'm considering simplifying all I have, that, is an inspiration.I think the moral is to do something like that in ones own constraints (cash and environment) but tweak, build, perfect, experiment...why not. Amazing. Yoiu don't need the money (tho you do if it's going to have that scale of kit).
  16. Cesare

    Cesare pfm Member

    Well that's a top effort in pursuit of what he cares about. We all have the same challenge though - deciding what happens to all the stuff we've bought, built, and care about when the time comes. I'd like to think i'd be pretty easy about selling stuff off, or just giving it away to people who care, but it must be hard if he has something unique that by it's nature can't be split.
  17. matt j

    matt j pfm Member

    No doubt an amazing project. But what stood out for me was that, if he's only just finished it like he said when talking about the turntable, at his current age and hearing level then as he ever heard it at it's best?

    It's a bit like the painting that's never finished, there has to come a point where you just settle for it being done and enjoy it in your prime.
  18. Wilson

    Wilson _

    Not necessarily, Matt j; having a project / hobby until the end is a life well lived.
  19. SteveH

    SteveH pfm Member

    Very entertaining video, despite the very sad overtones.
    Wilson likes this.
  20. Hempknight

    Hempknight pfm Member

    Very impressive system, and more impressive that after all the effort put into the technical aspects of the room, it still looks like a home. I really admire his attitude towards his diagnosis, I doubt I could be pragmatic as Mr. Fritz, what a lovely video, I really hope he finds someone for his sytem.

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