When have you heard "The Magic"?

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treitz3
treitz3 Posts: 18,634
edited January 2020 in 2 Channel Audio
Hello all and good afternoon to you. With this forum, we have all heard (or have) spectacular systems that every once in a while and for whatever reason, just seem to get it right.

I don't mean simple playback operations or a nice sounding system. I mean those rare times when the synergy, the room, the gear, the speakers, the placement, the time of day, excellence of the recording....whatever it is that collectively transforms a rig/situation in to what George Daniels and I refer to as "The Magic" and one is completely out of the room - simply experiencing a complete euphoria of sounds emanating from all around you and you become "lost" in the moment of sheer audio bliss.

I have heard this about maybe 6 times in my entire life.....and I have heard a lot of really great systems. I'll share one of those experiences with you here.

Not many newer members knew about or remember a cat we had here on the forum that is no longer with us. He left this Earth a little earlier than anticipated. Well, anyways we were in his LR down in Hotlanta with a couple of audio buddies. He had these speakers that were, shall I say....not your normal speakers. In fact, they were called "FrankenPolks". Ben took a couple of sets of speakers and made these enormous SDA's that were completely custom built.

We listened throughout the day off and on whilst grilling and having the normal Polk GTG follies and fun. Well, late that night, there were a couple of folks sitting on the couch just listening to albums/songs and for whatever reason? Something snapped into place.

I don't know what it was or how it happened but all of a sudden, the music just stopped playing through the speakers and "The Magic" happened. No, it wasn't just me. All of us there in attendance that night all said the same thing. I will tell you this, that rig did not have the right to sound as good as it did that night and words simply can't describe what I and the others heard but it was definitely an experience worthy of beholding the honor of being able to make "The Magic".

Have you ever experienced this yet in your audio travels and if you have, describe the situation where you experienced it.

Tom
~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~
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  • dromunds
    dromunds Posts: 10,004
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    When I purchased the 1950's Heath W5M monoblock amps from Troy D that were completely rebuilt by Gary Dodd and Charlie Cocci, I swapped out the tubes for some holy grail 1950's RCA black plate 6L6GC's and 1950's CBS 5814WA black plate square getters. That was a "holy shite" improvement moment. But when I paired the amps with a Dodd tube preamp with 1950's Amperex Holland 7308 D-getter and a Dodd phono preamp with 1950's Amperex Holland 6DJ8 D-getters - once those tubes warmed up for 45 minutes and I put some vinyl on I would sometimes sit in my chair and think "This really really sounds good." I was using Dahlquist DQ-30i floorstanders that I had pretty much completely rebuilt and they would utterly disappear. Some recordings are so well done and when that "the magic" happens you just close your eyes and drift away. Then the hootch burnt a hole in the chair and I woke up. (Just kidding)
  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 33,333
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    I'll share the first time -- the first of (only) a few flashbulb memories I have of my hifi experiences.

    I was at Soundscape, ca. 1977, in the back room (where the good stuff was). John Dorsey (or maybe it was Len... but I think it was John) demonstrated the Quad ESL-57s to me. Quad electronics. Probably (???) a Linn LP12 -- no idea what cartridge... but I will never forget the album and - more to the point - the song: Wish You Were Here. I have never forgotten, and will never forget, as long as I am of sound mind, the emotion of hearing that acoustic guitar intro on the Quads.

    That led to a long but low-key "pursuit" of a pair of ESL-57s. I finally did acquire a nice pair about 3 decades later.

    They are loudspeakers that any "audiophile" owes it to him/her/them selve(s) to spend some quality time listening to. They're still perhaps the most neutral, natural and uncolored loudspeakers I have heard -- the reference for midrange reproduction, I'd opine.


  • Joey_V
    Joey_V Posts: 8,533
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    Happens a few times.

    I close my eyes and either my eyes well up or an electric sensation comes over you.

    Probably close to once a month.

    Just depends on what I’m playing.
    Magico, JL, Emm, ARC Ref 10 line, ARC Ref 10 phono, VPI, Lyra, Boulder, AQ Wel, SRA Scuttle Rack, Bluesound
  • ZLTFUL
    ZLTFUL Posts: 5,640
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    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    I'll share the first time -- the first of (only) a few flashbulb memories I have of my hifi experiences.

    I was at Soundscape, ca. 1977, in the back room (where the good stuff was). John Dorsey (or maybe it was Len... but I think it was John) demonstrated the Quad ESL-57s to me. Quad electronics. Probably (???) a Linn LP12 -- no idea what cartridge... but I will never forget the album and - more to the point - the song: Wish You Were Here. I have never forgotten, and will never forget, as long as I am of sound mind, the emotion of hearing that acoustic guitar intro on the Quads.

    That led to a long but low-key "pursuit" of a pair of ESL-57s. I finally did acquire a nice pair about 3 decades later.

    They are loudspeakers that any "audiophile" owes it to him/her/them selve(s) to spend some quality time listening to. They're still perhaps the most neutral, natural and uncolored loudspeakers I have heard -- the reference for midrange reproduction, I'd opine.


    If I am feeling meh or just plain out of sorts, that album is my go-to. I always get goosebumps on several passages from that album.

    There are a few other albums that do the same for me. But it always has to be a perfect storm of emotions/time/light/volume/etc to make *it* happen.
    "Some people find it easier to be conceited rather than correct."

    "Unwad those panties and have a good time man. We're all here to help each other, no matter how it might appear." DSkip
  • dromunds
    dromunds Posts: 10,004
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    "The Wind Cries Mary" used to be one song that did it to me.
  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 33,333
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    ZLTFUL wrote: »
    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    I'll share the first time -- the first of (only) a few flashbulb memories I have of my hifi experiences.

    I was at Soundscape, ca. 1977, in the back room (where the good stuff was). John Dorsey (or maybe it was Len... but I think it was John) demonstrated the Quad ESL-57s to me. Quad electronics. Probably (???) a Linn LP12 -- no idea what cartridge... but I will never forget the album and - more to the point - the song: Wish You Were Here. I have never forgotten, and will never forget, as long as I am of sound mind, the emotion of hearing that acoustic guitar intro on the Quads.

    That led to a long but low-key "pursuit" of a pair of ESL-57s. I finally did acquire a nice pair about 3 decades later.

    They are loudspeakers that any "audiophile" owes it to him/her/them selve(s) to spend some quality time listening to. They're still perhaps the most neutral, natural and uncolored loudspeakers I have heard -- the reference for midrange reproduction, I'd opine.


    If I am feeling meh or just plain out of sorts, that album is my go-to. I always get goosebumps on several passages from that album.

    There are a few other albums that do the same for me. But it always has to be a perfect storm of emotions/time/light/volume/etc to make *it* happen.

    It's a good rekkid. Probably my all-around favorite Pink Floyd album (FWIW).
  • Clipdat
    Clipdat Posts: 12,770
    edited January 2020
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    Scaena Loudspeakers room at Axpona 2019. This is my standard that I judge all other systems against.

    ip5sk4m4b45z.jpg
    I featured it as my #1 dream room in my post-Axpona article here: https://theaudiobeatnik.com/axpona-2019-bringing-hi-fi-dreams-to-reality/

    "This system sounded absolutely astonishing. There were no noticeable drawbacks or deficiencies whatsoever—it was masterful. The depth, width and height of the soundstage along with the precise placement of specific elements within the music was easily the best I heard at the show. When each individual component of a song has such vivid and stunning clarity, combined with ample room and space for the sound to rise and fall, it creates an experience that is somehow beyond just simply “listening”.

    When I closed my eyes I became completely absorbed in the music; it felt like I was transported to another dimension. I finished the show on Sunday in this room and listened for an hour and a half. It was truly a transformative experience. I was on Cloud 9 the entire time and walked out of the room on a musical high."
  • Gardenstater
    Gardenstater Posts: 4,281
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    Wow! Great reviews. Axpona reminds me of when I first started going to the New York Audio Show several years ago, which sadly has been in deterioration mode the past few years with this one the least spectacular of all.
    George / NJ

    Polk 7B main speakers, std. mods+ (1979, orig owner)
    Martin Logan Dynamo sub w/6ft 14awg Power Cord
    Onkyo A-8017 integrated
    Logitech Squeezebox Touch Streamer w/EDO applet
    iFi nano iDSD DAC
    iPurifier3
    iDefender w/ iPower PS
    Custom Steve Wilson 1m UPOCC Interconnect
    iFi Mercury 0.5m OFHC continuous cast copper USB cable
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    Custom Vibration Isolation Speaker Stands and Sub Platform
  • nooshinjohn
    nooshinjohn Posts: 25,252
    edited January 2020
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    Just imagine what they could do with BACCH-SP...
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, Mcintosh C2300 Arcam AVR20, Oppo UDP-203 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk Audio Legend L800 with height modules, L400 Center Channel Polk audio AB800 "in-wall" surrounds. Marantz MM7025 stereo amp. Simaudio Moon 680d DSD

    “When once a Republic is corrupted, there is no possibility of remedying any of the growing evils but by removing the corruption and restoring its lost principles; every other correction is either useless or a new evil.”— Thomas Jefferson
  • deronb1
    deronb1 Posts: 5,021
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    Just imagine what they could do with BACCH-SP...

    Hahahaha!!
  • displayname
    displayname Posts: 1,143
    edited January 2020
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    Rather than sharing an audiophile system with "the magic" I'm going to share a very intense audio memory that will likely stick with me for my entire life.
    The first time I toured the Harman facilities in Northridge I got to go into the break-in/torture test room used for the high end tour products.

    The room is hidden deep in the facility, and has multiple signs and doors leading into the room warning you to keep ear protection on at all times. You go through a series of 3 steel doors to get to the room, and you need heavy duty hearing protection on past the 2nd and 3rd doors, but you can hear the faint rumble once you get passed the first door. They aren't joking.

    The room is concreate floor, cinder block walls and ceiling, a square-ish shape, and slightly smaller than a 2 car garage. This was right before the VTX-A12 were just being announced, and in the room they had two stacks of the A12s (about 5 ft high each) and 4 corresponding subs actively doing the torture test. 100 hours nonstop, at full tilt, just pink noise I believe. This is by far the highest SPL I have every been exposed to, and possibly will ever be exposed to (God willing). They test at 146 max db when testing a single speaker in the chambers. I couldn't tell you what the room would possibly measure at. You can feel it over every square inch of your body. We were in the room for less than 2 minutes, but I could feel it in my stomach for probably 15-20 minutes after. It was like a rollercoaster of sound.

    It was an crazy experience in sound. I'd recommend doing it if you have the chance. It's pretty unforgettable.
    Analog: MoFi MasterTracker > MoFi UltraDeck > Sutherland 20/20
    Digital: Cambridge CXC / Streaming > Cambridge CXN v2
    MastersounD Dueventi > Rosso Fiorentino Certaldo or Arcam rHead > Hifiman HE4XX
    Discogs
  • joecoulson
    joecoulson Posts: 4,943
    edited January 2020
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    Clipdat wrote: »
    Scaena Loudspeakers room at Axpona 2019. This is my standard that I judge all other systems against.

    ip5sk4m4b45z.jpg
    I featured it as my #1 dream room in my post-Axpona article here: https://theaudiobeatnik.com/axpona-2019-bringing-hi-fi-dreams-to-reality/

    "This system sounded absolutely astonishing. There were no noticeable drawbacks or deficiencies whatsoever—it was masterful. The depth, width and height of the soundstage along with the precise placement of specific elements within the music was easily the best I heard at the show. When each individual component of a song has such vivid and stunning clarity, combined with ample room and space for the sound to rise and fall, it creates an experience that is somehow beyond just simply “listening”.

    When I closed my eyes I became completely absorbed in the music; it felt like I was transported to another dimension. I finished the show on Sunday in this room and listened for an hour and a half. It was truly a transformative experience. I was on Cloud 9 the entire time and walked out of the room on a musical high."

    Was there at the same time with the same songs.(Saturday) I agree with Drew completely.

    There was one more that did the same for me at that show.

    p98l4vyq33kh.jpeg
  • verb
    verb Posts: 10,176
    edited January 2020
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    I too was overwhelmed by the immersion of sound by those Scaena's ! :smile: Thanks for dragging me over there Drew!

    Interesting and very cool thread Tom! I gotta ponder this a bit. My audio journey has been, a rather recent one, but so many profound changes and improvements! My head is still spinning! :smile:
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS 1.2tl's, Cary SLP-05 Pre with ultimate upgrade,McIntosh MCD301 CD/SACD player, Northstar Designs Excelsio DAC, Cambridge 851N streamer, McIntosh MC300 Amp, Silnote Morpheus Ref2, Series2 Digital Cables, Silnote Morpheus Ref2 Series2 XLR's, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Pangea Power Cables, MIT Shotgun S3 IC's, MIT Shotgun S1 Bi-Wire speaker cables
    Office: PC, EAR Acute CD Player, EAR 834L Pre, Northstar Designs Intenso DAC, Antique Sound Labs AV8 Monoblocks, Denon UDR-F10 Cassette, Acoustic Technologies Classic FR Speakers, SVS SB12 Plus sub, MIT AVt2 speaker cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable, Groneberg Quatro Reference IC's
    Spare Room: Dayens Ampino Integrated Amp, Tjoeb 99 tube CD player (modified Marantz CD-38), Analysis Plus Oval 9's, Zu Jumpers, AudioEngine B1 Streamer, Klipsch RB-61 v2, SVS PB1000 sub, Blue Jeans RCA IC's, Shunyata Hydra 8 Power Conditioner
    Living Room: Peachtree Nova Integrated, Cambridge CXN v2 Streamer, Rotel RCD-1072 CD player, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Polk RT265 In Wall Speakers, Polk DSW Pro 660wi sub
    Garage #1: Cambridge Audio 640A Integrated Amp, Project Box-E BT Streamer, Polk Tsi200 Bookies, Douglas Speaker Cables, Shunyata Power Conditioner
    Garage #2: Cambridge Audio EVO150 Integrated Amplifier, Polk L200's, Analysis Plus Silver Oval 2 Speaker Cables, IC's TBD.
  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 18,634
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    I have one more experience that Lightman1(AKA GoatF'r...er, uh, I mean Russ) can attest too when I first met him...

    Let's see if the ol' bastage remembers...

    Tom
    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~
  • nooshinjohn
    nooshinjohn Posts: 25,252
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    With Russ involved, it must have been uhm… electrifying!

    Who wore the assless chaps?
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, Mcintosh C2300 Arcam AVR20, Oppo UDP-203 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk Audio Legend L800 with height modules, L400 Center Channel Polk audio AB800 "in-wall" surrounds. Marantz MM7025 stereo amp. Simaudio Moon 680d DSD

    “When once a Republic is corrupted, there is no possibility of remedying any of the growing evils but by removing the corruption and restoring its lost principles; every other correction is either useless or a new evil.”— Thomas Jefferson
  • joecoulson
    joecoulson Posts: 4,943
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    It wasn’t this one I’m sure:
    z7dk1jvnusv6.jpeg
  • mhardy6647
    mhardy6647 Posts: 33,333
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    so many bald white guy heads in these photos.

    :|
  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 18,634
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    joecoulson wrote: »
    It wasn’t this one I’m sure:
    z7dk1jvnusv6.jpeg

    This is the result of Joe playing tracks from the Transformers movie. Trey had a hard one goin' on but, Geez, really, Joe?

    Tom
    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~
  • civilian
    civilian Posts: 357
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    Back in 2010 I had my first "magic" when I got to hear @mole' properly set up pair of SDA's, followed by @Norm Apter pair of modded LSi9's, followed by @dpowell SDA SRT's.
    First the SDA experience, followed by a amazing sounding modded "Bookie" followed by the SRT's was all very magical.
    ________________
    2 Channel-Denon AVR-4520/SDA 2.3TL's
    5.1-Denon AVR-4500h/RT3000P's/CS1000P/RT2000P's/
  • deronb1
    deronb1 Posts: 5,021
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    3pggveyv8umx.jpg
    A friend of mine during a golf trip...lol
  • deronb1
    deronb1 Posts: 5,021
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    lightman1 wrote: »
    I heard the magic when Tom's wife screamed out my name.....


    ;)

    Hahahahaha!!!
  • halo
    halo Posts: 5,616
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    For me, it was the Dynaudio C1 Platinum "bookshelf" speakers at AXPONA 2016. An independent dealer in the Chicagoland area named Joseph Audio had them paired with Mark Levinson mono bocks and a Mark Levinson preamp or integrated that was acting as a preamp IIRC. Those speakers absolutely disappeared and the music was all around me. The bass was punching me in the chest. That made me look for some used Dynaudio bookies in my price range (well below the cost of the C1's) and I really enjoyed my time with them - they just didn't integrate as well as I would've liked with my sub and everything had to go before the move from Chicago to St. Louis so they ended up making their way to the Middle East.
    5l44gncmk8t7.jpg
    2xipchhinwp7.jpg
    Audio: Polk S15 * Polk S35 * Polk S10 * SVS SB-1000 Pro
    HT: Samsung QN90B * Marantz NR1510 * Panasonic DMP-BDT220 * Roku Ultra LT * APC H10
  • nooshinjohn
    nooshinjohn Posts: 25,252
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    lightman1 wrote: »
    I heard the magic when Tom's wife screamed out my name.....


    ;)

    Caught you with the family goat, didn’t she?
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, Mcintosh C2300 Arcam AVR20, Oppo UDP-203 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk Audio Legend L800 with height modules, L400 Center Channel Polk audio AB800 "in-wall" surrounds. Marantz MM7025 stereo amp. Simaudio Moon 680d DSD

    “When once a Republic is corrupted, there is no possibility of remedying any of the growing evils but by removing the corruption and restoring its lost principles; every other correction is either useless or a new evil.”— Thomas Jefferson
  • Willow
    Willow Posts: 10,922
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    With Russ involved, it must have been uhm… electrifying!

    Who wore the assless chaps?

    What??? Doro gave them up for a day or two?
  • CoolJazz
    CoolJazz Posts: 570
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    I've experienced that moment that stays with you a number of times.

    One that sticks with me to this day....happened during a trip to the Stereophile show in San Francisco in 2003. I walked into a room, just as the regular host got up to go grab some lunch. Setting in was by chance the designer of the featured amps Wavestream V8's,...Scott Frankland. He threw on something to the turntable of his choosing...and magic happened. I remember the otherwise quiet room and just setting there for an extended period with the music just directly connecting and washing over me!

    Here is a picture I took at that moment...
    qtxsKOe.jpg

    Don't recall the speakers or the music now, but it sure left an impression!

    CJ
    A so called science type proudly says... "I do realize that I would fool myself all the time, about listening conclusions and many other observations, if I did listen before buying. That’s why I don’t, I bought all of my current gear based on technical parameters alone, such as specs and measurements."

    More amazing Internet Science Pink Panther wisdom..."My DAC has since been upgraded from Mark Levinson to Topping."
  • Polkitup2
    Polkitup2 Posts: 1,620
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    The "magic" happened to me once after a party after my house years ago. I was in the garage listening to a crappy all in one AIWA shelf system late at night after everyone left. The music flowed like liquid all around me and sounded oh so good. My wife had to tell me to come back in and go to bed at 3 am. I think it was a result of the party fun, the late hour, and an incredible amount of booze! Which I suspect may have played into the OPs magic moment since he was with Ben.
  • Tony M
    Tony M Posts: 11,079
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    Music sounds better late at night. :p
    Most people just listen to music and watch movies. I EXPERIENCE them.
  • jdjohn
    jdjohn Posts: 3,060
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    ZLTFUL wrote: »
    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    I will never forget the album and - more to the point - the song: Wish You Were Here. I have never forgotten, and will never forget, as long as I am of sound mind, the emotion of hearing that acoustic guitar intro on the Quads.

    If I am feeling meh or just plain out of sorts, that album is my go-to. I always get goosebumps on several passages from that album.
    That's a go-to for me as well, especially for evaluating the retrieval of detail. In particular, the background/ambient noise during the strumming, just before the acoustic solo intro. I listen for three things leading up to the intro: Gilmour clears his throat, a few seconds later he sniffs, and just before the solo, he inhales deeply.

    I'd say one experience for me was after Trey @VR3 dropped-off the Mezzo Utopias at my house. After he left, my wife and I spun some Eva Cassiday, and had several chill-bump moments - namely during Songbird and Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Such a tragedy she left this world too soon. I think it was both a blessing and a curse if she covered an artist's song. A blessing that she chose their song, but a curse in that her version ruined the original in comparison...and IMHO.
    "This may not matter to you, but it does to me for various reasons, many of them illogical or irrational, but the vinyl hobby is not really logical or rational..." - member on Vinyl Engine
    "Sometimes I do what I want to do. The rest of the time, I do what I have to." - Cicero, in Gladiator
    Regarding collectibles: "It's not who gets it. It's who gets stuck with it." - Jimmy Fallon
  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 18,634
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    You ain't the only one who thinks that way, Jody. She had a wonderful voice. Never heard "The Magic" with her but have enjoyed her songs many a time. It is a shame she left us so soon. I would have loved to have seen her live.

    Tom
    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~