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Welcome to Connoisseur Corner - Luxe Consulting and Executive Services

Marty Feldmann, The Connoisseur, is the highly sought after consultant who assists businesses and individual clients with the acquisition of the finer things life has to offer. Whether you are planning a weekend getaway to wine country, selecting audio equipment to outfit your home, planning your dream vacation or purchasing your ultimate transportation, Marty is your personal connection to the good life…

Marty can be contacted at: 916.952.9529 Marty@ConnoisseurCorner.com

6/26/17

New BMW X3 Gen 3 – G01 Madness...!



BMW’s mid-size SUV… er… they call it SAV for “Sports Activity Vehicle” (semantics) is now available for public consumption. 

The “G01” in BMW geek-speak (a factory production code) is the third generation of the X3, which first debuted in 2003.  The first generation was frankly a bit of an ugly duckling both inside and out, but sold well regardless.  Gen 2 represented a substantial improvement aesthetically as well as a notch above in engineering quality.  Gen 3 appears to be fairly evolutionary on the exterior design changes, but further develops interior design and build quality in good ways!

Slightly larger in size (no third-row seating here) but lighter in weight, the X3 will initially come with two gas-fed motors in the States.  The base X3 is propelled by BMWs ubiquitous 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged powerplant, exuding 248 horsepower and scooting to 60 mph in about 6 seconds.  A step up the performance ladder takes you to the X3 M40i specification and adds 2 more cylinders.  Power climbs to 335 ponies and yields a 60 mph sprint in 4.6 seconds...!
Zippy…!

An eyeball scan of the exterior reveals a substantially larger rendition of BMW’s trademark twin kidney grill, which will likely be the remodel’s most polarizing feature.  Headlight and aero treatments are evolutionary, and the side profile and rear design notes are a touch more athletic in appearance. 
The interior is where my retina is most impressed.  Cleaner and more current in flow and appearance, the design manages to include all of the latest tech gizmodery that BMW saw fit to include.  This includes the newest iteration of iDrive, complete with a 10.25-inch touchscreen and the usual wheel and button controls, not to mention available gesture-control. 

Woohoo..!
You also can opt for the latest safety nannies, including adaptive cruise control, cross-traffic alert, collision mitigation, coffee spill assistance…   (kidding on that last one!) 

Overall, I give a thumbs up to this 3rd generation 3 of the X variety.  If it drives as well as it looks, BMW will have a straight hit on its hands…!  This buggy should compete well with Benz’s GLC, Audi’s Q5 and any other mid-size luxe-ute you care to name.
Prices have not been set, but expect the usual bump over the outgoing model.  The G01 X3 will populate US showrooms in November…



Marty Feldmann, The Connoisseur, is the highly sought after consultant who assists businesses and individual clients with the acquisition of the finer things life has to offer.  Whether you are planning a weekend getaway to wine country, selecting audio equipment to outfit your home, planning your dream vacation or purchasing your ultimate transportation, Marty is your personal connection to the good life…
Marty can be contacted at:   916.952.9529    Marty@ConnoisseurCorner.com


6/25/17

The Dynaudio Special 40 – Celebrating 40 Years of Speaker Excellence!




Danish speaker company Dynaudio had been around for a minute.  40 years’ worth of minutes, to be exact. 

One can almost think of Dynaudio as an old-guard speaker manufacturer, as they have had great success in the professional audio, car audio and certainly the home audio markets for quite some time.  Over the years the company has continued to refine their craft, known for their top-quality drivers and furniture-grade speaker cabinets.

So now it’s time for a birthday celebration!
Marking this auspicious occasion, the Danes have released the Special Forty, a two-way stand-mounted monitor with several technical advancements on an already impressive audio pedigree.

The configuration basics...?  This is a two-say stand mounted speaker, consisting of a 28mm tweeter and 17cm woofer.  The cabinet measures 7.8" wide by 14.2" tall and 12.7" deep, and weights in at just under 18 lbs.

And now for the special sauce...!

Let’s start with the new Esotar Forty tweeter.  This precision-coated soft-dome driver sports improvements to the neodymium magnet, reflection-absorbing materials and speaker airflow.  The result is a robust design producing in Dynaudio’s words a “tighter, more controlled and more honest performance”.  The engineers were also able to lower the tweeter’s frequency response, which improves the sonic pairing with the woofer.
Oh, and about that woofer…

Dynaudio exalts this as their best-ever 17cm woofer.  Strong words coming from these guys!  Improvements to construction and materials provide optimized control of the driver’s excursion-symmetry – the control of the speaker. 
Better sound…!

The crossover between the two drivers is a first-order design, which Dynaudio has used and refined for many years.  The speaker improvements allowed for a high level of optimization in the crossover circuit design.
Again…   better sound!

Top everything off with two Special 40 exclusive finishes available for purchase; high-gloss lacquered Grey Birch or Red Birch in cross-cut sandwiched veneers.  Stunning, of course…
Available this fall and priced at $2,999.00/pair, these Danish delights will please your ears for years to come.  I can’t wait to see what they do on their 50th...!

Cheers...!


Marty Feldmann, The Connoisseur, is the highly sought after consultant who assists businesses and individual clients with the acquisition of the finer things life has to offer.  Whether you are planning a weekend getaway to wine country, selecting audio equipment to outfit your home, planning your dream vacation or purchasing your ultimate transportation, Marty is your personal connection to the good life…
Marty can be contacted at:   916.952.9529    Marty@ConnoisseurCorner.com



6/4/17

The Kimpton Gray - Chicago’s New Jewel


The hustle and bustle of Chicago’s Financial District.  Can one actually rest, relax and recharge in such a place?

The answer is yes…!  The reason is Kimpton’s newest Windy City property, the Gray! 

As with many things “Chicago”, there is history here…
History and hotels?


Indeed, I say!  In 1894, one William Le Baron Jenney built the New York Life Insurance Building in downtown Chicago.  Mr. Le Baron Jenney happens to be known as the “Father of the American Skyscraper”, due to pioneering use of metal-framed construction.  In 2006 the building was named a Chicago Historic Landmark.  2014 arrived, and the Kimpton folks acquired the building, launching a 2 ½ year project to restore much of the marble walls and flooring, exterior terracotta surfacing and the historic windows.  Oh, and they converted the building to a hotel along the way. 
293 rooms and 14,000 sq/ft of meeting space later, you have one special hotel…!  You feel the history dripping from the architecture when you arrive.   Combined with tasteful, contemporary styling, the overall vibe has a casual energy, perfect for the Chicago Loop. 

Hunger and thirst pangs are covered by three excellent venues.  15 floors up is Boleo, home to South American inspired bites and a top-notch bar.  Don’t forget the retractable roof – they don’t open this in December!  Ground level has Steadfast, a restaurant with a plush vibe serving highly-crafted seasonal American cuisine.  The third locale, and my personal favorite is Vol. 39.  A dark, high-ceilinged room on the 2nd floor provides a great place to relax with your favorite craft beverage and snack.  The highlight here is the use of several hundred original law books that were found on the premises and restored to pristine condition. 

Amenities on premises also include a fitness center, and Petrosino’s Parlor, home of a pampering Spa and Salon.  No relaxation problems here...!  Even the guest rooms are well thought out, bringing a bit of swank teamed with abundant comfort and convenience. 

Let’s top this off with a courteous, energetic staff – no stuffiness here – and the Kimpton Gray is truly remarkable! 
What’s with that “Gray” name anyway?

All of that beautiful and painstakingly restored marble happens to be of the Georgia Gray variety, thus the applied moniker.  Kudos to Kimpton for the excellent restoration…
If you’re headed to the Windy City and are looking to camp in the Loop, I highly recommend a stop at the Kimpton Gray.  Chicago’s new jewel…! 

Cheers!

Marty Feldmann, The Connoisseur, is the highly sought after consultant who assists businesses and individual clients with the acquisition of the finer things life has to offer.  Whether you are planning a weekend getaway to wine country, selecting audio equipment to outfit your home, planning your dream vacation or purchasing your ultimate transportation, Marty is your personal connection to the good life…
Marty can be contacted at:   916.952.9529    Marty@ConnoisseurCorner.com