Audiophile Sound Systems, Home Theater, Computer Audio - Purchasing and Upgrades.


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Resorts, Hotels, Restaurants, Destinations.

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Design, Appliances, Knives, Entertaining.

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


The Odd Couple: Bowmore’s Mizunara Cask Finish

Today’s random information…  Mizunara is a type of Japanese oak tree.  “Nara” referring to Japanese oak and “mizu” meaning water.  Wood from this particular oak contains a high amount of moisture, thus the name.  A stout wood with a striking grain pattern, Mizunara oak is widely used in furniture, flooring and various utensils.
What in the world does this have to do with single-malt scotch…?  Absolutely nothing…!

Or does it…?
One Iain McCallum, who at the time was the blending team leader at the Bowmore distillery, was inspired to go out on a limb… 

Japanese oak, that is… 
After a great deal of effort, McCallum was able to secure barrels of the oak and have them shipped 6,000 miles to Islay.  Once in house, a batch of Bowmore’s bourbon and sherry-aged whiskies were finished in the Japanese oak for a bit over three years.  Total aging is reported to be approximately 25 years for the spirit, but Bowmore has not listed it on the bottles.

Ready for consumption, only 2,000 bottles are now available for purchase. 
So, what’s it like…?

The scotch hits you first with a nose of fresh spice and a mellow, honeyed-sweetness.  A taste brings along that spice, as well as woody, smoky qualities and floral notes.  Even a hint of mango resides on the finish.  It is all tied together with a certain creaminess that you won’t find elsewhere, another byproduct of the aging in Mizunara.
Is the single-malt connoisseur intrigued?  You should be!  Track a bottle down now and cut that check for $1,000.  You won’t be sorry…



Point 8 Amplifier What? Pass Labs Pt.2

I recently introduced you to Nelson Pass, amplifier architect par excellence and founder of Pass Labs.  Today we’ll chat about the items coming forth from the Pass Labs team.

Music, I say…

Well…  Pass Labs doesn’t make music, rather they make equipment that brings music to your ears.  Amplifiers, preamps, integrated amplifiers, phono stages, blenders (kidding on that one!), even a recently introduced headphone amplifier are all part of an extensive lineup of products.  Nelson is the guiding force behind the amplifiers, while longtime collaborator Wayne Colburn is the creative lead for the preamps and phono stages. 
As I examined the Pass gear during a recent factory tour, it became clear all of the products, from the diminutive HPA-1 headphone amplifier to the dual chassis Xs 300 mono amplifier powerhouse, are designed with a singular vision and built with a degree of craftsmanship, commitment and teamwork that can be rare to find.

And now for some Point 8
The history goes like this:  The Pass Labs “X” Series of amplifiers came to market in 1996 initially with the X1000.  The numerical value was indeed a power rating, as this was a 1,000-watt Class AB mono-block design.  This was followed by the X600 mono and the X350, X250 and X150 stereo amps.  Fully Class A amplifiers were added to the X Series in the form of the XA200 and XA160.  

With Nelson and crew always tinkering and looking to find improvements in circuits and sound, the first updates to the X Series began rolling out in 2005 as the Point 5 Series.  Think X150.5 and so on…
Sure enough, innovation and fine-tuning continued at the Pass Labs HQ, and out popped the Point 8 amplifiers in 2014.  Improvements were made to the input, voltage gain and output stages of the amplifiers, much of which was trickled-down from the state-of-the-art Xs amplifiers that debuted in 2012.  The result of this work in Nelson’s words:  “…amplifiers that invite you into the music.”

The current lineup consists of the X150.8, X250.8, X350.8 Class AB stereo amps, X260.8 and X600.8 Class AB mono amps, XA30.8 Class A stereo amp and the XA60.8, XA100.8, XA160.8 and XA200.8 Class A mono amps. 
Do these Point 8 amplifiers truly invite you into the music…?  Do they make you smile, make you dance, or maybe bring a tear to the eye?  Stay tuned for my review of the Pass Labs X250.8 stereo amp and I will share my results…

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


Shot Scope Band for the Cyber Golfer

Technology gets everywhere these days, doesn’t it…?  Even the relaxing game of golf is not immune from intrusion.

Wait a minute… Who said golf was relaxing?

Scotland-based startup Shot Scope Technologies just couldn’t leave well enough alone and believes you need more data in your golf-infused life.  After all, you are on a never-ending quest to lower those scores! 
Here’s how this clever little system works:  Start with the club tags.  You get a set of 20 uniquely labeled tags that are inserted into the grip of each of your clubs.  Don’t forget the putter...!  The tags only weigh 1.2 grams, so no worries about your swing getting all catawampus!  

Next up is the wrist band.  Put it on when you head out to the links and then forget about it.  It communicates with the club tags and records all the data as you go, using GPS technology. 
After the round, upload your data to the smartphone app or your computer and crunch numbers at your whim.  Statistics for each club, putting accuracies, course analysis... the possible analytics are nearly endless. 

This could be the golf nerd’s Nirvana…!
Certainly a worthy investment for those serious about analyzing their game.  You can reserve your gear online for delivery before the product hits stores.


Rolls-Royce Cocktail Hamper… Oh Yeah!

It has become apparent to me that the folks at Rolls-Royce really want my business...

Never mind the extravagant, hand crafted luxury land yachts.  Never mind the champagne coolers and stemware or the custom-fitted luggage.  The crafty craftsmen at Goodwood are tugging at my heartstrings with the newly introduced, limited edition Cocktail Hamper...!

Shaken or stirred…?
You can do either/or, as all of the mixology implements one could ever need are included.  Ice bucket, shaker, strainer, paring knife, tongs… the list goes on.  These are all bespoke, hand-made items.  And let’s not overlook the hand-blown platinum rimmed cocktail glasses by Theresienthal, not to mention some properly British cotton napkins. 

As with all things “Roller”, the Cocktail Hamper is meticulously hand-crafted.  The process takes eight weeks to complete, and includes niceties such as American Walnut Wood and Natural Grain Leather.
And now for the bad news…

Only 15 of these hampers will be made, all in the name of exclusivity.  I highly recommend getting your order in now!  And don’t forget to cut that check for $46,300…


Amanera – The Dominican’s Hot New Resort

Founded in 1988, Aman Resorts has become one of my favorite brands in the luxury boutique resort world.   They really “get it”, and know how to blend the correct ingredients of location, service, luxury, design and amenities that produce top-shelf intimate and relaxing resorts.

The newest gem from the peaceful ones (Aman is the Sanskrit word for peace) is located on the Dominican Republic’s northern Green Coast.

Introducing Amanera
Opened this past November, a short hour drive from Puerto Plata airport and you arrive at your own paradise overlooking the sands of Playa Grande. 

The ingredients for Amanera are as follows:
24 casitas and a 2-bedroom casa are perched atop a 60-foot cliff overlooking the beach.  All are designed with an indoor-outdoor aesthetic and many include a private pool.  Your view will be spectacular...!

Dining is handled by the main resort restaurant with a second story bar above.  You can also grub at Club de Playa on the beach, or at the Clubhouse restaurant at Playa Grand Golf Course.  The course itself is a 7,085-yard Robert Trent Jones design, with 10 holes directly on the coastline. 
If golf is not your thing, you can always kayak, kiteboard, hike, fish, or one of numerous other options.  Hmmm…  I think I will just sink my toes in the sand and soak up some rays while quaffing a nice rum beverage.  I would of course be remiss if I forgot to mention the spa and their relaxing and rejuvenating therapies.  Maybe some yoga on the beach at sunrise is your ticket.

Rates start at $950.00/night and climb from there.  Pick your dates, make your reservation and prepare to relax.  You will indeed find… peace…