The first thing I thought of when I saw the title of your thread was that Fabio system in Stereophile a few years ago! I enjoyed looking at the pictures, but thought the whole thing, esp. all the marble floors in his CA palace, was ridiculous. Since then, Stereophile regularly shows the stereo systems of the musicians/composers it interviews and without fail they are all dinky non-audiophile systems. Patricia Barber has a boom box or something, w/a pair of Proac Tablettes at least. I'm not sure celebrities' systems will provide you with much to write about. Like most people, they don't particularly care about great sound. As long as some kind of sound comes out, they are satisfied. If you can dig up other rich people who happen to crave great sound--now, that would be a good article! Maybe some of the dot.com youngsters in CA and various other locales.
Sc53, you are probably right about the majority of celebrities not caring about or delving into the world of high-end sound. Fabio's system is probably the exception (marble floors great for sound, eh!), but there must be a few closet audiophiles here and there, even among well-known presonalities. It might be fun to try to seek them out and do some articles.
I figured if that didn't pan out I could go the route that you suggested and maybe do features on systems of well-heeled audiophiles. I'm just trying to get some ideas together right now, so your suggestions and everyone elses are quite welcome. Thanks :)
I may get hammered by the masses on this and as well, please don't allow my opinion to in any way discourage you, Plato, but in light of most reactions or lack of same from our so-called "celebrities" in response to recent observations they haven't shown the same zeal for speaking out on behalf of the best interest of the 9/11 victims' families as they did for securing their share of the limelight/quintessential PR opportunity; questioning for example why so much of the money THEY solicited under the premise it was going to the "families" is now by the various charities' own admissions, earmarked in all sorts of directions having nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11...why so little of the money has yet to find its way to the needy "families," and perhaps the most RIDICULOUS of all, how and why the September 11th Fund has issued a grant of $171,000 to aid 8 individuals currently being held in connection to 9/11 I must say I find myself at this time wholly turned off to anything and everything associated with these folks. For that matter, IMHO, even absent the above issue, I really couldn't care less about celebrities' audio systems. I'd find hearing more about the everyday guys'/gals' systems infinitely more compelling and in particular hearing about those who've accomplished more with less, as opposed to elite, high ticket gear ensembles. If anything, I HAVE been entertained/intrigued finding the occasional article written about the audio systems owned by MUSICIANS and in general, hearing their take on the subject of music reproduction. I think THEY bring something of genuine substance to the table. I think it can be quite absorbing to hear what the talented folks who actually BRING us the music happen to like/dislike or are seeking to achieve in a system in the production/reproduction of a particular recording, etc., etc.
I don't think many famous people are into audio, I recall seeing Alan Parson system which consitst of a marantz(basic) CD player, yamaha turn table and Gale speaker ON THE FLOOR, behind a piano. Not what I would consider 'high-fi', I would rather see the systems of the infamous members here, such as Cornfedboy, Sean, Albertporter....the list could go on. I would rather see the rooms and the gear of those who are into this hobby for the music, not for money(endorsments). Just the way I feel though I may be alone here, interesting thought though.
I love watching MTV's "Cribs" for this reason. Most "musicians" that are on MTV have poor, poor systems. One of the backstreet boys showed off his "over the top" Onkyo/Pioneer system...it was a joke. One of the other boys from that band did have a fairly decent Krell KAV/B&W based home theater... Tommy Lee looked to have a system with mostly Meridian gear, although I couldn't tell very well.
I very much enjoy watching for hi-fi in Movies. Terrible movies especially. In the recent movie "Loser" (which is TERRIBLE), four dorm-mates have a pair of Martin Logans up against the wall in this cramped bedroom...powered by an Aiwa Boombox. In "What Lies Beneath," Harrison Ford owns a fairly standard system made up of McIntosh gear, as does Jack Nickolson in "As good as it gets." The best system I've ever seen in a movie, though, has to be Mel Gibson's in "What Women Want." Although there's two of everything on his rack (Half a no.32 preamp, and a no.380 as well), it's a well set up Levinson/Revel system (obviously a madrigal add, but I wouldn't mind owning this system). Cheers!
I believe Michael Jordan has a pair of Wilson Watt speakers. I dont know what his assosiated equipment is. It is interesting seeing what gear gets thrown into movies and tvs. The FRIENDS males also have a small Logan speaker. Ive seen a LINN turntable in a tv commercial. I believe Kim Cattrall from Sex in the City is now married to Mark Levinson, you could do a before and after system. Maybe she owned a Krell based rig and now has a nice Cello/Red Rose ensemble.
I noticed that in "What Women Want" as well, the system was what made me watch the movie more then once!! Also there is an OK Martin Logan set up in "The Skulls" in Paul Walkers dorm room.
Guys, thank you for your comments and the tips on the systems featured in the movies. I seem to remember being impressed with Mel Gibson's rig in "What Women Want". I'll have to go back and watch that again. All of you have given me some food for thought and a couple of ideas to consider.
maybe if more famous people were interested in high end, more people would buy high end audio. i think it could be good for the hobby. i wonder what arnold has. if fabio had a giant rug and some tube research, he would never leave home.
OK ... who really cares. I'd file any such article in the same round receptacle that I'd put Robin Leach and his antics. Fabio's house, pets, stereo, pool, kitchen, cars and LIFE have no influence on me, nor does any other celeb. I looked at the pictures of his system ... laughed and went on to the letters and recording's sections.
On the subject of musicians and their systems I have two cents to give. When I hear music I love, it mattters not if it comes from a $50k system or a clock radio, the music will still move me emotionally. I think that you'll find that musicians (myself included) are SO emotionally connected to the music that the sound is whip cream on the sundae and not the other way around, as many audiophiles seem to have it.
Actrually the post abouve about the MTV cribs is a good one, i have seen alot of junk but there was this one time someone had some revel speakers, dunno what other stuff.. and i forget who had em... lol..I know theres more but they dont show it for more than 3 seconds..i saw a some creek gear in one show also.
I think this has been done already. Check out the magazine "Audio Video Interiors". They showcase the audio system and home theater setups of homes of the rich and famous. Some of the homes are owned by non-famous wealthy people, others are owned by celebrities who the magazine names. They also give a plug for the installer, and explain how they built the system into the home. Some of the systems are definitely high-end (Mark Levinson, Lamm, Wilson), while others seem to be a hodge-podge of high-end gear and mass market stuff (Krell amps and Pioneer DVD changers kind of thing). I find the magazine interesting because I get to see what a money-is-no-object approach looks like. I take some of those ideas (the ones I can afford) for my own home theater. Check it out.
Also, while everyone is one the subject of movies: what's the turntable used in Tomb Raider? (the one she used while doing the bungy-ballet). And could anyone see the speakers? As a side note, someone on that movie's sound team did a high quality soundtrack transfer right there (as opposed to the rest of the movie which was recorded at an obscenely low level in comparison to other movies), because the piano she is listening to really shines beyond the typical home theater mix.
Don't forget (although most of us have) about the Krell system that the prostitute stoll from the dork that acted opposite Sandra Bullock in "Love Potion #9." It was mildly amusing that a lab-rat (as he was portrayed as) could afford all those Krell pieces at such a young age.
It would be a good coffee table book for sure, a few years ago my brother and his friend published a book about band names and how they came about, or what they meant, like the new yard birds was Led Zepplins original name untill Keith Moon said the band would go over like a lead zepplin..stuff like that, it was a cool book.
A book about the origins of band names would be a helluva lot more interesting to me than a book about celebrities' audio systems.
When I visited Thiel Audio,Shari shared with me Janet Jackson ordered a pair 2.4's in custom pink finish.
She also told me, Jerry Seinfeld ordered 3 pair of 2.4's in custom chrome finish to have in his car garage..no lie