Recovering from emotional drowning just in the nick of time to avoid flat-lining myself, I was shocked to discover a second IRS V setup in another room, this one driven from a Shanling T-100 and a pair of restored conrad-johnson tube monoblocks.

As in the other system, Gingko Audio platforms were used throughout, with a fancy dust cover protecting the gleam of the Shanling.

In a third room still on the same floor, we discovered a smaller Infinity system with a motorized James Brown figurine which Loretta sneakily spooked into action whereupon it burst into a hilarious rendition of "Ah feel goood".

Upstairs and next to the 'museum' room, Bill demonstrated the only pair of Acoustat 1+1s with Magneplanar ribbons on the planet. He'd installed wings on either side of the panels, with the inside portions occupied by the Maggie ribbons, the outsides ones filled with sand to optimize wave launch stability. The presentation was phenomenally coherent and the bass beyond belief, completely putting to shame so-called full-range Martin-Logans. Something wicked was going on in this household. Every system sounded truly excellent, as though Bill -- despite his protestations to the contrary -- was a true HighEnd wizard. More likely though? He hasn't been infected with any of our communal audiophile cockamamie. He simply has a truly fine ear and an intuitive's uncanny knack for how to improve upon a design in the mechanical domain. That's yet another reason not to give out his contact details. We cannot have the washed hordes of audiophilia overrun his place and sully Billie's apparent innocence. But there was still one more system to be heard, this in many ways the most mind-boggling since we were talking ancient Fisher speakers which, albeit reconditioned, were still in stock form and should have sounded - well, old-fashioned. Even Bill confided how they shocked the bejeesus out of him when he first fired them up, indicating that when fed with modern good-quality components -- this included a second Baron -- even long-in-the-tooth speaker designs can be far superior to what one might expect.

Rattled and entertained, impressed and saturated, fed by Loretta with an excellent fish pasta followed by warm pie and ice cream, we thought the time had come to say good-bye and continue on to visit with Lloyd & Felicia Walker. That's when our hosts pulled the ultimate stunt and moved their 1954 Packard out of the garage. What's more, Billie then offered me a ride and off we were careening through his hood in the ultimate bat mobile sans springs but with an ingenious link-rod suspension. The beast shifted into 2nd gear at 60mph, thrives at 100mph on the freeway and sports breaks that don't require cautious anticipation of every red light from a block away. Not being a car buff by any stretch, I simply didn't know that a 50-year old V-8 could pack such grunt and modern handling under its long nose. (Likewise, most audiophile virgins have absolutely no idea about how good audio can be.) Loretta and Bill routinely embark on impromptu Packard road trips without knowing where they're going. Still, they always end up on some magical adventure regardless. If we had Blue Moon Awards for cars, their Packard would get one in a heartbeat. What a blast from the past. Back to the future!

No, this ain't it yet despite the derriere being quite impressive.

And though very cool, this wall sculpture of a dyed record and tone arm or the mint 7591-based McIntosh MC-225 stereo amp ain't it either.

Let's temporarily kiss the world of audio good-bye to properly admire this four-wheeled cruise missile. Bill and Loretta once owned a second turquoise Packard with black roof and belly. But living in NYC at the time, garaging became an insurmountable challenge and they sold it to an aficionado who drives and cherishes it to this day.

Bill added that this Packard 400 represents the mechanically most ingenious and advanced design he's come across in his entire life yet. Being a mechanical genius in his own right, this speaks volumes. New ain't always better when it's designed with deliberate obsolescence in mind. Put differently, they did know how to design and build truly good shit way back when. The same holds true for audio if you know where to look. Our own Steve Marsh will shortly report on how a classic Marantz amp compares to an ultra-modern Red Rose Music variant. Keep your mighty engine idling.

Showing us multiple compendiums of collected customer feedback, it became clear that Bill LeGall is considered the equivalent of a national treasure by those who do business with him. Count the two of us amongst his newest admirers. That includes Loretta. Thanks to Vinh Vu for introducing us, and to our charming hosts for spending their entire Saturday afternoon with two complete strangers. Alas, it didn't feel at all like a meeting between strangers. It was more like catching up with some long-lost friends. Wicked synchronicity, that...