Ed Yoon has a job many music fans and players would covet. He’s chief operating officer of high-end electric guitar maker and distributor Strandberg Guitars USA in Riverside, California. As you might guess from his line of work, he’s a major audiophile. And his office setup makes a lot of noise to that effect.
OK, not “noise.” Beautiful music.
Even before the pandemic, Yoon had been working a lot from home to manage the company’s operations. Then, as COVID-19 spread, remote work became the norm. Unlike most of us, he needed more than just a desk and a computer with decent speakers. He had to have mind-blowing audio.
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It took him some time to add all the different components to develop the system he enjoys now. The main thing, he said, was grafting the high-end audio system onto the Mac rig, based around a 16-inch MacBook Pro with 32 GB of RAM and 2 TB of storage.
Only great sound inspires an audiophile
Yoon says his office setup is as much an audiophile system for music enjoyment as it is a workspace. Part of his work involves evaluating musicians and their music, so he strives to use the best audio gear he can afford.
“I have always wanted a high-end audiophile system, as I’m a very passionate music fan. But I wanted something compact — a desktop system integrated with the Mac and digital music,” Yoon told Cult of Mac. “It helps to have a high-end system driven from my MacBook Pro using Qobuz streaming and the Audirvana [Remote] music app.”
He said the system makes him more productive and inspires him at the same time, because he can enjoy music with the highest levels of fidelity.
Hot tracks, scorching views — and overworked fans
As with many solid setups, there’s plenty of harmony and maybe one or two sour notes.
Yoon said he loves the huge amount of screen space he gets from the 27-inch LG UltraFine 5K and 32-inch LG Ultra HD monitors. And he savors the world-class audio he gets with a Chord Electronics’ digital-to-analog converter and TTOBY stereo power amplifier. Yoon also uses Buchardt S400 speakers and Audeze LCD-4 planar magnetic headphones.
But it’s not all soaring guitar solos and thunderous bass. The one thing Yoon doesn’t like in his setup is the amount of heat all the equipment generates and the need to use fans to keep things cool — especially the MacBook Pro.
The furniture? An afterthought, really
In the interest of great sound, Yoon’s office is acoustically treated with Auralex studio foams on the walls and bass traps in the corners.
His chair is an old Herman Miller Classic with a headrest added, which he has had for many years. Never one to spend much on furniture — which might divert money from the audio toys — he just needs it to fit in with the important stuff, meaning the items that generate or improve sound.
Shop these items now:
- MacBook Pro 16-inch 32 GB RAM and 2 TB storage (1TB product at link)
- CalDigit TS3+ Thunderbolt 3 Dock
- Apple Extended Keyboard and Magic Trackpad 2
- LG UltraFine 27-inch 5K monitor
- LG UltraHD 32-inch 4K monitor
- 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2020 with Apple Magic Keyboard for iPad and Apple Pencil
- reMarkable 2 writing and note-taking tablet
- Chord Electronics Hugo M Scaler (audio upsampling device)
- Chord Electronics Hugo TT2 DAC/preamp and headphone amp
- Chord Electronics TToby 100-watt stereo power amp
- Buchardt S400 speakers
- Moon Audio USB, digital audio, XLR and speaker cables
- Audeze LCD-4 planar magnetic headphones
If you would like to see your setup featured on Cult of Mac, send some high-res pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide a detailed list of your equipment. Tell us what you like or dislike about your setup, and fill us in on any special touches or challenges.