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Peter heads to Brazil…

Posted by November 15th, 2013

Heathrow is not the easiest of places to get to on a Friday evening as anyone who’s tried it will know. Last Friday (the 1st November) was not good, with a section of the M25 near the M1 junction closed due to an accident, so I made my way from Leicester west on the M69 and then down the M40 past Oxford and High Wycombe. Then another accident meant I had to drop down on to the M4 and I finally arrived at Heathrow after 3 ½ hours driving. I’d allowed plenty of time thankfully, and by 9:30pm I was on my way to Sao Paulo.

The flight was 12 ½ hours and I arrived not long after sunrise at 7:00am local time. By 8:00am I’d found my Taxi and I was on my way to my first client.

Sao Paulo is a huge city with a population of over 11 Million and a further 8 Million living in the greater metropolitan area, so I was glad the driver knew where he was going! After an hour or so in the Taxi I arrived at my first client’s home.


After some much needed coffee and breakfast I set to work updating the LP12 with an Ekos Se, Keel and a wonderful Ebony Chris Harban plinth. After a couple of hours it was ready to play again, and I spent the remainder of the day getting the best out of the rest of the system; A Parasound preamp with matching mono power amplifiers and B&W 802 loudspeakers. By the late afternoon I was happy everything was performing to its best and so I retired to my hotel for a well earned rest before dinner.

The following day (Sunday) I was treated to a great time sightseeing around the city; visiting the Mercadao (a huge under cover market). The Museum of Art where there were many wonderful works of art from Rubens and Picasso to Lucian Freud. I was also able to take a walk around part of the city and take in the sights near the museum and Paulista Avenue.

Brazil_2 Brazil_3

En route to the domestic airport we checked out the Hotel Unique and the Skye bar where there were some fantastic views across this great city.

The flight from Sao Paulo to Rio de Janeiro is quite an experience with both airports having limited runways for take-off and landings! My only regret is that I flew into Rio Santos Dumont Airport at night, as I believe the view flying in and the plane banking hard to turn and line up on the runway less than a minute before landing would have been great to experience in daylight. I was pre-warned about this, and so the heavy breaking and reverse thrust to slow the plane quickly as the runway is quite short was expected!


The following day Monday was for me the highlight of my trip as the weather forecast was that cloud would increase during the afternoon, so we made the best of the weather and went sightseeing first and before working on the LP12 and system. The cable car up to the Sugarloaf Mountain was fantastic. The view is beyond spectacular. One really has to go to experience it, and once on top I watched a number of planes flying past beneath my position and landing at Santos Dumant. Quite a ride!

Taking the subway across the city and then a cog train up the mountain we were then taken to near the foot of the statue of Christ the redeemer. Climbing the final steps in the cool air is probably the best preparation for the view that awaits you.

I’m guessing, but I think I had a view of over 25 miles – Just an incredible and unforgettable experience.

Brazil_5 Brazil_6

The next day (Tuesday) it was cloudy and raining, but that didn’t matter, and the day was given over to rebuilding a nice black Aro LP12 with a Radikal and Tiger Paw Elevator. Plus the resident Naim system was re-built with the boxes slightly re-deployed and the cables properly dressed and this produced a very pleasing sound through the Kudos C2 loudspeakers.


My final day’s weather was not so good either, but we did some sightseeing around the city in the rain during the morning and returned to the apartment for final listening tests and tweaking that lasted into the evening and until my Taxi to the airport arrived. Rio at night, in the rain and traffic – Quite an experience getting through some gridlocked streets and although I don’t speak much Portuguese and he didn’t speak much English we managed pretty well for the hour and a half it took to struggle to the airport. In the end, I think he was as relived as I to make it to the terminal and with an extended shake of the hands he headed off back into the traffic and the rain and I was ready for my flight home.

Allot to achieve in the time, but all went to plan. Five days with four nights in Brazil and a further two on the plane. But most importantly, two more happy clients, and a very happy Peter. I had a really fantastic time. Thank you gentlemen.

Kind regards


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Peter Swain

Peter Swain is the owner and founder of Cymbiosis. He has been in the Hi-Fi Industry over 35 years and spends much of his time tweaking turntables, setting up systems and is involved with every part of Cymbiosis life.

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