Description

This rig is the cumulation of building my system for over thirty-five years. The Threshold SA-1 monoblocks are true classics and still sound great powering the bass panels of the MG-20s!I love this system's combination of details,natural timbres,and soundstage. I sit about 14 feet off of the MG-20s so I get a great blossoming of the soundstage in a very real and natural way.I named the system "The sound of Jazz" because I'm a serious jazz buff who listens to swing,be-bop,hard-bop and soul-organ styles about 99.99% of the time! Most of my collection was recorded in analog so it has that organic/musical sonic sense to it which sounds great when played on this system. It's a wonderful treat on a daily basis tohear the great players in the history of Jazz play in my house.Nothing is like live music but this system gives a great illusion of the real thing.I can honestly say that my goal was to enjoy the beauty of music I love and this system allows me to do that, without feeling that I'm missing out on some important aspect of the experience of sound that we humans call music.
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Components Toggle details

    • MBL mbl 1621
    Silver and crome reference piece. Weighs over 80 pounds.
    • Concert Fidelity DAC-040
    Non up or over sampling DAC that uses NOS DAC chips and NOS tubes.
    • Concert Fidelity CF-080
    Hand built linestage built on the philosophy of having the shortest signal path possible.
    • Pass Labs XA-60.5 monoblocks
    The latest generation of the XA series amps.
    • Lawrence Audio Cello
    The Cello is a floorstanding five driver 3.5 design using Air Motion Transformer and ribbon drivers with Carbon fiber cones.
    • Martin Logan Depth I
    The Martin Logan Subs are designed to be able to intregate with panel speakers. The Depth uses three 8" drivers and goes down to 20HZ, but is fast and quick enought to blend with the MG-20's. I'm using two of them in my system
    • Stealth Cables Varidig Sextet Digital reference
    Designed to be a mate with the Indra reference. BNC to BNC connections.
    • Stealth Cables Indra
    The cable with the "infamous" amorphous conductor.
    • Stealth Cables Metacarbon
    A carbon with metal flakes cable that is Stealth's answer to the sonics of it's much more expensive Indra cable. Three pairs.
    • Stealth Cables Dream Petite & Ultimate Ribbon
    The Dream Petite is one step down from the reference Dream and the Ultimate Ribbon is used for the bass panel.
    • Running Springs Audio Dmitri
    This companies new reference AC power conditioner, along with their new HZ power cord.
    • Harmonix Studio Masters
    A total of seven Studio Masters power the system.

Comments 104

222222&text=et
Hey Teajay...was reading your post about Jay's Audio CDT-2 MK2 transport.... I thought it was your new reference unit but don't see it here ?
Did you replace it or just never updated this list ?

Just curious what you got now....

Thanks!

ether

Center
A great collection of equipment, I'm sure it sounds amazing. Thanks for posting and enjoy.

needfreestuff

222222&text=be
wow mbl 1621, big salute.

my mbl1621A just got out of singapore showroom today. really feeling different. waiting for it to arrive home. looking for a aes/ebu for it. now playing wadia16 vrds through nadM51 dac with my brother in laws wireworld platinum starlight aes. paralley transparent premium spdif is connected. yes i am along time transparent loyal user. my transparent spdif is not even close to wireworld starlight. starlight is bright but extreamly musical, extra ordinary 3d imaging, super channel separation between instrument, its main speciality to is the voice and ability of treble or high frequency handling, and lastly is very musical. really confuse why not should i buy the starlight over the transparent ref2 aes/ebu.

any sugestion for me, will be highly appreciable.
tc.

bengalfinch

222222&text=de
Congrats on your new speakers, going from your panels to these for sure will provide a different flavor.

Speakers alone being very personal

Now you will need to try some different amplification, cables etc.

The joys of this hobby!

Have you ever gone to WBF site, you should join. Lots of great info. along with members from hear, totally different than this site. You can put me down as a referal. www.whatsbestforum.com same monkier name.

dev

222222&text=te
Owner
System edited: Well, it took me close to 20 years to find a speaker that would really be an upgrade to my tweaked out bi-amped MG-20's! The Lawrence Audio Cello speakers are now my new reference in my system. For a detailed account of way I made this move you can go to the website that I'm a staff reviewer for, hometheaterreview.com,and take a look at what I heard/experienced with the Cello that lead me to make the change.

teajay

222222&text=te
Owner
Hi Anaudiophile,

Yes, for me it offers across the sonic spectrum higher performance. For details take a look at the review here on the GON that I wrote about that describes the differences in details.

teajay

222222&text=an
You got rid of acustic art DAC2 for the concert fidelity DAC? Is this new DAc a lot better than A.R? Thanks

anaudiophile

222222&text=te
Owner
System edited: After enjoying my AA reference Tube Hybrid DAC for over four years, I finally found a DAC that is clearly on another sonic level, the Concert Fidelity DAC-040. Just wrote a review on it and submitted AudioGon,so I hope they except my review. It will give the details why I made the move.

teajay

222222&text=te
Owner
Talk2me, thanks for your kind words regarding my writing here on the GON. Congrats on your new baby the CF-080 LS/X. I'm glad that you are totally enjoying it in your system. If you want E-mail me regarding the tubes that I have found out are really special in the CF-080, these revolve around 5814's, 5963's, and 6189's for details on the sonics of these tubes.

teajay

Great thread and reviews, thanks Teajay! I just bought a CF 080 LS/X, and am blown away by it's sonics. It absolutely kills my former BAT 52SE, McIntosh, Cary and Burmester 089 CDP used as a preamp. I am using it with a Burmester 911 MK3 and this combination is simply to die for. Any new updates and/or input?

talk2me

222222&text=te
Owner
Doggrell3000, to directly answer your question regarding if I have ever auditioned either tube power amp you are interested in is no. My position regarding powering my own rig is that I can get most of what I want from tubes with a great tube preamp in front of great SS amps. Therefore I by pass the hassles, retubing the power tubes, having to turn off the tube amps, the heat big tube amps generate, since I never turn my system off.

In my review I shared that my dear friend Mike Kay had the the ML-CLX's, he recently drove them with the new stereo Ensemble hybrid amp instead of monoblock tube amps and thought the combination was terrific sonicly. You might want to contact him for details and to set up an audition. This amp sells for around $10k, a lot less then the very fine tube monoblocks that you are interested in and might sound just as good if not better.

teajay

222222&text=do
teajay i read your martin logan clx review . thank you for writing such an informative piece . i am assembling a system around a pair of martin logan clx's with descent i subs . mine are made with black anodized aluminum frames with matching black subs . i am using a behringer pro studio monitor amp to drive the clx's . this is because i am now depleted of funds after buying the speakers and have been unable to drive them or listen to them with any well respected high end gear . so i have the clx's hooked up to my piano studio monitoring rig . ( the yamaha c5 piano sounds great through the clx's ). but my next addition will be a fine set of amps for the clx's . i have checked out the atma-sphere ma-2 otl monoblocks and the vac phi 300.1a's ( a pair running in monoblock mode ) . each of these very fine pairs of tube monoblocks will cost me 30 , 000 if i am lucky . have you auditioned the 240 watt per channel atma-sphere ma-2's or the 300 watt per channel vac phi 300.1a's ? i am trying to sample knowledgeable audiophiles such as yourself about these two respected amps prior to blowing as much money as it takes to drive a new honda accord . thanks for your valued feedback .

doggrell3000

222222&text=te
Owner
Doggrell3000, yes I have auditioned the ML-CLX's. Take a look at my review here on the GON.

teajay

222222&text=do
teajay have you auditioned the martin logan clx ?

doggrell3000

222222&text=de
Hi Teajay, congrats on your 1621a now we have the same, even the colour, now you need to compare those two Sextet digital cables we spoke about and let me know what your take is but make sure you get the latest XLR.

I haven't listened to my RedBook for some time now since I got my table set-up, absolutely no comparison to speak of. I'm in absolute awe and lovin it.

As you know I'm enjoying the VAC Sig. MK2A W/phono as I'm sure you are with you new CF pre, mine is still breaking in and hasn't reached the 400 hours others have spoken of but it sounds great, rest of the vinyl set-up is as follows;

TW-Acustic Raven One table
Graham Phantom MK2 arm
Dynavector XV-1s cart
Stealth Hyperphono cable, xlr to rca

Teajay I have never heard what I'm hearing now with this set-up in my system, across the entire sonic spectrum never mind how emotionally involving it is, stand up bass WOW! dynamics both micro and macro are just wild, vocals and mids are to die for and to boot my floor noise is quiet like you would think I'm listening to my RedBook.

I have been buying and buying records lately, got a new Loricraft PRC4 record cleaner also and was shocked with the difference it made listening to the same record after being cleaned never mind all the crap that's on them and I'm mostly buying new MoFi, Classic, Blue Note, some Decca and on. Basically buying the same record that I have in my cd collection that I enjoy, comparing the two formats well that's just a waste of time, not even one came close.

dev

222222&text=te
Owner
System edited: Just upgraded to the MBL 1621 reference from its baby brother the 1521. I knew it was going to be better, but I'm quite surprized how much better. The sonics across the board are at least 15 to 20 precent improved, the liquidity/warmth, the microdetails/transparency, image density, and finally the low end is much more extended and powerful. It's really a great sounding piece.

teajay

222222&text=te
Owner
System edited: No piece of equipment,including the CF-080, is the "BEST" in the world, but this linestage ranks with the best I have ever heard. It's my new reference replacing the Eklipse, which is still a great sounding linestage, but the CF-080 costs $15000.00 more then the Audiovalve piece.

teajay

222222&text=ac
Teajay - excellent system. I have enjoyed your component reviews over time and the one on the Audio Valve Eklipse led me to eventually purchasing one a short time ago - thanks for heads up on that one. Now I see that you found something that works better in your system and I am curious as to what you have found. Take care - Alan.

ackman00

Teajay: Greaaaaattt System !!! Our philosophies about system approach agree. Tubes up front, smooth, slightly warm, dynamic transistors, as the anchors. Kudos......J.C.

baggs1

222222&text=te
Owner
Hi, Barry if you take a look at my review of the XA-60.5's it explains that they power my 20's much better then the XA100's, at best the XA-100's were putting out 50 watts at four oms. The XA-60.5's double down as impedence drops so they are putting out 120 watts with much more current. So, no I have no problems playing at 90/95dB levels into a very large room.

I totally agree with what you say about Grant's great stands, I have them and also wrote a review of them here on the GON that he uses on his website.

teajay

222222&text=ba
Teajay very nice system. Curious about the Pass Lab XA60.5 used for the mid-tweets of the 20s. Are you finding enough power -do the meters move much at say 90-95dB listening levels? I'm thinking about using them on the top (I'm bi/tri-amped)of my 3.6Rs.

You really should get the Mye stands as they don't just clean up the bass - you'll get better resolution everywhere. And they're cheap!

Kind regards, Barry

barrysandy

222222&text=cr
Thanks for the reply Teajay, it was very helpful. I'm gonna try them and post my findings in a new thread.

crisbrav

222222&text=te
Owner
Crisbrav, I have never tried any Virtual Dynamics cables/wires in my system. However a very good audiophile friend replaced all his VD cables with a combination of Stealth Indras, Metacarbons, and Dream speaker wires/power cords because he thought they were superior sonicly to the VD wires and were much more manageable to use then the VD.

teajay

222222&text=cr
Hi teajay, nice system! I was wondering if you have any experience with Virtual Dynamics cables. I have a Genesis 1.1 XLR (that I like very much) and 2 Revelation 2.0 PC. I'd like to know how the Stealth Metacarbon compare to the Genesis or other VD cable you might know. I'd like to use a more "user friendly" cable. The Genesis is too stiff and heavy. TIA, Cristiano.

crisbrav

222222&text=te
Owner
Hi, Kevin thanks for the kind remarks regarding my system. When we built are new house, which is a post and beam{over 30 posts and beams}totally open design with 30 foot ceilings, it turned out to be a great acoustic environment for my system. I'm far enough from the sidewalls, frontwall, and backwall that I get no nulls or peaks as far as I can tell.

I have heard the Berkeley DAC in a high end system that I was familiar with music I brought,thought it quite good, but not better then my AA DAC. Also, have auditioned the PS Audio music wave transport and DAC, again very good on redbook which is the most important to me, but not the as good as the AA DAC and MBL transport.

teajay

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