Description

This is my music system which has been evolving for over 30 years.

Have had many different components of many styles. Have learned that synergy is everything and you have to trust your ears, not reviews.

Also I've had had these systems in over half a dozen listening rooms. I've spent many hours working on room treatments and setup and believe the room is the most important component.

Vinyl is spinning about 70% of the time (Used to be 90% vinyl, but digital changes have been a big improvement). After relocating to Austin, TX and getting the room optimized, now working on rebuilding the analog side of the system, having sold tt, arm, carts & phono stage prior to the move. 

Previous pieces & systems included:

BAT VK150SEs & Silverline LaFolias, Nola Viper Reference III (with Lamm & BAT monoblocks), Acarian Alon V mkiii , Merlin VSM-MX, Atma-Sphere MA1mkII.2, Atma-Sphere MP3, Herron VTSP1a-166,

JouleLA150, Pentagon PH3, CAT SL1MkIII,

CaryRocket88/SLP2002/QuadsESL63USA

AvalonRadians/SpectralDMA180 & DMC20II/Meridian508

BATvk5i & vk60/Von Schweikert vr4.5II

Chario Academy1/Air Tight ATM1

VTL ST80/ Acarian AlonII

Thiel 3.6 / Krell KSA 50

Vandersteen 2ci / Sunfire amp

VPI TNT6HR w/12.7 arm, van den Hul Colibri XGP,   Nottingham Spacedeck/Spacearm, Shelter 501
MacMini running Audirvana+ , too many CDs players & DACs to remember or care about

Technics SP10mkII, EPA250 arm, SH-B3 obsidian base, custom 4kg ss mat, running with Signet 111E and Goldbug Clement II cartridges, Aqvox 2CI balanced phono stage
Read more...

Room Details

Dimensions: 23’ × 15’  Large
Ceiling: 10’


Components Toggle details

    • Sound Lab A3
    Electrostatic Loudspeakers 
    Vintage A3s in oak
    • Krell FPB-300
    Solid State Amp
    • Balanced Audio VK51SE
    balanced linestage
    • Sota Nova Vacuum Series VI with Eclipse(Phoenix Engr. designed) Motor Controller
    Awaiting delivery of the new Series VI Nova table spring suspension turntable with vacuum hold down system, mag lev platter/bearing, Eclipse motor controller(designed by Phoenix Engineering) and Reflex clamp!
    • Dynavector DV-XX2 mkII
    moving coil cartridge
    • Nagra BPS
    battery powered phono stage
    • Schiit Audio Gungnir Multibit
    DAC 
    Damping/Isolation mods by Mike Patrick
    • Sonore microRendu
    Audio Streamer/Renderer (Ethernet > USB)
    • Ecco Audio Custom Linear Power Supply
    7V, 2A linear power supply for microRendu. Hand built to spec by Vince DiNenna.
    • Synology DS415+
    NAS with two 4TB drives for now...
    • Spin Planet Custom Amp Stands
    Maple amp stands with Eden Sound brass Bear Paw radiused footers
    • DIY Slipknot & Sbank Maple Madness Rack
    PerfectPlank Maple 1 7/8, McMaster-Carr Brass hardware
    • Custom Room Treatments
    Designed and framed by Sensible Sound Solutions. Assembled and upholstered by me using Guilford of Maine acoustical cloth.
    • SpinPlanet Custom Wood Diffusors
    BBC style QRD diffusors handmade of solid pine on 24" birch plywood base. Hand made in Delaware, USA.
    • Purist Audio Design Aqueous Speaker Cables
    State of the art from back in the mid 1800s or so.
    • Audience Power Cable
    PC w/adjustable floating polarity option
    • Cerious Technologies Graphene Matrix Balanced cables
    Balanced cables dac-to-preamp
    • Mogami 2534 Interconnects
    Mogami Neglex 2534 quad cable w/ Neutrik XLRs 20' pair amps-to-preamp
    • Walker Audio Valid Points
    resonance control devices
    • PS Audio Juice Bar II and Juice Bar
    8 outlet & 6 outlet power strips
    • Symposium Rollerblock Series 2
    Acoustic Coupling Devices
    • DH Labs Ceramic Cones
    vibration damping devices
    • ERS Paper RFI/EMI Control
    ERS paper to fight airborne RFI/EMI
    • Vinyl Stack Ultrasonic Record Cleaner
    Paired with a 10L 40hz Ultrasonic tank and following the formulas and process suggested in @rushton's thread and www.positive-feedback.com  article.
    • Eden Sound Terrastone Footers
    Terrastone Bearing Isolation Footers under preamp and DAC.
    • van den Hul The First Ultimate Mk II
    Carbon interconnects (phono stage to preamp)
    • Harmonic Technology Crystal Silver Phono
    DIN to RCA phono cable

Comments 230

Center
Owner
Well, I sold the Lamms. So I guess it's time to rename the system. Any suggestions? Some of my friends call it "The Sound Lab Lab." My wife calls it "The Twin Towers."

sbank

Center
Owner
Hi Chris,
Thanks for your suggestion I will check it out. 
Here's the story on why the change...Many friends have fallen in love with my Sound Labs when they hear them. One told me months ago that he will want to get some someday. His CJ MF2500 came over and we quickly decided that it wasn't up to driving the SLs. He replaced it with a Krell KSA250 partially based on my comments about great combos of Krell KSA and Apogee electrostatics that I've heard many times. He is ready to order SLs and brought the KSA-250 over to confirm the match w/the A3s. Well I knew it would be decent but didn't expect it to be as good as it was. Bass and spacial performance were uncanny. Lamms were superior in top end timbre but it was much closer than I expected. Overall the Krell created lots of goosebumps and positive surprises. I did notice that experimenting w/couple of power cables did make a noticeable difference in smoothness and detail in treble and upper mids. (My Transparent Super was a good match). At less than half the cost of the Lamms, I decided to reduce my investment in the system, and make the change. My take is that FPB series betters the KSAs and are a few years younger. I was fortunate to find one recently recapped and being shipped directly from Krell after a checkup with arrival next week. Cheers,
Spencer

sbank

Center
Hi Sbank 
Very nice system. Your SL's are one of the speakers I really wanted to setup in my house to hear but space, time, and wife will just not permit it.   
Regarding your looking for a power cord. I have been dealing with Gene at Take Five Audio in Canada for many years. Not sure if you are familiar with them. Gene just made a 20amp power cord for an audio  friend in New Jersey also with a Krell amp. If you Google Take Five Audio you can get more info them. You would also be getting the 30 per cent dollar exchange difference between our dollars, and I think free shipping but not sure on that one. Just a thought.  
Curious to know why you are going to Krell from the Lamm ? 
Cheers Chris 

ct0517

Center
Owner
Just sold my Lamm M2.1 monoblocks and bought a Krell FPB-300 stereo amp which should be arriving in the next week. Looking for a 20amp power cable to use with the Krell.

sbank

Center
Owner
Added a custom made 4.2kg stainless steel platter mat 8mm tall which besides the benefits of the additional mass allows wider range of VTA adjustment. 
Also awaiting arrival of another cartridge, a vintage Goldbug Clement II mc.

sbank

222222&text=dl
Spencer, I appreciate the generous offer and will do so should I get over that way.

I heard the big Sound Labs (two pairs set up side by side IIRC) driven by Pass monoblocks in Ray Kimber's room at RMAF a few years ago and it was an experience to remember. Enjoy your fine system.

Dave

dlcockrum

Center
Owner
Dave, thanks. If you ever visit Philly area and want to come by you are always welcome here.

sbank

222222&text=dl
Super nice system Spencer. Great choices throughout. Those Sound Labs are really something special.

Dave

dlcockrum

Center
Owner
Added a Micro Seiki ST-10 Record Stabilizer

sbank

Center
Owner
@shadorne Yes, JGH had the A3s as his reference for many years. One of my favorite writers of all time. Thanks for your kind words.

@dentdog The Aqvox can provide 75db balanced, how much more gain are you going to find elsewhere? If you ever get near Philly, you are welcome to come for a listen. 

Just added pics of my Ultrasonic cleaning setup following inspiration and guidance from @rushton 's great article in Positive Feedback and here. 

sbank

Center
Like that you went balanced throughout. Looked at the Aqvox myself but needed more boost. Never heard Soundless but would love to. No doubt you're having some fun here. Great system!

dentdog

Center
Fantastic system! Aren't these the same speakers Gordon J Holt had for many years?

Ag insider logo xs@2xshadorne

Center
Owner
Added a few Shunyata Research Venom 3 power cables. 

Sold the Technics cartridge that came in a package with my SP10. Spending time tweaking setup of the Signet and Satin cartridges in various headshells.

sbank

Center
Owner
Added Yamamoto Soundcraft Boxwood headshell and Jelco magnesium headshell to use with the Signet and Satin cartridges.

sbank

Center
Owner
 Test post 11/23 @ 1:33pm EST

sbank

Center
Owner
Going to be comparing a pile of borrowed record weights, clamps and a few platter mats on the new SP10mkII. Any learnings on these topics is appreciated.

sbank

Center
Owner
Adding a trio of cartridges of older vintages: Satin 21B, Signet 111E and Technics EPC-205mkII.

sbank

Center
Owner
Awaiting delivery of completely refurbished and restored Technics SP-10mk2, which includes a fully reconditioned and calibrated SP-10mk2 deck, SH-10E power supply, EPA-250 tonearm with original Technics tonearm cable, EPC-205 II cartridge with a brand new Jico stylus, and the SH-10B3 base. Also adding a couple of cartridges, a rare vintage Satin 21B and a Signet 111E. 

Plenty of experiments coming with footers, platter mats, record weights. Future will bring possible plinth changes & tonearm rewire...Ideas welcomed on all these. Cheers,
Spencer


sbank

Center
Owner
VPI TNT6HR, 12.7 arm are sold. van den Hul Colibri XGP is heading to VDH in Netherlands for service check/confirmation and will be sold on eBayUK shipped from Netherlands.
Time for something new...drumroll...I mean, old. 

sbank

Center
Owner
Nolas are sold. I was fortunate to find a great deal on the Sound Labs and to have amps that are up to the challenge. For those with the room for tall electrostatics and amps to drive them, I haven't heard their equal.

sbank

Center
Owner
Thanks, Jeff. I've heard the Lamm phono stage and agree with your comment. Maybe someday... :-)

sbank

222222&text=je
Congratulations on a great system. Sound Labs presentations at CES (THE Show) were consistently one of my favorites. I'm happy to hear that the Lamm M2.1's are up to the daunting task of driving those speakers.

If you have a change, demo a Lamm phono stage, you'll be amazed!

jeff1225

Center
Owner
Added handmade BBC style QRD wood diffusors at the back corners of the room where the walls meet the ceiling.

sbank

Center
Owner
Added Ecco Audio custom linear power supply by Vince DiNenna to power the Sonore microRendu. It is taking performance to an obscenely high level, especially in terms of value for price. Digital sound quality is now staggeringly better than ever. 
Visitors have been uttering phrases like "spooky, lifelike, uncanny, & real".

sbank

Center
Owner
Sound Lab A3 Electrostatic Loudspeakers up and running. They really are amazing in many ways. I feel fortunate to have them. IMO, the key to getting good sound with large panels is plenty of power and plenty of room. These just seem perfectly sized for this room, and the Lamms are up for the job. 
Goosebumps! 

sbank

Displaying posts 1 - 25 of 230 in total