For some thirty years I have wanted McIntosh gear. Finally biting the bullet with the MA-6600 HD tuner installed, it is awesome. It makes everything sound better.
The room smaller then I would have wished has dedicated 20 amp lines run for the equipment. A cozy 14 by 15 feet with 8 foot ceiling. I used sound proofing for the ceiling in my basement hide away as my wife puts it. Made the mistake of not making the room bigger for my purposes. In this basement conversion I should have been a little more selfish. School banners from my son s colleges and some of my favorite artwork aid in treating the room.
Surround sound duties are picked up by the fine sounding Act 3 and 5 class A sound processor and 5 channel amp. Acurus was the first brand proving to me that there can indeed be a difference is the sound of solid state gear. Using separate speaker cables to switch the VSA speakers to combine in use with the James center channel and Wharfedale back speakers. A Velodyne VA 810 brings it low. Video by a 60 inch plasma and blue ray player by Vizio.
The heart of the system, set for stereo, the MA-6600 combines with the balanced output ShengYa CD-S10CSII, a tubed compact disc player and Technics turntable, with Nakamichi cassette deck, along with a Teac cd recorder. Apple TV acts as my music server accessing itunes in iCloud. Sounding great via the addition of the XDR-1 Emotiva DAC. Added the Emotiva a-100 amplifier to power the secondary output of the MA6600.
Perhaps over the years I have been way too much in love with this hobby, but it has been a true joy.
Very pleasantly pleased with the Emotiva ERC-3 cd player. Good build and very good sound. The only thing I don't like about the unit is upon inserting a cd it begins playback. I prefer to start playback on my command, a small thing indeed. For $449.00 it eases my yen for the McIntosh 550 player. This will more than likely be my last cd player.
Some system changes. Sold my ShengYa CD-S10CSII tubed compact disc player. It sounded and looked like a jewel, but died and could not repair it. Purchased a Parasound Z cd player on a whim and ordered a Emotiva ERC-3 disc player. The long warranty and specs of the Emotiva and having a two of their other products made me give them a try again. My hope was that the ShengYa would have been my last player, as more and more I am using a mac mini as a music server.
System edited: Sold the great sounding SQ-12 CD player with the thought of putting the funds towards a music server. Ended up adding the ShengYa CD-S10CSII tubed compact disc player. It sounds and looks like a jewel.
Sold the SQ-12 cd player. Hope to put the funds towards my trek towards a computer based music source. The SQ-12 was an absolute joy to have. I hope it was a move that will pay off, as I have my doubts as ever having a player as good.
My old TEAC recorder/player will have to fill the gap.
Alas, my Emotiva DAC has developed a problem and had to be sent back for repair. A little surprised as most SS gear in my experience if you can get past the first few months, you are good to go for years.
Ghosthouse, Thanks for viewing my system... The soundproofing used was the sound insulation type material used in between walls when I constructed the basement listening room. The roll out type. Used in the ceiling as well. Purchased from Home Depot. Also used thicker dry wall, and in some areas double walled. All in all wish I had done a better job of insulating the A/C system as well. My room is a room in entire space of the basement which help to isolate it from the rest of the house. Have given thought of opening up the entire space, really should have made my room bigger.
My relationship with Steve Monte of Quest for Sound have been tops. Great guy to speak with and ask questions of. Be it his gear or not. A very comfortable place to do business with. Not at all pushy. Would stop by his shop to just listen to tunes from time to time. And of course check out different components. That is where I experienced that components can indeed benefit from break in. Primary items I have from Quest are my VSA speakers, SQ-12 cd player and SQ-88 tube integrated now used as a change of pace or in a secondary system.
Glen - Thanks for posting your system. Great stuff. Would you mind going into a little detail about the soundproofing you installed? Name of product used (if relevant) & method of installation? Thanks in advance. (2nd your opinion about Steve at Quest for Sound)
Rok2id. That poster obtained via Mobil Oil. Years ago a few corporations like them in honor of Black History Month made such available. I have a few prints and more posters not shown in the room. Among them a "The Red Tail's" poster given to me by my son, an aviation major at Hampton University. He attended a pre screening of the movie along with the Tidewater chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen. My wife had them framed.
Choice in the McIntosh brand truly began when I first heard it some decades ago. Only wished I had spent less on cars and set more aside for stereo gear, my first love, well second to the family.
The Emotiva amp is put to drive my Daber audio monitor 3's and my Paradigm speakers. Both I swap out from other house systems just for the heck of it.
I am not at all concerned with wear on speaker jacks or plugs. Cables are marked well and I always have amps off when making connections, no reason to take a chance on a mishap. I do go on movie binges from time to time and then make the switch to the Acurus amp keeping it there for awhile. All source equipment feeds both systems are the time. Even in stereo mode movies are quite enjoyable. When the sub is used, it is set to just enough too add that little extra so rare when it shakes the house so too speak. By center is a very good match for the VSA speakers. The rears are fine as well. Should one use quality speakers, they all don't have to be the same brand, especially for the surrounds. The front all the most important. I find good stereo may well be better than mediocre surround sound.
Thanks for your comment and happy listening, even if you have to rock the neighbors house now and then.
Rushbattle..Have not considered bass traps on the back wall. With the carpet and furniture things seem too work well as is. The sub comes into play for myself only when using the Acurus gear for action movies. Which I find I don't watch so very much as I enjoy the music more.
I have viewed your system, very nice indeed, you have a great space. I wish I had a larger area for my system. I am considering tearing down some walls. Perhaps then more thought of room treatments.
You did a super job choosing all you equipment. I'm familiar with almost all of your pieces. I likewise dreamed of the Mac integrated w/ HD tuner, but probably in my lifetime. I wish it was available in the 6300, but then again it is still out of reach. What speakers (different room?) do you use with the Emotiva? Incidentally, I've alway been concerned with swapping speaker cable on the back of a high-end amp or speakers. Are you not concerned about wear from banana jacks, or do you use the 5.0 system so infrequently? I also use a 5.0 system, though the electronics are budget, and am fine w/o a subwoofer to not drive the neighbors crazy in our row of townhomes. Lastly I use a mismatch of speakers in our HT with good results too.
Looks great! With that much woofer area in a smaller room have you thought about bass traps on the back wall? They help quite a bit in my setup even though I have a very big space due to an open floor plan behind the system.