Gentleman and ladies... This is the best I have been able to assemble over the past 24 years or so. And while I don't claim it to be even near the end all, be all, I would certainly appreciate any comments or suggestions.

I listen to classic rock and classic pop as well as jazz and jazz fusion. I love Steely Dan, the Pat Metheny Group, China Crisis, Doobie Brothers, Boz Scaggs, Miles Davis, the Band, etc.

Thanks for your review and suggestions.

Components Toggle details

    • Audio Aero Prestige SACD player and preamp
    I've used as my preamp because of the tube output, but wonder what a stand alone preamp would do for my setup and sound.
    • Parasound JC1 Monoblocks
    Impressive and always ready to rock or roll. I have been using these for a few years after problems with large tube monoblocks.
    • Wadia i170 Transport
    Used as a digital music server via my 160g iPod.
    • Avid Volvere SP
    New version of the Volvere with
    • SME 309
    Bought it because it was always seen with this table.
    • Lyra Delos
    A real bargin, IMHO, but I have not had the opportunity to hear other cartridges in this price range.
    • Transparent Audio Reference XL Valve
    50 foot balanced.
    • Audience E version
    I like them because they aren't garden hoses
    • Focal Kanta No. 2
    I'm enthralled with these speakers as they fit the room much better and outperform my previous Piega P-10's.   And they love the JC 1's.

Comments 17

Great system! Nice to see a fellow Volvere owner.


Nice system!


Nice system. Why do you think you need to improve it?


Your system is nice, and you have some really good speakers, I once owned the P10s.

You really need to work on your room, setup, and speaker placement. That would bring you more benefit than spending money on equipment.



I've read about the Piega speakers.
How do they sound?
Are these the ones with dual concentric panels?

Not bad choices, beautiful setup.
Spread the speakers apart and let them breathe a bit should improve soundstage.


Nice system, agree with above that optimizing speaker placement could bring startling improvements.


speaker speakers wider and 2 feet further into the room and watch them disapear


Cool system. Says a lot for Parasound as you moved from tube amps. Enjoyed the pictures. Happy listening.


Everything looks great, and you are well balanced and enoying the sound and thats what it's all about. As you have heard before widening the speakers would be a tremendous improvement. Happy Listening



I am no vinyl expert, but I think going with the JC-2 first might yield the best initial "bang" in terms of SQ. You can always add the JC-3 later when your budget allows. Clearly, a number of factors are involved in such a decision. I think a line preamplifier is the foundation and it needs to be laid first...then you'll be better able to hear the differences between one phono preamp and another. The GCPH is a fine phono, but I suspect you'll better appreciate the JC-3 when it's run with the JC-2. Others with direct experience will obviously know best.


Vhiner: Really appreciate your comments. I read Paul McGowan's recent posts about adding an Aesthetix preamp to the mix and how much he (as you said) went from the direct to amp to "preamp is better" camp. This is what really got me going and thinking about this.....

I am trying to decide whether to first upgrade the phono preamp from the PS Audio GCPH to the Parasound JC-3 or add a separate line stage preamp like the JC-2. I am lending to both being Parasound JC's because of your comments above about using same as amp manufacturer and them both being a great "bang for the buck". Would love to look a tubes, but I like the value of the Parasound too.

Any thoughts on which one to buy first? thanks for your interest and help,



I'm gonna go way, way out here on a limb and bet you five bucks that adding a preamplifier like the JC-3 will utterly surprise you. I have used the "preamp" portion of a number of very high quality DACs and I don't think there's one made that stacks up to a high quality seperate preamp.

I don't know if you're aware that Paul McGowan is a recent convert to the "preamplifier is better" camp. And given his years of touting "direct to amp" DACs, a considerable amount of crow was served. Of course, Paul's a true gentleman and conceded the point.

I'm a big fan of matching an amp with a preamp by the same manufacturer, but I'd suggest trying a tube preamplifier if you get the chance to compare. Those JC-1's are amazing and a good preamp will being out their best, IMHO.


Thanks for the comments and suggestion.... The speakers are placed for both aesthetics and WAF, but I have and will again experiment in moving them a bit.

I am using a PS Audio GCPH, but am looking to upgrade someday to the Parasound JC-3 or equivalent. I'm also curious if it would make any sense to add a separate preamp vs. using the one in the Audio Aero Prestige.

Thanks again to all of you.


Looks fantastic. I agree that you might consider widening the space
between speakers, but you probably have them arranged that way for
aesthetics or WAF. Looks like a lot of thought went into the assembly of the
components. Nice work.


I'd say quit now while you are ahead! Looks great.


Must not be too near to homelessness.


nice system and nice room too. the speakers look a little close together, maybe you can improve sound stage by widening the space between them.


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