Description

I'm just an apartment dweller who's trying to make best of it with my limited budget. Started out with a JVC 5.1 receiver and Paradigm speakers about 10 years ago, and now I've settled into my current 2 ch system....... for now.

Have Fun,
Read more...

Components Toggle details

    • Salk Custom Series
    RAAL 140 and SEAS drivers
    • Hawthorne Solo
    15" Coaxial Drivers. They sounds terrible with my Rawson monoblocks but incredibly involving with my ol' $300 chinese tube integrated amp. Edit: The Hawthornes have settled in nicely with my Rawson Aleph5s. Also, I have replaced the stock Jantzen Cross-Caps with the Mundorf Supreme caps (both 6.8uf & 10uf). The mod has completely removed harsh sound.
    • Tyler Acoustics Tyler Acoustics Linbrook II
    Dark Cherry finish
    • Sonic Euphoria PLC
    Autoformer Design
    • Von Gaylord Audio PL-1?
    Simple 12AU7 based preamp with External PS.
    • Tim Rawson Aleph5 Monoblocks
    Single Ended Class A 70/8 ohm, 100/4 ohm.
    • Hagerman Cornet2
    Picked up this pre-built phono pre with heavy mods
    • VTL TP-2.5
    Phono Pre with Mullard and 12AX7M with tube dampers. I've had this unit for more than 4 years. That's saying alot. It sits on Isokinetik B1 Platform.
    • Bob's Devices 4722 SUT
    Very good match with LOMC with low impedance.
    • K&K Audio Premium Step-Up-Transformer
    Lundahl LL1931, wound with Cardas wire. I have it set at 1:16 ratio and it's a perfect match with low impedance cartridges. Just incredible.
    • VPI Industries HW-19 mkIV
    The original Mk4 with SME 309.
    • SME 309
    Fitted to SL-1200mk2 with SoundSupports mount.
    • Technics SL-1210 MK5G
    Unmodified at this time.
    • Technics SL-1200 MkII Silver
    Stock SL-1200 mk2. Origin Live Rega mount and VTA adjuster. I have planned to mount an OL arm, but decided to go with SME 309. Sorbethane Feet: http://www.edmundoptics.com/onlinecatalog/displayproduct.cfm?productID=1618
    • Composite Products CF-2010 Platform
    Anti-Vibration Platform
    • TTWeights Audio Periphery 600g
    Instant upgrade. Not just tighter, but significantly tighter bass.
    • TTWeights Classic 454g
    I've never been a huge fan of LP Weight/Clamp by itself, but it's a must have with a Periphery Ring.
    • Transfiguration Temper Supreme
    precisely balanced sound with a bit of warmth. Plenty of detail.
    • Transfiguration Temper Supreme
    precisely balanced sound with a bit of warmth. Plenty of detail. Since then, I've had it retipped by Soundsmith. I have yet to give it a spin..
    • Audio-Technica USA AT-440ML
    Very good.
    • Denon DL-110
    DL-110 is just too much fun. This cartridge is loved by incredible albums in less than VG+ condition. Music lovers' cart.
    • Shure M97eX
    On a dark side, but mates better with higher mass tonearms.
    • Beyerdynamic DT880 600ohm
    Very comfortable and wells extremely well with OTL headphone amp.
    • Logitech Squeezebox Duet
    Wifi based music server. Connected to Audio gd NFB-12.
    • Audio gd NBF-12
    USB/Coax/Optical DAC with Dual WM8741 chip. Very very nice.
    • Audio Technica ATH-AD1000
    Can we stop talking about Grado and Senns, and start listening to some ATH cans? Huge sound stage with smooth and extended top. Reminds me so much of my Tyler Reference. This pair deserves a decent headamp.
    • Phenix G3 Headphone Amp
    6922(3) based EarMax clone.
    • Aune Mini USB DAC + Headphone Amp Mk2
    Nice USB DAC/Headphone Amp at a nice price.
    • Digital Stylus Force Gauge Jennings Mini 300
    a little DIY Digital Stylus Force Gauge. Works with great and repeatable accuracy.
    • Versalab Wood Block
    Duplex Power Conditioner. Bought for $50 on Agon with suspicion, but it really cleans up sound. Black is Blacker for the first time.
    • **************** PREVIOUS GEAR *******************
    Previous Equipments below
    • Wright Sound Mono-7
    7 Watts of glory. Obbligato, Vishay, and O'Netics transformers.
    • Marantz SA8001
    I press a button and it creates music. Digital technology is great for an idiot like me.
    It sits on IsoKinetik B1 Platform.
    • EAR 834I Integrated Amp
    NOS GE and SIEMEN tubes.
    • Tyler Acoustics Taylo Ref Monitor
    Great Monitors
    • Brines Acoustics FB20
    Solidly built
    • Project Audio Xpression
    Pro-Ject Xpression
    • Pioneer PL-L1000
    Linear Tracking
    • Shelter 501mk2
    Shelter 501mk2
    • Denon DL-301mk2
    Denon DL-301mk2
    • B&W Signature 805
    Birds Eye Red
    • Magnepan MG-1.6qr
    MG-1.6QR
    • REL Acoustics T1
    REL T1
    • Pinnacle Babyboomer
    Piano Black
    • Balanced Audio VK-3i
    Great Preamp
    • PS Audio HCA-2
    Black Faceplate
    • Rega RB-250 Modded
    Incognito and Expressimo Weight
    • KAB SL1210mk2 Fully modded
    Full mods with Clearaudio Stability and Yamamoto HS.
    • Musical Fidelity X-CAN V8
    JFET/TUBE Headphone DAC
    • Audio Zone PRE-T1
    S&B 102 TX
    • Burson Audio AB-160
    RCA model
    • DECWARE ZMC-2
    Sowter SUT
    • Pro-Ject Tube Box
    Phono preamp
    • Triangle Comete ES
    Cognac Finish
    • Paradigm CC-170
    One of my best friends has it now.
    • Rotel RSX-972
    It was 1999 I think...
    • Paradigm Atom
    My first real speakers.
    • Paradigm Monitor 5
    I thought I had it all.
    • Paradigm Titan
    They were the best speakers in the world for 3 months.
    • Paradigm PDR-10
    Ah the memories.
    • Paradigm PDR-12
    KRS One had the dopest flow back when I had this
    • Paradigm PS-1000
    Though it was muddy, I never knew Sling Blade had that much bass until I had this subwoofer.
    • Paradigm PW-2200
    1 Eviction...
    • Magnepan MMG
    Modded Crossover with Cross Caps and Jantzen Inductors.

Comments 66

Showing all comments by ainkfek.

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222222&text=ai
Owner
Received some toys made by Jim Salk and Bob...

ainkfek

222222&text=ai
Owner
The Hawthornes have settled in nicely with my Rawson Aleph5s, but the sound remained a bit harsh.
So, I have replaced the stock Jantzen Cross-Caps with Mundorf Supreme caps (both 6.8uF and 10uF).

Now the sound is everything I wanted Magnepan to be.

ainkfek

222222&text=ai
Owner
System edited: Audio gd NFB-12 Dual WM8741 chips. This USB/Coax/Optical DAC is simply amazing. It's hard to believe it only cost well under $300 new. Conforting and resolving sound. Not muddy.

ainkfek

222222&text=ai
Owner
Hey Dusty,

Are you still in Cincy?
I'm still rocking the Tylers, but I'm interested in tweaking the Hawthorne to find out how far they can go.
If they sound any better, I'll probably put the Tyler's up for cheap.

Have Fun,

ainkfek

222222&text=ai
Owner
System edited: Hawthornes Solo with 15" Silver Iris coaxial drivers. They sounds terrible with my Rawson monoblocks but incredibly musical with my ol' $300 chinese tube integrated amp.

ainkfek

222222&text=ai
Owner
System edited: Added Beyerdynamic DT880 @ 600ohm. Very comfortable and it's a great match with G3 OTL headphone amp. A bit on a warm side compared to AD-1000. Have Fun,

ainkfek

222222&text=ai
Owner
System edited: Added the VPI HW-19Mk4. I still love the Technics, but the VPI sounds very real on acoustics music.

ainkfek

222222&text=ai
Owner
System edited: Added: Audio Zone Pre-T1 Preamp. This passive preamp is based on TX102 transformers. A brief comparison to the Sonic Euphoria PLC 1. High freq - Pre-T1 sparkles with less grain. 2. Mid freq - PLC has a bit more body, but Pre-T1 is more transparent with better balance. 3. Low freq - PLC has more emphasis on bass but a bit bloated at times. 4. Volume Control - PLC has finer volume settings, but the Pre-T1 has +6dB switch. 5. Connectibility - PLC has 4(inputs)/2(outputs) pairs with Tape Out. Pre-T1 is factory set to 3/1 or 2/2 option. My unit came with 2/2, but I have the Burson AB160, so that makes it 3/2. The Manley Skipjack or other switchers may be required for some. PLC came with 1 pair of WTB RCA for both In/Output. Pre-T1 is equipped with regular generic RCA connectors. The WTB connectors sound cool, but I think the cost difference should be allocated to other part of audio where it actually makes obvious difference. But the WBT connectors seem to make better physical connection to all interconnects. 6. Ground - Pre-T1 has Ground Float with a switch, PLC comes with a ground wire. Pre-T1's ground float works, while PLC didn't make a difference in MY environment, but was never an issue. Pre-T1's ground float is only noticable when turned all the way up so it should not be beneficial during normal playback. 7. Design Base - PLC is Autoformer wound and entirely wired with Cardas. Pre-T1 is S&B TX102 ver.1 transformers based. 8 Problem - I now have 3 preamps, and have to decide which one to sell...

ainkfek

222222&text=ai
Owner
Just when I was starting to give up on the Technics, the SME 309 really makes the TT strut its stuff. Now, I'm going to have to upgrade my digital source... But ever since I'd acquired Versalabs Wood Block for $50, my CDP acts like a different unit. I've never experienced much improvement from power related products until this one. As always, benefits from power conditioners are system/environment dependent. I guess I just found a right combination. For now, I'm happy but Ever-Evolving...

ainkfek

222222&text=ai
Owner
System edited: Added SME 309 to the SL-1200mk2. Mounting plate is made by SoundSupports.com

ainkfek

222222&text=ai
Owner
System edited: Added a Von Gaylord Preamp and Burson AB160. Burson really cleans sound stage when placed between preamp & amplifiers. Have Fun,

ainkfek

222222&text=ai
Owner
System edited: Upgraded to Linbrook II. Music sounds correct now that I don't have to rely on my subwoofer. Simply good.

ainkfek

222222&text=ai
Owner
Sorry for my late reply.
It isolates my TT very nicely from low frequency.
It allow my cartridge to resolve more information, but the problem is that it makes me wonder if I can do much better with a different tonearm. Pehaps something like Origin Live Encounter? I have a pair of Tyler Acoustics Linbrook II on the way so I hope they keep me away from upgrading again anytime soon.

I'll post some pics once available.

ainkfek

222222&text=ai
Owner
Thanks for your kind comment Dusty.

I would say this "Wounded" beast is back being a true contender.
Its battle scars still remain, so I was thinking about getting a faceplate for a quick fix. Functionally, there are no issues. I hope your SL is working nicely.

ainkfek

222222&text=ai
Owner
Hey Dogmcd,

Since I'd acquired passive pre by the Sonic Euphoria, I've been using the amps with shorting plugs. This combination offers plenty of gain, and they resolve like nothing I've ever heard. It's really hard to find major faults in these amps. I can listen to music for hours without a hint of fatigue. I think I will swap internal wires to see if I could improve these any further. I will be keeping these as long as I can.

ainkfek

222222&text=ai
Owner
Hey Albert, I have no idea how I got the name Bruce...

ainkfek

222222&text=ai
Owner
Hey Bruce,

TT Weights clamp works as it should with the periphery ring on warped LP. To my ears they work effectively, but I prefer to take them off on flat LP. It don't find clamping universally beneficial.

ainkfek

222222&text=ai
Owner
System edited: Added Composite Products Anti-vibration Platform CF-2010 under my Technics SL-1200mk2.

ainkfek

222222&text=ai
Owner
System edited: Add: Sonic Euphoria PLC. Thanks to Tim in Colorado, I have added this beautiful looking and sounding Passive preamp.

ainkfek

222222&text=ai
Owner
Hey Mjcmt,

Thanks for your kind comments.
The Tyler sounds very very good with all of my prefered music unlike other speakers.

As far as internal components of the amps, I'm not really sure. But they are based on the same design. I believe the PASS has 120,000 uF supply capacitance, while my pair has 100,000 uF each.

Q: Why not use the Pass Aleph 5s?
A: Very simple. I've heard nothing but positive comments on Tim Rawson amps. I just had to give them a try myself.

They have exceeded my expectation, and made me rethink of SS amps. Now with money I saved, I can apply the difference towards a better preamp or linestage.

Thanks again,

ainkfek

222222&text=ai
Owner
System edited: I've added a pair of Aleph5 monoblocks made by Tim Rawson.

ainkfek

222222&text=ai
Owner
Thanks Tzh21y,

This system sounds very involving, and I just the how my favorite music sounds.

Recently, I've added Aune Mini Headphone DAC, and had paid for a pair of MMG with modded crossover last night.
I hope they will be fun,

Thanks again,

ainkfek

222222&text=ai
Owner
System edited: I've made a little Digital Stylus Force Gauge by stealing the idea from DarqueKnight of Polk site. This unit works with great/repeatable accurancy. Only $34.15 for a cool unit and a piece of mind. Have Fun,

ainkfek

222222&text=ai
Owner
System edited: I have recently acquired the K&K Audio Premium SUT with LL1931 Transformers. This tiny black box maximizes my low impedance MC cartridges. I LOVE how cheap and awful the unit looks because I know the majority of my money is spent on what matters the most. Have Fun,

ainkfek

222222&text=ai
Owner
2"x4"x8' - cut them into 3.5" squares and cut out 2 3/8" holes. 2"x8"x8 - Cut them into 8 sections of 12" width. 5 ft, 2" PVC pipes. PVC pipes are listed as 2" pipes at the store, but they are actually 2 3/8" in diameter. I just used wood glue between wood pieces. I'll try to post pictures later here at the site, but here is the link of what I've done.

www dot forums dot audioreview dotcom /showthread.php?t=31293

Have Fun

ainkfek

222222&text=ai
Owner
System edited: I've added 3 units of DIY Roomlens. They are incredible and has exceeded my sonical expectation. Perhaps I can make them look better, but I'm too busy enjoying my tunes. I will add 5 more units this weekend. Additional pair on outside of speakers, 1 in the front center, and 2 behind my listening position. Have Fun,

ainkfek

222222&text=ai
Owner
Mjcmt,

Thanks for your kind words.
My title meant if I wanted MC setup that equals my stereo gear, then I would have to spend in upwards of $50k, thus too poor for a MC setup. But if I had $50K to spend, I would probably spend them on a 2ch setup and tons of great LP... so you are probably right.

Have Fun,

ainkfek

222222&text=ai
Owner
Hey Paul,

Be sure to let us know how the Brines and Lyra sounds, after being acquinted. Perhaps an update to your virtual system?
I would love to know how the tweets sound in your setup. Do they come with a pair of cross-over? Or are keep cross-over-less?

Have Fun,

ainkfek

222222&text=ai
Owner
System edited: TTWeights Periphery 600 added. Not just a minor upgrade. It instantly bring stability to all freq. With my SL-mk2, the power swtich interferes with the ring's clearance. I had removed the knob.

ainkfek

222222&text=ai
Owner
Hey Paul,

I hope you are having a wonderful trip. Nice pics of Asia. I was born and raised in Japan so that's nothing new to me, but I would love to go to Korea one day. I can only imagine.

I love the Brines, and what a sleeper they are. I've been thinking about getting a pair of super tweeter for the sake of interest. FE207E offers enough HF bliss without a hint of glare, but would love to play with some Tannoy or Townsend.

Though I've sold my 501mk2, I play all of my carts with both of my docks. REGA certainly gets more playing time. As for Headshells, I have one from Zupreme, Yamamoto, and Clearaudio. I believe they all possess great qualities, but the tonearm can't justify their quality.

Which Lyra are you looking to add?

Thanks for your kind comment.
Have Fun,

ainkfek

222222&text=ai
Owner
Hey Nick,

I'm currently posting an add for the KAB unit. I don't think the KAB unit is as good as others claim to be. It does not project the sound as well as the REGA does. I'm looking to mount the Origin Live Encounter or Illuminus mk3 on the SL to replace the REGA. I think SL is a solid deck, and it deserves more credit than others state. But its tonearm shows its weakness rather quickly. And the fluid damper does not correct or compensate its incompetence. I haven't tried different silicon material, but my suspicion is that provided silicon is too thick to for the arm to move freely.

What tonearm are you looking to rewire? If you are satisfied with the stock SL, then rewiring its tonearm should help dig out more details, but you may not want to rewire to aid the SL's tonearm structure.

When I compared the KAB unit with a stock SL-mk2, it sounded better, but more different than anything else. It's a great unit, but as described above, the tonearm isn't very capable to begin with.

I had purchased the RB250 used and it came with the Incognito rewire. You may want to explore a REGA arm instead of trying to tweak the stock tonearm. Just my 2cents.

Have Fun,

ainkfek

222222&text=ai
Owner
System edited: Added Lyra Clavis DC retipped with VDH. Very smooth and open sound.

ainkfek

222222&text=ai
Owner
Big Lots. Dont be afraid to pay a visit.
For the price I paid, I should've bought 4 more.

ainkfek

222222&text=ai
Owner
I have added Musical Fidelity X-CAN V8 to the system.
Now I can listen to LP at night without limiting sound volume.

I've read lots of negative reviews on this unit, but sounds just right. I may tryout the USB connection later down the road.

ainkfek

222222&text=ai
Owner
System edited: Got a pair of Brines Acoustics FB-20 from a local gentleman (Mikefan) this afternoon. My very first experience with Single-Driver speakers. Very cool stuff so far.

ainkfek

222222&text=ai
Owner
System edited: I have added a modified RB-250 to my spare Technics SL-1200mk2. The combination of Transfiguration and Rega is much more than I expected.

ainkfek

222222&text=ai
Owner
Thank you for your kind words. I have been enjoying this setup quite a bit.

I have added a new member to my system.

Transfiguration Temper Supreme.
I don't think it will work on my KAB SL-1200 arm, so will need to install a Rega arm on my Spare SL-1200.

Rega Mount and VTA adjuster by Origin Live are on their way.

Any suggestion to RB arms are welcome. Modded 250, 300 or a stock 600?

Thanks and have fun,

ainkfek

222222&text=ai
Owner
My Sweet vinyl rack? Get ready.......

Big Lots!!!
$30 a rack($120 total) Not sure if it beats other exotic audio stands, but feedback hasnt been an issue for me.

ainkfek

222222&text=ai
Owner
Thanks Albert.

LP rack is a great foundation for audio gear, especially analog. Technics deck changed my mind on Direct Drive TT. I have another Technics and will install a REGA arm to see what if it'll sound better than my KAB unit. Should be interesting.

Have you heard any particular SUT that you've liked?
I'm enjoying my very first experence with SUT and am enjoying it tremedously. I am curious to hear what other trans can do to my system.

Thanks and Have fun,

ainkfek

222222&text=ai
Owner
Sorry about that.
Clearly my system is aesthetically challenged. But my room is acoustically sound...well it's getting better anyways. I'm interesting in trying out some sound diffusors. DIY Room Lens or walls of diffusor panels.

Thanks for looking,

ainkfek