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,

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:
    • 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
    • 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
    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

The Technics SL-1200 in the picture looks like it's sporting a record weight. Is that the TT Weights version?

Ag insider logo xs@2xalbertporter

System edited: Added Composite Products Anti-vibration Platform CF-2010 under my Technics SL-1200mk2.


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


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,


Very nice system!

I'm familiar enough w/ your speakers because of the Seas Excel drivers they use. I have DIY speakers using Seas Excel drivers. They have excellent synergy and superb sound driven w/ Pass Aleph amps as well as EL34 tube amps.

How are your Tim Rawson amps different from the Pass Labs? Are they the same amps in a different chassis, and why not use the Pass Aleph 5s?


System edited: I've added a pair of Aleph5 monoblocks made by Tim Rawson.


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,


Nice system!


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,


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,



Bob uses a BSC, I would not call them a crossover, but they are electric components in the path.

What he will add to the BSC is an Lpad in order for me to dial in how much bass I would want depending of what sort of amplification I would be using.

Moreover, he will add an Lpad in between the tweeter and the cap in order for me to tweak the tweeter output level.

In total, there will be 2 lpads per cab. I guess this is getting away from the idea of single fullrange driver without much "coloring" but it makes the speaker more flexible with different set ups.

the 3 low powered amplifiers I will experiment with are:

1-Assemblage 300B Signature edition with more upgrades by Chris Johnson at Parts Connexion. Will use WE 300Bs.

2-a Niteshade audio F2A tube based SET amplifier, 7-8 watts per channel, this has a variable feedback control.

3-Final Laboratories Music 6 36 D battery powered op chip amplifier, 10 watts per channel.

Estimated arrival of the Fb-20 for me will be the last week of August.

I will update the virtual page once I get the system set and running. I am cramped for space so it will not look as good as your set up. I cannot leave the system I use in the living as I have a 18 month old baby running around and my 3-4 year old son.


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


I glad you mentioned the room lens. I noticed your room lens and was going to ask you about them. Are they an exact replica of the original w/ different size tubes. How did you make them and what are all the demensions?


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,



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,


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,


With this beautiful pricey high-end system, you may want to change the name to "I'd rather have a 2 channel system" instead of "too poor for multi-channel". I'm sure you are enjoying its musical presentation. Congratulation!


Hi, thanks for the wishes of the trip. It actually ended in Summer of 2004. It was a wonderful experience that opened my eyes up to the real Japan and not all that stereotypical stuff that most are exposed to.

The cart I am going to install, with the help of a friend is the Lyra Argo I. I got it in a super special. Other carts I have in my system is the DL-103R and the DL-103.

I need to update the pics and the description of my system because so many things have changed.

Bob is building me a pair of the 20s along with a pair of Fostex 96 horn tweeters. This speaker will have 2 L-pads, one to control the BSC circuit and another to control the loudness of the tweeter. I have also asked him to upgrade the BSC parts, so it will sound a little bit different.

I am quite sure that the 20s will sound familiar to the signature that Bob is always striving for, the flattest frequency possible without taking the life out of the critical midrange.

The issue with adding extra drivers on top is that sometimes the increase of the presence above what you are used to will change the balance of what you are familiar with. What I keep hearing continuously about adding a tweeter to a fullrange driver is the presence of more sparkle on top, or air, as well as an "increase" of the low frequency presence. Obviously the bass does not increase but it is the sonic shift that takes place as the tweeter is added. As it is, addition of extra drivers needs to be done judiciously or else everything else can/will go out of the window.

Once I get those speakers and the rest of the set up done, I will follow up with more comments and an updated systems page.

Congrats on a great pair of speakers and also what it looks to me an impressive system.



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.


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,


Thanks for all the info, it is great feedback and it has given me alot to consider.

I will definetly proceed with my Cardas rewire but maybe in the future I also consider a Rega or other tone arm upgrade.



I like your mix of equipment and how you have dedicated a lot of your resources to the reproduction of vinyl.

I will also be getting my custom Brines speaker, like yours but with a high frequency driver built in and I will be adding a Lyra cartridge to my set up once I go back home from vacation.

How many turntables are you using with those 3 cartridges you have?

Paul from NYC


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,


I just checked out your system, it looks great. I see that you are a Technics SL-1200 aficionado, as am I.

I am preparing to rewire my tone-arm with Cardas wires. Did you do your one tweak (incognito rewire)on the Rega or did you have it done professionally?

Also, you have two Technics, one with the Kab upgrades and the other with Rega arm, which do you prefer?

Finally, what is your opinion of the fluid damper?

Thanks in advance for your input. Again nice systemÂ…


System edited: Added Lyra Clavis DC retipped with VDH. Very smooth and open sound.


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