Description

I've been wrestling with preamps for years. If cost weren't an issue, there’d be no problem, but we all have limits. I adored a Cary AE-3 DJH in the mid 2000s. It had a beautiful midrange and commanding low end. That’s when I discovered 6SN7 tubes and transformer-coupled output. The DJH had everything I wanted except too much gain--20dB restricted my volume control. I experimented with attenuators, but that didn't solve the problem. I replaced it with a Belles 21A which was lovely. It still had too much gain (17dB), but volume control was better. At some point, my listening shifted to digital and I thought a preamp/DAC might be a good idea, so I picked up a PS Audio Stellar Gain Cell. I was happy with it for several years, but every time I swapped in the Belles I was reminded of its lush full-bodied midrange. The Belles was nice, but I kept thinking there must be something better if I was willing to spend more. The overwhelming number of Supratek Chardonnay owners caught my attention, so I bought one. It's absolutely wonderful! The sound reminds me of the DJH, but significantly quieter and more detailed. It still has too much gain, but it has adjustable input which solves that problem. 

I don't identify as a hoarder, but when it comes to audio gear, I have a hard time letting go. I currently have eight preamps, three amps, and seven speakers. I need to do some house cleaning. 

As a kid in the late 1970s, I was introduced to Snell Type A and Sansui 9090db at a friend's house. The sound was unbelievable. The magazines were praising Dahlquist DQ-10 at the time, but they were out of my reach. For the past 15 years, I've spent significant time with a friend who has/had Alon CirceShahinian ObeliskShahinian Hawks, and Magnepan 3.7i  These speakers have had a profound influence on me. 

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Room Details

Dimensions: 17’ × 13’  Medium
Ceiling: 8’


Components Toggle details

Comments 19

222222&text=mi
Owner
Thank you Halcro! Very nice of you.

Boonetrc, I don't have any bootleg GD recordings. I have Trinity Sessions which is a great album. Lay it Down is one of my faves.

mingles

Center
Excellent, I would go ahead and also purchase "The Trinity Sessions" if you don't already have it, by the Cowboy Junkies.

Would you happen to have a line on some GD spring '77 sound boards? I can't get enough of it!

boonetrc

Center
Hi Mingles,
This is probably the best and most informative set-out for a 'Systems Page' that I have seen?
The Links are explicit and intuitive and one can appreciate the enormous effort you have gone to in compiling your page.
Great system(s) and great job.

halcro

222222&text=mi
Owner
Boonetrc, thanks for the heads up! I just ordered it.

mingles

Center
Hey Mingles,

Love your music selection, we have very similar taste! Jerry Garcia "Almost Acoustic" 1987. Check it out, wonderfully recorded.

boonetrc

128x128
Hello Mingles,

I also admire your approach to building a system, DIY is much more fun than plug'n'play. I have the Sonic Euphoria Passive as well, along with DIY speakers. I've been wanting to build the Bottlehead Extended Foreplay III, it's good to know how much you enjoy it.

Enjoy that fine system, and Happy Holidays!
Regards,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

222222&text=gl
The amount of information about your system is impressive, that you provide links for more information outstanding. Enjoyed reading your take and the reviews of others. I would like to have seem a picture of the entire set up.
You have indeed compiled a system with great care and enjoyment.

glenfihi

222222&text=mi
Owner
Flg2001, I appreciate your comments.

Mavroudakis, I'm glad you found the schematic. You should be aware of the fact that ASL made changes to the circuit without documenting them. My amps are slightly different than the schematic. You probably saw the write up in my system about loose sockets. These caused a few resistors to burn out which, in turn, burned out some tubes. To prevent future problems, I decided to replace all the sockets. I haven't finished... it's tedious work.

Chazzbo, I like the Cartridge Man quite a bit. In my opinion, the Grado Sonata is an under-appreciated cartridge that has one of the best midranges I've heard. I agree with you about Dynavector. The 20X sounds fabulous.

mingles

Center
Great care in your system setup description, very informative and usefull, ahhh I like your table as well... Nice system indeed.

flg2001

222222&text=ma
Mingles I ought you a very big thank you! I was looking everywhere for ASL AQ-1008 schematics since I need it for repair issues and I found it here in your posts. Big relief! As a matter of fact I looked in the mods you went through with these amps and I am considering following them. Again thank you!

mavroudakis

222222&text=ch
Like it.Has an old school approach.Just wondering with the how you like the Cartridge Man why the Grado (unless it's mono) which I sold and have had a find nice but boring.Shelter is fine but emphasizes mids.Think maybe a Dynavector would be better at price point.But think those Alon's are being nicely fed.
Cheers
Chazz

chazzbo

222222&text=c1
I attended RMAF '09 with my spouse...she purchased opera stuff on vinyl, so...have to please the one with the good ears!

c1ferrari

222222&text=mi
Owner
Thanks for your comment Sam. I'm hobbling things together the only way I know how... through trial and error! I have to admit I'm starting to question why I bother with vinyl. It requires so much effort compared to digital and the results are spotty. It's starting to feel like a chore rather than an enjoyable experience.

mingles

222222&text=c1
Hi Mingles,

My...what a well-considered array...great minds think alike! :-) Really appreciate your post and definitely second T_bone's sentiments of 10-5-09.

Regards,
Sam

c1ferrari

222222&text=mi
Owner
Oddly enough, the forums don't allow html tags, but the virtual system descriptions do. Give it a try.

mingles

222222&text=t
Thanks. I had already looked at the source code for the page. I was not sure it was possible in Audiogon because the messageboard says "no html".

t_bone

222222&text=mi
Owner
Hi T-bone, thanks for visiting. The descriptions and links in my system are basic html. Unfortunately, they aren't a feature at Audiogon, but the tags are easy to learn. Here's a good tutorial that explains how to create bullet lists:

http://www.davesite.com/webstation/html/chap07.shtml

mingles

222222&text=t
Mingles,
I love the way you have added the links and descriptions so cleanly within the description/links to each piece. Is that html or is that a new feature of Audiogon? Well done in any case. Love the DIY nature of a lot of what you have done.

t_bone

222222&text=mi
Owner
System edited: New addition: Bottlehead Extended Foreplay III with Sylvania 6SN7. First impressions are extremely positive. There's no mistaking this a warm preamp. Vocals have more weight and presence. Highs have a new sense of air and ambiance. Cymbals seem to be in the room. Bass has a new punch. The only thing I'll nit-pick about is a tranny buzz between songs. It's independent of volume and source. I'll try to track it down and deal with it.

mingles

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