A modest system in a "public" room on the main floor of our house. WAF was important when setting it up. The system shares the 19 X 14 X 9 room with a reading area and a piano our family uses. I experimented quite a bit with speaker placement in this room, and after using these little JMR speakers in two different spaces I have come to the conclusion that they can benefit from being relatively close to the wall behind them. In this case, 24" from the wall to the front of the baffles.

Our ca. 1500 LPs and ca. similar number of CDs are also in the room. One can listen for hours with no listening fatigue when one has the time :)

Room Details

Dimensions: 19’ × 14’  Medium
Ceiling: 9’

Components Toggle details

    • Audiomat Prelude Reference
    30 WPC push-pull tube integrated. EL-34 output tubes; passive preamp section using vintage Sylvania 12AX7 as drivers.  Grover Huffman power cord.  After enjoying three sets of SED "flying C" power tubes in the amp, about a year ago I tried a set of Shuguang with the dual square halos and have been enjoying them very much.
    • Wright Sound WPP-100c
    Tube phono stage with tube rectification. Vintage Amperex, RCA and Tung-Sol tubes.
    Grover Huffman IC.
    • Thorens TD-150 mkII
    Restored and slightly modified. The 'table sits on an Ikea Lack table top, atop A&M Hardware wall brackets that hang above the rack.  Grover Huffman phono IC. Chris VH power cord.
    • Phono Cartridges
    Empire 1000 ZE/X.  Vintage MM cartridge that excels at reproducing acoustic music and unamplified voices. Full bodied and colorful, it also has superb rhythmic qualities that excel at portraying musical flow. It can swing hard or rock just fine when called upon.  

    Astatic MF 100.  Stellar vintage MM, delivers the music in spades. An excellent partner or foil to the Empire 1000 ZE/X. 

    A surprising Goldring 800 with aftermarket Quad stylus.   

    Empire 600LAC, 750 LTD, 888TE.  Additional vintage Empires that I enjoy from time to time in this system and a secondary system in the basement recreation room.

    Stanton 681SL.  My favorite Stanton, actually preferring it to the 881S.   I also enjoy SE and EL styli with it.

    Denon / Soundsmith DL 103.  I've owned this body for years and have had the cantilever/stylus assembly replaced twice.  It currently resides in a diy mahogany body with a ruby cantilever and line contact stylus.

    Other cartridges that i've enjoyed over the past several years include a number discussed in the giant MM thread here--Acutex LPM 315 III STR and LPM 320 III STR, Andante P-76, Astatic MF-200, Pickering TL2s, Stanton 881s...
    • MHZS CD 66F
    Tubed CD player w/ vintage Mullard 12AX7 tubes.  Audience PowerChord. Mogami 2549 IC with Valab plugs.
    • J.M. Reynaud Bliss
    Compact two-way quasi transmission line monitor. 89 dB/W/M, stable 4 ohm load, 45 - 25000 Hz. Fast, punchy and slightly warm. I also tried Harbeth 7ES-2 and GMA Callisto; the Reynaud Bliss stayed. A great match with the Audiomat amp. Discovery 1-2-3 cables.
    • J.M. Reynaud Magic Stands
    Designed specifically to improve the performance of JMR monitors. Making use of the principle of the Helmholtz Resonator, the Magic Stands improve low end performance and have the effect of evening up response in the midrange.
    • Mirage MS-12 Subwoofer
    Stereo pair with 12" ribbed paper cones.
    • Other Bits
    The system is fed by a pair of Hubbell HBL5362 industrial grade wall outlets wired directly to the house's electrical panel.   I may experiment with some more outlets down the road.
    • Self made prototype
    The walnut and mahogany rack is self made.

Comments 19

So my modest system has been stable for a few years with no desire to upgrade.  I think I'm done for now, but time will tell....


System edited: I recently added a second subwoofer to the system and very much appreciate the results. The sub is an older model, and it took a while to find a matching one, but I'm glad I held out. I admire the old Mirage MS12 a good bit and it blends seamlessly with the JMR speakers.


Very nice system you got there. Very nice looking room too. Keep it up.


Thanks very much Lapierre.

I've had the Thorens since 2005. Nothing *had* to be restored or modified when I found it but I've chosen to do some things that imho elevated its performance a bit. Below is the list off the top of my head.

Cleaned everything up, refreshed the Danish oil case finish and got a supply of bearing and motor oils from Joel at VE

Removed arm ground from the signal path, moving to a separate ground wire that also grounds the chassis

Added moderate dampening to case and metal suspension with Dynamat

Replaced hardboard bottom with cabinet-grade plywood

Replaced stock rubber feet with 3M “bump ons”

Added slight dampening between the inner and outer platter

Replaced stock rubber mat with Herbie’s “way excellent” mat

Experimented with arm board materials (preference is for the current “sandwich” of mahogany and acrylic)

Added Cardas female RCAs at back of the case

Replaced AC wire inside the case and added new power cord

Tried different arms, kept the TP13A

Had new stainless steel weights machined for the TP13A arm

Upgraded headshell wires

Learned how to adjust the springs so that the armboard is centered in its opening and the platter is 5-6 mm above the top plate, resulting in a long bounce time


Well done Dean.

Like the new digs and the component selection. What had to be restored and modified on the Thorens?

Spin the Yellowjackets.


System edited: A recent job relocation required changing houses and this new room is serving fairly well. I've decided that it's nice to have the playback system in the same room as the piano our kids use, so I've re-named the system "music room."


System edited: Recently added another vintage MM cartridge, a Stanton 881S. Still listening but I can easily hear why it was a reference for Doug Sax. Very balanced top to bottom, excellent rhythmic qualities and resolution. A keeper!


System edited: Several weeks ago I picked up a very nice used Gyro Se Mk II, purchased the screw-down clamp kit from a UK dealer, and had an armplate machined for my Micro Seiki arm. Enjoying it thoroughly!


Thanks, Afranta, woodworking is a lifetime hobby for me and I love combining it with my love for music when I can. I would love to hear the Naim gear you have, powering those speakers. Plenty of prat! And I love the colored panels in your cabinets, very cheery.
Cheers! Jim


Beautiful system and room. I envy your vinyl rig, and the rack is fantastic. Thanks for your comment on mine. I'm still stunned by how good the Snells sound -- I really hit the jackpot with them.


Thanks very much, Raytheprinter!


I like this system and room,,love the Turntables,,I echo Loftarasas comments,,looks like a very cozy space!


System edited: Added updated system image...


System edited: Changed to an Audiomat Prelude Reference amp with JM Reynaud Bliss speakers. Will update system photo...


Thanks very much, Loftarasa. Not quite a man-cave, but perhaps a nesting place :)


I love the look of your room. Looks like a wonderful place to relax and listen to music.


Hello Mjcmt,

Apologies for the delay in response.

The short answer to your question is yes! I acquired the speakers for free and while the drivers were pristine the cabinets were thoroughly beat-up. Too much damage to repair. So I decided to take advantage of the opportunity for a complete update using the original drivers.

The cabinet is of cherry and cherry-veneered MDF. After allowing for internal bracing the new cabinet volume is the same as the stock A25. Aperiodic vent was moved to the rear. I removed the tweeter level control and inserted audio grade resistors so that the tweeter is "set" at the level I prefer. Added a Vifa D25 tweeter to serve as a supertweeter with help from a crossover guru. Caps are now premium Obbligato copper/aluminum; internal wire is decent copper, binding posts are copper. I thoroughly enjoy the way they play and consider the updates a huge upgrade--although I realize that there are those who would consider what I did to be butchery. I would only add that given the awful condition of the original cabinets as they came to me, I have a different conclusion...



Your Dynaco A-25 sure look different. Did you add a titanium tweeter, vent it in the rear, and rebuild a new x-over?


System edited: June 2010 added a Micro Seiki MA-505XS tonearm on the Russco Mk V to complement existing Magnepan Unitrac I. Custom machined armboards.


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