Description

A system on a budget that sounds very good. Main system consists of Bluesound, Schiit, Rotel and Bowers & Wilkins.

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Room Details

Dimensions: 26’ × 28’  X large
Ceiling: 11’


Components Toggle details

    • Macintosh iMac
    Computer as transport
    • WireWorld Ultraviolet USB cable
    Outstanding cable!
    • WireWorld Equinox
    Interconnect
    • Sony XDR-F1HD
    FM/AM Digital Tuner
    • Cullen Cable Avius w/Red Copper plugs
    Power Cord
    • Cullen Cable Nitin Coax Cable
    • Cullen Cable Avius Red Copper C7
    Power cable
    • Sony UHP-H1
    Universal player
    • Bluesound Node 2i
    Music streamer
    • Schiit Audio Freya S
    SS Pre-amp
    • Rotel RB-1590
    350 watt stereo amp
    • Bowers and Wlikins 683 S2
    6.5" three-way tower
    • Audtek 10awg
    speaker cable
    • Cullen Cable Crossover Series II
    Power cable
    • APC H15
    Power Conditioner
    • Cullen Cable Crossover Series II
    Power Cord
    • Bluesound Node 2
    Streamer
    • Klipsch KG-4 (bedroom/office system)
    • Arcam FMJ A19 (bedroom/office system)
    50 watt integrated
    • Arcam rDac (bedroom/office system)
    USB DAC

Comments 50

128x128
Owner
And so it begins. The journey continues. Bowers and Wilkins just announced their new 700 series and I’m loving what they’ve done with the 702 S3. They haven’t hit the local showrooms yet but I can’t wait to check them out.

Cheers,

Scott

samac

128x128
Owner
Woohoo, happy and content with the hifi for eighteen months now.

Cheers,

Scott 

samac

128x128
Owner
Wow, where does the time go? I have lived with the Rotel RB-1590 for a year now. I had listened at length to it several times, so I knew it was a great amplifier but was still apprehensive about making such a large purchase and wondered how it would ultimately sound in my system. 

Ha, I shouldn’t have worried but like many I’ve had a few disappointing journeys along the way trying to achieve good sound. It’s mated well with my preamplifier and sounds great in the system. The music sounds correct and complete. Tone, clarity, dynamics, all there. Great soundstage and the system now sounds like it belongs in the room instead of sounding too small.

Anyways, good stuff and I’m content. So, how will I feel in six months. We’ll see….

Cheers,

Scott

samac

128x128
Owner
Thanks, Thrive.

Cheers,

Scott

samac

222222&text=so
very nice

sourpuss123

128x128
Owner
So, this past Saturday I had a four hour listening session. That hasn’t  happened in a long time.

Cheers,

Scott

samac

128x128
Owner
Made it to the six month mark with the RB-1590. Usually at this point the strengths and shortcomings are pretty evident with a piece of gear. I’m sure most of us around here can relate.

With my fifty watt Arcam or NAD music always sounded pleasant at low to moderate volume through the B&Ws. In our large room the sound would become strained at around mid to high 70 decibels at the MLP 13ft away; Which was actually mid to upper 80 decibels at three feet. In fact pushed a little further and the Arcam lost control of the woofers. It is no fun to hear a woofer make that loud whack when it bottoms out.

I tried a 200 watt Class-d amp. And while there was more control of the speakers and you could play music louder and to the edge of the comfort zone of the speakers the sound was not nearly as enjoyable as the Arcam and NAD when they played within their limits. The best way to describe the sound would be flat and hard. The sound stage was not stable with imaging that floated around a lot, very frustrating.

All those concerns have been put to rest with the Rotel. We now have good tone/timbre, very good dynamics and an excellent stable soundstage with great detail, imaging and layering. Really couldn’t ask for more.

Cheers,

Scott

samac

128x128
Owner
Added a Bluesound Node 2i to the main/family room system and put the Node 2 in bedroom/office.

So thankful for the Node 2. Won’t say it’s cheap but it is a good value. I’ve used a Node for the past five years as my main music source. Fantastic sound and a great OS. Love it.

Cheers,

Scott

samac

128x128
Owner
New room pic and a couple pics of new amp.

Cheers,

Scott

samac

128x128
Owner
One month in and very pleased. The RB-1590 works very well with the Freya S. With the RB-1590 the system has very good tone, fantastic dynamics and nice big soundstage.

One interesting thing is that the settle-in/break-in has been very subtle. It sounded great out of the box. During the first week the soundstage opened a bit more but it has really sounded fantastic from the get-go.

In a nutshell, everything sounds right. We’ll see how I feel in a few more weeks. 

Cheers,

Scott

samac

128x128
Owner
It’s here and it’s spectacular: The Rotel RB-1590. Spent four hours this morning with dusting, cable management, rearranging components and finally putting the RB-1590 in place.

It’s sounds fantastic. Yeah, I know, it’s the honeymoon phase and it’ll take about a week to get know it well, but man, this is fun. Just been streaming Jazz24 for a couple hours.

Two quick observations: It has the smoothest two-stage soft start I’ve experienced and this amp with two 1.2kVA transformers has not a scintilla of self noise/hum. 

More thoughts to come......

Cheers,

Scott

samac

128x128
Owner
The Schiit Freya S has been in the system a year and I’m still pleased with it. As mentioned in the last post I’ve wanted to get a new amp. Ordered the Rotel RB-1590.

Hope for it to arrive next week but with Thanksgiving it may take longer.

Cheers,

Scott

samac

128x128
Owner
Six months in with the Freya S and still enjoying it very much. Would like to add a new amp soon. Leaning towards the Rotel RB-1590.

Cheers,

Scott

samac

128x128
Owner
The Schiit Freya S has been in the system for two weeks now. It has exceeded all expectations from packaging to performance. So much so that I am contemplating a complete Schiit system by adding a Gungnir MB DAC and the Vidar amp.

Of course all this is the very early stages with a new piece of gear. I’ll try to be patient and see what the future holds.

I will add a few more impressions of the Freya S after I have lived with it for a couple of months.

Cheers,

Scott

samac

128x128
Owner
Hey, Dan, thanks.

You’re confusion is understandable. The Arcam A19 is in a second system in a bedroom/office. I’ve updated descriptions to make that clear. The Schiit/NAD pair replaces the NupPrime amp that died.

I love my A19. It was in the main system for quite awhile. I only replaced it because we simply needed more power in our large room for louder music and movie playback.

Congrats on the Arcam acquisitions. I believe you are going to enjoy those for a long time. In fact I may get the Arcam SA30 integrated in the future.

Cheers,

Scott





samac

128x128
I have to say, I am a bit confused as to what you are currently using for amp/preamp. Your photos show an Arcam integrated, yet your text indicates NAD, though your components list includes the Arcam integrated.

The reason I bring this up is due to me adding an Arcam AV-9 preamp/processor, and DV 139 universal player. I have been very pleasantly surprised at how good these two units have turned out to be. I bought both of them used, to replace higher-priced components that quit working, so it makes me happy that the Arcam units have acquitted themselves so well.

Nice system, and a very nice room. Regards, and enjoy,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

128x128
Owner
Well, after replacing the power supply on my IDA-16 in February it made a loud pop and died last week. Not quite three years old, very frustrating.

Alas, I have recommissioned my trusty 15 year old NAD c320BEE integrated and it is working great. In a few days I will be pairing it with a Schiit Freya S preamplifier. 

 I’m very disappointed that the NuPrime failed however I’m delighted how good my little NAD sounds. Been running it about a week and it is sounding so good. 

About a year after getting the C320BEE I added a deHavilland Ultraverve Jr 6SN7 tube preamplifier to it and it was some of the best sound I have had. 

Honestly, I should have never replaced that set-up. But that was many years and lots of lessons ago. Even though the Freya S isn’t tubed based I have high expectations that putting a better pre in front of the C320BEE amp will again produce excellent results.

We shall see. To be continued........

Cheers,

Scott

samac

128x128
You are most welcome Scott and I am glad that my feedback helped you.

milpai

128x128
Owner
Thank you, milpai. The thing about a large room is it can be tough to fill it with music. At this point I finally have very satisfying sound and I don't sit around wondering what I have to do next to get respectable results.

When I was looking into new cables for my system I came across your power cable post from '15. The feedback from it steered my in the direction of Cullen, thanks.

Cheers,

Scott

samac

128x128
Good to know about your Crossover Series II experience. I recently purchased one and am happy with it. I really like your room. Large spaces make speakers sound so good.

milpai

128x128
Owner
Whoa, I said I'd post more impressions after the Cullen Cables accumulated more hours. 

Well, eight months later I think everything is finally settled in. The addition of the Cullen cables tied everything together beautifully. 

For the first time in a long, long, long time I am simply listening to music. My brain has finally turned off (in a good way).

The Nuprime IDA-16 along with Bowers and Wilkins 683 S2s is natural, neutral, dynamic and balanced. It presents all the music in a complete cohesive manner and the Cullen cables let them do their jobs.

An indication of how much I'm enjoying my system is the dozens of CDs from my collection that I have ripped and added to my Blusound Node 2 streamer. What a great piece of gear and a tremendous value.

It's been a good year for HiFi around here.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Cheers,

Scott

samac

128x128
Owner
Added the Cullen Crossover Series ll power cable to the power conditioner. It has about twenty hours on it and it is settling in nicely. 

I'll post additional impressions after it accumulates more hours.

Cheers,

Scott

samac

128x128
Owner
I have another Cullen Crossover Series ll power cable coming. Will be adding it to the power conditioner and moving the Cullen Avius to the Arcam A19 in the bedroom/office system.

samac

128x128
Owner
Over the last four months I've acquired a full set of Cullen Cables. They are one of they best audio investments I've made.

I have the Cullen Avius power cable to my power conditioner, the Avius C7 cable to my streamer, Nitin Coax cable on my streamer and universal player, Crossover ll power cable to my integrated dac/amp and the Crossover speaker cables to my speakers.

Instead of going on and one about how they sound I'll just say the Cullen Cables simply make my system sound right.

After living with them a few more months all add additional comments. If you come across this post and are considering cables give Cullen Cables a look. Patrick Cullen has an extensive background in the HiFi audio industry. His cables are well made, sound fantastic (neutral and balanced), and are a great value.


Cheers,

Scott

samac

128x128
Owner
The Cullen Cable Avius power cord is approaching the 300 hour mark. I can only say that it is has been a revelation. I have been enjoying my Nuprime IDA-16 for six months. Since adding the Cullen pc the sound coming from my NuPrime has improved in every way

As the Cullen cable settles-in my amp actually seems to be going through another stage of break-in itself. The tone, timbre, dynamics and refinement have all improved. The music is propelled into the room and at my listening position with the music has added weightand body.

Cabling is so system dependent. The Volex 14 gauge pc and WireWorld Stratus  did not work in my system at all with my amps; which is strange. There are many people that use the Volex and Stratus with great results in their systems I'm sure.

I've just ordered another Cullen Avius pc and Nitin Coax cable for my Bluesound Node 2 streamer. I'm really looking forward to how they will sound. I really like the gear I have. But I was dealing with a flat, hard midrange and brittle highs; with the music feeling constricted and fatiguing to listen to at length. Switching one pc has changed all that.

If you have settled on your system and it is appropriate for your room size and listening habits and you have addressed cable management but you are still not satisfied with the results; you might want to try different cables. Beginning with power cables might be the best place to start. It has really helped my system.

Cheers,

Scott

samac

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