I'm pretty happy with what I have, after a lot of speculation and experimentation.  My Advents were converted to "Econowaves" and moved to another room for TV duties.  My living room is for music only.  I'm now certain I love SET and vinyl.  I like good digital, sometimes a lot.  But SET + vinyl does it for me.

Room Details

Dimensions: 21’ × 18’  Large
Ceiling: 8’

Components Toggle details

    • NAD C 546BEE
    I can never remember the model name, but this CD player does its job to my satisfaction.  I miss my Rega Apollo-R, but I think the NAD is more than up to the task.  However, I prefer listening to vinyl.
    • DIY Darling 1626 amp
    Sounds as good to me as my old 6B4G amp did.  Tom McNally does a great job building these.  Though I really enjoyed having a First Watt F6 in my system, when the six-month-long summer rolls around here in Austin, it's just too damn hot.
    • 47 Laboratory "Treasure" passive preamp
    Another component that seems to hang around, no matter what.
    • Kenwood KT-7300
    Old Reliable.
    • Well Tempered Labs Simplex
    Gets out of the way and does the job with aplomb.
    • Fidelity Research MC 201
    Moving coil cartridge, 0.16 mV output.  My "other" cartridge is an Ortofon Black 2M moving magnet.  I like the FR better.
    • Softone Model4 Phono Stage
    Has SUT's built-in, for MC tubed goodness.
    • Omega Speaker Systems Super Alnico High Output Monitors
    97 dB sensitivity is essential for that low output SET sound.  I had a subwoofer hooked up, but I like the music better without it.  It's all "more of a piece," if that makes any sense.  I suspect the sub wasn't integrated properly or was too slow to keep up with the alnico drivers.
    • Sugden Audio Products Phono Preamp
    I tried to sell this phono stage on A'gon, AK, and A'mart--for half price!--but got no takers.  I listened to it today and decided I really do like it too much to sell so cheaply.  I like my Softone slightly more, but the Sugden is very good, even when using the very low output Fidelity Research cartridge.
    • VPI Industries Cyclone
    I use Audio Intelligent's Enzymatic/Super cleaners with this machine.

Comments 12

Very nice system without the overkill!
I am shopping around for a phono pre and was wondering how you came across the Softone Model 4 and how you like its performance.




More pics!  System looks ace to me.  I've coveted that Rega CDP for a while now.  Speakers look real sharp.


You can get great sound as a bottom feeder.  I have.  Craigslist is a smorgasbord of potential goodness.  I had Large Advents for a while a surrogate while awaiting my "audiophile" grade speakers....enjoy...


I found a pair of JBL LX47's on craigslist for 150.oo. One of the best sounding speakers I have owned. They have a big brother LX55.


Nice budget rig. Upgrading your speakers will make a major improvement to your sound. I had the CA100 before and it excels with very detailed speakers. Your cdp is also on the warm and musical side, so again this confirms a highly resolving speaker would bring your system to the next level.


"Though I really like my Large Advents, I'm wondering what a more modern equivalent might be."

For less than $100, I have been pretty impressed with Pioneers BS-22's. They list for 130 but occasionally go on sale for around 80-90.


Sweet little set-up, and btw, if you like it, don't tinker with it! And if you do, at least don't sell any of it so that you can go back to it if you ever want.


I didn't realize Bryston made speakers. Intriguing . . .

By the way, I put away the NAD and re-inserted the marginally better-sounding 47 Lab 0447 Treasure passive pre.


For your space, look at the Bryston "Mini T" bookshelf.


Thanks for the nice responses. Though I really like my Large Advents, I'm wondering what a more modern equivalent might be.


Nice looking, clean setup, I bet it sounds equally great, congratulations!


I think you made a bunch of great decisions on building your system. I am sure there are many systems that cost a lot more and do not sound as good as yours. Looks like something I would enjoy listening to. Nicely done.


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