Description

...enjoying the hobby more every year...
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Room Details

Dimensions: 27’ × 20’  X large
Ceiling: N/A


Components Toggle details

    • Volent VL-2
    Ribbon Tweeter and Graphite/Titanium woofer
    • REL Acoustics B2 Brittania
    Running 2 in Stereo
    • Aesthetix Saturn Calypso Sig
    I didn't realize what the rest of the components in this system could do until switching to the Calypso.
    • Aesthetix Rhea Eclipse
    What a fantastic piece that was selected to match the Calypso...just makes vinyl so textured and interesting.

    2016 - Very musical and a great color palette 
    • Aesthetix Atlas Eclipse
    2017 - Recently upgraded.  Very detailed and musical
    • Walker Audio Procession Phono Amp
    So different from the Rhea Eclipse.  I can't believe I own both and each is so good, but different than the other.  Infinite loading is a revelation.  The jury is still out on which I prefer.  Maybe I'll keep both?
    • Dynavector DRT-XV1s
    Still my standard
    • Micro Seiki RXV-1500
    Modified with brass footers and Starsound record weight...better than the vacuum hold down
    • Microseiki 505 Mk I
    So far a real find. Soon to have a second one for a Benz H2 cartridge
    • Auralic Aries
    Controlled with Roon and leashed to DAC via Audioquest Diamond USB.  Sounds best when wired and using Audioquest Vodka to do that.
    • PS Audio DirectStream DAC
    Their latest software has always been suprior, so generally the latest is installed
    • Musical Fidelity A5
    Today this acts as transport only into my DAC - Does anyone listen to CD anymore?
    • Sennheiser HD650
    Headphones w/Stephan Equinox Cable
    • Singlepower PPX3
    Headphone amp
    • Quadrant Systems Speaker and Interconnects
    Small manufacturer whos wires have blown away the competition at the price point...very pleased!
    • Synergistic Research Outlets
    Dedicated 20A lines to each amp, then a run for analoge and another for digital
    • Shunyata Research Denali 2000T
    For Atlas Amp and Rel Subs (run from a PS Audio Power Strip)
    • Shunyata Research Denali 6000T
    Behind the wall of my components
    • Small Green Computer SonicTransport i5
    I'll use this post to also list the rest of my random digital chain - Regen, Jitterbugs and maybe a power supply soon.  Tidal streaming and Netgear NAS for music.

Comments 75

222222&text=ch
Owner
The Atlas was upgraded from Signature to Eclipse. 

 I've lived with the Eclipse for over a year so my impressions on the improvement are over quite old, however I recall having two distinct thoughts.  
First that the improvement was more significant from Signature to Eclipse than it was from stock to Signature.  The second was that the the music had more nuance, which gave me more emotional involvement in the listening.   

In speaking with Aesthetix they recommended doing the Atlas prior to the Calypso and Rhea.  It was their instruction that the amp would yield the biggest benefit of the three.  I have had the Rhea upgraded to Eclipse as well and the Atlas was more significant.  My Calypso is still at Signature level.  

chadlesko

222222&text=ji
What were the significant changes you heard from the Atlas after upgrading to the Eclipse? From the signature version I assume ?

jim94025

222222&text=ch
Owner
Many changes since in 2017.  The three most significant changes include a new room, taking the Aesthetix Atlas amp to Eclipse update and adding the Shunyata power conditioners.  

While other changes were more subtle they proved to be musical.  Adding sound diffusion from Hofa and absorption panels helped tame the room. Several turntable tweaks brought more musicality and kept the analogue ahead of the digital.  Still, digital streams are vital for my musical journey and enjoyment.  

chadlesko

128x128
Just an absolutely great system Chad!

baggs1

222222&text=ch
Owner
Dan

Ultimately I followed your first bit of advice and have chosen to upgrade my existing phono stage from standard Rhea to Signature. I'll see what it yields, but I agree after much consideration that this is the right step prior to cartridge change.

Thanks for chiming in...

Chad

chadlesko

128x128
Chad, in response to your question regarding a change in your analog rig, I ask you, have you considered trying a different phono stage?

You might see if you can borrow different phono stages, and see if that makes a difference you like. I tried many different phono pres before my current one, a Modwright SWP 9.0, with upgraded power supply.

Another suggestion is, try out a Zu Denon 103R cartridge. If you are looking for a bit of warmth, it should help some in that area.

I went a step farther with mine, I sent it to ESCCO in London, for their saphire cantilever, Paratrace stylus upgrade, turning the 103R into something really special.

Good luck with your search, it can be fun and frustrating at the same time.

Regards,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

222222&text=ch
Owner
System edited: Reaching new heights of satisfaction as I have finally figured out what I like and driven the gear to reflect it.

chadlesko

222222&text=ma
Chad,

Great looking system....You bought a Calypso from me several years back and I ended up with another one....still trying to find the Signature version for $3,500 or less so I may need to wait a bit longer. Thought you might like to know that Jam is now working for Cary Audio as their Director of Product Design. He still lives in Charlotte but commutes to Cary NC for three days a week. The first amp he worked on is getting some ++ press on 10 Audio. I still keep telling him that he needs to market his cables...they are about as open and transparent as I have ever heard. I go back and forth between his cables and some Acoustic Zen Silver, and like them both. I am seriously considering letting Jam modify my Calypso as he feels confident he can elevate it beyoned the signature level but I'm just not quite ready yet to take that leap. If I don't find an actual unit in the next 6 months I may go ahead and give him the opportunity!

Ken

Ag insider logo xs@2xmattkimb96

222222&text=la
Chad what are your room dimensions?

Working on room acoustics and taking notes.

Systems looks great.

lapierre

222222&text=ch
Owner
Tom6897 - speaker wires are all Quadrant System wires. The guy who made this is a friend of mine who has worked for Pass, Grado and now Cary. Very nice stuff for real world prices.

Lapierre - YES! I love these speakers. I think I am off the band wagon for a bit...unless my house suddenly expands and I can go the floor standing route.

Jerico - Thanks for your reply over on your system site. I have gone the Telefunken route and have been pleased...I will look into your recomedations soon. Analog is what makes this a hobby!

chadlesko

222222&text=je
Love the black M180s!

This looks like a killer analog setup.

jerico

222222&text=la
Still listening to the Volent speakers?

lapierre

128x128
Nice system you have put together. I have the Volent CL-2. What speaker cables have you found that compliment your VL-2's?

tom6897

222222&text=ch
Owner
Hi Albert...great to have you chime in. I need to update some pictures soon. I am running the Dynavector XV1s with the 505 arm. Really a nice combination, but I haven't tried too many combinations. At least not a cartridge of equivelant caliber. Do you have any experience with the Micro tables that you could share?

chadlesko

Center
Upgraded my analogue to Micro Seiki...really enjoying the change. Becoming convinced that there is some great gear that has been either overlooked through the years

You're right, the Micro is a top flight piece. Which cartridge are you using with it?

Ag insider logo xs@2xalbertporter

222222&text=ch
Owner
System edited: What's old is new...to me. Upgraded my analogue to Micro Seiki...really enjoying the change. Becoming convinced that there is some great gear that has been either overlooked through the years, or it's just new and therefore not in vogue...but still great!

chadlesko

222222&text=ch
Owner
Jt3 - the stands are Sound Anchor stands...they are not my favorite looking, but they are beefy...haven't come across a heavier or more robust stand to date. With that said my wife would never allow them in the family/living room...they have a utility look that only works in listening rooms!

chadlesko

222222&text=ch
Owner
Semi - The Usher is a good speaker. They are a totally different animal than the Merlin and Spendors...your conclusion on the tweeter is one I share...in fact when I moved on to try Volent speaker the number one concern I had was reguarded whether or not the ribbon tweeter could compare.

While the Usher is a good speaker...the Volent has trumped it in my system...more fluid and of a whole then the Ushers...the Volent just tick all the right boxes for me and that is no fault of the Ushers. In fact the Ushers now make up my Home Theater system, so I still am quite fond of them. For the price I still really admire the Ushers and can whole heartedly recommend them.

chadlesko

222222&text=jt
What stands are you using? I discovered the Usher's need substantial stands to really sing.

jt3

222222&text=se
what speakers did you end up with?

my impression of Usher BE-718, they never fatigued. They are detail with good extension but never harsh nor do they fatigue, I really enjoyed them and thought they were great value. in comparison, I found most silk domes lacking except the very fine Scanspeak Revelator.

semi

222222&text=ch
Owner
System edited: Attended RMAF this year...big mistake. Ended up changing speakers, running dedicated lines and finally a new cartridge. It's kind of extreme when I only set out to do electrical work.

chadlesko

222222&text=la
Nice upgrade Chade.

I think that was a good decision based on the details from Rogue site.

lapierre

222222&text=ch
Owner
System edited: 3 weeks ago I sent my amps to Rogue to upgrade to their new M180...check out their website for all upgrades performed. The upgrade certainly transformed these amps to much more refined level...there is now a much quieter background leaving so much detail to be had. I'd encourage anyone considering it to talk to Mark at Rogue.

chadlesko

222222&text=la


Did not realize you had the Rogue M-150s that is a great match with the Merlins and Ushers. And I do believe in providing monos to the smaller monitor speakers to get the best performance.

I also looked at Aesthetix Calypso and Shindo Preamps but at the last minute went with the McIntosh C500.

lapierre

222222&text=ch
Owner
Lapierre - I got the Merlins and the Ushers at the same time in order to do a shootout...I am enjoying each for different reasons. Lately I have been favoring the Merlins in the pictured system above. However, the Ushers are no slouch...in fact they are the prefered speaker under certain conditions...they reside in my family room as an HT speaker and that system is a PC Server based for the sake of working around the house and/or having parties! One big difference is that the Ushers fatigue these ears after an hour of listening, the Merlins never fatigue! This is a big deal given that I like to listen every night prior to turning in. But, the speakers are polar opposites with vastly different executions and requirements...the end result being a much different take on a musical presentation...both say something different and I like that.

chadlesko

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