Description

I play a little piano and used to play alto sax and clarinet. I have season tickets to the symphony and patronize our local jazz and blues scene. I'm familiar with live music. In a past life I was a radio engineer. These experiences gave me an appreciation of good, emotionally-charged music reproduction as well as the enabling technology. My music interests run from classical to jazz, blues, and other stuff (rock, folk, funk, electronica, etc). Favorites include Michelangeli, Argerich, Furtwangler, Montoya, Piazzolla, Melvin Taylor, Junior Wells, Lionel Hampton, Jimmy Smith, Brubeck, Jeff Beck, Stanley Turrentine, Santana, the Doors, Zeppelin, Groove Armada, etc., depending on mood.

The evolution of this system centered around the loudspeakers. Prior to this setup, I owned and heard a variety of speakers: Apogee ribbons, Vandersteen, Nola, Wilsons, Devore, Verity, Quad, Focal, Sonus Faber, vintage and contemporary Tannoys, Avantgarde, Lowther, and many more. After experiencing a properly implemented multi-way horn system there was no turning back. My epiphany was hearing Josh's Electronluv system at VSAC, later followed by Romy's Macondo. My current speakers were Edgarhorns acquired in 2005, and have evolved with the addition of a new upper-bass channel and a pair of Danley tapped horns for ULF. Naturally, the crossover was updated with the addition of the new channels. Still to accomplish is fabricating 1/4 wavelength mid-bass horns to replace the Edgar 80hz horn.

HF

> 8850hz Fostex T900A

MF

1000 - 8850hz JBL 2441 in 350hz tractrix horn

Upper Bass / Low Mids

280 - 1000hz Faital M5N12-80 5" driver in 142hz tractrix horn built by John Hasquin

Mid Bass

80 - 300hz EVM-15L woofers in Edgar 80hz straight horns

Sub Bass

At this level, the complexity increases and my focus is properly integrating the speakers, drivers, amplifiers and crossovers. My efforts are built on the experience and support of horn pioneers who were generous in sharing their knowledge with me (Dr. Bruce Edgar, John Hasquin, Steve Schell and Rich Drysdale, Romy, Jeffrey Jackson, and others).

Listening room is 16' x 18'. Like all systems, this one has weaknesses. It's large, tweeky, geeky, interferes with non-audio pursuits, and there's less social interaction. I have met new friends through audio. Thanks to all who shared in this journey!
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Components Toggle details

    • 構えの大きい主要主題 (A Majestic Theme) Loudspeakers
    English: A Majestic Theme 5-way speaker system ~ 107dB sensitivity First-order crossovers Alnico magnets Time aligned HF: Fostex T900A horn tweeter MF: JBL 2441 (NOS) compression driver, 350Hz tractrix Edgarhorn Lower MF: 5" Faital M5N12-80 in 142 Hz round Tractrix horn (courtesy John Hasquin) Mid-Bass: using Edgar 80hz straight horns and EV-15 woofers Sub Bass: Danley Sound Labs TH-SPUD
    • Danley Sound Labs TH-SPUD subs (pair)
    Stereo pair with dual 8" drivers per tapped horn
    • Lamm Industries ML-2 (> 75hz)
    Driving mains
    • Bryston 4B-ST (< 80hz)
    Dedicated power for Danley ULF channels
    • Lamm Industries L-1
    Sublime-sounding tube-eating linestage
    • Velodyne SMS-1 ULF processor
    Sub bass processor
    • Micro Seiki SX-8000 Turntable
    200 lb. turntable with 45 lb air-suspended platter and high speed inertia flywheel.
    • SME 3012R / Ortofon SPU-85 Limited (Stereo)
    SME 12" arm and limited edition SPU for stereo.
    • Micro Seiki MAX-282 / Ortofon SPU Mono (Mono)
    For mono LP playback
    • EAR 834PT (Thorsten-ized) Phono Stage
    Circuit mods and parts selection courtesy Thorsten Loesch
    • Sony SCD-1
    SACD player used as transport
    • Museatex BiDat Plus DAC (modified)
    Ed Meitner design DAC, with upgrades by John Wright.
    • Purist Audio Design Dominus (ICs and speaker wires)
    Pain to use due to ridiculous size, weight, and stiffness. Wonderful colorful tone and extended sound, effortless dynamics, with weight and texture. Anti-hifi.
    • PurePower APS PurePower 2000+
    In line power regenerator
    • Solidsteel H-5
    Welded steel equipment stand

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222222&text=sk
Owner
System edited: Added PurePower 2000+

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
@ Fliz, I prefer the Seismic for sound quality, and the Danley for livability. I could never afford to fit two Seismics in my room. On the other hand, a pair of Danleys isn't too difficult. The Seismic sounds surprisingly good, considering the design tradeoffs made by Bruce.

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
@ Alanbrain - I'm not familiar with Danley's SM60, although I admire Tom's innovative contributions to our hobby. I suggest you inform your decision between the Danley and Bruce's horns by considering how you much you want to be involved with your system. Do you consider yourself an active hifi person / hobbyist? If yes, than the Edgarhorns are a good platform to lean about horns, and move beyond doing audio as a gear-acquisition hobby. I've learned much about loudspeakers, and audio in general by my experience with Bruce's horns. With Edgarhorns, you have endless flexibility with drivers, crossover components and design, placement, etc. On the other hand, if you view yourself as a passive listener, and assuming Tom's horns are turnkey (conjecture on my part), you might find his product more similar to commercial loudspeakers, requiring less attention and tweaking to extract their potential.

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
@Glaesemann - the pic is dated. My Edgar 80hz shells are outboard of the 142 hz horns, and Danley subs outboard of the Edgar shells.

More importantly, the integration is not straightforward. My Edgar upper bass horns are only playing in a narrow bandwidth from 80 -> 250 hz. Complicating matters, the Edgar upper bass horn is horn loaded down to 100 hz, then works as a direct radiator where it drops quickly to 80 hz. The Edgar horns are LP'd at 250hz. This isn't ideal, and the next step is to replace the Edgar horns with quarter space full sized horns.

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
Hi T_bone: Since it would be a far stretch describing the speakers as Edgarhorns after several significant updates, and I hate referring to them as 'diy', I was searching for a new name. I'm Japanese / American, and wanted something that captured my passion for good sound. 'A Majestic Theme' is a description a Japanese hifi enthusiast used to describe the sound of another system. I liked it, and it stuck.

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
System edited: Auditioning multi-amp setup with the addition of my Marantz 8B 35s pp amp to drive the upper bass channels. Crossovers are unchanged, still passive high level first order. Time now for listening, measuring, and (hopefully) enjoying the new configuration

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
Thanks, Jeff. I recently added a pair of Danley tapped horn subs to replace the Edgar Seismic. I was very happy with Bruce's sub, but wanted a pair of ULF sources, and simply couldn't find room for another refrigerator-sized cabinet.

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
System edited: Installing 4 dedicated circuits. Work will be completed later this week. The room was wired with a single circuit prior, powering everything including dimmer-switched lights and high-consumption heaters.

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
System edited: Updated equipment list

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
System edited: Sold Edgar's horn-loaded Seismic subwoofer last week. There were no major shortcomings about this sub and I miss the contribution it made to my sound. My sole issue was the refrigerator-like scale and size of the box. It was a tight fit using one. A stereo pair would take too much space in my 16' x 18' room. What will replace the Seismic? I'm having midbass horns and sealed 18" subs fabricated for each channel. And this is the thing with horns - they are large compared to other speakers, and shortcuts lead to disappointment.

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
Received today my 18" Aurasound 1808 sub woofer driver. This is the same massive driver Wilson used in the XS and WOW subwoofers. It has a 4" underhung voice coil, 2" travel, sensitivity of 98dB, and a paper cone. I have an idea for a new sub bass enclosure for coverage of infrabass and the lowest audible octave, from < 20hz to 40hz.

Now, I need to find a matching 1808 for stereo.

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
System edited: Today I replaced the problematic pair of horrible 6c33c 7 pin sockets with real Johnson sockets on one of my ML2s. There were clear signs of damage caused by arcing (burns, brittle and dull wire) and there was zero spring tension in the pin clamps resulting in little to no contact on the pins. I believe these were the cause of burning through a couple V2s and wildly swinging plate voltage readings. This is shameful on a $30k retail amp!

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
System edited: I found some new (old) drivers for the horns. There's a pair of Altec 515-16G 16" woofers that would be used for a new mid-bass horn. And I found an Aura 1808 18" driver for a new sub-bass channel. This is the massive driver used in the original Wilson XS subwoofer. It will be nice when I find another, for a stereo pair.

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
System edited: Slowly and patiently working with new speakers, listening and observing. Integrated Fostex tweeters yesterday, connecting to the system with a single 1uf cap. First impression is positive.

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
System edited: Added pics of new upper bass / lower mid horns. They replaced the Edgar 80 hz horns. These 142 hz Tractrix horns were fabricated by John Hasquin on a giant lathe and weigh a couple hundred pounds each. They are 31" x 34" x 4" (mouth x length x throat) and I'm using a 5" Faital M5N12-80 driver. These are a new addition to the system and all crossover and integration details are still under evaluation and yet to be finalized.

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
System edited: Added Technics SP-10 turntable and Oppo blue-ray disc player

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
System edited: I changed the crossover design and implementation to fix a shortcoming in the loudspeakers. New, modern caps replace the vintage GE oil caps, new Electraprint custom massive chokes, new silver teflon wiring, revised layout, and most significantly, adjustable L-pads on the midrange circuit. Midrange output reduced, compared to the upper bass and HF. Initial results are promising. The sound is more "voice forward". Male vocals are less throaty originating more from the chest. Classical music is weightier and more grounded. Jazz bass lines are subtly more present. I do like having user-adjustable capability to compensate for different recordings, room position and furnishings, and mood. So far, there is no downside from adding the L-pad to the circuit.

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
System edited: added Lamm ML2 amps

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
Luigi22's real identity was revealed last week. He is actually a yak herder from Uzbekistan now working on a chicken ranch in Eastern Washington. After hurling figurative grenades and insults at our forum for a couple of days last week, his account was quickly cancelled by the Audiogon moderators. He was last seen peering in the Magnolia HiFi store in Bellevue, muttering something about "aesthetics" and chasing after Porsches driven by retired Microsoft people to ask for directions to Mike Lavigne's. If you see Luigi22 somewhere, please alert the authorities, pronto.

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
Luigi22, thanks (yet again) for your interest and curiosity. My horns are fine for me, as they are.

I also stay busy climbing and skiing in the mountains. And meeting friends, finishing my deck, traveling abroad, playing piano, working out, etc. Audio is simply one of my priorities / interests. But keep checking in, I may get around to it. Thanks again.

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
Yep, I agree it's time to finish them. I'll get to that project when I complete evaluating my preamps, lubricating the bearing on my Micro Seiki, restoring my Garrard 301, optimizing my second system, ceiling mounting my HT projector, mounting a HT screen, selling some of my unused gear, and a few other projects. For audio being a supposedly passive activity, I seem to stay way too busy. The speakers do operate, and it's been easy to procrastinate completing the cabinets.

Scott

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
System edited: Cavalier Plus modified: KT-88 substitution for KT-100 output tubes enabled by tapping lower voltage supply from transformer. Output power reduced from 15w to 10w. Mod work by Cy Brenneman.

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
Hi Mike, I emailed you privately.

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
System edited: Well, I need a preamp to accomodate switching between my source components. I went through this last year, and definitely prefer running sources direct. But switching cables is ultimately proving an inconvenience. I hate the idea of inserting another component in my system, but that is the price of convenience. I purchased two preamps, one line level only and the other full-function. I'll audition both when they arrive and choose one.

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
Highend64, you have a great job with nice fringe benefits!

Scott

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
System edited: Added a SRA isolation platform for the Forsell CD transport. I have already been using one for the power amp, with good results.

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
System edited: Since returning from vacation in SE Asia, I reassembled my system in the front of the room, on a better designed shelf unit. This setup is more practical and integrates better with the rest of the room. Acoustic space and imaging take a big step forward from removing the large TV that was between the speakers. The SRA platform beneath the amp is essential here, and the system is pretty much unlistenable otherwise. Without the SRA, music takes on a harsh and edgy character. I'm modifying the EAR 834P according to Thorsten Loesch's guide. So far, the power supply mods are complete, and the new capacitors are enroute from suppliers. The unit took a significant step forward with Thorsten's circuit mods (direct coupling the tubes and reducing the supply voltage). This is really not subtle at all. It is simple to do these mods, and even without completing the upgrades to the signal path components, the results are real and tangible.

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
It's been over a month since I posted. Since then, several changes were made. Most significant is a very long spell of withdrawal fever caused by the amp being out of the system for some work and upgrades. I knew I should have kept the old amps as back-ups! The amp was returned to Cy Brenneman for repair of an intermittent short caused during shipping. Even though I am not the original owner of the amp, Cy is repairing it at no charge under warranty. Also, the Noble volume pot on the Cavalier Plus is being upgraded to a 24 position Goldpoint stepped attenuator with 0.1% tolerance smd resistors. I have reservations about having only 24 steps... But a volume control is a necessary evil and the low noise resistors should in theory be a significant upgrade in performance from the carbon film Noble pot. The short circuit happened the same day my Bidat returned from John Wright, after it was "lost" for 3 months in Canada Customs!!! I ordered John's usual upgrades, plus other non-standard mods I requested. John was pleased with the results from these changes, and he said he may offer them as part of his standard upgrades for the public.

The big screen Pioneer Elite RPTV that was positioned between the main speakers is gone, sold on Craig's List. I moved the almost-as-large Edgarhorn sub from the right side wall to the middle of the front wall where the TV was located. It is a common myth that sub-woofers are omni directional. This is absolutely false. I tested mine with a 24dB/oct 4th order network crossovered at 80Hz. It is still (slightly) audible above 200Hz!!! It is definitely directional. I want the new sub position to address any balance issues.

Since the system is down, I also had the digital interconnect reterminated from SPIDF to AES/EBU. I don't need the additional gain or noise rejection. Mostly, I just want a more secure physical connection because Dominus is so heavy and a pain to manage. If Dominus didn't work so darn well, I would wonder why anyone would put up with it.

I'm finally getting around to modifying the EAR 834P. I decided to do this myself, in 3 phases, to gauge the efficacy of each upgrade. Phase 1 will be upgrading the power supply (storage capacity and diodes), phase 2 will upgrade caps and resistors in the signal path, and phase 3 is direct coupling the circuit per Thorsten's mods. Phase 1 and 2 parts are ordered.

I'm also taking time to buy more music. I added more Kyung Wha Chung, Ashkenazy, Julie London, John Lee Hooker, Bobby Darin, Gene Ammons and Albert King to my LP collection.

Finally, I'm leaving next week, travelling abroad for 3 weeks to Thailand, Cambodia and Viet Nam. Looking forward to a great vacation, but also already looking forward to putting my system together when I return and listening to music.

scott

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
System edited: Replaced Venustas speaker cables with Dominus fluid. The system is now fully wired with Dominus, including ICs, digital, speakers, and the amp power cord.

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
System edited: Updated system description

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
Jeff - In addition to Edgarhorn, I listened to Avantgarde Trios, Duos, and the single driver model (forgot the name). I also listened to Exemplar horns and Klipsch. For some reason, the Avantgardes never clicked with me. My demos were at dealer stores in Vancouver, BC and Tokyo, rather than in a home, so it may have been poor set-up. In any case, to my ears, they all had a lean and thin sound that did not work for me. I could easily live with the Exemplars. They are wonderful. And the large Klipsch are nice, too.

T7279 - Yes, the T-350s were from Ebay. I don't know if the seller has others. If you like, contact me offline and I'll forward the seller's contact info.

Mjw55 - Yes, this is the Slot Coulior on the the North side of Mt Snoqualmie. It's an exciting ride, and that day the conditions were pretty spot on with plenty of powder, except for some ice at the entrance. Are you a skier in the area?

Scott

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
System edited: Added Brenneman amplifier

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
Mike - How are your Edgarhorns coming along? And did you end up with Cy's Cavalier? I began with the Fane ST-5022 that Bruce specs for his horns. To my ears, the leading edge of notes was too edgy, rather than the smooth and graceful rise I prefer. The Fostex T900A replaced the Fane, and was a move in the right direction for me - a rounder and more graceful sound reproduction. On rock / pop music, one might prefer the Fane to the Fostex. But on the music I listen to, the Fostex was a better fit. My reservation with the Fostex is subtle. I wasn't satisfied with the way acoustic stringed instruments are reproduced. Also, sound should fill the room occupy the space. The EV T350 works for me. Strings are silky smooth, with their own distinguishing texture and vivid colors. And they are wider dispersion than any bullet driver, and fill the room better.

Restock - I did try a PP amp last month. In my case, it simply had too much gain for my high-sensitivity system, and noise was an issue. Naturally, this doesn't mean a PP amp can't work with horns. But in this instance, it wasn't the right move. Thanks for the invite. If you realized how much I enjoy skiing, you might not be surprised to find me at your door! I had a great time the last time in Banff. Next time I want to explore further beyond the resorts. You are welcome at my place the next time you come to Seattle.

Scott

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
Correction: My previous comment should have read the only turntable I personally heard comparable to the big Micro Seiki is the Rockport Sirius.

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
System edited: It's been more than a month since listening to music on the big system, mostly due to other interests (like skiing and climbing). I missed my listening sessions, and this past week spent time with music and updating my system. I always believed my horns did ok, but there is still untapped potential in them. I replaced the Fostex tweeters with a pair of NOS EV T350 horn tweeters. The T350 is making a good first impression: silky smooth HF, sensitive enough to keep up with the MF horns, and much better dispersion pattern compared to bullet tweeters. I also made another change, replacing my venerable little Micro Seiki TT, with a bigger one, the SX-8000. It's a beast, a pain to move due to extremely heavy weight, and basically immune to any external disturbances (even the 1500 is a champ in this regard). The 8000 is more involving to operate compared to the 1500 it replaced due to the massive 50lb platter floating on air. Operating it reminds me of a ride on a big Cat D9 bulldozer. It's big and powerful, with huge inertia. Compared to the 1500, the bigger table imparts elegance and nobility to vinyl beyond anything I have experienced, except the Forsell turntable. The playback is extremely stable and dynamic. I like it alot.

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
System edited: Updated pics including photo from our skiing / climbing trip to the Slot Couloir, Snoqualmie Pass, Washington. This is a sporty route, with consequences, and a highlight of the region. Awesome.

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
System edited: No audio system update, but... My other passion is ski mountaineering. Last week I had a chance to ski a little prize about 1 hour outside of Seattle at Snoqualmie Pass, called the Slot Couloir. It's a narrow and sustained chute with about 1,200' vertical. The top half was a little icy, but the lower part was powder heaven! The pic is not from my trip, but conditions were similar with sunny skies. My gear decided to fold that day, with worn out climbing skins, a delaminated ski edge, and icing problems. Those skis earned a one way ticket to the next bon fire, and today I picked up a new rig to replace them. Aside from the sun, spectacular scenery, scary fun steeps, and powder, it was a terrible day. Highly recommended other Seattlea-area skiers stay at Alpental across the canyon.

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
System edited: Added 9m Dominus after moving the equipment rack from the front wall to my listening position. I was using some old ICs since the move. With Dominus back in the system, the sound is like a fresh breath of air on the beach, after driving for 5 hours behind a metro bus in stop and go urban traffic.

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
Hi Thomas - thanks for the kind words. Interesting, I always found your system to be one of those I really enjoy reading about. My Lamm L2 experience is buried in one of the earlier posts. Bottom line - the L2 performed adequately in my system, but there were 3 issues for me: 1) I expected more dynamic sound, 2) sound was too thin/lean for me, and 3) I prefer a one chassis solution rather than a two chassis solution for space efficiency. On the plus side, the L2 has a very good rendering of acoustic space, and the most natural tone, especially on difficult human voice and solo piano. The L1 addressed 2 of the 3 issues I had with the L2. Specifically, it is a one chassis design. And the sound is slightly richer than L2. With the rest of my system, this works better for me.

Scott

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
Nutella: One other thing - to give an idea of the differences between modded Bitstream and Bidat, the recent change in transports from the Sony to the Forsell was a bigger improvement (significant) compared to the difference in the two DACs (nuanced).

Cheers,
Scott

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
Nutella: Regret the very late reply. Bitstream (modified) and Bidat are both very nice. They both render music properly, with roundness and tenderness. They are different flavors of good, with the modded Bitstream being a little "softer" and analog-like, and the Bidat having more resolution. The differences are subtle, not dramatic. Glad to hear the L1 works for you!

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
Restock / Howard: the amplifiers are on hold for the moment due to another project taking precedence. There is simply too much happening at once. In December, I obtained several items, and now I'm reconfiguring the entire system, including layout, racks, wires, etc. The listening room looks like a tornado hit, and the mess takes some pleasure away from listening to music. This confirms that listening to music is an aesthetic process, and that one's environment has a direct influence on the experience.

I decided I need a new rack to fit everything in a neat, organized manner. Since the equipment rack was relocated nearer my listening seat, I had to use two short ICs connected together to connect to the amps. This is a short-term fix, and I have a 9m IC on the way. Today a new turntable arrived, and it's sitting on the floor until I can get a rack sturdy enough to support the weight. It weighs nearly 200#, and if I add a Vibraplane later, that is another 120# or so. So everything is a mess. The good news is that after everything comes together, the critical front ends and speakers will be stable, and then I can listen to amps with a critical ear.

Since I am more into music than gear, I am really looking forward to getting everything together and listening soon. And, I will get to the power amps, and report back, I promise!

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
Kuzibri, the Forsell Air arrived yesterday. I have reservations rendering a judgement so soon, before living with the unit awhile. But first impressions are positive. I am very pleased. CD playback is more satisfying, in a natural and human manner - just what I wanted. Instruments are clearly separated in space, horizontally and front to back. Resolution and nuance is enhanced, but without the annoying laboratory sound most call "high-reslution". The Forsell also works well with the Museatex DACs, which have a similar flavor, to my ears. Thanks for sharing your experience and consultation as I considered upgrading to the Forsell. It was invaluable.

Scott

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
Howard, I think we could both live happily with eachother's audio system, and maybe even skis and bikes! Looking forward to our visit in January.

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
System edited: Added Forsell Air Reference digital transport. Replaces Sony DVP-S9000ES

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
System edited: Added Museatex Bidat DAC

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
System edited: Added mono LP playback with Ortofon SPU GM mounted on MS Max 282. As I write, I'm listening to BSO performing Tchaikovsky's Fifth recorded in 1958, played as it was recorded - in mono! :-)

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
System edited: Added another tuner - a Mcintosh MR-74. This one is in mint condition, looks new, and operates flawlessly.

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
System edited: Added Sansui TU-9900 tuner. It is an amazing FM source that opens up a whole new world of almost unlimited free music. The sound quality is really nice.

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
System edited: My tuner is not as reliable as it once was, and I want to listen to FM on the big rig, so I decided to get another tuner. There is too much great music on the airwaves to go without. We have a nice classical station in Seattle, KING FM, and some public radio with nice jazz, as well as a great alternative station (KEXP). Expecting a mint Mcintosh MR-74 that was aligned last year to arrive soon, and looking forward to plugging it in. I guess that this tuner choice is consistent with my theme of combining interesting contemporary and vintage gear together for results that please me.

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
System edited: new pics

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
System edited: I'm finished for awhile. The music is great, and my job is busier than ever.

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
System edited: I'm done now.

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
System edited: Updated system description

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
System edited: Updated pictures.

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
System edited: Sold Lamm L2 and replaced with Lamm L1 preamp. L2 has some (sound and mechanical) issues that I've discussed before. Overall, the sound is agreeable, but I wanted a one-chassis product. Lamm (the man) told me the L1/ L2 circuits are virtually identical, so I am giving the L1 a chance. The circuits may be identical, but there are many implementation differences - 1 vs 2 chassis, controls, etc. The sound is similar, with the L1 being very slightly warmer, and probably a little less transparent. So far so good.

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
System edited: Added Audio Technica SS-300 platter mat

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
System edited: added Fostex T900A super tweeters, 8R impedence, 5-38kHz, 106dB sensitivity. Crossed over at 20kHz.

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
Larry-
You have shared your experience with many people here, and I appreciate your comment.

It's been a long journey, and today I'm about as far as could be from the original high-power low-efficiency set-up. It's been tons of fun!

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
Kleonard-
Well, you may be right. The transport is the only part of the system that I haven't experimented with. I'll have to get smarter on this. Thanks for your input.

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
System edited: Added Lamm L1 preamp to system. The L2 does wonderful things to playback. The sense of acoustic space, instrument scale and location, humanizing voice and "anti-electronic" signature is a treat. But there are some idiosyncracies about L2 playback that bother me. Specifically, the L2 has an upward tonal balance and a slight but noticable compression of dynamic range. Also, two full-size chassis is impractical. I want to evaluate the L1 in the hopes of retaining the L2 goodness, while addressing its problems.

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
System edited: Added EAR 834P phono corrector.

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
Oldiesrecordstr - thank you very much. Are you a record dealer?
scott

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
Sirspeedy - thanks for your nice comment, although sometimes I do have a BAD attitude ;-) Contact me when you come to Seattle, and we can arrange that listening session. I am sure we would have a blast...
scott

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
System edited: Updated pictures

skushino

222222&text=sk
Owner
Howard, first impressions posted. Having fun and always learning. This is like an advanced course in speaker design and room acoustics. It takes some effort to get everything together.

How's the K-horns? Are you listening to them yet???

skushino

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System edited: Added Edgarhorns to system. Position is limited by available space. Not even close to proper set-up. They are located outside of the Circes, almost at the sidewalls and 5 feet to the front wall, 10 feet to listening position. Exposed crossovers, wires everywhere, wooden horns temporarily supported by anything available, until furniture casing is built. My concern was not to lose the endearing strengths of the Circe, while gaining a sense of effortless agility and improving dynamic range. After getting past the kluged set-up and clutter, the first impression is promising. I'll keep it brief. Startling, effortless sound pressure gives a sense of aliveness and agility. The enitre room is pressurized with music information. This is not about loud, it's about loading the room in its entirety, even at low listening volume. Notes are separate, individual and organized. Still nice, round and warm rather than choppy and etched. Spatial information is about 80 - 90% of Circe - still very good. Room placement and optimization will take more lots of effort, based on size and weight. Much fun work yet to do!

skushino

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System edited: Edgarhorns arrived today.

skushino

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System edited: The Seismic Sub is in the system. This is my first experience using a sub-woofer. First, the tension bracing inside the back chamber had to be shaved for the 18" driver to fit properly. The amp arrived today, but w/o proper bass eq. Without eq, the sub system is not full-range, down to 20Hz. But does it really matter for music? Since the midrange drivers and horn haven't arrived yet, I am using the sub with my Circe speakers. My quick and dirty impression - small crossover and level adjustments have a large affect on sound. This will take some effort to optimize. Also, the mis-matched Welborne DRDs amps and Alon Circe speakers work better with sub reinforcement. It is 2:00am now, so it's time to get some sleep!

skushino

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System edited: Bruce Edgar called today. Finally, he is testing the Vitavox S2 driver integration with the rest of the system. Initial results are looking good. He described the S2 as sounding very different from the stock JBL 2441 drivers, being sweeter and smoother. This is just what I wanted! I asked him to continue evaluation, testing the limits of performance on large-scale symphony music, and other demanding material. After many months, there is light at the end of the tunnel!

skushino

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System edited: The Seismic Sub shell arrived yesterday. It ships in three separate pieces, so moving is easier than expected. Bruce is sweeping the 18" JBL driver, and plans to ship driver and Hsu plate amp this week. Also, I removed a free standing wood-burning fireplace from the listening room to make room for the sub. Bruce explained the tiled floor beneath the fireplace will provide an excellent boundary for the LF exhaust to enter the room.

skushino

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System edited: The Edgar Seismic sub is scheduled to be delivered later this week. I decided to remove a wood burning stove to make room for this huge sub-woofer. The floor beneath the stove is ceramic tile, which will provide a boundary and reinforcement for the downward firing low freqs. The 80 Hz straight horns arrived a couple of weeks ago. Bruce is working on throat adapters for the Vitavox S2 midrange drivers. Fane ST5022 HF tweeters are purchased. My girlfriend thinks I'm nuts, but I know that she will be pleased after she listens to these horns.

skushino

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Artg, Thanks for your comments! The Lamm works well for me. It has some issues - mostly some dynamic compression, upwards tonal balance, and two big chassis. These issues are balanced by super-precise spatial benefits. Positioning and sense of space are awesome! The Circes are my second Alon speakers. My first were Alon IIs purchased new in 1993. And I never feel the need to upgrade my little Meitner after listening to the Big Boys (DCS, EMM Labs, Lavry, Audio Aero, etc). It may not be the SOTA, but it's not embarrased either - it's a keeper...

skushino

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System edited: My Museatex Bitstream returned today after servicing by John Wright. The data connection was randomly dropping signal due to a loose connection, so I sent the unit to John for repair. While it was in the shop, John replaced some of the caps with Black Gates. My Bitstream was already modified to Data II status, and for my ears, it was essential for digital playback. It really "vinalyzed" music. I really missed it! Just put it back into my system this afternoon, so I will withhold judgement until after break-in. My main concern is the BG caps do not screw-up the beautiful "rightness" of the DAC.

skushino

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I'm spending alot of time on the phone with Bruce Edgar. Super guy to work with. Yesterday, I reevaluated using the sealed-box sub, and am now leaning more towards the horn loaded Seismic Sub. Haven't quite figuerd out how to fit it into my room. Minor detail... This hobby is going to be the end of me!

skushino

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System edited: pictures added

skushino

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System edited: With the addition of the Welborne SETs, the system is in-between where it once was and where it's going. It was a high-power, conventional speaker set-up. Only now, the 8w Welborne amps have replaced the former amplifier. The result is a very nice midrange and HF, with wonderful harmonic texture and contrast. Surprisingly, the SETs are also much quieter in terms of hiss, hum and other extraneous noise. On the other hand, bass suffers, with loss of definition and power. There is simply insufficient power to driver the Circes. Over the past months, I have been gathering the components to build Edgarhorns. The project is now a priority, to regain system matching with the low-powered amps. So far, I have a pair of EV-M15L 15" upper-bass drivers, a pair of Vitavox S2 midrange compression drivers, and last week took delivery of the 80Hz bass horns. Practicality is forcing me to go with the sealed-box sub-woofer solution, rather than the amazing Seismic Sub. I just can't find the space for a refrigerator-sized sub-horn in my room... This is a compromise that I'm making very reluctantly. But Bruce assures me that the smaller sealed-box sub will perform satisfactorily, if not to the same level as the huge Seismic. The Vitavox drivers were sent to Bruce for evaluation and fitting to custom 350Hz horns, as the drivers are different from the JBL 2441s he specs. Also, my German cabinetmaker just left for a one month vacation back home, so I have to exercise patience until he returns. My expectations for the project are fun and learning, and I've decide to post my progress here, sort-of as project documentation, or diary.

skushino

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Owen, just checked in and saw your comments. Would love to speak with you further about your phono stage. I'll need another for my second tonearm/cartridge. Other than the Lamm, have you listened to other units? I'll phone you to learn more. Thanks for the input.

skushino

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System edited: Another experiment - Added a pair of 8w/ch 300B SET amps to the system this weekend. This is part one of my move to a low-power high-efficiency system. Since I do not have high-efficiency speakers (yet), I am using my current low-sensitivty (87db/w/1 m). Still forming impressions on this change. Most obviously, this amp / speaker combination should NOT work whatsoever. The speakers are low sensitivty with complex crossovers - definitely not a good match for a SET cricuit. My expectations were low to none. But surprise... The combo produces sound, even some music. The biggest surprise is the pretty loud SPLs produced. Not surprisingly, the freq extremes are rolled off. But the midrange that remains is really pleasing. Especially on stringed instruments and vocals, there is so much harmonic texture and resolution. Piano lacks the lower fundamental tones. All in all, better results than expected. Now, I just need to get cracking on the horn speakers!

skushino

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Thanks for your input, Randy. Our listening rooms have similar dimensions. I agree that speaker positioning is critical with Circes. More so than any speakers I owned before, and there were a few: Alon Model II, Apogee Duettas, Vandersteen 2C and Klipsch Heresy. But, I am also a more critical listener now than before.

In any case, the current set-up is the best I have attained in my room for soundstage width and image depth. They were positioned all around the room, at one time or another. Using Cardas as a guide, the distance of the speakers from the front wall also is very close to a third of the length of my listening room. There was a pronounced mid-base resonance before, that was tamed with this lates position. I think they will remain here for awhile. As you know, the Circes are pretty hefty...

The Counterpoint is almost 20 years old, and was used to drive all my speakers, even the Apogees, with grace. It's still breezing along, no problem...

skushino

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System edited: Last week I changed speaker positions, based upon Cardas' method. Now they are located 6'10" from the front wall and 4' from each side wall in my roughly 15' X 18' listening room. Listening position is equidistant from the speakers, forming an equilateral triangle for nearfield listening. Compared to the old positions (speakers not as far into the room), a resonant base node is better controlled and imaging depth has substantially improved. Next, I want to measure room response with ETF or another suitable tool, for final calibration.

skushino

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System edited: Added TX103 step-up transformer. Custom hybrid copper primary / silver secondary windings.

skushino

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System edited: Added Hagerman Cornet tube phono stage.

skushino

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Owen,

Nice to hear from you. The Venustas is a cable that I am becoming vey familiar with the past year. I like it. It seems to do the job of transferring signals w/o too much damage, in a natural manner.

When you have a moment, I would like to learn more about your "special" phono stage.

scott

skushino

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Mike, glad to hear from you, and it was a pleasure being a guest at your home. No, I can't take comfort in your misfortune, but I'm not surprised to learn that this happened to others. Analog is a very delicate hobby!

skushino

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System edited: Last night I was listening to music and enjoying a glass or three of wine. Feeling good, I had the brilliant idea of calibrating my TT. In the process, I accidently brushed the tonearm while the cartridge was on the Shure scale, and severely bent the cantilever. The cartridge is toast... Moral of the story: adjusting TTs and enjoying a glass of wine mix like Michael Moore and the GWB. At least it was the Denon and not the Shelter.

skushino

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Thank you, Mike. I try to remember that our hobby is often more about the journey rather than arriving at the destination, although your case may be an exception!

It has been fun gaining exposure to new gear, but the greatest pleasure has been discovering new music on a system that allows me and my friends to enjoy it.

I'm looking forward to visiting your "barn" soon. Also looking forward to hosting you.

scott

skushino