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.


> 8850hz Fostex T900A


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!

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

Comments 153

System edited: Added Technics SP-10 turntable and Oppo blue-ray disc player


dig those speakers



I quite agree. Horns are way underrated these days.


Nice system! Seatle has a great music scene - must be fun. I envy you!

Ag insider logo xs@2xshadorne

Never ceases to amaze me how those intimately familiar with live music LOVE a good Horn set up. Well designed Horns rule!. My Tannoys will in the future enjoy the same fate with a radial horn which in my humble opinion is the only way to go. The horn loaded tweeter of the Canterbury 15 SE is only a third of the way there to horn heaven.


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.


System edited: added Lamm ML2 amps


So how is the Forsell tranport doing, reliability-wise? Any issues? I've heard it and it's nice, but my friends have complained about it being somewhat picky.


I find the use of Edgarhorns and Brenneman amp very interesting. I've heard them twice together--in the Brenneman room at The Show last year in Las Vegas and in a warehouse room in Lomita, CA, where I went with Bruce Edgar one afternoon in '06. I heard magnificent orchestral sound and assume you have it with your system too. In fact, your happiness with the Brenneman amp encourages me to explore it as a possibility for my own system. I currently use an Air Tight KT88 push-pull amp that has served me extremely well, but I've become curious about higher-powered SET amps recently.


nice, I am getting the crossovers for my more humble Edgarhorns soon,,,although the bass bin is tuned to 100 Hz,,,I wonder how low will it go, with EV drivers..mids are Dynaudio and tweeters are bullet type.


Nice running into you today in the u-district. Talk to you soon!



What a nice system. Seeing it just about brings a tear to my eyes.


btw, skushino, just moved to seattle. bruce edgar told me to look you up to see what an edgar style system could do. i'd love to check out the system sometime if it's not too big a deal.


funny stuff, skushino!


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.


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, get your priorities straight! You seem to post everywhere praising people's aesthetics in their listening room, and yet you drop the ball in your own room. Get moving! We have nothing but time.


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.



Personally, I like the lighter color of the wood on the horns and think they look good against the white carpet.


Maybe it's time to finish those horns. They look horrible! Dragging the whole aesthetic down.


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.


Hi Mike, I emailed you privately.


Scott; pray tell.....what pre's are you considering?

i was in that same predicament 5 years ago and i ended up with a passive Placette RVC and a switchbox as my sources were on the side and my amps between my speakers.

in your case since your sources and amps are all together, maybe the Placette passive pre would be fairly inexpensive yet retain the purity of the direct connections you now have.


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.


Love your system. I completely understand and agree with the SX-8000 imparting elegance and nobility to the music. I set mine up this past week after waiting a few years to get the space in my living room and for the past few days it has been non-stop vinyl. Now I have to work on getting more arms on board. FWIW, I think that really nice horns have the same effect.


I see an Ikea bookshelf :) I have the same one.


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