To embrace as many different ways I can retrieve my music is what this page is all about. Computer access to my tunes via Itunes and my Apple Imac 24 Core 2 Duo, and the ever versatile Apple TV take 2. My catalog AAC,ALC,AIFF uncompressed audio at my beckon call is terrific.
My Analog machines to balance out the analog side of things are the Tascam 52 2 track open reel machine from the post production days of the 1980s. Still sounds great today. My Teac A-2000r and A-3300s round out my consumer quarter track reel to reel solutions. Made in the mid 1970s the 3300s is my old favorite with the A-2000r more of my sendimental favorite.
Both are great at 7 and 1/2 inches per second of long play analog bliss. Stone reliable too with support less than 25 minutes away when I need it.
Digital front ends are the Sony CDP XA-7es, and the Revox B225 and Vincent CD-S6 Compact Discs players.
The heavy duty go to CD player is the Sony, with its detail retrieval, has to be heard to be believed. Not bad for 1996 tech.
The Revox B225 is that 1983 get the emotions right player with edges nicely rounded without the hard digital bite that digital is at times known for.
The Vincent CD-S6 is a bit of an enigma, tube class A triode output that has great promise. I like the pace and rhythm of the player, but I am looking for that last touch of humanity that the Revox has and more. Rolling the tubes will be the solution. Question is, which ones? We'll see on this one.
Sony DTC-A6 DAT machine makes an occasional visit to the system when DAT long play session is needed. Hard to let this one go.
Ancillaries are the Toshiba TV to see and navigate my Apple TV take 2. And watch DVDs from time to time from my goodie and oldie Sony DVPS-7700 DVD player.
Control central courtesy of my Vincent SA-T1 Preamplifier with double triode vacuum tube pure class A output. 6 inputs single ended, and 2 pre-outs and a record out as well. Will roll the tubes on this one too when the time comes.
Amplification of it all is the Emotiva XPA-2 Power Amplifier with 500 watts per channel into 4 ohms which the great Magnepan MMGs run at, I have no wanting for dynamics,control, and finesse in a well sorted,built and neutral sounding package. Maggies want and need power to be at their best, well if 500 watts per channel isn't enough, I will have to get the XPA-1 monoblocks at 1000 watts per channel. We'll see.
Speakers are the unforgettable Magnepan MMG Planar speakers. Small, yet so musically involving for the short dollars.
The NHT Classic 12 Subwoofer takes care of the lower bass regions.
Making the connections, Virtual Dynamics David interconects and some Tara Labs, and Audioquest and an old Monster Cable interconnect with Audioquest also doing the Speaker cable part. Panamax 1000 plus power manager to remind of me of how few outlets I have, and still not hurt the sound.
Studiotech helps me have a place for it all. So all in all, just a few other tweaks to go and I should be good to go.
Small and hey even Sci-fi futuristic looking. So revealing and just right for my small to moderate listening space. Love 'em. See the system pictures to get a look at them.
Virtual Dynamcs Nite 2 and the Audition
Virtual Dynamics Nite 2 for the Vincent Power amp, the Audition for the Vincent SA-T1 Preamplifier. The Power 3 Power Cable for the Vincent CD-S6 CD player. Keeps the tonal balance rich and the dynamics full. Very pleased with these power cables.
Virtual Dynamics David 2.0 1.0m RCA
Terrific cable that stomps my Audioquest Sky. Speed of light technology just for starters help make this cable a great compliment to the power cables, and next considering David Speaker cables too. Virtual Dynamics are just plain amazing.
This Reel to Reel keeps my Analog music playing with the tapes dubbed from Vinyl many years ago. I love the sound of this machine. Based on the A-2300, this deck has the greater dynamic range record/playback preamplifiers, plus auto reverse playback.
Vincent Audio SA-T1
The top component running Triode and Class A this 3x 12ax7 output Preamplifier has 6 line inputs and a record out with 2 pairs of pre-outs is an amazing addition to complete the Vincent Audio combination I have. Very smooth sounding and detailed without the Tube bloat, but with the smoothness of the Tube.
Vincent Audio CD-S6
Lower Component of the 2 shown here. Vacuum Tube 12ax7 and 12au7 with 6922e stages with HDCD decoding along with fixed and variable output. With Philips VAM CD transport. Output tube stages all running Class A. Even the headphone output uses the 12au7 tube that is visible through the round front window panel. Great sound.
Sony DTC-A6 DAT recorder/playback
The Sony DTC-A6 is a prosumer DAT machine that plays and records the DAT format. I can't stand the frustration with cassettes and at times a reel to reel is not what I want. Here is my Sony DAT machine to fill the bill in the just right audio stakes for me.
This is my A2000r big brother as it is older and takes the big 10.5 NAB reels. Great sound, I just fully restored it to its early 1970s glory. Sounds as good as the A2000r but with the bigger reels, more music to hear.
Tascam 52 2 Track REPRODUCER/RECORDER
THE HEE-man rig for my reel to reel tapes. 15 inches per second and 2 tracks the full width of the 1/4 inch tape help with signal to noise and dynamics.
Beast of an amplifier,500 watts per channel into 4 ohms. Neutral sound, speed and great sound staging. Would be the perfect amplifier with the Vincent SP-331's warmth I had, but overall, very impressive amplifier none the less.
Studiotech HF-3 b/b
Audio Video Stand for you components. Get my gear off the floor and make it presentable.
The Vincent has allot going for it. Like the Rotel, it is very dynamic and detailed. I like the Vincent better in that it engages more than the Rb-1080 did. The Vincent doesn't have that hard sound the Rotel does in the midrange. Voices seem more palpable to me. The Rotel may have the edge ultimately in power, but the difference is so small that it is not a big deal. 8 ohms 200/ 330 in 4 ohms for the Rotel, and 150 in 8 ohms and 300 into 4 ohms for the Vincent. The Vincent for its rating is a true 3db increase as the impedance halves. While Rotel does NOT recommend running a 2 ohm load..I did and nothing bad happened, the Vincent has no problem with demanding 2 ohm loads and just keeps cooking. Bass response is think too close to call. Highs Vincent wins no contest, Midrange the Vincent is also the champ too. I sold both my RB-1080, and RMB-1095 Rotels because this amplifier impressed me so much. I used the money from the 1095 plus some cash and bought the CD-S6 Vincent CD player. What a combo the SP-331 and the CD-S6 is. And that is without a preamp yet. Ricky you won't be sorry going with the SP-331. It is a keeper, and my Maggies are doing great with it.
Hi Bonger,the Cayin will work well, only with one caveat. Dynamics may be bit limited. I found that with the Primaluna. But if you are listening to small ensemble jazz or classical and not too demanding dynamic material, you should be in great shape.
System edited: The new Vincent SP-331 Power Amplifier replaces my smoked Acurus A-250 amplifier. Wow, this amplifier has some great music in it. Will need the obligatory 300 or hours of break in, but so far very happy with the sound,and can't wait for the amplifier to settle in. 300 watts per channel for my NEW..sigh Maggies, the Acurus fried the Old Maggies so bad, it was just better to buy new, so..I did. Sucks, now I have to run in those MMGs' again. Oh well the breaks. I mean really. This is getting pricey.
The Cd player is great. Run it for about 300 hours and be ready for a great sound. Bass is rich if a bit lacking ultimate definition, but the treble and midrange really shine. Love the vocals and instruments that sound like the real thing. Not sounding digital at all really. Can't wait to roll tubes later. Thanks for asking.
Vince come back into the light! You can have SET & POWER to spare.
Output Transformer Less Sound !
The best way to describe the design is much like a pair of single-ended triode amplifiers wired together differentially. It is the world's first Class-A all triode fully-differential zero feedback output transformerless amplifier.
System edited: I love the Prima Luna, but gee whiz more power would be nice along with more control. So, yes I have gone to the dark side of the force and gone with this Solid State amplifier the Acurus A-250. I use my Prima Luna for small ensemble goodies, but the Acurus is for my hee man music with Mahler etc. dynamics. This Acurus is so good, I may just use it all the time and the Prima Luna goes to my computer audio.
System edited: Just got this Revox B-225. Wow, very smooth operator, gets the timbres nice, and does not fatigue like allot of digital I have heard. Big surprise. Goes well with my system. Not as reaching down low as the Sony, but not as analytical either. Can listen for hours and stay engaged. A nice plus to my simple system.
Stumbled by here again, but this time I write as a current MMG owner. Do you not find them to be a little bass shy? Not to say that they don't have bass, but they don't have the bass that the larger Maggies do (my friend has 2.7QRs and those things just POUND).
Weakest links are the connections between components. This combo leads me to getting the most possible IMHO out my very simple combo. I hate complex solutions, and my integrated and Cd player here just do nice music without lots of other things. I want it simple, but I want it done well. Thanks for your comments and observations.
Question: Why such expensive interconnects in proportion to the rest of the system? I am extremely fond of AQ products, and Sky and Mont Blanc are an A++++ combo, but it just seems a touch disproportionate. Then again, perhaps investing more money into components doesn't make much sense, so you're tweaking the components you've found ideal for your system...
Photofreak, thanks for the tips and the lead, I am experimenting with other isolation plats, and may make my own air or sand system. No decision yet on that though. Must be my laziness there. I just love the harmonic and musicalness here. I had put these little quick garden like fixes together from a day at OSH. Couldn't find the right thing for my project, so the hifi gets alittle isolating with the footers and sand.
Vincedog3, good to see a Maggie owner who understands simplicity and tubes! I don't know where you live but it may be worth it to you to check out Stereo Unlimited in Walnut Creek CA, they sell more Maggies than any store in the country. They also do their own modifications to speakers with their own patented wire and their version of the Linaeum tweeter that goes from 1,000 hz to over 60khz, mounted on top of the Maggie tweeter. Allison, Avantgarde Acoustic, BG Corp. Martin Logan, Opera, along with many great tube amps all get modded at the store. I'm only telling you this because the transformation from stock is unbelievable! It totally messed up my whole way of thinking about audio. You can check them out on line, Liz and Dave Hare. I'm only endorsing them because I have modded speakers and amplifiers from them and I've HEARD what the changes did! You wouldn't be disapointed. Quick tweeks, go to Wal Mart and buy some 12inch bicycle innertubes, blow them up and put them under your amp,CD player etc. also try placing your 1.6's with the edges facing you and the fronts facing the walls. Sit back and enjoy,
Mthieme, The Primaluna has plenty of power to get the MMGs to work very well. While I would not call it a power house,it has a fullness in its presentation, and balance that I don't find myself having to crank it up to get all the details and emotion of the music. Even at lower volumes it has a richness about it that is uncanny. My room is about a 15' X 18' size or so and I find the Primaluna fills it with music just great. I hope this helps you in your consiladation. Sorry to here about the reason, but at least the Primaluna, won't be a let down once you hear it. Best of listening to you,sincerely,Vincedog3.
I have MMG's as well and have been looking for a tube integrated as well, I have been using BAT seperates and am consolidating due to finances.(sucks) Do you find that amp has enough power for the Maggies?
That's a great question. I know I have plenty of fullness with the MMGs'. It wouldn't be too much of a stretch for the 12 or the 1.6 I think. depends on the room size too, and how loud you like. But my gosh this amp is full sounding. I think you would be amazed. thanks for your thoughts too. great question.