The culmination of 35 years interest in this hobby/obsession of ours! I have always collected vinyl records (as many in their mid 50's will have done) and bought my first CD player in 1988. My current analogue and digital sources do not compete with each other for sonic superiority and to my ears represent a very satisfying balance. I enjoy listening to both, particularly albums I collected in the 70's and 80's which I have not duplicated on silver disc. The SACD's I have in my collection sound stunning and I particularly appreciate classical music on digital for the background silence and absence of occasional clicks and pops although I will say that the vinyl front end does an excellent job of suppressing these.

I feel that I have arrived at a system that fully exploits the music and I spend hours each day in my 'dedicated' room. I have installed a single AC point for the hi fi system from a seperate mains consumer unit not on the house ring. The room peaks/nulls have been compensated for by application of absorbers/difusers and careful attention paid to positioning equipment, speakers and cabling to maximise performance. My current investigations are in the field of vibration transmission around the system and how to minimise it.

Components Toggle details

    • Karan Reference Preamp MKII
    Two box preamp with balanced/single-ended connection, built in mc/mm phono stage and outboard power supply connected via Cardas umbilical connector lead.
    • dCS Paganini
    CD/SACD Transport with firewire connection.
    • dCS Paganini
    • TW Acoustics Raven One
    Non-suspended tt with Stillpoints feet.
    • Graham Engineering Phantom II
    Latest model with Micropoise bubble level.
    • Transfiguration Orpheus L
    0.3mV low output mc phono cartridge with 1Ohm internal impedance.
    • Conrad Johnson Premier 350SA
    350 watt/8 Ohms stereo power amplifier.
    • Avalon Acoustics Indra
    Maple finish stereo loudspeaker system.
    • MIT Oracle MA & MA-X
    Oracle MA Digital interconnect with BNC connectors used as clock cable between dCS transport and DAC. Oracle MA interconnect with RCA phonos for DAC to preamp and phono stage to preamp. Oracle MA-X (3M) from preamp to power amp.
    Siltech Classic Anniversary G7 Firewire cable from dCS tansport to DAC.
    • MIT Magnum MA
    3.6M speaker cables.
    • Stillpoints ESS405
    5 shelf equipment rack with Stillpoints + Risers feet and intermediate levels to support each component.
    • MusicWorks ReCoil AC mains power cords
    1.8M screened cryoed OFC copper cables terminated by Furutech FI-50 carbon-piezo IEC and 13amp UK mains connectors.
    • MusicWorks ReJig
    Acrylic resonance-control supports for MIT networkk boxes, power supplies etc.
    • Acustica Applicata DaaD
    Italian made room tuning cylinders similar to tube traps.
    • Vertex AQ Elbrus Point3 balanced PSU
    UK AC mains distribution unit supplying 3 X balanced outputs (300vA) to source components and 2 X unrestricted outlets for power amps. Built in EMI/RFI reduction and vibration absorbtion modules. Star earthed. Powered by Vertex HiRez Roraima power cord from AC outlet.
    • GIK 242 Absorbers
    4' X 2' panels for use at first/second reflection points on room walls.
    • Whest Audio PS.30RDT 'Special Edition'
    mc/mm phono stage with adjustable gain and loading. Single-ended input and single-ended or balanced output.

Comments 9

That's a seriously nice Vertex AQ line conditioner you have.


Nice System Steve!, I also had Avalon with CJ, in my case a pair of Premier 8a, good match!


HI Crystalref,

beautiful system! i have owned Velodynes for almost 20 years. their line-in has historically been a superior connection imho. instead of a loaner pair of speaker cables, you may prefer to use an RCA connector into your Preamp that has two RCA outs. that way you can use one set of RCA cables into your CJ Amp and one set into the line-level input of your Velodyne. Given the size of your speaker, i think you could well find you prefer not to use the crossover inside the Velodyne but rather run the Velodyne in parallel. I own Sonus Faber Strads and have done this for years.

Hope that helps...certainly an easy thing to try and a decent pair of connectors is a few quid. Good luck and if you try it, let us know how it goes!!!


Indeed. The imaging and soundstage is very holographic with great depth and layering behind the plane of the speakers. I sometimes hanker after more bass extension and may well experiment in the near future with my Velodyne DD15 sub which is in my AV system in another room. I need to get hold of a loan pair of speaker cables to connect the sub to the CJ amp as I don't have a second set of pre-outs on my karan preamp.


Terrific looking setup! I bet those Indra's throw a killer image in your room treated like it is. Congrats!


Thanks for your comments. The Indras are quite special. Yes, I would like a pair of Isis or Time (who wouldn't?) speakers, but my room is not big enough! The Raven One has certainly gathered alot of fans worldwide and I think you would have to spend considerably more to better it.


Very nice system Steve.
I've always wanted to listen to the Indra, but haven't had the chance. I also have a Raven One which I'm very happy with. Congrats!


Thanks for your kind words.


Great system, enjoyed seeing the pictures and reading your comments. Happy listening.


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