These two self powered subwoofers are in front of the main speakers and in side firing position.
It crossover at 78Hz. I do some tweaks in the circuit for a better quality sound reproduction and I changed the internal wiring that connects the woofer to the internal amplifier ( 50-60cm ), the original is a very bad zip cord one that I changed with Kimber Kable KCAG that I soldered directly to the woofers and directly to the amplifiers: with no connectors in between.
The power cord comes from Analysis Plus and is soldered directly to the inside subwoofer switch on/off with out no single connector kind ( at both sides/ends of the power cord ) and the IC cable is the Silver Oval by Analysis Plus too.
I change too the internal electrical power wires that goes from the subwoofer switch on/off to the Subs amplifier, I'm using KCAG by Kimber Kable.
Both subwoofers are " seated " over three Van Slike footers/isolators along with inverted Tip Toes ( position ) over these Van Slike isolators. Both subs have a dead-weight ( on top ) of 30kgs.
NOTE: I'm not using the subwoofer internal crossover or an external electronic crossover to send the signal to the ADS L 2030.
The crossover function happens inside the two modified Levinson 20.6 mono-blocks at its input through a WIMA FKP1 cap and a single nude 0.001% Vishay 2575 resistor.
In this way the signal from the preamp goes normally ( pure and clean ) to the 20.6s and to the loudspeaker with out any additional electronic stage or cables/connectors and the signal was taken directly from the Essential 3160 by the Velodynes.
MARK LEVINSON REFERENCE 20.6: IMHO these monoblocks are truly Reference status.
It is a great industrial design, military specs, bullet proof, great performance.
It is a fully regulated input to output design and have " only " 100 watts of pure class A at 8 ohms, and double that figure at 4,2,1 and 0.5 ohm with an output impedance of 0.012 ohms!
Btw, in the way my ADS's are internaly wired the impedance goes lower than 2 ohms, this means that this ML monobloks are " running " at 400+ watts of power, so the system has a great " headroom ".
The power supply is supported for two " big " toroidal transformers ( 600VA each ): one for each polarity in each monoblock.
I modified the original Levinson circuitry where the signal at the input only " see " one tiny value WIMA FKP1 cap ( crossover. ).
I made it other amps internal modifications. In this manner these 20.6 amps are IMHO able to compare with any of today's top designs and I think will do for years to come.
The amplifiers power cords are hard wired KCAG silver wires by Kimber Kable all down the amplifiers circuit boards with no single connector of any kind between both ends of the power cords.
I change too some internal critical place cabling using now KCAG by Kimber Kable.
ESSENTIAL 3160 PHONOLINEPREAMP: This is a phono/line preamplifier . Btw, IMHO this analog audio stage is the most extremely critical link for the quality/accuracy of the music/sound reproduction in any analog audio chain.
I would like to explain some of the critical issues on any phonoline-preamp:
First: it has to mimic the RIAA equalization with what the LP recording was build.
As a fact this mimic RIAA equalization is an inverse mimic RIAA equalization.
Any deviation from this RIAA eq. do severe degradations to the quality sound reproduction due that is a curve and affect almost 2.5 octaves. So we need here: accuracy.
For a phonopreamp really do its job that RIAA eq. deviation IMHO must be at least ( no more ): +,- 0.05 db between 20Hz and 20kHz.
Second: it has to have enough " gain " for it can reproduce the very low signal that comes from the phono cartridge, specially MC ones.
Third: That " gain " must be with out noise/distortions/colorations.
The Essential 3160 not only achieve those desired targets but surpass in some ways.
This, our self design, Essential 3160 use bipolar transistors in two gain stages for MC phono stage and FETs for MM phono stage in the same two gain stages, the Essential 3160 is not only a phono stage that you must to connect to a line preamp ( where you need an additional interconnect cable that do a degradation to the signal ).
No, the Essential 3160 is an integral one unit (with out step-up transformers ).
This is very important because we need synergy between phono and line level. It does not make sense to me to have separate phono stage and line stage from different builders where you have two different " colorations "????
In reality this phonolinepreamp have three preamps instead of only one: it has a MC phono stage, it has a MM phono stage and a line level stage preamp. All this three stages are totally independent from each other.
Where there is no compromise, the MC and MM stages are very critical and needs to be independent. Each phono stage ( MC and MM. ) is designed for its self precise and specific needs.
Our design is a discrete Non-feedback, direct coupled, pure class A , current mode, true balanced ( differential ) input to output, dual mono design and fully regulated input to output.
The dual mono design only share the chasis but both channels are totally independent from each other even in the dual mono external power supply ( that use too a pure silver Kimber Kable power cord. ) that is so important to the performance on this phonolinepreamp, it has separate attenuator volume control and separate phono/line switch, impedance changes by solder resistors.
Inside parts: teflon Cu capacitors, " naked " Vishay resistors,mathed transistors , no internal wires ( every part is soldered directly to the four layers circuit boards. ), etc....., only the best neutral non-sound parts ( no step-up transformers, no head amps, etc.. ) and in the critical stages with tolerances at 0.001%.
The RIAA equalization is a critical issue. RIAA accuracy of better than 0.1 dB is highly desirable, because even a 0.1 dB error will be audible due to the RIAA poles spanning as much as 3 octaves of the audio bandwidth, resulting in a permanent coloration that will be present in every phono record, veiling the character of the recording and resulting in a monochromatic, predictable sound.
A developed proprietary technique guarantee an accurate RIAA de-emphasis. This technique assures an initial RIAA accuracy of +/- 0.011 dB from 20 Hz to 20 kHz ( Both channels ), resulting in a neutral phono stage that reproduces exactly what the cartridge generates that are in the recording.
The result is a preamplifier combining the purity and transparency of a passive preamplifier with the speed, dynamics and drive of an active preamplifier ( Truer to the recording. )
To round off the preamplifier's RIAA capabilities, its has a switchable 3.18 us turnover point Neumann pole. ) to compensate for the cutting head preemphasis roll-off during the recording.
- RIAA eq. deviation from 20 Hz to 20 Khz: 0.011 db ( both channels )
Frequency range to: DC to 1,5 MHz. ( both channels. ) (-3db )
Clean gain: Adjustable to 100 db
Signal to noise ratio: better than 85dbA in MC stage refered to 0.5mv. and according the standard/norm/rule: EIA/CEA-490-A , the same spec for MM but reffered to 5.0mv and 110db at 1 V ( unity gain ) in line stage. ( Both channels .)
Slew rate: 350 V/mseg.
Common mode rej.: 150db. ( Both channels. )
Distortion: 0.002% ( Both channels. )
Dynamic range: 131db.
Crosstalk: better than 140db.
Input overload: MC: 20 mVrms @ 1 kHz (High-gain), 40mVrms @ 1 kHz (Low-gain)
MM: 550 mVrms @ 1 kHz.
Total weight: 65 lbs.
Here too the power cord is hard wired with no single connector in between power cord ends using KCAG by Kimber Kable.
THE ANALOG RIG.
ACOUSTIC SIGNATURE ANALOG ONE MK II: the system have two of these TT's, each one with three differents tonearms/cartridges.
In the picture Turntable 1 the cartridges are, from left to right starting at the Audiocraft tonearm: Audioquest AQ 7000 Fe5, Ikeda REX9 and Shelther 90X.
Turntable 3: Goldbug Brier, Accuphase AC-2 and Dynavector XV-1.
Both TT's seats over three Audio Technica AT-616 neumatic suspension isolators with inverted Tip Toes ( position ) on top of these AT isolators.
The Acoustic Signature separate motors " seat " over an AT-666 neumatic isolator too.
MICRO SEIKI RX-5000: This " old " japanese design is a great performer, we do some tweaks inside the power supply that are very important to the performance of this particular TT.
The cartridges here starting with the MDC-800 are: Van denHul Colibri, Koetsu RSP, Ortofon MC 7500 and Allaerts MC2 Finish.
This TT/motor/powersupply seats over a neumatic suspension Audio Technica AT-616 audio insulators and the platter is internally dampening with sorbothane.
I don't use any TT clamp and the TT mat is a self design propietary blend build material: stunning!!!
I own other 6 TT's: Denon DP-75, Denon DP-80, three Technics SP-10MK2 and Luxman PD-310.
Others cartridges that I own and that are not on the pictures are:
Sumiko Celebration, Denon DL-S1, Denon DL 1000, Denon 103 and 103D, Audio Technica: Art 1, OC-30, ART 2000, At 1000, At 37E, Victor L1000, Allaerts F1, Fulton High Performance, Highphonic MC-A6, Supex Ruby, Fidelity Research MC 702, Benz Micro Ruby 2 and LP, Dynavector Karat 23R, Sao Win SMC 10, Clearaudio Discovery and Insider Gold, Lyra Helikon, Transfiguration, Koetsu Onyx, Van denHul Frog, Ortofon MC 2000, Ortofon MC X-5, Technics P-305MC MK2, Sumiko Blue Point Special, Dynavector Karat Nova 13D, Ortofon MC3000MK2, Sony XL44L, Sumiko Talisman, Audiocraft AC-01, Lux LMC-1, Empire MC-5, GAS Sleping Beauty, Monster Cable Genesis 1000, Crown Jewel, Signet MK220E, Azden GM-P5L, SIGNET MK111E, Micro Seiki Lc-80W, Denon DL-H5LC, Lyra Clavis Da Capo, Apature MC-150, Coral MC-81, Goldring Electro II LZ, Audio Technica AT-36E, Mayware MC-3L, ADC MC-1.5, Audio Technica AT-32E, Sumiko Premier LMX, Carnegie 1, Sony XL55, Carnegie 2, SUPEX SDX-2000, Fidelity Research MCX-5, Van den Hul Colibri Wood XGW, Entre- EC1, Linn Akiva, Clearaudio Goldmund, Wilson Benesch Carbon One, EMT TSD 15 SFL, Pioneer PC50MC, Transfiguration Phoenix,
Sumiko Talisman Alchemist IIIs Sapphire, Satin M21-B, Shinon Red Boron, Accuphase AC-3, Lyra Kleos, Goldbug Clement II, Yamaha MC-1s, Victor DT-100E, Azden GM-1E, Adcom XC/MRII, Audioquest AQ 404iL Ortofon Jubilee and Fulton RSD.
Those are MC cartridges and the MM/MI type cartridges are:
ADC Astrion, Technics U205CMK4, Empire EDR.9, Stanton LZS 981, Audio Technica ATML 170 OCC, Audio Technica 180 OCC, Micro Acoustics MA 630, AKG P25MD, Empire 600LAC, Grace F9E, Elac 896 H24SP, Sonus Gold Blue, Empire 750 LTD, Bang&Olufsen MC20EN, B&O MMC20CL Bang&Olufsen MMC 6000, Empire 900GT/1000GT, Reson Reca, AKG P8ES Super NovaII, Empire 500ID, Sonus Dimension 5, Audio Technica AT20SS, Philips GP 412 II, Audio Technica AT 20SLa and 7V, Nagaoka MP-50 Super, Empire 4000D/III, Garrot P77, Bang & Olufsen MMC 2, Grace F-9 Ruby, Grado " The Amber Tribute ", Supex SM-100 MK2 , Astatic MF-300, Astatic MF-200H, Ortofon OM20 Super, Audio Technica AT-ML160-LC/OCC, Ortofon VMS-520MK2, Shelter 201, Rega Super Elys, Acutex LPM 315III STR, Audio Technica AT-95SA, Shure Ultra400, Acutex 320 III STR IMproved, Astatic MF-100, Andante P-38, Ortofon M20E Super, Nagatron 350E, Sumiko Pearl, Mission Solitaire, Clearaudio Virtuoso, Ortofon VMS30 MKII, Ortofon VMS 3e, Shure M97 Xe ( Jico SAS stylus ), Ortofon M20FL Super, ADC TRX-1 , Micro Acoustics MA 2002e, ADC XLM MK3, Signet TK10ML-II, AKG P8E, Empire 1000 Z/xe, Audio Technica AT-24, Andante P-76, Technics epc-p100c mk4, Ortofon M20E Super , Empire 1080LT , AKG P-100LE , Audio Technica AT155LC, Grado RSII, Piezo YM-121, Azden YM-P50VL, Victor Z-1EB, ADC 25, 26 and 27, Shure ML140HE, Audio Technica 331LP, Excel ES-70EX4, Nagatron 9600, Acutex LPM320IIISTR, Signet Tk7E, Micro Seiki LF-7, Shure V15-III, Signet TK7SU, Philips GP 412 MK3, Acutex LPM420IIISTR Goldring G800, Pionner PC-400, Fidelity Research FR-6SE, Goldring G-820, Goldring 900IGC, Azden YM-P50E, Pickering XVS 5000II, MicroAcoustics 530MP, JVX 4MD-20X, Van den Hul MM-3, Sony VL-32G, Stanton 981HZSII, Grado MCZ/A, Audio Technica Precept PC440, Glanz MFG-71L, ACUTEX M315 III STR, JVC X-1, Pickering TL-4S, Precept PC220 and XE, Astatic MF-2500, Precept PC550ML, Pioneer PC550E, Precept 440LC, JVC X-1MK2, Osawa OM-300MP, Grado G-1+ and Microacoustics QDC-1.
SUT for LOMC cartridges:
Denon-AU340, 2-Entr 100 in mono-fashion, AudioCraft T-26 and Denon AU-1000, all modified by me.
Other tonearms: Moerch DP-6, Audio Technica 1503-III, Technics EPA-100, Epa 100MK2 and 501, Ortofon RS-212, Fidelity Research FR-64, Koetsu SA1100 MK II, SAEC 506-30, Stax UA-9N, Dynavector DV505, Grace G-945, Audio Technica AT-1010, Sony PUA-237, JVC UA-7045 and Grace G-840FB.
I'm in a universal tonearm design that through our first prototype is very promising, we will see at the end.
Well, I know that for many people the visual beauty of an audio item is really important, for me: it is ok but what I really care is about QUALITY PERFORMANCE if it has " beauty " great, but if not: I don't care at all.
I know I have to much work/fun in the near future.
GENERAL INFO: I use two independent 30amp dedicated electrical line and the power cords go conected directly to the electrical box ( no power connector/plugs ).
These electrical power lines has ( each one ) two 3.6Kw full regulators to mantain 120v. with RFI/EMI supresors and surge protection with additional 90db of noise supresor.
All these power cord goes directly soldered inside the electronics audio items ( amps, preamps, subs, etc, etc. ) with no male/female connectors in between. All system power cords are pure silver KCAG by Kimber Kable ( no cooper wire down there and anywhere. )
The electrical power " signal " goes straight from the electrical power source " box " to the audio item power supply with out any single " obstacle " that can " disturb " it.
I by-passed all the internal fuses in the electronics that comes with any single audio item/device in the system . The best fuse is NO fuse at all.
The audio signal that goes from the Essential 3160 to the Levinson amplifiers goes directly soldered to the Levinson input boards, so there is no RCA or XLR connector in the audio signal here that can degrade in anyway the audio signal integrity..
All the cables: interconect,speakers and power have at the input/output ferrita noise stoppers.
All the interconnects/speaker cables are Silver Oval by Analysis Plus, except the phono interconnects where I use: Silver Analysis Plus and Silver Harmonic Thecnologies and Silver Audio Note.
I'm are very intolerant and very critical with what I heard trough my system. I love the music, nothing less. Yes, I'm way demanding on overall quality performance levels.
Part of my philosophy is that : " less is more " trying to add and lost the less.
I'm not a " specs lover ". I analyse the " numbers " where really count, examples: RIAA frecuency response deviation, speed accuracy/stability ( TT's ), output impedance on amplifiers, signal to noise ratio.
Well that's more than enough about.
Now : How it sounds ? What can I say ?
¡¡¡¡¡¡ LIKE REAL MUSIC !!!!!! ( far from there but still on the quest: )
Neutral/ Natural, accurate ( with both frequency extremes spot-on. ), Articulate, Transparent, Fast, Dynamic, Great Timing and Rhythm and with extremely low noise floor.
Full of Emotions.
Well, am I nearest to the recording?, that's what I'm trying and working around my audio system and yes today I'm nearest than before but still trying to be " there " through Fine Tunning the system.
Mainly I'm a MUSIC lover and I listen to all kind of MUSIC. I own around 7K+ LPs and a few hundreds CDs.
I listen both alternatives: analog and digital sources/mediums.