Well, this is an audio/music life/love work. Many fallens and failures to reach this quality level. My audio system is ( still ) build around what are my references/priorities about music/sound reproduction...

My reference is: near field live MUSIC, I use at least 12 hours ( each month ) hearing live MUSIC, mostly classical and jazz/blues.

I attend to hear live music not only because I'm a music lover ( first than all. ) but because in this way I don't loose my references, this way I try to have my foots on earth an my ears equalized.

My audio/sound reproduction priorities are in this order: neutral and natural tonal balance, accuracy ( low distortion, low noise, no colorations, no cliping, grain free, liniarity, no compression, etc...), transient response, timbre, dynamics, focus and soundstage . That permits that appears a critical MUSIC characteristic: RHYTHM.

My whole audio system target is to be nearest to the recording adding the less and loosing the less of the audio signal through each audio system link.

The system belongs to my living room at one side of the dining room ( I live in a apartment ).

The room is an inverted L that measure: 8.5m ( inverted L base ) x 10.00m long and 2.4m high. The system is across the inverted L base ( around 4.4m ).

I'm very luckily and don't have ( I fix it ) many room problems related: till now I use 4" Sonex in the left lateral wall and at the center ( behind and between the system where is a window. ) of the system ( floor to ceiling ).

Well, my two original RPG Skylines that I want to try in my room ceiling but I couldn't do it yet, so what to do with these two Skylines sheets?, I decide to put both in the rear wall/window seated in the floor and behind each speaker and guess what?: impressive improvement all over the frequency range, impressive!!!!!


ADS L 2030: This is a Full Range Professional Monitor that I own for many years.

These L 2030 was designed by Mike Kelly ( Aerial speakers ) and till today it match all my priorities.

It is " heavy " tweaked to do that: first it has " three hands " ( internally ) of a insulation/antivibrational treatment ( like a white paint. I can't remember the ingredients. ) from Acoustical Magic Company ( it works marvelous ) inside all the box ( a big one box: 58-5/8" ( H ) x 27-1/4" (W) x 13-1/8" (D) ).

It is internally hard wired with Silver Oval by Analysis Plus cable and KCAG by Kimber Kable. 

I take out the crossover ( now is external ) and change all the parts: resistors ( Powertron by Vishay. ), all silver air core solid ribbon ( 5.5 cms. of pure silver. Almost 2kg. of silver in the bigest one. ) Alpha-Core inductors , WIMA FKP 1 and KEMET caps  in the crossover, the speakers cables goes soldered directly to the crossover parts. This speaker crossover is tri-hard-wired from the  amps output to the 3-way crossover parts and speaker drivers. 

In reality are three separate/stand alone crossovers: one for the tweeter, one for the midrange and the other for the woofer, all these hard-wired directly to the amps ( no connectors. )

I'm only not biamp my system ( with the subs. ) but these ADS main/satellite speakers are true tri-wired in hard-wire directly from the amps to each crossover parts in the three way speaker design all the way down to the amplifier output.

I change the internal damping glass fiber by 10kg ( each one ) of long hair 100% virgin wool and change the fabric cloth of the grille for a " transparent one ".

Both speakers have at the rear-center the Antiresonant Vibration System by MICROSCAN model TM-8 that works from 20hz to 1.5Khz.

These L 2030 have: One acoustic suspension 1" silk dome tweeter, one main acoustic suspension 2" silk dome midrange, three auxiliar acoustic suspension 2" silk dome midranges ( similar to the main midrange but with a less powerful magnet. ) and two long-excursion acoustic suspension ( sealed. ) paper 14" woofers.

These are exceptional drivers especially the tweeter/main midrange ones.

These L2030 midrange design permit to " run " the speakers on " point source " mode ( tweeter and main midrange ) or through a " weighted " line source mode ( tweeter plus the 4 midranges. ), in this last " fashion " is how I have it ( hard-wired too. )

These are some manufacturer specs:

- Frecuency response: 22-20K +.- 3 db ; 18-28K +.- 5db.

-Efficiency: 95 db SPL.

- Power rating: 300 watts nominal; 1,200 peak.

Weight: 95kg.

These L 2030 are the " speaker satelite " in my subwoofer/speaker satelite configuration and works from around 80Hz and up. Main reason to take this " road " was and is to lower the  room system IMD and THD. 

In the past I try many configurations: single amp, bi-amp, tri-amp, with sub, with out sub, only SS amps, SS and Tube amps, with passive crossover, with electronic crossover, hybrid crossovers, etc...

Finally I'm here.

Back external tweeters:

These ones was a spare tweeters from a Dalquihst DQM-9 that I owned and already sold.

These tweeters are 1" silk dome ( same efficiency that the front ones ) and are connected in phase with the front ones and works with his own crossover at around 5k and up and have, too, an off/on switch.


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.

Some specs:

- 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. 


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.

Components Toggle details

    • ADS L 2030
    Full Range Monitor Studio speakers.
    • Velodyne HGS-15
    A pair of these sub's.
    • Tannoy ST 200
    Front external supertweeters.
    • Magnat ----
    Back external 1" silk dome tweeters.
    • Levinson No 20.6
    A pair of these monoblocks.
    • -- Essential 3160 Phonolinepreamp.
    Fully balanced, dual mono,pure class A, fully regulated, direct coupled, external power supply. Old/previous design boxes/chassis.
    • DENON DCD-600NE
     32/192. This extremely humble  Denon CD player is a surprise because its quality performance is a lot better that we can imagine. Recomended.
    • Acoustic Signature Analog One MK II
    Two of these TT with three tonearms installed in each one.
    • Microseiki RX-5000
    With four tonearms installed.
    • Many. ---
    More than 15 tonearms. I will describe on the system description.
    • Many ---
    More than 100+ cartridges: LOMC/MM/MI.
    • Analysis Plus Silver Oval
    RCA to RCA.
    • Kimber Kable KCAg
    • Harmonic Technologies Silver
    Phono interconnect.
    • Analysis Plus Silver Oval
    Speakers and sub's.
    • Custom made Silver Kimber Kable.
    I use the KCAg. Great.
    • Tice Audio Micro Block
    For CD player and TT's only.
    • Michael Green. ---
    Three of these.
    • VPI 16.5
    Record cleaner.
    • Custom made room treatment and 2 RPG diffusors. RPG diffusors.
    In lateral wall and at the center/back of the system and behind the other speaker one of the difussors.
    • Many More
    • Eumig T 1000
    FM only.
    • Nakamichi 700zxl
    With external Dolby C.
    • Eichmann RCA connector Silver
    Male connectors
    • WBT RCA connectors Silver Next Gen

Comments 204

Hi @barnettk : Thank's, appreciated.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,

Ag insider logo xs@2xrauliruegas

Nice system. Very nice indeed


luv your posts
Can you hgelp?

I hv micro seiki 5000rx and pm there is squeakinfg sound from th e platter?
I thot the bearing was sealed and not need oil??  but maybe i am wrong.
what would you guess is the problem.
thank you ,


Dear Raul, I bought NOS Entré-1 (the later edition with gold bottom body). Sounds very very good after 20 hours ; ). Merci.


Where is Raul? I'm quite curious about his tonearm design.


Hi Raul.

I hope you are fine. While I was checking your analog setup, read your post that you do not like too much FR-64/66 which you consider them as having resonances. Do you have the same view or experience if any for Ikeda it-407 ? I would like to get your opinion even if I bought the tonearm and currently pleased with it, it is good to get feedback from experienced analog users like you.




Raul, Will you be taking your new tonearm design to RMAF this year as I read in one of the forums? I look forward to its introduction and learning more about it?


Hi Raul,

You seem to be quite knowledgeable with analog. I have a problem with not enough gain for my ZYX Universe.24mv cartridge. I have a counterpoint SA5000 that Mike Elliott upgraded. He installed a Sowter 8055 1:10 step up transformer. I know you don't like step ups but I feel I have no choice. My tech guy here is guiding me towards a Hashimoto HM-3 step up. I would really appreciate your thoughts?


Dear Jeff: Sumiko Celebration is a real celebration on it as is the Helikon and LP by Benz Micro.

Obviously I did not tested all my cartridges in the SME tonearm but all in all I can say is a good tonearm. As with all tonearms you will like it as good/best as good the cartridge matched the SME characteristics.

I don't use the SME very often because its fixed headshell, nothing wrong with that but due that I own so many cartridges I prefer the more user friendly tonearm with universal removable headshells that as an add-on permit a to achieve an optimum cartridge matching between cartridge and tonearms due that we can choose different headshells with different weight, shape and build materials.

Regards and enjoy the music,

Ag insider logo xs@2xrauliruegas

Your system is looking very nice. Im curious what your favorite cartridges are with the SME IV?



Thanks Raul. I am still playing with the Denon. My carpenter is building a 4- layer birch plywood plinth with a 1/2" black acrylic one-piece top and sides. The Mechanic arm will mount directly to the same piece of acrylic, with the leads dropped down through a 4" D mouse hole in the plywood plinth.

It should look pretty trick. I'll send you notes on how it sounds with the Maestro and post photos when it is done.

I love the Ortofon Synergy SPU on the FR-64fx / VPI, but I just bought a Shelter 90X to swap out with. I heard this baby once and loved it. It is still the best-sounding Shelter I've heard, and should complement the Ortofon, Denon DL-S1 and my FR PMC-3 very well.


Hello Raul,

What ever happened to you tonearm design? Dertonarm was also designing one plus a turntable, but I have not heard anything about either design for a long time now. What happened?


Dear Dcbingaman: I like that Mechanic tonearm. Now for the DP-75 ( that I like very much ) I use no plinth, I have it naked above three AT pneumatic footers and till now I'm satisfied.

Regards and enjoy the music,

Ag insider logo xs@2xrauliruegas

Dear Rolando: My 64 is the 64s.

I differ from many FR owners that " die for it ", I did not and don't, I don't like a tonearm so resonant like the 64s/66. My top priority is " neutrality " and those FR tonearms does not help to achieve that target, other people loves its resonances/distortions because their priorities are different from mine.

One vintage tonearm that I like is the Lustre GST-801 and my favotite is the Guillermo and I self tonearm design.

Regards and enjoy the music,

Ag insider logo xs@2xrauliruegas

Hi Raul
I'd like to know if you are happy with your fidelity research fr 64 tonearm..which i plan to get...what cartridges fit that arm and why did you not get the 64s or the 66 as they say king of the there truth to this....what is your favorite tonearm...


Hi, Raul. I think I just bought your old Mission Mechanic from David Beetles. I love Mick Gray's design work and am looking forward to playing with this arm.
I share your enthusiam for the Clearaudio MM's, but they tend to be pickier than nearly all other MM's on tonearm choice. I am now using a wood-bodied Maestro on an FR-64fx, and it is not nearly as happy a marriage as it was on my old Zeta Black tonearm. (Parenthetically, the FR sounds phenomenal with my new Ortofon Synergy SPU on my tricked out VPI HW-19 Mk. IV.)
I plan to marry the Mechanic with the Maestro and a Denon DP-75 on a custom plinth. What do you have your DP-75 mounted on / in and do you have any tips on plinth design, besides "make it stiff and heavy" ?


Dear Thuchan: Yes, I heard it with Audio Note wire and not precisely re-wired but " external ".

I bought these tonearms 15+ years ago and both are very good tonearms, are not perfect but: exist any perfect tonearm out there?

Regards and enjoy the music,

Ag insider logo xs@2xrauliruegas

Dear Raul,
you have two wonderful arms, the MS 282 and the SAEC WE 8000. Did you rewire them? I made it and believe me it is a dramatic difference.Whenever you have the chance to do it you will love the result.

best & fun only - Thuchan


Dear Tzh21y: I think that the most critical factors to attain good performance are: cartridge/tonearm matching, phono stage quality and your knowledge level to make a precise cartridge/tonearm set up.

Money is important but your set up analog knowledge level is more important.

How much money do you need?, that depend on the performance level you are looking for and depend too on what you already own: hardware and software. I think there is no single answer to your question, we have to add here that if you want new items the price is one but if you want second hand then the budget change.

Regards and enjoy the music,

Ag insider logo xs@2xrauliruegas

Raul, You seem to have quite a bit of analog knowledge. I have a dilemma. I love analog, but I think I have outgrown my table. What will it take, how much do I have to spend to get a table, arm, cartridge combination that will track a record decent, something I can live with for a while that will not break the bank?


Hi Raul!!

Wonderful system!! Clever choices and selection. I just realised you live in heaven. You must be a very happy guy :)
1 questions my friend, are these pre=amps for sale? Happy listening!


Dear Weaeixas: Yes you are right: I need reviewers help, maybe in the future!!!

Regards and enjoy the music,

Ag insider logo xs@2xrauliruegas

Raul ,

Raul your analog setup looks the cat pyjamas and since you really can't listen to all those tables at the same time.

A suggestion !

let me evaluate them for you, of course one at a time, no sense in just having one opinion to your greatness... :)


I think you and Len Gregory should legally switch names--YOU are definitely the CARTRIDGE MAN. Wholy S!&! When I want to know something about cartridges or tonearms, I'm coming to you, Raul. Take care, Bob



Would you mind to let me know how heavy each Audio Technica AT-616 can support?

Thanks and best regards,



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