In general I find the performance to price ratio of these components to be very high. Time constraints prevent me from having time to fiddle much. The gear works without any fuss or muss on my part. Money, in my opinion, seems to have been spent well as my hassle is minimal and enjoyment is high.
Replaced Levinson solid state. Has a remote control to boot.
VPI Industries TNT jr
Graham Engineering 1.5 basic
Benz Micro MC Ruby
Tom Tutay Phono stage
All tube phono stage custom designed and built by Tom Tutay. Marvelous upgrade with improved bass and spatial localization of instruments. Things just sound more in tune is the best way I can describe it. Hard to believe it can do this.
Audio Research CD-1
Photo Albert Porter - non cryo treated
Photo of the room by Albert Porter. In real life, the red chair and bench are at opposite ends of the room, of course.
Cartridge/arm kindly adjusted by Albert Porter. Correct setup by a pro makes a huge difference.
Computer audio (vs CD) seems to be the way to go in the future. I have created a sort of a poor man's Soolos with Windows XP computers, MediaMonkey, Airport Expressi (to several rooms for non critical listening)and a DAC on a PC for more critical listening.
Using free/very cheap software I am able to control all of my computers and different music being streamed to different zones simultaneosuly (via 10 a year old laptop). I can see album art, create/modify/edit playlists and view lyrics. All while in a chair with a small laptop (ie a big remote control) in front of me.
Usually I just have 1 computer sending music to 1 system at a time but it is trivial to send music to multiple rooms at the same time.
The expense basically becomes the cost of the harddisks as most folks already have a computer or two.
Nils: Thank you for the complement. My designer (er, wife) will appreciate it. Wood trim on speaker is black but grill cloths are actually a darkish gray.
Picture was done by Albert Porter and has been shown in some design magazines.
Mdtabor: The red chair and the stool are reversed in position day to day. The red chair is just on the surface of the carpet (just in front of the camera position). I have a eight-foot by eight-foot doorway behind me that is open and give me substantial space behind me. No wall is probably even better than a highly treated wall in my opinion.
Imdoc, I don't believe you.... So, I guess I'll just have to come to your home and see for myself. Beringer white zinfandel or a glass of good cognac will do. I'll bring my own smoking jacket and slippers. I would appreciate it very much if you'd have some very good cheese on hand also. Please block out a couple of undisturbed hours while I check out your claim. I'll bring my own music.
I've heard the small 1.6 Maggies before and they were incredible with an average preamp, yours with the Ref2 mk2 must be killer.
Spectacular looking room. This room ahs got to have high "WAF".
I have never understood why high end stereos must have cables, cords, and gear running everywhere in a jumble. Having a nice, orderly room only enhances the "ambiance". I just wish the manufacturers would create methods to deal with the chaos.
Congratulations on a great looking, and I bet sounding, room. You have obviously spent a lot of time and energy on making it look and sound good.