The system is built along with the minimalistic philosophies regarding aesthetics, assimilation within surrounding nature and environment with enough rough edges to tweak in order to waste a lot of time and money.
I got 2 Gain and 1 Source cords. First Gain connects the Furutech ETP60 to the Audio Magic Stealth power distributors. Second Gain cord connects Stealth to Gaincard. The Source cord connects ETP60 to CD player.
Audio Magic Stealth Mini
On top of a Skyland stand with two cans of water to keep it from doing a wheely.
Parasound CDP-2000 Ultra
It is a CEC transport similar to the CEC 5100Z and a UltraAnalog DAC section using PCM-1702 burrbrown chips.
However, I am using this as a transport only.
Symposium Rollerblock Jr
3 under the Parasound
OTA/Eichmann Digital Cable
1 Meter, 47 OTA signal and Near Sota OTA neutral.
One male and two female IEC Furutech dual headed powercord powering the Gaincard and Dackit's outbourd PSU.
Scott Nixon DacKit
This is a non-oversampling 16 bit dac using a CS8412 chipset. The powersupply is a 3XDC.
47 Labs Gaincard
Hard cold steel!
Symposium Svelte Shelf
Under the Power Humpty
Carolina Audio JTM
This is a Jordan/Leijlic design as far as I know which uses the Jorden JX92 aluminum 4 inch drivers. Ronnie, the sole proprietor at Carolina Audio, custom makes these speakers according to the original designs with some of his own modifications.
BDR #3 Cones
Under the speakers
Hibord Precision Platforms
Granite surface plates under the Gaincard and speakers. hibordtool.com/page28.htm
Used in three ways: CD mat, wrapped around AC cord, and fitted inside Eichmann Bulletplugs. Beat that Jack Bybee!
Pragmatist, as they say in China, "In a New York minute." I have yet to try the Ack! Dack and the 47 Labs' dacs. If the price is right, I'd like to get a Progression or a Shigiraki dac. The Audio Note 1.1x sigs looks promising too.
Dean, the Kangaroo jacks are the blue stuff you see in my pics, the Eichmann bulletplugs. Also, I've added an outboard psu for the dackit.
I thought the system sounded too airy with the Stealth with the new stuff in the system. Now, I am getting more transparent at the cost of the airiness. So, you'd probably like the system less now since you are such a tube afficianado.
The Buddha cables with Kangaroo jacks helped out so much that I removed all the Michael Wolff powercords and the Mini Stealth. These will be up for sale. Downsizing is an ego trip. Then again, so is getting lacqured.
Hi. Changed my system again. Nothing extraordinary in terms of components, but the sound did changed dramatically with a few tweaks.
Tweak#1-swapped out all my Ratshack magnetwires with 47Labs' OTA cables. Tweak#2-swapped out majority of Michael Wolff powercords with OTA cables with Furutech plugs. This is made with one male and two female connectors so only one outlet is being taken up on the AM-Stealth while powering the Dackit's PSU and Gaincard. Tweak#3-rewired the Dackit with stripped OTA cables. These cables are first dipped into C37 lacquer. Check component page for pic of its guts. Component addition#1-Scott Nixon's 3XDC, external PSU for the Dackit. Still burning in...
Pending tweaks, waiting for my girlfriend to be done with her finals, so she can help me varnish my speakers. She's an artist, so I assume she's pretty good with the brush. Going to give the speakers a few coats of the C37 lacquer.
Not to boast, but I think the dackit is so much more transparent, delicate and detailed after the modification, it can really give good analog a run for the money. *run and hide* None of that detail coming out of the black stuff. There is no black at all. And, before, I can tell where the strings or horn players are sitting, now I can hear what direction they are sitting in as well. And, the C37 supposed to sound better as it takes a month to cure... *grin*
Yo Marco, Unlike the Night Train Express, the ERS not only tastes good but it is good FOR you. I don't remember Stiff records or know of their logo, but my ex coworker who used to be in the music business told me Rick James used to have a song called "Too Fat to Fuck" but was banned it offended weight-challenged people. I guess stiffy isn't the only requirement to be worth a fuck.
Hey Viggen - do you remember the Stiff record label (mostly punk stuff)? Their logo applies to your ERS stuff: "If it ain't Stiff, it ain't worth a fuck!" Is that ERS stuff kind of like "fortified wine"? Ya'know, Night Train Express.
ERS stands for Energy Releasing Stimulants. It's for old guys who have trouble getting up the stairs or getting anything else up for that matter. I use these on my interconnects, so they'd stay straighter for longer. They work wonders on my system. Been listening to it for 6 hours straight today and still going strong.
Now I'm confused, and it didn't take much. What Mapleshade cable(s) did you try today? Not the Double Helix Digital I take it.
Also, what is ERS (the pointy things on the top of a cat's head:-).
Send me an email and I will pop the cable in the mail next week.
I disassembled the odd OTA Digital a long time ago to reuse the cable as hookup wire (had run out of extra). Now I have additional OTA that Kubla gave me (what a guy), but I won't cut it up until I figure out what lengths I require to reconfigure the living room system (been meaning to do this for a year+ now).
Anyway, the Double Helix Digital was very close in sound to the DIY OTA Digital with the old system and it might do the trick.
Thanks a bunch! I was well on my way finishing this project for class, but you got me on a cable swapping frenzy againnnnnnnn.
Well, I never got the chance to try to Double Helix digital cable. But, I do have the original Gladbag analog cables which I used for digital as well.
Lately, I found small faults in my system here and there. With classical music, I feel my system is pretty good. But, 80% of what I listen to are techno/lounge music which comes off a tad harsh in the mids. My hypothesis is the material my speakers are made of greatly contribute to this. Since, the cabinet is made of MDF; whereas, I bet the mids will have more of that "organic" sound if the speakers were made of birch or pine.
So what does this have to do with the digital cable you're asking about? Well, after I read your post, I dug out the Mapleshade ICs and spent about two hours comparing this cable in both digital and analog applications. The other cables are Stereovox, Bogdan, and my homebrew USB and magnetwires.
If there is one major positive that the Mapleshade contributed to my system either in digital or analog application is that it allowed my speakers to sound less "MDF". However, ofcourse, I didn't stop there. Since my last post, I've stopped using the Stereovox and have been using the USB in its place.
The USB IS more organic sounding than the Stereovox. The Stereovox is more transparent and let all the information through but at the cost of sounding more fatigueing a la D-60. The USB is "rounder" sounding in that it is a bit dull but with "aroma". I can listen to the stereo for a lot longer time with the USB. The Mapleshade sounds more like the USB but not as good.
However, as you might have read from my post from that recent copper vs silver thread, I used to rave about the Bogdan silver IC and used it in both digital and analog applications. But, they sounded inferior with time. Even my homebrew cables beat it in terms of ........ well just about everything.
Well, today, I opened up the IC barrel of the Bogdan and experimented by inserting small sheets of ERS within. This somehow brought the Bogdans back to life. As analog IC, the bass improved while the highs sounded more detailed with less tizzy. But, it still sounded a bit fatigueing. So, I switched it over to digital, and this is where it has stayed in the last 2 hours. I feel the Bogdan with the ERS is my best digital cable at the moment.
If you want to send your Mapleshade digital IC over for me to audition, that's more than fine with me = D. I am more curious about those OTA cables though... Are you still using them plastic connectors with them?
Did you ever try Dean's Mapleshade Double Helix digital cable? If not and he no longer has it I have one you can borrow. Right now it's hooked up to a $70 DVD player as I no longer own/use an external DAC. LOL!
Other than the home brew digital cable I made from 47 Labs OTA cable (with the advice/direction of Richard who owns Vantage Audio in the UK) the Mapleshade was my second favorite (a close second). I did not care for the D-60 either which added a bleached/white character/sound to my old setup (CAL/Bel Canto 1.1/Audion/Reynauds).
The Mapleshade is best described as organic sounding, for lack of the right/proper terminology.
You're right about the audio furniture not serving a dual purpose, BUT there is some great furniture that can be used as audio furniture, as you've shown. The other obvious direction is John Boos butcher blocks. I've got a great one in the kitchen on a stainless table that would work great as a component platform for a source. I think it must be about ten inches thick and weights almost 100 lbs. Unfortunately I need it for chopping and my wife would have a cow if I even suggested using it otherwise.
What is it with parents and oversized American cars anyway? My inlaws have a couple of Crown Vic's of different vintages which I've dubbed "The Big-Ass Cop Cars". The name stuck cause now we all call em' that. Sorry to hear about your dad's Buick. Can't be more ugly than my mini-van though!
Hey Dean, Can you ask Dave to stop bringing his Sister's of Mercy CDs over to my apartment when listening ot my stereo? Regarding the granite block, I got it in Temple City I think. There is a link in my virtual system. They do come in different sizes but make sure the pair you get have the same height. Surface plates don't guarantee uniform height.
Marco, Afraid I got nothing over Clodagh. I got the tables from Crate and Barrel. I will put up a clearer picture of the cans. Speaking of audio furnitures, have you ever seen one that you would use even if you're not an audiophile? I sure haven't. They are all pretty much as ugly as my dad's 1982 Buick Park Avenue.
In retrospect, I feel very fortunate to have the system I got now. All the time and energy not to mention opportunity costs paid off. Now, I think, I know the real reason behind wives being audiophile'hatahs.
New to my system is the Stereovox HDXV digital cable. I really did not like the Illuminations' D-60. And, I was told by John at the cablecompany that the HDXV and D-60 do sound a like. I still decided to give the cable a test drive since this cable boasts a 4gps bandwidth. Though my gear is different since I had the D-60, the HDXV does have a much more natural sounding attribute that I felt the D-60 lacked. However, both cables do share a slight aggressiveness in the high mids. But, the cable has only been in my system for less than a week, so, hopefully, that will go away. Althought, I suspectm being that both these cables are very compactly constructed, they might transfer mechanical resonance as well as it does digital information. Just a thought.
Also, I did convert a digital cord from an USB cord. It sounds very good and very warm in my system easily beating out a lot of cables I've tried including the venerable D-60 (if my memory of the D-60 can be used to compare accurately). The HDXV is more balanced and with a tad more clarity but with a bit of that aggressiveness I mentioned.
Also, onto another component, I have two fairly competent components that seem to have a magical synergy. I am speaking of the Eichmann Express AC cord and the Furutech E-TP60. These two components do share some physical characteristics in that the Eichmann does use Furutech connectors. I don't think they have any other elements in common. However, to answer Dean's query, my system seems like it has a pRat on off switch and it is on only when the Eichmann is feeding the Furutech.
These components along with the Gaincard, AM Stealth, Wolff cords, Parasound transport, Nixon DAC and ERS carbon sheets are irreplaceable. Well, perhaps I can mod the Nixon and get a higher grade Stealth. But, I feel the Symposium stuff is something I can do without; way overpriced for a varied material density vibration absorber and lateral vibration disperser.
Hey Ed, I think the floating ghost you captured in that shot is actually Dekay astral-projecting so he can hear your set up. It's the only way he can audition systems with his bad knees.
You've got a lot of neat stuff that you'll have to explain to me the next time I'm over. BTW, where did you get the granite blocks? I think the they would be a good tweak for me under my speakers. I'd need shorter stands though. So, did the Eichmann Express bring more life to your system?
System edited: Changed some stuff around. DIY cables replaced the Carolina cables. The Furutech and Eichmann Express are back into the system. Regarding the Eichmann Express, I conclude there's no pRat without it. The Bogdan AC is back in the system as well. And, one Michael Wolff Silver Gaincord is out to make room for a Carbon Silver Sourcecord on the transport. There ought to be an addition of a Nixon PSU for the Dackit soon. All new pictures for you audio-porn lovers.