Description

The equipment speaks for itself. It's musical and very enjoyable and that's what matters to me. I do prefer it with a tube preamp and have used a Supratek Syrah to great benefit. That preamp is now off for repair but I've recently purchased a Wright WPL 10 V here at Audiogon and eagerly await its arrival. If and when the Syrah returns fixed I'll put it back in. Using it is like putting a turbo charger on this system. It kicks it up several notches.

The room, Purple Haze, was remodeled by Steve Dobbins (Vetterone) as a surprise gift to me while my wife and I were out of town for a few days. This room was so ugly that I was ashamed to be in it alone with the lights out. The worlds ugliest paneling adorned the walls and the smoke stained ceiling was fitted with a cheesy ceiling fan and an offset flourescent light. Not only did Steve wallpaper, paint and install new light fixtures, he cleaned my carpet and furniture too. He's a very special and caring guy. Oh yeah, he named the room and the name is going to stay.

I don't want to be too long winded here about the system since it's not exotic at all. Other than saying again how much the Linn gear responds to a reasonable tube preamp I'd also like to mention how much my system has benefitted from interconnects and cones. The Ridge Street line of cabling is incredible! As my system is now configured and being all solid state the conventional wisdom is that silver would be a harsh material to use. Not so. It's a smooth as silk and lets the details come through better than anything I've ever auditioned. The Audio Points cones are used at the speakers and the amps. In each case the overall sound tightened up and imaging much improved. The bass detail improvements were much more than I expected.

This is a fun and relaxed room that I spend a lot of time in. Although some acoustic treatments are forthcoming it is very musical as is.

I would like to once again express my deepest gratitude to all of the folks that have been so generous in helping me take this system and room to completion. Many of you know what I'm talking about and the contributors know who they are. Thank you all
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Components Toggle details

    • Linn LP-12 Sondek Ittok
    Purchased in 1984 with the Vahalla. Upgraded to the Cirkus bearing and replaced the Valhalla once due to failure. Regardless of the criticisms heaped on this table it is a solid performer and the best "bang for the buck" piece I've ever bought. I have no compelling reason to replace it.
    • Linn Wakonda phono
    I love the features this preamp provides but much prefer my system with a tube preamp. I recently purchased a Wright WPL 10 V but it is yet to arrive.
    • Linn LK-100
    Aktiv internal stero crossover for treble.
    • Linn LK-100
    Aktiv internal stereo crossover for mid/bass.
    • Linn Keilidh
    Bi-amped Aktiv.
    • Ridge Street Audio Design MSE Gen.II
    Used for preamp to mid/bass Aktiv amp.
    • Ridge Street Audio Design Poiema!!
    Used from preamp to Aktiv treble amp.
    • Ridge Street Audio Design Poiema!!
    Eight foot pair to tweeters.
    • Ridge Street Audio Designs Poiema!!
    Eight foot pair to mid/bass.
    • Lugnut made LP-12 Friendly
    Made by yours truly to accomodate my LP-12 and a couple of electronics.
    • Lugnut made Amp stands
    Layered 3/4" MDF lead filled.
    • Porter Ports Wall outlets
    Cryo'd. Three of them
    • Audio Points Various
    I use Still Points on my speakers and both amplifiers.
    • Sumiko Bluepoint Special
    I have liked this cartridge a lot. I'm either going to install a Shelter 901 or a Sumiko Blackbird in the near future.

Comments 51

222222&text=nr
Which direction did you go when you fell? I just go down!

nrchy

222222&text=sl
yeah, fell off the world would be a good way to put it. just needed to try and find some direction ;)

slappy

222222&text=nr
SLAPPY is it really you? We thought you had fallen off the edge of the world, or bigfoot finally caught up with you?!?!

nrchy

222222&text=sl
Lookin good Lugnut!

slappy

222222&text=mc
I have had the pleasure of seeing and listening to this room as it has evolved. French doors added the final touch of elegance.

But the sound of the room and its equipment really sets it apart for me. So easy to listen to, and at a reasonable price. Had I know Lugnut a year earlier, I would still have vinyl in my system. I had no idea vinyl playback could be so good, and so quiet. It is a tribute to careful and sensible equipment selection.

mctom

222222&text=si
Hi Pat,

I know someone's right on the groove when you ask - what did you like about it? and get the reply "I don't know, I didn't realise how right it sounded till I took it out"
Generally followed by "I had to put it back in."
I've had these very comments on the Shunyata Hydra, Syrah and any of the ZYXs I've owned.

From someone who has tried lots & lots of power cords, try a Harmonix Studio Master cord on the Supratek - you won't believe how RIGHT it sounds.It initially sounds too controlled till you get used to the clarity & space and you won't believe the bass & everything else about it
I borrowed one for a few months and it's sorely missed now it's gone - an Elecrtaglide or Shunyata will have to go to fund one of these, it takes the Syrah to another level - or maybe just lets it give it's best.
Cheers Simon

simon74

222222&text=lu
Owner
Ray, I'm glad I was a positive influence with the ZYX. Funny, hanging around this site for so long hasn't given me the ability to describe things in audiophile terms. Try as hard as I can I still cannot describe the ZYX any better than it just sounds right. I'm so very glad you are enjoying it.

lugnut

Center
Pat,Actually you convinced me to try the RS20 when you said how ZYX just sounds right,as that is high on my list,id rather have a well balanced sound ,than a sound thats great in some areas but lacking in others,you were right on the money! Also your comment on how quiet they are in the grooves sealed the deal!Since i bought my RS20 ive been moved by my LPs on a much deeper level than ever! Thanks,Ray

raytheprinter

222222&text=lu
Owner
Thanks for the comments guys. Things continue to evolve. I recently added a Triangle DAC to the digital system and some different power cords for the amps and the Syrah. I also picked up enough additional Audio Points and pucks at RMAF to completely outfit the rig now. I can't say enough good things about Star Sound. Yeah, I know, their products are pricey but once you buy them you're done. No revolving door cones and such for this system.

Ray, I'm so glad you are happy with your ZYX. Hopefully, something I said tipped you over to buy one. There is a house sound and you may have bought the best bang for the buck cartridge they offer. I've told Barb that she should keep this Airy 3 forever and just send it in for rebuild when needed. I will convey to her your offer for a UNIverse whenever you hit the lottery though. LOL.

I really need to update this page with new photos and the current line of products I'm using. It's incredibly quiet now and I think it's as revealing/resolving as it's going to get without replacing the amps and speakers. I'd likely order the Harmonic Precision Caravelles and a new Berning ZH 270 right now if circumstances allowed. I'll also convey to Barb that this is the direction she should go if she wins the lottery.

Thanks again for the compliments.

lugnut

Center
Hello Pat,Yep,you were right,ZYXs do sound right!Ive been on an LP buying spree this last week,,just got Neil Youngs Greatest Hits on 180 gr!You just havent heard Neil until youve heard him on good vinyl! Glad to hear you were able to get the Syrah fixed!Believe me if i win the lotto im getting two UNIverses,,one for me and one for you!Peace,Ray

raytheprinter

222222&text=so
Hey Pat, nice system buddy! I love all the Linn gear...looks to be very well setup, The room looks great from every angle, hmmm... I don't know how I missed seeing your system before?

Sometimes you see pictures of someones system that ya just KNOW sounds good...yours is one of those.

Dave

sogood51

222222&text=po
Hey Lugnut, just saw your room...excellent job. I'm currently in a partially finished room dedicated, I'm about to finish it out. Nice gear too!

pops

222222&text=lu
Owner
It's storage guys. It's much easier to find a record this way instead of trying to read the edges. Actually I have too many records in each bin but I had to make them this deep unless I wanted wall to wall book cases. A basic description of what you do is build a 12" x 12" right angle shelf. what I'm describing here is not only a surface on the bottom but one on back as well. Install them with the front edge up at least one inch, no more than 1 1/4". Allow 1/2" clearance between the stacks AND put in a small dividing piece of 1/4" half round front to back. In this case I used 18" riser steps which are used for building staircases in home construction. They need no center support since they are super strong. I slowly eliminated about 3,000 records in the last several months so that I could have all my software in the music room. Each bin holds about 100 albums. Be advised that if you build them this deep you will need to remove about half the ablums when digging for something in the back. I don't find this much of an inconvenience in practice but some may be intimidated by it. Tilting the font edge up keeps the albums secured by gravity and they don't tumble out onto the floor. Thanks for the compliments.

The ceiling is actually nine feet which works out to about ideal dimensions. Got lucky with this aspect when we bought the home even though a dedicated listening room with concrete floor was one of our requirements. Man, I've got to update the photos. It looks so much better and sounds better too.

lugnut

222222&text=sp
I am sooo jealous of your high 10'-12' ceilings...

Nrchy mentioned the LP's.....I agree even if it is for display or storage......a cool idea.

speedball

222222&text=nr
Pat are the LPs pictured on a display shelf, or is that how your LPs are stored? Enquiring minds want to know!

nrchy

222222&text=lu
Owner
Ray,

I've followed your posting in another thread about your happiness with the RS20. I think Jphii has either the 20 or 30 and likes it a lot too. It's really saying something for a cartridge to better the venerable Denon 103R!

The other night Barb and I were listening to her choices and she became somewhat overwhelmed by what to pick after four or five LP's. We had last listened to the MOFI Beatles White Album, so staying in that vein I picked out McCartney's Bowl Full Of Cherries generic pressing, then moved onto Badfinger's first album. She commented with each one that it was like hearing it for the first time. That's been my experience as well using both the ZYX cartridges I've owned.

Having recently won an auction for a Toshiba Pro Use LP of Take The A Train, a direct to disk recorded so well it's spooky and dynamics that are unbelieveable, it arrived damaged by being folded at about a 30 degree angle. I had nothing to lose as it was either try and flatten it somehow or file an insurance claim as documented by the Postal Service prior to delivery. Thinking that it was pressure and not heat related I left it in the poly liner and worked it by hand incrementally along the crease into the opposite direction of the bend. After a few hours of messing with it and still being able to see the crease I played it. Now, remember my comment about the dynamics. The tonearm moved up and down violently as it tracked the crease but the album played fine on side one. Side two played fine too but there was a little noise that later went away after storing the album pressed between many others. Any other cartridge I've owned would have catapulted out of the groove at some point in play. You'd just have to see this record and the roller coaster ride the cartridge goes through. I'm so glad it's playable since this recording, while not expensive, is very rarely sold. I also recommend the Jun Fukamachi at Steinway Toshiba Pro Use LP. THIS is the finest piano recording I've ever heard by a long way. Again, inexpensive but rarely sold. These two records are IMO audiophile best buys and the ones to use not only for enjoyment but to show off your system. Thank me later.

UPDATE ON THE SYRAH. It's fixed. After corresponding with Mick I ordered a new umbilical cord. For some reason mine came with a six wire (which I had to add two wires to, bummer job BTW) which I didn't trust. I honestly don't think the modified umbilical was the culprit but feel better with the correct factory unit. Since Mick had indicated that it sounded like a faulty resistor I looked inside and found two that had obviously been hot at one time. They did measure to spec cold but I asked if he would forward replacements so I could at least try and fix the thing without having to ship it later halfway around the world. I put them in last Saturday and not a cough since. So, in my estimation it's fixed and I feel a lot better. My guess is that someone inserted line stage tubes in the regulator position which caused the resistors to get hot since they use the same sockets. That would be easy enough to do what with all the tube rolling that's advocated for this piece.

I really should update the photos and gear but two issues stand in the way. Dropped my camera and although it works it takes a long time for it to decide to do so. The room is also much darker now. We've added drapes and a pair of Freedom Doors as well as replacing the seating. The room can be very dark even in the daytime now which is my preference. That does make it hard to take a picture that is good without suplemental studio lighting. The flash just doesn't cut it at all. I'd sure like to do this and finish up since the system, except for two pairs of interconnects is as finished as it's going to be.

Once again Ray, I'm glad you were brave enough to try a lesser ZYX. Judging by my experience with the line, the sweet spot in money spent is probably with the R20 or 30. Don't get me wrong. If you ever win the lottery step up to the UNIverse. It's simply unreal. My Airy 3 S SB is a significant step up from the Yatra MK II which I loved. Cartridges = buying based on the recommendations of others and isn't cheap. It can be very scary what with all the bits and pieces needing to work in harmony. It's nice that the ZYX's match well with most tonearms.

Again, I appreciate all the positive comments on the room and system.

lugnut

Center
Hi Pat ,I just installed my RS20,,all i can say right now is WOW!!!!!!!!!

raytheprinter

Center
Hello Pat,Glad to hear you guys had a great time on your trip!Hope your feeling well,,,,i should have a ZYX R20 Thur.,really looking forward to hearing it!Should be a treat,as i have not played an LP in a couple months! Ill let you know how it goes,Ray

raytheprinter

222222&text=lu
Owner
Ray, I had dinner with Mehran last weekend. What a great guy! Glad you'll be getting an R30.

Geez, I don't know if I'll ever update the photos and the equipment. Since dropping the camera it's a real bummer to get it to work and takes forever. Sorry about that.

I reluctantly contacted Mick about the preamp and its intermittent problems. My reluctance was due to it having several owners and my belief that it's no longer his problem. Also, shipping the thing around the world is something I'd prefer not to do. To make a long story short Mick has offered to fix it and bring it up to current specs for sooooo little money. I'll just have Barb send it to him at a later date. It works fine most of the time so I can live with it as is. Thought you guys might find this interesting in that he is going way out of his way to take care of his own.

lugnut

Center
Hello Pat,Thanks!The ZYX sounds like what im looking for,the lack of groove noise is also a big plus!Iwill be getting a R30 hopefully soon!Sorry to here you had problems with your Syrah!Im wondering how much of an improvement a much better quality umbilical cord would be? It sounds like it was meant for you to have a ZYX AIRY,that camara sure came in handy!Those Radioshack tubes sound interesting!Ray

raytheprinter

128x128
Hi Pat,

Just love your set up! I know you've had the new room and gear now since around spring of this year, and I am only now making a post to say how super it all looks and im sure it sounds. Shame on me. But, anyway, Better late I suppose.

What really strikes me about your set up is the use of all Ridge Street Audio and your ZYX. We share those components in common, and like you, Im totally sold on both!

One of the most musical systems I ever heard was some years back at a local Linn dealer using an all Linn system. In that dealers upscale demo rooms, I heard very highly regarded systems comprised of components such as Mark Levinson and Thiels( the just then released 31/30.5 Dac and transport for roughly 30K!...I remember a customer in the dealers speaking to the dealer and trying to remortgage his home to afford them!...Yikes! That was scarry!)

None of those nice systems sounded any more musical than the all Linn set up which included some nice LK amps and a full blown LP12 Lingo/ TT. I remember how awesome the Kabers run all active sounded..just amazing indeed.

Congratulations and best wishes on a truly nice set up. You are kindly thought of and in our prayers also!..Regards,Ken

kehut

128x128
Very nice system, and of course the room is beautiful. I see you have the same poster of Neil that I have in my listening room. Touche'.......

Oz

ozzy62

222222&text=lu
Owner
Ray,

I've been very anxious to hear one of the less expensive ZYX cartridges myself. I'd love to. The lineup I am familiar with is the UNIverse (both copper and silver versions), the Yatra MK II which I owned until break in was complete and the Airy 3 S SB. I was so satisfied with the Yatra that I'd still have it if an incredible opportunity came along to upgrade. The story is that I had a pristine Nikon F2, aluminum case and a couple of fast Nikkor lenses and Mehran also deals in quality vintage cameras. My wife would never have used the Nikon and I appreciate not having to advertise it for sale. The Airy is clearly a step up and in my system the silver wire is a benefit.

Every ZYX I've heard share common traits that endear them to me. They are all very quiet in the groove campared to nearly every other cartridge I've heard. There is a rightness about them which I'm guessing is due to a lack of time smear. I wish I could recall the thread title so I could point you to it but recently someone was auditioning several cartridges in their system and favored the R30 above the Denon DL 103. We both know what kind of high praise that is what with the Denon's deserved cult following. Wish I could be more help here. If you are considering ordering one Mehran has always promised my total satisfaction or return the cartridge. It sure can't hurt to give one a try on those terms. Lastly, Mehran is the best retailer I've ever had dealings with bar none.

lugnut

Center
Hello Pat,I see you have had a couple ZYX cart.,have you ever heard the R30?

raytheprinter

222222&text=si
Hi Pat,

never owned any Linn gear apart from their Sondek (s).
I do some work for a guy who's a Linn dealer & very customer focused but mainly multi-room & HT which is why I get the turntables to fettle.
Any sondek spares you need give me a shout - my spare room is full of Linns & spares - a definite plus doing work for them.
I avoided Linns like the plague for 30 years given the stories put about that it's a Black art to set them up - I've owned lots & lots of tables and with a bit of care & experience, I find the Linns dead easy to set up.
They want to try the Oracle with Syrinx PU 3 I'm trying to sort out now - having a break before I trash it !
I still prefer some aspects of my Xerxes but it is far from standard having been remade in solid wood and specially machined to accept the Kuzma arm but the Cirkus mod was a revelation on the Linn only beaten by the Cetech carbon fibre sub-chassis which addresses any negatives I ever found with the Linns rather bloated bass and vague soundstaging.
I delight in using the Roksan arm on the Linn and now just laugh when people tell me I really should be using a Linn arm, like I've never tried them!

I to have a bit of a noise problem with all the phonos tubes for the Supratek - sometimes tempted to stick my Quicksilver back in thru one of the line inputs but the whole point of the Syrah was to shed boxes so I'll persevere.

Happy listening.
Cheers Si

simon74

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