Hello all,

My involvement in audio has been an evolving journey for many years now, but about six years ago, I decided a return to Tannoy speakers was something I had to do. I sold my Dynaudio Contour 5.4's, and purchased some HPD 315 drivers and crossovers on Ebay UK.

I had enclosures built in Pennsylvania by Frank Wyatt, of 1 7/8" net MDF (an inner 3/4" laminated to an outer 1 1/8" layer), with a Sapele Pommelle veneer. They are 150 liter bass-reflex, and weigh 192 lbs. each; sans drivers and crossovers.

I built outboard crossovers using Mundorf SIO caps, 12 gauge Alpha core inductors, and Dueland resistors, with silver solid core 14 gauge hookup wire.

I like them so much, they are the speakers I will have till I leave this earth.

After several years with a VPI Scout Signature, I wanted to venture into the idler wheel turntable world, so again on Ebay UK, I bought my Garrard 401, and did a DIY restoration on it. Frank Wyatt built a plinth for me, which I later modified extensively with Purpleheart side pieces (keeping the original 3/8" thick Bubinga center section), and milled Purpleheart edging on the top edges, and framing the Garrard chassis.

I then installed the Dynavector 501 arm (so nice to not have the VPI wobble!). Several cartridges are available in my collection, two Actutex (LPM 415, LPM 320), the Soundsmith retipped Dynavector XX2MKII, Zu Denon 103R with ESCCO white sapphire cantilever and Paratrace stylus mods, which is my favorite by far.

I bought a used Modwright SWP 9.0 SE phono stage, put NOS tubes in it, and installed an upgraded power supply provided by Dan Wright. I feel no compulsion to change to a different phono stage.

I wanted to try a tube line stage, so I sold my much-loved Sonic Euphoria passive, bought a Transcendent Sound Grounded Grid kit, in which I used NOS Amperex 12AU7 tubes, Clarity Caps output caps, Goldpoint stepped attenuator and switching, mil-spec silver hookup wire, and Bent Audio remote volume control. This is an amazing sounding line stage, I see no need to change.

Next came the Assemblage Audio SET 300B, which I sent to Chris Johnson for upgrades, caps and resistors, using Kiwame film resistors, Jupiter Paper Beeswax caps, and Nichicon caps. With the EML XLS 300B tubes the Tannoys sound lush, detailed, and very much like live music, especially well recorded Jazz LPs.

Lastly, some would say I devolved, but to have a quality backup in case of tube failure, and to save hours on the 300B output tubes, I decided to give Class D Audio a try. I bought a 125 Wpc CDA 254 kit a try, and really enjoyed it. I installed an additional amp module in it, running in bridged mono mode, it bumps the output up to 500 Wpc, which snaps the Tannoys to attention, and they sound excellent.

My old five channel amp gave out, so I built another CDA 254 class D amp, with an added module, and I was able to convert it to a three channel amp, with 125 wpc for the surrounds, and 500 watts for the center channel. All in all, a very cost effective set of amplifiers that are every bit as good as some of the higher priced amps I've used over the years.

At this point, at my age ( I turned 70 in February), I am happy to stand pat with what I have, I am enjoying the best sound I've ever had the pleasure of listening to at home.

As of 9/2016, I've completed additional sanding/polishing of the enclosures for my Tannoy HPD 315 drivers. This time, I got it right. Up next, a redo of the Garrard 401 plinth.

Refinishing of the plinth for the Garrard 401 has been completed. Removed face and top pieces, made replacement 1" thick Purpleheart face with inlay, all new top pieces, and new arm board from Purpleheart and Australian Mallee Burl.

Added photos of redone plinth.

Regards, and enjoy,

More turntable photos added Mar, 2017 

Added new photos 11/12/2018

Added SET 845 Audio Renaissance 845 integrated amp, just picked up on 4/20. Makes my Tannoys sound the best they ever have.

Added RCA 5693 Red Metal tubes in the SET 845 amp, made for a nice improvement in SQ.



Added Benchmark DAC 1 Pre, my digital front end sounds very much improved with this DAC. I know there are better ones available, but not in my price range. May be the best $500 purchase yet. I also discovered how much I was missing with a Musical Fidelity X-CAN driving my Sennheiser HD 600's, they sound amazing, who knew how much I was missing? (Not me!)



Added what is the best line stage I've ever had, the Modwright SWL 9.0. This piece has completed the quest to attain what is my ultimate goal in my system's sound quality. There is now a new liquidity, and completeness to the sound my system never had before. As this category says, "Done For Now", but maybe should be "Done Forever".



Upgraded surround speaker with very nice Andrew Jones designed Pioneer x-Z9 monitors. Concentric midrange/tweeter with a bass driver, built by KEF. Sound and look beautiful. 
Added new photos of turntable with red Albert King LP

May 8, 2020

Replaced my old Kef Reference 100 center channel speaker with new KEF Q 650c center channel speaker. This is a very good upgrade in multi-channel music listening, and home theater as well.

June 8, 2020

Just added newly built 3C24 amp, built for me by Paul Birkeland  of Bottlehead. It has the refinement like an SET 300B, but the power response similar to the SET 845 amp. Sounds beautiful, too.


September 12, 2020

Installed new Audio Technica AT440Mlb moving magnet cartridge. Always wanted to know what they may sound like, so I bought this one on Ebay. I'm really enjoying the sound of this rather inexpensive cartridge. Makes me want more.

Sepember 23, 2020

I added an Audio Technica AT ART-9 moving coil cartridge.

It's already my favorite cartridge, with only two hours on it.




Gratefully added Townshend Audio Seismic Podiums under my heavy Tannoy speakers. Effect was immediate and transformative. Made a very good speaker system a great one.


Added Class D Audio Gallium Nitride amplifier from Class D Audio. It sounds great.


In the process of adding a Herron Audio VTSP 3A/360 six tube preamplifier to the system, scheduled to arrive Friday the fifth. If it sounds as good as it looks, it will be a game-changer.



Added Benchmark DAC 3 DX  
Nice improvement.

Room Details

Dimensions: 34’ × 16’  X large
Ceiling: 11’

Components Toggle details

    • Arcam AV 9 Pre-amp Processor
    Just added to replace defunct Primare SP 31. Excellent, so far.
    • Benchmark Media Systems DAC 3 DX
    Just installed this DAC 3 DX which I bought off US Audiomart. It's sounds great just out of the box, best my digital front end has sounded yet. I'm very happy with this DAC, and now I understand what all the fuss was about. I'm sold.
    • Oppo UDP 203 with Linear Power Supply
    Bought this after my Arcam DV 139 died. Installed a new Linear Power Supply, back to enjoying my multi-channel hi-res music again.
    • Esoteric DV 60 Universal Player
    Universal player, XLR, HDMI connections, multi-channel capability.
    • Modwright w/power supply upgrade SWP 9.0 SE Phono Stage
    Tube phono stage, with upgraded power supply from Modwright.
    • Herron Audio VTSP-3A (rev02) 360 Line Stage
    VTSP 3A/360 Line Stage
    • Garrard 401 with DIY Plinth
    DIY restoration of a vintage Garrard 401 idler-drive turntable, on which I just completed a six week redo of the custom DIY built plinth, due to problems getting the finish right. I sawed the front off, and removed all the top pieces. A 1" thick slab of Purpleheart with an oval Australian Mallee Burl inlay flanked by a different hardwood species I can't recall were added. A new arm board of Purpleheart and the Mallee Burl was made, and the pivot-to-spindle distance was adjusted to provide for easier cartridge to headshell connections.

    Top pieces were fashioned of Purpleheart, and a new labor-intensive finishing process (new to me, anyway), of Waterlox Tung Oil Sealer/Finish, followed by Waterlox Gloss Tung Oil finish. At least a dozen coats were applied between the two, each coat requiring 24 hours between applications. Thanks to Pierre France for his help in guiding me on the tung oil finish.

    I serviced the motor, cleaning, oiling, and replacing the suspension springs. Glad to finally be done, and finally satisfied. Analog withdrawals were starting to set in, but it now looks better, and sounds better as well.
    • Dynavector DV 501
    Bi-Axis Tonearm. DIY rewire with Cardas wire. This arm works well with a diverse group of cartridges, to my surprise.
    • Audio Technica AT ART-9 Cartridge
    Moving coil cartridge, just installed. After only about two hours of run-in, at 47K, it's already the best cartridge I've ever owned.

    I've determined my analog front end is much better than I realized it was. I've never enjoyed my vinyl as much as I am now,
    • Audio Technica AT 440Mlb
    Recent purchase, new AT MM cartridge. I've always been curious about AT cartridges, so I bought this one off Ebay. I really like the sound of it, actually pretty good, considering the low price.

    Makes me even more curious about AT carts. I may have gotten myself in trouble, as curiosity is expensive in this hobby.
    • Acutex LPM M320 III STR
    Lowest Possible Mass, Tri-Induction Magnetic System, 20-45Khz, channel separation [email protected] 1Khz, weight 5.45g.
    • Denon Zu Denon 103R
    Potted moving coil in 6061 aluminum body/w ESCCO sapphire cantilever/Paratrace stylus upgrade. This cartridge has proven to be the best of all my cartridges, and not by a small amount. Beautiful.
    • Dynavector XX2MKII
    Moving coil cartridge. Just re-tipped by Soundsmith with their top-line OCL re-tip. Made a great cartridge even better.
    • Acutex STR 415
    Ultra-lightweight MM cartridge
    • TTW Copper Mat
    Solid copper machined mat, great addition to 'table.
    • TurnTableWeights VPI Heavy Brass Clamp
    TTW Brass clamp I modified so it will work with their copper mat. (Threads would not engage spindle threads).
    • Pete Riggle VTAF
    VTAF on-the-fly modification by Pete Riggle for Dynavector 501/Garrard 401 Teflon and burnt silver finish options
    • Orsonic AV 101b
    • Mint LP Best Tractor
    Etched-in-glass cartridge set-up tool
    • DIY Ultrasonic Record Cleaner
    I've just completed a DIY Ultrasonic Record Cleaning machine, this the creation of BBtx, of DIY Audio. I thought it a very unique design, one that melded convenience, simplicity, and build quality.

    If I were to say I am pleased with it, it would be an understatement. For a couple of hundred bucks, it can't be beat. I've hankered for one of these for years now, and thanks to BBtx my needs have been fulfilled.   
    • VH Audio Flavor 2 DIY Power Cord
    Built this AC cord for use with the Transcendent Grounded Grid preamp. Great sounding AC cord.
    • Paul Birkeland 3C24 Power Amp
    3C24 tube power amplifier. Paul, the designer/builder, brought over four different amp choices to try out on my custom HPD 315 Tannoy speakers. The 3C24 amp gave the best frequency balance, yet was nicely detailed as well.

    Still breaking in, but I'm greatly enjoying what I'm hearing this far.
    • Audio Assemblage (Sonic Frontiers) SET 300B
    300B SET Factory Upgraded, with EML XLS 300B Tubes. Just serviced by Paul Birkeland. All critical measurements were taken, two bad Blackgate bypass caps were replaced with higher-rated Nichicon caps, and the filament voltage was optimized to better suit the EML XLS 300B tubes.

    This amp now sounds incredible. Paul informed me the transformers in this amp are Magnaquest, to him about as good as you can get. He also informed me this amp sounds as good as any $5000 SET 300B amp available in today's market.
    • Emission Labs 300B XLS
    Robust drop-in replacement for 300B.
    • Class D Audio Gallium Nitride Amplifier
    New Class D Audio GaN Amp. Very happy with its sound quality.
    • Class D Audio CDA 254
    Kit built Class D amplifier. Running two, in bridged mode, providing 500 Wpc into 8 ohms.
    • Class D Audio CDA 254
    Two channel amp converted into three channel by virtue of adding an additional CDA 254 amp module, RCA input, and single channel speaker terminals. Price for parts for modification: $194
    • Musical Surroundings Fosgometer
    Azimuth adjustment tool.
    • Custom built crossovers Custom DIY
    I've just completed an update on the crossovers for the custom HPD drivers. I actually used all the parts over again, including much of the solid silver hook-up wire. I made new mounting boards, and ran the wiring under the board, for a much cleaner look. I used heavy copper terminal lugs, which I modified to use a flat male spade connector, rather than wire. Wire runs are much shorter as well.

    I made new outlet cables, using Furutech locking bananas, and Cardas binding posts. I can't tell why, but this update improved the sound of these speakers much more than I expected. I've never heard electric guitar sound as it did on Steve Cropper and Felix Caviliere's "Nudge It Up A Notch", Cropper's guitar sounding just as he had wanted it to sound, with gorgeous tone, unlike anything I've heard before on a recording.

    Next is an internal speaker wiring update.

    I've just completed changing some components in the crossovers back to their original values. 27ohm resistors changed back to 47ohm, .68mh inductors reverted back to the original .82mh. I'm beyond pleased.
    • Tannoy HPD 315 w/Hard Edge Conversion
    Twelve inch Dual Concentric HPD driver in custom enclosure.1 7/8" wall thickness with custom designed and built crossovers. Weight is 200lbs. each. Finished in Pommelle Sapele.

    A complete rewire of the internal wiring was just completed. I made a 1/4" X 1/2" Teflon terminal board, with double-ended male spade connectors at the speaker. Wiring was completed at the input end with new crimped and silver soldered connectors with color-coded heat shrink tubing, and color-coded electricians tape.

    The results are a major improvement in clarity, detail and dynamics. These great speakers have just gotten much better at the things I love about them.

    After further study of fine wood finishing methods, and purchase of additional sanding/polishing medium, I again sanded and polished the enclosures for my Tannoy HPD 315 drivers. Got it right this time, now they are done. Next is the plinth for the Garrard 401.


    Some of you may recall my changing resistor values in my Tannoys back to the original value, to good effect. In that same vein, I just modified the .68mh inductors back to their original value of .82mh. I felt at the time when the crossovers were first built, the high frequency output was out of line, so I reduced it to better suit how my system sounded at the time.

    I had saved the .82mh Alpha Core ribbon inductors, and I changed them out yesterday. The results have shown me how much my system, as a whole, has improved, due to how well it sounds now as opposed to back 8-10 years ago. I feel I'm now getting what I was supposed be hearing all along. It's a great feeling. Now I no longer wonder what Dr. Arthur Loesch was thinking when he gave me this crossover design so many years ago now.

    • Townshend Audio Number Four Size Seismic Podium
    Large Podium to fit under my 200lb. Custom Tannoy speakers. They are 17" W X 20" D X 48" H.

    These isolation podiums have made my speakers sound as never before. Just better wouldn't describe it. I have never before heard anything sound this way in this room, or perhaps any room I have visited.

    These Seismic Isolation Podiums are very special in what they do. They're expensive, but worth it for what they do for speaker systems. 
    • KEF Q 650c
    Newly added Kef Q 650c center channel to upgrade from my old Kef Reference 100 Center Channel speaker. The Q 650c is all I could have wanted or hoped for. Multi-channel music is way better now, as is Home Theater listening.
    • Pioneer S-Z9 Designed by Andrew Jones
    Nicely made small monitor speaker. Dual Concentric midrange/tweeter with an additional bass driver. Gloss Black, and a nice upgrade as my surround sound speakers, replacing the nearly twenty year old KEF Q 15.2 speakers I was using for surrounds. Multi-channel music now has better depth and clarity to it.
    • Crown International XTI 2002
    Running bridged to single channel. This amplifier (rated @1600 watts into 8 ohms) has taken charge of the Tannoy 15" passive sub, and turned it into the most musical sub I've yet heard.
    • Tannoy Sub 15i
    15" Passive Tannoy subwoofer. with the Crown XTi 2002, does a superb job of matching, and augmenting, frequencies below 50 Hz.
    • Tempo Electric Big Twist Silver/ pair for each amp
    12 gauge solid-core silver in teflon tubing, 3 meters
    • Synergistic Research Various cable models
    Interconnects, speaker cables, and power cords different models.
    • DH Labs Silver Matrix
    From phono to phono stage, internal cabling in speakers and crossovers.
    • Vibra Pods various
    Pods and cones under amps and most components.
    • Walker Audio Reference Hi-Def Links
    Eliminates ultra high frequency hash in signal.
    • Audio Metallurgy AG-0
    Silver coated oxygen free 22ga. copper
    • Quasi-DIY Velodyne/Eminence
    An old Velodyne 1250-X sub that had a 12
    • Tannoy Crossover Schematic
    Crossover design donated to me by Dr. Arthur Loesch.
    • Dynaudio Sub 500
    Just purchased, this thing is bad to the bone, in a very good way. Sounds great for Music and Home Theater both.
    • Panamax M5400-PM
    Voltage regulator.

Comments 584

Hey Dan hope you're doing well.  I remember when I got my Tannoys you were one of the first to comment how great they are and I was awestruck by your knowledge and setup.  They just keep getting better with age and strangely enough we both now have GanFET Class D amps in my case the Atma-Sphere monos about a month ago.  Really loving mine in fact sold my tube amp as these are here to stay.  Cheers my friend happy listening!



My system, and the music it allows me to enjoy so greatly,  is a constant pleasant source of enjoyment that never lets me down.

Having built a good part of it myself added another large bit of satisfaction and enjoyment as well. 

Enjoy that fine system!

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

667359bf 6297 4f42 8c59 c97fd89609fd
This is quite the piece of work and clearly shows your passion for our passion! Thank you for sharing!


Goheelz, thank you for your positive comments regarding my system. The Herron replaced a Modwright Line Stage that had been rebuilt at the factory, and had the main tube board replaced, and I was really happy with it's sound.

I unexpectedly bought the Herron Line Stage VTSP -3A (rev02) 360, and spent more money than I had ever allowed myself to spend on a component, but it's made the most discernable improvement in sound quality  I've ever had in fifty years+ in this crazy hobby.

I don't think you have to spend crazy amounts of money to get great sound, but it sure depends on where you spend it.

My Phono Stage is an older model Modwright SWP  9.0 Phono Stage with an upgraded factory made power supply. The Herron made its performance better as well.

Thanks and regards,

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

Hi Dan — System looks awesome. Glad it’s sounding right to you.  Did the Herron replace a ModWright line stage? Curious about the differences you’re hearing after the upgrade.  When I was choosing a phono stage, I thought about the Herron but ended up with a ModWright. Sometimes hard to get a consensus on these interesting and talented but small scale makers.


I'm surprised I didn't mention my new (to me) Herron VTSP 3A line stage. Most significant sound improvement any one component has ever provided, but I would have never afforded it if I bought it new.

Now, rather late in life, music sounds the best it ever has, so I'm very happy.


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Over the past few weeks, I had purchased a Class D Audio GaN amplifier. Two of them had problems, apparently due to parts in the power supply that were out of spec for their purpose.

Tom, the owner of the company, was very good to work with, and the last amp he sent me has been working beautifully for a couple of weeks now. It sounds beautiful, and for $749, it sounds amazing. It has been powering the two-channel section of my system for a couple of weeks now, which is meaningful, in that it is standing in for my excellent 3C24 tube amp.

Believe me, it it didn't sound very good, it wouldn't have stood in for my great-sounding 3C24 amp.

So, I am happy to report the GaN amp has eaned its spot in my line-up of power amps. I am glad to have it.


Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

Beautiful, clearly a labor of love.


Set ups looking great love the vinyl


latitk, Thank you for you kind remarks. I have wanted to try something different than the spikes, and the Podiums have more than filled the bill in that regard.

More appreciation can be given for what they do sonically, completely isolating the speaker from the floor, and from the  floor to the speaker. The speakers seem to float, making music an even more intense and emotional experience.

Expensive, yes, but for what they do, they are worth the cost.

Thanks and regards,

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

Congrats Dan! The TA Podium looks great underneath the speakers. Love the finished appearance!


Townshend Audio Seismic Isolation Podium system added under my Custom Tannoy 200lb. speakers.

They have made me very happy with them in the superb results in sound quality, in spite of their cost. They also give the speaker a more finished and refined look.

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Arj, The subwoofers are there to enhance the music listening experience, which they do in my quite large listening room.. While I do have a home theater setup, it's main purpose is for listening to multichannel music, although it's set up for music, it also does a nice job for HT.

A while back, I had to replace my Primare pre-pro with a used Arcam unit, it turned out to be amazing when used for 2 channel music run through the Arcam pre-pro.

I never liked listening to stereo music run through a pre-pro before, but with the old Arcam, it is just very pleasant to listen that way.

Thanks again for your comments, regards,

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

Thanks Dan , Your system looks so wonderful and am sure, having seen to some extent its evolution, sounds the same if not better !

Really curious on your choice of Sub, is that for your Stereo setup or for AV ?



My choice of plinth design is most likely related to what I did to make my living. I was a heavy equipment operator, and relate to mass as being a very positive thing.

I've never tried using a suspended turntable since I started using vinyl again a dozen or so years ago now. I just appreciate how mass deals with things such as vibration, resonance, and being able to pass along undesirable properties along to the platform they are connected to. It works for me.

Good luck in your pursuit of a Garrard 401 turntable system. Enjoy the process, and the result!


Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

Visiting your system after such a long time and its turning out really lovely ! 

 I am also seriously considering a Garrard 401 but still thinking about the 2 options on the plinth

1. Go the mass loaded multi layered ply
2. Suspended Loricraft style ( either skeletal or closed box)

Did you by any chance consider them ? What I got a feel of is that while 1 increases the heft from mid to bass while 2 is more from the mid to highs, not that it does the other badly just that 1 gives it more drive while 2 makes it more Airy.

Still thinking !



Thank you so much for your kind comments, they are very much appreciated.

Jim, thank you for looking at my system photos. It was a labor of love. I had quite a time with my table saw after a bad problem with the finish, I'd just cut it off and put more wood on it, and try it again. You learn from your mistakes, and the table saw makes the mistakes go away, so wood is a great medium to work with. If it was steel, or something like it, it wouldn't be so easy.

I just keep on trying until I get what I can live with..

Thanks again to you both, regards,

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan


The 401 looks beautiful with the custom plinth. Great looking combination with the Dynavector tonearm. Thanks for posting the pics

Jim Perry


Dan, very nice system you have and I really appreciate all the DIY work that you've put into it especially the Garrard 401 and the Tannoy speakers. The rebuilt crossover looks fantastic and I bet it brings your speakers to new heights. Congrats on a great setup!


Hi Jond, many thanks for your comments, it's much appreciated. Those projects you mentioned were due to a limited budget, and my enjoyment of DIY.

I never was a cabinet maker, but I did build my own home back in the '70's. That means I had to buy the tools to build my turntable, and learn how to use them. I found the most difficult thing  to do was to obtain a quality finish on whatever I built.

I finally wound up using twelve coats of tongue oil on the turntable plinth, which with 24 hours between coats, was a long, involved project. I've learned to really appreciate the guys are that really good at it. That's not me, but I persevere..

Thanks and regards,

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

Hey Dan I've read your comments on Tannoy's so long I can't believe I never commented on your system. Looking fantastic love the cabinets you had built and those crossovers look amazing. And that 401 is a work of art really fantastic work! I can only imagine how good records sound with that table, your Art-9, that cool looking custom amp and the Tannoy's! Cheers!


Dan, Hana ML is really good. I just want to sit and listen :-) I can easily see myself living with Hana ML for a very long time. 


lalitk, I'm getting along with my ART 9 very well. Can you tell me a bit about what the Hana cartridge does for you? I've been curious about them too, but I'll have to live vicariously through your experience with your Hana, since I've pretty much gone over budget buying the ART 9.

I'm really enjoying my cartridge, how is your Hana treating you?

Best regards,

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

Dan,  Congrats on the new cart. I almost went with ART9 but my dealer talked me into going with Hana ML. I guess, there is always a next time :-)


I just added a new Audio Technica AT ART-9 Moving Coil Cartridge cartridge. After only two hours, it's already my favorite cartridge I've ever owned.


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