Description

Basement room measures 14' wide x 26' long' x 7.5' tall.  Dedicated 20 amp lines.   

Musical interests vary from jazz, classical, female vocals, acoustic, alternative & pop.

Streaming Qobuz on Roon has transformed my listening.  I didn't expect the huge jump in sound quality when I switched to Roon.
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Room Details

Dimensions: 26’ × 14’  Large
Ceiling: 8’


Components Toggle details

    • Harbeth M-40.2 Anniversaries (walnut)
    Replaced 40.1's that I owned for 8 years.  Both great speakers, with 40.2's more transparent and neutral, while the 40.1's are warmer, full bodied and romantic sounding.
    • Music Reference RM9 MK II
    The best amp I've owned, next to the considerably more expensive VAC 70/70 Signature.   Refurbished by Roger Modjeski and tubed with NOS RFT "Siemens" EL34's and extra low noise RAM 6922's.  Also sounds great with Gold Lion KT88's.
    • Weiss Engineering DAC 202
    Serving as a DAC and preamp, connected direct to Music Reference RM9 MK2 tube amp.  Replaced an outstanding Audio Aero Capitole Reference DAC/CDP/PRE.  I can't say the Weiss is better than the Audio Aero, but it's more neutral, which is a better fit for the rest of my system that leans to the warm/romantic side of neutral.  This DAC is a bargain on the used market.
    • Roon Labs Nucleus
    Roon Nucleus server paired with IFi Zen Stream as a Roon end-point, connected via Black Cat Silverstar SPDIF cable to Weiss 202 DAC.  Streaming Qobuz.  Surprisingly nice step up in sound quality and enjoyability from my previous Aurender N10 at 1/4th the cost.
    • Sound Anchor for Harbeth M-40 series
    Heavy duty steel stands.  Pricier than the more common Skylan stands that I had with my last pair of 40.1's, but you get so much more for your money with the indestructible Sound Anchors.
    • KCI Silkworm RCA Interconnect
    Gold based RCA interconnect cable. Outperforms the Purist Venustas it replaced by a large margin.
    • Silent Running Audio VR-2 & 3 isolation platforms
    I tired of messing with the various footers on the market. These are the real deal... excellent construction, visually appealing and effective.
    • Salamander Synergy Triple 20
    Cherry Finish
    • GIK Room Treatments Tri Traps, 244 panels and Alpha 4 diffusion panels
    This is the 2nd room I've treated with GIK products.  Highly recommended, especially 244 panels.
    • Acoustic BBQ 12 gage Dueland speaker cables
    I've had significantly more expensive speaker cables from Stealth and Auditorium, but prefer these.  I also use ja pair of these in my secondary system.  Great bang for the buck and available from longtime Audiogoner "Grannyring".
    • iFi Audio Zen Stream
    Acting as a Roon endpoint centered between a Roon Nucleus server and my DAC.

Comments 158

Center
Owner
@smortega I use the IFi Zen Stream as my Roon endpoint, in part, because my DAC is not USB compatible.  Also, I have read multiple user posts stating the Nucleus by itself is not a great streamer... but in my case, when paired with the Zen Streamer to handle the streaming duties, this combination exceeded the sound quality and connectivity vs. my previous Aurender N10 streamer at a fraction of the expense.

pdreher

222222&text=sm
Thanks for the compliment on my post. I strongly considered Harbeths back when I was putting together my setup. The equipment and environment (your room functions as a speaker optimized for sound) is one I'd love to hear as a reference level for sound quality. Q's though,- does the iFi streamer sound or work better than the Nucleus for streaming? Was the iFi needed because the Nucleus is in a different room?

smortega

Center
Owner
@tomstruck I'm using the DAC in my Audio Aero Capitol Reference CDP.  It's 10 years old, but I've always liked the way it sounds and it also serves as a preamp.

pdreher

Center
I see you posted that you got the Aurender N10 which Dac are you using

Ag insider logo xs@2xtomstruck

Center
love the dog and tge RM-9, bet it sounds fantastic

tomic601

Center
Owner
Updates:
  • Replaced beloved Harbeth 40.1's with 40.2 Anniversaries
  • Treated room with GIK diffusion and absorption panels
  • Audio Aero CDP had capacitor upgrade to Jupiter Copper Foil and refreshed tubes with NOS Mullard 6021's

pdreher

Center
Owner
Thank you kind sir.  I haven't had the urge to make changes in quite a while, so it must be doing something right!

pdreher

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This is a room I'd dearly love to hear.  Those big Harbeths are beyond reproach and the RM10 has a sterling reputation.

Well-done, my friend.  


cymbop

222222&text=pe
That's exactly what I've done for years w/my RM10 MkII...direct into an aging Cary 303/300....still need to hear a rig like yours the robust RM9 and big Harbeths must be fantastic.  The MR amps are amps for a lifetime.

pehare

Center
Owner
Thanks Pehare.  I need to update my system as my source has changed to an Audio Aero Capitol Reference CDP/DAC going straight into my Music Reference RM9 MK2 amp.  Gone are the VAC 30/30, Aesthetix Calypso Signature preamp and Luxman DAC.  So much simpler having only a source straight into an amp.

pdreher

222222&text=pe
now that's a setup I'd love to hear.....VAC 30/30 & then Music Ref RM 9 w/one of the best speakers on the planet to date.....my taste all the way enjoY!

pehare

Center
Owner
System update reflects 
  • move to a different home (different audio room pics)
  • added VAC 30/30 MK III Signature 300B push-pull amp
  • added Music Reference RM9 MK II EL 34 tube amp
  • added Cardas Golden Reference IC 

pdreher

Center
Your Vac amp is beautiful!  Heaven match with your Harbeth 40 speakers.  Just something you want to consider.  I recommend swapping out the drives and input tubes to a different 6sn7.   Even the 6f8g with adaptor works best in this spot.  From my experiences i usually do not recommend using all 4 tubes with the same brand & structure for the drivers and input.  Drivers use a different 6sn7 and input use a different 6sn7.   You will not have a coherent sounds; You should try it, makes the music more transient, feet tapping and better dynamics.

zipost

Center
Owner
Updated with different amp (VAC PHI 200), Music Vault server, Luxman DA-06 DAC.

pdreher

Center
Owner
Sadly, I've only put about 20 hours on them as my system is down awaiting a minor repair. Despite them not being fully broken in, I immediately noticed a fuller response in bass and midrange. The LFD's are no slouch in their price range, but the Auditorium's are classics that exude a look and feel of quality construction. They are a destination speaker cable for me.

pdreher

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I see that you have recently gone from LFD speaker cables to Auditorium? What differences have you noticed?

valinar

222222&text=th
Thanks, Paul!

thuhaile

Center
Owner
Sorry for the delayed response. It's been quite some time since I've owned the C4's... but going on memory, the Harbeth's are much more organic sounding, have better bass and midrange, and are not fatiguing. I've owned the 40.1's twice, but have no interest in owning Dyn C series again. To my ears, the Harbeth's are far superior to the Dyn's.

pdreher

222222&text=th
Really nice setup. How does the m40.1 sound in comparison to the dynaudio c4?

thuhaile

Center
Owner
System edited: Added Auditorium A23 speaker cables and documented upgrades to the VAC 70/70 sig amp by Kevin and Brent.

pdreher

222222&text=je
Congrats on going back to the 40.1, one of my favorite speakers. Music just simple flows through them. I'm also using GIK treatments, they have taken my system to the next level.

jeff1225

Center
Owner
System edited: Added GIK Tri Traps on the front wall. Added a Logitech Squeezebox Touch, the best bargain in audio.

pdreher

Center
Glad to got back to the sound you like .
I had the M40.1s in Rosewood but really prefer the lighter Eucalyptus you have.
Only sold mine to fund an non audio project.

Have recently bought a pair of Active Gradient Revolutions which fit my requirments just a little better and are also VERY good.

But in an ideal world ( ie: dedicated room, no pets etc etc) I'd probably go back to the M40.1s ( althogh I'd first compare them side by side to the Gradients as it would be a close call I think).

pcoombs

Center
Owner
System edited: Have gone back to the big Harbeth M-40.1's. I regrettably sold my previous pair of M-40.1's about four years ago to change things up, but after trying two other decent speakers over those years, I realized the big M-40.1's are the speaker that just do it for me. Last time I used Skylan stands, but this time opted for the rock solid Sound Anchor's. Also replaced the reputable Modwright Sony 5400ES cdp with EAR's Acute II... a great piece that will be with me a long time. The addition of the big Harbeth's and the Acute CDP have successfully reinvigorated my interest in in this hobby. Next up... more experimentation with 6922 tubes for the Acute and I have some GIK Tri Traps on order.

pdreher

222222&text=sm
Hi Paul,

I agree it's surprising that the M40.1 doesn't receive more attention here. I hosted an audio club meeting last week for about 10 members. I received comments like "this system just draws you into the music" and "the best system I've ever heard". I'm so glad I picked the big Harbeths over the other speakers that I considered. Like you, I've had a lot of speakers in the past, but for me the buck stops here. I hope that you enjoy the M40.1s as much as I do.

Steve

smatsui

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