Description

Finally completed after 30 years - That's what I tell my wife!

Just happy to concentrate on listening to the music right now
Read more...

Room Details

Dimensions: 40’ × 16’  X large
Ceiling: N/A


Components Toggle details

    • Rega Planar 2 - With Upgrades
    Completely Customized - only original parts left are the bearing housing and dust cover - Audiomods Classic Tonearm - Isokinetic Isosub Classic S sub platter with ceramic bearing - SRM/TECH Acrilyc Platter - Rega Motor Upgrade Kit[ - Denon DL-103 MC Cartridge - Custom DIY Plinth - Custom DIY plinth suspension.
    • Audiomods Classic (series 3) + KLEI RCA's
    Just installed this arm and the improvements were immediate and stunning - highly recommended The one piece silver harness + the KLEI Absolute Harmony RCA's conveys extremely minute details - an excellent pairing!
    • Soundsmith (Denon) DL-103 Phono Cartridge
    Upgraded to the Soundsmith DL 103 and haven't looked back - simply amazing
    • Denon DL-103 Phono Cartridge
    This WAS aa standard DL-103, but I decided to take a queue from ZU and Soundsmith and epoxy the cadrtridge to a brass headshell weight.

    The difference was amazing - more dynamic, more open, larger soundstage and more precise imaging

    Worth the $12
    • Simaudio MOON LP5.3 RS
    MC/MM phono stage with selectable resistance, capacitance, gain and RIAA parameters
    • Pass and Seymour 15 amp MRI Grade wall outlet
    The best feature of these outlets are their gripping power - like a vice! MRI grade means that there are no ferrous materials used, so the metals used are very pure. Everything came to life once they were installed. I use them in my DIY Power Distribution centre also.
    • DIY: Power Distribution Centre
    TOP UNIT: This unit provide power to only the source components It has one Hospital Grade outlet(unswitched) and two Pass and Seymour MRI grade outlets (individually switched). The unit is protected by a 15 amp thermal pushbutton breaker
    • DIY: Power Distribution Centre Diagram
    This is an example of how to connect several outlets in a power bar in a "bus" configuration. The theory is that this style eliminates the demand for power in one outlet from affecting an adjacent outlet. It "appears" as they are all connected directly to the wall outlet
    • Naim Audio 5i mkII - Integrated Amp
    BOTTOM UNIT: Seldom does any hi-fi gear make me take out my wallet and purchase it right there on the spot
    - this did and I have never looked back.

    It's the diminutive little amp that can - and does!
    - 50 Watts/channel - but it's 50 watts of NAIM power - (better than RMS)

    An extremely simple passive front end (i.e. volume and selector switches only) for brilliant detail and well controlled reproduction, from any source.

    With the right power cable and speaker cables this amp converts the mains power into musical bliss

    It's always powered up, 24x365 and always cool to the touch
    - even after playing music all day

    Amazing!
    • Gershman Acoustics Sonogram Speakers
    So there I was, just window shopping and stumbled across these rather old fashioned looking speakers with slightly rounded corners and antique looking walnut stain finish and a 2" dome midrange driver - hmmm - looks very interesting... Got the guy to to fire them up and... - next thing I remember - I found myself in the car with my NAIM amp and my speaker cables heading back to the store for a real listen - SOLD! to the gentleman carrying the amp and cables Full Range 3 way Tower - 8" bass woofer - 2" dome midrange - 1" dome tweater Frequency Response: 28Hz-20kHz Sensitivity: 89dB @ 1w/1m Nominal impedance: 6 Ohms Recommended Power: 40-250 watts How do they sound? - the NAIM 5i has no problem driving these speakers to their optimum performance - Refined! especially for Jazz, vocals and classical - Even Reggae sounds so good on these - Rock is acceptable, but I do not drive them that hard A full range sound that easily reaches from your highest high, down into the basement for extremely detailed and well mannered bass lines The speakers present a wonderful wide and deep soundstage with an extremely transparent presentation
    • DIY Cable - The "HELIX Mark V" - Interconnects

    If you are looking for Details, Clarity, Dynamics, Image and Bass Depth & Control look no further

    Please see http://www.image99.net/blog/files/4127b5fe2694586e383104


    • DIY Cable - The "HELIX Speaker"
    This is the best speaker cable I have ever built. 

    It competes and betters some very pricey competition >$3000 for an 8ft pair.

    A lofty claim? Maybe - but true none-the-less :-)

    See...
    http://image99.net/blog/files/d048bbacfce9bcad4a025be804771d9a-76.html
    • DIY:Cable - The "POWER HELIX" Power Cable
    This is the "Blackest" power cable I have ever designed and built. Delivers an exceptionally detailed and dynamic performance whilst improving the clarity of any component it is connected to.

    Please see: http://www.image99.net/blog/files/be8de0c383c5434907610d6b55049e69-75.html
    • DIY Isolation Shelf
    For critical components, like my turntable (see photo), I employ an MDF sandwich approach - on the shelf I place a layer of 1/8" thick foam - on top of the foam I place a piece of 3/4" MDF cut to the size of the component This approach stops any "drumming" of the shelf and isolates the component from vibration
    • MORE INFORMATION: Go To
    For a more detailed look at the system, tweaks and review visit... http://www.image99.net/blog/files/category-my-system.HTML
    • DIY Vinyl "Crown Moulding"
    Details how to construct a vinyl ceiling absorbing panel that has a profile similar to Crown Moulding - see image
    • Bluesound Node 2
    The Node 2 has replaced my V-link192, Bifrost DAC and iMac.

    Performance is audibly better and the user interface, although a little more cumbersome, is more robust and easier to use.

    It's amazing how technology advances in such a short while 
    • My House New Listening Room
    We recently moved to a new house and as part of that I decided to have the basement finished specifically for my audio system (see photo)

    The old room was 15 x 11.5 x 8(high) Hardwood + area rug
    The new room is 40 ft x 15.5 x 7+ (high) fully carpeted

    The speakers are 8 ft from the wall behind them and the listening position is approximately 10 ft from the speakers - the wall behind the speakers is 22 ft from the rear of the lessening chairs

    The improvements have been amazing ...
    - I no longer suffer standing waves that made the bass very loud in the old room
    - the image is no longer constrained by the walls
    - clarity is amazing
    - room treatments are minimal - no bass traps, just some small traps on top of book shelves to eliminate ceiling reflections.

    I think the biggest improvement are due to...
    - having 8 ft behind the speakers
    - having approximately 4 feet of space between the side walls and the speakers
    - having 20+ feet behind the listening chairs

    I admit this is not something everyone can afford to do, but if you are able to to design your own listening space - make it large.
    • DIY VTA Gizmo
    This is a simply DIY gizmo to ensure pretty accurate setup of a cartridge to ensure the top of the cartridge is parallel to the playing surface.

    Once it is accomplished you can then adjust the VTA to a tail-up or tail down position if desired
    • Rega Custom Turntable Foot Placement
    I found the best palcement of the feet was as per the attached diagram.

    I have also heard from others that have adopted this approach that the improvements were signficant in attaining a quieter (black) background and improved imaging.

    each pair of feet are equal distancet from each of the "dashed" center-lines on the diagram 


Comments 24

Center
Thanks for the tips Willie. I live in Guelph, and don't get down into the city too often, unless I have a purpose to do so. I will definitely visit some of the shops that you have mentioned. Have you had any experience with Audio Excellence ? I have requested pricing from them on some Wilson Audio accessories, as I own Watt Puppy's and Maxx 2's. They are our only local dealer to my knowledge. My inquires were never responded to on two occasions. What's up with that. I now deal exclusively with Sono Filtronique  in Montreal for anything Wilson related. They are more than willing to help me part with my $$$

crazyeddy

222222&text=wi
Owner
Well, the upgrades keep happening...

I've now replaced my much loved iMac/V-Link192/Bifrost streaming front end with the Bluesound Node 2. 

OK, so I hated the iMAC, but the V-Link/Bifrost combo was superb!

There was a noticeable improvement in SQ and I believe that will continue to improve as it burns in.

It's much more reliable and much less quirky, so now my wife can use it. but there are "warts", like playlist creation. But I can live with that for now and Bluesound seems to "move with the times", so I hope that will improve. 

Regards...

williewonka

222222&text=wi
Owner

Doukmall Dual USB Cable

This cable is really cost  effective solution to  eliminating USB related problems  where the attached components utilize USB power from the computer via the USB cable

It separates the power and signal conductors and allow you to connect a more stable power supply in place of the computers unstable USB power.

Here's the cable...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Power-supply-and-USB-cable-separate-audio-signal-cable/251589388236?rt=nc&am...

One side goes to the computer and the other to the power supply.

A very good power supply is...

Enercell 5V/1A AC-to-USB Power Adapter Charger

or

http://805onlinedeals.myshopify.com/products/new-enercell-5v1a-ac-usb-charger-purple-2730703-2-pack

I've compared the power supply to a battery power supply and could not tell any difference in sound quality

Enjoy

williewonka

222222&text=wi
Owner
DIY Power Cables

I've also adopted the Helix geometry for my power cables

"The Helix"

This is an excellent Power Cable - give it a try :-)

Regards...

williewonka

222222&text=wi
Owner
Since the Agon team is updating the system listing I thought I'd leave an update here.

Just completed my final IC upgrade to the following...

"The Mark V"

For a DIY cable they are amazing - best performing cable I've ever had.

Regards...

williewonka

222222&text=wi
Owner
Since the Agon team is updating the system listing I thought I'd leave an update here.

Just completed my final IC upgrade to the following...

"The Mark V"

For a DIY cable they are amazing - best performing cable I've ever had.

Regards...

williewonka

222222&text=wi
Owner
Since the Agon team is updating the system listing I thought I'd leave an update here.

Just completed my final IC upgrade to the following...

"The Mark V"

For a DIY cable they are amazing - best performing cable I've ever had.

Reards...

williewonka

Center
Thanks for the insight; I havn't checked in for a while!

oranfoster

222222&text=wi
Owner
Oranfoster - having the weight is positive from the following perspectives...
- stops slipping on the acrylic platter
- flattens warped albums a little
- couples the album to the platter

the net benefit is crisper dynamics and enhanced details

Even the weight received some "treatment"- I replaced the felt pads on the bottom with a ring of sorbothane - but on the underside 0f the ring I left the protective plastic film in place so it does not stick to the album. I think this does a much better job of absorbing vibrations.

regards

williewonka

Center
And I'm glad you checked out my Village Baker system. I'm just about ready to post my home system. I'm taking my time, trying to get the photography right, etc.

Do you find that the record weight makes an appreciable improvement?

oranfoster

222222&text=wi
Owner
Oranfoster - Glad you liked the DIY treatments - it's due to my inquisitive mind and frugal nature :-)

I guess I got a little carried away with the TT tweaks - but like you, I found Rega's perform so much better with a little TLC - Tender Loving Conversions :-)

I took a look at your system - what an excellent way to bring pleasure to your business. I'm not surprised that you received positive feedback - that is so much better than the normal chintzy "Musak" systems. A pampered customer is a repeat customer.

Maybe you should start a vinyl sideline :-)

Chat later

williewonka

Center
Very nicely done, I really like the DIY parts of your stereo. Like yours, my REGA is assembled piece by piece.

oranfoster

222222&text=wi
Owner
More Upgrades!

Well, I think I've finally come to the end :-)

Some last Upgrades...

Soundsmith Denon DL103 cartridge with Ruby cantilever and line contact
optimized contour stylus - superb!

V-Link192 USB-S/PDIF converter
- this has a significantly better USB implementation than that available from
Schiit. Together with an extremely good DIY S/PDIF IC, made from CAT6 with
Pure Harmony RCA's attached.
- This really shows just how good the Bifrost really can be

Power cables were completely redesigned
- see the new spiral design in the component list
- they improved the dynamics, details and image considerably

Interconnects were completely redesigned
- see the new spiral design in the component list
- they improved everything across the board whilst maintaining a very neutral
and transparent presentation.

I have Absolute Harmony on all analogue IC's and Pure Harmony on the S/
PDIF cable
- they are the best out there
- nothing much to look at, but man - do they perform.

Until the next one :-)

williewonka

222222&text=wi
Owner
UPGRADES!!!

Well, due to some reviews undertaken in the last few months, my system
has undergone a significant cable upgrade

All power cables are now my own DIY braided cables using Furutech
conductors and Sonar Quest connectors

My Stager Silver Solids interconnects now have KLE Innovations Copper
Harmony RCA plugs on one pair and Silver Harmony RCA plugs on the
other pair

I have also added the Essence gZero Interconnect to the IC mix

And finally, my trusty Van den Hul D-352 speaker cables have been
replaced with the KLE Innovations Essence gZero2 speaker cables

Results - vast improvements in details, dynamics, image and most of all -
reality.

The beat goes on....

williewonka

222222&text=wi
Owner
Thanks Scott - a friend suggested I start the blog - it saves me repeating myself in emails and it channels my thought process. It needs some updates in the power related entries though - coming sooooon!

We're looking at downsizing our house but one of the requirements for the new house is a dedicated listening room - it's gonna be interesting :-)

Chat later

williewonka

222222&text=sa
Sweet room, system and blog, Steve. I look forward to checking out your posts and system more. I would love to do that someday myself.

Cheers,

Scott

samac

222222&text=wi
Owner
I took the plunge and epoxied the dl103 to a brass headshell shim, following the lead of companies like Zu and Soundsmith

The result is amazing, more details, better sound stage, bigger sound

williewonka

222222&text=wi
Owner
Since my system is forever changing I now have a blog that contains all the latest updates and tweaks - enjoy!

http://www.image99.net/blog/files/category-my-system.html

If posting my blog is against Audiogon policy please let me know or simply remove this response.

williewonka

128x128
Hello Willie,

I found my Zu 103R on Audiogon, new in package, for $650, I believe it was. The seller had several of them, and was selling off the extras.

Soundsmith does good work, from what I've heard, but they are always back-logged with work, so you will have to wait awhile on a retip. Check around, you might find one at a good price new, or low hours on it.

Hope you make out ok.
Regards,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

222222&text=wi
Owner
Dan - thanks for the feedback.

Do you know anyone that has dealt with Soundsmith?

http://www.sound-smith.com/denon/index.html

I hear their stuff is wonderful

So I'm torn between a new tip or a new cartridge with aluminum shell

Can't quite afford the Soundsmith Wood shell treatment

williewonka

222222&text=wi
Owner
Although the Gershman may be a superior speaker (never heard the Kef) and I love the sound that comes from them - very natural and deep - their customer service is a little "terse" to say the lease, but they did come through and honour their warranty, but tried to lay the blame on the level at which I play music at and they were a little tardy getting back to me

Not what I expect for a $4000 speaker

williewonka

128x128
Hi Willie,

I have been using a Zu Denon 103R for a couple of months now, and it has proven to be an excellent cartridge by nearly any standard, it's just a winner, all-around. Just get one, you won't be disappointed.

Best regards,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

222222&text=gr
Hello,

Gershman Acoustics Sonogram: Have you ever heard KEF 104/2s? Wondering if the sonograms would be a nice upgrade...

grindstaff

222222&text=wi
Owner
One possible upgrade in mind...

Once my DL 103 dies I will upgrade to a Zu DL103

I have heard many positive things about these cartridges

Anyone out there using one?

williewonka

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