Description

Hello visitor and welcome to my virtual stereo system!

I am 39 year old physicist leaving in Amsterdam the Netherlands with a wonderful and understanding wife, a 5.5 years old daughter and a cat. I listen music all day every day (iTunes+Shure SE535 at work and KOSH at home). Currently, my favourite musicians are Patricia Barber and  Loreena Mckennitt, but I enjoy any genre as long as it is good music (from jazz and classical to pop, rock, and metal). My other hobby is drumming, though I do not play as much as I used to (i.e. 30-60 minutes per week).

Regarding my Hi-Fi believes, I am very found of Accuphase electronics, a firm believer in subwoofers, and do not believe all the hype about cables. With speakers it is more difficult! I was in a long term relationship with the Focal Utopia Micro Be & REL Stentor combo, then I was briefly in love with the Dynaudio C1 monitors. I have fantasised about Avantgarde speakers for a very long time, and till recently I did not find a dealer that was willing to let me audition them in my system. Currently, I own the Avantgarde Uno speakers, but as one would expect, now I have other fantasies, e.g. Avantgarde Trio, TAD CR-1 & Evolution E1, Marting Logan Summit X...

Finally, in case you wonder, I have named the system after ambassador Kosh Naranek (the vorlon in the Babylon 5 series) - a "metaphor" for the elusiveness, beauty and frustrations found in this hobby.

Thanks for stopping by and do not be shy, let me know your honest opinion about my system and hi-fi believes.

Happy listening,

Paul
Read more...

Room Details

Dimensions: 20’ × 12’  Medium
Ceiling: 9’


Components Toggle details

    • Accuphase A-65
    Class A power amp. It is rated at 60 watts in 8 ohm, and it doubles its power output all the way down to 1 ohm.
    • Accuphase C-3800
    Preamplifier
    • Accuphase DP-720
    SA-CD player.
    • MiniDSP DDRC-22D
    Room correction unit running Dirac Live.
    • Accuphase PS-1220
    Power conditioner.
    • Avantgarde Acoustic Uno G2
    Horn speakers with active subwoofers.
    • Kemp Elektroniks Cables and dedicated mains
    • GIK Acoustics Art panels (5) and Tri-traps (4)
    Acoustic panels and bass traps.

Comments 60

222222&text=me
Hi Paul! 

I would like to know which from the following devices gets hotter (releases the greatest quantity of heat) while functioning: A-65, PS-1220 and C-3800. 
I had an A-60 amplifier and I know how hot it can get.  
Now I own a pair of M-6200, waiting for C-3850 and PS-1230 to arrive in December. The main source will probably be a DP-750.
I am asking you this in order to know how to arrange them on the shelves of the rack.

Thank you very much in advance!
Best Regards,
 

memo84

222222&text=nv
Owner
Thanks for the message Milpai!
After moving the system from my study/music room up stairs into the living room its performance dropped dramatically. In the new room the speakers were firing along the long wall and this did not work very well in this room. Also, my wife was happy that I have decided to spent my time up stairs with the family, but she was not very happy about the new look of our living room. 
To find a solution, I have started designing the room in the digital/virtual domain, i.e. on my computer. I am theoretical/computational physicist and this is how I usually solve problems. :)  First, using the Room EQ Wizard (REW) software I have determined the best place to position the speakers. The total weight of the system is approximately 250 Kg so moving things around blindly is never a good idea. Then, I moved the speakers in the position determined with REW to verify that the theoretical prediction is ok. To my surprise, REW has given me a very good starting point. Next, the position of the speakers has been fine tuned. Finally, I used the 3D Live Interior program to find the combination of pictures that pleased everyone in the family. Before deciding which pictures to print on the GIK Artpanels I have probably looked at one million pictures on shutterstock.com. :)

nvp

128x128
You room looks awesome Paul. Even better than some dedicated rooms, I say, with those clean looks. I have visited your virtual system in the past, and with the changed looks, there was no way I was going to leave without saying something.
Awesome job!

milpai

222222&text=nv
Owner
I have added a few pictures with the new layout of the living room. After moving things around and after adding the GIK acoustic treatments the system performs as good as it did in the dedicated room. 

The GIK Artpanels made everyone in our home happy. I am happy with the sound, my wife is happy with the red flower and the Japanese stone garden, and my daughter is happy with the butterflies.

nvp

222222&text=nv
Owner
System edited: Last month I upgraded my DP-600 SACD player to an DP-720
player. The new player sounds significantly better than the previous one, even
though it is not fully-burned in yet.

I have also added a picture of the whole rig as I have recently moved it from my
study/music room into our living room. The new room allows me to stay 4-4.5
meters away from the speakers. In theory, this should be beneficial as it allows
the sound fields coming from the two horns of the UNOs to integrate properly. In
practice, however, I do not hear an improvement (especially when comparing
with the sound I had in my study/music room). This, however, is a consequence
of the lack of acoustic treatments in the living room. Thus, I am back on the hi-fi
horse… the new goal is to find a decent looking solution for the acoustical
problems in the living room. Suggestions are very welcome!

nvp

222222&text=bv
Similar thoughts here..
Have had my share of doubts too with the A200s and DP900/DC901 which during month 3-6 of use ~ Kinda sluggish and veiled at times (roller coasting). Was thinking hard whether it was my new Siltech PCs and ICs breaking-in or was it the actual inherent Accuphase sound that I'm hearing.
Even crossed my mind at times whether to switch to other amps and cdp while they were still fairly new. Luckily more patience pays off, north of 6mths of use, then realized they were keeper. Speed, rhythm, timing, clarity, delineation all picked up to where I had hoped for, whilst still staying true to Accuphase renown musicality. What I learned was that from new ~ like butterfly, they took quite a while to totally break free from its cocoon ~ which at the end was well worth it.

*Also noticed them to take at least a couple hours upon start up to sound their best. I usually turned them on at around 9pm after dinner, at 12am they started sounding good, and usually at 3-4am I have a hard time dragging my *ss off to sleep! Lol

Good to hear that that it's finally working well for you too! Happy listening buddy..
Rgrds

bvdiman

222222&text=nv
Owner
Hi Bvdiman! I am sorry for the late reply. I did not have much time for internet lately as I was very busy at work.

Now the C-3800 pre has more approximately 500 hours of music played through it, and 5-6 days ago I have noticed a very big change (for the better) in sound. The sound has opened up significantly, no frequency interval is standing out, everything is extremely clear and played with utmost calm. Now the C-3800 is certainly better than the C-2810. However, during the first month I was not 100% sure that buying it was a good move as in combination with the DG-48, the C-2810 sounded better that the C-3800 (with or without the DG-38).

I will gather my thoughts (eventually) and report both here on audiogon and also on audio aficionado about my experience with the C-2410 vs. C-2810 and C-3800.

nvp

222222&text=bv
Hi there Paul, Congrats on the C3800, must be sounding awesome!
How does it compare to previous C2810 now that you have some time with it?
Rgrds.

bvdiman

Center
Phasure NOS1

Give it a listen.

glory

222222&text=la
Nice upgrade!

lapierre

222222&text=nv
Owner
System edited: The Accuphase C-2810 pre-amp was replaced by the Accuphase C-3800 pre-amp. I'll report the deferences once the C-3800 is burned in.

nvp

222222&text=nv
Owner
System edited: Another upgrade of my Accuphase rig: First, the almost 10
years old DG-38 voicing equaliser was replaced with its "younger brother", the
DG-48. Compared to the DG-38, the DG-48 is significantly easier to use and
yields results that are at least as good. Second, I've bought an Accuphase PS-
1220 power conditioner. This was a very very significant upgrade. This unit, is
not only capable to drive and "protect" all my audio components, but it also
improves every aspect of the music, e.g. clarity, focus, dynamics, sound stage,
etc..

nvp

222222&text=nv
Owner
System edited: two significant changes! First, I have moved the system from its
dedicated room into our living room. Now the whole family can enjoy it! The
larger living room (6 x 3.7 x 2.7 meters) has posed some problems at first, but I
have managed to work things out. Now I am quite happy with the sound.
Second, I have replaced my C-2410 Accuphase preamplifier with its bigger
brother the Accuphase C-2810 pre. This was a very significant upgrade -
comparable in magnitude with the move from A-45 to the A-65.

nvp

222222&text=nv
Owner
Hi Arthur, ok I understand now what you have meant. Marantz also uses current feedback in many of their designs. I am not sure about Luxman, but I would not be surprise as these three brands seems to follow the same school of thoughts.

nvp

222222&text=ab
Hi Paul - Congrats on the A65! Maybe I should reconsider an A20
then....

My reference to current mode control is in describing the type of
feedback they use in their circuits. Most linear amplifiers use voltage
mode control for the sake of simplicity, but current mode offers a few
technical benefits that are worthwhile for those willing to break with
convention. For one, it has lower impedance which reduces phase
shifts significantly. Another is that bandwidth and gain are
independent. This latter is important for me (and perhaps you too)
because the gain reduction knob on an Accuphase is a real one - not
a shedding resistor used to to drop the signal. This allows you to
truly lower the gain of the circuit to better mate with your preamp
without affecting transparency. There are very few amplifiers that
have this ability.

Arthur

aball

222222&text=nv
Owner

System edited: Big upgrade in the amp department: the A-45 amp was replaced
by its bigger brother the A-65. I've got a very good deal on an A-65 power amp
and I have decided to buy it (mostly in the hope to end once and for all my quest
for a power amp). Given the high sensitivity of my speakers I did not expected
the move to be a significant upgrade. However, I could not be more wrong.
Everything is much better with the A-65, stereo image, bass, tone density,
details. I am very happy!

nvp

222222&text=nv
Owner
Hi Arthur, of course you are very welcome if you are in A-dam. Just let me know when you plan to stop by. :)

I have liked the E-550 very much. I have compared 10 or so integrated amps before buying it. But you know how it is, everything is personal in this hobby.

Since my knowledge on the subject is very limited, I assume that by "current module controle, " you refere to what Accuphase referes as instrumentation amplifier.

nvp

222222&text=ab
Hmmm...well, pardon me for crashing the party here, but NVP, I wanted to say that I'd love to hear your system! I am a big fan of Amsterdam and try to go whenever I'm in northern France or Germany. Who knows, maybe we will connect face-to-face one day?

I almost purchased an A-20 but it didn't work out. I auditioned an E550 one time and wasn't very enthusiastic about it, but I realize now that auditions really don't amount to much, if anything. The champagne gold finish is interesting, all the more because I normally wouldn't go for that kind of thing, other than a Leben CS-300X. I keep Accuphase on the list because current mode control is a theoretically-excellent way to design an amplifier circuit, and yet is so rarely seen in reality. I use it all the time in the power supplies I design for its significantly-improved performance with those topologies.

aball

222222&text=nv
Owner

Raindog, you are a loose cannon when you start barking.

In all seriousness now, I have no idea what has actually triggered this tsunami.
I find your attitude unappreciative and very impolite, especially since I have
always taken the time to answer you in details about my experiences, plus,
from what you report, at times my comments seems to have been helpful. (I
have written here so much about the Dynaudio C1s speakers, also because I
have liked them, but mostly because for years there was very little
info/feedback online about the C1s from people who had first hand
experience with them.)

I do not know about you, but I spend time here on audiogon to share with
others my experiences with various audio components because I hope that I
will also learn something from their experiences and opinions. Given the state
of this industry, I firmly believe that this is the best way (or better said, the
only way) one can learn something useful about an audio component that
he/she is not able to audition. (As a Gryphon owner, you should know better
how much fabrication is in this "industry" and what happen to
those who do not comply to the rules set by magazines and/or
importers/dealers.)

Consequently, if you have felt that me and Xti16 are incorrect regarding the
power requirements for Dynaudio monitor speakers you should have steered
the discussion in that direction, and/or report that you have arrived at a very
different conclusion. I am sure that, as always, we would have discussed
about this issue in a civilized and constructive manner. Plus, the resulting
discussions would have been beneficial not only to the three of us, but also to
many more audiogoners. I will address your concerns about me driving the
Dynaudio C1 speakers with the Accuphase E-550 integrated in a separate
post in "my" thread about C1. Since the opinions on this issue are divided, I
feel it is important to discuss it.

Regarding my writing style, I am glad you like it, however, I publish regularly
my research in serious international physics journals (i.e. 2-3 times per year).
That is probably why sometimes I come across as overconfident, viz. English
is not my first language and I am used to write in English only technical
and/or scientific stuff which always sound "rigid". It is also true,
though, that when it comes to speaker set-up and/or subwoofer integration, I
feel I am significantly more knowledgable than the average guy and/or dealer.
(The reason is twofold. Not only I play music for almost 20 years so I know
what to listen when setting up speakers and/or subwoofers, but more
importantly, I have quite a bit of experience with room acoustics. That is,
during my university studies I have spent a few good months in the acoustic
lab in our university studying interference acoustic patterns in rectangular
chambers. Not only I have done experiments but I have also worked out the
math and have written a computer programs that has allowed me to compute
what I was measuring in the lab.)

I will refrain for going into details why I think some of your comments are
naive. I will be happy to explain, discuss even debate in a civilized way, why
for example the more expensive Avantgarde speakers often sound inferior to
the UNOs, and/or why "your" statement about horns (which in fact is a
comment made by the weather guy who now is building speakers) is not
correct.

I hope this long post was not in vain and you will respond in a civilized way.

nvp

Center
"ignorance is bliss" talks the man who connects dyns on 30watt amp with god knows which cables and calls them slow and broken and puts them in a small room with overpowered bass and then comment on their transparency? really...you made my friends and me a really good laugh...especialy with amp you chosen to drive 85db sensitive speakers(dyns in general)...and your answer on that is i guess "i chose quality not quantity"...like everyone whos got much stronger amp hasnt got more quality amp than you...im just sad you didnt give those speakers justice and actualy heard them singing...and what makes you think horns are faster...horns measure slower than any other type of speaker due to all the stored energy from reflections inside the throat...horns are faster in the sense that they can increase both the dynamic range and sound pressure level by as much as 5db making them "seem" faster but they are often more in your face, nothing more...just not my cup of tea...FYI(i dont know how in the world you have information that i did not compared my speakers to avantgardes that are even better than your model is, but YOU KNOW EVERYTHING) we did make direct comparison with my and few other speakers with avantgarde duos(with several high end amps and cables i will name it to you all if you like) and we concluded biggest difference is that avantgardes sound fatter and less coherent than any of the speaker we tried(let me guess...we are "ignorant" and we diddnt properly set up the speakers so we should call you to help us)...as matter of morbid angel example if you dont have any smarter way to attack my comment about a great control and speed of my amp and cables with dyns be my guest...if nothing you write really nice and eloquently besides you acting like you know everything...i apologise on making honest comment that vivids and avantgardes dont look like something by my taste(i hope its not a great sin to do that...allthough i said that looks is last in my book...my dyns dont look anything special also if you feel better)...so professor i dont want to test your patience...i leave you to yours "usain bolt" speakers to listen the speed and special effects and im going back to dungeon to listen some slow, broken and boxed music...regards...

raindog031

222222&text=nv
Owner
Raindog031, I feel I was always friendly and patient in my replies to you, even
when you made fun of what I consider nice looking speakers and/or you have
given silly example like the Morbid Angel drum recording. Since it seems you
believe that you can drawn reliable conclusions about how fast/slow a speaker is
in comparison with another speaker without actually doing a direct comparison,
my reply to your "to each his own" comment is "ignorance is bliss".

nvp

Center
One more time in terms of boxiness i will agree with you but in terms of slowness and sound "broken" by comparishon i have to disagree and it could be only due the poor matching nothing more and that description i hear first and only time from you...i heard horns and electrostats on many ocations and overall if they sounded more better to my ears i would own them some time ago...but to each his own...

raindog031

222222&text=nv
Owner
Raindog031, you know very well that I have liked the Focal Utopia Micro Be and
Dynaudio C1 monitors very much. I have often spoken highly of them on this
forum. The boxiness and slowness of these speakers has become apparent to
me only after comparing directly the UNOS and the Micro Bes in my room. If you
want to be happy and enjoy your excellent Dynaudio speaker just do not
compare them directly with a pair of horns. :)

nvp

Center
Tnx on response Paul...you hit the nail with kodo drummers if you think only in terms of sonical quality...i have about dosen kodo drummer cds...and all of it sounds natural and its far from slow or broken as you said before when listening c1s...when i said dynamics i diddnt meant on dynamic range of songs or loudness...but simple that the song is fast(dynamic) and system power demanding (i heard 3 systems that first heavily distorted before clipping on this song) i am aware that this song is not a sonical and production bliss ( btw i heard hundreds of albums of atleast double worse production) and allthough drums are muffled and and not correct drum sounding( who am i to doubt in experienced seasoned drummer :) when listening on various equipment i noticed how demanding this is not to distord and sound even worse than it is produced...if i meant on a perfect dynamic range or sonic test song i could easily name many songs form wilson, chesky, focal etc. test audiophile cd...one more time i mention that ive heard them all and they all sound sublime and far from slow or broken as you said...so i must ask you on which amp and cables you pushed c1s that they sounded like that...my amp is 500w in 4ohm and i repeat it plays with most demanding tracks without a sweat on more demanding speakers than c1s ( btw i would ask you please to name a few most demanding tracks you know so i can play it on my system for fun...i guess you have some favorites)
and about transparency of boxed speakers and electrostats i think we dont have to waste many words...i couldnt agree more about differences in transparency but electrostats also have their limitations on other fields (btw one friend not long ago burned his maggies becuz of pushing them loud) i liked quads 2905 alot in a lot aspects but to push fast paced music with autority (metal/rock and electronica) no way jose...especialy lower models...not my cup of tea...as of horn speakers ive only heard avantgarde duos as i described to you so i dont heard much...and one more thing...(you can freely call me crazy if you like:) to me Vivid K-1 sounded more transparent than quads or avantgardes i listened...at the end if you ask me i will appreciate more good timbar sound and imaging infront transparency any day...now i will have to apologyse for long text and i guess i could explain some of my thoughts better becuz this is not my first language but i hope you understanded majority of post...my regards friend...

raindog031

222222&text=nv
Owner

Hi Raindog031, congratulation for your new system! You when Danish all the way. :)

Basically 99% of the "normal" speakers, i.e. not just Dynaudio and Focal, sound like "drivers in a box" when compared to good horn or electrostatic speakers. One is rarely aware of the boxiness of normal speaker until he compares them directly with good electrostatic and/or horn speakers. It is very hard to not hear it anymore once you have become aware of it. One can change as many cables and/or amplifiers as he/she wants the boxy sound will not go away (unless removing the box).

Regarding the "drum check" song, I am aware of it (I used to play "God of Emptiness" with my high school band). However, that recording is not only of poor quality but is also not a relevant drum recording for very many reasons. Firstly, is has no dynamic variation, you only have fast and, at the same time, loud drums on it. (A recording with large dynamic variation contains sadden changes from very soft volumes to very loud volumes.) Second, the drums there do not go very low. In fact, on that recording all drums are muffled. The reason is that, in order to cut through the music, the bass drums need to have a short and sharp sound with no reverberation. Third, the recorded drums sounds are not of real drums, they are generated by a computer by triggering the acoustics drums. (All death metal drummers use triggers, otherwise they will die after 15-20 minutes of drumming). Buy any cd with kodo drummers, even a compress non-audiophile cd should amaze you with very low bass and huge dynamic variations.

I hope you will not take this the wrong way. I am in no way trying to patronize you.

Best wishes,
Paul

nvp

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