This is a living room system with a digital source. Currently a streamer with cd transport removed. The amp is a 300B SET circuit by JC Morrison, modified and built by Blackie Pagano, with one half of a 6SN7 direct-coupled to the second half in the driver stage. There is a cap in the signal path. Right now, I have an Audio Note silver cap in there. My current tube compliment: Side Getter Short Bottle RCA 6SN7 GT, Takatsuki TA-300, and RCA 5R4. The amp has Tango NY15 3.5S output transformers and strong, choke-filtered power.
The speakers are Cain & Cain IM Bens with 6.5" Fostex drivers and super tweeters. Bass is augmented with two Cain & Cain Bailey subwoofers each powered by a Dayton plate amp.
In 2015 I went from a dedicated, very small room, to a much larger living room. This has its positives and negatives. It is not always convenient finding opportunities to listen to loud music in a shared living space but the system sounds better now than it did in that tiny room.
My source is an Emm Labs DCC2SE with a blue sound node 2i as a transport and a streamer.
When I am not listening to speakers, I listen to headphones. When I am not listening to the large system, I also have a smaller desktop system in an office. The speakers are very old Klipsch KM2, in need of upgrading. I use a Moon Audio Dragon IHA-1 for headphones and as a preamp with a Peter Daniel Patek Gainclone for power. A Cambridge Audio DacMagic output to the IHA-1.
Backloaded Horn 6 inch Fostex 168E Sigma driver plus super tweeter. This is the intermediate size double horn by Cain & Cain. For bass duties, there are two Bailey Subwoofers with two Dayton SP250 plate amplifiers. The Bens are running full range through the plate amps.
Custom Amp 300B SET
Dual mono custom 300B SET built by Blackie Pagano. Tango NY15 3.5S output iron, separate power and signal chassis.
Tubesville by Blackie Pagano Duality
Another shot of the signal chassis
Tango NY15 3.5S
Output transformer upgrade installed by Steve Berger.
Emm Labs DCC2 SE
Signature Edition DAC/Preamp
Emm Labs CDSD SE
Signature Edition CDSD redbook/SACD transport
47 Labs Ota
Single strand copper
47 Labs Ota
My favorite interconnect.
ATS Acoustics Acoustic panels and bass traps
2' by 2' panels and bass traps. I suppose the artwork is a kind of diffusion...
ATS Acoustics Acoustic panels and bass traps
2' by 2' panels and bass traps
Audio Note Silver/Mylar Capacitor
%99.99 pure silver capacitor.
Audio Sector Patek SE
50 WPC Gainclone built by Peter Daniel. A nice solid state backup/alternative.
Disc player used as a transport and music streamer.
Moon Audio Dragon Inspire IHA-1
This is tube preamp/headphone amp. I really enjoy it in my desktop system.
Cambridge Audio Dacmagic 100
A general purpose DAC with lots of switchable inputs. Desktop system. I am using three out of the four inputs, USB from Mac Mini, SPDIF from Direct TV box, and TOS from Xbox.
I love these headphones. They sound great with both the Moon Audio IHA-1 or the Tubesville amp. Paired with a Kimber Axios Copper cable.
Thanks very much for the offer. Right, my amp uses .1uf. I have not tried any other cap but so far I am pretty happy. I do know guys who prefer copper to silver. Nice to know you are getting along well with your system and that you are enjoying your sub woofers. Let me know if get down to the city.
Drummer! Keeper of the time! Those sax and brass players always throwing spit and breath-I know what you mean. Very physical instruments to play, but non more physical than you drummers. The 8th row is a very close perspective - kind of up close and personal. The really special thing about Carnegie is what a wonderful acoustic space it is. Our musician friends prefer playing in Carnegie. As for the "rear of the hall" I actually like sitting in the Carnegie balcony since the sound blends to perfection IMHO. Looking forward to hearing what you think about the sub woofers and your continuing reports about the AN caps. Would love to hear Avatgarde speakers some day. Am very curious about them and Zu speakers.
When recording engineers record classical sometimes they put the mikes out in the hall and sometimes on stage above the instruments or some combination there of. If they are recording in a great sounding room with great recording gear they get great results. We have a ton of classical CD's and they all sound unique. Like you mentioned some sound distant with lots of ambience (reverb) and some sound like the instruments are in the listening room or some combination of the above. One of the most interesting recordings we have is by George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra recorded in the late 50's and early 60's in the then newly renovated Severance hall. It is a recording of the 7th, 8th and 9th Symphony's of Dvorak. Its the "Stereorama" recordings. Special attention was given to the sound and I am guessing these recordings were made on Ampex 3 track reel to reel machines with very little processing. The instruments have a special on stage presence but at the same a very satisfying ambiance. Another great recording is George Solti's Bartok's Concerto For Orchestra, Dance Suites and Music for Strings Percussion and Celeste with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra done in the 1980's. Very dynamic!
I heard the Cain Abby's driven by a 2a3 amp with no sub woofer at Fortapache's home. A lightening fast lightly textured presentation. The E's with my amp have more body and texture, but are not as fast as Fort's system. New the E's are above my price range and they keep going up in price every year. I bought our's used three years ago. Folks seem love them or hate them.
oh yeah I almost forgot what it was like when I used to do recording sessions and after we would finish a "take" the engineer would almost always play the take thru the huge wall mounted speakers which usually consisted of two 15 inch woofers and a horn, and to me this still sounded like recorded music...not live.
TJ, I have have spent many hours in both Carnegie and Avery Fisher and share your amazement with the power of a full orchestra. I play guitar and used to do it professionally so have been in many venues large and small and nothing compares to the power of live instruments. A few days ago one of our friends was practicing with his cello in our apartment and I could not believe how loud and room filling it is. I have stood next to sax players and they can be a very loud instrument as well. Not to mention a drum kit! Whoa! My point is and Charles mentioned this as well, I cant imagine sitting in my home and actually enjoying those decibel levels for more than a few seconds and they are harmful to one's hearing for sure. I have turned up my system just to see how it handles orchestral, rock and jazz climaxes and it does a good job and actually sounds natural and dynamic. For the sake of my neighbors I don't do it very often. But the E's in my room with 8 watts are suprisingly dynamic.
My preference is voicing our rig so it plays successfully as many records and CD's as possible and since we listen to so many musical genres that is a challenge as Charles pointed out. When we were speaker shopping being able to play all genres was top on the list within our price range.
Keep us posted on the your cap break in process and the subwoofers. Will be interesting to see if silver caps will be your long term preference.