The most recent change to my system was replacing the stock platter and bearing with a Shindo platter and bearing. The build quality of the Shindo additions are amazing and the improvement in sound quality is amazing. I have no idea how a platter and bearing upgrade results in blacker backgrounds, more detail, and more dynamic sound, but it does.

Some other recent changes to my system are:
Tonearm replacement: Ortofon RS-309D replaced with an Ikeda IT-407 CR1 incl. VTA base
The addition of an Ikeda 9GSS phono cartridge.
Updating the digital front end to an Innuos music server and Line Magnetic DAC.

Planned future changes are addition of an outboard turntable power supply for the Garrard.

I can sit and listen for hours. This system excels with vocals, but can play rock and full scale orchestral music with ease at volume. I listen primarily to vocalists with small groups and some classic rock or jazz on occasion.

Any thoughts or suggestions please.

My listening room is about 12X17 with 10 ft ceilings.

Room Details

Dimensions: 17’ × 11’  Medium
Ceiling: 10’

Components Toggle details

    • Garrard 301
    Cream colored Garrard 301 with Shindo platter and bearing.

    Mounted in Woodsong plinth with Indian Rosewood veneer and Nordost SortFut underneath sitting on a Vibraplane
    • Ikeda IT-407CR1
    IT-407CR112 INCH ARM Price:$7,400

    Type:Dynamic Balance

    Overall Length: 388 mm

    Effective Length: 307 mm

    Overhang: 12 mm

    Stylus Force Range: 0g - 5g (in 0.5g steps

    Pivot to Spindle Distance: 295 mm

    • Ikeda IT-VTA-06


    IT-VTA-06 is an arm base with built-in elevation mechanism that allows you to easily adjust the height of the tone arm. The housing is machined from stainless steel, and the arm fixing part has a hybrid structure of stainless steel and brass. The height can be adjusted smoothly with a single dial operation even record play.

    Height adjustment range: Vertical 10 mm

    • Ikeda 9Gss MC Cartridge
    9GssMC CARTRIDGE Price:$10,500

    Product Specifications:

    Output Voltage:
    0.3 mVrms (1kHz 35.4mm/sec. at 45°peak)

    Coil Impedance:
    3.0 Ohms (1kHz)

    • EMT Audio JSD S-75
    JSD S75 75 year Jubilee Moving Coil cartridge is the latest addition to EMT‘s award winning line. Diamond stylus on white Sapphire cantilever.
    • Benz Micro LP-S mr
    The newest Benz LP-S with micro ridge stylus
    • Kiseki PurpleHeart Sapphire

    This cartridge uses purpleheart housing, but instead of the aluminum cantilever used in the standard purpleheart, white sapphire from the Lapiz Lazuli is used for the cantilever.


    Cantilever: 0.3mm sapphire, length 4.5mm

    Stylus: line contact, 0.14 x 0.6 mil

    Stylus polish: super polishing by pieces of hair

    Output: around 0.4mV

    Impedance: 42 ohms

    Compliance: 20 x 10-6cm/dyne

    Tracking force: 1.6 to 2.2g

    • Luxman CL-38uC
    Luxman preamp including MM/MC phono preamp
    • Luxman MB-3045
    Luxman mono amps originally sold with the NEC 8045G triode tube.

    This pair was factory modified to use the 6550 tube in triode. About 50-60 wpc

    This is as quiet as any tube am I have ever heard, including Shindo
    • Proac Response D-40r
    Floor standing with ribbon tweeter, 2-6.5 woofers and Nordost SurtFut instead of factory spikes
    • Nordost Valhalla 2 tonearm cable
    Used with the Garrard turntable and Ortofon tonearm
    • Nordost Odin
    Interconnect cable between preamp and power amps. A significant upgrade from the Tyr 2 used previously
    • Nordost Valhalla 2 Speaker Cable
    3 meter pair used with Nordost Reference Jumpers
    • Nordost Valhalla 2 Power Cord
    Used for QBase to wall, Qbase to preamp and power amps
    • Nordost Tyr 2
    Used between CD plater and preamp
    • Nordost QBase 8
    Used for all AC Connections in concert with a Valhalla 2 AC cable
    • Nordost Sort Fut
    Nordost SortFut used under the ProAc D-40r speakers
    • Nordost Sort Kone TC
    Used under preamp, power amps and Nordost QBase.
    • Vibraplane 2210-01-13
    Passive 20x24 vibraplane placed under Garrard 301 turntable
    • Audio Desk Systeme PRO
    Ultrasonic Record cleaner, Get great sound from record cleaning dirt you did not know was there
    • VPI Industries HW-16.5
    Reliable record cleaning machine
    • Ortofon RS-309D Dynamic Balance Tonearm
    Not in current use
    • Linn Genki
    Great CD only player
    • Innuos Zenith Mk III
    • Line Magnetic lm 32 dac

Comments 43


Thank you for the kind comments. If I had room I would get Sound Labs.

The Purple Heart and LPS are both great. Right now I am trying to get enough hours on the Ikeda 9GSS to break it in completely. 


Wow, Jim, lovely system. The Purple Heart and the LPS are two of my fav carts of all time. As a former vintage SP-10 owner, I appreciate all the love and care you are giving to the Garrard. 
I grew up in a home with a Garrard and I remember nervously using it as a young child with my parents LPs...will always have a soft spot for them, although theirs wasn't anywhere as nice as yours. Cheers,


@jperry the difference between my 301 and 401 is minimal.
When I received my 301 from eBay UK, I was so impressed that a 50+ year old turntable could look so good, the original paint and badges were like new so I left most of it as is. My 401 has a few aftermarket parts, mainly a newly machined platter, new idler wheel and new pulley. I would say the 401 is slightly more balanced sounding. Using my wow/flutter phone app, the 401 measured slightly better.   



Thanks for the comments, and as I mentioned your 401 is beautiful.

I found the cartridge display case on e-bay. Type “EMJ Zelkova headshell cartridge keeper” in the e-bay search and you will find a number of them in different variations. They usually ship from Japan.

I am sure you have a great sounding system. The big Tannoys are very cool.

Best Regards,

Jim Perry


I admire your system greatly, since I have a Garrard 401 I overhauled and built the plinth for, and mounted a Dynavector 501 arm on (which I also overhauled).

I use custom built Tannoy speakers with 150 liter bass-reflex enclosures, in a rather large room, and I'm also able to enjoy most anything I care to listen to. Mostly classical and jazz with a bit of R'n'R and blues in the mix also.

I must admit, though, your system is very easy on the eyes as it must be on the ears. 

I am very curious regarding the beautiful display case for your head shells and cartridges. Never seen one like it before. Nice.

Best regards,


Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan


Thanks for the comments. I have been working on this for a long time and am finally getting the turntable (I think) completed to my satisfaction. 

What do you think of the differences between your 301 and 401?


@jperry I really like the collection of vintage and modern equipment you have. The Garrard 301 with Ikeda arm and Shindo bearing makes me jealous...not to mention the cartridge you have in your collection. Congrats on a great setup!


The most recent change to my system was replacing the stock platter and bearing with a Shindo platter and bearing. The build quality of the Shindo additions are amazing and the improvement in sound quality is amazing. I have no idea how a platter and bearing upgrade results in blacker backgrounds, more detail, and more dynamic sound, but it does.


Thanks for the kind words @milpai 

I was looking for a smaller lighter amp (the Atlas is 80 lbs) and ran into a deal on a pair of Luxman MB-3045 mono amps (60 wpc), which I had always wanted. Brought them home to try and liked the sound better than my Aesthetix Atlas (200 wpc). These Luxman tube amps have as low a noise floor as a Shindo amp.

They came with a Luxman CL-35III, all were from the original owner with original boxes etc. I upgrading this to the new Luxman CL-38Uc which has a lower noise floor. This is a great combination with the Proac D-40r. 

I still have Nordost cables, but now have V2 Power cable for the Q-base, both amps, and the preamp. I upgraded the interconnect between the preamp and amps from Tyr 2 to Odin 1.


That new pic of your system is looking awesome. Those ProAcs will never go out of style or class. Congratulations on the new gear! So what prompted you to go back to tubes? I am guessing the ouput from this new Luxman is lower than your previous amp? How are the ProAcs behaving with the new amp?
BTW, I remember that you always had Nordost cables. Which cables did you change?


So a few recent updates:

I added an Ikeda tonearm and cartridge to my Garrard 301 and it was a great change taking my system to a new level

I also added some digital capability with an Innuos music server and Line Magnetic DAC

Any comments are appreciated. 


Jim Perry


Thanks to all for past comments. I am now back to tube amplification. 

I recently changed my amplification to Luxman, and upgraded my cable loom, all with very positive results.

I also added a Bag End Active bass trap, which allowed bass improvements without adding corner traps etc.

Any comments are appreciated.

Best regards,

Jim Perry


Sweet looking system-I have the d48r with all Naim gear in a room about your size but about 3ft longer-how far back from plane of speakers are you sitting?

Mine are toed in heavily so that from listening seat I only see the front fascia of the speakers and back of speakers are about 5ft from wall and 2ft or so from sidewalls. So further into room and much more toe in. I might have to try less toe and further back to wall but I settled on this position bc felt it gives most even bass response. In my room the ceiling is flat in middle and slopes down to 6ft on sidewall. Further back towards wall seems to bloat the bass on some recordings. Proacs are amazing and best sound I have ever had in this room.



Beautiful setup with your D40R's! That rosewood is beautiful - not too red at all. I'm shortlisting this speaker as I am looking at finding my "final" pair of speakers. Also considering the Joseph Audio Perspectives, Magico A3's


Looks like you moved up to the Valhalla 2 speaker cables from the Tyr 2's. I had the Tyr 2 speaker cables in my system for about 3 months (on loan from a dealer friend) until I found a great deal on the Valhalla 2's. With my system (Classe and Proac d30r's) the jump was more than I expected. I recently added an Odin V1 power cable that I use to power my Qbase. That was another huge upgrade for me. Your system keeps looking better and better, bet is sounds great!


Nice. Has the 301 bettered the SME? Try pulling your speakers out another few feet.


Thank You for the invite and letting me know about your setup. Those D40R seems excellent. I am sure, that ribbon tweeter has some magic. My only link to Arizona is Paul from Clear Day cables. I visited AZ in 2004, when we were in Grand Canyon.
Very nice system!


Milpai, I have the speakers placed about 2 feet from the side walls and 3 feet from the front walls. Based on looking at your system the placement I have is similar to yours.

The bass has response into the twenty hz range, based on using a Stereophile test CD, but I had not measured exactly how far down or how much the volume decreased at as the frequency decreased.

The bass has plenty of impact on upright bass, drums and electric bass. I don't really listen to organ music so I can't comment on that.

If you are ever in Phoenix, AZ let me know and you can have a listen.


I see that you are a ProAc fanatic :-) How is the bass in your room with the D40R? How close from wall are these speakers. I will be looking at PMC and ProAc in the future. ProAc rates their speakers down to 25Hz. But to they really go that low?


Jerry, great to hear from you, and thanks for the compliment. I have been very busy and have some more changes in early 2015, including upgrading the Aesthetix Rhea to a Signature version, and a new cartridge.

The Vibraplane made a significant difference with the SME TT, but I have not tried it under the Basis as it already has suspension.

I will look you up if I get to the east coast. I would love to hear your system. Glad to hear you are still happy with the Basis Vector tonearm.


Jim, you have been busy! Nice job, I'll bet your system sounds great. I love you having 2 turntables on your rack! I have considered that also, I still have my basis 1400 and considering setting it up as a mono table since my 2200 only takes 1 arm.


System edited: I just bought a rack from Timbernation. Great solid walnut construction, I also added a Vibraplane under the SME 10 turntable. The Vibraplane made significant improvements to the sound improving the imaging and clarity of the sound


Matt, thanks for your comments. I just saw your comment when I was revising this. Let me know if you are ever in Phoenix, AZ


System edited: I have made a number of changes since I last updated this virtual system. The addition of the Aesthetix Rhea and Calypso along with changing from the Proac Response 2.5 to Proac Response D-40r has really taken this to another level. I am considering the addition of a Minus K or Vibraplane platform under the SME 10 TT. I would appreciate comments and suggestions on this system.


Thats a really nice system Jperry I wish I could hear those Proac speakers with the Rogue pre amp. very clean, nice Job!


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