Added the Inakustik AC-3500p power conditioner in the system.

Replaced the Promitheus Reference C-core TVC with Backert Labs Rhumba 1.3 preamplifier

Replaced the Quad 21L with the ProAc D48R in Ebony.

Replaced the Teac CD-1000 SACD player with Oppo UDP-205 universal disc player.

Replaced the Marantz SACD player with Teac CD-1000.

New room finished in April. Room is 19 X 15 X 8. Three walls were already in place (concrete). Had the 4th wall built with double drywalls inside/outside and using GreenGlue. 2 dedicated 10gauge 20 amp lines for amps and electronics. Speakers are 4 feet from back wall and 3 feet from side wall. Placement of speakers, chair, panels etc are within 1/8th inch tolerance. Replaced Signal Cable power cables with Cullen Cables Crossover Series power cords, because I needed longer and flexible cables.

Replaced Signal Cable Silver Resolution RCAs between Marantz and TVC with Clear Day's RCA cables.

Replaced Signal Cable Silver Resolution XLR between TVC and amp with Clear Day's XLR cables.

Replaced the Signal Cable Silver Resolution bi-wires with Clear Day Double Shotguns and jumpers between HF and LF speaker terminals.

Replaced original wooden footers under TVCs with Ebony footers. Simply unbelievable - what they did.

February 2012 - September 2012:
Been exited to have a dedicated room for this "passion". This word was emphasized by a female family friend. She was amazed by how passionately I could go on and on about this hobby. She likes classical music. Soon after we moved into our first home, I did post some questions on this forum about french doors. Those are in place now and I am happy with their looks. Per my wife (touch wood), I need to place something on the door panels for preventing reflections and maintaining privacy. Her support for me in this hobby has been outstanding and I would not have reached this far, if not for her. So, that treatment on the door will come sometimes later this year. This is a small room with 13.5'X12.5'X9' dimensions. I painted this room myself (first time, never did this before). The speakers are placed along the shorter wall. They are 40" from front wall and about 30" from side walls. They are about 7' apart with some toe-in. I sit slightly more than 7' away. All measurements are within 1/10" error. Finding the optimum position for speaker took me about 24 to 30 man hours. Though this is painful, the outcome of this exercise is mind-boggling. Got some granite to go between the floor and speakers. These are 18"X18"X1.5". This has tightened the bass and has provided necessary isolation from the wooden floor below. At the same time, added Herbie Audio Lab's Extra Thick Hush Puckies under the speaker spikes and the granite. This causes the speaker to not "ring" and provides stability to the speakers, because of the dBNeutralizer base. Since this is my own space, I added some treatments from GIK. Bryan Pape at GIK was very helpful and actually told me to go easy on the treatments. We started with 2 Tri-traps on the corners and 2 Monster Panels on the back wall directly behind the listening position. I liked the way the bass tightened up. Bryan suggested the 244 instead of 242s on the first reflection panels to take care of any phase issues as well. And that has turned pretty nice. Also got the terminations on the speaker wires changed from spades to BFA bananas. I am totally sold on the BFAs. Superb contact and fit. Some of you advised me to move the equipments from between the speakers. Though I could not do it 100%, what I did was, to disassemble the rack and use the shelfs on the floor directly. But the resulting change in the sound staging is simply fantastic. I never imagined that a rack placed between 2 speakers can mess the soundstage. With all this in place I did miss some "meat" in my system. But I thought it was the size of the room that was causing the nulls and there was probably nothing I could do. What finally brought "life" in my system was the new XLRs between the preamp (TVC) and the amp. The move from RCA to XLR in my system was nothing short of drastic. I have mentioned this on this site as well as a forum dedicated to Parasound Halo products. Apparently, there was not enough gain in my system and so the "meat" was missing on the bones, if you will. This was not so obvious in the previous apartment room, since it was small and the speakers used to be closer to the walls. In the near future, I would like to add 3 242 GIK panels on the front wall, behind the speakers. Will first experiment with the existing Monster Panels on the front wall.

March 2010:
The Parasound amp has changed my system profoundly. I cannot believe the transparency and expansiveness it has brought into my system. And it seems a very good match for my TVC as I set the TVC volume to lower levels than my previous amp.

April 2009: Added the Promitheus TVC, which took my system to an altogether different level. I did not imagine of such a performance from my system. Looking for a good power amp now. Want a power amp with high sensitivity and power - to match the TVC and also in case I upgrade my speakers at a later time.

It took many listening sessions, forums, mags, etc to build this starter system. Was worth every minute spent for building it. Started with recommended components list - but ended with what my ears liked.

Room Details

Dimensions: 18’ × 15’  Medium
Ceiling: 8’

Components Toggle details

    • ProAc Response D48R Loudspeakers
    Ebony with Ribbon tweeter.
    • Parasound A21
    250 watts RMS x 2, 20 Hz - 20 kHz,8Ω, Class AB Sensitivity: 1 V for 28.28 V
    • Backert Labs Rhumba 1.3
    Tube preamplifier with 2 X 12AU7 tubes
    • OPPO UDP-205
    Universal Disc player
    • Oppo 970H
    Universal player
    • Inakustik Reference Power Station AC-3500P
    Power Conditioner
    • Google Chromecast
    Casting Spotify/Tidal/etc over wi-fi
    • Auris bluMe
    Bluetooth Receiver with aptX® & AAC and AKM 4396 DAC.
    • Clear Day Double Shotguns
    99.997% silver cables. Paul recommended double shotguns because of the sensitivity of my speakers. The speakers cables are connected between the amp and the LF terminals of the speakers using banana lugs. 4 strand jumpers go between the LF and HF terminals, with spades at LF and banana at HF.
    • Clear Day XLRs
    This 1M XLR interconnect is not listed on Clear Day's website. 99.997% silvers that Paul hand polishes and uses Puresonic connectors. The connectors are like pieces of jewel and substantial. These go between the TVC and the amp.
    • Clear Day RCA
    • Puresonic XLR-3F-RO/XLR-3M-RO
    XLR connectors. Jewel like and substantial. I wonder why not many cable manufacturers use these on their cables.
    • Cardes Parsec
    4 feet co-axial cable
    • Cullen Cables Crossover Series 10 AWG
    Amplifier Power Cord
    • Cullen Cables Crossover Series 12 AWG
    SACD player power cord
    • Inakustik 2502F
    Power Cord
    • Furutech FI-28(R)/FI-32(R)
    • World Market Kendall Chair
    Very comfortable chair. Suede. No support directly behind the head which means sound is not distorted. I was searching for something like this for quite some time. I looked at some LC2 and LC3 knock-offs. But they were all leather that could reflect sound. Chocolate color which also matches the GIK panels.
    • Herbie's Audio Lab Extra-Thick Hush Puckies
    Stainless Steel Isolation discs between speaker spikes and the floor. They not only provide stability, but reduced the ringing from granite, thus increasing clarity and resolution.
    • Herbie's Audio Lab grungebuster Dots
    Damping discs under each leg of the Oppo player. These are made of proprietary silicone-based vinyl elastomers with variable compliance and firmness qualities. Removed brittleness from many un-listenable CDs.
    • Herbie's Audio Lab dBNeutralizer base pads
    2 dBNeutralizer base pads under the Extra-Thick Hush Puckies. These are under the front speaker feet, only for rake. The sound stage was lifted up and allows me to use slightly higher seating chairs.
    • GIK Acoustics Tri-Trap
    For front corners behind the speakers, in coffee color.
    • GIK Acoustics Monster Bass Trap
    Mounted on the wall behind listening seat.
    • GIK Acoustics 244 Bass Trap
    Absorption panel in Coffee color, mounted at first reflection points, that also takes care of phase related issues. Plan to get 2 more to go in the center of the room behind the speakers.
    • Porterhouse Audio Porter Ports

Comments 229

Been 2 weeks with the new power cord. The first couple of days seems as if nothing changed. After a week or so, it was as if something major changed in he presentation for good. Amazing clarity and images are presented with pin point location in space.  Can play much louder and still maintain the clarity. Don't understand what technology this power conditioner uses,  but whatever it does, seems magic. Huge stage, clean presentation,  deep soundstage.


Added more pics of the Inakustik power conditioner and the upgraded power cord, 2502F. Have not had a chance to listen to the system with the new power cord. This power cord is quite a bit step up compared to the standard power cord that came with the unit. It is terminated with Furutech connectors.


Added the Inakustic AC-3500p to the system. Never imagined a power conditioner can make such a difference in a system. And this is with the standard power cord which came with the unit. Will upgrade the power cord soon.
People who term power conditioners as "snake oil" fall in one of the following categories:
1. Have poor resolution systems
2. Not heard a good one
3. No clue what they are talking about
4. Poor hearing


@b_limo ,
Thank you for the kind words.
Yeah, I made major changes to my system last year including the loudspeakers, preamp, and CD player. I wish I had that nack of decorating the room with artifacts that I see in other systems, that make the room more inviting instead of just looking like a studio.
Really good to hear from you after several years. I hope everything is fine on your side. Would love to see your new setup, when you update it.


Milpai, Buddy, your system looks amazing!!  I’m so happy to see where you’ve come with it. It truly looks fantastic and I bet it sounds even better.  

I’ve always been a fan of clean looking setups and rooms and yours is up there with my favorites :-)

Well Done!!


Thank You for the kind words!


Beautiful room and system, milpai. I've really enjoyed watching the progression of your system of over the years.




Sold my TVC last night. I have a feeling that I should not have done it. Should have retained it. It is after all a transformer with no circuits inside. So no chance of anything going bad. Would have come in handy if something were to happen to the Rhumba.


Got my first ever tube component - the Backert Labs Rhumba 1.3 preamplifier. Yes, it took me almost 4 years to move from the TVC to an active preamp. But the time and research was well worth. The best thing about this preamp is, even though it is active, it did not diminish the transparency of my system (which I was worried about with an active preamp), while adding more dynamics in my system.


Hi @gulpson,
That much space was really not necessary. But a 3-4 incl space was needed when the TVC was being used. This is because if the Bluetooth receiver was placed too close or next to the TVC, that would generate a slight hum in the speakers.
I have recently moved from the TVC to Backert Lab's Rhumba 1.3 preamplifier. I plan to change the layout of the components and the pictures when I get a chance during the long weekend.


Hi there,

Is there any reason why, on picture 6/24, you gave so much room to the item on the second (from above) shelf? It seems to be a Bluetooth receiver. How come you did not use that space to give more room to Oppo or Parasound? Your system/room seem like you really know what you are doing so I have a feeling it is for a reason that I simply am not aware of.


Want to try a active preamp in the system now. Tubes is something that many folks have suggested. Looking actively into tube preamps now, that use minimal tubes, but have XLR ins and outs.


You are right. Placement is very critical. But sometimes it comes at a cost. If the vocals in the source is not recorded dead center, then you feel as if there is some imbalance in the system. I had to get used to that. But it is amazing to see (hear actually), how many recording exists where the vocals are not dead center.

As far as the loudspeakers and room are concerned, trust me, these speakers are not big for the room. Well, when I had a 13 X 12 X 9 room, I had reached out to ProAc designer Stewart Tyler and he had recommended the D30S over the D40 then. But with the new room, he suggested the D48R. Unfortunately I do not have a wide angle lens to portray the actual dimensions of the room. In fact I see that there are some posters whose room look much larger than mine - because they have some really wide angle lens. And some of these rooms are actually smaller than mine.
These speakers are placed 6 feet into the room with 3 feet on the sides and they have 9 feet between them. Maybe in a few months I will get a really wide angle lens and post some new pics.


Proper speaker placement is 90% of the battle for good sound.  Getting it right is critical.  Otherwise you waste a ton of money!  Kudos to you guys for realizing it.  

Another related aspect is speaker sizing.  I always say "the room should choose the speakers" but so often it is the owner who chooses the speakers.  I see people with massive speakers in a tiny room and I just shake my head.  But hey, if they think it sounds good, I guess that's good enough.


@astewart8944 ,
Thanks! I encourage that you try to find the "exact" position over a period of time, rather than doing it in one go. The reason for this is, when you position the speakers at a particular position and then listen for "an album or two" and then re-position, your get better hang of the positioning.
Try to be as precise as you can. You will be able to judge this when the center image "locks". This means that when you move your head from, say center to right or left, you will hear the vocals in the direction your ears/head is. But the vocals will not be as clearly defined as it is in the center of the sound stage. There will be some "hollowness" in the vocals when your head is moved to the right or to the left. But when your head is right in the middle facing the center of the soundstage (between the speakers), the vocal will be super focused, natural and life-like. That is the magic of stereo!


I love the lines in this room. Terrific! Your speakers are beautiful. I'm going through the process of exactly placing my speakers; tedious but enlightening.

Ag insider logo xs@2xastewart8944

@jmlab926 ,
It took close to 400+ hours for the ProAcs to be broken-in. The room treatments are indeed very helpful. I find that the ProAcs are so clean in their mid/high frequency range that a lot of stuff that I was not able to "judge" on the other speakers, I can do on these speakers. The vocals are so clean that you do not have to strain your ears to hear the wordings in the songs. It is as if you just came back from a ENT specialist after cleaning your ears.

Thank You for the kind words. When I visited Canada about 2 years back, I saw quite a few dealers in the Toronto area. You are lucky to live in such a big city and have access to great dealers who can help you set up your system.


hi how long does the proac take to be broken in ??   200hrs??

nice to hear that you like the big proac with room treatment

i really hope you could set up the system for me??

my ears are bad due to the dna // i could barely sing a few songs in church

i am in Toronto  canada


Wanted to update on the speakers. These are now fully broken-in. I continue to be amazed by what the ProAcs can do that the Quads could not. I should also take credit for the hours (more than 18+) of fine tuning that I had to do to get that center image lock and the disappearing act. But it is worthwhile. Once you arrive at the BEST positions for these loudspeakers in your room, it is pure bliss. I will admit this - while I love music, I am also fascinated by "how sounds are produced" - be that be a loudspeaker, an instrument or simply an object that produces sound. I strongly believe this is what differentiates an audiophile from a casual music lover. And I am not ashamed of this fact.

One thing I tried with these speakers was the track "Aeris by Eric Godoy". I wish I had found this track when I was at AXPONA last year. You can use this track to test the "low end" that a loudspeaker can produce. The ProAcs showed me what they can achieve that the Pioneer SP-FS-52S and SP-BS22-LR that I also own cannot do. The ProAcs shake the room and pressurize it like crazy. Both the floor standing and bookshelf Pioneer simply poop out on this track. Don't get me wrong - the Pioneers can do pop/rock, movie tracks, demo explosions, etc very well. But when it comes to the 20Hz range, they simply cannot produce it. The 2 additional bass traps also help tame the bass and produce nice tight bass instead of flabby one. Overall, very happy with the $$$$ spent on the pair of ProAcs. Even the Oppo is a great match for the system.
I keep wondering if I should upgrade my TVC to an active preamp. But when I listen to the "Aeris" track, I wonder what am I missing? Most likely - nothing.


Added 2 more Tri-Trap corners on the front wall this evening. Will not get serious time to evaluate till tomorrow. Later, will post latest pics with the traps completely re-oriented in the room.


@pdreher ,
Thank You. Yes, the ProAcs are nice loudspeakers. I try to post detailed pics such that people can actually see them up close. Many people like to go into the details - at least I like it that way. I don't have tube amps, but understand that ProAcs go very well with Tube amps.
I remember your system from way back (April 2012). You have a great system yourself. Those Harbeth 40.1s must be something special, since you came back to them. Last year I auditioned the Harbeths and got a chance to listen to the 40s. They sound amazing on vocals. But at that point, I had not decided to spend so much on the speakers. I have ordered one more pair of GIK tri-traps to cover the entire front corners. I see that you are also using GIK.


Thank You for the kind words. I like the way my system sounds. I know that you have these ProAcs and the Spendor D9s on your shortlist for auditioning. Would love to hear your thoughts after auditioning the speakers.


Gorgeous speakers... I bet they'd sound great with an EL34 based tube amp!


Congrats on the new set-up.  Looking, and I'm sure sounding, great.  Like the look of that green wall, too.  Very soothing.


Updated system pics with some good quality photos. I am happy with the current  speaker position. It gives me a great balance of imaging, bass and resolution. I have ordered 2 GIK Tri Traps with scatter plates so that the tri traps cover the corners from floor to ceiling on the front wall.
Next it to change the positions of the Monster Traps behind the seating position and adjust the 244s on the front wall.
The ProAcs continue to amaze me with how articulate they are. They clarity is astonishing while their mid-range is amazing. It is as if I have purchased new CDs all over again. Some of the bass on the Reference Recordings Tutti Orchestra is so phenomenal that it scared me. I am not used to this low bass and that is what caught me off guard.
Will post new pics when the new tri-traps are in place and when I change the positioning of other traps in the system. One thing - I do need a nicer wide angle lens, which does not cause distortion.


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