Purchased the Fidelizer PRO. This has immensely changed the listening experience. Folks using a Windows machine should certainly give a shot to the free version. You have nothing to loose except 5 minutes. The best part of free version is it is an exe files that you run and not install. So if you don't like it, just delete the .exe.
Upgraded Asus K52 with a Asus S400CA, 8GB RAM and 1TB SSD. Again, this is an older laptop repurposed for audio. Also added a NAS server and all audio files are on that server. Connection to this server is via ethernet and not wifi. Evaluating the free version of Fidelizer which makes very audible, positive change in my system.
Repurposed an old laptop for streaming Spotify/Qobuz and also digital files. The laptop was upgraded from 3GB to 8GB RAM and from 250GB HDD to
1TB SSD for DSD and FLAC files. Installed Foobar2000 with Eole skin on the laptop to play the digital files. Using an old iPad mini 2 tablet with MonkeyMote to control this laptop
remotely. Love this app!
Installed the Inakustik Reference High Speed USB between the laptop and Oppo 205, which is now used as a DAC.
Added Inakustik NF-2404 XLRs between Oppo-Backert and Backert-Parasound.
Will try to find some time to do a mini review of these cables, if I find time. These cables pull you into the music way too much.
Added Inakustik LS-2404 AIR biwire loudspeaker cables
Added the IsoAcoustics Gaia II footers to the ProAcs
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.
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.