Lots of Changes made in the last few years. All for the Better. I am amazed at how much better the system has become. All the stuff below the line was written in appx 2005. I have taken my time mostly because my pockets are pretty shallow but I have expensive tastes. Vinyl is still my main media. However I can enjoy the CDP, especially with some music which never made it to Vinyl. Storyville comes to mind. I just got the streamer so the jury is still out on it. Yet I have not
had to to do some tweaks such as footers. I have done this with the CDP with great success which has brought a lot of advantage to an otherwise stock CDP. Still my vinyl is top dog...And it should be
The audio portion of this system has been put together over the past 2-3 years. The next step may be the HT portion. But I have said that for at least a year. And I don't see any upgrades in the HT arena soon. Truth is that I spend much more time with music than movies. The system is primarily for music(85%) with about 15% movies.
As for the audio, the CJ stuff is excellent. The Silverline's have a great sound, especially on accoustic music. It sounds like the musicians are playing live in my living room. The Theta Miles made a big improvement over previous player which sounded either great or horrible, depending on the source. The Theta sounds good on everything. The Silver Lace ic's, which are used throughout the audio portion, helped open up the sound stage and smooth out some bright passages that I had previously heard. A dedicated circuit also helped. I stumbled onto the vinyl scene when I bought the NAD PP-1 for recording LP's to cd. The MMF-7 was a good addition to the mix which replaced an old Dual. The NAD has been replaced with a Wright phono preamp, which has made a tremendous improvement to the analog section. Most of my music time is now spent listening to vinyl. Maybe someday I will get to the HT portion but for now I'm stuck in the vinyl mode
Next possible upgrade may be speaker cables, but don't say anything to my wife about that.
Battery drive motor system with Holographic Tape drive tweak.
ZYX 4D G SB .
LO MC cartridge 23mv running @ 47k (No loading)
Vacuum State JLTi
Phono Preamp. Great bang for the Buck. This preamp is stable enough to run LOMC without loading plugs.
Theta Digital Miles
without xlr or st connectors
Conrad Johnson CT-5
Tubed Line Stage
Don Sachs Kootenay 120 65wpc
This is a highly modified amp which is completely updated 11/2020 to latest specs. It has dual power supplies and the best caps along with oversized transformers. It sounds great
Silverline Audio Sonata
The combination of mid-range magic and superb imaging make these a joy to listen to.
There are 2 in the system which was a grand addition. This is a Rel clone with same specs as the Rel s-5. The only difference is the cone material. 550W 12"woofer and 12" radiator.
Pure Note Paragon Enhanced Bi-wire
Pure Note Paragon Enhanced
Used on source equipment, CD & Turntable
Pure Note Alluvion
Used between amp and preamp
EquiCore Core Power 1800
VTL BL 404
Component stand. A good stand for the money but needs some tweaking. I've filled the legs with sand and have used cork between shelf and rails. I have considered changing out the shelving to maple and using points between the platform and the rails.
artemus woodworks Mass loaded
Turntable stand with concrete filled legs and sandbox on top. Weighs in at 120lbs
Power cords on amp and Subwoofer. Big overachievers IMO. Very good bang for the buck
AC Power outlet. This AC outlet is amazing. It was an upgrade to the whole system
Perfect Path Technologies Omega E Mats
Place under components. It Just Works. Added Realism
Perfect Path Technologies Power Filter
Plug into dedicated Circuit. IT TOO Works for better Clarity & Realism
My friend Frank @Oregonpapa passed away shortly after He posted his comment.. I was saddened that I never got to interact with him about this. Her was a good man
To my friend Dan @islandmandan I thank you for your comments. Purpleheart is a beautiful wood in its own right so I'm sure it looks good.As for the Teres I knew I had to have one as soon as I saw the cocobola. I am a woodworker and love the grain pattern in wood. And it does sound as good as it looks
Thanks @cymbop The amp is recent purchase. The TT was a ride to Niagara Falls to pick it up. Worth the ride & the price. I'm a woodworker so it was very appealing. Love Cocobolo.
Thanks @islandmandan . Yes music is a love affair I've had since I was a kid. Glad we both made it to our 70's and still enjoying our systems and the music. Tubes are great. I wish I had discovered their goodness earlier.
hard to believe how this system has matured and how the sound has gotten so much better. The Zyx cartridge was a good step forward, even though the Benz was no slouch. Probably the biggest improvement was the addition of the Sumiko subs. The bass is the base upon which the music rides and has body. I'm not sure I needed both but the bass line is so much more authoritative and yet clean. These are Rel S5 clones and are easily integrated. The addition of the Conrad Johnson CT5 brought the whole system up much further than I could have anticipated. The Latino ST-70 amp shows no sign of weakness, even though it is the least expensive piece of equipment in the system. Maybe the real story is how good this little amp is. I suspect it will be replaced next. But its only out of curiosity that I will seek another amp. The ST-70 is doing everything right IMO.
The system has been edited except for the pictures which show a former configuration. The addition of a tube amp, Zyx cartridge & 2 subs brought this system up to another level. New pictures are coming.
System edited: This system has changed dramatically over the past year. First came the Teres 340 Turntable and Origin Live Illustrious 3 tonearm. Being a woodworker, I have lusted for a Teres since I saw the first 265. Hard to imagine I have the 340. However, this necessitated the move up to a better phono preamp. The JLTi fills the role rather nicely. This is a good bang for the buck. Of course, being an audiophile, I couldn't stop there. I've been wanting a tube preamp for several yrs. However due to conversations with others here it seemed proper to go with a tube amp. This change was quite transformational. The Silverlines like the tubes better than they did the solid state. Next up was the power requirements for the system. I have a dedicaated circuit. So I pulled out the Hospital grade outlet and put in an Oyaide R1. WOW. This is a must have. Another transformation. Next came the Pangea PC's These are well worth their $$$ IMO. I have tried some much more expensive PC's. These work better in my system with. OK,now my head is really spinning from all the upgrades. Actually I bit off more than I should have with all the upgrades so soon. It takes a lot of time and dedication to do upgrades and get them right. I did put things in one at a time so as to evaluate them individually. I also did my homework and tried to find the overachievers. So with lots of research, a little luck, a lot of patience and the help of a lot of good people here, I now have a very good sounding system. It has never sounded this good. I'm sure i can easily achieve concert levels without grain or harshness. IMO, that is a real test for a system. Can it get better. Well.............sure it can. But no more upgrades for me for....................Oh Geez. my wife wants her living room now and wants me to build a room for my system. Geez. I just got it sounding good in the LR. Oh well. Another challenge.
System edited: OK, I've had the Ebony L in the system for a few months now. This cartridge has taken vinyl playback to another level. The bass is more extended & midrange more lush. The highs are more tamed than with the Dyna 20XL. AAMOF the Ebony magnifies all the good things which the Dyna did and tames its weaknesses. One reviewer said that everything sounds good with the Ebony L. I agree
System edited: I have added new pictures which reflect the new configuration of the system. A Plasma TV has been added in place of a Big screen BIG BOX which was impeding good imaging. We have been planning a man cave for me and my stuff so as to make the living Room pretty. But alas, insufficient funds have hampered that plan so this is the backup plan for the time. It's a compromise on looks but it certainly is much better for sound. The TV is hung on the wall and makes for much better imaging. It is also connected to the CJ preamp via Video loop for concerts when necessary. Other than that there is no HT. I have had HT connected in the past and the amount of hassle was entirely unmanageable. This is much simpler. The wife likes it and so do I. The new config has made sonic changes which i am trying to maximize. The sandbox under the TT is still in experimental stage. Right now I have a 4" Maple slab atop the sand, but this will probably be changed back to the 1" with separate motor mount. This config has been a welcome change and has added depth and width to the sound stage, plus a better separation of the instruments
One other note is that I have also added pictures of my system. The view from the Dining Room which opens up in back of my Living room is meant to give a sense of the space to be filled.
One important aspect in all the equipment changes and tweaking has been a quest for more bass which I think I now have pretty much right. The Silverline speakers with CJ power are great at midrange, imaging and sparkling highs. If the Silverlines lack anything it is bass. Not quality, but quantity. However, the LR/DR is 32 feet long with a cathedral ceiling which is demanding in the bass area. Then too, being a drummer, I have always liked a bit more bass than some. The Rel sub does an excellent job. The bass is deep and tight.
Another aspect which has really been an eye opener is footers under the source equipment. This, along with such things as tube dampers have been quite eye opening. Each has brought about a more holographic image and an increase in bass depth and fullness. The amount of money spent for DIY tweaks compared to the increased sonic benefits make them a best buy. But you do have to experiment some.
System edited: It has been quite sometime since I have updated my system profile. Many changes have been made and it keeps getting better. Among the changes are the JMW-9 Signature arm for my ScoutMaster. This is a noticeable step up from the standard arm. The TNT Mini Feet also help bring more air and holographic imaging to the playback. Also there is a new rack which took the place of a closed in rack which was a terrible inconvenience for doing any work or tweaking of the system.
Speaking of tweaks, I have done several comparisons between Maple platforms and sand box for isolation of the TT. For me, the sand box wins out by a slight margin. Also, I have added DIYumas or roller blocks under my cdp. They have made a big improvement in all aspects of the digital music.
Another addition is the upgrade of some IC's and speaker cables. The Pure Note Enhanced Paragons have added some much needed extra bass to the system. I suspect the speaker cables have more to do with it than the IC's since the former speaker cables (MIT T2 BiWires) were the weak spot of the system. There is also a smoothing out of the highs and better focus and imaging.
My room is a bittersweet part of the system. On one hand it is or could be a great listening room. It measures 15' x 20' with cathedral ceiling and a dining room which opens up from there. This gives me about 15 ft from my listening chair to the rear wall. So in one sense, the room is excellent or has excellent potential. However, it is also our Living Room which has to look presentable also. Therefore, as you will notice in the pictures, my speakers are off center of the room. Fortunately the speakers are not very fussy about placement. In spite of the off center axis, lack of room treatments and the big TV between the speakers, the system sounds very good IMO.
BTW, I gave up on trying to incorporate HT into the system. AAMOF, I removed the HT processor and center speakers, etc because there was just too many cables to deal with and we hardly ever used the surround. A Listening room is on the drawing board and hopefully will come to fruition within a few years.
Though it is not mentioned, a separate electrical circuit is powering the system and I hope to get more involved in power conditioning and chords in the near future. Also on the horizon is an SDS speed controller for the turntable and maybe another cartridge (Zyx Airy)
System edited: The original header for this system was "I think I'm finished with the audio portion" I now see the error of my thinking. Of course my rediscovery of the beauty of vinyl did not help bring finalization to the process. As to the HT section, it may not be upgraded for quite some time, due to the fact that we very seldom watch movies, usually opting for music instead
Judit - When i do upgrade the HT it will probably be with a HT receiver with pre outs so I can integrate it with system when watching movies or disengage it completely for 2 channel. This is the way it is set up now but I do not have dolby digital. But as I've noted I keep getting caught up in the music.