Description

I like the WP 8's ability to reproduce whatever the Joules can send their way. Speed, they can handle the Joule's lighting fast attack transients. The wonderful harmonic textures, decays and inner details the Joules reproduce are handled deftly by the WPs. The bass is strong, tight, detailed and textured.
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Components Toggle details

    • Basis Audio 2500
    Active suspension with oil and spring.
    • Basis Audio Vector 3 Tonearm
    The 3 is less congested providing more inner detail with more extended hi's and bass. It has a VTA micrometer that will help with finer adjustments.
    • Basis Audio Signature motor
    Had original motor upgraded to Signature. The new Signature is quieter with less cogging.
    • Basis Audio Revolution Belt
    "It occurred to A.J. that the belt itself may be playing a role. He measured a range of the belts on hand, selecting the most accurate (consistent thickness), and found that the tighter the tolerances, the lower the speed variation and better the sound. So how to increase tolerance was the question. A.J. embarked on a crusade that eventually led him to design his own process and apparatus which grinds the belt and to an astonishing accuracy of one-ten-thousandths of an inch!"
    • Basis Audio counterweights
    Lighter main weight with two smaller fine tuning weights positioning larger weight as close to pivot point as possible should result in a quicker reaction time.
    • Walker Audio Ultimate Precision motor controller
    With Valid Points and Control Discs and upgraded teflon circuit board. The improvement in the total presentation is impressive, smooth and clear were the first impressions. The bass seemed more pronounced and better defined; the highs were smoother resulting in a .."more natural sound".
    • Air Tight PC-1
    Just a fantastic cartridge!!!! Loaded at 240ohms, VTF @ 2.1grams. "Like most vinylphiles, I've listened to a lot of fine moving-coil cartridges over the years. The Air Tight PC-1, TAS' 2006 Phono Cartridge of the Year award-winner, is, IMO, the best yet in nearly every aspect of phonographic reproduction - the most complete." - Jonathan Valin, 2007 Golden Ear Award Winner, The Absolute Sound Issue 173, August 2007 "In plain English, the PC-1's magnets produce a much stronger magentic field, greatly lowering noise and coloration and greatly increasing resolution in every regard. Details are clearer, timbres are truer, air is more plentiful, dynamics are more lifelike, and stage width, depth, and height are expanded... a leap forward in moving-coil design." - Jonathan Valin, 2007 Golden Ear Award Winner, The Absolute Sound Issue 173, August 2007
    • Koetsu Urushi Black
    Warm with detail.
    • Koetsu Rosewood
    I need to remount this cart and find if my recollections are correct!!
    • GamuT CD-3
    The best player I heard at my pay grade in my system, coupled with the Joule LAP-150 Mkll it produces an enjoyable sound.
    • Joule Electra LAP 150 MK ll
    The top unit is the separate power supply, the bottom is the pre/phono. Me likey!!!! Changed the tubes to: 3 x Amperex 7025 '66 in 5751 sockets 2 x Amperex JAN 7308 '62 in 6DJ8 sockets
    • Joule Electra VZN-160 Grand Marquis MKV Musicwood
    OTL immediacy/speed, wonderful inner detail, dynamic, delicate, attack matched by incredible decay AAAAA+++++ piece of gear!!!! A privilege to own a joy to listen through!!! The amp themselves can be tuned by adjustments to the voltage with the variacs, biasing the 6C33CB's between (25) to (33) and with a dial provided for adjustments of negative feedback creating the sound you prefer. Presently running Amperex Holland 7025's and Amperex Holland 6DJ8's.
    • Wilson Audio WATT Puppy 8
    I've been changing positions and tuning by ear only. I measure at the top outside rear corner of the Puppy for both back and side wall numbers. This allows a fixed point for side and back wall numbers while toe in is adjusted, this corner being the easiest spot on these speakers to permit this for me. My normal listening db level is 72db to 83db so I'm optimizing the placement for this volume range as I think the boundary distances are dependent on the db level. The outside rear corners are now at 39 3/4" to back wall and 23 3/4" to lt side wall and 23" to rt side wall. The celling rises from 9 1/2' at lt wall to 10 1/2' at rt wall. The tweeters are 101" apart and my ears are 120" from the tweeters with a sliver of the inside of the WATT visible. This is the best sound I've had in my room!!!
    • Purist Proteus Provectus I/C pre > amp
    All copper
    • Purist Proteus Provectus S/C amp>speaker
    Copper
    • Purist Aqueous 20th Anniversary P/C CDP
    This is has been moved from the CDP to the LAP-150 Mk ll.
    • Purist Musaeus P/C pre-amp power supply
    Using to the Joule LAP-150 Mk2 power supply. Will try different cords eventually. This pic is when it was connected to CDP.
    • Purist 20th Anniversary P/C wall to VZN's
    To the tube section of the amps
    • Purist Musaeus P/C 15A to Walker control
    Cable upgrade for TT motor controller.
    • Solid Tech Rack of Silence 4
    Quieter and much nicer to look at than my old racks.
    • Black Diamond Racing The Shelf (2)
    Two 21" X 19" X 3/4" shelves one under TT and one under the pre amp give quieter backgrounds with much greater detail "Made entirely of BDR’s proprietary Carbon Fiber Composite materials and finished with clear acrylic on both sides for an elegant and understated appearance, the BDR Shelf is massive and extremely non-resonant, absorbing enormous amounts of vibration: a BDR Shelf is only ¾” thick, yet it is 25x less resonant than an 8” thick granite slab and has 4 times the vibration absorbing power of 2” thick MDF!"
    • Black Diamond Racing The Shelf (2)
    Two 19" X 15" X 3/4" shelves one under the Joule LAP-150Mkll's power supply and one under GamuT CDP. "Made entirely of BDR’s proprietary Carbon Fiber Composite materials and finished with clear acrylic on both sides for an elegant and understated appearance, the BDR Shelf is massive and extremely non-resonant, absorbing enormous amounts of vibration: a BDR Shelf is only ¾” thick, yet it is 25x less resonant than an 8” thick granite slab and has 4 times the vibration absorbing power of 2” thick MDF!"
    • Solid Tech Rack Of Silence ROS 1
    Amp stands with cross braces suspended by springs and amps feet sitting on Sims Novcom pucks.
    • Solid Tech Rack Of Silence ROS 1
    This is a picture of the ROS 1 Ref without the spring suspension. Currently set up with 1.6
    • Acoustic Sciences Corporation Tube traps
    (2) 16" Supertrap tube traps, (2) 11" Tube Traps, (2) 9" Tube Traps,(2) half round 11", (2) half round 9"
    • Real Traps Mondo Traps
    (4) traps at first and second reflection points
    • GIK Acoustics 242 & 244
    (2) 244 on top of the record cases, (3) 242's on front wall, (1) on wall behind chair
    • Mint LP Mirror protractor
    Fantastic tool for checking stylus alignment
    • Cable Isolators ESD
    Made of Electro Static Dissipative Polyurethane. The jury is still out on the effect these have on the sound but they have helped separate and organize the cables.
    • Sims Vibration Dynamics Navcom silencers
    Used between Rack Of Silence and BDR shelves under preamp and CDP. They are also under the acrylic shelves under Direct satellite box and Walker speed controller shelf.
    • Purchasing Department I-Mac & inter net
    Without this tweak the rest would have been near impossible, at best very difficult and a lot slower.
    • Hickok 539 b
    Roger Kennedy digital mods and calibration. A must have for matching sections, power tubes and to protect equipment.
    • VPI 16.5
    This was a great buy it really make record cleaning a snap!!!!
    • Digital Tachometer no name
    Reads strip of tape on the side of the platter.
    • PHONIC PAA2
    The PAA2 can perform full acoustical analysis using its real-time spectrum analyzer. Thirty-one, one-third octave bands are displayed on the screen real-time with selectable response times (35ms, 125ms, 250ms and 1 second) and weighting options (Flat, A and C). The operator needs to select the SPL (Speaker Pressure Level) range (30-90 dBSPL, 50-110 dBSPL, 70-130 dBSPL) for the test being run. The user can select any of the center frequencies and display the level that was measured with the numbers displayed above the real-time graph. The peak level can also be displayed for reference. There are a total of sixteen memory locations for storing data. The measured spectrum data can be stored to any one of ten memory locations. Averaged data from any or all of the ten memory locations can be stored to the remaining six memory locations.

Comments 268

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222222&text=sa
Owner
Thank you!! It's been very enjoyable and a great teacher !

samhar

222222&text=sa
Owner
System edited: Lost the Rt channel in the Joule pre-amp, time to break out the tube tester !!!! I hope it's only a tube !!!!

samhar

222222&text=sa
Owner
Experimenting with tube trap placement.

samhar

222222&text=sa
Owner
Arthur sorry for the delayed response I haven't been here last month !!!!!
Thanks for the kudos! The Joule's do have an enchanting sound one I find hard to improve on !!! The joule OTL amps aren't silent like SS although with the 92db WP8 what little noise there is doesn't distract from the beauty of their sound. I would wonder how much tube noise you might hear with 102db horns. If they would work well the sound would be spellbinding ! A single VZN-80 should do the trick or a pair of VZN-100 would be amazing !! Let me know if you are able to try Joule and what your impressions are. Once again your new room looks awesome !!!!

samhar

222222&text=sa
Owner
Jamiek thank you for the very positive comments !!!!! To me the sound is lovely, the combination of Joule VZN 160 and Wilson, which on paper shouldn't be a great match, works very,very well for my taste in music, room etc. I recently auditioned the Ayre MR-X and as much as I liked them and how much easier it would be to have SS, they didn't have the Joule's addicting sound. Vinyl is the main source as the differences between it and digital are very apparent through this system!!!! Thanks again for the kind words !!!!!!

samhar

222222&text=sa
Owner
Still figuring out my "new" much larger front room listening space. Will post new pictures. I'm also thinking about trying Lamm 2.1 or 1.2 amps, the SS is intriguing for the power.

samhar

222222&text=sa
Owner
Milpai
Sorry for the delayed response. I first tried the 244's in the corners behind the speakers and 242's at 1st & 2nd reflection points. I have 4 242's. Go to the system list and click on "GIK Acoustics 242 & 244" then click on the pic to view this set up. The 244's didn't do much there and there were issues with the bass so I moved them to the top of the record cases. You can view them in the middle pic on system page. I replaced the 244's with ASC 16" Supertrap tube traps in the corners, the improvement in the bass was impressive!!!! Similar to putting footers under equipment, improving definition and impact. I thought the bass was good before!!!!! I bought 4 Real Trap Mondo Traps and after comparing them with GIK 242's at 1st & 2nd reflection points preferred the Mondo Traps freeing up 3 242's to try on the front wall and 1 on the 1/2 wall behind my listening chair. I can't say enough about how good a job the ASC tube traps do, definitely worth looking into!!!!
Through this whole process I used a PHONIC PAA2 real-time spectrum analyzer, last item on the system list, open it and there is a description.
Unfortunately my system isn't "fully" set up in the new space yet!!!!

samhar

222222&text=sa
Owner
Getting ready to pack up system for a move to new home!!! Let the setting up games begin!!!!

samhar

222222&text=sa
Owner
System edited: For a 2012 start I'm going to put my old amps, Joule VZN 160's non musicwoods, in to compare to the Musicwoods.

samhar

222222&text=sa
Owner
Mjcmt your correct it can be a PITA!! I have a table to the left of my chair holding VPI 16.5 with 75 records below. These are picked out from the shelves and moved to this area for cleaning before a session or I pick from what's there.
I want the TT as low and recessed as possible, I've tried many equipment positions and the current positions are the best sonically. If I could I'd move the TT, preamp, power source for phono to the left of my chair it just isn't possible now. At some point I want everything but the amps out to experience the effect on sound stage and sonics but for now........I may remodeling my garage into a listening room.
Thank you for your kind comments about the gear. I'm liking your retro system and aesthetics very comfortable!!!

samhar

222222&text=sa
Owner
I think there was something wrong with the Spectron I tried my tennitus became much worse, white noise like sound is much louder, since I tried it!!!! Also now driving my M35 S exacerbates the problem!!!??? I'm going to start listening to my system again to hear how that affects my ears!!!

samhar

222222&text=sa
Owner
System edited: Tried a Spectron Musican lll Mkll stereo amp with Bybee filters, and V-Caps, didn't do it for me but I would still like to hear the mono blocks to hear the improvements some mention.

samhar

222222&text=sa
Owner
System edited: Modified system description.

samhar

222222&text=sa
Owner
System edited: Returned the amps to the ROS 1 stands with Simms Pucks between the rack and the maple boards, the amps wood skids are resting directly on the maple boards. The improvement in background noise, imaging, better definition in highs, mids and especially the bass have me wondering why I kept the racks out of the system for so long!!! It was probably to mask some problem with speaker positioning that I hadn't become aware of yet, possibly a lack of bass and an imbalance in the the sound from the speakers being out into the room to far. The last time the amps were on the stands I had removed the Simms Pucks, with them back between the rack and the maple board the bass is just as strong with much better definition.

samhar

222222&text=sa
Owner
System edited: Removed the LAP 150's power supply from the rack making it possible to lower the TT height and greatly reduce the reflection of sound from the mids and highs of the WATT off the TT's plinth reducing their forwardness and permitting the more coherent sound of the speakers to happen. A secondary effect was a reduction in noise with the power supply moved to another rack I don't know why but it just is.

samhar

222222&text=sa
Owner
Thanks!! The process has been therapeutic for me; I've learned so much about listening to music and getting the sounds I like from my system, I'm sure you know what I'm saying!!!

samhar

222222&text=sa
Owner
System edited: Moved my listening position forward and speakers positions 1/2" back. The speakers outside rear corners are now 39 3/4" from back wall and 23 3/4" from lt wall and 23' from rt wall, the measurements being different because the celling rises from 9 1/2' at lt wall to 10 1/2' at rt wall. The tweeters are 101" apart and each ear is 120" from the tweeter on it's side, with only a sliver of the insides of the WATTs visible at the listening position. Adjustments to speaker positions are now in 1/2" increments, will try 1/4" later. I'm 18' away sitting at a counter typing listening to Howard Hanson "Nordic" track 1 at 86 db and the balance of the lows mids and highs seems correct, the timbre of each instrument making them easily discernible in the orchestra. This is by far the best sound I've had in my room!!!

samhar

222222&text=sa
Owner
System edited: Placed four BDR #4 Pyramid Cones between Joule LAP 150 Mkll and BDR Shelf. Monday I'll pull them then reinsert and find which is preferable. Repositioning the speakers from back and side walls to better understand the effects each distance has on the speaker's balance/presentation and to also check if where I had them was best. It seems the positions can vary by the db level of listening. I tend to listen between 75db and 85db at the highest, at 83db and above the speakers need to be farther away from the walls, to "breath". I think this changes the sound at lower db's because bass is reduced making highs and upper mids more dominate/forward at lower db levels. I'm using vinyl for for the source as that's what I listen to most and it's so much richer making for finer tuning.

samhar

222222&text=sa
Owner
System edited: Put PAD Aqueous Anniversary PC on power supply for LAP-150 Mkll power supply. Initial reaction, improved quality of sound like rolling in NOS tubes, bigger dynamics, less congested more extended presentation of notes, highs and lows resulting in better defined instruments within a more 3D SS. Also changed speaker position, now can barely see the WATTS interior sides. Also changed the feedback in the amps. All this has resulted in a much better sound, so far!!!

samhar

222222&text=sa
Owner
System edited: Removed CD PC from EP 15A and also changed PC. This led to changing the cant in of the 8's reducing the amount of the WATT'S inside surface that is visible from listening position. Original impression is a more 3 dimensional SS with more air between instruments, better focus and more dynamics!!!

samhar

222222&text=sa
Owner
Finally got a 200 amp Square D all in one 30 space box installed with new grounding rod. Next I have to decide where to run dedicated lines, to the front room or a dedicated space 16' x 20' or 14' x 24' etc... in garage!!!

samhar

222222&text=sa
Owner
Jimbojr,

Thanks for the heads up!!! If anything I said helped, fantastic!!! Another thing you might try is flattening the drape on the front wall if it is gathered, this will give more focus and detial to the instruments and add air between them in the sound stage.
I found a record the other day I thought you might appreciate:

"New Orleans' Sweet Emma And Her Preservation Hall Jazz Band" on VPH(?)

Recorded on Oct 18, 1964 at the Tyrone Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

The sonics are surprisingly good, it's a great record!!!

samhar

222222&text=sa
Owner
Jimbojr

The room treatments have improved the sound more than I imagined they would, a good return on a relatively modest investment.
Are you still in the 12'X14'X20' H (3360 cu ft) room? My room's dimensions are: 14.6'X24'X10' H and including a small alcove to the back right I'd guesstamate a total of about 4000 cu ft.
I think you'd want absorption behind you and at the first reflection points and if you can do it bass traps in the front corners.
Personally I prefer to have walls on right and left sides of the front wall, my experience has been it's harder to work with an open space on one of the sides, so however that works is where I'd start.
If you don't have a SPL meter and a test cd I'd get them and start measuring your room SPL's!!!! Stereophile has some test cd's as does Acoustic Science Corporation and Rat Shack has the SPL meter.
I see a pillow below the flat screen is that because there seems to be to much treble?

samhar

222222&text=sa
Owner
System edited: Installed four RealTraps Mondo Traps at the first and second reflection points replacing GIK 242's. Moved three GIK 242 to the center of the front wall. Also added two ASC 16" Tube Traps in the front corners, two ASC 11" Tube Traps sacked in a back alcove corner, two 9" ASC Tube Traps stacked in the other alcove corner and in between these, two ASC 11" half rounds and two 9" half rounds. The effects are a tight, fast, dynamic, articulate bass with amazing timbre that because of the clarity seem much bigger. The bass transient and decay are both fast and clean. When I walked from left wall to the right wall behind my chair the bass was even, this wasn't the case before it was bigger near the walls. The mids and highs also benefited with better clarity, timbre, air........... It's late I'll add more later with some pic's!!!!!

samhar

222222&text=sa
Owner
Hi!
Thanks!! I saw your new rack with the very nice shelves and the Spectron amps, looks very nice!!!!

samhar

222222&text=sa
Owner
Heykay,

Thanks for the response, I'll let you know what happens.

samhar

222222&text=sa
Owner
Heykay thanks!!
I hope your as happy with the move as I am!!!! I just purchased 4 Real Traps Mondo traps and this morning put one in each corner of the front wall at 45* angle and broke out the Phonic PAA2 RTA to see what's happening. I'll have to move the 8's to increase the bass a little!!! So far I've left the speakers in place and tried different combinations of GIK and Real Traps and have gone back to the GIKs at first and second reflection points and the Mondo Traps in the front wall corners. I stopped experimenting and listened for the last four hours. I'm sure the sound will improved with some movement of the 8's, I just couldn't make myself stop listening!!!!
What's up with the placement in your room? Just curious why you wanted to know.

samhar

222222&text=sa
Owner
Jeff

Thanks and congrats!! I'd like to do that. I'll have you over after I get dedicated lines and I think one variac needs some work, dammit!!

samhar

222222&text=sa
Owner
System edited: Inserted current pictures of set up.

samhar

222222&text=sa
Owner
Lowered turntable shelf height 8" from 33" to 25" by moving the phono stage's power supply off the rack. This greatly reduced the tweeters reflection off the turntable and CDP. Will change pics soon.

samhar

222222&text=sa
Owner
System edited: Vector 3 with VTA micrometer replaces the Vector 1. The phono cable, bearing and armtube dampening material have all been improved. The result is less congestion, better definition with more extension in the top and bottom ends and a more alive airy sound. Overall quite an improvement!!!!

samhar

222222&text=sa
Owner
Hce4

The systems and rooms are so different a comparison is almost impossible. That being said I'll give you my first impressions of both.
Here are the systems, you can see how difficult a comparison would be.
The rack between the 8's push the mids and highs forward and a "brightness" is given to the sound from reflections off the metal components. By putting eggcrate foam in front of the components the brightness was removed but the center image was still a little more forward than without the rack.


Sasha
Transparent S/C & I/C's Ref or better
Ayre MX-R mono blocks
Ayre KX-R pre amp
Wadia 381i CDP
Equipment rack on side wall

W/P 8

Gamut CD-3
Purist Proteus Provectus S/C & I/C's
Joule 150Mkll
Joule VZN-160's
Equipment rack between speakers

My first reaction was how coherent the Sasha's sound was, there was a big oneness to the sound, seamless top to bottom no part calling attention to itself. I found myself just listening to the "Lynn Arriale Trio Live" CD and not analyzing the sound of the piano just enjoying the performance!!! At one point I tried to focus on finding some brightness from the tweeters but I couldn't!!!! They are fuller but without any congestion very dynamic but not sharp, in fact so smooth they didn't seem quite as dynamic as the 8's. I didn't pursue the Sashas any further because they are probably too difficult a load for my amps to drive well and I wanted to hear the Sophia lll's, which I was still considering, again. Before I listened to the lll's again I listened to the MAXX 3's, a bigger sounding Sasha or more correctly the Sasha is a smaller MAXX 3!!!!!

I wanted a two enclosure speaker after hearing the Sashas and the MAXX 3's soooo....I went for the 8's!!!! At 92db sensitivity I thought my amps would be able to drive them even though they drop to 2.2 ohms @ 77Hz, it seems they can!!! The 8's seem more linear than the Sasha, more dynamic and not as "sweet" this could be amps, cables, my room, the very linear PC-1, or who knows what I'm still learning what the 8's are. The tweeter is also better than the Sophia 1 and the 7's it never seems to get harsh where the others eventually would. They respond to the slightest tweak letting you know immediately better or worse!!! I was having a difficult time dialing in the PC-1 it just never sounded right, I had been running it at 500ohms then 100ohms while waiting for the 240ohm and 360ohms loading resistors. The 8's are reveling, when it's wrong you know it, I couldn't conceal the 100ohm loading with a higher VTA it just didn't sound right and it wasn't. As soon as the 240ohm loading resistor was installed and the VTA was adjusted accordingly it was very obvious this was a far better combination and the sound just seemed more correct. The PC-1 is very sensitive to very small adjustments and the 8's will reward you for your work by letting you enjoy wonderful sound when you get things right!!!! Buuuuttt the opposite is also true they will revel what's up stream and might expose problems quicker than the Sashas!!!! I would like to hear them with "warmer" amps than mine, like I'm assuming yours are!!! I also want to hear a warmer cartridge like my Urushi Black through the 8's to hear how they convey that warmth and if my perception of their sound is changed.. They also let you hear the components and the room, and are teaching me a lot about audio by making me find the problems etc.. and rewarding me if I solve them with better sound.It's difficult to know how much the Transparent cables contribute to the "sweeter" sound of the Sasha compared to the Purist with the 8's but I suspect some!!!

If your thinking of the Sashas are you going to get another amp and run mono blocks? Or would you consider the Sophia lll an easier drive for the VAC?


samhar

222222&text=sa
Owner
Calle jr
Carl thank you for the kind words.

Hec4
I'm still working on the set up but my original reaction was the 8's sounded so much more refined, so smooth from top to bottom with better definition, much more air between notes/instruments, much faster with bigger tighter dynamics. I think what seemed like a smoother more coherent sound of the Sophia 1 compared to the WP 7's was a big less defined bass that appeared to transition well into the mid's but was really a lack of definition that gave this impression, I think cabinet resonance may contribute to this along with ...???? I remember listening to a friends WP 7's and preferring my Sophia 1's even though I didn't think the 1's were the "better" speaker, I just enjoyed listening to the 1's more!!!! I'd never say that about the 8's and the 1's
The Sophia ll is said to be very similar to the WP 8's, I haven't heard them so I have to defer to other's experience.

http://www.soundstage.com/revequip/wilson_wp8/index2.html

Cmalak
Thanks Cyril, I'm a very happy camper!!!! I did consider the Sophia ll especially for the price but wanted to take the step up to the WP 8's. Check out Marc Mickelson's review above and you'll find all the reasons I picked the 8's.

samhar

222222&text=sa
Owner
Repositioned speakers so the rear outside corners are 46" from front wall and 25" from side walls. They were originally at 36" and 19". 1:30 in the morning posts result in confusing descriptions!!!!!

samhar

222222&text=sa
Owner
System edited: Repositioned speakers so the right rear corners are 46" out from front wall and 25"from side wall with the tweeters firing at points 9" wider than each ear. The reduction of the reflections off the equipment on the center rack has resulted in a wonderful improvement to the mid's and hi's, with the biggest result being very small adjustments to VTA result in big improvements to the sound for individual records.

samhar

222222&text=sa
Owner
System edited: Reinserted Proteus Provectus S/C's and will leave them in!!!

samhar

222222&text=sa
Owner
Jfrech
Thanks for the congrats!!!!
I read many of your posts and they were a factor in my purchase of the 8's instead of the 7's!!!! Thank you!!! I listened to your speakers the M3's with Boulder gear and had to pry myself from the chair by reminding myself I was there to buy W/P's or I could have listened all day!!! You have truly marvelous speakers and the Boulder gear sounded surprisingly great through them.
My Wilson dealer Sunny from Covina CA is coming out to do the set up after they run in a little which gives me time to play with the set up until then!!! I had them spiked on skids and placed where the Sophias were so they would be close enough to listen to!!! I can't wait to hear them after the Wilson dealer dials them in!!! The whole experience with my dealer, he went several extra miles for me as I bought them on monday and he had them in place by tuesday mid afternoon, has been really great and has made the purchase an enjoyable experience as it should be!!!

samhar

222222&text=sa
Owner
System edited: Installed Watt Puppy 8's!!!! After going to Sunny's Audio and listening to the Sasha and the Max lll I realized what I wanted. I didn't want to spend the money for the Sasha so I bought 8"s that someone had traded in on the Sasha. I'm so pleased with what the 8's do they are a huge huge huge step up from the Sophia 1 and to hear them in my system with my music was a revelation!!! I didn't know I had so many wonderful records's everything sounded so amazing, I just wanted to hear one more album hour after hour after hour until I just became exhausted. And this is only the first day!!!!! I wasn't liking the PC-1 much with the Sophia 1 but with the 8's it's working well and both shine!!!

samhar

222222&text=sa
Owner
System edited: Changed tubes in the phono section to 3 x Amperex 7025 '66 in the 5751 sockets and 2 x Amperex 7308 '62 in the 6DJ8 sockets. A definite improvement in the quality of sound, almost to much of a good thing. I will try Siemans E188CC/7308's to hear if there is a little better definition than the Amperex/Amperex combination.

samhar

222222&text=sa
Owner
Steve
I tried a set of Tele ribbed plates in the VZN's 12AX7 sockets when the preamp was a CJ Act 2 but I don't remember how they affected the sound just that I preferred the Amperex.
I did try Sylvania 6350 D getters, RCA 6350 med. and sm. halo getter and have some RCA D plate getter that I've yet to try. I ordered from Jud once and received med. halo getters which if I'm remembering correctly are the quietest, longest lasting and sound similar to the D getters.
Let's see Joule OTL's, Purist Proteus S/C's (I will put the Provectus back in), Koetsu Urushi and Airtight PC-1, all very familiar to you and in my system currently!!!! Actually the Urushi is broken and out of the rotation! I find it interesting that you are very familiar with many parts of my system and have a good feel for what parts of my system do/don't do!!!!!

Sam

samhar

222222&text=sa
Owner
Hi Steve
I felt there was a thinness to the sound, lacking in harmonic richness/completeness to each note, just some very little thing about the sound that just wasn't right to me. I tried different 5751's and some 12AX7's and the tube I liked the sound the best with is an Amperex 12AX7, with these each note has a defined fullness and richer harmonics.

I also like Amperex 6DJ8 and 6922 in the 6DJ8 sockets but also use Mullard 6DJ8 there depending on what's available. I bais all driver tubes at 115, all changes even replacing with like tubes require re-biasing of the driver tubes as I'm sure you know.

Sam

samhar

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System edited: Put Purist Proteus Rev B S/C's in replacing the GR, I will also put the Provectus back in to hear the differences. With the Purist in the cart loading at 500ohms was to forward, the next lowest resistors I have are 100ohms(240ohms are on order) so I installed them. Raised the VTA very slightly to level and BAM the sound is wonderful!! I wasn't sure the PC-1 was going to workout but with the Purist cable back in it has in spades!!!! Toe tapping factor 10!!! Orchestra factor 9 !!! No matter what I play it's wonderful, I have errands to run but can't stop listening!!! Four hours so far this morning!!! Yesterday I was ready to buy a Bose Wave!!! Today I have some "old cable" for sale!!!!

samhar

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System edited: Returned the Purist Provectus I/C between the pre and amp, so far I like the improved air, detail, speed, dynamics and more linear presentation, they compliments the PC-1. I also ordered 240ohms and 360ohms loading resistors for the OPS-1, until they arrive it's 500ohms I tried 100ohms it was to compressed/slow. When I think the I/C's are settled I'll try the Proteus Provectus S/C's again!! The PC-1 has let me hear the attack and dynamics the Joule amps and the Sophias are capable of, I hadn't realized the speed and power of either and together wow!! The Sophias 1's are better than I was aware of, their attack, dynamics, speed and definition in the bottom end are reveled by the PC-1. Also it seems the PC-1's powerful mid-range "fills in" the recessed mid-range presentation of the Sophia 1, works for me!!!

samhar

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Correction; The title of one of Joe Williams songs should be, "Rocks In My Bed" not Head!!!!! After spending some time working on the cart adjustment I felt like I had rocks in my head!!!!

samhar

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System edited: Installed an Air Tight PC-1 last night using an AccuTrac Universal Protractor, Baerwald B120.89 for ball park and fined tuned with a Mint LP. Today worked on the VTA, VTF and anti skate set up today. The tonearm head is ever so slightly raked down in the tail and the tracking weight is 1.960. For setting the anti skate I used Joe Williams "Me And The Blues" side one but mostly "Every Night" and Rocks In My Head". Joe sings in the center with a muted trumpet on the right and a sax on the left, of coarse there are drums on the right and a bass on the left also but I mostly concentrated on the first three instruments. The loading resistors 10kohms, 1000ohms, 500ohms and 100ohms I ordered haven't arrived yet so this has all been done at 47kohms!!!

samhar

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System edited: Removed rack that were behind the amps, turned the amps and move them back which opened up the space and made the room feel larger, did it help the SS I'm not sure yet. Added pictures that are more current on home page.

samhar

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System edited: Placed ESD Cable Isolators on the TT shelf across the front and 1/2 way down the sides of the plinth but not touching the plinth, then put a sheet of foam in front of the components faces. I was hoping to soften the reflections that bounce off the components faces and the front of the plinth. There was always a hard metallic brightness to this reflected sound that was making the vocals more forward and separate from the instruments, they were incongruous with the music. I was also hoping for a better focused sound stage with more depth and a sound that would resemble a rackless sound stage. The result was a much "softer" sound the instruments and voices had more body, in fact there was too much of a good thing now there was a lack of definition and focus!!! I started increasing the VTA and after two small increases felt I was close to what I think I'm looking for, I say close because this is a new and different sound and I'll have to listen and try more adjustments to find what I like best. I think this has been a very successful test, I have a good feel for what I will get without a rack in the middle of the sound stage and the sound has been improved in the midrange with the foam in place!!!

samhar

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Jfrech

Thank you!!!! I agree Wilsons are wonderful speakers, they reward hard work!!!
In my 1 3/4 yrs with the Sophia 1's I have changed ALL my equipment around the Sophias, just when I think I'm ready to upgrade the speakers I discover they are capable of a higher level of performance and I need to address an area they have pointed to, different cart, isolation, or my current direction a fully adjustable arm. I want the ability to adjust the azimuth like your Tri Planer has, I've heard your TT arm combination with a Benz LP through WP7's it was impressive!!!

Thanks again,
Sam

samhar

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System edited: Set the floor spikes into maple floor. After many large and small adjustments to the speaker's positions I liked this position the best and decided it was finally time to find out how setting the spikes into the wood floor effected the sound. I was surprised how much everything "tightened up" and became better defined especially the bass and lower mids, It was very similar to putting Mapleshade Heavyfeet under the CDP. No more getting by running the Koetsu at 47 kohms!!!! Waiting for the 1000 ohm resistors that are on order to change the loading is going to be tuff but I'm sure the body that will be added to the sound will be just right. Once again an improvement points to the weak link!!!!

samhar

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System edited: Put 1 1/2" maple butcher block boards under VZN-160's with the amp's skids sitting directly on the boards. I had found a brochure on the Musicwood amps and Jud recommended the skids sit directly on the iso-platforms. This replaced the MDF and Sims Novcom pucks that were thinning the bass and mids, now very evident and there is a smoother more balanced presentation.

samhar

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System edited: Moved the GIK 244's to the tops of the record cases, put the tubes back in the corners of the front wall, played Stereophile's Test CD #1 and started moving the speakers around until the bass became more even with the mids with the perception being a "fuller" midrange. Ended up with the inside back corner 34" from the front wall and the back outside corner 20 1/2" from the outside wall The tweeters are 9' 3" apart and the distance to my ears is 13' 3", not the ideal Wilson formula but what I have to live with and more than decent. The inside of the speaker is barely visible from the listening position. Added a current system picture. Before the record cases were added the set up was more straight forward, no big wooden drums to deal with, almost forgot I stuffed foam between the record cases and the front wall to dampen excessive bass resonance. The GIK treatments helped tame a difficult room and learn more about my system.

samhar

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Installed Cardas Golden Reference S/C's but the sound still didn't have the "body" I'd hoped for so moved the speakers closer to the front wall, now 23" away. The sound is much fuller in the mids and bass, in fact I'm surprised how good the Sophias are sounding. I really missed on the placement before compared to this!!! I'm sure the GIK 244 Base Traps in the front corners are helping tremendously, also used one GIK 242 on the right wall to counter balance the couch. Thanks to all the "it's a placement issue not a speaker issue" people discussing the Sophias in many threads.

samhar

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System edited: Installed GIK Acoustics 242 panels at first and second reflection points and GIK 244 panel in corners of front wall. This led to me hearing a hollowness in Dexter Gordon's tenor sax at what I thought was approximately 200Hz-300Hz. The speakers were positioned so I could just see the inside surface of the speakers heads, I change the position so the tweeter pointed at the center of my forehead. I found as I moved them in more the sound became "fuller" and the hollowness went away!!! Next I'll move the speakers back towards the front wall and go from there I'm sure there's plenty of adjusting/tuning to do now.

samhar

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Tzh21y thank you for the thumbs up!!!!

samhar

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System edited: Pulled all Panega P/C's and the Exact Power 15A's, the amps are plugged into the wall sockets with stock cords and the preamp is plugged into the wall using a stock CJ P/C. The amp are a quieter and much more alive sounding, they sound so much "better", in retrospect they didn't respond well to power from the 15A's (choked the life out of them)!!!!. All this is possible because LADWP worked on the power line and my power has been much more constant!!!! I've also been trying different combinations/positions of interconnects and will stay with Purist Proteus Provectus from CDP to preamp, Cardas GR from preamp to amps and Purist Proteus Provectus S/C. The Cardas are sounding better and better with more hours. First I tried the GR from CDP to preamp and GR from preamp to amps but I like the Purist from CDP to preamp and GR to the amps combination best so I'll ride this for awhile. I also changed the VTA and after many settings finally settled on one business card higher, this being the easiest way to change the VTA on a Vector arm using a stack of business cards for spacing and adding or subtracting cards or pieces of paper. Pretty high tech huh Barney!!!! I have also ordered GIK 242 & 244 panels that will arrive in 7-10 days!!!!! Once the panels are in place I'll start trying different P/C's.

samhar

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Coxhaus
I don't think I've solved my power cord issues but they are much better. As to the Purist sounding better than the Elrod, after I have dedicated lines I'm going to revisit the Elrod P/C's. I'm lucky I didn't get rid of the Purist P/C's they are good to the Exact Power 15A's with the AC-9's from the 15A's to the amps !!!!!! Glad your happy with the ESP-2 it just didn't work for me with the 15A's.
I have to "button up" some unfinished ends before the inspector can come by so I won't be getting the dedicated lines right now but I'm working towards it!!!!

samhar

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System edited: Removed the Panega AC-9's that were from the wall to the Exact Power 15A's and replaced them with Purist 20th Anniversary, so far this seems to be a good combination (blend). Added a Purist Musaeus P/C from the 15A to the Walker motor controller.

samhar

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System edited: Added six P/C to system, one for each of the Exact Power 15A's and two for each of the VZN 160's. The amount of energy this brought to the system had me scrambling to deal with room issues that were accentuated with this much energy!!! At first I thought the cords made the system sound to forward with a big loose bass but it seems the cords were just pointing to the problems with the front wall's stone fireplace and gaps between the fireplace and the bookcases on the front wall. I still need to fill the left case with records to help balance the sound, maybe this weekend!!! I also "adjusted' the Joule's voltage to (85.2v) and 6C33B's bias to (26.5=265 ma) and reduced the Sophia's toe-in.

samhar

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Coxhaus thanks, I'm liking the sound with the addition of the LAP. I have thought about upgrading to SE or getting the LA-300 and OPS ?? phono, my reservation is loosing the sound I currently have for the extension and dynamics of either upgrade. My previous preamp was a CJ Act 2 that had plenty of dynamics, extension and inner detail but lacked that meat on the bones the Joule brings to the dance!!! I went through a lot of equipment since my retirement over two years ago so I know how much fun your having!!!

samhar

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System edited: Added two smaller "tuning" countrweights behind the larger counterweight. This moved the large weight from a position at the very end of the counterweight shaft to much closer to the pivot point and positioned more of the weight lower in relation to the tonearm's height. These changes should result in a "quicker/lighter" arm. I think the sound is less resonant (cleaner). After some listening I changed VTF from 1.942 to 1.863. I think this resulted in an "airer" sound between the instruments but not so much as for the sound to become "thin". After I felt familiar with the sound I rolled three sets of power cords to the two Exact Power 15A's. I ended up liking a genetic 11 AWG shielded cord.

samhar

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System edited: Trying more toe in and without grills.

samhar

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Owner
System edited: Changed system picture.

samhar

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Arthur
The recent addition of the Joule LAP-150 Mkll has made a big difference with the Sophia's adding enough "meat to the bone" for a little more relaxed sound. I've heard the Sophias twice with SS amps once at Brooks Berdan with Hovland and once here with a highly modded John Iverson Eagle 3 and prefer them with tubes. Here they have been fed by ARC VS-115, Ref 3, Quicksilver V-4's and CJ MV-125. The Joule VZN-160's bested them all for my taste. If you are ever coming to Los Angeles and can eek out some time let me know, your welcome to come by and listen.
Sam

samhar

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System edited: Added the Purist P/C I've been using to the component list with some pics. I'm trying more P/C for the amps and pre power supply, the P/C for the CDP will stay there.

samhar

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System edited: Relisted my tone arm as a Vector Model 1 with Discovery Cable copper cable.

samhar

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Sent the Basis TT motor back to Basis to be upgraded to Signature status the new motor is much quieter, smoother!!!!
I've been using a Clearaudio Stroboscopic Speed Test Record and 300Hz Speed Light(way to much money) but after reading about a Digistrobe in a Forum here decided to buy one on E-Bay for $34. It's easy to use and you can check the speeds while playing different weight/thickness records so the drag of the stylus is part of the resulting reading . I never felt comfortable doing this on the strobe record!!!!

samhar

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Have changed a couple of things and added one.

1.Upgraded theTT motor controller from a VPI SDS to a Walker Precision Ultimate with teflon board. As big an improvement as the SDS was over the stock motor the Walker was over the SDS!!!
The improvement was not subtile in fact I thought I was experiencing the placebo effect, hearing what I wanted/needed to, but after many albums it was clear I wasn't!!! The music was smoother, the bass more immediate, bigger sounding,better defined the highs smoother. A "graininess" that was present with the SDS was gone.
2.Replaced the Jan Phillips 5751 tubes with Amperex 7025 and the (?) 6DJ8's with Amperex Orange Globe halo getter 6DJ8's in the amps. I've been waiting to do this until I'd had enough listening time with the supplied tubes that I was familiars with the sound. No surprises here the sound became even more glorious, more body to the note after the original attack, fuller longer decays and less grain resulting in a more realistic "presence" to the performance.
3.Purchased "Cable Isolators" two boxes of 12 foam isolators. Placed under S/C's and I/C's and where necessary ran double deck to keep everything separated and organized. One of reason I bought this isolator is its ability to be stacked, a necessity in my system. I'm still trying to figure out what if any effect this tweek has had on the bass.
Also will add Mint LP protractor to my system list, I've had it for two months and just never added it. This is a fantastic tool for checking stylus alignment.

samhar

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Glen since the addition of the new amps and especially the LAP-150 MKll the system has become a joy to listen to!!! When I had Maggie 1.6's and was looking for something different, I searched long and hard for a pair of used VR4 jrs but none came up for sale on the West Coast. It seemed they were more common on the East Coast, I ended up buying 3A Sigs and 2Wq's subs instead. Every once in a while I wonder were the VR4jr path would have led and which speakers and system I might own now.

samhar

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System edited: Replaced the amps, preamp and phono stage. Joule VZN-160 MkV Musicwoods replaced the VZN-160 Mklll, Joule LAP-150Mkll pre/phono replaced Cj Act2 and Pass XOno phono stage. I put the amps in first with the CJ. My first thoughts were everything sounded more"solid" bigger and better defined. I told a friend this and he said wait awhile they may "soften" some with time. Maybe, I think I'm hearing the difference between the standard case and the Musicwood. The sound is different and better. Next I put the LAP-150MK ll in with the new MKV's. The LAP has plenty of extension on top a big defined bass and mids with plenty of timbre. I remember thinking what a fantastic presentation of music Judd Barber has managed to convey it is so natural so coherent. And it's all working extremely well with the Sophia's. Now I'll sit back and listen as everything settles in and the system becomes more homogeneous.

samhar

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Thanks for following up! As I thought about what was going on at the time and started remembering more and more details I remember how much the speakers were "off" and how much work it took to true them up. I made a mistake the CDP was the same one I have today but the fireplace stone and maple ply behind the rack weren't covered. Anyway adjusting the speakers made a very noticeable improvement. It was a poorly written thread!!!
Sam

samhar

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Zippy it was with a different CDP and preamp that were much more forward(bright), not a good match with the Sophias. I was a little surprised at the time too!!! I don't think the current system would/could do the same. In all fairness I think one tweeter was firing up and the other down, everything was "out" of sync something the Wilson's tweeters don't tolerate well.

samhar

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So it seemed at the time. Why the snide remark about the cost?

samhar

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Sam thanks! I recently (two days ago) changed preamp, phono and amps. I upgraded to the Joule VZN 160 MK V Musicwood amps and Joule LAP 150 MKll pre/phono. So far, everything is still settling in, the new system's sound is much more synergistic with the Sophias.

samhar

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Wilson Sophia 1 with Pass XOno I consider myself lucky to be at 475 ohms!!!!
I'm wanting to audition an EAR 88PB which I'm hoping may be a good choice with the Wilsons.

samhar

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Hello David,

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience!!! It became immediately apparent how slow and congested 30 ohms sounded!!! I tried 1K but just couldn't get a sound I liked so I dropped to 475 ohms and VTF of 1.922 gr. This has most of the dynamics and imaging of 1K but with a bit more timbre. Just to check I reset to 120 ohms but it was slow and the imaging became more congested resulting in a smaller sound stage. I will try 1K again after some time at 475 ohms just to give it another try!

Once again thank you for helping me!!!

Sam

samhar

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Hi David,

Thanks for the recommendations; I'll try the settings this week and post my findings. BTW as a common reference point I also thought the V-4's had a great sound and at their price were difficult to improve upon.

Sam

samhar

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Trying Koetsu recommended 30ohm impedance (29.96 in the XOno) and a VTF of 1.869 with very good results.It was necessary to increase VTA when impedance was lowered to tightened up the base and extended the highs. With the changes some sibilance appeared in the left channel; anti-skate was increased until it disappeared.

Partial list of music used:

"Things Are Getting Better" Cannonball Adderley with Milt Jackson/side1/ trac1
"The Cape Verdean Blues" Horace Silver Quintet plus JJ Johnson/side 4/ trac 1
"The Koto Connection" New Koto Ensemble of Tokyo /side 2/tracs 3&4
"Joan Baez Gulf Winds" /side 1/ tracs 2 & 3
"Rapsodie Espagnole" Revel Paul Paray / Detroit Symphony /side 1
"Going Home" The L.A. Four /side1 /trac 1
"Scheherazade" R Korsakov Erenest Ansermet/L'orchestre de Suisse Romande /side 1

samhar

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System edited: Added Pass XONO phono !!! Started at 100 ohms and low gain then reset to 89.19ohms which so far I like better with the Urushi. Tomorrow I'll try lower settings and find out how low is to low. The improvement beyond the Nova is huge, similar to going from a Glider to a Urushi.

samhar

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Switched the Purist PP and Cardas GR I/C's positions. The Purist now runs from the phono to the preamp and the Cardas from the CDP to the preamp. The Purist seemed a little more forward with more detail enough so that I changed the VTA (lowered the back of the cart) to soften the highs and bolster the bass. I like the CDP with the Cardas so I'll wait until everything "settles in" before any positions are finalized.
Also downloaded the AccuTrack Universal Protractor from Vinyl Engine and used the Baerwald alignment= effective length of 237.5mm (offset : 23.17*) set tracking weight at 1.836g and loading @100 ohms.
This cart (Urushi) has taken the system to a different level even with a not to expensive SS phono the sound is just so beautiful I listened for seven hrs stright the other day!!!! Can't wait to try some other phonos especially tubed ones!!!

samhar

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System edited: Mounted a Koetsu Urushi Black this afternoon on the Vector 3 arm!!! It's very different from the Rosewood much more inner detail with a tighter low end and a more extended high end. Now an Ear 88PB seems like a great fit before I was worried the Ear and Koetsu would be to tubey!!

samhar

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System edited: Added a VPI SDS and will test it out tomorrow!!! Still looking for a phono, so far the Ear88pb is #1 but still haven't completely ruled out hybrid or SS.

samhar

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Papermill thanks! It's been moving along with some degree of direction but now the Pandora's Box of vinyl presents so many directions/choices, there's just so much to learn. The quality of sound is just so beautiful that the rewards are more than worth the effort!

samhar

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C.... thanks! I'm considering Nagra VPS, CJ TEA-1.., Manley Steelhead and ???????
I checked in your threads and saw you have ARC Ref3, Ref110 and CD-7. My novice advice to you has changed. I think you need to get a quality table similar to the Basis 2200 Signature/Vector 3 on AgoN if you don't get a good table the CD-7 will perform close to your analog rig and you'll wonder why you went to vinyl it may seem an unnecessary hassle!!! I don't think your a tinkerer so something like the Basis/Vector combo is great just have the local TT shop set it up and go, no adjustments to think/worry about!!! Pick up a PH-5 OR PH-7 and your set for some great listening sessions.
FWIW I auditioned the 2200/Vector and Classic together, I was considering The Classic until I heard the two side by side. If you have the cash go for the 2200/Vector your system deserves a good rig not to mention your psyche!!!!
Also you'll spend 3-4 grand and not have much for you money like I did, granted you'll learn something like I did but you'll still waste some money that could go for a good cart in tje 2200!!!

samhar

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System edited: Decided to keep the Basis and the Koetsu Rosewood. I will add a tube phono next then.......? It's exciting how dramatic the improvements are when upgrading the TT and cartridge, much greater than when I upgraded digital front ends. There are "bugs" to work out and tons of information to digest but it's really worth it for the improvement in sound quality.

samhar

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Auditioning a Basis 2500 TT with Koetsu Rosewood cartridge. The improvement is beautiful and very impressive! I wanted to pair the Basis with the Nova Phonomena to hear what the Nova is capable of and I'm surprised it's as good as it is!! That being said the Basis/Koetsu makes it very obvious I'm listening to SS phono and missing some of the beauty a "good" tube phono provides. Think going from a grainy EH 6922 to an full smooth Amperex 6922 PQ this is what I'm imagining will happen with a tube phono.

samhar

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Bobheinatz

Thank you for the kind words!
Sorry for the delayed response I've been on a cruise.
I've wanted to hear the LA 300 SE but haven't yet, are you using this with the Air Tight 300B amp?
How would you characterize the two preamps?

Lloyd it must be beautiful as well as effective!!

samhar

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Lloyd is your rack similar to this?

System > Done for now > Justice

samhar

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Owner
When you say the Act2 Scene 2 is better in every way how would you describe those improvements, what are they?

samhar

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Audioblazer
The second set is for future use at today's price!!
I haven't moved or removed the dampeners but will, with the mention of this I assume you have. What did you find?

samhar

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Audioblazer
Impressions after five hours of listening.

I like them much better!!!! The sound is fuller with the effect of being smoother from top to bottom but not slower.
Better dynamics and extension as you observed.
More precise imaging within a wider and deeper sound stage, singers or lead instruments moved slightly in front of the speaker plane, before they were slightly behind speaker plane.
The effect is similar to what power cords do but without the thinning of the sound I've experienced in my system.

I was a bit surprised by the amount of improvement over the Sovteks especially in dynamics and extention. If I had to come up with an example of the change in sound quality it would be similar to going from a Sovtek 6922 to an Amperex US (not a Holland) 7308 PQ White Label.

I already ordered a second set!!!!

samhar

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Audioblazer
I just received a quad of '83 nos reflector Dr's that I am going to install this morning. I'm excited and your experience is encouraging, thank you for your feed back!
I'd been holding back on purchasing Dr's because of the mixed reviews it's good to get an Act owner's opinion. I'm going to install them now and after two hours, I'll start listening!!

samhar

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Had to pull the EH's out and return to the Sovteks the system sounded to slow, boring and just plain dead.

samhar

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Replaced the Sovtek 6h30p in the C/J with Electro Harmonix. The EH's are less dynamic not as extended in the top and bottom with a fuller more recessed mid section that I like much better than the Sovtek's forward thin metallic mid's. I was happy enough with the differences of the two tubes that I ordered a quad of NOS '83 6h30-Dr reflector hoping for a little of each in one tube!!!
Removed the acrylic under the TT to counter the EH's overall softness then changed the VTA lowering the rear of the arm slightly as the sound had become a little brighter with the TT sitting on the carbon fiber shelf.

samhar

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System edited: Added pictures of trial scrap acrylic slabs under Nova and TT.

samhar

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Added 1" acrylic shelf under Nova phono and on top of the Sims pucks. This cleaned the sound up so much that I'm much happier with the Nova I was thinking it wasn't very detailed but that turns out to be poor set up!!

Following the thinking "if some is good more is better" I put a 1 1/4" slab of acrylic under the TT sitting on the BDR Shelf and a small piece of scrap under the motor sitting on Sims pucks. These additions also helped the clarity but now the sound was almost to clear!! I changed the VTA to counter this by lowering the rear of the arm .2 degrees and vola, highs and vocals became natural and the bass is full and tight. First I tried .3 degrees but the bass was soft and mushy and the highs weren't all there. Thank you Husky digital level for saving me from the "hit or miss" time consuming adjustment process!!!!!

This was my first attempt at VTA adjustments and I'm glad everything worked out more than satisfactorily (beginners luck)!!!!! I tried to upload pictures but couldn't

Not only will I keep the Nova for now but I will also keep the Project 9.1 until I know why I need a new TT other than for an adjustable on the fly VTA.

samhar

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Thanks for the kind words. I haven't had a chance to A-B the 1's and 2's so I can't speak to the differences but the 1's and the Joules work so well together for me that I'm not actively pursuing different speakers (famous last words!!!).
I'd love to hear the 350.5 and the Montanas. I can imagine how fast and dynamic they are together!!!! I live in Mar Vista just east of Venice Beach so an excursion to Long Beach is easy!!

samhar

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It's been fast and interesting!!!
I'm moving (slowly) towards a new main panel and dedicated lines (I've viewed both of your systems before with energy envy!). I have some kitchen remodeling to button up before the inspector can visit!!!

samhar

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Lloyd your equipment rack and base are awesome, I thought about using 2" birch ply for rack and amp stands but took the "easy way out" and bought current rack system. Mine is designed as a "low mass system" but the hollow tubes are noisy so I'll be filling them with .....? I can't wait to hear what happens with the added mass, it's always interesting to hear the results when more vibrations are removed. The improvement in detail through out the scale creates a more involving presentation everything just gets "tighter" more defined as you know.

samhar

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Added Solid Tech (Wild Wild Westish) ROS Ref 1's amp stands. The level of detail has improved but I'm going to put a shelf under the Joules to hear if that is a necessity. The Joules are opened bottomed and I think they might "like" a surface near their bottom for resonance or .........? In plain English they sounded thinner and not to my liking!!! But do they have detail !!! Wax burners!!!

samhar

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Even here I've used Art 2 instead of Act 2 talk about subconscious slip-up!!!!! This is becoming habitual #@%&*!!!

samhar

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Hi Dave,
No I haven't I just got my system back together and had to let the cabling settle in. Once I thought it sounded "right" I went through four P/C's on the Art 2 picked one then re-tubed the VZN-160 with 6350 than 6DJ8 than 5751(didn't like) 12AX7 (wanted more detail) lastly Mullard CV-4004 (perfect compromise between the two) than last but definitely not least all new 6C33's, sixteen in all !!!! Next I'm going to sell some P/C's and start auditioning than I'll try your recommendation, thanks for checking in !!!

samhar

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Just tried PAD 20th Anniversary, Aqueous Anniversary and Musaeus P/C's powering the Act 2. All three expanded the soundstage with a more dynamic sound but I felt they actually detracted from the sound quality of the Act 2 sacrificing the quality of the sound for a larger leaner presentation. A good example would be enlarging a photo and as you do you loose smoothness for a grainier less rich picture, I prefer the richness over the size and will use the CJ stock cord until I find a cord I like better.
On the Gamut CDP the Aqueous Anniversary gives the presentation I prefer. The stock CJ cord makes the sound small and compressed with poor imaging, the 20th Anniversary expands it too much.

samhar

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Lloyd I'm still letting the system settle in with a stock CJ P/C and two Straight Wire P/C from 1990 to the two Exact Power EP15A's. There is an Aqueous Anniversary P/C to the CDP next I'll try a Musaeus P/C than the 20th Anniversary and last a stock C/J cord.

Inserted Mullard CV-4004 in the Joules 12Ax7 position with Jud supplied 6DJ8's(?), the amps haven't sounded this good in awhile!!!! I've been trying 5751's good definition but a bit thin for my taste, 12Ax7's rich but lack the detail of the 5751. The CV-4004 has detail and enough warmth to work very well in concert with the 6DJ8's and being a military varient of the 12AX7 they are very quiet and they seem to have more gain than the 5751. Everything is pointing towards trying the Mullard 10M. Happy for now!!!

samhar

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Lloyd I'm using a stock CJ cord on the Act 2 for now and liking the results. No expanded sound stage with seemingly better imaging at a price of fullness harmonics, decay etc. I'll put a few different P/C's into different positions and check if any combo betters the current configuration. I'll let you know what my thoughts are.

samhar

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System edited: Added pictures of the levels used to set speakers back up after moving for installation of book cases. It's so important to get all the degrees and heights of the speakers the same I decided to add as tweaks!!

samhar

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System edited: Added book cases to store records and cds behind speakers. The breaking down and moving of the system has put the sound bsack to square one. When the system (copper) settles back in and the cases get filled with records, cd's, books etc. and I"m familiar with it's sounds I'll re-tube the Joules with new 6c33a's. I've already tried the stock 5751 and 6DJ8 from Joule and prefer the Amperex 12AX7 and Amperex 6DJ8 combo I'm currently running. The added detail of the 5751 isn't worth it's brighter presentation.

samhar

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Dave are those cords in the more "natural" camp or are they in the VD forward aggressive camp?

samhar

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Played my first record on this system today!!!!!! Kenny Burrell "Midnight Blue" on Blue Note 45 RPM, simply beautiful even with some kinks to work out. It's exciting to hear vinyl on my system after all the time spent improving it over the last year and my growth learning to recognizing what I wanted to add or subtracted to it. Vinyl just has a "realness" to the sound, I had such a feeling of satisfaction with it's beauty while I was listening!!!!

samhar

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Picked up the Joule's variacs at Acoustic Image today and now can resume A/B-ing my power cords; Purist Audio, 20th Anniversary, Aqueous Anniversary and Musaeus to "Stock" 14/3 cords.

samhar

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Pdreher I like you have moved on from sorbagel!!! I bought a Solid Tech Rack Of Silence and instead of their decoupling spring system used Novcom Pucks between the rack and BDR "The Shelf" under CDP, pre and TT with each device sitting on their stock pads (pics). This has given me black backgrounds and surprising levels of detail. I've used BDR #3 & #4 pucks under everything and or sorbagel but found the stock pads produced the sound I'm looking for. I agree at a certain level sorbagel can render a system lifeless!!! BTW I constantly check your virtual system for changes.

samhar

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Lloyd one of the variacs for the Joule 160's fried last nite so before I can resume stock P/C vs 20th Ann P/C shootout I have to take both variacs in for a tune up!!!! I'm fortunate someone that is familiar and works on Joule equipment is close to me in Los Angeles so this shouldn't be to painful or take to long.

samhar

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Lloyd thanks!!! I started to answer your question when I realized I couldn't remember with certainty then I wasn't sure I ever knew. You can see where this is headed!! I finally found a "stock" 14G cord from something and preceded to plug it into an unfiltered socket and the CJ pushed play on the GamuT and.......what the......this sounds beautiful!!!! No way, this can't be happening!!! An audio friend came by and he agreed the stock cord gave a fuller more natural sound and the PAD 20th A P/C was more forward more dynamic and airier but the price was a thinness and loss of nuance in the female voice and instruments. It's very similar to the differences in CJ and ARC sounds or Purist and Audioquest!!! The PAD 20th A is plugged into an ExactPower EP15A that has a PAD Aqueous Ann for it's P/C etc. etc. I'm going to pull all the non stock plugs and start fresh and see what happens one plug at a time.
The SS and imaging were off with the stock P/C so I repositioned the speakers with less toe-in this helped the imaging but the SS is still a little recessed.
I'm exhausted ( this is when the double posts happen) so I'll continue tomorrow and will keep you up to date.

samhar

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System edited: Changed pictures to represent current gear, new CDP, TT and rack configuration.

samhar

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System edited: Added a Gamut CD-3 Series IV CDP. This player is what I've been looking for but until now haven't found. The experience was the same as adding the Joules, Purist and CJ, each was an eye opener and moved the experience to a higher level. This is the cumulation of what I've been tying to get my system to sound like with a CDP a full bodied rich detailed analogish sound!!!!

samhar

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Jfrech thanks!!! My house has louvered windows, read dusty, so I've been waiting until new windows could be purchased but recently decided to go ahead with TT. I"m in the process of adding a modest TT, Pro-Ject 9.1, Benz Glider,arm rewired with Cardas GR (asked at Brooks Berdan if they could use Purist PP) and Cardas GR interconnects for the time being. I had a Teac 3300 since the 80's that I sold two years ago, bummer!!!

samhar

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Hi Bruce I didn't get mine for a song because it was in good condition so my bill was mostly for ("upgrading" ?) to digital!!

samhar

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Hi Glen!! Thanks and thanks!! I had Maggi 1.6's that I loved but made the mistake of listening to Sonus Faber Cremona's and loved how much fuller the sound was, I also realized planers need POWER to work at their best and power =$$$. This was all happening back when $400 seemed exorbitant for a set of cables!!! What happened to those days? I opted for Vandy 3A Sigs over the VR 4 JR's I think the VR's seemed like an East Coast deal, the Vandy's were easy to audition and purchased used in Los Angeles, I,m not sure I'd make the same choice today!!! This was all happening back when $400 seemed exorbitant for a set of cables!!! Boy those days are ancient history!!! Truth be told "youngster"after I retired and my ex wife was diagnosed with cancer I thought what the hell I'd better go for it today, so I have been!!!!

samhar

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System edited: Put in set of new 6H30E's. The tubes that were supplied with the Act 2 were shot !!! Everything is much better; sound stage, imaging, dynamics, harmonics ,decay etc. I thought it was good before well it's way way better!!!! I'm also experimenting with various isolation devices for the Act 2.

samhar

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The Joule's don't "like" an impedance under 4 ohms, the Sophia's dip to 3.26 @ 220 Hz but the Joule's handle that slight dip. My guess is that a 6 ohm rated speaker won't be a problem!!

samhar

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Daveyf sorry I misread your post thought you "considered" them. Can they drive the Homage's 86.5 db 6 ohm load that would be the question and I don't know the answer. If they can the beauty of their sound with your speakers, WOW!!!! I wasn't prepared for how good the sound was, I thought I was but I was still surprised and extremely pleased! They are everything I wanted, fast, detailed, full, dynamic etc. etc. On top of everything else there're built like a tank. They'll kill your amp upgrade bug that's for sure! They are a move from hi-fi to hi-end!!

samhar

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Thanks!! I bought the Sophia 1's had Quicksilver V-4's at that time and wanted an amp with better inner detail and dynamics to go with them. I was thinking Jadis, Joule Electra,Atma Sphere, VTL, and Manley. The two I wanted most were Joule and Jadis, with the Joule's easy biasing and ability to "tune" the amp's (sound) the decision became easier the more I learned about them.
I like the Sophia-Joule combination they seem to complement each other the sound is just beautiful!!! With the recent addition of the CJ Act 2 the sound became fuller, richer, better detailed and more dynamic. For the types of music I listen to most; jazz, blues, chamber groups, solo acoustic guitar, violin etc. I like my system but "probably" need a better CDP. Soon I'll have my TT hooked up!!

samhar

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System edited: Added a CJ Act 2 pre to replace the Calypso pre, to my ears this is an improvement in every aspect I was surprised by the amount of improvement.

samhar

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System edited: Added a Solid Tech Rack Of Silence (4) for preamp and CDP. Removed some HT components and the rack they were on and replaced with the VTI racks from the amps , preamp and CDP in the old configuration. This created a lower profile which helped with the sound stage and imaging

samhar

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Haven't been able to "balance" the amps, the biases weren't stable and the volume wasn't evenly balanced. Time for new tubes, replaced the (4) 6350 Sylvanias and the (4) 6DJ8's Amperex Orange Label in the amps and the (2) 6922's in the Calypso with 7308 Amperex Holland. The sound of the Joules has returned and the volume is balanced!!! I thought I was becoming accustomed to the sound not that it was slowly degrading, but after a NOS retube the alluring sound of the Joules is back. The brass cones have been switched out for BDR #3 cones under the CDP, I'll try the brass cones with the new tubes sometime this week.
I bought a Pro-Ject 9.1 TT four weeks ago that arrived broken, it's being repaired at Brooks Berdan, can't wait to hear vinyl through the Joules!!!!

samhar

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System edited: Currently trying large brass cones and bases under the CDP. The difference between the BDR cones #3 and the brass cones and bases is interesting and very noticeable. The bass is richer and better defined seeming bigger and sweeter, the clarity is impressive through out the scale but vocal are slightly more forward (not sure they'll stay in because of this)

samhar

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System edited: Rolled in Amperex White label 7025 for GE 5751WA triple mica grey plates in the input section of the amps looking for a reduction in detail and a "fuller" sound. This helped but not quite as much as I hoped for so I rolled out the Siemans E188CC's in the output stage of the Calypso and put in 6922 Amperex White Label PQ's US, this final change has brought the vocals a fuller chestier sound that is less forward and more "believable".

samhar

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System edited: Added pic of shelf sandwich under CDP

samhar

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System edited: Added Black Diamond Racing "The Shelf" under the CDP I didn't think there was that much more to be filtered and/or drained away, wrong!!! The improvement is enormous, MORE HASH IN THE TRASH!!!! I made a sandwich of 1 1/2" maple with 1/2 MDF on top of it, 6 Audioquest Q Sorbogel pads (each can support 8# effectively), BDR the Shelf and BDR "Cones" points down towards shelf.

samhar

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Hey Dave I'm only 9 hrs into this, "How expensive is that? To expensive ! How expensive is it??!! To expensive!!!, cord. So far I like it ! If you like "old style" jazz singers check out Rachael Price ( can sound a Little like Ella )!!!!!

samhar

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System edited: Added a PAD 20th Anniversary for the CDP everything is bigger, fuller than the Musaeus I'll see if I like the sound better. The break-in is 75hrs only 70 to go! The vocals are already what I was hoping for the music is smoother, more homogenous, and is becoming better defined with each hr. Breaking in with a lot of Rachael Price " Dedicated To You" this gal can flat sing and she made this CD when she was 17!!!!! in 2003 when it was recorded

samhar

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Thank you!!! I haven't used any 6DJ8's but will try some now! I run four different 7308's depending which 12AX7 I'm using, so it's good to know it isn't stressing the circuit.

samhar

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Small are PPT224M6A Large are PPMF 5M6A
I think V-Caps are out of the price range I'm willing to pay presently. Aprox $1900 a side!!!!
I just bought a TT today to give Vinyl a try so I will probably put the money there first. I remember when you started into the Vinyl jungle!!!

I forgot to respond to your statement " I bet I would enjoy your system" I think you would very much it's warm detailed and walks through drum set solos without getting tied up the least bit . It's nice enough that I worry about loosing what's there now!!! I need to start a log again so I can take one or many steps back to what I liked if I feel it's needed.

samhar

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Sns they're Rel Caps. If you go to my system page>Calypso>pic you can the the cap lay out.The two small caps are .22uf +/- 20% 600V and the large caps are2.0uf +/- 20% 600V. Are the V-Caps a step up or sideways just a different sound?

samhar

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Pdreher another great tube you have Tele ECC803S !!! I put the 6DJ8 Amperex Orange Globe "A" frames in the Joule's they work great!!! Something you might check out and I will too is what Jim White thinks of running 6DJ8's or 7308's (which I'm running) in a 6922 circuit. The heater current for 6922 is 300 ma, 7308 335ma and 6DJ8 is 365ma. If I run 7308's in my Raysonic 168 a circuit designed for a 6922 the top gets quite warm, enough that I don't feel comfortable running them anymore!!! It's a shame they sounded good!!
There's a loud pop from the Calypso a few minutes after it's turned on so when the weather clears up I'll drive it over to Aesthetix for repair.

samhar

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Hi!
I love the Calypso's tube compliment( 6922&12AX7) and it's ability (sensitivity) to the combinations of the two!! Current combo Amperex 12Ax7 '50 D Getter & Siemans E188CC.
I'm wondering if mods to the Calypso, caps and resisters might change the sound and make it the Un-Calypso, I don't know enough so I'm worried but I've been contemplating it. Maybe the CD3 should be the sacrificial lamb.

How's the computer audio coming? Can you see it approaching CD quality at a "reasonable" cost? I bought a PS Audio Dac lll with Cullen stage lV mods for this purpose but haven't pursued it I've been so busy playing with the main system.

samhar

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My mistake it's two cords from the variac to the amp, so all three modifications are in the variac.

The PAD Proteous Provectus cured me of my desire for silver I/C's & S/C's, there is a warm "natural" shimmer with inner detail without the forward thiner presentation of silver cables. I thought about Dominus but in the end held firm to no silver cables and I think it was the correct choice.

You have a good point in keeping a little silver in the system(preamp), the Calypso probably has silver and I like the tonality of music it's female vocals that I want "better".

Maybe a cap mod to the CD3 MKll is the way to go, I'm going to pop the top and see what's under the hood, maybe Dueland's would help digital.

samhar

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I'm thinking my next move might be to a Joule LA-100 MK? with Cardas copper wiring, the older version non upgraded to Purist w/silver. I've been looking, what are your thoughts on the differences between the Calypso and the Joule LA-100 MK? ?
As for the P/C's to the VZN-160's ; 1 cord from variacs to Exact Power EP-15 A's, 1 cord from variacs to the amps and 1 cord from amps back to the variacs. The EP-15A's accept cord upgrades that's the first P/C upgrade the rest are a bit overwhelming as they are hard wired on one end. I hate to learn how to solder on this level of gear but it's a great step and something I should probably learn!!!!
I missed the picture with the cat and you ceiling treatment!!!

samhar

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I put on Keola Beamer (Mr Mellow) and stand over them and pretend I'm there!!

samhar

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System edited: Returned the Calypso and the CD3 MKll to the system with the Aqueous Anniversary P/C plugged into the Calypso and a stock cord to the CD3 MKll. The sound was very good but possibly to airy and forward. Today I received a Purist Musaeus P/C hoping it might be a good combo with it on the CDP, plus it affords the opportunity to flip the cords. Well it sound so nice I"ll enjoy for awhile before I start playing around. To test the P/C's effect I went to the female voice. Neenna Freelon Tis Autumn & Heritage from the cd Heritage Don't Explain & Willow Weep For Me from the cd Blueprint Of A Lady Lizz Wright I Idolize You & Hey Mann from the cd The Orchard The improvement wasn't subtle, the stock cord had made the voices thin and forward, the Musaeus calmed the soundstage and brought body with a human definition to the voices. Music which already sounded good became fuller more alive. Romane Destine & Dreams Memory from CD Swing Guitare Phil Woods & The Festival Orchestra Nefertiti & Willow Weep For Me

samhar

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System edited: Added Purist Aqueous Anniversary P/C for CDP. There is a HUGE improvement in the Raysonic's performance with this cable!!! The notes are fuller, more dynamic ,harmonics decay takes longer. I've only had it for two days since I lost one channel in the Preamp and pulled it and the CD3MKll out and replaced them with the Raysonic 168. I can't wait to use the P/C with the Calypso!!

samhar

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Hi TH,I had extra shop floor tiles(made of medium density foam) that I cut to support all cables. I just grabbed what I had and stuck it in. Last week my preamp lost a channel so I pulled it and the CD3 MKll out and put the Raysonic 168 with it's own output stage( volume control). The pic is of the Raysonic with the braces.

samhar

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System edited: Installed two Exact Power EP15A's one for each channel to keep voltage at constant 120V. The variation in voltage was from 108-116, not good for tube gear!! Another huge benefit is the correct voltage for the CDP which now seem faster(correct)!! Lost the left channel in the Calypso this week so I'll take it to Aesthetix next week. In the meantime I put the Raysonic 168 (internal volume control) in the system, the sound was better than I expected!!! Good enough until the Calypso and CD3 MKll are back.

samhar

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System edited: Removed one level from center rack and moved it back 15" to help sound stage. Also placed Palm trees behind speakers to reduce slap echo, at first they were directly behind the speakers but this caused a loss of detail so moved both towards the outside walls. This worked great, the detail returned and the echo didn't. With the palms helping I removing the foam directly below the TV this let more life back into the sound. Also placed 1/2" press board under left speaker (for now) because floor was that far off level!! This helped the depth of the sound stage and the imaging, big, big difference!!!!

samhar

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System edited: Been struggling with the digital sound of vocals. Removed Virtual Dynamics David power cords which reduced dynamics and vocals thin sound! Now the system seemed slow and bloated. Changed tubes In pre, Phillips Miniwatt 6922 & Mullard CV-4004 and replaced with Siemans 7308 & Amperex 12AX7 "D" getter. The sound is again dynamic, rich, fast and the vocals are "fuller". My suspicion that the detailed CV-4004's removal would help the vocals seems to be correct.

samhar

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System edited: Due to the resonance of my racks I've had to use AQ Sorbogel Big Feet and Q's and Novcom silencers to clean up leading edge hash. I think it's time to get "better" racks possibly wood.

samhar

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Thanks Dave I am!!!

samhar

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Me too!!! I chose them over the 2's and the 6's for various reasons one being they are a "classic" and will go down as one of Wilson's best all around models.

samhar

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Hi, it has been fast!!! And "heavenly" is an apt description. I'm still checking the amps out there are a few issues that hopefully aren't too serious! Each piece; Purist cables, Wilsons and the Joules brought something special to the mix, fortunately there's synergy!!!! I'm surprised how un-digital the sound is, the CD3 MKll is better than I thought. I was ready to pop for a CD 7 but will hold off for now........maybe! The level of the Joule's sound is so extraordinary it changed my perspective instantly, It's a privileged to listen through them!!!

samhar

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System edited: Added Joule VZN-160 and Purist I/C's and S/C a move from hi-fi to hi-end!!!!

samhar

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Put the Purists in this afternoon and right away they were fantastic!!!! Naturalness with detail, inner detail rosin detail wood soundbox detail guitar harmonic detail harpsichord strike detail piano note fullness detail, so much full natural detail and just plain beauty that I'm going to go back to listening.......

samhar

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The Atmosphere mono's use 800 watts a side continous a little more than I'm willing to deal with. The Joule's use 500 watts a side continuous, I can deal with that, I hope my house can!! They are getting shipped tomorrow so I should have them "soon" Pa > Ca !
Tomorrow I receive 3 Purist cables; 2 sets Proteus Provectus I/C's and full range Proteous Provectus S/C's. I want to hear the system with copper cables and go from there.

samhar

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Thanks for the all the suggestions before I could check anything out! I had the opportunity to try an OTL amp so I took it and bought a Joule Electra VZN -160 MKlll Grand Marquis OTL!!! I figured it's winter our house is cold so the heat would be a bonus on top of the excellent sound! Are you familiar with Joule or any other OTL amps? Everyone I've talked to has said the Joule's sonics are gorgeous so I'm extremely excited. I guess I'm a 6C33CB kind of guy now (I have no idea what that REALLY means)

samhar

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I was considering Merlins but was afraid of my ability to get them set up "correctly". Another factor was the Sophia 1's were 45mins away and a pair of Sophia 2's were 20 mins away. After much pondering I decided the 1's were a better fit for me so I drove, auditioned, bought, packed, loaded into my Element, drove,unpacked (2 200# boxes), set up and was listening in 5 hrs!!!! None of the worries associated with long distance transactions, relatively instant gratification
!!! I was more mid fi then I had imagined, it's a humbling experience in my case.
The improvement is similar to my first pair of distance glasses, I thought I was seeing everything perfectly but there was no fine inner detail by comparison.
Who makes 845 based SET amps?
I've been considering Manley Neo Classic 250 and Jadis 200.

samhar

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Sns The Sofia 1 has changed my whole system, I thought the V-4's weren't detailed but it wasn't them!!! I was hot to change the V-4's "caps" but now I think I'll wait and listen to the ARC VS 115 before I mod them.
As to the digital it's as if I have an all new collection, there is so much more of everything inner detail, dynamics imaging etc. etc. The system is now "Emotive"!!!!!

samhar

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System edited: I think I'm in love with my therapist!! OK heavy like!!!!

samhar

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System edited: Moved from "Opinions Please" and changed name from "Getting Tubed". I think I'm in love with my therapist!!! OK, maybe just a heavy infatuation!

samhar

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System edited: Added Wilson Sophia 1's these are just amazing!!!! All those CD's I thought sucked don't!!!! Classical is .....it will make you tear up it's so beautiful!!! I'm shocked by how good the Quicksilver V-4's are performing, the combo is a very pleasurable, more detail than I expected! The soundstage is wide, holographic and airy with precise imaging. You can hear the strike at the beginning of a note the harmonics are............!..........!..........! A huge step!!!

samhar

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System edited: Added pic of the Quicksilver V-4's to the equipment list.

samhar

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System edited: Rolled Quicksilver V-4 back into system and am finding I like their warm tubey sound also. They aren't as detailed or dynamic as the VS 115 but have a relaxed listenability the ARC doesn't. Added a picture of the Hickok 539b Roger Kennedy digitally modded and calibrated. Much easier to dial in with digital readout line voltage and bias meters.

samhar

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System edited: Just picked up my Hickok 539b from Roger Kennedy calibrated and digitally modded!! Much easier to "dial in" and more accurate! Put the Quicksilver V-4's back into the system and am finding I really like their "warm tubey" sound !!! They aren't as detailed or dynamic as the ARC 115 but just as good in their own way. The Srereophile Test Disc #1 helps adjusting the subs "Q" & db settings when rolling amps, it's a great tool for simple adjustments and quick evaluations!!

samhar

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Luckiedevl,
Thanks!!! I did use the X-2 filers first but I don't remember the change, it's been awhile. Monday I'll insert 1 X-2 filter and A-B the two and let you know my impressions. I'll be doing this with a set of Quicksilver V-4's, I removed the VS 115 to listen to the V-4's(my old amps) for awhile.

samhar

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Thanks Pat it's nice to get positive feedback!!! I still need to find a light material (soundboard?) to place over front surface of the flat screen and in front of the wood below it per our discussion. When a thick blanket is over the screen and a dense pillow is in front of the wood the sound is better. The ARC VS-115 has 440hrs on it now and seems to have gone through it's biggest changes, hopefully I won't be rolling tubes in the Calypso as often to compensate for changes!!! The VS-115 has taken the system to a higher level with it's speed and dynamics, I'm extremely happy with this addition, it showcases everything around it and has made the system much better!!

samhar

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The 3A Sigs were in the system before the subs with a Pass X2.5 pre and X-150 amp. First I tried one 2W sub because it was available locally (L.A.) for $300.00, just couldn't pass up the chance to try it out! Long story short I turned it into an amp stand and bought a used pair of 2Wq's. The improvement is worth the price, with the Pass amp the bass was quick and powerful. The 300 watt amps in the subs take on the main amps characteristics so the subs were similar sounding to the speakers bass but more of it. As good as the 3A's are they're better with the subs or more correctly the system is better when the main amp/amps don't have to produce the low Hz. The 3A Sigs sound opened up,seeming more lively and the amp was faster as if the X-150 wasn't fast enough already.
The next amps paired with the 3A Sigs were Quicksilver V-4 mono blocks, the differences between subs and non subs sound were more apparent in this configuration, the V-4's becoming noticeably less congested and much faster, I liked them a lot more with the subs.
The ARC VS-115 is still breaking in so I can't speak about the new sound.
Two weeks ago I listened to the Wood Quatro with all ARC front end, they sounded similar to the 3's&2W's in my system. I like my system slightly more it's a fuller sound more alined with the 5A's, 3 8" drivers vs 2 8" drivers in the Quatro. The Quatro sounds leaner and faster and comes in a nicer more convenient package.
I too use Banana Pancakes rain to check differences when I make changes!!! I grew up with Jack's dad & mom in Manhattan Beach CA, we were best friends back then.

samhar

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System edited: Switched Amperex 7308's US PQ to Amperex 7308 Holland PQ, the Holland tube retains the detail of the US tube and is a little warmer. Changed some photos and descriptions to stay as current as posable.

samhar

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System edited: Rolled Amperex Pinched Waist then 7308 White PQ's in the 6922 socket. Sticking with the fuller mids of the 7308's for now. AQ Big Feet Sorbogel footers placed under the Calypso, this was a WOW factor improvement!! Metal points put under the CD3 this tightened everything up some! These were very productive tweaks, the system's sound improved tremendously the most obvious being the Sorbogel Calypso combo!!! The high end fuzz was knocked right out!!!

samhar

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System edited: First rolled Amperex PQ Pinched Waist then 7308 White PQ's into the 6922 socket,keeping the 7308 for now, it's a very clean tube with slightly fuller mids than the PW! AQ Big Feet Sorbogel pads were placed under the Calypso cleaning up the highs, this is a 'WOW" factor tweek for the Calypso!!! Metal isolation points were placed under the CD3 there affect was to "tighten" everything up!!! A 1 1/2" maple amp shelf was added cut down vibration and sweeten the highs. This was a very successful group of tweeks the system's sound quality was raised by dampening vibrations, simple but very effective!!!

samhar

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System edited: Replaced S/E I/C's with Bal the improvements were impressive!!! Everyone told me the CD3 MKll ,Calypso and VS-115 sounded much better Bal they were correct !!!!!

samhar

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Sns I'm planning to after I do the in progress speaker, I/C purchases. It's encouraging you think the improvement will be huge!!!

samhar

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System edited: Repositioned H/T rack from left side and behind speaker,moved subs out of corners, removed 5 channel amp( will use Onkyo's internal amps), still awaiting AQ Sky's bal I/C's and Vandy 5'S both should be added to system within 1-2 weeks!!!!

samhar

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Owner
I like the CD3 MKll it's more dynamic and more complete in every way and will be #1 in my system. That being said I love the ability to easily roll tubes and the design of the 168, so I'm thinking of getting it modded and keeping it, I enjoy playing around with it so much!!!! The CD3 MKll, Calypso and ARC VS 115 sounded very good together for only having 97 1/2 hrs on the amp. With my subs hooked up the characteristics of the amp were starting to show and I was liking it more every day, it is an "exciting" amp fast,detailed yet not cold with a powerful lower end. I've been told to keep the Calypso until I can buy an LS-26 or Ref 3 it's that good with the ARC gear. You can alter the sound by rolling the 12AX7A's and 6922's which is a feature I really like and my be the reason I keep the Calypso over the ARC pre's!!! Synergy wise it works well with the ARC gear Which ARC amp are you thinking of getting?
If you want a more specific answer let me know.

samhar

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Added ARC CD3 MKll & ARC VS-115

samhar

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Added ARC CD3 MKll & VS-115

samhar

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System edited: Will up-grade system next week and totally re-build system page!

samhar

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System edited: Moved speakers out to 6' from back wall, not ready to go back to 7'2" yet and put panel at first reflection point !

samhar

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System edited: Built maple and redwood tv mount eliminating table and allowing system to be moved back 10" and generally clean things up. Finely received my S/E M5-HP in exchange for my balanced set !!! Bought a Hickok 539B and some new tubes and I'm ready to roll !!!

samhar

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Newbee,
I think you are correct with null! I haven't used a test disk yet but will after I return from France, leave 5/27 return 6/17. I discovered the null when I was coming from the kitchen around the left side of the eating counter and noticed an incredible amount of bass more than I remembered at the casual listening position of 13'. Standing behind the chair the bass was stronger also, when I put my head at listening level most of the bass was absent. I just packed my system up because a grandson will be staying here and I don't want any accidents, all this will give me a fresh starting place when I reset up the system.

I originally was using a Pass X2.5 pre with a Pass X-150 and bought the 168 so the sound could be changed by rolling tubes. At first the X2.5 was used and all the interconnects were AQ Cheetah, wow did that sound bad!!! First I changed to Amperex U.S. White Label PQ and there was a significant improvement. I then tried all three Kimber KS series cables, liked the sound but they lacked the detail of the Cheetah not a trade off I was willing to make.Than the X2.5 was removed better but it may have been the removal of the Cheetah cable also. Still the sound wasn't what I wanted so I bought the Quicksilver V-4 and with stock Sovtecs the sound was headed in a direction I liked. In fact after I bought the Calypso and was awaiting its delivery I seriously questioned if I needed it the 168 and V-4 were sounding great. When the Calypso was connected the voices were again thin and airy. It came with Valvo 6922 red shield which are thin and airy, I put more Amperex U.S. White Label PQ in and vola the voices sounded full and natural!!! I think the sound stage is larger and the sound a little fuller and more dynamic with the Calypso plus there is better volume control with both! I put the Calypso at 75 out of 88 and let the 168 land up where ever, the more the Calypso the better the sound.
When I was trying different cables Kimber KS 1111,1121,1130, Cardas Golden Ref.and Cheetah I ran direct from the 168 to the Pass X-150 and the differences were very apparent. The AQ Sky had better detail than the Cheetah with the warmth of the Kimber 1130. The 168 was delivering the info to the cable but most of the cables weren't getting it to the amps.
Every time I think I need a $4000-5000 CDP the 168 comes through so for now it will be my single CDP.
Sam

samhar

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Newbee how does the 128 stack up to the Wadia and BAT?

samhar

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Thanks Bob! I'm glade your happy with the Raysonic. Have you found the tubes in the unused section affect the sound? The speakers are 7'1" out, the couch limits it to max 8'.
Newbee, thought about titleing the room"praying for a pole dance" but only a cat owner would really " know " this feeling!! Will the drapes deal with the first reflection, they are always pulled when I listen. The left side is a real challenge a window and wall meet at the reflection point! The position of the chair in the pictures is 13' from the speakers! I slide my chair onto the rug with my ears 8'6" from the speakers when I'm listening, it is a big difference. The rack on the left side must be affecting something also, there's a sub back there I forgot to list!!! The bass is minimal in the pictured chair position, is that a bass node? You hit the nail on the head as I was feeling it was time to work on the room.

samhar