Description

My system is a collection of modern and vintage equipment I've gathered over the last 15 plus years, many I will keep with me forever.
I really appreciate having many sources and experiencing the sound of different formats, each is special in their own way. I currently have 8 sources connected, 3 turntables, 3 reel to reel, a CD player, and over 5TB of digital files on my MacBook/DAC.
In the last few years, I've gotten seriously into reel to reel tape decks and playing copy of master tapes. Vintage turntables is also an interest of mine and I’ve acquired a Garrard 301 and 401 to go along with the modern TW Acustic turntable.
I'm inquisitive, hands-on, and enjoy simple audio projects. There's so much more in this hobby that I will eventually get into and want to experience. Thank you for visiting my page, your questions and comments are always welcomed.

Cheers,
Anthony
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Room Details

Dimensions: 20’ × 14’  Medium
Ceiling: 9’


Components Toggle details

    • King/Cello tape and phono preamp
    Custom-made tape/phono preamp by Charles King. It has two inputs, one for tape and one for phono.
    It's built around an original design by the late Tom Colangelo of Cello Audio (a Mark Levinson company). I have it wired to the playback head of my Studer A807 as an external tape preamp and also as a phono preamp for the TW Acustic turntable.
    Mundorf Supreme Classic Silver Gold Oil output capacitors. 
    • Dan D'Agostino Classic Stereo amp
    smooth 300 watt stereo amp that is musical and a joy to own
    • Magico V3 Speakers
    What's special about the Magico V3 is that as detailed and revealing as they are, they do not sound sterile and lean in my system. They are extremely musical, and music sounds beautiful through these speakers. From highs to lows everything sounds superb, of course component matching is of great importance.
    • Audiovalve Challenger mono amps
    I've been using Audiovalve products long before they appeared in the pages of Stereophile. I truly believe Helmut Becker designs some of the finest tube equipment in the world regardless of price. Audiovalve remains an excellent value in a time of inflated prices. 
    These Mono-block amps I will probably keep with me forever. They are better and quieter than many current production amps on the market. Approximately 150 watt pure class A, cathode/self-bias with almost no noise. It's been modified for use with KT-120. Mine is the older version with glass all around, I don't think it was ever sold in the USA. Hand made in Germany.
    • Audiovalve Eklipse preamp
    I've been using Audiovalve products long before they appeared in the pages of Stereophile. I truly believe Helmut Becker designs some of the finest tube equipment in the world regardless of price. Audiovalve remains an excellent value in a time of inflated prices. 
    NOS RCA clear tops. Natural, open, and detailed sound with very tight bass. Hand made in Germany.
    • Ampex ATR-102 reel to reel
    Studio Mastering deck with Flux Magnetic heads configured for me by Dan Labrie at ATR Services.
    • Studer A810 reel to reel
    This A810 belongs to a private owner for most of its existence and is in excellent condition. I have the original box and packing which is rarer than the deck itself. Fully restored by a great tech, Marc Bischoff.
    Upgraded audio op amps, and power supply caps, etc.
    • Studer A807 reel to reel
    The playback head on this Studer A807 is wired out to a King/Cello tape head preamp built by Charles King.
    The deck itself was serviced and recapped to be a reliable transport by a great technician, Soren Wittrup.  
    • TW Acustic Raven One turntable
    Solid table with excellent motor and power supply..great speed stability.
    • Morch Moerch DP-6 tonearm
    Dual-Pivot, silver wire.
    Very versatile tonearm that allows different armwand options to match cartridge. Beautiful, delicate, and a joy to handle.
    • Lyra Kleos SL cartridge
    I have the SL (Single Layer) low output version of this excellent MC cartridge.
    • ZYX 4D X-SB2 Atmos cartridge
    low output .24mV , copper coil, silver base option.

    This is a very revealing and muscular sounding cart with lots of low end energy. Highs is clean without edginess...Clear and neutral through the midrange, and powerful, tight, dynamic bass.
    • Benz Micro Wood SM cartridge
    Musical and well balanced, doesn't draw too much attention to itself. I can see it being a good daily workhorse.
    • Audio Technica AT33PTG/II cartridge
    Low output moving coil, Microline stylus, boron cantilever, occpc copper coils. A very nice audio bargain that delivers.
    • Garrard 401 turntable
    mounted on a birch ply plinth finished in piano gloss Macassar Ebony. Thomas Schick tonearm, and Lyra Kleos SL cartridge.
    • Thomas Schick 12" tonearm
    A simple and solid arm that matches well with the Garrard Turntables.
    • Garrard 301 turntable
    Late production oil bearing Garrard 301
    with 12” SME M2-12R tonearm and Benz-Micro Wood cartridge.
    Plinth is layered birch ply finished in piano gloss Macassar Ebony.
    • SME Model M2-12R tonearm
    12" modern tonearm built on a classic design
    • Nakamichi DR-10 cassette deck
    the last good deck Nakamichi made
    • Ultra Fi DAC-41
    A wonderful and musical dac designed by Larry Moore (creator of the Tranquility dac). This dac sounds effortless, liquid, smooth, with no sign of harshness. Music just sounds right through this dac. No oversampling, or upconversion of any sort.
    • Sony SCD-XA9000ES SACD player
    CD/SACD player.
    Detailed and extended.
    • Element Signature Connoisseur interconnect
    • Element Signature Terminator cord
    copper 16 conductor braid. Sweet, warm, and musical
    • Element Signature Matador
    nice round, and smooth sound. Warm side of neutral. The Matador and Terminator cords are musical cables and a good match with the Magico's.
    • GIK Acoustics Impression Pro panels
    These diffuser/absorber made a drastic difference to my room without deadening the sound like foam absorbers do.
    • ATS Acoustics bass traps and panels
    • Audio Power Industries Power Wedge 112 conditioner
    AC conditioner
    • Furman PST8 power strip
    power strip/surge protector
    • DIY Line Conditioner
    4 outlet cryod, line conditioner/surge protector built using article from 10Audio
    • VPI Industries HW-16.5 RC
    Vacuum Record Cleaner
    • Home Theater System
    B&W and Paradigm speakers in a 7.1 set up, Rotel amp/pre combo with DTS HD-Master Audio. Optoma HD 3D projector, 110" motorized screen.

Comments 49

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Owner
Thanks @cymbop! I’ve installed GIK Acoustics panels to further improve the room, added a few pictures of the GIK. Preliminary listening sounds okay but it’s still a work in progress at this point.

scar972

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There's no way this room isn't a peach for sound quality!  Nice building, Anthony!

cymbop

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Scar, good for you, I'm glad you got it sorted out.

Keep enjoying that beautiful system!
Regards,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

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Owner
@islandmandan the cartridge loading selector knob on my Jasmine phono stage would intermittently cause static-like noises. At the same time, the four records (totaling 8 sides) that I've been using to test were new from my latest order. 5 out of the 8 sides had the same static at the beginning of it. Also, a newly retipped cartridge is staticky in the L channel and has to be sent back. So a string of issues happening at the same time had me flustered.  

scar972

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Scar, please do post what your findings are. Problems with analog can be so varied, and can be very hard to ascertain what was actually  the cause.

It can drive you nuts until you've got it figured out. Hope you have a solution soon!

Regards,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

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Owner
@islandmandan I do have a few line conditioners in my system, a API power wedge 112, a Furman PST8, and a DIY unit. I don't think line conditioning is the culprit at this point, but I may be coming close to finding out the real culprit on one of the turntables. I sincerely appreciate you taking a closer look.

scar972

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Owner
@jperry thank you for the compliments on my system! I really like your system especially the Garrard 301, that thing is supped up to the max with Ikeda tonearm, Shindo bearings, etc. I will bring mine to that level at some point.

scar972

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Scar, I was just looking at your system again (it is amazing!), and I looked for a line conditioner, and noticed a DIY unit. Have you considered fluctuations of line voltage might be an issue?

It is the only thing in your system that grabbed my attention, as far as probable line voltage issues may be an issue. It's the only thing I see in your entire system that I might question in your current situation with your phono pre's going bad. Just my 2 cents.

Best of luck, I hope you get your answer soon.

Best regards,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

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Anthony,

A beautiful system. Interesting combination of new and vintage. Love the Garrard 301 and 401.

jperry

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Owner
Dan,

Thank you for your kind words and encouragement regarding my analog front end. The static issues I'm having with all my turntables are the most frustrating I've experienced in all my years in audio which prompted me to post on the forum for ideas. Just when I was feeling really satisfied with my system and felt like I can come to a resting point in my audio journey for a little while....the vinyl god strikes me! I have room treatment from GIK Acoustics coming later this month that I'm excited about, hopefully, I will have all the vinyl issues sorted out by then.
I find your Dynavector 501 tonearm interesting but I admit know nothing about it. I'm using a Schick tonearm with my Garrard 401 and it have performed well so far.

scar972

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What a beautiful system you have. Analog can have you in heaven and hell at the same time, even though you have mastered set up yourself.

I hope you are quickly able to find the culprit in your analog front end. You might care to have a look at my DIY Garrard 401 with Dynavector 501 arm. It makes me glad I went to the trouble.

Best regards,
Dan 

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

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Owner
In the last few months, I have spun vinyl more frequently than I have in the past. Vinyl pressing is much improved and more consistent than before, really liking what Chad Kassem's company QRP puts out. I added a couple of cartridges to the system, a Japanese MuTech Kanda MC cartridge, and a Benz Micro Wood SM.

scar972

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Owner
Hi Will,
I sent you an email.
Cheers, Anthony

scar972

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Anthony,

 I just read your post; Why no interest in reel to reel if you're looking for the ultimate sound?

You mention knowing someone who repairs reel to reels or you repair them? I have my Dad's 2 Teac Reel to Reels and have been wanting to get them going but know they will need a little work. They worked fine until he stopped using them and gave them to me, but they have been boxed up since then.

 Would you be able to share the place that works on them?  

You can reach me by email at; [email protected]

Thanks,
Will

flrun

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Owner
@lalitk thank you for your comments!
Maybe soon you'll come around on pursuing R2R, there's more new music available now than ever before and the point of entry to R2R is less than 2K.
You're absolutely right, I alternate between tube and SS amplification depending on the music and my mood, same goes for all the other source I have. Dan's Classic amp is great, I feel it's the same as the Progression stereo amp without the bling.

scar972

Center
Beautiful system, nice ensemble of vintage and modern electronics. I always wanted to pursue R2R but never got around to it. How do you like Dan’s Classic amplifier, do you alternate between tube and SS amplification?

Ag insider logo xs@2xlalitk

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Owner
Added a few analog sources over the last couple of years. Garrard 401 and 301 turntables. Ampex ATR-102 reel to reel, Studer A-810 and Studer A-807 reel to reel tape decks to play my master tape dubs.

scar972

Center
Thanks again for the compliment over on my system thread in April! I've been off the forum for quite a while and I've just seen it. 

Do love the combination of new and more classic/vintage gear in this system!

I hear ya on the 'if I had to do again...' aspect; if I can ever get to build a room from the studs up, I would double-stud and go with more insulation, overlapping drywall, etc...the current room sounds very good but it could use some work and redesign for audio. Enjoy the music!

Ag insider logo xs@2xzephyr24069

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Owner
Thank you for your kind words zephyr24069
No, I did not use any special materials for this room. I'm really happy with the result even with standard construction materials. If I had to do it over again I would probably go with thicker wall insulation and have more cabling option for my home theater system. 

scar972

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Beautiful room and system!  Thanks for the construction photos as well,...did you use any special materials during construction?

Ag insider logo xs@2xzephyr24069

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Owner
Hi robforst1, I've had good results using LPR35 purchased from www.splicit.com, he runs a small operation but the service has been great, especially if you're new to r2r.

scar972

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Hi scar972, i see that you own the D'agostino classic amp can you please discribe how it sounds.
I'm considering this amp for my future upgrade but don't know what wood be the outcome if mated with the Dartzeel NHB-18NS linestage.
I haven't seen anyone running this combo yet.

thieliste

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Cool system!  I noticed you have an Otari tape player.  I just bought one and wondered if you had any advice about good source tapes to buy?

robforst1

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Owner
Since I've been listening to digital more the last few weeks.

My setup now consisting of a MacBook Air as a music server running iTunes and BitPerfect. Digital to analog conversion is handled by the Ultra-Fi DAC-41. This is a DAC that just gets the music right! No oversampling or upconversion of any sort. All files are AIFF stored on a WD external drive. USB cable of choice is the Audioquest Carbon. 

scar972

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Owner
Sorry I missed your message Glenhifi, I'm just getting back to this forum, been so busy the last few years. Please share if you have already upgraded.

scar972

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