Description

My system is a collection of modern and vintage equipment I've gathered over the last 15 years, I admit I'm a geek for different formats. In the last few years, I've gotten seriously into reel to reel tape decks and playing copy of master tapes. Vintage Garrard turntables also have my interest and I'm sure I will explore other brands such as Thorens, Lenco, Technics, etc. in the near future. I'm very curious and hands-on so I'm always looking for the next project. There's so much more in this hobby that I will eventually get into and want to experience such as SET amps, horns, modifying different equipment. Thank you for visiting my page, your questions and comments are welcomed.

Happy Listening!

Anthony
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Room Details

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


Components Toggle details

    • Ampex ATR-102 with Flux Magnetic Heads
    Studio Mastering deck with Flux Magnetic heads configured for me by Dan Labrie at ATR Services.
    • Studer A807 reel to reel
    Head is wired out to a King/Cello tape head preamp designed by Charles King.
    Service by one of the best Studer tech, Marc Bischoff. 
    • King/Cello tape phono preamp
    I use this with my Studer A807 as an external tape preamp and also as a phono pre.
    • Studer A810 reel to reel
    This A810 belongs to a private owner for most of its existence. I have the original box and packing which is rarer than the deck itself. Fully restored by one of the best Studer tech, Marc Bischoff.
    Upgraded audio op amps, and power supply caps.
    • 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.
    • Dan D'Agostino Classic Stereo amp
    smooth 300 watt stereo amp that is musical and a joy to own
    • Audio Valve (Germany) Eklipse preamp
    NOS RCA clear tops. Natural, open, and detailed sound with very tight bass. I've been using Audio Valve products even before they appeared in Stereophile.
    • Audio Valve (Germany) Challenger modified amps
    Excellent mono-block amps, these I will probably keep with me forever. They are better than many currently made. Approximately 150 watt pure class A with almost no noise. Modified for use with Tung Sol KT-120's. Recently re-capped. Mine are the older version with glass all around, cathode/self bias, never sold here in the US. Hand made in Germany.
    • TW Acustic Raven One turntable
    Solid table with excellent motor and power supply..great speed stability. TTWeights copper mat and center weight are on this table.
    • Morch Moerch DP-6 tonearm
    Dual-Pivot, silver wire.
    From Denmark. can definitely compete with the best. Beautiful, delicate, and a joy to handle.
    • 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.
    • Garrard 401 turntable
    mounted on a birch ply plinth finished in high glossed Macassar Ebony. Schick tonearm, and Denon DL103SA cartridge. A perfect combination, and an audio bargain in terms of price to performance.
    • Thomas Schick 12" tonearm
    A simple and solid arm that matches perfectly with the Garrard 401 and Denon DL-103sa cartridge
    • Denon DL-103sa
    Limited Edition cartridge
    • Garrard 301 turntable
    Late production oil bearing Garrard 301
    with 12” Jelco TK850L MKII tonearm and Audio Technica AT33PTG/II cartridge.
    Plinth is layered birch ply finished in piano gloss Macassar Ebony.
    • Jelco TK-850L MKII
    12” MKII tonearm celebrating Jelco’s 100th year anniversary
    • Audio Technica AT33PTG/II cartridge
    Low output moving coil, Microline stylus, boron cantilever, occpc copper coils. A very nice audio bargain that delivers.
    • 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 CD player
    Excellent CD/SACD player.
    Detailed and extended.
    Sony's flagship player
    • Element Signature Titan Gold
    one pair gold and one pair copper. The copper is slightly warm of neutral, very organic. Gold is clean and sweet.
    • 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.
    • Auralex Acoustics Diffusors
    These diffusors were given to me by my friend Ish (GalantDiva). They are placed on the side walls at my first reflection point and one on each side parallel to my listening seat to eliminate flutter echo. These made drastic improvements to my room without deadening the sound like absorbers do. One of my biggest upgrade in a long time.
    • ATS Acoustics bass traps and panels
    • DIY Line Conditoner
    4 outlet cryod, line conditioner/surge protector. Has now been rewired different than picture. 5mm thick Aluminum chassis.
    • Home Theater System
    B&W and Paradigm speakers in a 5.1 set up, Rotel amp/pre combo with DTS HD-Master Audio. Optoma HD 3D projector, 110" motorized screen.

Comments 33

128x128
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!

zephyr24069

128x128
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

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

zephyr24069

128x128
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

Center
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

222222&text=ro
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

128x128
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

128x128
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

222222&text=tg
Glenfihi--

What were your thoughts of changing from the suspended Michell Gyro (with Orbe platter) to the non-suspended deck?  I'm at the crossroads considering upgrading my Gyro SE's powersupply and platter and wondering if I'd be better off going the VPI Classic Signature route.  (Some of suggested upgrading the tonearm SME IV as you have done with the Moerch).  

Your thoughts are greatly appreciated.  

Tom

tgonzales

128x128
Owner
Art,

It's certainly great to hear from ya!
Yeah my analog and speakers has changed a lot over the last couple of years, and to another level as you said. I think this is going to be it for a while since I will be a father next month.

You know you're always welcomed at my place:)

scar972

128x128
Owner
Glenfihi,

Yes, the Magico's has been a superb addition to my system, the best speakers I've had for sure. Extremely detailed while still sounding sweet and musical, this quality is hard to find. I've had Von Schweikert, Legacy's, Avalon, in the past few years.
I try to stay away from lean analytical sounding amps, they can make any great speaker sound mediocre.

scar972

222222&text=ar
Beautiful system Anthony! You've really worked on your setup and taken it to another level, congrats!

I hope I get invited over sometime!

Art

arthursmuck

222222&text=gl
Super Magico, finally had a chance to listen to a pair. Outstanding! Great system, sure it is a joy to listen too.

glenfihi

222222&text=an
Zanden is triode magic /nothing but music and also detailed .
And that is coming from a high power /big power supply / dynamics lover .
It has someting i cannot describe and i have never heard before , also not from very expensive kondo stuff which i heard a couple of times , there is great ease of sound and a kind of see through quality that gave me a :yeah thats it feeling , certainly on my buy/try list ,only funds restrict me nothing else

andromedaaudio

128x128
Owner
I've never listened to the Zanden/Magico combination.
Does this combo result in a musical sound or just detail galore?

scar972

222222&text=an
yeah i like the ascendant also .
Ascendants driven by all levinson /chord are still one of my most memorable listening expiriences.
I heard magico with zanden also top .

andromedaaudio

128x128
Owner
Yes, I still have the Ascendant, they will be up for sale in a couple of weeks, I've also listened to Eidolon, Ascent II and know the Avalon sound.

Comparing Ascendant to V3, the V3 is more detailed from top to bottom, the difference is not night and day but noticeable. Their tonal quality is suprisingly more of the same than different, keep in mind the Ascendant does not use the ceramic midrange that the upper end Avalon uses. The Ascendant is an exceptional value IMO.
What's special about the Magico speakers 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. The bass of the V3 is different than any other speakers I've had (this is my first acoustic suspension). Both has plenty of mid bass in my room but with the V3, I sense the drivers are moving a lot more air, while the loudness level sounds about the same, slightly tighter with the V3 actually. The bass of the V3 goes deeper than the Ascendant.
With all I've said so far, I don't think I've gotten the max out of the V3 yet. My amps give the Magico's 110 watt of tube power, I'm modifying the amp to give 140 plus watts, hopefully this will raise the performance level a tad.

scar972

222222&text=an
Nice system ,....nice speakers .
I see you ve traded the avalons(ascendant?) for the V 3 s , can you describe the differences , im just currious ,
i like both brands.

andromedaaudio

128x128
Owner
Thanks Peterayer, your system is very nice as well, I bet your Mini II sounds amazing with the Pass Labs XA160.5.

As for comparing the XP-15 to Xono, I've never A-B these two phono's in my own system but my friend uses the Xono with Ortofon A-90 and I have an idea of its qualities. Both are very neutral and quiet, they sound more alike than they are different, the XP-15 may have a bit more body compared to Xono making it sound more musical overall. Xono could sound a bit analytical if surrounding components aren't chosen cafefully. Of course, this is just my opinion, I could compare XP-15 to my former Tom Evans Groove much better.

scar972

222222&text=pe
Nice looking system. Could you describe the sonics of the Pass XP-15. I have the Xono and am considering an upgrade. Thanks.

peterayer

128x128
Owner
Thanks Kabaraka!
The Tom Evans Groove is an exceptional piece of equipment. It is ruthlessly revealing, transparent, fast, and dynamic. The downside of this phono is, it's not flexible. There's no cartridge loading option, and very hard to match cartridge with, many cartridge sounds crude and unlistenable. Sounds amazing if you know how to match it, haven't heard anything like it.

scar972

222222&text=ka
Nice system! I just got the Eklipse and it's sure a very wonderful pre indeed .How's Tom Evan phono? It was on my radar once but didn't take a chance to listen to it.

kabaraka

128x128
Owner
System edited: A few new pics added

scar972

128x128
Owner
System edited: Since my last update, I've changed the cartridge to ZYX Airy 3x, and phono to Tom Evans Groove. It was a journey before deciding on the Groove, I had Linn Linto, Dynavector, PS Audio, and Musical Fidelity phono in my system. All has its strengths, but more important was that the Groove offer the type of sound I wanted to listen to at this point. My analog is now very fast, detailed, dynamic and exciting to listen to.

scar972

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