Audio Hobby Thoughts, Philosophy & System Description 

Current Room Anchors - Room 1 and 2 active

Room 1 - Matrix 800's anchors -  for creating that ..........Maxell Tape Effect. 
Room 2 - (Adjacent to Room 1) - Quad 57 + two Dynaudio BM12s subs - Midrange reference
Room 3 - Acoustat Model 3 - Modded - upstairs - For imaging larger than life  (literally speaking) - see last picture. Unfortunately is next to my wifes TV room. So it gets limited use.
Stored - B&W Electrostatic DM70c Continental - Wife calls them the washing machines. John Bowers called them his favorite speaker.   Very interesting and very rare. Could anchor a room but they need special placement and lots of room. ESL portion needs to be 100% functional and at ear level or they will sound soft. 

Room 2 is mostly digital, guests, and used for trialing used unplayed records before they make the queue for room 1.  Room 1 has been called by my family as Dads Hole. I prefer panic room as it helped to raise my kids and stay far. 

Psychology Part 

Music is critical to ones health and well being. I went through a couple stretches in life due to events without it and the results were not good. The goal for me to get lost in the music and have it transport me to that special place. Now whether you get there by a typical 2 channel home stereo with speakers, headphones, or other means is not important. Getting there is the important part.  

Audiophile not.....

Have always been the type that if I frequent a room enough, a system usually ends up in there. My wife finally put an end to this, and allows me to do what I want in the full basement of our In this described virtual system, I have had Room A since 1994. Adjacent Room B is in the process of being finished, but I have been using it for listening for a few years now adding in room treatments as needed.   


Like many others, have been at this audio hobby since I was about 13 when I was consciously aware of the gear versus the actual music relationship. I am now 55 and currently with two adjacent music rooms setup with different gear. Both rooms can do full orchestra symphonies with large dynamic swings. Getting Room B with the Quad 57's to do this was a challenge; but I was able to get it to work with the right amps and powered subs. The Quads require a very different room acoustic setup over the Matrix 800's in Room A.  

I am a pure amateur, audiophile, music lover, past trombone player, and have never been part of the Audio Business as a manufacturer, dealer, distributor, or have any special interest relationships with any of these people. I consider myself a full time music lover, and part time audiophile; although I have friends that could argue this point. I have tried to upload pics and information here, that give a flavor of some of my audio journeys, and associated bouts of Audiophilia Nervosa.  :^)

"Audio Heaven, is for Music Lovers - Audiophiles are never happy.
With that, in the real, authentic, Heaven;  there is room, even for Audiophiles"  

Living in the country

Having moved away from the city core in the 90's, I have found that audiophiles away from the cities, are in general, scare to find and or keep to themselves. Many of my audio friends are now remote, due to the distance between us; so only virtual communications are possible most of the time. 

The negative aspects of Isolation aside;  one good aspect of living in the country is the clean power and lack of noise and vibrations caused by traffic, trucks, etc...Once experienced and its effect on your listening, you become very aware of the multitude of audiophile products available as band aids, to cover, veil, but never eliminate these artifacts in densely populated areas. 

Thanks for reading and please say Hi.  

Happy Listening  


Room Details

Dimensions: 24’ × 20’  Large
Ceiling: 8’

Components Toggle details

    • My Music Library Records, Tape, Cd's, Files.
    I was born in the 60's so I grew up with Classic Rock, Beatles, etc... But I love all music, new music and Opera hits home with me. I played trombone in Jr and High school so the Bass Clef has a bias with me.  Listen more now to the ladies crooning at me, Classical and Jazz with occasional Classical Rock; I think a well recorded full Orchestra Symphony with huge Dynamic swings has the most magic for me.
    • ***** MAIN ROOM aka Panic Room, Dad's Hole, ....*****
    I have had Room A since 1994. It has 3 dedicated lines 20, 20 , 15. This room is personal use. Room B is more for entertaining and spending time with friends. 

    Room A is much better insulated and isolated from my wife. As much as I would like to move the Matrix 800's to the larger Room B space to try them, it would probably just get me that much more trouble.  

    Room A and B are both located on a concrete poured floor. A has a an underpad and flat carpet on top. Spikes from gear stands and speakers are able to penetrate to the concrete with no problem ensuring a solid mechanical connection. The speakers are located 6 feet from the front wall with the room being 24 ft in length. Putting in the 800's over the 801's meant that some of the room treatments were able to be removed due to the 800's double woofers high and low.  This is also one of the reasons I call them very room friendly.
    • RTR - Studer Tape Deck - For Listening & Vinyl Tuning
    RTR - Studer - used to play 15 IPS Tapes. 
    1/4 inch 2 track machine. The three pictures attached. Top Left - known as two turntables. my machine being worked on Middle pic - 807 Top Right Pic. A picture of Roger Ginsley with a 48 track machine he is about to split into two 24 tracks. My Studer 807 is calibrated by him. He is also the one that makes the interconnects I use with it.
    • JC Verdier La Platine Vintage Granito Original Design

    Just a delight to use. With its presentation, sends the message home that it is all amount the music. Effortless, seamless, but experience is needed is setting up the thread. A real Goldilocks scenario of the thread being too loose, too tight or just right.  Different thread tensions alternate how the motor and platter work together and change the speed. The objective is to get the correct speed with as little effect from the motor. ....  
    Original design. Granito Model My version uses a motor only equipped for thread Granito base and solid aluminum billet armpod. The later newer motors are equipped now for belts too - but no one runs them this way that I know of. This decision was made imo to generate more sales as it is easier to setup. But imo the belt grip would play havoc with the motor / magnets marriage which was designed for thread. I would think that belt stretch and its physical changes with temp and humidity changes would also cause problems, and interfere with the natural braking action of the magnets. This is my opinion as mine is thread only. There is a greater learning curve involved with thread. 

    This is the only turntable I am aware of whose platter design includes both acceleration (inertia) and braking (natural forces from same pole magnets) to deal with the records behavior - going from soft to heavily modulated grooves. The motor design, like a marriage with the platter. Think of the childhood merry go rounds that once up to speed - even a little girl could keep them going. To understand how the motor and platter are like a marriage, one need only turn the motor off and the platter spins for 30 seconds with the thread attached. However cut the thread while the platter is turning, and the platter stops much quicker as the two magnets demonstrate their braking capability. Impressive to me is just the plain simplicity of design using physics to get the job done with a piece of string and magnets. I found it important in setup to have the thread positioned in a way that is the least intrusive on the platter; so as to allow the platter to not only do its job as designed; but to also provide the needed jolts as required from the motor to maintain speed stability. 

     In my opinion - you will know when you have set it up properly because you are able to turn the motor off and on and also deflect the thread with your finger - as the records plays - and not affect the music delivery to your ears. I base this when compared directly to 15 IPS Master Tape dubs. In testing for accuracy I run both simultaneously with one lagging 10 seconds behind the other and switch between the two - compensating for gain as tape is a high level signal. When the thread is setup in this fashion there is minimal stress put on it. The current silk thread I am using has recently passed the one year mark. Overall Big Sound from a small piece of thread. 

    Some facts Magnetic bearing design. Brass colored rings are big shielded permanent magnets; same magnet poles repelling each other. The result is "levitation" the space you see between them. No thrust bearing involved. A central spindle bathed in a special oil keeps them aligned. For me personally I did not know what TT bearing noise sounded like until I heard music on a TT without a physical bearing. The plinth is made of Granito. Granito is not real granite but a non-resonant material that looks and feels like granite. A limited edition model.

     "Granito is a material composed by little pieces of marble of very different origin agglomerated inside a mold with cement. Machined and polished. The resonance of the plinth with its suspension is about 5Hz and it is well absorbed by the air cavities." 

    Mr. JC Verdier Note: Newer Platines are provided with a setup bearing. The manual is very clear on the setup bearing. It is just that - a setup tool only. COUNTERFEIT PLATINES Unfortunately there are non-authentic tables out there worldwide from 20 different counterfeiting makers. These tables are out there with people using them. If anyone is unaware of this, see the Platine Information on the JC Verdier website for more info.]Platine 

    The only advice I can give is when buying a Verdier Platine you should be careful to ensure it is a real Platine, especially if buying privately. If you already have one and have doubts, check with an authorized dealer or J.C. Verdier company in France to ensure it is authentic.  
    • Custom Eminent Technology Model 2.5 for MC Carts
    This is a custom build ET 2.5 Tonearm from Bruce Thigpen - A 19 PSI design.I am using the new Long I Beam. Weights are reduced by half and therefore the vertical inertia is higher - a goal of the design. The Aluminum Gooseneck was sourced from NZ. It was through Richard Krebs also an ET2 owner.  I am using Single Shot WBT wiring, Aluminum mount plate. Magnesium armtube. Double Leaf Spring and damping trough. If you are an ET2 owner you know what I am talking about :^).... Advantages of the ET2 airbearing linear tracker tonearm - no VTF changes with VTA adjustment, no offset setup, antiskating and immunity to acoustic feedback, as it rides on film of air.

    One shot wire. Run at 19 PSI. Damping trough with 1 cc of Oil. Lead weights at the very end of the I Beam.

    VTA on the fly while the record plays and it doesn't change any parameters (VTF) like all other tonearms do. This is due to a patented VTA on the fly system. Have you ever noticed how with same thickness records....some can sound brighter, some bloated and some just right? When they press the records the different plants can have different standards. Records are then cut with varying angles.. even same thickness ones.

    See ET2 Bass Management Below
    • Tonearm Wiring Loom - One shot WBT NextGen
    2011 One shot wiring loom for the ET 2.5. WBT 0102 CU connectors. The design of the ET2 (2.5) allows for this wiring to be changed out in about 10 minutes. Silver and copper can be experimented with.
    • The PUMP ET2
    Life Support for the ET2's.
    Timeter 3000 Medical Industrial Pump. The most important part of the ET2 arms setup. Industrial commercial grade medical pump. Its actually a patient respirator.

    These have an hours counter and come up for sale cheaply on ebay. If you have space in your basement somewhere they are turnkey once set up.

    I have tried large aquarium pumps, smaller medical pumps, compressors.

    This Timeter Medical 50 psi pump has been customized to allow me to regulate air pressure coming out and send 19 psi to the ET2 tonearms. Another regulator with gauge at the arm allows me to accurately adjust for the PSI coming into the arm. Located in another room -cannot be heard in sound room when running.

    The smoothness of air delivery is excellent. No resonance. The pump dumps/expels moisture like a car's AC. Have never seen a drop in the moisture collector; other than one incident when the pump outlet clogged with minerals from the moisture. I now soak the pump outlet in CLR for 2 hours every two months.

    • ET2 In Room Air Regulator & Filter
    2nd Regulator and Filter on wall near the ET arm. Confirms and controls the 19 psi and also filters out moisture in line. Have never seen any moisture in this filter. This device lets me change the pressure going to the arm by just turning the top mounted knob. This regulator is mobile. It can be placed in my lap while the music is playing and pressure adjusted to hear how it affects the music delivery.
    • Audio Research DAC8
    From a DAC only function perspective identical to the ARC REF DAC except the output stage is tubed on the REF. Interesting read.  :^)

    • Audio Research SP11 - MKII Pre Amp Modded
    Owned many many years. Modded power supply box. Variable Gain for dealing with hot, and compressed source material - Digital and Analog. On the fly cartridge impedance loading. Used in ARC's hotrod mode. Direct output and bypass switch engaged. Amperex Bugle Boys.
    • Matrix 800
    Unique one time all assault effort from B&W at a time when 2 channel was the focus. Smooth, musical yet still detailed. Room Friendly if you can believe it. Imagine 4 subs two high and two low pointed at you for 2 channel music. Each driver 2 woofer, mids, tweeter have their own crossover easily accessible from the back. 
    They were a  2 1/2 year study from Bowers & Wilkins under John Bowers (RIP). I have looked for a long time for a pair. The only time they become available are through owners going to a smaller condo (retiring or divorce).

    All B&W 800 models that followed the Matrix series are the same only in model designation - 800. They are not a replacement or upgrade. They are a different build, design, objectives, sound. Post Matrix 800's are a smaller speaker system (require a sub for full range); they do have better WAF (more easily placed into a shared room with the wife)

    800 matrix can be played at low and high levels with the right amp.
    93db 2.83 volts/1m, Mine are Quad wired. They can be run on four separate amps if one desires as each driver has its own crossover. 

    Top and bottom woofers each excite a different set of waves. These waves cancel each other out. Thats the theory. My listening supports this. Smooth tight bass. It is quite something to experience since their size make you think they will over take the room. Also IMO each woofer works only half as much with four versus two for the desired SPL.  All of this results in a very flexible listening position. All drivers are physically isolated with separate crossovers and Van Den Hul silver wiring from the factory. I run them with both tubes and Solid State. Krell and  the modded Music Reference RM9.  

    Krell Amplifier Story
    My research found me talking with Dan D'Agostino who used matrix 800's as his reference speakers when he designed this era of Krell amps.
    Specifically the FPB series like my FPB600. On a dedicated 20 amp circuit with upgraded 20 amp power cord using Furutech Gold IEC.

    600 wpc - 8 ohms,
    1200 wpc 4 ohms,
    2400 wpc 2 ohms.

    The speakers are a 4 ohms design due to the double woofers.
    New spiders in all the four woofers.
    • KRELL FPB600 & KRELL Bass Alignment Filters
    Krell / 800 Matrix Interface. KRELL FPB600 KRELL 800 Matrix BAF Furutech IEC. 

     20 amp power cord. 
     20 amp wall service.
    • ROGER MODJESKI Music Reference RM9 MODDED
    I have two of his amps. RM10 used with QUAD 57's

    RM9 Push Pull Tube Amp.
    Used to power Acoustat, 801, 800 speakers.
    WBT 0700 Connectors.
    KT88 output tubes.
    Hardwired for 4 ohm tap. Total Overhaul done April 2015
    • 800 Series Bass Alignment Filter / Equalizer.

    The graph shows the 801 matrix frequency response with and without the filter.

    All 800 series B&W matrix speakers are an active design and are intended to be used with an equalizer by the designer (John Bowers) to achieve the best frequency response.
    This attached graph was sent to me by B&W Europe years ago 

    It is the frequency plot for the 801 matrix "without" using the supplied Bass Alignment Filter. (not sure if it is 801 s2 or s3)
    B&W England are the ones that drew the two dotted lines on the graph. 

    The 801 matrix speakers were designed to be used with the BAF. The speakers with BAF devices were shipped to original owners. But these devices became lost as speakers changed hands. They pop up on their own on ebay.  

    The two interesting parts.  

    Part 1 

    Not only does adding the BAF filter as designed give you a smoother response and allow the speaker to hit 20 hz.  The BAF makes the 801 matrix speaker much more efficient. The ohm ratings can be seen on the right 8 - 6 - 4 - 2 ohms. The 801 matrix s2 and s3 are a very easy 6 ohm steady load with the active equalization provided by the BAF. This opens up amp choices.    

    Part 2 

    Audiophile opinions on the BAF device are kind of split. Not sure if its an even 50% like it, 50% don't like it, but you have the two camps. Why the difference? The room; its acoustic properties, and how the 801 (aka relationship destroyer) deals with it. There is a reason B&W no longer make the 801.  You need a dedicated room. Its makes no business sense. 

    801 matrix owners today (there are many out there and some reading here), that could NOT make the BAF work with the speaker; or who never used it, or even heard of the BAF before;  are taxing their amps way more to make bass with the 801.  
    • ************ SECOND ROOM ***********************
    A backwards seven with the main section 20 -23. This room is the "top of the Seven". It is separated from the bottom portion of the Number 7 shape (12 x 24) by a heavy curtain. It is also adjacent to my other room of which the door is left open. The back of the room has the stairs that go upstairs. One of the pictures has me standing on the stairs. All this makes for a much bigger room as far as sound volume and space is concerned. An in progress dedicated listening space that accommodates different speaker types.
    • ******************SPEAKERS ***********************************
    03/31/2011 Dynamic, ESL, Planar IMO - We listen to our rooms. The speakers in the rooms are like boats. They both represent freedom to me. A 12 foot aluminum boat is perfect for a small lake and your favourite person. But out on the ocean or a big body of water … The water/boat analogy in this case is like your room and speakers. Water waves versus sound waves. There is no perfect boat and no perfect speaker. This is because all our rooms are different and the room is the big rock in this audiophile game. Speakers represent the last piece in the audio chain. Their sound represents everything in your audio chain especially the room, before it reaches your ears. Every piece will have an effect on what is heard. This IMO is why it is so important to have a good source. The last few years my speakers have remained intact and I have concentrated on improving the source components. Each time I improved the source my main speakers improved as well. This tells me they are not a bottleneck and I have not yet reached their limits.
    • Dynaudio Acoustics BM12s - Two of these in my Quad Room B .
    Two of these in Room B -  18hz - 60 hz. 
    4th order Linkwitz- Riley crossovers have a really steep slope past 60 hz.
    On paper this made them look like a really good match for the Quad 57's; but how does such a small box make 18 hz.  They have class a/b amps are 4 ohms. 
    I brought them home and demoed them. Very Punchy, Clean and they go really low. A great match with the raised Wayne Picquet Quad 57's. They are placed under the speakers - see pic in my virtual system. 
    • Quad 57 Wayne Picquet rebuild with Music Reference RM10 AMP
    Quad ESL-57 - Wayne Picquet Panels Partnered with the amp that was designed for them - Music Reference RM10 by Roger Modjeski.

    With certain music magic for me.

    8/20/2012 These Quad 57 speakers were designed and put out before I was born. The parts inside which I have replaced like the EHT modules were stamped 1971. Fourteen years after they originally came out. The panels themselves are only a few years old. They were rebuilt by Wayne Piquet in Florida.
    The normal music presentation for stock Quad 57’s is as if listening to music from the first row of a balcony. If using stock feet a 2 or 4 x 4 piece of wood or brick under the rear leg angling the speaker downwards toward you actually raises this image. This may be a more realistic presentation in your room.

    Check out my review.
    • 801 Active Monitors - Currently Stored
    Currently Stored - "Winnie the Pooh" of speakers. Relationship Destroyer. Owned since 1994. Serious Sound Pressure Speaker can re-create an event in your room when positioned and driven properly. Mothers milk bass. During my time with them have used Solid State and Tube amps (Push Pull and OTL's).  In comparison to the DM70 Electrostatic, If the 801 and DM70 were cowboys. The 801s are wearing black hats and the DM70 white ones.  

    801 Matrix S2 and S3 - Designed by John Bowers to be Active Monitors with use of the BAF and become a sixth-order Butterworth alignment. Without the high pass filter they are a vented fourth-order design, specifically in a Bessel alignment. "Fourth-order" is an engineering term that refers to all vented and passive-radiator speakers; sealed boxes are "second order."  

    They are not full range to 20 hz without the BAF. 


    From Stereophile (re: S2) "Higher in frequency, the response trend (averaged across a 30 degrees lateral window on the tweeter axis) is basically flat, but with a slight excess of energy in the presence region and a corresponding lack of energy in the top octave. All things being equal, this will make the speaker both a little too revealing of recorded detail and somewhat fussy when it comes to the quality of source and amplification components, just as LL noted in his auditioning comments." 


    801 S2 versus S3. 
    Some of the changes. S3 used a different crossover than s2 - less component count. Better isolated mid and hf boards. Bass inductors with an iron dust core . Rotating midrange – tweeter head assembly was permanently connected. (from 3 to 4 pin delivering separate ground signals to midrange and tweeter) Magnetic fluid cooling of the tweeter (like the 800 matrix) - the reason the apoc protection eliminated (circuits needed for this were also removed) 


     In nearfield very revealing of room setup, system components - SS and Tube, cabling, TT drive systems, poorly recorded music. They reveal all the flaws of the recording. 

    Depending on your audio hobby objectives this can be a good thing or a bad thing...

    See picture of the Bass Alignment Filter. 
    • B&W Electrostatic DM70 John Bowers / JansZen Hybrid
    B&W DM70 Electrostatic Continental Hybrid Speaker Clockwork Orange Movie The late John Bowers (RIP) favorite speakers. JansZen ESL - 500hz and up. B&W Woofer - 500hz and down. Require a large room - elevated to ear level and a good distance from the front wall. Very refined midrange - muscular bass. Non-directional with a large sweetspot.

    n]Designed in 1970. No cost or time constraints during the development. From what I can make out they were discontinued due to costs involved.
    Version One - Power handling 25 watts at all frequencies.
    Version Two - The later DM70 Improved, which looked identical, is suitable for amplifiers of 25-100w, but seems otherwise identical.

    500hz crossover - ESL panel can not be overdriven and is nondirectional.

    ESL Panel was provided by JansZen.
    Sensitivity is 17 watts into nominal impedance required to produce a sound level of 95 dB. at one metre at 400 Hz
    Double fuse protection C and CA versions.

    Restored and refurbished. Silver wiring inside
    • Modded Acoustat Model 3 - Used In Shared Space Upstairs
    Finally hooked up the Model 3's to the OTL's in a temporary fashion.

    These are in our living area shared space
    Custom modded Model 3;s.
    They have rebuilt interfaces.
    Unique granite bases with integrated spikes that weigh 80 lbs.
    Burl Oak Veneer facing and the inside is filled with small sand bags.
    • Technics SP10 MKII with 2nd ET2 High Pressure Manifold
    March 11, 2013 Update

    Next version ? will replace the current black base plinth with a more aesthetic one.

    Pet Project - Has taught me a lot about resonances and vibrations.
    SP10MKII Version Five
    Solid Stainless Steel Legs have threads at both ends and are bolted into the sp10 top plate as well as the solid plinth/platform. The armpod is bolted into the plinth. The plinth is then isolated by the AT-616 Pneumatic footers.
    19 lb Solid Brass Pod
    1 inch Diameter Solid Stainless Steel.

    Previously I had the SP10 MKII in a heavy 7 layer plinth. Birch ply + one mdf layer. This SP10MKII came from a private studio.

    This is the second ET2 I own and it is a high pressure manifold

    Detailed tips and observations here.
    • Jean Nantais 100 LB Two Tonearm Custom Lenco
    Jean Nantais Custom turntable.
    100 Pounds - Veneered - Two Tonearm Plinth
    Lenco L75 motor and top plate rebuilt to his standards.
    Reference model spindle, bearing thrust plate.
    Bonded Metacrylate mat
    Bearpaw footers.
    IEC outlet.
    • ************ SOME NOTABLE MEMORIES **************************
    For me some notable equipment. Currently stored or sold-indicated as such.
    • McAlister OTL 195
    OTL195 There is a review contained in my system thread. In comparisons to good Solid State Class A and Push Pull amps they were like driving a 911 but you are limited to 1st gear when pushed. Very fast and punchy. But lack the bass that push pull deliver on. Get the bass right and everything else comes into place. These amps are designed around the needs of Acoustats. My Acoustats are in the shared room upstairs. I no longer own the OTL's.
    • Fidelity Research FR64s
    Gimbal Pivot Arm. I found excellent build quality and a nicely implemented antiskate system. I also found a low frequency resonance that accentuated the bass. A warmer sounding tonearm. It was in my second room with the second ET2 not the ET 2.5. Whenever I started a session with the FR64s it was always nice. But curiosity would always prevail and I would switch over to the ET2. It would always remain there. This happened more times than I can remember. I am not a tonearm collector so it was sold to raise funds for another project. I am in agreement with what Cartridge designer Johnathan Carr had to say about it.
    • Modded VPI's
    Thread driven TNT and a JMW 12 using rollerblock jrs. SOLD
    • Acoustat Spectra 33
    Acoustat Spectra 33
    • Eminent Technology LFT 8a
    Set up in midfield - soundstage at both sides of the room. So the speaker shown is the left or the right one depending on side of room you are on. Excellent Magnetic Planar Hybrid Woofer Speaker. Very natural sounding but difficult to drive.
    • ****************AUDIOPHILE FUN + ET 2 TONEARM MODS ************** ****
    From here down are some inserts from past audiophile fun. 
    Also contained here is important information on the ET2, 2.5  tonearms as well as some of the mods I have done to them. If any questions on any of them let me know. No Holds Barred tonearm. User needs to be mechanically inclined and be willing to read ET2 manual instructions for proper setup of this tonearm. If bought on the used market a friend that is familiar with the tonearm for proper inspection of condition is important. 
     Audiogon ET2 thread
    Goldilocks and the Three Turntables . See Sept 20, 2019 post comment below on my virtual system for findings / details. 

    Belt Drive (converted to thread) VPI TNT Idler - Jean Nantais Custom 100 Lb Direct Drive - SP10MKII When compared in the same room(nearfield), with same gear, tonearm and cartridge, same time, differences are revealed. Out into rooms on their own, this is not as noticeable as our ears deal with different room acoustics. ymmv
    In room comparison.
    • Thread Drive Comparisons
    2010 testing out different threads. Fabricland became a favorite place of mine.
    • ET 2 Tonearm Proper Bass Management - ATB
    According to Bruce
    My ears agree
    • ET 2.0 Manifold Before and After Cleaning
    Pictures courtesty of a friend.
    • ET2 VTA Block Destroyed
    Thigpen Genius showing VTA Block rack of teeth and worm gear. This one was abused. If you are buying a used one ensure the rack of teeth seen in the pic are uniform with no wear and baldspots. This is an indicator that the VTA block was misused and rigidly tightened stripping the teeth. The bolt was tightened to a point that shattered the CF.
    • ET 2.0 2.5 Tonearm VTA Block Torquing Procedure
    VTA Block - Ensure each of the four bolts is torqued equally or the patented VTA system will be off. This procedures takes just minutes and should be done off table or you will throw your alignment off. Once bolts are torqued the manifold housing can be mounted to the pillar post and the rest of the setup completed.
    • ET 2.0, 2.5 Tonearm Magnesium versus Aluminum Armtubes
    Mag - MC Cartridges Aluminum - MM Catridges The middle ground is the Carbon Fibre arm tube. MM and MC.
    • ET 2.0, 2.5 Custom Aluminum Joint - aka GOOSENECK
    Black one is the stock one. Sourced from Richard Krebs
    • ET Tonearm Counterweight Bolt Mod
    Get a longer counterweight bolt especially if you like to use heavier cartridges. The stock ET2 bolt is on the right. The longer bolt weighs a bit more, holds more lead weights and allows you to use less lead further out on the I Beam. This provides for the highest vertical mass which is really important with the ET2 as it has medium to high horizontal mass. a 4 - 1 horizontal to vertical ratio. In my system higher vertical mass means cleaner, less resonant, overall better bass.
    The brass rings are meant for balancing only. I prefer to use Blue Tack for this purpose.
    • Et2 Leaf Spring Mods Single, Double, Triple
    General Cartridge Guideline 
     Single Leaf Spring - High compliance 
     Double - Medium Compliance 
     Triple - Low compliance
    • ET2 Pedestal Custom 3
    Solid Brass Arm Pod
    • Koaltar Tweak
    my pal 6 months, 79 lbs.
    • Kitty Tweak Bengal
    a real sweetheart
    • RCA Victor Dog
    I introduce Lucky. He is a mixed breed Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix breed. He will be acting as the Victor RCA dog, 

    The original Victor RCA dog.  
    He was named Nipper and was born in 1884 in Bristol, England, and died in September 1895. He was a mixed-breed dog and probably part Jack Russell Terrier, although some sources suggest that he was a Smooth Fox Terrier, or "part Bull Terrier". He was named Nipper because he would bite the backs of visitors' legs.

Comments 669

Hi Chris,

I'm glad to hear you were able to rearrange your subs positioning and come out with a better result. Makes it all worthwhile.


Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

June 2018 

Have been using Room # 2 Quad 57 / Dynaudio Bm12s - (Two of them), for the last week;  even with my wife home upstairs..... and she has been complaining about the bass.  The sub on the right side happens to be directly under the room she uses upstairs.  

So I relocated both subs to the other side of the room on either side of the main listening couch. I have used this type of Sub set up before when I had one sub in that room. Same results but better. Was able to turn the levels down on  the Subs three notches.  Changing the phase to 180 degrees completed the setup.  I now get all the bass I want at higher listening levels and I do not encroach on her space. (at least not as much :^0 )  Subs are set to 60 hz and down.   The Quad 57's are run full out on the Music Reference RM10.    

This is the advantage of having separate subs. A problem with using full range speakers like the Matrix 800's is that you are forced to position them for imaging and bass response, at the same time. Some rooms make this difficult. 


Love the George story.  An affliction we must guard against.


May 2018 

This is a true story. The names have been changed to protect the innocent. 

"George and his Records -  Audiophile beginnings". 

George had one turntable, one tonearm, one cartridge, and collection of a 1000 records of which 10% or 100 ..... were pulled from the shelves next to him, cleaned and available for listening.  The titles of the 100 Records  would change as time went by. Records would get taken from the 1000, and interchanged with these 100 records. George found 100 records manageable.   He called these his "ready to play" records, and the music on  these specific records represented his current state of mind and being. The focus of his record playing was the music on the records themselves.  George is a Music Lover.  

One day George visited an Audio Salon and he was intrigued by the gear that he saw in there.  So intrigued, that he ended up buying another tonearm and cartridge to put on his turntable.  Now George noticed that this second tonearm and cartridge changed his record playing behavior. Instead of just listening to his records as he always did;  he was now intrigued by the different sounds that the new tonearm and cartridge was making in his room compared to the old setup.  This was very interesting to him. He would switch from his old tonearm/cartridge to the new combo and back again. This new behavior, went unnoticed by George at first. His interest in hearing the different sounds from both tonearms, cartridges,  meant that he was also now going through a smaller sample of the records;  maybe 20 of the 100 ready play records. There was just no time to hear more of them. This didn't bother George as he was having so much fun. So much fun in fact,  that George decided he was going to add a third tonearm/cartridge.  

Well with the three tonearms and cartridges set up,  George was now down to a rotation of only 5 records.  George was fascinated with the different sounds each produced on the same record.  He even bought extra copies of the same album to play repeats on the different tonearms/carts, one at a time, so he could hear the differences.  His wife Wendy, now noticed that he was starting to replay songs more and more. She started to get a  little worried, but as he was in the house with her, and not in a bar with friends drinking,  she did not approach him or worry too much about it.    

George had now reached a level where he could tell the strengths and weaknesses of each of the tonearms/cart combos in his system kit, in his room,  when playing same records.  He could feel and see  the differences in the gear builds, and the resulting differences in sound they made. George was now listening to the gear, the equipment, and no longer to the music on the records themselves.  The records had become but another piece of gear.  The focus of his record playing was now the gear, and hearing differences between the different tonearm/cartridge components.  George was having a lot of fun.

One day, George thought to himself...... I wonder if I changed that speaker for .......

.........Audiophile Beginnings   


April 2018 

Sold the B&W 801 that I was storing for my son.  Not really the type of speaker you would store for your daughter, right ? His sister is a fraternal twin.  Anyway.  

Came to the realization that if he (23 years now) ever gets an apartment one day and moves out;  those speakers  will probably get him kicked out. Plus he will be needing me to supply everything in front of them in the space.  
I have had him and friends in both rooms listening to LP's, Tape, and Digital. I have also let him play his music in Room 1 from his device, or stream from his online source through my dedicated music server laptop, connected to the ARC DAC 8.  

So what's not to like ? 

The room has no mobility.  Cannot follow him around.  :^(   


Hi Eric - Audiogoneer  Banquo363 found this unit for me. I have been using its smaller brother the Aridyne 3000 for 10? years now. A pic of it is in my virtual system. I got this one for a couple hundred dollars, but being in Canada I paid a King's ransom to bring it here from the US.  :^( 

They can be found on Ebay and Medical reseller websites but they usually have anywhere from 5000, 10000, or more hours on them, after coming to the end of their lease, rental. They get bought by these surplus dealers from hospitals and resold. The less than 300 hours on this one and knowing how well they work, it was one I could not pass up. 

Higher hours are not an issue as they are designed to be run 24 /7 - so using them for a 6-8 hour music listening session is nothing. Being on castors they can placed anywhere and moved around. It uses a coalescing filter system so it doesn't need an external condensation system, making it pretty much plug and play.   The actual air pump is suspended by springs !  


Man, that is one serious compressor!


March 2018 

Added the Timeter Aridyne 2000 for use with my Eminent Technology 2.5 tonearm.

I found this unit with only 289 hours on it.   


Feb 2018 

When the box for the Ultrasonic Cleaning tank bath arrived last year, it came in a non descript brown generic looking box with small labels.  It came a week before my wife's birthday.  

My wife intercepted the courier, I was not home. She opened it and thought I had bought her a deep fryer for her birthday.  She called me about it sounding disappointed.
"Did you really get me a deep fryer for my birthday"  ? 

Without thinking I said the first thing that came to me 

"no it's not for your birthday,  it's for cleaning the records" 

Bad answer. Still not out of that hole yet.   


My kids brought some nasties home late in the year and made me sick.  Took two weeks to get over.  OD'ed on Netflix 

By mid January was finally in a state of mind to plow through some of this un played record collection. I will continue to do so until the weather makes it possible for me to float on the water again. The ground hog has predicted another 6 weeks of winter. Shoveling, Cleaning and Listening will help pass the time.  


Added a picture of Bruce'  long I Beam on the custom ET 2.5 tonearm that he built for me.  See second pic, after the pic of Lucky staring down the horn.  
Hope everyone is doing well from a health and music listening perspective.  
Prepping for the second half of summer here.    


Chris, out of necessity, I have replaced several transport mechanisms and/or laser modules, all with successful outcomes. Oddly enough, when I replaced the laser on my Esoteric DV-60, I decided to order another to have in reserve. The transport mechanism w/laser module was cheaper than the laser module alone.

Now I'm set for the long haul. I like this player enough, that it will remain in my system for as long as I'm still listening to it. (Hopefully, a good long time yet).


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CD player laser module replacement easy ? 

I went  Computer Audio quite a while ago in my main room. But I have a few CD players lying around like everyone else.  My Rega Saturn finally gave up the ghost and Rega support in Canada wanted $300+ and shipping to fix the problem. As an IT Career guy I knew something was up. This did not sound right. 

It uses a Sanyo SF-P101N transport. They are available for $10 bucks from China. So what did I have to lose. I ordered one. The problem is they use Camels to deliver the parts - took over a month to get to me.  But it got here this week. So ? 

I exchanged transports and voila - it works again this Saturn CD player. 
I use it in the Quad setup Room 2. 

In hindsight the transports themselves hardly go bad - its the laser that goes bad. It caused the transport to make noises making you think the transport is no good. 

Important.  Laser Module Anti Static Solder Point.  

Note: there is an anti static solder point next to the ribbon connector on the laser module that needs to be removed before using the new laser. If you order an entire transport you will need to remove the laser module in order to get access,  to remove the solder point.  if you try to use the new Laser without taking out the solder point you will get a No Disc Message on your player. 

This video shows how to remove the anti static solder point allowing the laser to function.

This link tells you what kind of DAC and transport your CD Player uses.

Happy Listening


Added Lucky to the gear component list. He will be acting in the capacity of the RCA Victor dog. Lucky is half Jack Russell, and half Chihuahua. 

History from His Master's Voice painting.
The original RCA Victor dog was called Nipper, and was born in 1884 in Bristol, England, and died in September 1895.He was a mixed-breed dog and probably part Jack Russell Terrier, although some sources suggest that he was a Smooth Fox Terrier, or "part Bull Terrier". He was named Nipper because he would bite the backs of visitors' legs.


Kitty Adventures - Mid Winter 2017 Post 

Hello fellow Music Lovers and Audiophiles

This post attempts to answer the mystery question "Where did my turntable drive system go"

Some background first 

When building out Room A in 1994, the ceiling venting system for the Heating and Air Conditioning was blocked off and plugged in this basement order to  better insulate and isolate the room from the rest of the house. Meaning one wife and less than a year old fraternal twins.  The result of this isolation/insulation... is that during the colder winter days, the door leading to the room needs to be left open to help heat the room. Not normally a problem. But ever since our daughter started travelling abroad, we have been babysitting her Bengal kitty see Pic 40/41.  

....and the situation changed.

The first clue ....was finding an Amperex Bugle Boy tube in the middle of Room A on the carpet. Tracing back this audio tube made its way to this spot only after - being removed from its wrapping on the back work bench ....dodging thick speaker cables and 1st, the large Krell amplifier, followed by the Krell bass Alignment filter to its final resting spot 6 feet away. The tube traveled approximately 15 feet. 

I was alarmed to discover this about a month ago; but I took no real action and decided I better make sure the door at the top of the stairs, remained closed whenever the bottom Room A basement door was left open. I don't think my wife read the memo. 

The lead up:

I had been enjoying Room B over the holidays (I call it the Quad Room) with company and the larger space.  I was getting ready to transition to Room A for some "please help me get through this winter" musical experiences. Gear was powered up and allowed to warm up. Krell amp needs 24 hours of standby mode after being dormant for multiple days to come to life.  I warmed up with some digital first and then I was ready - time for the vinyl fix.  I head back to the deepest part of the basement where the Timeter air compressor lives, and flick the switch which brings the ET 2.5 tonearm to life. Head back over to Room A, walk over to La Platine to start it up, and discover .........the silk thread drive has disappeared !  Vanished !!

Panic sets in....I look again..... the cartridge cantilever/stylus is still intact....I look again.... the exposed naked one shot wiring has not being disturbed.......I breathe a sigh of relief.  Then I get curious.

I look and I look, but cannot find the silk thread that has vanished.....         



Took two minutes to put on some new silk thread.  

The mystery of the missing silk thread has still not been resolved.  My wife is shown another copy of the memo. 

Peace and happy listening.  



The "four for $250/eight for $500" deal was sold. Seller failed to remove the ad.  Looks like owning these footers may not be meant to be for me.  If you happen to run across another set in the US/Canada, please let me know. I will continue to look as well.

I have similar "drawers" and am frequently thankful for them.  The "accumulation period" of life for me was a fruitful one in many ways, albeit expensive.

I have personally experienced the leakage of the air bladders over many years. Mine need adjustment every few days. It is not a straightforward nor easy task to return the bladders to the correct air pressure (<3lbs according to HW on the phone to me many years back).  The screw adjustment range on the feet is very limited, maybe allowing one sufficient adjustment before returning to the special pump and air pressure gauge to fill the bladders to the correct pressure.  VPI even sent me a special set of rubber seals to be placed at the top of the air-valve stems before screwing on the caps.  This helps some, but still far from worry and hassle-free.

Having indulged in many expensive hobbies to their fullest (motorcycles, sports cars, muscle cars, personal watercraft racing, reef-keeping, and, of course, high-performance audio), I fully understand your point re: each person's perception of appropriate spending on their personal hobbies and on those of others.

If I have learned anything from liberally financing these hobbies over the years, it is that patience provides some balance, so I shall continue to wait and look for these footers,  Someday...




previous link did not work. trying another one. 
unfortunately the virtual system does not let you preview. 


Hi Dave 

"The guy in one ad says that they work best at the top of the range (15kg). 
Don't think the TNT sans motor weighs near 120 lbs.  Your opinion on this?"

Regarding the working weight for the AT616's. I did some digging. See this link.

if you scroll down that ad you will see the seller has included the actual tech specs page from AT. 

It says working weight for a set of 4 is 22 to 132 lbs.  

I did use them successfully with the TNT.  These days I am using three of them with the Sp10 which if you include the SP10 unit weight, 4 solid stainless steel columns, plus the heavy platform they join to,  the weight is probably in the upper range when using three of them.  
I think the AT 616 isolators are very good and keepers, meaning they are the type of product that even if you replace them with something else later, you will keep them to use elsewhere.  Hmmm..... I think this basic philosophy is how I ended up with what I own.  You should see what is in the drawers.  8^0 

Looking at them, there is no way you, I or someone else can have them made at those prices.  They are substantial on their own. The TNT sounded very good with them.  Just as important to me, the AT616's and also the pneumatic footers that my Verdier came with; their settings have not been touched n years and they are still level.  Very important as you know for an air bearing tonearm.  So that's the kind of quality I am looking for. 

I never went with the VPI air bladder option on the TNT. I recall folks saying they leak and need adjustment. This turned me off them. I am hard on my gear, it needs to last, and I don't like anything to leak, break down, go out of alignment, etc...   Reliability is important.   

Also you mentioned reasonable prices.  We know this is relative and depends on who you are talking to.  For example from this past summer I am reminded of something.  Now if I told some of the guys I hang with at the lake, I am spending $500 to buy new feet for my turntable they would look at me funny.  But these same guys easily toss $500 toward a different prop for their boat.  One that will let them maybe get out of the hole quicker to pull skiers, or maybe the other type for top speed.   Now their wives look at them funny, and the changes in the boat performance with different props can be subtle,  just like tweaks in this audio hobby.   


As always, I learn from your every post. This time a great new emoticon (8^0) and that these footers are available right now at a reasonable price.  Also, lol on the "where the horny red guy lives".

On your experience with these footers, Did you ever compare to the VPI/Firestone airbladders?  Would you recommend me giving them a try?

The guy in one ad says that they work best at the top of the range (15kg). Don't think the TNT sans motor weighs near 120 lbs.  Your opinion on this?

Thanks Chris,


"I have to admit to coveting those pneumatic bladder feet on your TNT. Unobtainium? "

Dave  after I sold the TNT I started using them under the SP10 setup.   
See pic 21 of 41 in the Audiogon Collage.  Oh and see if you can spot some fun in that pic :^)   

If you really want these footers   

on ebay 

on usaudiomart

this reminds me. 

Once I experimented and stuffed the TNT Pods with Blue Tack - took alot of Blue Tack !
The plinth got dampended so much the music ended up sounding like it was coming from downunder; and I am not referring  to Australia or NZ.  I mean where the horny red guy lives...... 8^0  


Okay Chris. Got it now. Thanks.

Yep, Gene impressed the heck out of me when I was designing/building my loom. He was willing to do all of the work, some of the work, or none of the work with equally enthusiastic helpfulness. He ended up soldering the pin clips on the Cardas wires, cryo'ing and cooking the "subassemblies" and I did the rest. Very happy with it.

I have to admit to coveting those pneumatic bladder feet on your TNT. Unobtainium?

I think I'll leave the pulley system out.  I recall it was a little problematic in keeping the pulleys lubed, etc. and it's hard enough for a klutz like me to get the thread routed without 3 additional challenges if nothing else.

I am about to experiment with sticking some vibration absorbing disc devices to the exposed bearing well underneath the TNT. If it does anything positive (or anything at all, lol) I will post and add some pics to my Virtual System page.

You're the best Chris,


Hi Dave 
thx for your comments. :^)  and Happy Canadian Thanksgiving. 

Re; Gene at TakeFive Audio 

I agree, great guy he has made a number of looms for me and I have referenced a number of audio friends to him.  I went back to my emails because I had asked him how he builds up the wire going into those very heavy WBT Nextgens. His response to me from a number of years ago. 
"For those WBT's the buildup was done with several layers of shrinktube. The first piece is 1/16" CPX 100 Black, you have to be EXTREMELY careful when applying heat so that you do not fuse the insulation together on the wires. From there it is built up using 1/4" and 3/8" CPA type shrinktube with the last piece covering the first two for an overall clean stepped appearance."

Re: my loom

In the first picture you can see I leave the wire on the outside of ET 2.5 armtube.  That happens to be the Magnesium armtube.   I realize it is not the cleanest or nicest looking way to do it, but looks are not that critical to me. With the wire running on outside I am able to change out armtubes or carts really quickly if I wanted to.  The ARC preamp sits right next to the ET 2.5 so the direct shot wiring is a short 24 inches. I sit within arms reach of the ARC preamp controls.  The ET 2.5 sits on the Verdier elevated armboard, this works well as the wire drops to a happy smile where it connects to the platform where my preamp sits.  Large Flat Plinths present challenges for tonearms like the ET where the wiring setup will affect its performance.  The ET tonearm is also a totally different design approach to the Kuzma Airline which needs its wiring and air tube on its moving manifold for damping. As we know the ET's manifold and airtube line is stationary. 
Re the TNT thread drive. The audiogon collage of pictures shows the picture numbers in the top left. The picture you reference with the TNT pulleys in use is 20/41 and it is an earlier picture. I did end up removing the pulleys and if u look at picture 27/41 it shows the final setup including the pneumatic footers on the TNT.  The pulleys will introduce noise but they also lessen the pull on the platter.  I did get best results from memory without the pulleys. 




Noticed that one pic showed you still using the pulley system with your thread-drive TNT. As you know, I eliminated it when I went to thread drive.  A mistake??




Holy cow! Sensory overload! I need a month of complete isolation to absorb it all.  One (of the thousand) thing(s) that caught my eye was the "straight shot" ET Two wiring loom. Get that from Gene at TakeFiveAudio? Great guy, Gene. He was instrumental in helping me select and assemble my loom. I would like to know more about the straight shot.

Where do you go from here, Chris?   

In awe,



Hi Dan 

The prevailing message in my system description is that. ... the "Gear" is just a means to the end. Blessed is the music lover that reaches the end point without spending thousands. If this person frequents Audiogon .......good luck to you. :^)

Some hindsight in reaching the end based on my personal experience.   

Once you have a 2 channel stereo system "kit" that is at a point that sounds great to you in your room. Move that kit in whole including all cabling to 3 or 4 different rooms and see what happens.......:^)

The room indeed the Elephant. 

Happy Listening  


Hello Chris,

It's good to see you're still chugging along. I'm reminded again of what an impressive assortment of gear you've acquired, and your investment in becoming so knowledgeable about it.

You're my hero! (I'm not kidding!)


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