Description

I really enjoy the simplicity and purity of SET based systems. It's been nearly ten years but I'm finally getting to a great spot with my setup. Thank you Highwater Sound.
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Room Details

Dimensions: 18’ × 12’  Medium
Ceiling: 12’


Components Toggle details

    • TW Raven AC3
    Raven AC with the new 3 motor pod and Black Night feet.
    • Horning Aristotle Ultimate Zigma
    96db efficient horn loaded speakers with the latest updated drivers.
    • TW Raven 10.5
    I just had to have this to go along with my Raven AC. Awesome arm!
    • Ortofon RMG 309
    Vintage 12" tonearm completely rebuilt and rewired with Cardas copper internal wiring
    • Fidelity Research FR 64S
    I just added a vintage FR64S tonearm to compliment my Ortofon RMG 309. This is the copper wired version and I must say it sounds quite good with the SPUs!
    • Shun Mook Record Clamp
    Ebony record clamp. Phenomenal...
    • Ortofon Windfeld
    85 hours on it now and has been a very nice upgrade from the Cadenza Black. More open, more nuanced and higher resolution while retaining ALL of the musicality of the Black.
    • Ortofon SPU Silver Meister MKII
    Faster and more detailed than the Meister GM while still retaining all of the SPU traits.
    • Ortofon SPU Meister GM
    Copper wire 1990's Meister. Full bodied with fantastic tone.
    • WSS Platin Phono
    1.5M phono cable for the Ortofon RMG 309.
    • Ebony Armboard DIY
    Made this Gaboon Ebony armboard myself using a milling machine and a armboard as the template.
    • Ebony Armboard DIY
    First attempt at an Ebony armboard (right). Shown next to another armboard. Will use this for now while I make a final polished armboard. This armboard will serve as the base for my Ortofon RMG 309 tonearm with the SPU cartridges.
    • Tron Seven Ultimate Preamp
    Full function preamp with line and phono in one box. Built to Ultimate spec with exotic resistors, silver wiring and silver transformers.
    • Border Patrol SE300B
    Great little 300B amp. It's modest 8 watt power rating does not convey its real abilities. A very nice match with the Hornings.
    • Manley Laboratories Neoclassic 300b PP/SET
    300b monoblocks switchable between SET (12wpc) and PP (24wpc). Outfitted with Sophia Carbon plate 300b tubes, VT-231 RCA or Ken Rad, NOS VT-229 RCA and NOS Tung Sol 5U4GB
    • SRA Ohio Class
    SRA custom Ohio platform for the Tron preamp
    • SRA Ohio Class
    Sits underneath the Raven AC turntable. Pretty much mandatory because I have subway trains running directly underneath my apartment building!
    • SRA Custom
    Had a set of SRAs made custom for the Manley monoblocks. Very noticable improvement.
    • Furman SPR-20i
    Regulates the voltage to a steady 120V and cleans the power. Best sounding conditioner I have used.
    • Audience Au24e
    Very clear, fast and detailed with tight and punchy bass. 1.5m
    • Audience Au24e Interconnects
    1.5m pair that runs between the preamp and the amps. Clear and detailed just like the AU24e speaker cables.
    • Stealth Audio M7000 V10
    1.5M 20A power cable with silver connectors running from the wall to my Furman conditioner. The improvement in resolution and overall musical flow was not subtle...Power cables matter folks.
    • Edensound Terrastone slabs
    I use Edensound slabs under my Border Patrol amp and power conditioner (BDR cones under the Furman). Nice sonic improvement and keeps the gear off the floor.
    • Timbernation Custom Low Bench
    Chris at Timbernation made a beautiful solid walnut low bench to my specs to hold the Raven AC and Tron. The bench is 50" wide x 24" deep by 12" high. Keeps the gear out of the soundstage and looks great.
    • TW Turntable Mat
    I really don't understand what the debate is about here on Agon. The mat is a significant improvement on the Raven AC. No A/B was necessary.
    • Garrard 301
    Just for fun. Heavy custom Baltic bitch plinth bone stock 301 with my Ortofon RMG 309 and Silver Meister MK2 SPU riding shotgun
    • Denon DL-103r Panzerholz
    The humble 103R which I added as a casual daily listening cart to spare excessive hours on my Windfeld. I removed the plastic body and installed a Panzerholz wood body. Big improvement
    • Denon DL-103r Ebony
    Ebony wood body. Great tone very enjoyable cartridge.
    • Denon 103R Green Malachite
    UWE green malachite stone body on another 103r. Paired with Ortofon LH-9000 heavy headshell on my RMG 309 for a high mass combo. Amazing organic tone but very dynamic and big soundstage. The best of my 3 bodies for 103R.
    • Pure Sound P10/T10
    Added the very good Puresound P10 MM tube phono and matching T10 MC transformer to be able to run the Garrard 301 via the Tron line stage.

Comments 116

222222&text=ke
Hi Ed,

It's been some time, so hope you've settled into some good listening. I took off on a side road from getting the Tron Seven Phono, due to a move that left me with my Aristotles now being undersized for my new listening room. I spent almost two years on a sub project instead to add fill-in. This worked out well to solve my issue. Now, I'm back to saving up for the Phono Stage.

I am inspired by your experience with your Western Electric speaker cables. I wound up replacing the stock power cords that came with Thomas' 300b amps with Shun Mook power cords. At 14 feet, recommended by Bill, these are an unruly mess behind my rack, but I too was blown away by the sound. I need new speaker cables to replace my 20+ year old WireWorld cables, and it looks like you discovered a winner in sound at a bargain price. I'm trying to stay focused on the Phono Stage, so not throwing a lot of money at cables would really help me to stay on track. I'm not familiar with Jeff Day, so can you point me in the right direction?
Kenny

kennythekey

222222&text=la
Owner

No changes to my system in the last year or so. Trying to force myself to stop the urge to constantly upgrade and just listen to what I have...

I did cave a few months ago though and bought a small run of NOS Western Electric speaker cable as described in the write-up by Jeff Day off Ebay for about $100.

The cables are almost laughable physically by audiophile standards. Spagetti thickness with a simple tin coating on the copper strands, a white sheath between the copper and the red cloth. I stripped the raw ends and just attached them to my BP300 amp and speakers expecting yet another vintage disappointment - i.e. grainy compressed sound, no depth, thin, etc. I had a negative expectation bias going in you could say... Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong! BIG bold sound, fantastic tone, punchy base, and just so natural for lack of a better word. I am blown away...I guess the folks at Western Electric figured out a long time ago what worked well on the low powered tube amps of the day. I am having a lot of fun with these cables its a cheap experiment for any of you with SET amps you might be in for a shock..  


   


latinsamba1

222222&text=je
Latin, looks like you have some nice changes happening! If are in park slope sometime stop by. Would be good to see you. Regards Jet

jetrexpro

222222&text=la
Owner
Hi Paul,

I don't have the Eufrodites but I was able to upgrade to the newer version of the Aristoltes with the better drivers etc. My living room is just too small for the Eufrodites unfortunately. I sold the old Aristotles off and got a light oak finished pair. 

I've actually been having a ton of fun with the humble Denon 103r cartridges. I rebodied 2 of them myself in panzerholz and ebony and I'm astonished at how damn good they are. They end up weighing about 12g with the wood bodies and sound excellent on my TW 10.5 arm. Sure it's no Ortofon Windfeld, but they have a very natural and non-fatiguing sound that I find myself just listening to for hours. IMO the biggest bargain in analog. I even went ahead and ordered a special UWE stone body for one (kind of a poor mans Koetsu). There's a NYC seller on eBay who hand selects channel matched ones for a small premium. I see why these are so popular. 

I think my next serious upgrade will be to get either the BN platter or a Tron GT phono stage but trying to save right now so just scratching the itch with cheap fun. 

latinsamba1

222222&text=pc

Hi Ed

Nice to see some new toys.  Any pictures.

You also have the Eufrodites now too?

Paul

pcosta

222222&text=la
Owner

Added a Pure Sound P10 MM phono and T10 MC transformer as an inexpensive way to have a dedicated phono stage for the Garrard 301. The P10 is run through my Tron Ultimate line stage.

Very solid for such a reasonable priced combination. I am hearing good dynamics, bass and soundstage. Very quiet operation with my SPU Meister Silver. I have heard other Pure Sound gear and its all great frankly. Huge bargain in audio IMO.

latinsamba1

222222&text=la
Owner
Just added a Denon 103R for fun thinking I would spare the excessive hours on my prized $$$ cartridges. What a pleasant surprise! 
Ok, it's not the last word in resolution but it has a wonderful organic and non-fatiguing quality to the sound. I can see why it's so popular. Huge bargain and I can't wait to see what a wood body upgrade will do. I ordered both the ebony and Panzerholz bodies
Running it quite nicely on the 10.5 arm but thinking it will do better with the extra mass of my FR-64 in a heavy headshell....

latinsamba1

222222&text=la
Owner
Added a vintage Garrard 301 to the system just for fun. Raw heavy birch ply plinth holds a bone stock 301 with 60hz pulley. My Ortofon RMG 309 and Silver Meister MK2 SPU are riding shotgun. 
Initial impressions are a very punchy and musical sound, but lacking the resolution and soundstage of a modern high end table. I'm going to repurpose my left over stock TW AC3 feet to upgrade the wood footers and ordered a Kokomo bearing kit to help it along a bit :) 
I can see why the 301 has achieved cult status. It's impressive for 1960s technology and it definitely gets the heart of the music right. No plans to go crazy with upgrades just enjoying it for what it is. 

latinsamba1

222222&text=la
Owner
Yes, Jeff tells me the BN platter is huge. I'm shocked that I can still get significant improvements from the turntable at this level but even those two small tweaks brought it up quite noticeably.

latinsamba1

222222&text=pc
The platter was a significant upgrade for my TW.
Good to see your always enjoying.

pcosta

222222&text=la
Owner
System edited: A follow up on my system with a few changes in the past several months. The most significant was updating my speakers to Aristotle Zigmas with the new drivers. Also made 2 meaningful tweaks to the already fantastic Raven AC with the addition of the Black Night feet and the TW turntable mat. I would like to add the Black Night platter in the future but really enjoying how the system is sounding now.

latinsamba1

222222&text=ke
Who makes these AC Cords, what they're made from, and whatever design philosophy supports them, while interesting, does not mean anything to me. So, like Charles says, how does it sound?

kennythekey

Center
I am also curious about these AC power cords as their approach is so different. Old Western Electric wire, well Ican buy into the concept of using natural materials for the dielectric as opposed to synthetics. Bottom line is how does it sound?

charles1dad

222222&text=la
Owner
I'm sure you will be very happy with anything Shun Mook. I've been enjoying the record clamp so I'm curious about the AC cords. Let us know what you think of them.

latinsamba1

222222&text=ke
Sorry, for my delayed reply, so thank you for your feedback. Faster, is definitely better.

Well, since my inquiry, I've had a change in heart about the Stealth cables, due to the unusual price hike to the Cloude. I'm wanting to replace all my cables with one brand, so it makes me wonder where the Stealth prices will be heading when I'm ready.

For my 300B mono blocks, I'm now seriously considering the funky and weird Shun Mook AC cords.

kennythekey

222222&text=la
Owner
Hi Kenny,

It's been a while since I've posted here and a few system changes as well since then. I'm using the M7000 on my Furman conditioner because its the best PC in my system and I thought it would do the most good there vs my baseline Black Sand cable (a very good medium price cord IMO).

What I got was a "faster" sounding system overall with a notable improvement in bass depth and definition. I hadn't thought that the Black Sand was rounding the bottom octave notes but the improvement with the M7000 was obvious. I can't say how it stacks up to a Cloude 99 but it is a very large and stiff cable that I can only imagine using on an AMP or PC. I wish I had a second one for my Border Patrol 300B amp because I believe it would be an excellent match there as well.

latinsamba1

222222&text=ke
Hi Latinsamba1,

I hope you've been enjoying your well thought out system, and was hoping you could help me with your impressions of your Stealth M7000 cord? I did catch, your very positive "not subtle" comment on how it improved your sound.

I use a Cloude 99 on my Tron Seven Phono, so I thought to continue the trend for my new 300B. The problem is that there was a huge price hike of $1,000 on the Cloude, so that was that. My only other consideration was the Tel Wire HC, and I don't have experience with the M7000.

kennythekey

222222&text=la
Owner
Hi Tboooe,

My room is about 12" wide and I don't really use room treatments except for tall plants in the corners, a large oriental rug, etc. I found lately with my speaker positioning that I get better sound by moving the speakers closer together. My speakers are now only 6" apart tweeter to tweeter which has actually made the sound stage bigger. A 9ft room is very tough. Could you maybe get speakers that are meant to be placed right in the corners such as Audio Note?

latinsamba1

222222&text=la
Owner
Hi Paul,

The Shun Mook is incredible. I still can't believe that a piece of tuned wood does this much for the sound. It's not going anywhere!

The three motor unit was another great upgrade. I commented on it in another thread but it really made my TW come alive. More drive, tuneful bass, depth.

Lately I have just made decisions based on Jeff's recommendations and every time the results have exceeded my expectations. Very happy with the analog front end.

Regards,

Ed

latinsamba1

222222&text=pc
Latinsamba1

Nice. I couldn't be without the Shun Mook now.
How are you liking the three motor unit.

pcosta

Center
Who mocks Mook? The Shun Mook Mpingo discs and Spatial Control Kits are also fantastic. Has the Shun Mook site had a makeover?

http://www.shunmook.com

geoffkait

Center
Hi there! I am getting interested in SET I am planning to try the Line Magnetic 518 with my not so efficient Sonus Faber Evolutions. Anyway, I noticed your room is fairly narrow? Mine is only 9" wide. Do you use any room treatments? I am just beginning to add some absorption and will be buying some bass traps soon. Just curious in your thoughts on how to get the best sound from a small room.

tboooe

222222&text=la
Owner
System edited: Just got the famous Shun Mook LP clamp. Absolutely amazing... People who mock/dismiss it have obviously never heard what it does for the music. Awesome.

latinsamba1

222222&text=la
Owner
System edited: Just mounted a new addition to the analog rotation - a vintage Fidelity Research FR64S copper wired tonearm. I must say it sounds really good with the SPUs! Really cool arm.

latinsamba1

222222&text=ag
Latin, I heard a very similar setup of Jeff's at Axpona in Atlanta in 2011. It was a oasis of fatigue free music which is rare at trade shows. I think there is a lot to be said for allowing someone older and wiser to system build on your behalf. You can avoid the Russian roulette of system building via cyberspace which is the current paradigm due to the death of brick and mortar audio. In that regard, Jeff is a welcome vestige of yesteryear, and you are enjoying the fruits of his years of labor. Again, congrats and blessed listening....

agear

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