Description

New Ad-Venture for Bob

I am grateful to the 'Gon community for their help to reduce my buyers remorse; and help me assemble a system that has exceeded my expectations...I'm in mid 50's; ..trying to mature and evolve; I started my ugprade journey with a pair of Dali Halicon 800's powered by Sunfire...nice enough sound; but I wanted more...met a great audiophile and seller in Dave Weinhart here in Los Angels; and made a big jump to MBL 111's, with Meridian front end; and 8011 mono amps...Dev, a "gon member suggested I up my amps to Bryston 28sst's; which I did; and still enjoy greatly. I grew frustrated with the Meridian gear; sounded a bit too digital with my analog speakers; hated to connect laptop to tweak; and could never get full low end base extension. Took Dev's recommendation again; traded my gear in on a VAC Phi Beta tubed preamp; and switched digital to PSAudio Perfect wave D/T combo..thought the redbook cd playback via I2S with the Haromonic tech cable was great. But the DAC in the perfect wave fell a bit short in giving me the detail from my Qsonix music server. Qsonix is made locally to me; Mike Weaver is a true gentleman; and has created an awesome product; even though they don't advertise like Sooloos. Their touch screen; and hi res capabilites are wonderful. I also had an opportunity to audition Venture speakers at the home of the US distributor; who lives locally; Mike Slaminski; another perfect gentleman; with great ears; and patience. Thought his Belgium made Venture speakers were the best sounding set up I have ever heard; including the Magico Q5's, or the Wilson Shasa's ..but they were beyond my affordablility index. On a whim; I called Mike; and he received the Excellence III in burl wood back from a reviewer; but they suffered damage in shipping and had a noticiable ding in the finish...so I grabbed them. The detail, staging, depth; richness of tone; incredible accuracy of response throughout the range; and vocals...the carbon/ abbaca paper drivers and crossover design made me just want to sit and listen forever. Mike set up the speakers with a slight toe in; and viola; magic. But then I went to THE Show in Newport, CA; and heard Ayon's room. That was special; right after their great review in TAS. Was able to pick up show sample of Ayon CD5-s transport/dac/preamp with upgraded tubes. Once this piece broke in; and replaced my PSAudio DAC; now I can't imaginge any better digital for me and my room. I sit and just listen to the music; without focusing on the gear. I tried it as preamp direct to amp; but found I prefered it running thru the VAC. My cables are a mixture of MIT balanced interconnects and bi-wire speaker cables, with Purist audio Venestus for digital and interconnect. I also use my rig for combined HT/two channel; its in my family room; and I needed huge WAF; the Ventures have it in spades, the MBL's, not so much. I obtained much of my gear and advice from local dealers, and the 'Gon from dealers used. It's great that the 'Gon is here to help us buy and sell gear as we experiement and balance quality, cost, and always exceed our budget. I also have three dedicated 20 amp lines. Room is a problem; had to set up on the diaganolfrom long/short wall. So I am done for now; will try to work on improving room with traps; isolation tweeks; and was amazed at the improvement in detail shown at THE show by Synergistic Research ART with their tiny 'cup and saucers' harmonic resonance improvements...if it were only less expensive...will post photos soon; but really; try to listen to Venture, unbelievable quality and detail.; but to my ears...the best I've heard; and I feel fortunate to have put together this quality of system with lots of help; and time...great to meet so many fellow hobbiests; after all, its all about enjoying the music. I finally got around to posting my system after this long journey....probably don't need all the power of my Bryston 1000 watt amps now that I've gone from MBL to Venture's; which are more effecient; but so far the slam and control of base is just fantastic; and the detail and prat pleases me...not sure what might be better; prefer to remain in SS for amps.
Read more...

Room Details

Dimensions: 30’ × 20’  X large
Ceiling: 12’


Components Toggle details

    • Venture Excellence III Signiture's
    lovely floorstanders; 3 7
    • Veloce Litho series Litho
    well built battery powered, with 4 6h30 tubes, extremely quiet and resolving
    • Hegel H30
    one amp running in stereo config; at 350 quality watts/side. Huge sound stage; agree with Robert Harley's review
    • Playback Design PS5D
    fantastic dedicated DAC, no transport;; with the usb-box, it upconverts computer files to DSD resolution; and via standard AES digital in; converts all files to 24/192. A fantastic upgrade for computer audio sources. Try DSD!
    • Oppo 105D, modded by EVS
    replaces Sony 5000es; wanted streaming Netflix, etc, and 3-d
    • Qsonix 205
    1 TB hi-res music server; with phenominal 15
    • Marantz AV8802
    home theater processor, for hdmi; blue ray; sat, and zone 2
    • Bedrock Rack of Silence Rack of Silence
    semi custom 4 shelf; each shelf weighs 28lbs; made of both HDF and MDF, and special vibration control. And it looks nice.
    • Aerial Acoustics CC-5
    great center channel; blends with many different speakers; made my own custom stand
    • Parasound A-51
    5 channels of 250 watts/side; warm running, smooth sounding for center channel; rears, and outdoor zone 2
    • Velodyne DD-15
    used for LFE for Home theater use; don't use for two channel listening, the 50 lb sandbag covered in pillow case helps with bass,anchors to floor; reduces 'booming'
    • JL Audio Fathom F113
    really fills in the bass for just two channel listening..
    • Equi-tech Q15
    power conditioner
    • EnKlein Taurus power cord
    6' silver, shielded, flexible PC. Made a huge improvement in detail powering my Hegel H30 amp. Highly recommended component
    • High Fidelity one pair CT 1-Ulitimates, 1 pr CT-E
    Rick's magnet wave guide cables, the hype is real. Makes a nice synergistic improvement
    • Klee Grand Illusion ribbon sc
    a nice open sounding ribbon alloy SC, but it is designed with a higher reistance level than my FMS.
    • PS audio Power base PS audio base
    20lb vibration control and power conditioner; used for computer and 4TB hard drive
    • Hi-Fi tuning fuses Black; premium
    placed upgraded fuses in the Ayon and the VAC, can't really tell how much improvement they made; system already working at a high level
    • Tara Power cords The One
    Two Tara pc's, one to equip-tech, one to amp
    • Stein Music Harmonizers A and B and magic stone
    Little black cubes that create magic on the sound stage and depth and detail. Tremendous tweak for me, helped with room problems
    • Standout Design six foot
    well designed; well built AV component stand; has a huge shelf to place a large center channel speaker; I placed my Aerial CC-5 and it fits great; weighs 85 lbs...big help
    • Stillpoints Ultra SS footers
    superb resonance control devices
    • Stillpoint Ultra 5's
    added three Stillpoint Ultra 5's with adaptor threads to my Ventures. Nice improvement over stock footers
    • Granite Audio Ground Zero
    A star design universal grounding platform, comes with quality ground cables and easy instructions. Nicely lowered ground loop hiss and floor noise. Highly recommend if you have a grounding issue at modest price point
    • HiDiamond 2 P-4 power cords
    I realize that my SR PC's were not allowing all my music to flow, replaced two with HiDiamond P-4's. Much better sound, have them on my amp and digital. Bested also my Tara the One.
    • Audioquest USB 1 pr Coffee, 1 pr Carbon
    silver usb cable, big improvement over stock, and belkan used previously
    • PS Audio P-5 Power regenerator
    a nice addition to assist in clean, and controlledp power, using mainly for video/home theater pieces. My amp and pre are plugged into dedicated 20 amp lines
    • High Fidelity Ultimate reference PC
    detailed PC, magnets work

Comments 70

222222&text=yo
Hi Mribob: I was wondering if your'e still using the High Fidelity magnet products now that your'e "all in" with the Perfect path products. I was using 6 of the MC0.5 Wave guides in my system, and Tim told me to remove them (he also used to use them). The High Fidelity and Perfect Path products don't play well together. I'm currently using the paste, Omega mats, and E cards. My sound greatly improved after few days following the removal of the magnets. Great system you have! Good listening, Jeff lazicki

yoby

Center
Thank you Mribob! If you are ever near Greenville SC, let me know. With advance notice so I can schedule around work travel, etc...we can definitely make something happen.

As far as IT issues are concerned, I've not had many on Audiogon but sending an email to the help/support group usually takes care of things. What are you seeing exactly in terms of an issue posting a new photo?

zephyr24069

222222&text=mr
Owner
Zephyr: Thanks for your kind words, as well as steering me to acquire the Grounding block. Its useful to control and reduce your system's noise floor...does wonders for dynamics, PRAT, and overall enjoyment. I have not yet dipped my toe into the more extensive world of isolators and more involved ground boxes, like the Entreq and IsoClean. Just enjoying the music now, and trying to reload my available funds. Having trouble updating my page with the 'Gon...not able to add my new HF power cord...any tips on how to work thru their IT issues?
by the by, I often admire your system, with the care and thought you've put into all of your components and the room...would love to hear it someday.
Enjoy....

mribob

Center
Mribob...beautiful system! I've heard alot about those speakers and many other components you own and based on reputation alone, this must all sum up to one hell of a system! Glad to see you are still enjoying the Granite Audio star grounding station. In the years since I picked one up, there are several MUCH more expensive grounding systems out there but I remain very happy with the GA product, regarless of price!

Dev: the GA removed all but the very faintest of 'ear next to ribbon tweeter' hiss that several knowledgeable people have told me is the result of ultra-efficient speakers and extremely revealing (high ribbon content) interconnects, speaker cables and power cords that I utilize. It's only audible with ear direclty over the ribbon tweeters in my AERIS speakers.

I got a big bang for the buck a short while ago by taking out a Bybee v3 that I loved very much (and still miss at times) but moved to a much more transparent and accurate/non-colored system based upon 2 power conditioners working together (by design), the Isotek EVO3 TITAN and EOV3 SIGMAS; one hell of a combination,...I am extremely impressed that the power baseline in my system could improve that much.

Happy Listening guys!

zephyr24069

222222&text=mr
Owner
My system is now performing at its best level yet! What's changed?
1. received my Hegel H-30 back from some simple warranty repair, and now its stone quiet, yet performs with awesome control of the Ventures. Great warmth, detail, sound stage, PRAT. Interfaces amazing with Veloce LS-1 battery powered line stage.
2. Purchased a High Fidelity Ultimate power cord, now on Hegel. I believe in the magic of the magnets...I now have two HF iIC's, and one PC. Moved the Enklein to my Playback Design DAC, which also helped.
3. Simply enjoying the music...at a very refined level. Oregon papa may bring over a pair of Shataki Holographs tor me to play with shortly..otherwise now only left to improve the room...which is my biggest challenge.
Glad to be able to buy, and sell gear on the 'Gon to allow me to reach this level of sonic performance, and minimize buyers remorse.
La Shana Tova

mribob

222222&text=mr
Owner
Had Oregonnpapa over the other night for a pleasant listening session. Great to spend time with fellow hobbyists we meet on the 'Gon who live close by. He brought over a bunch of well recorded CD's from master tapes, very well done and awesome sound. Figured out my rig can still use some fine tweaking...turning down vol on subwoofer used in two channel...and needing to reconfigure balanced out for two channel from my Oppo..wasn't getting enough output into my pre...but digital files thru DAC sounded just wonderful. All made better sipping some really nice single malt's..
Thanks, Frank...great evening. Looking forward to hearing your improved ARC rig at your place.
Nice to focus on music, and not so much on the gear.

mribob

222222&text=mr
Owner
FINALLY! I have had an anoying ground loop hum as I integrated my two channel rig with my HT rig. i had tried everything: grounding blocks, cheaters, and isolation transformers. its hard to do trial and error with just one person. I hired the fine folks at George Meyer A/V repair in Santa Monica. They sent their technician to my house, and together, after 1.5 hours we finally discovered the culprit--it was a faulty isolation transformer from ARTcessories. Once we removed it, and hooked up the balanced IC's from A/V pre pro into preamp, and placed a few strategic cheater plugs, my system is finally stone cold quiet. The added resolution, sound staging, and enjoyment I am now getting is huge. Can't believe it took this much time and trouble.

On anther topic, my dealer loaned me an Enklein David power cord, to go along with my Enklein Taurus cord. The extra detail, density and grip of providing better power cords to amp and pre can't be emphasized enough. I know that many people love the HF magnet PC's, also at high prices. There are many recipes to achieve audio nirvana, not one path....I have enjoyed my journey and will now try to enjoy more music, and less gear...Hopefully Done for Now, instead of Ever Evolving...but I know that won't be honest.

mribob

222222&text=mr
Owner
I sold my beloved VAC phi beta, and hope I don't regret it.
I think I may have found the cause of my silly ground hum. It turns out my Marantz 8802, and 7005 before it only have a two prong power input receptical, not the standard three prong with a ground. I was using an upgraded power cord, with a 3 prong from the wall. When I switched PC's to the stock two prong unit, much of the hum and background noise disappeared. Now with the battery powered Veloce, my Hegel and Playback Design are playing better together, and my noise level has dropped to almost zero. Who knew it would be this simple. Any other folks found this a potential problem?

mribob

222222&text=mr
Owner
Several new changes, all of which have helped.
1. Veloce Litho series, battery power, tubed pre...very quiet and resolving
2. Marantz 8802 prepro for 4K on HT, has better sound for theater, and also very quiet, replaced Marantz 7005. Have not added extra Dolby Atmos speakers yet, have no more amp inputs...
3. PSAudio Power Plant P-5, for digital and HT sources
4. New Samsung 78" 4k UHD curved monitor, added benefit of focusing 'sweet spot' and sound stage better than my older big flat screen between speakers.
Every little bit helps get me to where I am enjoying listening more...less and less about gear and what's next.
Appreciate everyone's thoughts and suggestions

mribob

128x128
Hello Bob,

I am grateful you took my suggestions in the spirit in which they were given. I am very fortunate my wife allows me free rein in my living (listening room).

I'm of the opinion (I believe you would tend to agree with this), that high quality loudspeakers are beautiful to behold, and are something that can be proudly displayed as an object of physical beauty, not just as a functional piece of equipment. But, we are biased, aren't we?

Does your wife enjoy music? You might try moving the two mains when your wife is gone, and if the results are spectacularly good (which wouldn't surprise me), leave them that way for when she returns. Sit her down, and play some of her favorite music, and see if she remains unmoved.

I guess the only other solution other than divorce ( which would most likely mean no stereo at all any more, or just half of one), would be to build a seperate listening room.

Okay if you have the space, and the money.

Hope things work out to your satisfaction.

Regards,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

222222&text=mr
Owner
Dan;
Thanks much for a very thoughtful suggestion, and for taking the time to study the challenges my room presents via the photos. I had a chat with my 'Boss' last night about different speaker positions...she has not bought into my whole 2 channel hobby appreciation, and wonders why big speakers need to be pulled into the room, and not just place tight along a wall. We explored various options, but she was reluctant to provide WAF.
I agree with the folks who feel getting the room right is critical to optimizing the sound quality of good gear...I will continue to explore various options but for now, no joy...
Your system is very well thought out, and I'm sure brings you lots of enjoyment. Thanks for the helpful suggestion.

mribob

128x128
Hello Bob,

I admire your system, you've got some of the best equipment that can be had. I notice, though, you have a similar situation with your room as I had.

My room is 34' X 16' w/cathedral ceiling. There used to be a freestanding wood stove on the end wall, which necessatated placing the system on the long wall for home theater.

The upshot is, I finally moved the wood stove to a side wall, and my speakers are now on the end wall, which was a tremendous change for the better in my situation.

You obviously can't move your fireplace. An alternative would be to place your Ventures on either side of your fireplace, and get a different, smaller pair of speakers for either side of your screen.

You could try this by moving your right speaker over, and then placing the left speaker where the right one was, and then see how two channel sounds that way. I found it to be the best upgrade in performance I've experienced.

I hope you don't take this a criticism, as it isn't, I'm just sharing my findings with you. You have a far better system than mine, but the room still rules, regardless.

Either way, I know you're enjoying a great system, and great sound.

Best regards,
Dan

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

222222&text=mr
Owner
Freestuff:

I have briefly entertained getting into Vinyl especially after listening to 'Documentroom' system with his AMG turntable. I have a serious WAF to add more gear into our family room. I don't have the luxury of a dedicated listening room, and placing a TT, Cart, and records would be problematic, but also worthwhile. My digital has improved greatly and I am enjoying my room more than ever.
Who knows, you might be motivating me to take the plunge! Thanks,
Bob

mribob

Center
Enjoyed reading your journey in audio. You seem to have endless energy for improving your setup and you have done a fine job. Have you tried vinyl yet? All the best and happy listening.

needfreestuff

222222&text=kn
Mribob, It takes a SMART person to realize his limitations and seek advice when necessary. Congrats again on a fine system.

knghifi

222222&text=mr
Owner
Knghifi:
Thanks for your kind words. I was lucky to have incredible support from the team of Playback Design. I am not very computer davy, and they provided a 'turn-key' process, by configuring the laptop, installing the JRiver, and helping me install the MC19 update. Prior to that, the sound from my Oppo 95 analog balanced direct into pre was more life like. Now, its the opposite. Key is to take care of the little things, even the upgrade to Audioquest usb cables made a big difference, but also getting the HF CT-1U between DAC and pre I think made the most difference. It took several months of tinkering, and getting expert assistance to have me reach this level, but if I can do it....back to listening....

mribob

222222&text=kn
computer audio when done well is simple amazing, and love the ease of sitting on sofa with iPad and randomly searching my music.
Keyword is done WELL.

I bet your methodology was not throwing darts at recommended list, blind folded, water tortured ... in building your system. Congratulations!

knghifi

222222&text=mr
Owner
System edited: Continued to evolve, and make several changes all at once. Replaced Oppo 95 with fully modded 105D from Ric at EVS, nice positive improvements in both video, and particularly audio, with two channel balanced out. took the plunge into the world of High Fidelity Cables, auditioned from Cable Co, loved the improvement, and purchased a pair of Ultimates for the DAC to pre, and another pair of CT-1e's from pre to amp. The addition of a second pair of magnet guides in the system really helped flesh out the sound, and improve sonic density, detail, warmth, and detail, and lowered floor noise. I can't believe how good my system now sounds, and how well it integrates for both serious two channel listening, as well as HT. Also received more help from my Playback Design dealer, helped me upgrade to JRiver MC 19, and reconfigure settings, which made a noticeable improvement in my enjoyment of computer audio, up sampled to DSD level. now I understand what the fuss was about...computer audio when done well is simple amazing, and love the ease of sitting on sofa with iPad and randomly searching my music. I think I am now where others have achieved, less focusing on gear and tweaks, and really listening longer, and enjoying much more.

mribob

222222&text=mr
Owner
Added the Enklein Taurus power cord on Hegel amp after in home demo. It clearly bested my Tara Lab the One, and my new HiDiamond P4...made a very significant improvement, which I found hard to understand, but no denying the improved sonics. For folks who question high priced power cords, its a matter of quality...and if you can find it in a less expensive cord, great. For me though I am now hooked on Enklein..its a silver cord with incredible dynamics and balance. Moved my HiDiamond now to VAC pre and Playback Designs DAC. Each little thing I try now has resulted in nice improvement.

mribob

222222&text=mr
Owner
Dev;
I discovered the Granite Audio Ground Zero from reading Zephyr's page
under 'all out assault'. I looked up the company via the manufactures listing
tab, and dealt with Don, the owner. He was very informative and easy to
work with. I believe they list for around $550usd, but of course that's list. I
like the concept of a star grounding network system, but don't pretend to
understand all the nuances involved in lowering our systems ground floor. I
know other folks spend a lot of money on Tripoint, or Enteq, or similar
solutions with dedicated electrical panels. I try to optimize my room
selectively and fitting within my budget. I put my ear up to the speakers
today with my DAC on pause, and the VAC volume at normal listening
level. There is a very faint tube hiss, but this has helped me achieve the
lowest noise floor I've been able to establish. I know you have stringent
demands on quality, and have a very trained ear. Not sure if this will
accomplish your goal to eliminate the phono hiss, but call Don and ask, or
see if they will provide an in home demo. For this price, it can't hurt. Thanks
for the recommendations on the Ultra 5's..made a very nice positive
addition.
I'll post photos this weekend. Can't wait to see you update your rig and post
your changes.
Best,
Bob

mribob

222222&text=de
Hi Bob,
great to read you got the Ultra 5's - they really do work don't they. It's a product you gotta have.

Make sure you have a approx. 3/8" space between the bottom of your speakers and Ulta 5's.

I'm sure what you wrote; "My bass, slam and sound stage have all improved nicely" most defiantly due from adding them :)

Granite Audio Ground Zero product - I have a very faint ear up close to the speaker hiss but only on vinyl and have not yet found the culprit - Are you saying you also had a tube hiss and by using this eliminated this. Like you ear right up to the speaker and turn up the volume and nothing?

Is this a direct sale product? actual cost? You can PM me or send me a direct email if you wish. Appreciated

dev

222222&text=de
Hi Bob,
great to read you got the Ultra 5's - they really do work don't they. It's a product you gotta have.

Make sure you have a approx. 3/8" space between the bottom of your speakers and Ulta 5's.

I'm sure what you wrote; "My bass, slam and sound stage have all improved nicely" most defiantly due from adding them :)

Granite Audio Ground Zero product - I have a very faint ear up close to the speaker hiss but only on vinyl and have not yet found the culprit - Are you saying you also had a tube hiss and by using this eliminated this. Like you ear right up to the speaker and turn up the volume and nothing?

Is this a direct sale product? actual cost? You can PM me or send me a direct email if you wish. Appreciated

dev

222222&text=mr
Owner
Kevin;
I guess I deserved that, should proof read my typing better before posting...funny comment.
But now with these extra tweaks, getting very close to where I want my system to be. Appreciate everyone's helpful comments to get here.(hear).

mribob

222222&text=ke
"Mike set up the speakers with a slight toe in; and viola; magic."

Okay, so violas sound good on your system after Mike set it up. How about other instruments?

kevinkwann

222222&text=mr
Owner
System edited: Made several new changes in short order. Changed my beloved FMS speaker cables for Klee Grand Illusion, with JPS jumpers. These cables have a higher internal resistance load by design, and the jumpers worked much better than my FMS jumpers. My bass, slam and sound stage have all improved nicely. Part of that could also be due to the 3 Stillpoint Ultra 5's I added under each Venture Speaker. Better isolation provides better sound. Great, and easy tweak. Thanks to all the fellow 'Goners who have recommended this product. Also replaced my two SR power cords and eliminated their pesky wall warts with HiDiamond P-4's. Also eliminated a 'choke point' on my sound detail and improved lower floor noise. Final add was the Granite Audio Ground Zero. I read about this product from Zephyr's page, and it really works. I had an annoying low grade ground loop hum and tube hiss, this fixed it very quickly and easily. Now I only need one more power cord..not sure if it will be another HiDiamond, or explore an Elrod listed for sale here. Loved the Enklein Taurus I auditioned, but its a bit pricey for new cord, but sounds outstanding...we'll wait and see. Now I am very pleased with the overall improvement from these various changes. Silly hobby.

mribob

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