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 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.

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

Showing all comments by islandmandan.

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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.


Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

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,

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan