Well, I've been trying to post this for awhile but time has not been on my side. Here is the start of my virtual system and updates will be posted periodically. I've built the system with a pretty minimalist approach. When time allows, I'm constantly working on things and someday it may be done.
As you can see I really enjoy the DIY method. For some reason, it sounds better when you built yourself. Please don't judge the speakers at the moment, they are in the R&D stages still. As of right now, they sound amazing to my ears, I just need the time to finish the final enclosures that will be done in an automotive paint.
Building a system is an interesting thing. What sounds great to one person may not sound great to the next. IMO, what's important is that
it sounds good the you, the builder. Even a live event could sound different to many people but in reality, it's the same event. With that said, I would like to hear more systems for comparison. I have had a couple of Audiogon'rs listen to the system in it's infancy and they where both quite impressed. James Burgess is a friend of mine, who has been a big part of my inspiration for the system, and he was one of them.
I have many more details I will be adding but at the moment I'm short on time. Questions and suggestions are welcome and encouraged.
This has been going on for almost 2 years now. In this time I have figured out that I prefer listening to analog over digital. An analog upgrade is in the works. I'm thinking a DIY plinth and DIY bamboo/carbon tonearm. I'm gathering data in my head now and it's coming soon, possibly before the speaker enclosures.....LOL
System edited: Just received an AES AE-3 pre amp tonight and have been listening. So far, I can't believe how this little beast performs. Very black background with no coloration that I can hear, compared to my DACT passive. Can't wait to roll some tubes and build a nice power cord for it. I purchased the unit from an Agon member and couldn't be more happy with my decision to try this piece out. The 45 SET just neede a little more gain at times and the AE-3 compliments it nicely. Before I finish my enclosures, I think a pair of Audio Nirvana cast 15" are the next item's to try.
Cymbop - I would really like to know how the Zu's are working out!! I looked into those as well, nice looking speakers. I really like what they have going on. Once I went fullrange, I realized what I was missing and felt much more connected to the music. If you ever get the chance to sample an SET amp, that may be worth it as well with the Zu's.
Hi- I see that you have the Ayon CD07 and was curious if the upsampling to 192/24 is switchable via remote or stays on all of the time? I just received mine and its not switchable. The dealer says its on all of the time and I want ot verify with an actual user. Thanks
I am very much in agreement with your "hands on" approach, having been directly involved in a speaker project of my own, with which I am very pleased. Your speakers must be highly sensitive, to be able to drive them with as little as two watts.
Music does sound better when you DIY, at least the amount of satisfaction is much higher than just opening up your checkbook.
Congratulations on a very unique and enjoyable set up.
As I woke up this morning with my coffee, listening to some music, I was thinking more about your question. Not having the vocabulary as some to describe what I hear, here is what I came up with.
STRONG POINTS: Simplicity at it's finest Broader sweet spot Superb mid range, second to none, that I've heard A real world bass response with no annoying boom Excellent sound stage stage with less tinkering Extremely revealing (hear stuff I never knew was there) Takes on anything you throw at it ( I find myself listening to music that I wouldn't have before) Flat frequency response without gadgets
WEAKNESS': Weak on bass for a bass junkie Not the most impressive to look at, to some Extremely revealing (can test you patients with noise between tracks...etc....etc.)
This is based off of my ears, in my room. I don't have a lot to compare to but would like to hear more systems. Keep in mind that I'm in a small room with near field listening (11ftx14ft).
Let me start out by saying thank you for looking at what I have. A quick background about my audio experience first. In the early days, starting around 1988, I was very involved in the car audio industry for around 10years. I started out in home audio around 1995. It was never anything over the top but I always enjoyed good music. In the car audio side I was always more involved and interested in the sound stage and sound quality factor. With out writing a novel, this is where most of my knowledge came from and has actually served me well in my very new love for home audio. Now to the present. Around 2 years ago, when I became friends with James Burgess, I was re-kindling my love affair with music. I started off with the monitors and powered subs...etc...etc. tried various floor standing, multi driver speakers, give or take a powered sub here and there. Finally I ended up with Legacy Audio classic HD's and an Ayon Orion, tube ampflifier. Among all the combinations I went through, I always felt that something was missing. The search was on to find out what it was. Long story short, I went to Jim's house to listen to what he called an SET 45 with 2w/ch.....HUH????? Now we're getting somewhere, it was almost love at first listen. Believe it or not, Jim sent me home with his personal amp to hook up to my Legacy HD's. Things where really starting to look up. I still knew something was missing but we where on the right track. To run this amp, we needed more efficiency. I really started digging in deep doing my research. My car audio theory was always to keep it simple, My instincts told me to stick to this theory. Now to answer your question Cymbop. In my other systems I always felt fatigued during the whole experience. It dawned on me, low end and high end are easy to produce, mid range is a toughy. The DIY'r that I am, I was drawn to the Audio Nirvana line of single point source speakers. The day that they showed up, being impatient, I sat them on the floor, open air and had to get a quick taste. What I heard was simply amazing. The first track that I played was Johnny Cash, Live from Austin, Texas, Sunday morning coming down. I was so excited, I ran down to Lowes, bought some wood and built some quick open baffles just so I could start listening. The next night I had built some ported enclosures and the tweeking began. As of right now, to my ears, this is what I hear. Instantly the veil was lifted off of the mid range. I could never stand live recordings, now I cant get enough. What's amazing to me also is that the bass just keeps getting better and better. Not true what you hear about full range drivers having no low end, unless your a digital bass fanatic. Also, I really feel that it's nice not having to deal with phase shift problems and signal coloring cross overs. The sound stage, to my ears, is proper and deep. With these speakers along with the rest of my system, I think I'm getting a very natural reproduction of the information with low amounts of coloration muddying up the signal. I'm sure they're not for everyone but neither is a SET amp. Now add a passive volume attenuator with a low siganl from an analog rig, some people may say I crazy. The only problem I've had so far is running late to work because I want to hear one more track. All I can say is you need to listen for yourself and let your ears be the judge. It's probably love it or leave it but for me, I love it and can't wait to get the final enclosures finished. I also can't wait to get my analog rig more dialed in. I could sure use help in that area and am looking for suggestions. I have figured out that enjoy vinyl much more but my rig is just not quite there yet. Oh ya, I listen to all types of music anything from Sublime to Asleep at the Wheel. I'm listening to Tchaikovsky while I'm writing this.