Avantgarde Duo Mezzos, Conrad Johnson GAT, Zesto Teserra Phono, Nagra VPA 845s.  Galibier TT, Clearaudio Innovation TT, Graham Phantom Elite TA, Graham Phantom Supreme TT with Phantom 3 armwand, Ortofon Anna, Goldfinger Statement, Benz LPS, Esoteric K-01X, Kubala Elation PCs and Speaker cable, Synergistic CTS ICs.

Room Details

Dimensions: 23’ × 14’  Medium
Ceiling: 10’

Components Toggle details

    • Avantgarde Duo Mezzo's
    Avantgardes next to top of line Duo with Basshorn modules
    • Avantgarde Duo Mezzo
    Duo Omega Light Bronze Horns with Basshorns in Jacaranda Aura finish
    • Galibier Design Gavia 1.5
    • Graham Engineering Phantom Elite
    bought as package with Galibier TT,  Also included a Phantom 3 armwand and a Phantom 2 armwand
    • clearaudio Goldfinger Statement MC
    • Nagra VPA
    Nagra 50 w 845 tube amps.  Fast, transparent and subterranean bass response with the Duo Mezzos
    • Conrad Johnson GAT
    CJ's newest top of line PreAmp that replaced the ART. Upgraded from my 16LS 2 during a period of too much $ burning hole in my pocket.
    • esoteric K-01X
    Esoteric's top of line single box player
    • Benz Micro LP-S mr
    Ebony body, micro ridge stylus, purchased 2013
    • Oppo BD-95
    Use this to play blue ray audio, which my esoteric does not play
    • Minus -k 100
    Turntable isolation platform. Designed for electron microscope isolation base.
    • Zesto Teserra
    2 channel, each channel can handle MC and MM, so 4 total cartridge capability.
    • Clearaudio Innovation Wood
    Dual plinth design with servo controlled speed control, statement clamp and outer limit ring
    • Graham Engineering Phantom Supreme 2
    Grahams former top of the line tonearm.
    • Clearaudio Universal 10
    Very easy to set up arm with VTA adjustability.
    • Ortofon MC-Anna
    Ortofon's newest top of line MC cartridge - on my Graham Phantom Supreme arm
    • Synergistic Research CTS and Element Silver ICs,
    Mix of cables acquired over the years.
    • ASC tube trap
    4 16 x 48 in each room corner. Wife was not pleased when these came home, but sound improvement was noticeable.
    • Zoethecus 4 and 5 shelf
    2 matching cherry wood 4 and 5 shelf stands. Excellent isolation properties and bargain if you find one used,
    • AudioPax 88s
    30 w mono block using KT88s. Very high bandwidth, very significant improvement in frequency extension and detail moving from a Cary Audio v12
    • AvantGarde Duo 2.2
    Bought Kevin Deal's demo speakers after hearing them one time and sold my high power solid state amps and Wilson Watt/Puppies. Been enjoying them for 10 years and only thing I have not upgraded since then

Comments 13

Been a while since this was updated - here are the changes starting in 2017.

June 2017 - added Nagra VPA 50 watt 845 tube mono blocks.   Gave up a little bit of the Audiopax sweet SET sound in trade for significant more headroom, resolution and bass extension.  The Nagra amps rock, but the Audiopax 88s are still quite special.   The Nagra VPA bass control on the Duo Mezzos is the equal of the $32000 Audiopax M50s I had on loan for about 3 mths.

July 2017 - added Shunyata Triton 3 and Python, noise reduction components.  Still using the wywire power block now plugged in to the Triton. All components now thru Triton in to a single wall outlet, eliminating any chance of ground loop.  

Sept 2017 - added Esoteric K-01X and moved the K-01 to my  vacation house.  Noticeable improvement in DAC stage for my 5tb hi rez library

Feb 2018  - Embarked on significant Analogue front end upgrade.
1. Added Zesto Tessera Phono stage - big improvement over the Andros and the Esoteric E-03.   I think may be my last phono stage.
2.  added 2nd TT - Galibier Gavia 1.5.   
3. added 3rd tone arm Graham Elite
4. added Phantom 3 armwand to existing Phantom Supreme Tonearm. Mounted Anna to the Phantom 3 armwand
5. Added Clearaudio Goldfinger cartridge and mounted to Elite armwand


Anyone  interested in hearing the Duo Mezzos in SoCal, feel free to contact me.


That's a gorgeous system, Mark.


System edited: New Duo Mezzo's just in from Germany. Light Bronze horns with Aura Jacaranda Rosewood Basshorn finish. Really stunning speakers in person and the pics don't do them justice. These will be at The Newport show in May with AudioPax's newest tube amps. They are being broken in now in my home system. These are dealer owned and can be auditioned at my OC home now. My Blue Duo 2.2 with brand new Omega upgrade drivers Omegas are on consignment at Alma Audio, the new SoCal Avantgarde and AudioPax Dealer who will be having their grand opening in San Diego at end of March. The Mezzo's have an amazing speed quality and the Basshorns completely transforms their sound from the Duo Omegas with 10' subs (which are no slouch's in their own right ). Bass is fast and effortless and overall sound competes with speakers costing twice as much. Easily driven by my 25 watt AudioPax tube monoblocks to concert level sound with no compression. PM me with your phone number if you are interested in either the Duo 2.2 Omegas or the Duo Mezzos and we can arrange a listening session.


System edited: As I just dropped a bundle on the Omega upgrade, I can't leave it "done for now" anymore.


Just upgraded the Duo's to Omega drivers and CPC crossover.
Well worth it.

Stay tuned for more on Avantgarde Speakers I am helping a new SoCal dealer bring them to the west coast.


Sorry all, been a while since I was on this thread, and for some reason, have not seen the notifications of others posting.
"Outstanding just love your choices. Could you please let us know what differences you hear between the LPS and the Mc Anna? "

LPS is a very refined well balanced cartridge with good extension in highs and lows. Anna is more dynamic and more extended with a lot of wow factor, but still very good midrange. I was hoping to use the lps for most of my listening since it is much less expensive than the Anna, but I find the Anna too good to go back to the LPS. It's definitely law of diminishing returns, but it's the extra 10% of the Anna that can make a listening session special.


Very nice system !!!! The traps were the one thing my wife objected to also, had a good laugh when I read your comment about them !


I'd love for you to come for a visit. I'm in Long Beach, where are you?


Outstanding just love your choices. Could you please let us know what differences you hear between the LPS and the Mc Anna? Best of Luck



Nice dynamic system you have going there. I used to own the Duo 3.2 several years ago and know the Audiopax amp. is one of the best matches for coherence with them assuming the gain with the preamp. is OK. Best of luck and nice going making it all work.

Enjoy your fine system.



thanks Jeff

I've followed some of your threads on AV. Are yours the G2 version Nanos?

Would love to hear them some day if your open to visitors.

No west coast dealers left, so hard to get an idea of the new models sound.



I heard those speakers at Kevin's too....awesome.


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