Description

You're looking at a different kind of "All Out Assault", this one based on utilizing a fuller expression of current excellent technology, as opposed to a limited expression of such. Some go for a cost-no-object expression of one technology. I have chosen to pursue a superb expression of different technologies. I have derived far more pleasure doing so than seeking one rig to satisfy my longings to hear beautiful systems. 

Photos represent some of the speakers, components and cables I have reviewed over the years. I have spent time predominantly with four technologies in speakers; Full range hybrid dyanamic, Full range ESL, and Omnidirectional hybrid. I have branched out to horn hybrid as well. 

I still maintain a transport for selective use of CD's, but have largely moved to file playback, utilizing Tidal and ROON. 

This is a dedicated room, built by myself and tuned for two channel, but wired for 7.1 surround. I listen to 2 ch. audio approx. 95-98% of time. The surround and video compliment is not noteworthy, as a result. I upgrade them only every several years. 

Source, amplification and speakers have all been reviewed and are highly recommended. The sound quality of the system is moving steadily toward SOTA.

System listing updated July 2021
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Room Details

Dimensions: 23’ × 13’  Medium
Ceiling: 7’


Components Toggle details

    • Aspen Acoustics Lagrange L1 Speaker
    Craft speaker made by a Colorado physics teacher. This is the pre-production model. Uses what I term the unique DLT (Disproportionately Large Tweeter) configuration. It has the punch of a dynamic speaker with the generosity of a panel speaker. 

    See review of smaller model, L5 MkII at Dagogo.com 
    • Legacy Audio Valor Speaker System featuring Stereo Unfold Technology Wavelet DAC/preamp/Crossover/Bohmer Room Correction
    Legacy Audio Valor flagships speaker system with Wavelet DAC/Preamp/Crossover/Bohmer Room Correction. Cost no object sound with nearly full complement of components. One outboard stereo amp required to drive Frequencies above 1,320Hz. State of the art performance. This particular iteration for finesse I paired two First Watt J2 Amps, using one channel of each for the channels of the Valor. 

    Stereo Unfold Technology is a unique software and hardware design that allows full control over the ambient sound field. It allows the user to perceptually manipulate the location of the center image by affecting the output of the ambient drivers. The experience is akin to having the ability to relatively relocate the center image as close or deep as one wishes. I found this to be a sensationally effective and desirable technology, most suitable for SOTA speaker systems. 

    Note: I used the exquisitely effective Schroeder Method of Interconnect Placement (pair of double ICs) to achieve the best result with the Valor. See my article regarding Schroeder Method at Dagogo.com 
    • Legacy Audio Whisper DSW Clarity Edition
    Bill Dudleston realized my concept of a fully configurable speaker able to be employed as both passive and active. The result is what I call a "crossover speaker," which can be configured; 1. Fully passive, with as little as one stereo amp and three sets of speaker cables; 2. Hybrid active/passive, using the Legacy processor for the bass and the Mid/Treble passive, and 3: Fully active, using six channels of outboard amplification. 

    The speaker has been retrofitted for a review of upgrade internal cabling and capacitors. The result is the Whisper DSW, which Bill Dudleston of Legacy measured a 2 dB improvement on the Bass! 
    • Aspen Acoustics Lagrange L1
    Flagship speaker system incorporating what I call DLT (Disproportionately Large Tweeter) design. This is the prototype of the L1, which I own; the production version will be coming to me for review. See review at Dagogo.com of the smaller Lagrange L5 MkII, which also incorporates the DLT.
    • PureAudioProject Trio15 PAP Horn 1
    Wonderful two-way hybrid horn reviewed for Dagogo.com. I enjoy the flexibility of the speaker in the crossover and "internal" wiring. My special utilization of the speaker is in Landscape mode, the realization of a dream for an alternative sound which I have pursued for about five years. The Horn 1 in Landscape impressed the entire audio group of which I am a member; they all placed it among the very best systems I have made. It truly is a stunning application of an affordable speaker with high end sensibility.
    • PureAudioProject Trio15 Horn 1 Landscape Orientation
    Alternative application of using Sound Anchor custom stands to hold speakers sideways. This results in a far wider soundstage superlative for live music recordings. Note that the orientation of the horn of the Horn 1 speaker is normally horizontal, so the Landscape mode/application results in the speaker's horn turned vertical, similar to large horn speakers such as the Volti Audio Alura.
    • PureAudioProject Quintet15 Horn1
    Largest of PureAudioProject (PAP) offerings, this one outfitted with the horn driver. Features upgradable crossover components (cap, resistor) and "internal" wiring. 

    This speaker is especially beautiful sounding with the Legacy Audio i.V4 Ultra Amplifier. Both products reviewed for Dagogo.com 
    • King Sound King III
    The King III is a full range ESL with a performance which takes back seat to no magnetic planar speakers. With subwoofers they are a formidable ESL experience.
    • Kings Audio Kingsound King Tower
    Omnidirectional hybrid dynamic/ribbon speaker system not available in N. America. and perhaps entirely disconintued by Kings Audio. Added to my collection as an expression of Omnidirectional speaker technology.
    • Legacy Audio XTREME XD
    Pair of subs reviewed for Dagogo.com, used extensively for both two channel and HT purposes. I have found a new positioning for the subs, alongside and slightly ahead of the mains, and this is producing a holistically superior sound.
    • TEO Audio Liquid Pre
    Passive preamp using TEO Audio's proprietary liquid metal conductor cables internally. Superior to all SS and passive preamps used previously.
    • Exogal Comet DAC and Ion PowerDAC
    This is an unusual combination of a DAC (Comet) with an additional complementary extended DAC with integrated true digital amp (Ion). Together, they include everything needed in the front end of a system except for the source. The Comet can stand alone, but the Ion is dependent upon the Comet, it cannot be used separately. 

    This combination is thrilling in its performance to cost ratio. One of the most outstanding products I have reviewed in ten years! The digital amplification is especially notable for its ability at 100wpc to drive more difficult speakers to listening levels of about 88-90dB. 
    • Eastern Electric Minimax DSD DAC Supreme
    Latest EE DAC featuring DSD and continues to offer opportunity to roll in discrete opamps. Allows contouring system to any selection of components.
    • Discrete Opamps Staccato, Burson, Sonic Imagery, Sparkos Lab
    Discrete opamps rolled into Eastern Electric Minimax DACs and Kinki Studio EX-M1+ Integrated Amplifier
    • Iconoclast Cables and BAV Power Cords Iconoclast/Belden
    Current reference cable line. See review at Dagogo.com
    • Owned/Reviewed Spkr Cables Various
    Have owned: Audioquest, Harmonic Technology, XLO, etc; Reviewed cables for Dagogo.com include: Iconoclast, TEO Audio, Clarity Cable, Silnote Audio, Snake River Audio,  Wire World. etc.
    • Outlaw 950 Surround Processor
    Has nice variety of surround settings, 2 component in, plenty of other inputs... Only thing I wished it did was to convert s video to component.
    • Rotel RB-976
    A lovely little workhorse amp! Configurable from 3-6 channels; a wonderful flexibility for surround applications.
    • Magnepan MGM W
    Very affordable planars for surround. They only play down to about 100khz, but acceptable for surround. Awesome feature - they can be mounted upside down (will sound the same) to accomodate wiring near top of room.
    • Legacy Audio Silver Screen
    Black piano finish; complementary driver set to Focus HD; dual 7" bass, 4" planar mid, 1" tweet
    • Tice Audio Solo/Solo High Current
    I'm using two Solos, and one is High Current for power amps. Gotta have someting like this to open up the system's sound...but price might be a bit steep for some people. I will accept an offer of $1,000,000.00 though.
    • Furutech GTX-D (G)
    Audiophile grade outlet featuring copper internals and gold plated sockets for power cord pins
    • Plateau AV 42
    Wonderfully solid, black for AV use. Affordable. Nice to have on casters when you have to move it.
    • Panasonic PTL-500U
    Upgrade from PTL-330U; this unit has high def capabilities.
    • Auralex Propannel 2x4'
    Room tuning sound absorbing pannels. Made a shockingly huge difference in my two channel listening! Some of best audio $ I ever spent!

Comments 379

222222&text=do
Owner
The system has been updated to reflect some reviews I did for Dagogo.com 

The Legacy Audio i.V4 Ultra Amplifier has been delicious in every system. Strongly recommended for a wide variety of speakers. 

I worked with smaller and larger models of speakers from PureAudioProject and Aspen Acoustics. These are quite different transducers, as can be seen from my descriptions in the reviews. 

The Aspen Acoustics Lagrange L1 shown is a pre-production model. The production model will be coming to me for review. I strongly recommend that fans of extreme value/performance in a hybrid, i.e. like Eminent Technology LFT-8B, look into the Aspen Acoustics line. The L5 MkII that I reviewed has extreme performance at its price point,  beyond the capabilities of the LFT-8B. 

douglas_schroeder

222222&text=do
Owner
In a bit of a side project, an interest I have nurtured for years, I returned (not exclusively, but in addition) to the Wharfedale Opus 2-M2 Bookshelf Speaker. I had regretted not buying it following my review, so for years I watched to see if a pair would show up. It did eventually, so I snagged them. My goal was to have the luscious 3" dome midrange on hand. It covers from 700Hz to 3kHz, avoiding crossover in the midrange. 

For this project I did not wish to expend big money on a PCM or ATC; the Wharfedale would do, as it's a venerable speaker company with a serious disposition. I am quite pleased with the result, and I think the larger, bi-wirable bookshelf will do quite nicely as a representative of the dynamic speaker genre. I am seeing how it mates with the different subs on hand. For starters I have it running with the active bass module of the Aspen Acoustics Lagrange L1 preproduction model (Owner's review of the L1 production model forthcoming at Dagogo.com as the speaker is brought to me and I work with it). In due time I will also pair them with the Legacy Audio XTREME XD Subs, which I have used many times with smaller speakers. 

Very pleased with the brisk, crisp sound of the 2-M2 thus far! It's somewhat in your face, a touch bright, but all adjustable with the system. I am enjoying the vividness and resolution of the vocals and primary instruments. Very happy I snagged them to have the long term experience. High end sensibility for a relative pittance. Of course they do not replace the larger transducers I have used, but they are a legit good listen! 

douglas_schroeder

222222&text=do
Owner
Now a couple of reviews have been published that I had been working on over the winter; the Salk Sound SS 9.5 Speaker review, and the incredible Legacy Audio i.V4 Ultra Amplifier review! 

The amps are astonishing; I have not built a sub-optimal system with them! Class D has now overtaken the other genres of amps, imo! I discuss this at length in the article. 

douglas_schroeder

222222&text=do
Owner
I also would like to reinforce the previous comment I made about my new article at Dagogo.com, "Audiophile Law: Burn In Test Redux". The Iconoclast cables were in use for that review, and you will see how that extra resolution and accuracy was helpful in the comparisons conducted in regard to the purported efficacy of break in, isolation, warm up, etc.

douglas_schroeder

222222&text=do
Owner
Very pleased with the experience of working with the Iconoclast by Belden and BAV (Belden Audio/Video) Power cords. I used the top level Iconoclast speaker and IC cables. They have yielded unparalleled performance in many systems. Terrific resolution without stridency. 

To add to the wonder of it all, I am about done with a review of a mind-blowing, great sounding class D amplifier! When the extreme precision of both of these products is combined, the sense of a natural sound is immensely gratifying. I have said for many years that it is a categorical mistake to think that higher resolution/definition is a problem. Once again, the systems are taking a big leap upward in detail and refinement, and the sound is more organic sounding than ever. 

douglas_schroeder

222222&text=do
Owner
An important article has been published at the site I review for, Dagogo.com, in which I discuss an extensive comparison of 8 different tweaks/methods, all of which are said to confer meaningful changes to equipment over time that are easily heard. 

Individuals serious about setting up better systems need to read it, entitled "Audiophile Law: Burn In Test Redux" 

douglas_schroeder

222222&text=do
Owner
Switched this week from the rebuilt Ohm Walsh Model F back to the King Sound King III electrostatic speakers. I was surprised that the adaptation period to the changed soundstage was longer than normal, about five days. It had been reduced among speakers I have to about 1-2 days. I credit the extension to the unique omni pattern, and my not being accustomed to it in my room. 

The King III is kicking  butt with four channels of very powerful new class D amp under review. This is the first class D to actually  HANDLE the King III. 

One thing learned is that panel sound is, like all other speakers, on a spectrum. Particularly glorious about this setup is that both precision and warmth/richness are being improved vastly. VERY fulfilling!  

douglas_schroeder

222222&text=do
Owner
The rebuild of the vintage '70's era Ohm Walsh Model F Speakers is complete. I drove over 1,300mi in two different round trip events totalling over 22 hours of driving in order to get them to a repair facility that could assure a good outcome. They turned out well, and play nicely. 

I tried 3 different DACs with widely varying results sonically; the COS DAC1+ Preamplifier, which is the most erudite, but soft on the top with the speakers. The EE Minimax Tube DAC Supreme was more bright, with some additional upper end sparkle, but lacked warmth in the vocals. The Exogal Comet DAC with the Plus Power Supply has hit the sweet spot with these speakers. Combined with class D amp under review, sporting 600wpc, this combo is the best. The speakers are showing their true colors, the openness, but with adequate (though not top end) cleanness. These speakers will never have the incisiveness of newer designs, but have the inimitable mushroom cloud sound stage of an omni. I would not appreciate a tube amp with these speakers, as there is enough indistinctness in the action of the driver that tubes would make them quite muddy sounding. It's tough enough to take the reduction in resolution associated with the full range driver firing into the cabinet stuffed with old foam, much less the bloat that would occur if tubes were used. 

douglas_schroeder

222222&text=do
Owner
I thought watchers might enjoy hearing about a development with the PAP Trio15 Horn1 used in Landscape Orientation, the second image in my virtual system. I experimented with the placement of the subs, this time putting them directly in front of the horns, and it's much better. The sound is more coherent, especially in the bass. There seems to be little deleterious effect on the horn; it does sound a bit different, but not in a negative way. 

I have the capacity to raise up the speakers higher on the stands, but have not done so. It's a matter of how much free time I have, and how curious I am about it. That would change the soundstage quite a bit, and would separate the woofers again, so it may be a waste of time. One never knows, however, until it is tried. For now, I consider the movement of the subs to in the middle of the speakers a success!  I'm really happy with it. 

douglas_schroeder

222222&text=do
Owner
Attempted rebuild of vintage Ohm Walsh Model F Speakers underway. The cabinet is busted, literally, and is worthless. I glued it and am using some wood filler to make it presentable and close to seamless. The drivers are in for repair, getting new spider and surrounds. 

This is a budget fixer upper. Should be fun when it's complete! I will be bypassing the fuse for superior quality. Hopefully before Christmas I will have them together and running. 

I think the Ohm speaker is a worthwhile sound to pursue, if people love the omni sound staging. In this instance, I am going budget route; I simply am not choosing to spend higher bucks to get these entirely rebuilt, as the cost of my "restoration" is approx. 1/25 of the latter. I believe I will get a reasonable degree of Ohm omni sound for the money. If I had no other reference speaker, I would probably pursue entire rebuild, as omni speakers are a compelling sound and a valid genre of speaker.  

douglas_schroeder

222222&text=do
Owner
THE VAPOR AUDIO JOULE WHITE SPEAKERS ARE FOR SALE!

douglas_schroeder

222222&text=do
Owner
If anyone wishes to pursue my discussion of electrical service upgrade for my home to gain info, see the thread "Your One Bullet Point Solution; Electrical Upgrade" in the Tech forum. 

Here is my summary:
I consider the service upgrade a success, as I was very pleasantly surprised by the improvement of the sound. Due to shortages of electrical home panels because the factories were closed, I went with the Eaton panel without the internal surge protector. The sub-panel for the music/HT room was eliminated, and this seems to have had no ill affect on the performance, perhaps the opposite. I can't say for sure, as the comparison is not apples to apples. Nevertheless, the overall change is quite positive. The electrician mounted the similar surge protector outside the panel. My fear that a surge protector might introduce some noise was unfounded. A new grounding rod was put outside. The system is quiet, and I detect no noise on the power line, which was a primary concern for a good upgrade. I assume the amps are particularly benefitted by the increased amperage (if I have said it correctly), and I consider the event to be a bonus for the audio hobby.

douglas_schroeder

222222&text=do
Owner
The final part of the review of Pass Labs XA200.8 Monoblock Amps is now published at Dagogo.com

douglas_schroeder

222222&text=do
Owner
Second segment of Pass Labs XA200.8 Mono Amp review now posted. 

Doing some discrete opamp rolling this week with the Kinki Studio EX-M1+ Integrated Amp. Pairing it with a new DAC under review. Settled on a combo of the four Sparkos singles and one Burson V6 Vivid discrete opamps. Revisiting the opamps in the integrated amp is most beneficial when partnering it with a new component. 

douglas_schroeder

222222&text=do
Owner
Now the story can be told, at least part 1, of the Pass Labs XA200.8 Mono Block Amplifier. Published at Dagogo.com

douglas_schroeder

222222&text=do
Owner
Putting finishing touches on big amp review. I find amps fascinating, as one would think that clean power should not vary so much between designs, but the impact of various amps is pervasive on systems. 

For the first time I have found an amp that is perfect in terms of performance with every speaker I have tried. That has never happened before. When I say perfect, I mean there are no discernible weaknesses in performance. It's a stunning achievement to produce an amp that works equally well with all genres of speakers, considering how varied the cabinet/baffles, crossover components, internal wiring, driver types and quality, etc. 

I have also achieved the holy grail accomplishment of having an Accuton ceramic driver yield seductively smooth, warm sound - with the incredible precision. I have never heard any accuton driver in any system do that prior. As might be expected, I am most pleased with myself for obtaining that result! :)

douglas_schroeder

222222&text=do
Owner
I have enjoyed the fun of working with a full range Open Baffle design, the Tri-Art Series B Open 5 Speakers with their special feature, the attenuation for the full range driver. I also reviewed (same article) the Tri-Art Series B Preamplifier and 60Wpc class D Amplifier. 

This was a refreshing experience, so out of the ordinary, and a stunning combination of affordability and performance. The big, open baffle speakers bring their unique combination of attributes that compete head to head with other value oriented speakers such as Vandersteen and Magnepan. 

I'm very much enjoying the experience of immersing myself in OB and Horn designs! These are two worthwhile pursuits, and admirable technologies with a lot to offer in terms of a choice of speaker. The generous use of a "Gain" switch with multiple positions on the various Tri-Art gear adds to the flexibility of contouring the sound. Enjoy the read!  :) 

douglas_schroeder

222222&text=do
Owner
It's awful tough to beat a beautifully streamlined system using just one set of Schroeder Method ICs. This past week I have been working with different configurations, and one of the best is dedicated DAC directly into power amp(s) - NOTE: THIS REQUIRES SOFTWARE ATTENUATION; THIS SHOULD NEVER BE DONE WITHOUT SOME FORM OF ATTENUATION. OTOH, you can go with an integrated DAC and a set of Schroeder Method ICs to the power amp(s).  Either way, the result is splendid. 

I have the Eastern Electric Minimax Tube DAC Supreme, which accepts opamp rolling. It's been a while since I snagged some upgraded opamps. I need to beef up the supply (of opamps) and go back to rolling! I can hardly imagine how good that will be in conjunction with this new method of ICs. 

douglas_schroeder

222222&text=do
Owner
I have conducted an assessment of the EXOGAL Comet DAC and Ion PowerDAC with new upgrade HyperDrive. This is an outstanding, very affordable upgrade and I recommend strongly that owners of the Ion take advantage of the upgrade offered for a ridiculously low price of $250 on into July. I consider this one of the most potent upgrades I have experienced from a manufacturer. The quality of the bass/LF is stunning,  but there is no slack anywhere in the performance. With this upgrade I strongly reinforce my recommendation of these components. 

Methods to get the ultimate performance include purchase of the PLUS Power Supply for the Comet, and aftermarket umbilical for the same. You may wish to try Clarity Cable, WyWires and Marigo Lab. Aftermarket power cords are extremely important to tune each component(s) power supply. Finally, I use the Schroeder Method of Interconnect Placement from source to Comet. 

douglas_schroeder

222222&text=do
Owner
I have highlighted the Legacy Audio Valor Speaker System with Wavelet DAC/Preamp/Crossover/Bohmer Room Correction that I just finished reviewing for Dagogo.com 

The Valor easily surpasses the previous flagship, the V Speaker System, using the same Wavelet component. However, the Valor is a light year leap ahead of V in that it incorporates new technology, the Stereo Unfold Technology, which allows, as I describe in the review, a variable center image and thus the sensation of selectable listening position relative to the performance. This is an exquisite feature and unique in high end speaker systems. 

douglas_schroeder

222222&text=do
Owner
Most recently I have worked with the PureAudioProject Trio15 Horn1 in two different configurations, both involving two sets of Schroeder Method ICs. The first was with a tube preamp under review, and the second was with the TEO Audio Liquid Pre. Both have made fine systems with superior sound to what I could have achieved in the past using single pairs of ICs. 

I am quite pleased with how Schroeder Method is developing, and encourage interested parties to look into this "do at your own risk" method. To date there have been no instances of a negative outcome with gear. :)

douglas_schroeder

222222&text=do
Owner
Thomas, I'm a little shy in terms of visitors, so I'm afraid that will have to keep. 

I appreciate your zeal in pursuit of the Schroeder Method of Interconnect Placement. Most people are unwilling to push in order to achieve a vastly superior sound. It is rare for someone to work with many combinations of cables to dial in a rig precisely. 

 I appreciate the compliment on the system.  :)


douglas_schroeder

128x128
Wow Doug

You really have a nice systems.

May I ask where you live?

If it is possible, if would be nice to visit your Den and chat about audio.

Thomas

shkong78

222222&text=do
Owner
Schroeder Method is becoming a valuable asset in system building. All components and speakers have been benefited hugely. Even if no one else adopted it, it is for me a must have method.

Cables become even more critical to outcomes, as the characteristics are intensified. Speaker character is honed, and different technology is appreciated more. 

douglas_schroeder

222222&text=do
Owner
Now I have made public something that I have been working on for a while, the Schroeder Method of interconnect placement. It utilizes two pair of interconnects and four RCA splitters, allowing one to double up the four individual interconnects as a pair. The results are astounding! This is a "no brainer" move to substantially better the system sound. 

Please consult my article on this; initial assessment is that it is NOT for all applications, including from preamp to amp. Also, if you have any druthers about it, discuss with your component manufacturers to see what their perspective is in regards to it. 

This is a "do at your own risk" proposition; I will not accept any responsibility for your creative system risks.  

My experience with the Schroeder Method has been stunning, and I am continuing to use this regularly, as it is quite simply superior to a single set of interconnects. So far I have only used RCA cables, but at some point I anticipate trials with XLR. 

I am open to contributions from learned individuals in the community such as EEs, designers, etc. I am NOT interested in the ridicule of mockers; such thoughts mean little to me and likely will receive no response.  

I should make clear that I have not worked with mixing sets of cables, and no one has recommended doing so. Some are asking about it, but I have not tried and have had a warning that it may cause instability to an amp. So, at this time I am not recommending it. 

There are some who read my articles who are going to try the Schroeder Method of interconnect placement, and I suspect that they will have very nice sonic improvements to report. It is a disarmingly simple method, but very powerful in its effect. It is one of the cheapest upgrades for the money I have discovered. It's a paltry sum to do considering the effect can be as profound as changing a component! 

douglas_schroeder

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