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 have moved to file and streaming playback exclusively utilizing Tidal and ROON. However, I maintain CD as backup source. I find a shocking disparity in performance of digital based systems. 

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 September, 2022
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Room Details

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


Components Toggle details

    • Aspen Acoustics Grand Aspen Speaker
    Continuing development of Scott Kindt's DLT (Disproportionately Large Tweeter; my term) designs. The Grand Aspen is the new flagship, extension of the Capella (previously called the Lagrange L5 MkII, seen below). 

    The Grand Aspen is a six-way speaker with built in active, oppositional, slot loaded subwoofer. I will be giving this speaker an owner's review to appear 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! 
    • 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.
    • Aspen Acoustics Capella 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. 

    A more formidable model, the Grand Aspen, is under construction and will be replacing the pair of Capella speakers in my possession. The Grand Aspen features an enhanced DLT array, as seen on the Aspen Acoustics website. 

    See review of smaller model, L5 MkII at Dagogo.com 
    • 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.
    • Perlisten D212s Subwoofers
    Pair of Perlisten Audio D212s Subwoofers as reviewed by myself for Dagogo.com 

    I enjoyed the Legacy Audio XTREME XD Subs for ten years. Perlisten incorporates room correction in the subs, allowing me to maximize different genres of speakers used in reviewing. These are impressive devices. 
    • 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 390

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Owner
Recently had a lovely experience with the PureAudioProject Trio15 10" Coaxial Speaker when I decided to experiment with rolling in upgraded capacitors. When I was using the Horn1 version I bought some Mundorf MCap Supreme EVO Aluminum Oil caps, 33mf +/-2%, 600VDC caps. It made a nice improvement in cleanness and briskness of the speaker. 

Once in a while I am game to try a change even when there may be some degree of risk. I believe that most of the risks I take in system building are low, as evidenced by not many issues arising in decades of system building. I am also willing to take the full responsibility of a potential failure. I caution those who would try such things that it is at your own risk, because such things as a capacitor change which is not sanctioned by the speaker company is your issue and voids the warranty. Do at your own risk. 

So, I rolled in the oil filled caps for use with the 10" Coaxial and I am quite pleased! The speaker has much higher end sensibilities now. Using them with the Perlisten D212s Subwoofers (also reviewed; love these subs!). Together these are wonderful combination of subs and sizable "monitors". I am using the 10" Coaxial in the Landscape Orientation and I am so happy that I have kept working with that setup over the years. FYI, if anyone is interested in using Perlisten subs with the PAP Trio15 10" Coaxial, I am using a cutoff of 42Hz with the subs and it is seamless with the speakers' 15" woofers. Even though the PAP speakers sport 15" woofers, they do benefit greatly from good subwoofers if serous LF is a goal. Subs are not needed, but if you are trying to play more challenging music with much low end response or attempting to get performance like a much larger speaker, then you'll want subs. 

I am driving the speakers with four channels of the Legacy Audio i.V4 Ultra Amplifier. Be careful that you do not attempt to bridge/join channels of this amp. 

douglas_schroeder

222222&text=do
Owner
Recently had a lovely experience with the PureAudioProject Trio15 10" Coaxial Speaker when I decided to experiment with rolling in upgraded capacitors. When I was using the Horn1 version I bought some Mundorf MCap Supreme EVO Aluminum Oil caps, 33mf +/-2%, 600VDC caps. It made a nice improvement in cleanness and briskness of the speaker. 

Once in a while I am game to try a change even when there may be some degree of risk. I believe that most of the risks I take in system building are low, as evidenced by not many issues arising in decades of system building. I am also willing to take the full responsibility of a potential failure. I caution those who would try such things that it is at your own risk, because such things as a capacitor change which is not sanctioned by the speaker company is your issue and voids the warranty. Do at your own risk. 

So, I rolled in the oil filled caps for use with the 10" Coaxial and I am quite pleased! The speaker has much higher end sensibilities now. Using them with the Perlisten D212s Subwoofers (also reviewed; love these subs!). Together these are wonderful combination of subs and sizable "monitors". I am using the 10" Coaxial in the Landscape Orientation and I am so happy that I have kept working with that setup over the years. FYI, if anyone is interested in using Perlisten subs with the PAP Trio15 10" Coaxial, I am using a cutoff of 42Hz with the subs and it is seamless with the speakers' 15" woofers. Even though the PAP speakers sport 15" woofers, they do benefit greatly from good subwoofers if serous LF is a goal. Subs are not needed, but if you are trying to play more challenging music with much low end response or attempting to get performance like a much larger speaker, then you'll want subs. 

I am driving the speakers with four channels of the Legacy Audio i.V4 Ultra Amplifier. Be careful that you do not attempt to bridge/join channels of this amp. 

douglas_schroeder

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Owner
I have successfully found a way to operate the Grand Aspen Speaker with all 8 channels  of the Legacy Audio i.V4 Ultra Amplifiers! In order to pull it off I had to use both RCA and XLR outputs of the COS Engineering D1 DAC + Pre-Amplifier, then at the amps split all four outputs with Y cables. 

The Grand Aspen has taken on the character of an enormous active speaker with stimulating transients and complete effortless sound. I worked through four variations of placement of the XLR and RCA cables to achieve the perfect mix, as each combination yielded a distinct result. 

douglas_schroeder

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Owner
The Aspen Acoustics Grand Aspen Speakers were delivered yesterday and I am in the process of my aggressive stepping through changes to tune them to optimize them. 

These are six way hybrid (active subwoofer integral) speakers with complete adjustability, for the super tweeter, tweeter, midrange ribbon, and 12" bass drivers all have passive attenuators allowing similar configurability to an active speaker, but allowing one's selection of amps and cables. 

I am workout out how to drive them with 8 channels of the Legacy Audio i.V4 Ultra Amplifiers. This, finally, has tapped out my reserve of cables for alternative systems if I were to go with all RCA or XLR. However, I believe I could do a mix of them given that the speaker is fully adjustable. 

From the first moments of listening it is obvious the Grand Aspen handily outperforms the previous flagship, the renamed Capella (formerly Lagrange L5 MkII). 

Further discussion of Scott's goal to recreate the sonic signature of the largest Apogee speakers will be found in the review. 

douglas_schroeder

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Owner
jayant,
God's Peace,
I appreciate the compliment! I am feeling grateful and content that I have achieved a lifetime goal of diversity in systems to experience a great deal of variety in sound. 

The Aspen Acoustics Capella (twin tower, Maple pair pictured) will be replaced in a few days by the Grand Aspen, a much more ambitious and prodigious design. I have the same kind of excitement for it as I did when discovering the Eminent Technology LFT-A many years ago. 

douglas_schroeder

222222&text=ja
A beautiful room and system Douglas.

Happy Listening!

jafant

222222&text=do
Owner
Further experiences with the Perlisten D212s Subwoofer, which I call a smart sub. It has capacity to change the character of speakers which are not SOTA and elevate their sound quality substantially. I tried the King Tower omni with the D212s this evening and am most pleased with the result. The subwoofers dovetail nicely with the low end of the King Tower such that they now seem as if much more prodigious omni speakers.Having the ability to adjust the low pass filter of the subs with 1dB increments is terrifically helpful. The operation of the mains and subs is more seamless than any subwoofer I have used previously. I was thinking of selling the King Tower omni speakers lately, but not after this result! I'll enjoy them some more - a lot more! Gorgeous omni sound with bottom end akin to the mbl monitor/sub setup at AXPONA 2022, and that with the Perlisten subs loafing, not dialed up. It's a great experience! 

There is more upside for two channel to be had when adding such subwoofers than one might think. Reaching down and capturing the frequencies below 20 Hz is valuable in raising the performance of all but the largest speaker systems. 

douglas_schroeder

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Owner
Review of Perlisten S7t Tower Speaker and D212s Subwoofer now published at Dagogo.com

douglas_schroeder

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Owner
My review of the Perlisten S7t Tower Speakers and D212s Subwoofers has been submitted and will appear at Dagogo.com soon.

douglas_schroeder

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Owner
Working on a lovely speaker system review at the moment. It's great how many expressions of sound there are in this hobby! The various technologies employed give a wide assortment of sounds such that there truly is something for everyone. 

It's been a long time since I reviewed subwoofers, and I am returning to them once again. There will be some significant changes to the system going forward, I think. 

douglas_schroeder

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Owner
Recently I completed the review of the PureAudioProject Trio15 10" Coaxial (Coax10) version of this open baffle speaker. 

In a word, splendid! This is my favorite version of this speaker. PAP did a great job in developing and mating this driver to the 15" woofers. For open baffle fans, strongly recommended you give it a listen! 

I am thrilled that it is the highest quality sound I have achieved with the Landscape Orientation. I may post an image of it. I use the Legacy Audio i.V4 Ultra amp (4 channels, 1,200 total Watts to Left and to Right) to power the Coax10, and added the Legacy XTREME XD Subs for a truly full range, powerful experience. 

To learn more about these speakers and my impression of them, see my review at Dagogo.com 

douglas_schroeder

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Owner
THE VAPOR AUDIO JOULE WHITE SPEAKERS ARE FOR SALE!

douglas_schroeder

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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

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

douglas_schroeder

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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

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