Description

My "All Out Assault" on two channel reproduction started back in 2009 with the acquisition of Wilson Audio W/P 8's. Prior to getting those speakers my system remained pretty much static from 1994-2009. It was a Mark Levinson system consisting of No.27.5, No.36, No.380s. Speakers were Aerial Acoustic 10t's. It was a digital only system. After the W/P's came the PS Audio Perfect Wav DAC/Trans. This was my first time being exposed to hi-rez playback. It only took a few hi-rez needle drops for me determine that analog was the way to go for best sounding audio. 

System tour on YouTube.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?list=LL8mwfiB_0vQtdPPbBJv0EMQ&v=pd1JYxBZS3s




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Components Toggle details

    • American Sound AS-2000 Turntable
    Belt driven (Pabst Capstan) super high mass turtable. It is the absolute state of the art in vinyl spinners. Using NOS SME 3012R’s as primary arms. Knife edge bearing from the early1970’s. Original NOS cables for the arms too. Total weight...approximately 500lbs. Air platter, no bearing.
    • TechDAS Air Force One
    Ripple free air bearing, air suspension and vacuum hold down. Running 12" Graham Supreme rear slot and Phantom Elite (Not here yet) with Nordost Odin wiring and tone arm cable. (DIN->RCA)
    • Clearaudio Master Innovation
    Belt-driven magnetic drive. Ceramic Magnetic bearing.
    • Technics RS 1500
    Nortronics Pro 1/2 tack, head wired out to external tape preamp (King/Cello NAB/IEC, 15 ips). All inferior Technics electronics are bypassed.
    • Otari MTR-10 RTR Tape Deck
    2 Channel, 1/4" tape, head wired out for use with King/Cello tape preamp.
    • King/Cello Tape Pre IEC/NAB
    adjustible Hi Freq. EQ
    • Studer A810
    2 units...one fully stock, the other with a JRF Magnetics repro head upgrade.
    • Otari MX 5050 Bll-2
    1/4" two track RTR player/recorder
    • Lamm Industries LP-1 Signature Phono
    The LP1 Signature is a vacuum tube preamplifier that employs a high current pure class A operation from input to output.  No loop feedback is employed.  Other features include:
    • Audibly neutral power supplies (one for each channel) featuring full-wave vacuum rectifiers, choke contained filters, vacuum tube high-voltage regulators, and solid-state low-voltage analogue non-switching regulators used as the heater supplies
    • Three separate inputs for MM and MC (two inputs) cartridges
    • All amplification stages utilize high transconductance super low noise high-current vacuum triodes
    • Very accurate RIAA EQ network

    Each preamplifier is carefully handcrafted of the finest materials and hand selected top quality parts like military-grade DALE metal-film resistors, RCD wire-wound resistors, BOURNS multi-turn potentiometers; ELECTROCUBE, CORNELL DUBILIER and ROEDERSTEIN film capacitors; high frequency switching grade CORNELL DUBILIER electrolytic capacitors; HAMMOND chokes; gold-plated NEUTRIC connectors; and military-grade low-noise long-life vacuum tubes.

    A custom-designed massive damping panel installed in the preamplifier unit significantly reduces all types of mechanical vibrations which, in turn, leads to a more extended, coherent and natural bass reproduction.
    The LP1 Signature features a custom-designed super-low noise power transformer.

    • Allnic H-5000 DHT Phono
    LCR. Adjustable EQ, direct heated triode phono stage. 1950-1960 RCA Miltary spec 5U4G tubes used for rectification. Voltage regulation via Takatsuki 300B tubes.
    • Allnic HA-3000 Head Amp
    Nuvistor tube based moving coil head amp.
    • SME 3012R Phono pick up arm
    1970’s NOS with knife edge bearing...not the shit gimbal bearing design that came out later.
    • Graham Engineering Phantom Elite 10 inch
    Grahams new reference arm with improved bearing, wiring, bearing house, arm tube
    • Graham Engineering Phantom II Supreme
    Fluid damped, uni-pivot design. 10 & 12 inch arm wand x 2.
    • Clearaudio Universal Tone Arm with VTA Lifter
    • Nordost Odin Supreme Reference Cabling
    2-1.25 meter DIN to RCA phono cables. 1-1.5 meter XLR for phono stage to main pre. 1-5 meter XLR for main pre to amps. 1.5 meter RCA, 4-2.5 meter Power Cords. 4 meter speaker cable.
    • Nordost Valhalla Reference DIN phono
    Used with Graham arm.
    • Koetsu Coralstone Platinum
    understated beauty of the petrified coral bodes…so rare is the material that cartridges in this guise will only be available in the US, priced at $15000 with production unlikely to exceed a couple of dozen…stunning naturalness and presence…a sense of substance and stability to the image…big and rich and vibrant…There's a rightness, an immediately convincing quality to its presentation that draws you into the music. Specifications: Body: Coral Stone Type: Moving Coil Coil Wiring: Silverplated Copper Magnet: Platinum Magnet Cantilever: Boron Cantilever Output Volts: 0.3mV Frequency Range: 20Hz to 100kHz Channel Seperation: 25db/1kHz Inner Impedance: 5 Ohm Channel Balance: 0.5db/1kHz Recommended Impednace: 30 Ohm Weight: 12g Compliance: 5 x 10-6 cm/dyne at 100 hz
    • Koetsu Tiger Eye Platinum
    Koetsu Tigereye Technical Data •Body: Tigereye •Type: moving coil •Coil wiring: silver-plated copper •Magnet: platinum •Cantilever: boron •Output: .3mV •Frequency range: 20Hz-100kHz •Channel separation: 25dB/1kHz •Inner impedance: 5 ohms •Channel balance: .5dB/1kHz •Recommended impedance: 30 ohms •Weight: 12.5 •Compliance: 5x10-6cm/dyne at 100Hz
    • Dynavector DRT XV-1t
    Urushi bamboo body. Dynavectors statement cartridge.
    • Ortofon MC A90
    Two units...One still Sealed for the future.
    • Shelter Harmony
    Shelter Phono Cartridge
    Output Voltage: 0.5 mV at 1Khz 5 cm/sec.
    Weight: 8.5 grams
    Channel Balance: within 0.8 dB at 1Khz
    Tracking Force: 1.4 to 2.2 grams
    Stylus Tip: 1.6 X 0.3 mil Line Contact Nude Diamond
    DC Resistance: 15 Ohm
    Recommended Load Impedance:
    Step Up Transformer - 10 to 30 Ohms
    Head Amplifier - within 100 Ohms
    High Gain EQ-amp - within 47K Ohms
    Compliance - 9 ìm/mN
    • Benz Micro Gullwing SLR
    MOMC
    • Lyra Olympos - Mono Phono Cartridge

    One of 4 mono versions ever made. SL single coil design. Output: .15mV

    Truly the Holy Grail for mono record playback.

    • Ikeda 9TT - Mono
    LOMC
    • PS Audio PerfectWave DirectStream DAC

    Stereophile Recommended Component 2015

    Class A+ Stereophile rated DirectStream DAC converts any digital input format, such as PCM or DSD to a pure DSD stream and outputs near-perfect analog directly to your power amplifier or preamplifier. Whatever the format, whatever the sample rate, DirectStream is a pure DSD based solution that fulfills the promise of a high-resolution analog performance standard the originators of CDs promised over 30 years ago. Hear what’s been missing in your music for all these years. If you know the sound of music and instruments, and want to hear what’s been missing on your discs, then this DAC is right for you.

    • PS Audio PerfectWave PWT
    Buffered Memory player. 24/192 capable
    • Pass Labs XS Preamp - Dual Chassis
    It is a large two chassis preamp built in a true dual mono arrangement. The circuit board materials are optimized for performance in each area, a power supply circuit board has different requirements
    • Pass Labs XS-150 Dual Chassis Monoblocks
    Class A solid state dual chassis mono-blocks Xs These are Pass Laboratories ultimate expression of Power Amplifiers the perfect blend of science and visceral emotion. The successor to our already lavishly praised and well regarded Supersymmetry patent. Every technical effort has been made to assure exceptional specifications, among these: Separate chassis for lower electromagnetic noise Power supplies with greatly enhanced storage capacitance Banks of redundantly parallel high speed / soft recovery rectifiers Improved high frequency noise filters Larger / quieter transformers Improved passive decoupling Lower power standby Input impedances of 200 k-ohm balanced with negligible capacitance These amplifiers will drive any load, while being driven from any source. If there’s a more emotionally satisfying amplifier anywhere, we’re not aware of it. Xs 150 / Specifications Gain (db)26 Power Output /ch (8 ohm)150 Power Output /ch (4 ohm)300 Maximum Output (Amps)30 Input Impedance,(Kohms)200k Balanced, 100k single-ended Power Consumption (W)500 Number of Chassis2 Dimensions (W x H x D)19 x 11.5 x 21.5 (each) Unit Weight (LBS)130 + 100
    • Wilson Audio Alexandria X2.2
    almandine black metallic with Black Grills
    • Table Stable TS-140
    Active Isolation table
    • Millennia Media NSEQ-4
    Profesional Level Parametric Utilized via tape loop on main pre when needed. EQ World’s first all-discrete, true differential Class-A input buffer/amplifier Selectable balanced or unbalanced input Greatly improved 3rd generation FSA-03 all-discrete EQ amplifier Improved output stage, no muting required (as with Twin Topology) True hard-wire bypass when EQ not selected Upgraded power supply leading to improved sonic performance
    • PS Audio P5 Power Plant
    Clean AC power Regenerator for source components only. Amps plugged directly into wall.
    • Stillpoints Ultra 5
    Used under Pass XS 150 amps, Wilson X-2.2 speakers and Clearaudio Master Innovation turntable.
    • Stillpoints LP1
    Used on top of all music chain components and as record weights for both turntables.
    • Stillpoints Ultra SS
    Isolation/Vibration control component footers
    • KL Audio Ultrasonic Record Cleaner
    The best ultrasonic record cleaner. Uses only distilled water.
    • Entreq Silver Tellus
    Signal grounding box. I use two...one dedicated to main preamp and the other dedicated to the phono preamp.
    • Entreq Atlantis Grounding Cables
    Two pairs for main preamp, one pair for phono stage
    • Clearaudio ACCUDRIVE
    Battery power supply for Clearaudio Master Innovation turntable.
    • Western Electric 422A Rectifiers
    Purchased NOS (1960 MFG Date)Used for rectification in the Allnic H5000 DHT phono preamp
    • Takatsuki 300B Tubes
    Hi-End 300B tube made in Japan. Used for voltage regulation in the Allnic H5000 DHT Phono preamp. These make a big difference on the performance of the tubes in the gain stage.
    • Torus Power RM-15 Plus Isolation Transformer
    2 units....one for each power amp channel.

Comments 277

Center
Owner
They should be right at or a minute before 12:00. I fear there is something wrong. Contact your dealer soon. They will probably need to go back to Pass. I would not let the dealer touch them inside.

rockitman

222222&text=tl
Hi Christian,
I have recently brought a pair of Passlabs Xs150. They replaced my ARC Reference 250, the sound is much better and I am very glad.

There is one question. The meter needle on one side is not exactly in the middle. It is sort of iin 11:45 o'clock position. The side with the needle right at 12:00 position feels slightly warmer than the other side. Does it mean the bias is off and needs adjustment by the dealer?

Thank you.

tli

Center
Owner
Peter,

I had a great time hanging and listening to a variety of music with you and David. It's nice to get opinions and learn from people with experienced ears. Cheers !

rockitman

222222&text=pe
On a whim, I recently contacted Rockitman and invited myself over to hear his system. I had a trip planned in the area and have always wanted to see/hear his system.

Chris is a most gracious host, totally infected with the high end bug. HIs system and music collection are truly something to behold. We listened to the new mono pressing of the Beatles on LP, a tape of Ray Brown playing live, a few of my own LPs brought for the occasion. No digital that night.

After some background discussions about the system and the music, we sat down to listen. The immediate and first impression of the sound was that the scale and energy of the music was completely captured and reproduced. Large scale music came across with the power and visceral impact that is heard live. The system was also completely effortless. Music simply emerged from nothingness and often exploded into the room. The other truly astonishing aspect of the sound was just how silent the LP playback is. The TechDas table is a marvel of engineering. I also really appreciated hearing the massive Pass mono blocks.

Chris demonstrated how sensitive the Herzon isolation table is. Simply tapping your toes on the carpet over concrete floor produced a response from the servos in the isolation unit. The digital readout then showed that nothing passed through the top plate. Nothig gets to this table and the result is pure black backgrounds and lack of distortion induced by vibrations.

The Sheffield Drum Track and solo piano track I played were exceptionally realistic. It is clear to me that Chris is a real enthusiast and loves his music. It was a very enjoyable evening of great music very well reproduced.

Thanks Chris for a great time.

peterayer

Center
Owner
Hi KMccarty,

The UHA is still breaking in. It is hot rodded and only offers IEC playback eq with the stock record and erase heads having been disconnected. There is no way to run a burn in cd signal to it to expedite quicker break in. I maybe have 40 hrs on it. Compared to my Technics 1500 nortronics head wired to a king/cello repro pre, the sound is more transparent with better micro detail. Dynamics also excel. The bass is more extended and more importantly has better coherence through it's range...no mid bass bump. I am happy with the machine as it handles tape better and safer than the rest of my decks and no side of tape, tape shedding. Whether it is my studer, technics, otari's, they all tend to flake a little oxide off presumably from the tape sides going through the guides. No such issue with the UHA...it's path is pure and smooth. I will comment more on it's sound after I get more time with it.

rockitman

Center
Owner
Hi Dev,

I am using a recently acquired Lyra Olympos mono for the rear 12" Phantom Supreme. Mono records have never sounded so good. My other mono cart on the CA table is a Ikeda 9TT. The Lyra kills it in resolution, transparency and frequency extension. I use a Dynavector XV-1t and a Koetsu Coralstone on the Elite 10" arm in the main slot. actually the Coralstone was in the rear slot and when I went to replace it with the Lyra, I noticed I had snapped off it's cantilever. It is going in for a complete rebuild at Koetsu for a cool $4,500.00. Tough lesson, so to make a long story short, a Tiger Eye is filling in. Two very distinct sound favors. The XV-1t seems to be a bit faster and more extended in the bass region. The Koetsu is no slouch. I enjoy them both.

rockitman

Center
As I recall, you've had some very nice reel-to-reel machines in your system. Perhaps you could comment on how the sound of your UHA Phase 11S-OPS compares to your other RTR machines.

kmccarty

222222&text=de
Rockitman, nice to see that space on the right is now occupied by your long awaited Elite arm.

What cart do you have paired up with it.

Any opinions, thoughts.

dev

Center
Owner
System edited: Main system pics revised

rockitman

Center
Owner
Hi Peter,

while I feel there is good merit for cable looms, I feel IC's are the most important to keep the same. Power cords and speaker cable not so much. I will not be switching to MIT IC's. I have no provision to deal with the heavy boxes in my system and the Odin IC's are fantastic. I plan on using the MIT speaker cable for a while. If it proves to be the cable I like best, I will probably sell the Odin speaker cable.

rockitman

222222&text=pe
Rockitman, congratulations on all of your changes. Will you be switching all of your cables over to MIT? Also, what do you think of the various different settings on the MA-X SHD cables? I played around with those in a Magico Q7 based system and found the different settings altered the sound quite a bit.

peterayer

222222&text=th
Thank you. You're a gentleman. I'm still a work in progress. Someday I hope to have the big Wilsons in my listening room. In the meantime and between listening sessions, I'll simply spend my time drooling all over the iPad as I stare at your X2.2s :).

thesaint519

Center
Rockitman,

Now that the Allnic H5000 DHT circuit has been modified, KS Park approves and recommends the 5U4G.

I'm playing with several options myself but there are so many changes in my system right now I won't make a decision for weeks.

The RCA you mention is interesting. In the Allnic H3000 I always liked the NOS 50s USA Tung Sol 5U4G. May go back and try it and the RCA you mention.

Ag insider logo xs@2xalbertporter

Center
Owner
It has been awhile since I updated my system info and pics. Latest purchases have been a United Home Audio Phase11S Reel to Reel machine w/outboard power supply.

I also upgraded my mono phono cart to a Lyra Olympos. I hope to have it installed on my 12" Graham Phantom supreme on the Airforce One TT tomorrow.

In other news I finally have stopped rolling rectifiers on my Allnic H5000 phono. My tube of choice is early 1950's JAN spec RCA 5U4G. These tubes have a plate current of 3 amps so the Allnic needs to be recent production or has had the PS resistors upgraded to handle the current. This tube far exceeds the performance of any tube I have used....5Y3, GZ 32, GZ 34 and GZ37. The GZ37 is my second favorite followed by the blue print JAN 5Y3 favored by Arnie and Albert on this site. I did a back and fourth comparo the other night with the 5Y3 and the 5U4G's. There was really no contest, the 5U4G's give a much more extended presentation with superior bloom and decay compared the the 5Y3's.

Finally, I switched my speaker cable from Odin to MIT MA-X SHD. The easiest way to describe the difference...Odin, sitting 10 rows back from the stage performance, MIT you are on the stage and enveloped by the music. Too very distinct presentations. The MIT really shines on bass extension and depth of soundstage.

rockitman

Center
Owner
Things are sounding very good Thesaint519. Thanks for the kind words. Looks like you have a mighty fine sounding system yourself.

rockitman

222222&text=th
Rockitman,

I must say that the "Holy Grail" never meant much to me. That is, until I saw your system, of course. Many of us only dream about owning the big Wilson's, but you've got all the world class electronics to go along with them. Tell me... Is it simply amazing?

thesaint519

Center
Owner
Yes Albert...H5000 DHT. Don't waste your time and money on Bybee. Big disappointment in the end.

rockitman

Center
Rockitman,

Interesting comments about the Bybee, yours is the second negative I've read about them. I have never had the opportunity to hear them.

The 1953 JAN RCA, assume is this in the Allnic H5000 DHT?

Ag insider logo xs@2xalbertporter

Center
Owner
My rectifier of choice for my Allnic is a 1953 JAN RCA 5U4G...3 amp plate current, DHT.

rockitman

Center
Owner
Some follow up with Bybee sound purifier bullets. The long of the short, they are inconsistent sounding and tonally shift. I first noticed the issue with my phono stage...thought it was unique to that equipment. Switched them to my tape pre...sounded good for a while then the tonal shift. They mysteriously lose bass extension and over accentuate the upper mids through treble. A most unpleasant situation. I started to wonder about the speaker bullets. Bybee says once you pull them, you will want them back. I found quite the opposite. A $3,000 tweak mistake. Live and learn.

rockitman

Center
Christian
Congrats on a truly awesome system.
Are those Stillpoints under your listening chair :-)
Cheers
Pradeep

sunnyboy1956

222222&text=hi
You have assembled a beautiful sound system; one I know I'd enjoy listening to.

hifimaniac

222222&text=nu
I need to correct myself for the previous post regarding Graham.

I realized it was a bit unfair to call Graham tonerms as toys compared to Ikeda. Although I admit Ikeda is a special piece of gear, it does not make Graham underdog.

number_95

222222&text=nu
Hi Christian,

Just received my 9" Elite tonearm. Initial observations: No Elite tonearm specifications (one may assume all of its parameters including effective mass, length same as previous Phantom models perhaps?!), user manual is for B-44 still (same manual as my 7 year old B-44's), DIN pin configuration has changed from L shape to straight (I do not know if he changed that for II and Supreme) so my phono cable does not fit into Elite and I need to send the cable back to Transparent Cable to change the DIN head configuration, no paper protractor to locate the tonearm (I have Universal protractors so not a problem). In terms of labor quality, Elite even after its serious price tag does not seem to exceed my 7 year old B-44, even the interior pivot housing seems having slightly better labor for B-44 compared to Elite. And compared to my other tonearm Ikeda 407 in terms of labor quality and precision, both Grahams look like toys!
I hope it will worth its price and waiting when I have the cable to use Elite :-)

number_95

Center
Owner
Thanks for the heads up Number 95. I hope you are right. Fingers crossed :-)

rockitman

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