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.


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 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
    • 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
    • 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 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 for each power amp channel.

Comments 277


My dealer called me to say Graham Elite will be delivered next week! Hope it is true, it has been a long wait.


Yep, the 300b tubes lack a position key that locks the tube in the socket. So you do need to observe the thin and thick pins. I mistakenly did this myself and once was enough.


H5000 PS repair update:
I heard back from David Beetles. Apparently my diode install was not thee problem. I re-installed the 300B's backwards. I can't stand the pins on them as they are easy to mis-orient. Another lesson learned.


Hi Mribob,

I tried the RCA bullets first. I use them for my tonearm cable into my phono pre. It sounds better with them than without. There is a considerable breakin period required. When I was not listening, I played a cd on repeat through them 24/7 for about a week. The effect is hard to describe. It is really about coherence. The music flows with greater ease and the bass region seems more integrated. The same type of effect occurs with the speaker bullets. They still have a ways to go before they are fully broken in. The best way to hear their effect is to use them for awhile then pull them out. I have not pulled the speaker bullets out yet to see what things sounded like before them. I plan to do so in another week or so and will post my impressions.


Any new impressions on the Bybee bullets? Have been curious about them, not sure how they work, or what they help fix.
Nice system by the way....very well thought out and true example do what is possible.


Not yet. I am hoping soon.


Hi Christian, have you received your Elite tonearm? I still wait for mine to get delivered. I have no idea why it takes so long?


Currently under audition are Bybee Super Effect Interconnect/Phono Bullets. I have to admit that I was skeptical. While they will need some significant burn in, what I am hearing so far is startling. There is a significant increase in bass to midrange coherence, better defined bass and an increase in extension. The sound stage width and depth has significantly grown. I am using these out of my Allnic HA3000 moving coil headamp. I wanted to try them with my moving coil inputs on the Allnic H5000 phono, but since the rca's are recessed into the back plate, the rca male does not make adequate contact since the tube after the rca is too wide. I am going to see if they can add 1/4" in length to the rca diameter tube. Based on my audition so far, I may be trying the speaker bullets.


Well I think I found my favorite tube. Mullard late 60's O getter, brown base GZ37's. Maybe it has to do with the higher current. You need to have the upgraded heavy duty diodes installed. Something I botched on my last unit. I made the cardinal sin...soldering iron not hot enough and I overheated thee circuit. With these tubes the sound erupts and expands with a voracity I have not heard with this unit before. Everything is more extended, tighter and more dynamic. I now prefer transformer input to head amp/MM input. Rectifier tubes make all the difference.


Thank you, I also ordered a 9 inch Elite, hope it get delivered within similar time period you mentioned. I hope the differences between Elite and my Phantom B-44 will be audible. If this is the case, either I will upgrade B-44 to Elite as a second tonearm or will go to a different route like Ikeda IT-407 12" tonearm.



It will be a few more weeks. No specs. I would imagine they will be very similar to the Supreme, although the Elite arm tube is of a bigger diameter, different wiring and the bearing is also improved. That is all I know.


Hello Christian,

When do you get your Graham Phantom Elite tonearm delivered? Do you have the specs for the new Elite?



Outstanding service.



Hi Christian,

That's great news. Allnic is a first class company both with its superb products and great customer service.


Allnic service:

All I can say is unbelievable. I screwed up my unit (mistake of a too cool soldering iron)and they are sending me out a new power supply immediately with the new heavy duty diodes already installed. Once I verify all is well, I will simply return my broken unit. I am much happier now as I will have it by end of week, versus a few weeks waiting for repair. Allnic takes great care of their customers.


Change diodes at your own risk. I seemingly de-soldered the stock diodes and soldered in the heavy duty diodes. All seemed well until I reassembled the unit. During reassembly, my finger touched something in the circuitry and shocked the hell out of me. The unit had been unplugged for an hour. My finger was even blistered. So I plug the unit in and the meter on the left channel doesn't even light up. The right channel did light up, but the meter was far to the right. Perhaps the meters need to be re-calibrated for the heavy duty diodes ? In any event it appears the unit needs to go in for repair. Damn !!! I received my GZ37 tubes today, so that motivated me to put in the new diodes so I could check GZ37's out. Back to the Pass XP-25...Damn again. :-(


So I tried NOS late 50's Phillips/Holland made GZ32 big bottle (shape of 300B)rectifiers last night. They have a spacious sound, but are a bit loose on the bass definition. I like the GZ34 F31 Valvo's and F32 Mullards better. The best tube so far is still the German made Tele's (Navy Tubes)from the late 60's with a bottle similar in shape to a GZ34 but is about 1/4" bigger in diameter. It also uses the full octet of 8 pins instead of the usual 5. I suspect the 3 additional pins are dummies and are there to secure the tube in the socket better than the 5 pin. Next week I should get my Mullard GZ37's to try. That will be the end of the rectifier tube test odyssey for this phono pre.


Rockitman, at 400v my amp relaxes and sounds a bit more groovy. It sort of breathes more naturally and the leading edges are softer. At 425v, the amp sounds a bit tighter and has a bit more jump and sounds more dynamic. I may have more to report on this subject now that my EML 300bXLS are fully broken in. I havent tried my GZ37s with the EML's yet.


Thanks for pointing out the difference in operating voltages Jet. I am not sure what it all means as it relates to change in sound. I need a crash course on electronic circuits.


Totally with you on rectifiers. In my system GZ34 yield a B+ of 425 or 430 and GZ37s give a B+ of around 400v. Very different operating points for not just the output tubes but also the driver tube. I like both for the different presenations they offer. Have not rolled in the 37's for some time. Time to do that. I have also found a fairly easy way to reduce the B+ of my phono stage by 15v which also offers interesting results.
Regards Jet.


These may be a game changer. First listening session very positive. The bass & midrange seem much stronger, more slam, bolder than any GZ34 I have tried. It almost sounds like I added a well integrated sub. Get them while there hot.

I have come to the conclusion that I will probably never settle on a favorite rectifier, although this may be it. It is nice to have the option of such different sound presentations by rolling these tubes. Perhaps GZ37 will be even better ? I plan to solder in the new heavy duty resistors to handle GZ37 current this weekend, just in time for their arrival (Mullards) next week.


The GZ32 Telefunken small bottles arrived today. I also have 1950's big bottle GZ32 tele's made in Holland. First up is the small bottle german made tele's. They are warming up now. :-)


Email sent Albert. Thanks.


Christian, I'm already working on that.

KS and David have an idea that they think will provide the flexibility you want without sacrificing performance. They ask if you would provide a diagram showing your EQ interface pathway (along with equipment model and description).

Please send to my email address.

Ag insider logo xs@2xalbertporter

Displaying posts 76 - 100 of 277 in total