Everything in this system is intended to represent strong performance for the money and the result is very pleasing.The image size is very realistic. The system is very smooth, transparent,and alive, with great bass clarity and overall dynamics.It plays to near live levels in my medium sized room. I enjoy it very much! It may be crass to call this a budget system but I just saw Albert Porters system and figured out where I am at.
Classic 3 way using 2, 5 1/4" Audax HM130Z12 high performance Areogel woofers with an 8" passive,Dayton RS52 metal dome mid replaces the original modified 37mm Polydax dome mid, and a Foster E110T samarium cobalt planar tweeter Solen Fast caps in woofer circuit Sand filled mid/tweeter cabinet VH Audio OIMP 10uf in mid circuit
a great player for the cash. Mine has the black face plate.
Bel Canto Design eVo 200.2
Gleart sounding class "T" amp tweaked with new Nichicon power supply caps and some other trick parts.
Line stage on loan until I can complete my Pass DIY, First watt B1 buffer stage.
Grover UR 8
Killer BIG bang for the buck IC's , not in use right now because the Naim has those DIN plugs on the back of the damn thing for inputs
Custom Made Vandersteen X-2 clones
my own hand made fixed X-over filters featuring VH Audio TFTF caps, for vasty improved sound over the factory units which use generic yellow REL caps. Not being used in the rig right now due to having no sub for the time being
14Ga OFC speaker cable replacing the stuff that comes with the 2Wq features deep cryogenic treatment and demagnetization. I dressed it up with some clear tech flex. It sounds much better than the old stuff for not a huge investment. Not being un
MIT MI 330
MI-330 used from tuner
Custom Power Cord Co. High value
Custom Power Cord Co. model eleven
used for power amp and line stage. Both have been modded. the line filter caps have been removed to work better with the Alan Maher PE and Furutech ends have been installed.
Monster Cable HTS 1000
Bright Star Audio Air Mass 3
2, one under the CD2 and one under the SP9
Bright Star Audio Air Mass 2
Air isolation bass under VT50
Vibrapod vibration control feet
Used under TT using sandwich method with MDF base. Also under sub woofer and between 2Ce's and their stands. total of 20
2, one on CD2 and one on SP9
Billy Bags Pro 30
Black with Fusion Maple shelves,isolation tips, sand filled, 197 lbs. including sand
Billy Bags 2020
Amp stand under VT 50
Oyaide Cryo'd SWO-GX
This is one hell of an AC outlet. They use extra thick (2 micron) 24K direct Gold plating over high conductivity phospher bronze. The contact surface is thoroughly (twice) polished before each plating process.This thing sounds right. I have the front end plugged into this.
Porter Port Cryo treated Hubbell 8300HI
NASA cryo treated, hospital grade duplex AC receptacles. The amp and sub are fed by this outlet.
Nitty Gritty Pro
wet vac record cleaning machine
DIY Sub Woofer Isolation Platform
DIY Bright Star Big Rock clone. Holds over 60 lbs. of sand.
DIY Power Conditioner Isolation Base
Sand filled isolation platform made to fit Monster HTS 1000
Keith passed away in April of this year (2010). Far too young and very talented guy. I met Keith over 30 years ago. He was the brother of my college roomate. Keith was always very "tuned-in" to the world around him. Weather it was tweaking his stereo or his artwork he had an amazing insight.
System edited: The system is re evolving slowly back to higher performance. I am in the process of building a Nelson Pass designed DIY, First Watt B1 buffer stage between the Cd out put and the amp. No gain is needed here as the Cd player outputs 2 volts and the amp can be driven to it's full power with that same voltage. The B1 is said to be very transparent. I am also still in the process of replacing my beloved low frequencies with a DIY replacement of the 2Wq which will utilize a single Dayton Reference series 15" driver in a sealed cabinet of yet undetermined dimensions, driven by quite a powerful plate amp. Tweaking will continue as always, because without tweaking you just have a bunch of stuff hooked up and stuck randomly in a room that makes some sort of sound/noise. None of this gear is plug and play. It takes time and patience and an open mind to coax music from your electronics.
It has been about 35 years now that I have always had a vinyl rig in my system. Yesterday I sold my trusty and beloved Well Tempered Lab table along with my audio research preamp.
I need to simplify my life as things have gotten complicated with both my beautiful Wife's and with my own health.
I will now pursue, or so far this is the plan, an all digital system that will consist of quite a bit of DIY gear.
It is both sad in one way and exciting in another. A very nice local gentleman bought the gear from me and couldn't be a bigger pleasure to work with. He is excited about getting it and I'm excited about him getting as much enjoyment from it in the future as I have in the past.
I will build around the Kindels and start over in a new adventure to once again coax music from these magic little boxes of electronics.
System edited: Now finally Vandersteen free and very happy about it indeed! Too many nice people in this business to own stuff made by people like him. I am going to throw a party when that old "DICK" kicks the bucket after having an aneurysm while screaming at yet another of his valued customers. I now give him the finger! There ya go DICK, happy trails, a-hole. Sold the 2Wq to a friend and I am now on a journey to DIY my own sub. Lots of details to work out and the rest of the system is in complete flux. I deleted the old system pic. It was like it came from a history book. I may just sell everything off except the Phantoms, the rack, and most of the cables and start over much of it DIY.
I've had the Rotel in the system for more than a year. I like it at least as well as the CD 2. The isolation st up has a lot to do with it sounding so good. Roller bearings work wonders under CD players. ARC can't service the transports on the CD 2 now. I would love to have an ARC CD 3 with it's Phillips Pro 2 drive. My other friend Mike has a 3 mkII and I'd say it's worth every penny it cost but the 1072 is a real bang for the buck champ, especially a clean used one like I bought.
May I ask why you might want to upgrade the tweeters? Are they not working properly? As far as the passive a SEAS would drop right in. You would need to experiment with adding some mass to get the right system Q, but it's fairly easy to accomplish.
I'm happy to answer any other Phantom questions I can.
Nice system.. yeah I had the same vibe from Mr. Vandensteen.. he can get a bit cranky on the phone; when I had a bad driver he sort of had fun scaring me with a comment that he might not even have parts anymore for the 2ce.. He is one of those that comes out coarse and you have to listen closely and ignore the grity appearance. I am a lot like him so I can relate to why people might get turned off by some of his responses.
The best speaker placement is going to vary from room to room. I would start with the "Speaker Placement" section of the manual for your speakers. There is a section the gives some guidelines for different placements based on the dimensions of your room. Some experimentation will be needed but the guidelines should give you some good starting points.
As far as cable goes you can find some good values out there. I would check out the Grover interconnects that I am using now. His IC's offer very high performance for your dollar. I love them in my rig and have no real interest in trying anything else now. I also hear great things about Grover's speaker wire from an on line audio buddy who bought some and loves it. The Audioplan speaker wire I am using now is a silver clad wire from Germany and is something that I have had for years. I'm not sure anyone sells it in the U.S. at this time. You can e-mail Grover for details. It takes a long time to get the cables but is well worth the wait.
Hi Maxgain, I have Vandy 2ce Sigs that I love. My rig isn't as sophisticated as yours & I'm still learning. (Aren't we all?). I want to know how many inches from your back wall you kept the rear surfaces of the Vandy. In the latest Stereophile Mag. re. the new Vandy 2ce Sig. II's, appar. RV recommends "about 56 inches". Does this sound correct to you? Right now I'm just under 4 ft. Lastly, I'm using I think Monster cable that I purchased at Circuit City, it was cheap. Your speaker cables cost $600 bucks? If there's an advantage I'd like to do it, but it feels like walking into a minefield of speaker cables & interconnects. Are yours good in the price/performance category? Duncan
System edited: I'll try at some point to get new photos of the system. The new speakers aren't as pretty to look at right now as the old ones but they sound great. I updated the power supply in the SP 9 with a Jensen audio grade 100uF 500V electrolytic cap and IXYS ultra high speed soft recovery diodes. It needs a few days to burn in but so far the change is a positive one. The stock main power supply cap was getting quite old and I wanted to replace it BEFORE it might have a failure.
System edited: The Kindels have been updated once again with new Dayton Reference Series dome mid range drivers. The RS52AN-8 2" dome mid range replaces the old and now tired Polydax(Audax) 37mm fabric domes from the original design. The specs are close enough on the two drivers that it is working so far as a drop in replacement. The RS52 is very low in distortion. They sound amazing. I will need to let things burn in a settle down. Ther is still the possibility that after living with he change I may need to make small adjustments to the crossover but at this point I don't think that is going to be needed at all. I now dub this the Kindel Audio "Super" Phantom. With the upgraded crossover parts and the new high tech Audax woofers and now the new mid domes these things are sounding pretty special. The Foster leaf tweeter is an outstanding performer and these new drivers seem to elevate everything to that level. If you can't tell I am pretty damn pleased.
System edited: Grover Ultimate Reference IC's are placed in the system between the CD player and the pre amp and from the pre amp to the amp. These are a silver copper hybred cable with simple low mass RCA ends that sound great to my ear. They are very clean, very open, and very musical. A real high value product and a best buy. Grover does one hell of a job.
System edited: Getting the EVo 200.2 settled into the rig. Added tweaked CPCC Model Eleven to power the amp. The cable has an all copper Furutech male end and a silver plated bronze IEC. The amp is plugged straight into the Oyaide SWO-GX. A three foot stock version of the same cable now powers the Vandersteen sub with the addition of a Cryo treated Schurter IEC inlet. This replaces a 16 gauge stock cord on the sub.
System edited: The next phase of the downsizing move has been to part with my beloved Audio research VT 50 tube amp. I have only owned tube amps for more than twenty years. I will miss a lot about this amp. I won't miss the heat or needing to think about tube life. The Bel Canto will be on all the time, warmed up and waiting to play. I don't even have it yet so I don't know for sure what it will sound like in the system. I am hoping for good things adn can always tweak things to taste. I will report further after it arrives.
Max, thanks for the advice on matching the caps. I had forgotten that some places have this capability. I should have the money by fall or so and will move forward. Thanks again for all your help! John
Jkay, your calculations are correct. I come up with 150k as a 0.01325uF cap. The model three will work great with the sub. If you have a really big room and like or liuke a bit more warmth the .014 value would be better, if you could find that exact size cap. There is always a little slop in cap values within a certian tolerance. I find that DynamiCaps .01 tend to really be .013 and I doubt you could find them much closer to what you are needing than that. You should pay a little extra and have the caps matched and try to get them to match them as close to the true value you need. They will be measuring the actual individual cap values with a meter.
Max, sorry for taking a while to get back to you. Heavy travel. I've seen pictures of the Vandy crossover, but have never seen it in person. I ran the numbers based on an imput impedance of 150K for my Audio Research 100.1 amp. I came up with cap values of 0.014 uF for 75.71 Hz and 0.013 uF for 81.54 Hz. I appreciate you doublechecking what I came up with. I'll zero in on what to use for reference (150K in above example) once I have the inexpensive adjustable crossover and do some listening. I'll then make up some fixed crossovers using good caps.
System edited: The downsizing has begun. I find myself needing to remove some cash from my system. I sold my trusty Audio Research CD player and replaced it with a Rotel RCD-1072. I have to say that I think I can live quite happily with the sound of the 1072. The next unit that I have to part with is my beloved VT 50. I will hate to see it go too but I will figure out a way to still get good sound but on a much tighter budget.
John, Other than some small details that is for the most part all there is to the filters. Have you ever seen the X-2 fixed filters that vandersteen makes? I like to use teflon to insulate the ground wire.
I would be willing to check out the numbers you came up with for the filters.