This system started out with a life-long desire to own a pair of Magnepan speakers. Ever since hearing my first pair as a teenager in the 1980s I was hoping I could have the pleasure of welcoming their sound to my home at some point. I started with MMGs and have now progressed to MG 12s. These are in a very small room and thus I have no desire to go any larger.  As so often it depends on the quality of the recording and which source is being used. The component rack is a combination of a simple Target Utility rack and wooden cutting boards on top of dampers. The turntable is suspended by an audio shelf I ordered on Amazon. I initially called this an inspirational system since I know there are more expensive and likely better sounding components out there. With two kids in college this is what the budget allowed and I am trilled each time I go an listen to some music on it. The addition of the Primaluna pre-amp multiplied the enjoyment. Aspirational or not, it is has become a giggly enjoyable and musical set up. The room progressed from a former upstairs office to "the music room". The small cabinets hold the CDs, the taller shelves are for the vinyl.

Components Toggle details

    • Onkyo CD Player DX-7555
    A nice solid unit. I am now running it exclusively through the Jolida DAC and am much happier with this set up. Interconnects are Audioquest Cinnamon Coax and Wireworld Luna 7.
    This is a great sounding DAC. It tamed some of the harshness I flt I heard from my Onkyo DX-7555. I yet have to replace the stock tubes. I also added a bluetooth capability via an adapter Auvio 1500476 - sounds ok, but still compressed from a Sony NVZ 17 A.
    • Bellari Phono Pre-amp VP 130 & MT 502
    This is what helps to translate the turntable into music. The tube was a Mullard and now is an NOS Tungsram. It is connected to the Rotel pre-amp with Wireworld Luna 6 interconnects. I also added the Bellari MT 502 as an SUT.
    • Rega Turntable RP3 - heavily modified
    This RP3 is actually is misnomer. It started out as a Rega Planar 2. It only retained the dark hood and the RB 250 tonearm with upgraded metal stub and weight. From the bottom it received Michael Lim feet upgrades, an RB 3 plinth with the 24V motor, a dual 45 rpm Michael Lim metal pulley and two belts. The sub platter is from of Gus or Tango Spinner, the Delrin Platter is from Groovetracer. Speed stability and changes are facilitated by is provided by a Music Hall  Cruise Control 2.0.

    The music is translated now by a Zu Audio DL 103 MK II. It works great with the RB 250 which required the Michel Tecnoweight upgrade. 
    • Grado Headphones SR 325e
    These are great headphones I get to put on when the rest of the house wants piece and quiet. I have a Grado extension cord running to the couch so that I ust need to plug them in whenever needed.
    • Rotel Poweramp RB 991
    I started with a Rotel RB 981, now in my other system. Wanting to replace this nice "little" amp with a Rotel RB 1080, I initially bought one. After I got it, I listened to it in my system. I ended up selling the RB 1080 since I find the RB 981 has plenty of power and a "warmer" sound. It is connected to the pre-amp via Kimber Hero interconnects and the speakers are hatched via bluejean speaker cables. I then decided to stay in the same generation of amps andreplaced the RB981 with an RB 991. That did the trick. More of the same sound and better transients. A lot I folks stated that th RB 1080 and RB 991 sound the same. The two samples I owned sounded nothing alike. The RB 991 gets to stay and the RB 981 moved to another system in the house.
    • TrippLite Powerstrips
    I am using a low-tech solution here. I downsized to a single Tripplite after discovering a ground loop. All components are now running through the TrippLite. I found that running the source components through TrippLites opened the sound a bit.
    • Magnepan MG-12qr
    These are fantastic speakers - I listen to a lot of Jazz and acoustic music. Especially with Bill Evans live recordings - it's like being there. They do expose bad recordings for what they are, but that does not dampen my listening pleasure.
    • PrimaLuna Prologue Premium Preamp
    Just this month June 2018, I was furtunate to find an only 5 month old Primaluna Porlologue Premium Preamp for sale at a price I could justify to my wife...Since my birthday is coming up she agreed and I am loving it. This tube pre-amp is said to fatten up the sound. To me it added space and substance to the music. I left the tubes stock, but replaced the power cable with a Wireworld Stratus 7. I am using the same for the power amp and was able to try a few combinations with Zu Audio, Pangera, Audioquest and Wireworld combinations before settling on the two Wireworlds.
    • Sony NWZ-A17
    I use the Sony mainly for my bedside system and traveling. Since the day I bought it I looked for a way to connect it to my DAC. I finally found the BCR-NWH10. It charges the Walkman and has the digital out I was looking for. The only catch - I had to order it from Japan since I could not find it at a US dealer. The stand I custom build from stuff I had around the house, including a can of black spray paint.

Comments 7

Ken, it is a Canton Discostat. It was made in the 1980s for the German Speaker manufacturer Canton. This is when I bought a set of them for my turntables. They often come up on eBay as NOS or used, most often as European listings.


just wondering where you got the cool dust brush arm that is mounted to your turntable ????....thanks.........ken


I just another look at the pictures and the "grey boxes" behind the speakers are actually iPhone boxes used as cable risers. No, they are not a sonic innovation, but make cleaning easier and are prevent static electricity from reaching the speaker cables.



Thank you so much for your kind words an encouragement. Each day I listen to the system it brings a smile to me. The back walls holds the outlets - the power needs to come from somewhere. I have often thought about room treatments and had used some cheap acoustic panels when I still had MMGs. The did not do much, which I translate into it wasn't done right. My next stop is to look up your rig to learn what can be done better - after all that is part of the the attraction - how to tweak just enough to make a difference in the enjoyment of music. 


This is one of the most captivating systems I have seen here for several reasons. Obviously, this is a labor of love, to push the envelope of the small space to the max. You have brainstormed, obviously, to use every inch of space to its fullest. 

I applaud your willingness to try things which others would say "can't" be done! I myself have many times explored less than optimum options and found terrific enjoyment. Kudos on going after the speakers you WANT, regardless of the opinion that they WON'T work in your room. I'll bet you are enjoying them immensely! That is precisely what I would do, realizing that the benefits would outweigh the drawbacks. 

I see so much of myself years ago in your system. I would have made it work, just as you have. THAT's so much of the glory of this hobby, going after the dream, the enjoyment of making a system and room work. I think others should take encouragement from your efforts, to not let less than ideal positioning, etc. stop the exploration. I'm quite sure you have plenty of joy listening to the dream speakers you always wanted.  :)

I owned Maggie 1.6QR for a while, so I know what you are experiencing, and it's great to run panel speakers. Nice go with the supplemental sub. You can refine this rig as much as you want; in this intimate setting you will hear every improvement. 

A couple thoughts...
What is the grey device behind the left speaker? Is this an electronics related device? Related to the space behind the speakers, you may wish to consider making some sound panels from sheets of dense insulation; you can get such from suppliers, look on line. You may enjoy the effect of diminishing the back reflected wave off the head wall. Take a look at my front corners where i have placed panels to reduce the bounce from the backward directed wave. 

Again, superb! Your rig touches so many memories and the simple joy of exploration which I love in audiophilia! 


Nice catch, luckily the door is to a storage area and a mere 4ft high; it's all about proportions


I applaud your use of a wall mount for your turntable, but...   above the door?!?!   Unless you're a retired NBA center, how do you get to it?  Where's your ladder?

Have you thought of locating your audio rack and table along one side wall in the room and running a longer speaker cable?  


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