DeVore Fidelity | Dayens | Well Tempered Labs | Grado | Denon | Audio Note UK | Wright Sound | Rega | Schiit | Pine Tree Audio
My current set up is the present form of an ever-evolving process. Friends, online writers, and stereo shop folks have all influenced where I’m at now with two channel audio, but I’ve made a point to really stick my own personal tastes and proclivities. Those would be tone, texture, presence. If the human voice sounds sublime on my system, then I know I’m getting it right. Most all other aspects fall in line behind the human voice.
You can then see my preference for Grado carts and a tubed phono stage. The Dayens amps also have a sweet, smooth sound, and the Rega CDP does, at least to my ears, sound ‘analog’. I tried a few active preamps and just kept coming back to a $50 Schiit Sys. Others just added too much 'fog'. The Pine Tree Audio passive pre is a nicer version of that same idea. A passive pre really lets the other components speak.
I clearly also have a penchant for minimalism, maybe, but also one box one job. I try to keep the signal chain short but let each unit really shine and add something. Couch, rug, room, plants and wine are all, in my view, part of the experience.
The DeVORE FIDELITY Gibbon Super Nines are a recent addition and, as you might expect, have really been blowing my mind (previous speakers were Sonus Faber Liutos). Somehow they have both transparency AND tone, not to mention completely mind-boggling sound-staging and imaging. A performance of a piece of classical Indian music takes place RIGHT in front of me, just right THERE. I pick my jaw up off the floor quite a bit.
Comments and suggestions are very welcome. I go back and forth between the Denon and the Grado Sonata. Currently can't stop listening through the Grado.… Brands I’d love to check out include Linear Tube Audio, First Watt, Aric Audio, Shindo, Soundsmith, and Klipsch.