DeVore Fidelity | Dayens | Well Tempered Labs | Grado | Denon | Audio Note UK | Ortofon | Cinemag / Ned Clayton | Wright Sound | Rega | Schiit | Pine Tree Audio
Photos updated 07/22.
I live in a one-room old schoolhouse in a hill town in Western Massachusetts. This stereo plays the house brilliantly.
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. I tried active preamps in front of the Dayens but kept coming back to a passive pre - was a Schiit Sys, now the classy but still simple passive from Pine Tree Audio.
Trying to have a nice balance between tone and warmth (Grado cart, tubed phono preamp, warm-sounding CDP) and lively directness (passive preamplifier, clean solid state amps). Not only do I not want to have the setup get more complicated than this, I often think it'd be great to just have once source into an integrated. Maybe someday - I seem to love analog and digital equally.
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. They sound brilliant anywhere but love being out in the room like I now have them.
I enjoy the presentation of the Denon 103 - with the Aluminum Body cap - through the Audio Note SUT. But I always find myself craving a Grado. UPDATE - currently trying an Ortofon SPU Classic with a DIY Cinemag 3440AH based SUT. Loving it so far.
Comments and suggestions are very welcome. Brands I’d love to check out include Linear Tube Audio, First Watt, Aric Audio, Shindo, Sugden, Auditorium 23, Belden, Soundsmith, an Ortofon SPU with different SUTs, Koetsu, Tannoy, Omega, Zu, and Klipsch.