this room and system is the result of 10 years in High End audio. my
system has been stable for a couple of years (except for transport and
amplifier upgrades within the same brand). the room has been in the
planning stage for about 18 months and i actually moved in a little over
a month ago.
my audio philosphy is to have the system get out
of the way of the event. i like as pure and simple a signal path as
possible and, at this point, prefer passive to active gain stages. i
love all the formats and enjoy having lot's of music.....vinyl is my
favorite but i listen to at least 60% digital. the new room really
reveals the benefits of SACD over redbook.
the system and room
truely allow the event to be recreated before me. i love the way the
speakers disappear and i am transported to another place/time.
i have choosen my cables, sources, amps, speakers to have as little of their own sound as possible.
recently, i upgraded my digtial transport from the modified Philips
SACD 1000 to the new emmlabs CDSD.....this was a significant step upward
i have written an article in Positive Feedback regarding my room building experience.....here is a link;
active isolation under 5 separate components: (1) the NVS turntable, (2) the MSB dac, (3) the darTZeel preamp, (4 + 5) both darTZeel mono block amplifiers. custom modifications by Taiko Audio add a linear power supply plus panzerholtz top layer + Daiza platform to provide full frequency resonance attenuation to each platform.
Taiko Audio Daiza isolation platform--22 used in the system
Panzerholtz Platform with spiral cutouts reducing mid and high frequency resonance while retaining life and energy and not changing tonality.
22 Daiza platforms in the system of various sizes under every piece of the signal path.
Adona Zero GTX rack---3 of them--each 4 shelf.
all three with 27" x 21" turntable top.
solid rack for best direct floor connection.
Tripoint Audio Troy Signature
Grounding box for chassis grounding the darTZeel 458 mono block amplifiers + grounding the passive main towers of the Evolution Acoustics MM7 speaker system.
Tripoint Audio Elite
Tripoint Elite grounding box. this does chassis grounding for my sources. it uses a a pair of Tripoint Thor SE Master Reference ground cables for my dart preamp and the MSB Select II dac. there are also 4 Signature Silver ground cables to the two arm boards of the NVS tt, the power supply of the NVS tt, and the SGM server.
10kva balanced Isoltion transformer and distribution panel.
Furutech GTX-D NCF Rhodium duplex outlets
10 in the system. used with 10 Furutech covers and frames. uses NCF (nano crystal formula) material to reduce noise by emitting negative ions.
Absolute Fidelity power interfaces
power cords specifically designed for either motors (tt and tape decks), amplifiers, and components. 11 in the system.
Wave Kinetics A10 U8 decoupling footers
8 sets-of-4 in the system for individual tuning of each piece of gear.
Auralex T-Fusor diffusers
i use 20 of these. 6 each on the front side walls, and 4 each front ceiling and rear ceiling.
Klaudio Record Cleaning System
automatic record cleaner
Acoustic Revive RL-30 mKIII CD-LP demagnatizer
for demaging any disc.
Furutech DF-2 LP disc flattner
will remove warps from Lps
Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Anniversary Ed.
will cook any cables
Winds ALM-01 Stylus Force Gauge
easy accurate, repeatable, measurments.
i-Tower by Koncept LED floor lamp
(3) are used. best audio light ever. 2 'warm', 1 'cool'.
Quietrock THX 545 drywall
specialized drywall with a 1/4" metal layer. used in my front sidewalls to establish proper room boundaries.
my guy is not too available. where are you located?
the more i think about it, if i were starting over now, honestly i would recommend the Ampex ATR-102 as the most sensible choice for a top level deck. it's really similar to my A-820 Studer's and much more reasonable to repair and get parts. the Studer's are sexier to look at and play with, but the Ampex will perform in the same realm.
i did own an Ampex ATR-102 for 5 years and it's a great choice.
atrservice.com is who i would contact. great people.
Thanks Mike for the help and compliments.appreciate it. I was doing good until I saw your 3 Studers. I had 2 other makes in mind but it appears that must be reconsidered. If a person of your experience has these it's a no brainer for me. If your local guy takes in other work it is worth sending it to him?
the A-807 is a 'little brother' to my A-820's, and if you can find one of those in great shape, then it would be a great choice. what's important is to either have the skills to fix it, or know of someone who can help. this era Studer uses early EPROM's for system control. so repairs are not simple. and parts can be hard and expensive to source.
i'm lucky to have a local guy who really knows Studer's.
these machines are works of Art and tape handling is superb. so they are worth the effort.
Gotcha! Agree with all of your points, esp listening with lights dimmed. A tapestry is a better idea than an oil painting anyway, and you've also got me thinking about a really neat antique horse blanket I have, and now Navajo & Cherokee blankets and quilts too. The neat thing about a solution like that is how interchangeable it would be. But I understand that it's not likely to be a priority in a serious, dedicated listening room where the lights are low!
PS: I finally read your PF essay. Impressed by what you said at the end about classical music. I've always said that rock music sounds better at home than it does in a concert venue, while classical music always sounds better in the concert hall. You appear to be one person who has transcended that limitation. Salut
appreciate the kind offer. it is a blank canvas and you are not the first to suggest i do something artistic with it. in some ways it's a missing piece of the visuals.
the cloth that covers that 'half-round' resonator is acoustically significant. maybe someday i will find a tapestry that could replace it that would add the right touch.
OTOH i live in the mountains, so everywhere there is beauty. and i listen in dim light, seeking a 'zen' state and travel in my mind with the music. so any art on that wall would mostly help with the pictures of the room, and not my listening experience.
there are two windows i have plugged, that offer a wonderful view; but the sound is better with those windows plugged. so that is my priority.
I'd give anything for the opportunity to execute a painting on canvas for that convex surface. But I've the feeling that a surface covered with oil paint might complicate the acoustics, even if it helps the aesthetics. Hmm.
sorry for the delay in my response. somehow i missed this until just now.
and you are correct; that front center large round diffuser had a triple tall RPG Skyline stack (which did resemble ribbing) from about 2008 to 2015. then in 2015 i was working on room tuning and fixed some issues that eventually led to me to understanding that the Skyline was causing a problem. one of those situations where you have a band aid that is a net positive, but when you fix the underlying issue then that band aid is revealed to be a problem.
so it has been gone for almost 5 years now.
if you scroll down and go to the previous page there are a series of 4 posts that describe my year long room tuning process and this issue with the Skyline is put into context in much detail.
Hi Mike. Thank you for your detailed and comprehensive response. I will look into the 'passive' Daiza Panzerholz platforms. The Tana, based on my understanding of what you've shared, doesn't appear a functional fit with my components (and is outside of my budget).
One point to add, the Daiza are aesthetically pleasing and will be easy for me to match / coordinate with my rack, room, etc.
good thoughtful question. sorry if this answer is long winded, but it's not simple to answer.
the basic differences between the Taiko Tana 'system' and a single Daiza platform is that the Tana is 'active' and the Daiza is passive. and also that the Tana 'system' includes the main shelf element of the passive Daiza.
n essence; the Tana 'system' includes (1) a Table Stable (brand name Herzan in the western hemisphere) TS active shelf, (2) a 10mm top Panzerholtz layer attached to the top plate, (3) a thin rubber membrane, (4) a Daiza Panzerholtz shelf (without footers), and (5) a very well built and elaborate separate linear power supply (replacing the stock SMPS in stock Herzan units) that even has a Panzerholtz case and uses a separate Daiza shelf underneath.
the Tana 'system' combines the active portion that optimizes frequencies below 200 hz, and then the 10mm top plate + the rubber membrane + the top shelf that optimizes higher frequencies. so as a system it attenuates full frequency.
i did start a thread here on Audiogon about this product with more details. here is a link;
there are no other anti-resonance devices in industry or high end audio that can compete with the Tana system. the only 2 gotcha's for the Tana are (1) the gear being treated cannot generate it's own noise, or the active Tana will get caught in a feedback loop of noise cancellation.....and burn itself up. some turntables, for instance, transmit resonance to their footers, these are not candidates for the Tana 'system'; and the other gotcha is (2) the cost. not cheap. another thing is that the Tana requires a solid rack and floor to be effective. suspended wood floors are not recommended.
"The Daiza is an acoustically optimized vibration damping and control platform, made from CNC machined German Panzerholz". it also has special two piece footers that provide excellent impedance breaks between your gear shelf and the gear chassis. and you can stack two Daiza sheves on top of each other for greater passive resonance attenuation. i have 4 such dual stacked Daiza's in my system.
Mike: Can you comment on the differences / advantages / disadvantages / what one leaves on the table between the Taiko Tano Herzan and Taiko Daiza platforms? And your reasons for adding 22 Daizas? Thanks. - David.
Hey Mike, that is one heck of a man cave, more like man house. Great job getting to that position in life. I'm sure you toiled countless hours to get there.
So I am going to ask about probably the least expensive piece of audio equipment in your room. The Claudio record cleaner. As you know, I believe they went out of business and the remaining devices are quite a deal. However, watching the videos on how to use them, it seems rather cumbersome! Your thoughts and experience with it?
appreciate those very nice words. my system certainly has been a labor of love and very long term effort. many low spots to get to the good places.
as far as 'other systems' and what i've heard, that's a hard question to answer. i've been in this room now for 15 years. for the first 10 of those years i heard a few systems that did do some things as good or better than my system. did i prefer those systems overall? not that i recall. but there were things about them i aspired to capture in my system. so i was inspired to keep pushing.
then about 3-4 years ago i made some significant changes and found some fine tuning progress in my system that took things to another level or three. since that time i think i would say i've not heard anything that i like as much or prefer to my system. keep in mind there are many top systems i've not heard.
i hesitate to use the word 'better' or 'best'. as there are many paths to musical reproduction bliss. for my particular musical compass i feel i'm where i need to be. i feel that i have a system that synergizes well and that however hard i push things the system can deliver. and my big advantage over other systems trying to do big music is that my room is not limiting. it's purpose built to do it all. lots of amplifier headroom. amazing bass capability. and i have top level sources with digital, vinyl and tape.
there are many, many 'uber' systems around the world. many with good rooms and as expensive or more expensive gear. where maybe i might have an advantage is in the passion i bring to the equation. i never stop trying to make things better. expensive pretty gear is only one part of great sound. for 10 years i had a great room, and top level gear. but i had not figured out the room synergy. i know what sort of hunger it took to break through that barrier.
sorry if i got carried away with my answer......but this is obviously a very huge thing for me.
and obviously i love to have music lovers visit me for a listening session. it's why my room is fairly large and i have lots of seating. love being a DJ.
thanks for the kind comments. and obviously agree on the Tosca.
regarding the Taiko Stechi grounding boxes; i do use 5 in the system right now, one with each Tana. i suppose i need to take some pictures and add it to my gear roster. they do add this little bit of goodness to the whole picture.
Jonathan reported to me a couple months ago how much he enjoyed the vinyl in your system with the Tana. there are not many of the Tana systems around so that was fun to hear about.
best wishes with your move back to the UK and getting settled there....again.
Hi Mike -- with my system now in storage for a year I'll have to live vicariously through yours.
Agree on the Tosca, I had mine up and working for all of an hour and even with that limited experience it was clear it was delivering something no other tonearm I'd experienced had ever done (more linear, more open, more tape like etc).
I only have the one Tana but I did find that adding earthing to the BNC testing port on the rear added a soucon extra -- maybe drop in some of the Taiko ground boxes?