Description

UPDATE 04/27/19: Had read a suggestion in the forum to vertically bi-amp, I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of it before but I had my system horizontally bi-amped with identical consecutively serial numbered amps. Vertically bi-amping added a lot of punch, both my wife and I noticed it right away. After a month of critical listening it’s defiantly a keeper. 

UPDATE 01/04/18: Moved and updated the room specs and a few pics. I’m in a much bigger space and was able to do room correction last weekend. All I can say is wow. What a difference the room makes. I also discovered how to input 12 biquad filters per speaker and have gotten the distortion down to 2.6%. All the subs working together in the space is a revelation. I now have a movie and a music setting because I had the subs at -20db at first which was a little bass heavy for music but boy does it make movies exciting (bone shaking.) Critical listening has the subs at -25db for perfect seamless integration. If you can get four subs to do room correction, do it ASAP in my opinion, it makes a world of difference. Just an FYI on set up the Maggies are running full range as well as the subs, I let Multi Sub Optimizer build the filters off of full range operation and optimized for my main listening position only and it is an interesting exercise to see what the slopes are and how high the subs will play to assist in the room correction. 

My system was hit by lightening and it came through the coax cable and took out the cable box, video processor and projector. I added a P15 Powerplant to protect the system from all the brownouts, dirty power, and lightening in this area. The advantage of the P15 is huge and unexpected. Initially I had the main subs only functioning upon move in and I would bury the bias needle on my Pass Amp on some movie transients and it shut down my power unit due to the 1200 watt power draw. Adding the other subs to the system they put out much more power working together, are more accurate, and barely move the power needle on my P15 which has loads of room to spare now even at maximum listening levels. The system is quieter with the P15 and has more punch due to the clean power on demand. I also just discovered the variable multiwave feature and bumped up the available pool of capacitance on demand to the equipment, what a great addition. The WAF is really high as now the entire system starts and turns off in order at the push of one button, what a luxury. 

This is the culmination of 20 years of patience. I had an old school Sansui receiver with Dynaco speakers for many years while I saved up for my dream system. I was first exposed to High Fidelity living in Europe visiting the Sony Center in Berlin. A black glass elevator with white light lit corners brought my friend and I to a black marble/glass floor with dim pure white light in the corners with a hallway ending in endless darkness. A person greeted us in an all black suit and tie and asked if we wanted to hear the ultimate musical reproduction ever produced. Before us were two large speakers with nickel sized speaker wire coming out and a huge CD player and amp. He put in a violin concerto with a weighted CD that made my hair stand up with pinpoint realism imaging and staging. I could hear the strings vibrating, the musician breathing like he was 5ft away. We listened to music for three hours and it only felt like 20 min. How much? Not for sale, custom made. . . His best guess $150k. What was the mystery CD? DVD-A (new format) Why present something that wasn't for sale? To show how good music reproduction could get. Me? Hooked. I love live music, listened to my father put on two hour concerts via grand piano as a child, sang in Madison Boys Choir, and I played bassoon in Wisconsin Youth Symphony. There is nothing like the real thing; sound actually vibrating through your body. 

After years of AXPONA visits, dealer gear listens and research I knew I wanted to have an active set up with room correction and Magnepan 20.1s as my backbone. I needed fast subwoofers to keep up with the Maggies and looked for years to acquire Kinergetics SW-800s to be driven by a Pass Labs X-250, found both and owned them four years without being able to play them until now. I have a Mac Mini maxed out with dual SSD drives driven by JRiver to optical out. I was lucky to sell my house and be able to buy my Maggies from my dealer and literally got the last new pair of 20.1s out of the factory. The Maggies are being driven by two Benchmark AHB2 amps highs/lows which are dead quiet S/N ratio better than most pre-amps, power doubling down to two ohms with amazing clarity and grip but zero harshness. I have everything running out of my Mini DSP with balanced connections (Benchmark Canare Star Quad Construction) which is processing all filters at 56bit/ 96kHz. Room correction is done by way of Room EQ Wizard, Multi-Sub Optimizer, and Earthworks M30 microphone. To take advantage of the program I've added two new super fast fully enclosed SVS SB-16 Ultra 16" subwoofers (1500W Mosfet class D amps) to make the room response flat, accurate, and help keep my neighbors from calling the cops. The result is musical bliss which is pitch perfect 16Hz to 20kHz; perfect staging, imaging, accuracy and the best sounding system I have ever heard in my humble opinion. I'm thrilled and am now starting to explore all the amazing recordings out there. 

This system is paired with a Sony 4K Projector with HDR using a Lumagen video processor. This all projects on a custom acoustically transparent screen 11ft x 5ft with velvet boarders and side panels that rise for 2.40:1 movie experience from the 16:9 TV ratio. The Lumagen has upgraded 18Ghz inputs and outputs using an iPro 2 colorimeter and iDisplay 3 spectrophotometer with Chromapure for color correction at 4913 points on screen. 

I spent 6 years with no vacations renovating a 4 story Victorian, sold it and sent our daughter to college, downsized to buy the system, travel, and enjoy life to its fullest. It's been a long journey and now we just have to enjoy all the wonderful music and movies out there! 

I welcome any questions. Love this site and have learned a lot reading about other people's systems and believe there is more than one path to enlightenment and sonic bliss. 
 

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Room Details

Dimensions: 30’ × 20’  X large
Ceiling: 30’


Components Toggle details

    • Magnepan Model 20.1
    The last pair of 20.1's manufactured :) Cherry Trim and Black Socks
    • Kinergetics SW-800 Subwoofers
    Twin Towers of five 10" Seas Subwoofers in individual sealed enclosures.
    • SVS SB-16 Ultra Subwoofers
    Dual Subwoofers placed in room asymmetrically to utilize "Multi Sub Optimizer." Amazed by how low and controlled they can play. Connected via XLR to the Mini DSP.
    • Mini DSP 2x8 board with enclosure, Nano Digi Interface
     Two optical inputs to eight balanced outputs processing at 56bit/96kHz using Room EQ Wizard with Multi Sub Optimizer to handle digital room correction.
    • Benchmark Media Systems AHB2
    Two Benchmark AHB2 Amps driving the low/highs of the Magnepan 20.1s.
    • Pass Labs X-250
    Kinergetics dedicated Sub Amp
    • Apple Mac Mini 2.6GHz i7 Quad Core 16GB RAM dual 500GB SSD
    Windows 10 and El Capitan on separate SSD drives. Optical out to Mini DSP. 

    Running server with JRiver. 
    • Benchmark Media Systems Interconnects and Speaker Cables
    Balanced Interconnects and Speaker Cables utilizing Speakon Connectors into 10 gauge bare wire (NO-OX ID electrical grease applied to keep wire from oxidizing)
    • Blue Circle Audio Yalu Bulala
    Self sacrificing surge protector that pugs into outlet / circuit of each component. (Non Current Limiting)
    • Adona Corporation AV45CS6TW
    Six tier rack with two AV45S amp stands. Upgraded cherry bottomed shelves and extended cones.
    • Sony VPL-VW665ES 4K HDR Projector
    Amazing sharpness, blacks, color and out of focus bokeh.
    • Lumagen 4242 Radiance Pro
    4K video processor with upgraded 18Ghz inputs using an iPro 2 colorimeter and iDisplay 3 spectrophotometer Chromapure for color correction at 4913 points. The Lumagen auto scales the 4K image enabling full use of the projector's pixel area/light output.
    • HD Fury Vertex 4K60 4:4:4 600MHz
    HDMI to optical audio out extractor and 4K scaler. I needed to add it to fool my HDMI port on the projector that it is getting a 1.4 signal while sending 4k60 HDR signals through as a result of lightening burning out my primary 2.0 input.
    • Earthworks M30
    30kHz Omni Directional measurement mic. Interfaces via Focusrite Scarlett 2i2.
    • Monoprice SlimRun AV HDR High Speed Cable for HDMI-Enabled Devices, [email protected], HDR, 18Gbps, Fiber Optic, AOC, YUV 4:4:4
    Active fiber optic cables connect the projector. My Redmere active cables went out on my long 50ft run to the projector and so I had to move to fiber. They are revolutionary and amazingly small and flexible, and directional. One of very few cables capable of passing a 4K video signal with HDR with a full color chroma..
    • Seymour Screens Acoustically Transparent XD Screen
    130" wide / 141.4" diagonal anamorphic wide screen with 16x9 masking, aluminum case, motorized, black velvet boarders, 1.0 zero gain.
    • Benchmark Media Systems Canare Star Quad
    Benchmark 10AWG Canare "Star Quad" Speaker Cable - NL2 to bare wire directly inserted into Magnepans (Vertically bi-amped). 
    • Blue Jeans Cables Canare Star Quad
    Canare 4S11 "Star Quad" 10AWG Speaker Cable for the Subs with sonically welded gold plated locking banana plugs. 
    • Blue Jeans Cable Canare L-4E6S Balanced Audio
    Best long run balanced interconnect cable, Canare "Star Quad" Balanced Interconnects with XLR for SVS Subs and measurement mic.
    • Benchmark Media Systems STUDIO&STAGE™ XLR CABLES
    Best short run balanced interconnect cable. Featuring Canare L-4E6S 4-wire "star quad" cable to eliminate susceptibility to magnetic interference. This cable includes a high-density braided shield to eliminate radio interference. For Pass and two Benchmark Amps from Mini DSP balanced terminal block. 
    • PS Audio DirectStream P15
    Power Regenerator for perfect sine wave  power to all equipment. Start up in programmed sequence, slow start for large amps etc. I bought it to keep my system insulated from frequent brown outs and power outages in my apartment. I also had lightening strike my system and took out the cable box, video processor, and projector. It came through the coax cable and the electician said to only have one way in and no path out to protect the system. I can pull one plug and have complete safety when storms are on the way. Great sound improvements too as a side benefit. 

Comments 3

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Owner
Thank you for the nice comments! 

BarrySandy I see you have the Kinergetic subs as well, I had also considered using Pass XO, very high quality, but sided for the flexibility of the digital XO to limit physically interacting with the equipment and D/A conversions. It looks like a fun set up and great notes on all of your experimenting, thanks for sharing. 

gmorris - I also found the same settings sounded best for the main  subs in my room and integrated very seamlessly with the 20.1's. I agree that bi-amping really frees up the amps to control and deliver what the music needs and speaker load demands. 

hifidream

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Very nice, well thought out, system.  Cute dog too!  Maggies and the Kinergetic Subs can be a good match and REW helps dial them in as you have done. Enjoy!

barrysandy

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Hello Hifidream. Well constructed system. Should sound awesome. I noted that you selected the 20.1s due to their biamping capability. I made the same choice. I think  properly configured biamped 20.1s produce beautiful music. I am also using stereo subwoofers. I am running the 20.1s full range and the subs at 30Hz  x-over point with 24dB/Octave slope. After much experimentation I was able to achieve excellent blending.

gmorris

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