UPDATE 11/17/20: my wife just ordered me Mye Stands from Mye Sound for Christmas. I’ve read about them for years in the forums and they have rave reviews and can’t wait to get them into my system. I’m also planning on building custom cable risers that get them off the floor and also isolate them from each other. That’s one issue with an active set up that is hard to avoid (so many cords). I’ll be doing some surgery as well reducing the length where I know things won’t change, time to get my nice soldering iron out and pure silver solder. . .
UPDATE 06/05/20: I was out of work for some time and took the opportunity to build a custom gaming PC. My daughter and her boyfriend are really into PC gaming and they have encouraged me to build one for awhile so we can talk about games and play together. She never got my audio bug, lol. It displays in 4K, HDR with Ray Tracing. I can’t believe how real these games are now. It’s like playing a movie, especially at 144” with zero lag. For those of you who are into these things it’s running 8 cores at 5Ghz with a Nvidia 2080 Ti founders card also overclocked. RAM, Video Card, and processor are all liquid cooled by my custom loop. I’ve got a 1Tb M.2 drive mounted to the motherboard, Aorus Master, which is screaming fast. No music on this puppy, that’s all run through my MAC. It’s been a fun project!
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 definitely 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 usability is really high as now the entire system starts and turns off in order, timed delays, soft start to ease electrical inrush, 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.