About time I updated this properly I think.
Present configuration is the best I have had and pretty content right now.
A New year and a new configuration.
BAT VK-300xSE integrated amp.
Esoteric DV-50S.
MHDT Orchid DAC.
Aurender N100 USB streamer.
All new to me amp and digital front end.
We will see.....

But the stars of the show are the analog front end triumvirate.

Garrard 401 in 40lb plinth with Micro Seiki ma505ls arm.

Nakamichi zx7 cassette deck the closest tape reproduction to vinyl I have ever heard. Just been completely restored by Willy Herman.

Technics SL-10 linear tracker.

Between these three analog sources I am spoilt for choice at times but what immense fun!
The Maggie's are here to stay UNLESS I ever decide to go with newer bigger badder Maggie's but doubftul in my room as anything larger would just be wasted.

Famous last words.... Lol.
The Maggie's have been replaced with a pair of Spatial Audio M3 Triode Masters.
What an improvement, simply incredible that the SQ could get so much better.
And not fully Broken in yet.....
US cleaning is a new weapon in my arsenal since December 25th and I am a believer! Huge improvement for a modest outlay. This is a diy rig coming in at approx $360. 

Ubervana as it has been coined by a friend

Room Details

Dimensions: 12’ × 16’  Medium
Ceiling: 12’

Components Toggle details

    • BAT VK-300x se
    Powerhouse integrated amp.
    An iron fist in a velvet glove
    • Garrard 401
    Finally succumbed, but it is gorgeous is it not?
    Plinth is many layer of birch ply topped with curly maple top, after all hundreds of ace guitar makers must know something?
    Micro Seiki MA-505 LS arm and various MM and MC carts
    • Spatial Audio M3 Triode Master
    • Nagaoka MP-150
    Glorious bargain price mm cart that kicks bottom way above its station.
    • Scheu Analog MC SL cartridge
    • Astatic MF100
    Sweet NOS vintage moving flux cartridge
    • Koetsu Black GoldLine
    First truly high end lomc cartridge
    • Ortofon 2M Mono
    • Dynavector Karat 23RS
    Very sweet NOS example I picked up on eBay of all places
    • Musical Surroundings Nova II
    Incredible Phonostage that does 100k loading and works it's magic mojo in my system especially with the MP-150 cart.
    • Denon AU-320
    Amazing little SUT that has completely transformed the SQ of my vinyl
    • Technics SL-10
    Sweet fully functional linear tracker
    • Nakamichi ZX-7
    Oh lordy, they just get better and better!
    • Aurender N100
    The non internal storage version
    • Esoteric DV-50s
    Built like a tank, 47lb dead weight.
    Plays every format bar BluRay.
    King Crimson DVD-A remastered sound out of this world!
    • MHDT Laboratory Orchid
    Tube DAC.
    • Nagaoka C-502M/P
    P mount cart for the SL-10
    • Synergistic Research Blue fuses
    • Synergistic Research Blue Duplex
    • Western Electric Speaker Cables
    • Straightwire Encore 2
    All analog RCA/XLR interconnects
    • Perfect Path Technologies E-Mats, E -Cards, TC paste
    • Perfect Path Technologies The Gate
    The game changer!
    Try it, join the ranks of the "gaters"

Comments 25


Hey Kevin, I just got in something you may be interested in trying with your new Spatials: Vicoustic Multifuser DC2 diffusers. They are 2D style ("skyline"), diffusing in both horizontal and vertical planes. I don't know if you are bothered by reflections off the sliding glass doors behind the speakers, but if you are, the DC2's should be of help. They come in a 6-pack, each panel 23.25" square by 6" deep. Available in white, grey, and black, they are made of very stiff, dense, hard EPS. U.S. dealers sell the 6-pack for $699, but you can get them from Thomann Music in Germany for almost $300 less, shipped. I love 'em!

Another product of possible interest: If you do a deep search on the GR Research/Rythmik OB/Dipole Subwoofer, you will eventually find a couple of Spatial owners who have been very happy with the bass augmentation the OB Sub affords their speakers. I'll try and find the location I saw their posts on---Eric.


Thanks Jim and Mapman.
Yes the Spatials are awesome, the Maggie's were great no doubt but these are just in another league.
I am sure there is much better but they  bring great synergy to my system.

The BAT is a big improvement but I am really just going back to the past as years ago i had a monster BAT power amp which should never have sold.
The 401 has been with me maybe 8 months now. I do not think it's going anywhere
Just acquiring a collection of cartridges to experiment with instead!

All in all, yes I listen a lot, although present reasons are a little tragic for sure.
Stay safe everyone!

Ag insider logo xs@2xuberwaltz

Nice!  Those Spatials look awesome.

Ag insider logo xs@2xmapman

Hi Kevin.
So you replaced the Ayre. Based on the previous comments, you made a major upgrade with the BAT; looks like a beast. 

And such beautiful craftsmanship on the 401. Did you always have this or maybe you didn't have any pics.

Some big changes to your system, love the Spatials. They're very special speakers. 
You must be listening every chance you get.



Hey Steve.
Yes I spent a day last week removing the BAT and putting the Ayre back in the system.
Hated it!
Very flat and empty sound compared to the BAT.
Which surprised me a lot as I do not remember the Ayre being that thin. However I left it in a day to settle and not really any changes.
So the BAT went back in and it all sounds glorious.
Tight controlled and deep bass for days.
The top end has opened up a fair bit and I now am just truly enjoying the complete soundscape I am presented with.
Good days indeed!

Ag insider logo xs@2xuberwaltz

Love the Spatials Kevin! Have you tried the Ayre with them yet?


Hey Ghost!
Thanks for the kind words my friend.
The Garrard is a keeper and now it has the Koetsu Black Goldline on its to die for!
The Victor tt-81 is a Japanese market TT, pretty near the top of their range at the time, bested by the tt101 only I think.
It's sweet but I find I hardly use it as I just let be the Garrard. Lol.
Nice to have a $1000 paperweight!

Ag insider logo xs@2xuberwaltz

I too greatly admire your Garrard 401 TT, Uber.  Very beautiful.  What's the backstory on the (RCA) Victor turntable?  Looks interesting.


My motor  in the 401 is not shielded and I do get a tiny amount of hum when running a high output mm cart but is very quiet on lomc carts.
I did try running a separate ground from the motor as well but it did not make any difference.
The DV-50s is an outstanding player and I have been buying up a lot of Steve Wilson's remastered works on DVD-A of late as they are stunning.

Ag insider logo xs@2xuberwaltz

Whatta ya know uber, I too have a DV-50S. Maybe if slaw gets one he'll be more willing to give CD's a chance. ;-) By the way, it is my intent to find myself a Garrard 401. Is the table's motor shielded? My London cartridges are rather susceptible to motor radiation. I too have Maggies, but not a room big enough for the Tympani's 54" width (each channel!).


Many thanks for your kind words.
So sorry I did not see this previously.
Obviously Audiogon does not send a notification when new system comments are posted!
I am still in heaven with my 401/ 505 combo and have just added a Koetsu Black Goldline to the mix.
Sitting entranced right now!

Ag insider logo xs@2xuberwaltz


I love your system, and especially your gorgeous plinth for your 401. I built my own plinth for my 401, and I love it, too, but it doesn't hold a candle to yours. I agree the 401 is a keeper/killer TT! Just amazing, well done.


Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

How did I miss your comments!
Sorry for that but many thanks for the kind words indeed.
Yes the 401 is a keeper killer TT!
If I get bored or upgraditis sets in I would look at a different arm is about it.

The Maggie's are keepers too until I try some larger ones of course!
Just having fun testing out different cartridges these days.
And TT mats make a huge difference too I have found out.
It's all great fun!

Ag insider logo xs@2xuberwaltz

Uber how the heck have I never seen your system before?! I saw your little office system but not this one. Let me say it looks great and that 401 is to die for wow! And cool you went "backwards" to a pair of MMGi's talk about an audio classic. Great to finally see Ubervana :)


Not surprised you missed the Joseph's, after all I do change it up. But the Joseph's had been around a while and were the subject of a thread betwixt them and the Devores.

As far as Abbey Rd, no we did not record there. We had recorded at a studio closer to home BUT the mixing and mastering was all done at Abbey Rd Studios.
And I just had to go to see and hear it and soak up the atmosphere. Experience I do not regret or will ever forget.

Ag insider logo xs@2xuberwaltz

Wow, I totally missed the Joseph's.


I read in another thread, you mentioned your moment at Abbey Road. Apparently you had recorded there? Can you elaborate?


I did not have this amp when I had the devores but it was used on the Joseph's that finally won out over the Devores.

It is the Ayre EX8.

Previously amp was Ayre Ax7e.

So similar house sound just the EX8 is what I term a super integrated having streaming built in and a good headphone output to boot.

Like I said core equipment may very well be settled at least for this room in this house.

Just going to experiment with a few TT ,belt vs idler vs DD.

Got to keep you guessing!

Ag insider logo xs@2xuberwaltz

I may be missing something...what amp are you using? Is it the same one as you previously used on the Devores?


Due to wifely and homely and keeping the peace constraints no treatments are allowed besides ones that look like part of the room, so 3 very large squishy sofas, full rug covering tiled floor, full length wooden blinds on all 3 other windowed walls. Not really much I can do with the glass doors in and out as this room is also a family sun room.

As I have said previously it is possibly one of the worst rooms you could wish for but the sq I have garnered out of it always surprises myself.
Will be moving in under 2 years and then it will be a different story ( I hope!)

As to the Maggies... simply eye opening in most aspects.
I think the forced speaker placement in my room REALLY suits these speakers.

Vast improvement in vocals, acoustic instruments, mid range and shockingly bass! Maybe not quite as low bass as previous but much more controlled and distinguishable from note to note, definitely not a one note bass system!

Very very musical is where I am right now and very happy with the basic core system so concentrating on tweaks and such.

Ag insider logo xs@2xuberwaltz


All of the glass that makes up your front wall, and no mention of acoustical treatments in your profile....this seems to be a possible issue?


I noticed you recently have a speaker change. Could you say at this point, what you are hearing differently between the two?



The Ayre EX8 replaced FOUR separate units and manages to outperform every single one of them to boot!

Previous equipment it replaced was:

Ayre AX7E amp
Channel Islands headphone amp
Mytek Brooklyn DAC
Auralic Aries Mini server.

Now a lot more organized, a lot less cables and just one remote.

Oh and it sounds killer!

Ag insider logo xs@2xuberwaltz

Hi, Uber. What did the new Ayre replace? And what made you decide to go with an "all in one" box"
Jim aka lowrider57


Beautiful room and system - uberwaltz.
Happy Listening!


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