Description

Music Room

The room is custom built and there have been three major revisions since it was originally designed in 2004. It measures 18' x 13' x 8' with an engineered sub-floor and finished wood floor surface. The walls use the Acoustic Sciences Corporation Iso-Wall System to decouple the finished walls from the structure. Two layers of drywall of a different density are screwed together with Wall Damp pads in between on 1' centers and strips along all seams. 

The ceiling  and the walls are covered in 1" semi-rigid acoustical insulation. There are acoustical diffusers on the ceiling and slat arrays on the walls. A large curved diffuser and two bass traps are at the front of the room. Chris Huston of Rives Audio designed the acoustical treatments and Ernst Hupel of 2H Interior Design did the interior design.

History

I've had several systems over the years with equipment from Mark Levinson, Atma-Sphere, Kharma, Sound Lab, SME, Krell, Studer, ATR Services and Weiss. Many other cables, components and accessories designed to care for everything from reel-to-reel tapes to records to every type of silver disk one could possibly spin.

From 2010 to 2015 I sold off all the legacy formats and associated gear and started to focus on this pure digital streaming system. I converted all my SACDs, CDs and DVDs to digital files and digitized my master tapes and some records using a Weiss ADC-2 DA converter and SoundBlade software from Sonic Studio. Compact Disks along with my Levinson transport and DAC were the first to be sold off followed by SACD's and a Krell SACD player. The SME-30, Graham Phantom II and Clearaudio Goldfinger along with all associated cleaners and accessories were sold the following year along with my LP collection. Then, I sold off my Studer Master Recorders and reel-to-reel tapes. Finally, I swapped out my Weiss DAC-I mk3, Atma-Sphere MA-2 mono blocks and Sound Lab A1-PX panels with all associated cabling.

Pure Digital System

I started with computers connected directly to the DAC and used various player software in the past two years before finally settling on Roon Server, Roon Bridge and Roon Remote. I consider this a work in progress however, I'm satisfied the Roon will be my music server of choice for some time to come.

In 2015 I purchased the Avantgarde Acoustics Zero 1 Pro loudspeakers as a replacement for the above legacy system. I found the combined advantages of the Zero 1 to perform better in every category. It requires no maintenance and is a far more stable system allowing our family to enjoy music more easily. With iPad control even my nine year old can enjoy his favorite music - currently Queen.

I've added a Tidal Hi-Fi subscription to my various music libraries and I currently don't have a need to transfer or download any additional new music.

Notes

There are many things I like about this system but the thing I like the most is that it always works consistently. There is never any down time and it can run for hours without heating the room or blowing up. There are no tubes to maintain or analog systems to monitor which are constantly degrading through use. This system performs flawlessly and consistently.

I have access to more quality music and I listen more often than ever before. I also feel like I have better sound than anything I've ever had before including my analog and reel-to-reel system. It's certainly more enjoyable because the sound is just fantastic and it's ready to play at the touch of a screen.
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Room Details

Dimensions: 18’ × 13’  Medium
Ceiling: 8’


Components Toggle details

    • Avantgarde Acoustic Zero 1 Pro
    The ZERO 1 is a 3-way active loudspeaker in a 2 x 50 watt and 1 x 400 watt power amplifier configuration, with each of the amplifier stages receiving a signal that is digitally filtered and then converted to analogue, amplifying it, and passing it on to the moving coil without making a detour via passive filters. The ZERO 1 takes the digital route to eliminate passive crossovers and their analogue filter switches, thus automatically eliminating a series of tonal problems (e.g. additional components in the signal path, phase shifts and negative impulse responses). 
    • Mogami Gold Studio AES
    1.5m length connecting the dCS Network Bridge to the DAC inside the Zero 1 Pro loudspeakers.
    • dCS Network Bridge

    The most recent component, the dCS Network Bridge perfectly compliments the Avantgarde Zero 1 Pro loudspeakers. With ethernet in and AES out, Roon Bridge and soon, MQA decoding, I can stream high resolution music files via ethernet and fibre optic from my Roon Server and Tidal including the new Tidal Masters. The dCS Network Bridge also supports the dCS ‘auto clocking’ architecture, which minimizes jitter and improves sound quality significantly. Multi-stage power regulation is employed to isolate the sensitive clock circuitry from digital processing noise.

    • Roon Nucleus +
    All computer equipment is located in a dedicated server closet located outside the music room itself.

    Roon Nucleus + Server running Roon Core with an internal Samsung 850 Pro 1TB SSD.
    • Synology RackStation RS818+​
    Synology RackStation RS818+ with a quad-core processor, 16GB RAM, AES-NI hardware encryption engine, quad 1GbE LAN ports, and optional 10GbE NIC support. 1TB Samsung 850 SSD providing read cache for 28TB Synology Hybrid RAID.
    • Apple iPad Air
    Running the Roon Remote app to control Roon Server and Tidal
    • Middle Atlantic AXS Series Equipment Rack
    The pull-out equipment rack design provides access to rear equipment connections. Entire bays of equipment can be rolled out for service and installation flexibility.
    • Quail Electronics NEMA 5-15P Hospital Grade Black With Ferrite To IEC-60320-C13 With Ferrite
    Quail Electronics power cables connect the Niagara to the wall and then to the Zero 1 Pro loudspeakers and the dCS Network Bridge. The ferrite beads reduce any high-frequency noise on the power line.
    • CleanVolt CVR
    A CleanVolt 120/240V | Residential | 400A system protects the entire home and filters EMI and RFI and a dedicated APS unit provides uninterrupted AC to DC to AC power to the server and associated drives.

Comments 13

222222&text=b
Your room is so awesome Dude!  I friggin love your set-up.  Very nice 👍

b_limo

Center
Owner
The LC2 is a really great for listening for extended periods. They are really comfortable with a fairly low seat and high arms. Your head is clear of any obstruction like a headrest that would affect the sound.

rick_hopkins

222222&text=ar
Beautiful room. I'm curious about the LC2 chairs: are they comfortable enough to sit in for several hours, or just an hour or two at a time? I'm thinking of getting some. Thanks!

arsh

Center
Owner
I still have nightmares about cables... Now the system only has one cable and normally I use Mogami AES cable but I'm trying a few others just to see if there is any difference at all.

I keep finding ways to simplify the system. If one box can replace two then I make that change.  Sound quality is my number one priority however, convenience and reliability come right after that. With the old analog rig, I'm not at all sure I had great sound quality and I certainly didn't have convenience or reliability! 

rick_hopkins

222222&text=go
Love the room, system, everything!  I also have the Avantgarde zero 1 pros.  Very similar route you took to get where I'm at now.  Sonus Faber, ps audio, Mcintosh, VPI.  Loved my old system, hated the cable rat's nest and sheer space it took up.  Now I just have a mac mini, the Avantgardes, Roon, and that's it.  It not only sounds better, but it's so clean and easy to use.  Streaming with Tidal is awesome!

golfmd2

222222&text=99
I feel the same as you about digital. I used to be a club DJ so I have spun my fair share of vinyl. The convenience and variety at the ready allow for more enjoyable listening without the snap crackle pops and additional effort required to change music  choices. Your system appears to be extremely well thought out and it is obvious by your description that it makes you very happy. Tidal has made everything easier and look forward to the improved resolution to come. Enjoy!

996cupracer

Center
Owner
Thanks for the comments. I often talk with other audiophiles about my position and there are many different things to consider however, the most important point for me is that I get the very best sound from the digital system. I know there are many who would not agree but having been in the very deep end of the analog pool before I can speak with some authority. The convenience, the simplicity and the fact that the system isn't near the cost of the old analog system are really just icing on the cake.

rick_hopkins

222222&text=ag
There is something to be said for a flawless, hassle free system.  I am a big Roon fan also and there is no turning back.  Its interesting that you have converted completely to digital from vinyl and reel-reel.  That is sacrilegious in the eyes of many.  Stunning room and lots of hard work.  I am sure that carries a lot of the sonic load.  Congrats.

agear

Center
Owner
Thanks for the comments. We really worked on the room. Chris Huston of Rives Audio did the acoustical design. Ernst Hupel of 2H Design did the overall room finishes and I selected the gear and the furniture. The LC2 is great because you sit up straight and high but it's really comfortable too.

The next thing I'm going to try is the dCS Network Bridge. It will replace the Mac Mini in the listening room. I'm also going to try fibre-optic cables between the Roon Server and the Network Bridge.

rick_hopkins

Center
Love the look! I bet the sound is even better.

toddverrone

128x128
Wow, what a dedicated room! I love those Le Corbusier LC2/3 chairs.

milpai

Center
Owner
I've tried subs before with other speakers and I've never been terribly happy with the results. It's been a few years though so perhaps there are better systems that integrate more seamlessly.

rick_hopkins

222222&text=am
Very nice and simple. Those Avantgardes incorporate some of the most ingenious bits of tech I've ever seen. Ever thought of adding a sub or two to take the frequency response below 20 Hz?

amvm73

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