Two-chassis SET stereo amplifier with separate power supply. 1.5 watts per channel using 45 output tubes and 3.5 wpc using 2A3s. I'm using old stock RCA 6A6s as a driver tube. Here is a ranked list of the output tubes I have tried so far.
1. NOS globe shape Cunningham 45s (CX-345)
2. Sophia Electric 300B 2.5v (a drop-in replacement for 2A3s)
3. NOS RCA globe shape 45s
4. National Union ST shape 45s
5. EML solid plate 45s
6. Sovtek 2A3
Phonostage: Thomas Mayer D3a Phono Preamplifier
Linestage: Thomas Mayer 10Y Line Preamplifier
Turntable: Reed Muse 3C
I've experimented with both drive systems and I'm using the friction drive rather than the belt drive.
I've replaced the stock power supply with a linear power supply.
Tone Arm/Phono Cable: Cardas 34 AWG Clear
Tonearm: Airtangent 1b
-- I've tried and owned a number of top pivoting tonearms, including those from Reed and Schröder, but I prefer the AT by a wide margin.
Cartridge: London Decca Reference
I love the immediacy and front-row presentation of this cartridge.
Many people say that you need to keep your records perfectly clean with this cart but experience tells me that it's the stylus, more than the lps, that needs to be kept clean. The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser does a great job in this respect.
CD Transport: CEC TL5
DAC: Audio Note UK DAC 0.1x
Distributed subwoofer system: AudioKinesis Swarm Subwoofer System
4 walnut subs; 2 amplifiers.
I've added a high-pass filter between the preamp and my main amp. The main speakers are 3dB down at 60Hz.
Interconnects, Speaker Cables, Power cords: an assortment
Crimson R.M Music Link
Power Cords: Volex 17504
Some pro audio stuff.
I used to spend a lot of money on wire but don't anymore
Power Treatment: Akiko Audio Corelli
Grounding: Entreq Silver Tellus
With four Siltech Zero Ohm Link grounding wires. (9 AWG)
Room Treatment: Stein Music Harmonizer System
6 Harmonizers (all of them have been upgraded to the "Signature" versions).
Though I have 5 Blue Diamonds and 9 Black Stones, I'm not currently using any of them. I find that the Harmonizers, on their own, sound most natural with my speakers and room.
Room Treatment: Stein Music E-Pads
on the windows
Record and stylus treatment: Stein Music DE3 LP Conditioner
just when you thought vinyl couldn't sound any better...
Record and stylus treatment: Keith Monks, The Archivist. etc.
Liquid for RCM: AUDIO INTELLIGENT - PREMIUM ONE-STEP FORMULA #6.
Stylus cleaning: Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.
LP cleaning: Compressed air machine or the Nagaoka CL-1000 Rolling Record Cleaner.
I think you might find that your system sounds more powerful and expansive when you add one.
When I added the 10Y to my system it was, subjectively, as if I had gone from 2 watt amp to a 20 watt amp. The preamp that it replaced was an Audio Note M6, which itself sounded very robust (especially with upgraded tubes) but not like the 10Y.
I've never used the Mayer 45 with a passive pre so I can't say whether an active pre is a must and I would certainly never say that the 10Y is a must. There are lots of great preamps out there.
love your set up and interested in your experience using low wattage Thomas Mayer. I only own a power amp and no preamp. I'm using a Slagle passive. Is the 10y pre amp a absolute must? in your experience? I know most people run an active pre but curious if you have an opinion.
I've always struggled with AC in my condo and have borrowed many expensive power conditioners and power regenerators to try and deal with it. In every case the cure was worse than the disease. The Akiko Audio Corelli simply plugs into an extra outlet and none of your gear plugs into it. The results are amazing. Everything becomes more natural, more effortless, and more three-dimensional. And best of all, there are no drawbacks.
That's a good question. I'll have a look at my cabling and see if I can move the table more toward the centre of the rack. The only time that I have noticed a problem is on a track on "Sea Change" by Beck. The stylus can't hold the groove near the end of the song. I don't think this is because of vibration caused by the speaker but I could be wrong. As an experiment, I'll temporarily move the table out in front of the preamp (on the floor - well away from both speakers) and try and play that track. The floor beneath the hardwood is 8" of poured concrete so there shouldn't be any movement there.
Hi Exlibris. Beautiful system and room. I've been following your comments about the system's progress over the years. Congrats on your great results. I'm by no means an expert on vinyl, but I do wonder if having your TT placed "in front of" your speaker introduces any vibration into the mix?
I made a video of the room for some room acoustics people and I've posted it here. The video shows the Audio Note M6 Phono with the cover removed (I've been tube rolling) and the CEC TL5 CD transport out of the system -- as it sits on top of the M6.