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Room Details

Dimensions: 14’ × 23’  Medium
Ceiling: 8’


Components Toggle details

    • Speakers: Audio Note AN-E/SPe HE
    Apple finish (satin). On Audio Note stands.
    • Amplifier: Thomas Mayer 45 SE Amplifier
    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
    White finish. 

    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
    Belt-drive transport.
    • DAC: Audio Note UK DAC 0.1x
    Silver
    • 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
    Oyaide
    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.  

Comments 172

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222222&text=ex
Owner
System photo updated.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
I just realized that I didn't answer your question about the low-wattage 45 amp:
To power my speakers in my room to the listening levels that I like, my amp/speaker combination is, unfortunately, not ideal.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
Guf:
I've always been a fan of active preamps.
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.  

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
New preamp added.
Photos to follow soon.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
Replaced the old rack with a new one and updated the photo of the system.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
Added:
High-pass filter between the preamp and the main amp.  The main speakers are now down 3dB at 60Hz (9dB at 30Hz etc.).  The device is passive and uses a small Audio Note UK capacitor.  
This takes a lot of strain off the main amplifier.  60Hz and below is largely covered by the subwoofer system.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
Added:
Distributed subwoofer system: AudioKinesis Swarm Subwoofer System

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
Cunningham CX-345

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
Output tubes in the amplifier changed to NOS Cunningham globe-shaped 45s.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
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.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
Added:

  • Power treatment: Akiko Audio Corelli

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
My cartridge can't track that track even with the volume off so it isn't a vibration thing.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
System photo updated.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
Hi bigamp,
Thank you for the compliment.
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.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
Amplifier output tubes changed to Sophia Electric 300B 2.5v.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
Turntable power supply upgraded.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
PSU valves in Audio Note M6 Phono upgraded.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
updated - April 3, 2017.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
-added some ASI room treatments.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
Replaced the stock Philips 12au7  in the linestage with a Mullard  long plate (1958) .

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
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.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
Added: 
Audio Note UK DAC 0.1x

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
System edited: 2 of the 6 Stein Harmonizers have received the "Signature" upgrades.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner

I switched back to the idler/friction drive on the Reed Muse 3C table.

I immediately noticed that the bass tightened up and there was better definition in the bottom end.  I could more easily follow bass lines.  Because the bass was less dominant and bloated, more information from other frequencies came through.  It was as if the soundfield was 'cleaned' and each image had more room to breathe.  Pitch definition and was much better - especially noticeable on piano.  All of these improvements led to a much more natural sense of space and timing. 

So, was anything lost by going away from the belt?  Well, the belt is more 'romantic' sounding.  The pace is more languid and notes hang around and take longer to decay.  The midrange is warmer and the overall soundscape is darker.  With the idler everything is simply more there and matter-of-fact -- there is less editorializing. 

It's nice to have the choice between the two but for now I'll be staying with the idler wheels.

Why did I prefer the belt to the idler before but now I prefer the idler to the belt?  The two idler wheels were in the wrong position the first time.  The two wheels are of slightly different diameter and the bigger one has to go on the left motor.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
I've removed the Minus K 150BM-1 Vibration Isolation Platform.  Now that I live in a condo with an 8" concrete floor, even jumping up and down beside the turntable has no effect on stylus tracking. 

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
Added a CEC TL5 belt-drive CD transport and I've ordered a budget DAC to go with it.  These will replace my ancient CD player that I'm tired of repairing.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
removed the Grado cartridge and the CD player.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
System edited: Updates on the Reed turntable. -new power supply.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
System edited: New system picture showing Reed turntable.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
One of the things that drew me to the Reed Muse 3C table was the fact that it had a rim-drive (idler drive; friction drive). In my old setup, I replaced the belt drive that came with my table with a Teres Verus rim drive and the sound was greatly improved. When I decided to upgrade my table I was looking for either an idler or direct drive, but had pretty much ruled out belt drives based on past experience and the experience of some folks whose ears I trust.

After listening to the Reed table for a few weeks now using the friction drive, I switched over to belt drive to see how it compared. The switch over was pretty easy and going back and forth between the two drive systems only takes about 5 minutes.

I’m not sure what to say other than; I much prefer the belt drive. Needless to say, I was very surprised by this. There is so much more tonal information with the belt. As notes decay you hear all the overtones and nuances of the instrument – everything just sounds so much more real and this is especially true of instruments made of wood. The belt drive is also more musical. One can follow the line of the music and get what the musicians were intending and feeling, with ease. The belt drive presents better separation between images and the images ‘pop’ with more weight and density. I was expecting a smooth, blended, and homogenous presentation with the belt but with this table (and my arm and cartridge) there is plenty of drive and specificity.

I’d have to go back to the idler wheels to see if there is anything at all I like better about what I hear when they are in the system. Maybe there is greater drive and authority at the absolute bottom end, maybe? As I play with different tonearm and cartridge combinations I will be sure to keep trying the belt vs. friction drive in the table.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
System edited: Added a new turntable: Reed Muse 3C.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
Antslappy,
I know what you're saying and that was always my goal as well. That's great too. What I like about transporting the players to my room is the immediacy, palpability, and the fact that the music projects out to me. Sometimes (not always) with an "I am there" presentation it feels a bit 'other-worldly' as if I am 'watching' the musicians in their space but I'm not really there with them and my room doesn't really turn into their space. In any case, "I am there" and "they are here" are both pretty great. :)

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
System edited: System picture changed.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
System edited: Replaced the Entreq grounding wires with four Siltech Zero Ohm Link grounding wires. (9 AWG)

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
It exceeded my expectations at the outset but as I made changes to my system afterward I found myself preffering the sound of my system plugged straight into the wall.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
System edited: SteinMusic Super Naturals replace the spikes in the Audio Note speaker stands.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
System edited: Added: Grado Statement cartridge. It is still breaking in and I'm enjoying the sound. Added: Stein Music E-Pads to treat a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
System edited: I put the Harmonix record mat and clamp back in the system.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
System edited: Added • Blue Circle PLC FX2 XOe 6 outlet Thingee and Blue Circle BC61 Power Cord.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
Arthursmuck,
I was doing some shipping the other day and I remembered shipping a pair of Manley monoblocks somewhere in the Carribean. That got me thinking about the amplifiers that I've had in the past and I remembered you asking about them. Here is a bit more info:

Simaudio's Moon W-10 Monoblocks: I tried driving SoundLab A1s with these without much luck.

Manley 250 monoblocks: I really liked these amps when run in triode mode at 125 watts. They didn't sound as 'right' as the Mastersound 300B monoblocks or the Thomas Mayer 45 that followed but they were probably my favourites amps prior to going to a SET.

Atma-Sphere MA-2 monoblocks. The service and responsiveness from this company is second-to-none.

After that it was the Mastersound 300B monoblocks and now the Thomas Mayer 45.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
I often wonder if people are using the term "dedicated lines" to mean different things.

I live in a condominium and I have one "line" that comes into my unit to my one breaker panel. On the panel I have one breaker, or slot, that is dedicated to my stereo.

I'm imagining that you are suggesting that I somehow get a second line coming into my unit and I install a second panel for it? I have no idea if this is allowed in my building.

I should also note that the worst problem AC comes from *outside* my unit -- from all the appliances used in other units in the building (or the grid in general). A second line wouldn't do anything to stop this problem.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
Thanks for the information. The one passive one that I did try was probably the best sounding pc that I have tried but it didn't do much to clean up the worst of the AC noise (dimmer switch noise, for instance). Then again, the non-passive ones did nothing for this either.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
By the way, the last audiophile conditioning system that I am set to try are a collection of pieces from Blue Circle:

PLC Thingee
PLC FX2 Thingee
PLC FX2 XOe Thingee
TPX 120
RPD-15

I'll mix and match and see if any combination works in my system.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
Jetrexpro,
Thank you for the information.
This is the transformer that was suggested to me:

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
I have now tried the Audience aR6-TS and the Bybee Stealth Power Purifier in my system. In both cases I much preferred my stereo plugged straight into the wall. At this point I’ve pretty much given up on audiophile power conditioning. I still don't like the idea of living with an industrial transformer in my apartment so I think I may just live with the fact that my AC can get bad at times and that I'm likely to get a buzzing noise through my speakers if my lights with dimmer switches are turned on.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
I've put the idea of an industrial isolation transformer on hold for now in favour of finding a solution that is easier to implement. As such, I will be demoing some power conditioners in my system. These include: The Bybee Stealth; a number of products from Blue Circle; and a unit from Audience. If none of these work I will revisit the idea of the industrial transformer.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
Arthursmuck,
I've owned a few amps but I'm certainly no expert on mainstream amps. I'll try and say something of value:
I fell in love with SET amps after using them, basically for a laugh, with some very inefficient MBL 101E speakers that I used to own. I was hooked by the realism of voices and the emotional impact of these amps (Mastersound 300B monoblocks). Since then I've heard Mastersound 845 amps and the Audio Note UK Jinro which uses 211s. Both of these left me cold emotionally. Some might say that they sound more 'realistic' compared to the 'romantic' Mastersound 300B or the little Audio Note UK Conqueror (which I also like) but I just think they sound more sterile.
Then along came the Thomas Mayer 45 amp. The warm romance of the typical 300B was gone but all the emotion was still there. There is a 'matter of fact' realism with this amp that never strays toward being sterile or analytical. Having said that, if you pop in some Sovtek 2A3s then it does get sterile and analytical. With 45s in this amp there is a lot of tonal shading and the amp offers so many important musical cues that you often think you know what a musician is feeling or intending.
Of less importance is the fact that this amp does very well across the frequency spectrum (assuming you have efficient speakers)

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
The isolation transformer was just for my system rather than the whole condo.
In the end I changed my plan and ordered this 1.8kVA isolation transformer. It will go on the line just before my system rather than at the point where the AC enters my unit.
I'll post about its effectiveness.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
I'm thinking of getting a 3kVA isolation transformer and dealing with the problem where the AC enters my condo unit.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
Kennythekey,
Thank you for the compliments.

I'll preface this by saying that I live in an apartment and I do have a problem with noise from other units/the grid coming into my system on the ground line. I'm researching solutions as we speak.

The Entreq boxes do not help with this problem but they do seem to solve grounding issues (issues I wasn't even aware of) within individual components. They bring a real sense or ease and naturalness to the presentation and make it so much more emotionally and sonically satisfying.

As for the power cords, they really do seem counter-intuitive. They should sound bad but I like them. For $10 they are worth the gamble. I used to have $1,500 cords and I like these much more. They simply sound "right." And, the expensive cords weren't any quieter nor did they help with the problems in my preface.

Its dry up here in the winter and I always run a humidifier. It may be my imagination but everything sounds better when the air is humidified. I read that it is easier for speakers to move 'wet' air as opposed to dry air and maybe that has something to do with it. It is also better for playing LPs. I'm not sure what effect the Entreq would have on dryness and static problems.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
Malcolmmonfort,
I wasn't trying to correct any problems with the Stein Speaker Match Signature. These were simply lent to me by a friend to try out. They certainly added a palpable realism to my particular system. True story: when I first put them in my girlfriend started laughing and said she had to leave the room. I asked why and, still laughing, she said she was creeped out that there seemed to be real, life-sized people in the room singing to her.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
System edited: Added: Stein Speaker Match Signature, and picked up a Nagaoka CL1000 rolling record cleaner which does a great job on LPs.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
System edited: Replaced the picture of the Metrik Studio 'Redwall' with one that doesn't have my stereo components in front of it.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
Daniel,
Yes, I live in downtown Toronto.
Thanks for the compliment, I will pass it along to the designer.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
As for the super tweeters...
I much preferred the Audio Note AN-E loudspeakers on their own, without the super tweeters.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
Mribob,
I went to a dealer's last weekend to demo a pair of Elac super tweeters. I noticed the place was filled with all these boxes from Sweden and I asked my dealer what these were. I had never heard of Entreq or 'grounding boxes' but he offered to give me a demo so I said sure.
As you say, they remove grunge, and provide quieter backgrounds and deeper sound stages. What sold me personally on this product, however, was the fact that so much more emotion and inner detail comes through. Everything becomes more relaxed and more 'musical.' You get a better sense of the flow of the music and it is much easier to sense the intention and emotion of the performers. I feel it is worthwhile but it certainly isn't cheap. My girlfriend was skeptical when I brought it home but she couldn't believe the difference it made to the ease and flow of music through my system.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
System edited: Added a ground box for my components and some discs for under the speaker stands.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
Thank you.

The room is actually 2 rooms: a living area and a kitchen, divided by an island.

It is 14' deep (I listen about 12' from the speaker plane)and, in total, it's about 25' wide.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
I don't have pics of all the components yet, just the 5 with the word "pic" beside them.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
System edited: new room treatment and some new pictures added.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
I meant to write: "I'm NOT sure that it does very much for the sound...."

The red wall also does a nice job of hiding my TV.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
System edited: New cartridge added: London Decca Reference. (Removed: Kondo KSL-SFz MC Step-Up Transformer; ZYX Yatra; and Kondo IO-M cartridges)

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
System edited: System picture replaced.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
I'm sure that it does very much for the sound. It's there mostly just to look nice. The room treatments that I'm speaking about are simply the Stein Music products.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
The room treatments have the following effects:

1. 3D imaging and room-filling energy.

2. the music has more harmonic complexity -- it sounds more nuanced.

3. a sense of ease to the proceedings.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
Hello All,

Yes, I had a Kondo IO-M before and still have it. It may need a re-build after 7 years. Right now I'm liking the immediacy of the Decca cartridge.

I haven't heard the Thoress 845 in my system but if I get a chance to compare it to my Thomas Meyer amp I will be sure to post about it.

Saltetric, thanks for the compliment. I like Harbeth speakers and I love the Harmonizers. The maple platform is made of three solid pieces of maple that have been glued together to form one block. The footers are simple floor protectors that screw into the maple. I'm using Stein footers between my components and the maple.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
Noromance,
Do you happen to have John Wright's email address?

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
Noromance,
I'm wondering if my next cartridge move should be the Paratrace re-tip or moving up the line to a Jubilee or Reference?

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
System edited: Added a London Decca Super Gold cartridge. This cartridge replaces the ZYX R100 Yatra which replaced a Kondo IO-M. Everything you might read about the dynamics and immediacy of this cartridge are true. If there is a drawback to this cartridge, I haven't come across it yet; it seems to mate perfectly with my tonearm.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
System edited: Added Emission Labs 45 (solid plates) for my amplifier. I had been going back and forth between a pair of NOS globe-shape RCAs and a pair of ST-shape National Unions. The globes has more finesse and were better in the midrange but the STs sounded more powerful and were better at the frequency extremes. So far, after 4 hours of listening, it seems that the EMLs are better in every respect. They sound very powerful, modern, and very 'matter-of-fact.' They really take control and get a grip on the proceedings. If you are looking for a tube to act as a tone control to warm up, sweeten, or tame your system I probably wouldn't go with the EML. The EML makes the vintage tubes sound a little lazy in terms of 'image pop' and projection out into the room. The vintage tubes seem happy to sort of hang back and blend images into one another. I'd like my system to have a little more heart, soul, and humanity and the EMLs didn't give me that. I find that there is more texture and tonal information now and the soundscape has expanded out into the room more. I'll post again if the EMLs start to change as they break in.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
The Thoress 845 are thin so postitioning them wouldn't be a probelm.
I use bi-wire speaker cables.
I sit near the rear wall of the room about 12' from the speaker plane.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
Lapierre,
Thank you very much for the compliment.
I'm curious, why do you think the Thoress 845 be a challenge fitting in with my other components?

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
System edited: added a ZYX cartridge and started a thread on it called "ZYX R100 Yatra"

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
Isochronism,
Thank you for the compliments.
I'm thinking of trying Thomas Mayer's four chassis preamp and 211 monoblocks (or the Thoresss 845 monoblocks) so things may be becoming a little more encumbered!
(I will, however, do my best to keep it looking neat and clean)

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
Bob,
The unshielded PC cost me $7.24 CDN. For you in the US it can be had for 5 bucks. It was recommended to me by two dealers whose ears I trust so I took a chance.
But I thought the same thing when I went to the manufacturer's site: "why do they want me to buy the cheapest cord here?" "why do they want me to buy an unshielded one when there are shielded ones available for a couple of extra bucks."
When I put them in it wasn't as is the heavens opened or my jaw dropped but everything just sounded natural and right. My other cords sounded as is they were editorializing or spotlighting in some way or another.
Incidentally, my inteconnects and speaker cables are also unshielded. Again, I didn't go looking for unshielded wires ; shielding makes a lot of sense to me.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
Thanks. I had the speakers out into the room then. They have since been pushed back into the corners where they were designed to be placed.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
System edited: Power cords and AC conditioner changed.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
Hi Dev,
Everything I learned about room acoustics and the sound of wood and lacquer, I learned from Charles Altmann.
I don't know much about framing and such, I think the most important thing is how the surface of the wood is treated (the lacquer). And, yes, I would do the ceiling as well. I would avoid parallel surfaces by slightly angling the walls and ceiling. I'm not big on any kind of absorption because I like a live sound. Soft woods that are good include: spruce, pine, fir, and cedar. The resonance and reflection off these woods is more pleasant than that of hard woods and much better than things like drywall, glass, and concrete. Please have a look at Charles' writings for more information.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
Hi Dev,
Thank you. In my new space (I'm just set up in my living room) I rely on the Stein Harmonizer system for the room acoustics.
I still believe that if you have are lucky enough to have a dedicated listening room the best way to go is all-wood walls (a soft wood like spruce) treated with all-natural lacquer -- as if you were making a wooden musical instrument.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
Hi Charles,
There is always room for improvement but I think my system does, as you say, sound beautifully natural and right.
I can only speak for one of Thomas Mayer's creations (my amp) because that is the only one that I have heard. As you know, I wrote a short review of it above. I continue to stay in contact with Thomas and read his blog. We've recently been talking about a D3a LCR phono preamp and 10Y line stage.. I'm considering trying this against my AN M6 full-function preamp.

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
Hi Albert,
Thank you for the compliments. The rectangles that make up the red wall are simply cherry veneers with a mixture of stain and oil finish from Germany. Each rectangle is one of three colours/shades of red and one of three sizes. It certainly didn't hurt the sound from my system but I won't go so far as to say that it benefited it.
[In my old house I coated the wooden walls with a sort of violin lacquer and that made a significant improvement.]

As for Audio Note....When I was looking for speakers to replace my MBLs I auditioned quite a few over the course of three or four months bit I kept revisiting the dealer with the Audio Note system just like I keep revisiting the Audio Note room at shows.

exlibris

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Owner
Hi Bob,
Thank you for the compliments; all the best for the holidays,
Dave

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
*wood helps

exlibris

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Owner
Wow! So many responses. For some reason, I don't think my system is fully searchable in Audiogon. When I search the name of the system or some of my components in 'virtual systems', I don't get a hit. Anyway...

The red wall behind the system: I'd like to say that it was designed for its acoustic properties but the truth is that I hired an artist/cabinet maker to make a beautiful wall that I can look at while I listen to music. I suspect that would helps with the sound but that's about it for practical things. The big rectangle in the middle slides to one side, hiding my TV. There are 2 tracks of LCD lights at the top (hidden by the valance) but I never use these. The wall, as you see it in the picture is lit by 5 track lights.

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System edited: Picture added. Finally.

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System edited: Added Crimson cables.

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Holger Stein says that the blue diamond on the ceiling is the most important one and I have no reason to doubt him. What I can say is that putting a blue diamond on top of each of my speakers made a very big and very positive change in my room. I was hesitant to put them there just because of the looks. I was hoping the difference they made would be minimal so that I wouldn't have to use them and I'd save some money. Alas, they really work.

And I promise to post some pictures. The issue right now is that my AN M6 Phono is in the shop. The pictures would show an M2 which I have as a loaner.

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System edited: Added a third pair of Stein Harmonizers.

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System edited: Added Audio Note ISIS power cords.

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System edited: Sistrum SP-003 platforms and Logosound isolation feet are out. Steinmusic Super Naturals Signature are in.

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You're welcome. I hope they have the same effect in your space. I'm going to be trying out a 3rd pair of Harmonizers.
The manual will include a drawing showing you were to place everything in the room. I've found that the Harmonizers work best when they are as close to a corner as you can get them.

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System edited: Added a pair of Steinmusic Speaker Match. I compared these to the Speaker Match Plus and in my current configuration preferred this cheaper model. When I put the Speaker Match in I didn’t hear much of a difference other than the mid-bass to low midrange becoming better defined and more energetic. It was only when I remove them that I really found out what they were doing. With them in everything sounds more natural and right. They remove a tizzy sort of energy that I didn’t even know was there. Everything sounds more relaxed and flows along. Without them the system sounds thinner and less substantial.

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I'd love to have a chance to try his preamplifiers. Maybe one day...

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Thomas Mayer says that one of the reasons this amp is so powerful and effortless sounding is because his designs have huge headroom. The driver stage can deliver much more signal swing than is actually needed to drive the output tube to full power. The output tube clips way before all other stages come near to being stressed and this is achieved by headroom in all preceding stages. I've had many amps with much larger output power simply collapse (the soundstage gets thin, anemic, small, and two-dimensional) on crescendos and peaks where this one sails along.

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Thank you; the sound is very natural and emotional involving. The transformers are copper.

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The amp is absolutely incredible. I wasn't prepared for such a huge, alive, dynamic, and immediate presentation. The tone is beautiful - I can't believe there is so much nuance and emotion that I was missing from an amplified guitar (for instance). It conveys emotion without sounding romantic. It is sweet but it isn't soft or slow. It is the most powerful-sounding amp that I have heard with my speakers and that includes the 18 watt Audio Note Jinro using 211s and a 20 watt Mastersound PSE 300B monoblocks. It is also very linear with great extension at the frequency extremes. And having lived with 300Bs for many many years I can say that it doesn't give up anything in midrange.
Though it is only 2 watts I think the amp is really over-built with large Tango transformers throughout (including interstage transformers).Thomas Mayer 45
I'm not sure how other 45 amps would do with my speakers but I have read good things about the Yamamoto 45 with AN-E/HEs.

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I should note that I tried other (non-room treatment) products from Steinmusic and they were not to my liking so I'm not here to promote their stuff.

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Hi Bob,
I started with one pair of Steinmusic Harmonizers and the blue diamonds and black stones that he recommends. The effect was astounding. It isn't like so many other types of changes where one thing improves but other things might get a little worse or where one set of frequencies are enhanced making you think you're getting an improvement. No - with this system everything is simply better, and bigger, and more life-like, an more natural, and more powerful sounding, and it is all presented with an ease like real music in a room.
I have since added a second pair of Harmonizers. I was told to expect a 20% improvement but I think it is closer to a doubling - shocking.
I don't know why these things work and I really don't care.

I haven't heard the other products that you've mentioned unfortunately.

I hope you get a chance to hear the Steinmusic stuff on a free trial. Some people only hear a subtle difference and if that is the case then it wouldn't be worth the money as far as I'm concerned. If you do get to hear it, set it up and leave music playing in the room unattended for about an hour before coming in to evaluate it. For some reason the room takes a while to 'charge up'.

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System edited: New amp added.

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System edited: Steinmusic room treatments added.

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System edited: Kondo interconnects and speaker wire is out. Demoing wires at this time. Mastersound 300B monoblocks are out. Demoing amps at this time.

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System edited: Out: Kondo Audio Note Japan KSL-M7 In: Audio Note UK M6 Phono

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System edited: Speakers changed, one pair of amps gone, and both subs gone.

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All is well and 'yes,' the speakers are up.
I'm still in the process of auditioning - no decisions yet.

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System edited: 1. 300B tubes changed to Sophia Electric Royal Princess 300B. 2. System moved to a new residence. 3. No longer using the Harmonix RFA-7800 Room Tuning Devices.

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System edited: I put the two subs back into the system.

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Thank you Henry and Sam.
It isn't perfect but it does sound pretty good.

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System edited: Pictures added.

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