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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

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=la
Not a sonic challenge but visual challenge and space Exlibris.

Physically the Thoresss 845 (very retro and mid-century looking) look much bigger than the current Thomas Mayer 45 SE. However, after second view of the Thoresss amps they should fit comfortably on the maple platform.

Audio Note HE loudspeaker...jumpers or bi-wire?

BTW...what is your listening position from the the Audio Note loudspeakers?

lapierre

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=la
Nicely done Exlibris. Nicely done indeed.

Just a great collection of components that is well thought out including the room acoustics.

Thoresss 845 mono blocks will be a challenge fitting in with your other components.

lapierre

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

exlibris

Center
Exlibris,
With either amplifier I don't believe that you'll go wrong. I'd bet his 211 amplifiers with his 4 chassis preamp combination is fantastic.
Charles,

charles1dad

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=is
Thank you for providing Charles Altmann's site.
You have a very beautiful and unencumbered system and room!

isochronism

222222&text=mr
Dave;
Why did you purchase a unshielded PC? Not sure of the differences between shielded, and non shielded cords, except I thought with all the gear and cords in the back of our racks, that a shielded cord might perform better and block out some noise. I will try to sample one of your new cords and report back. Like their pricing, and love your room...great photos and beautifully done. Kudos!
Best,
Bob

mribob

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=je
Nice to see that picture!

jetrexpro

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=de
Hi Exlibris,

thanks for the explanation, looks great!

You have done allot of research in the past so I would appreciate if you could share the knowledge you have gained and if you were building a dedicated room yourself what material specifically would you use, thickness along with actual build process from the framing stage onward, I assume you would do the ceiling also.

If I recall you used cedar in your place didn't you?

Why specifically soft wood like spruce?

Thanks in advance.

dev

Center
Hi Exlibris,
I hope you are able to hear Mayer's preamps, I've read about his DHT 10y linestage and I'd bet it sounds stunning. That would certainly be a very interesting comparison to the AN M6 preamp. His DHT phono stage must be quite special as well. A DHT phono stage is a very rare bird
Charles,

charles1dad

Center
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.
The artist/cabinet maker you refer to deserves that title. It's a very creative design, high quality workmanship and shows a good deal of imagination.
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.

Audio Note frequently have great sound at shows and their attitude makes for a relaxing spot to hang out.

Ag insider logo xs@2xalbertporter

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

222222&text=ex
Owner
Hi Bob,
Thank you for the compliments; all the best for the holidays,
Dave

exlibris

222222&text=ex
Owner
*wood helps

exlibris

222222&text=ex
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.

exlibris

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