Been back in the hobby for a few years now. Taking small steps to try to upgrade incrementally. Room sounds very good with all the major stuff done for now. Still have some untreated areas in the room that I will get to soon....for now it is time to enjoy.

Room Details

Dimensions: 24’ × 20’  Large
Ceiling: 13’

Components Toggle details

    • Innuos Zenith MK3
    Server / streamer
    • Lampizator Baltic III DAC
    • Backert Labs Rhumba Extreme 1.3
    hot rodded with a pair of 7316s
    • Pass Labs X250.8
    Listening room amp
    • Aerial Acoustics 7T
    Main listening room loudspeakers
    • Parasound A23
    Amp driving kitchen speakers
    • Totem Acoustic Dreamcatcher
    Kitchen speakers
    • Real Traps Mini and Mondo traps
    Broadband wall and corner bass traps.
    • AudioQuest Diamond USB
    • AudioQuest Tornado PCs
    • AudioQuest William Tell SC
    • AudioQuest Colorado ICs
    • JL Audio eSUB
    • Network Acoustics ENO Ethernet Filter

Comments 16

7de48aec 072d 4b50 bcf0 e8d10e0a4e7a
bslon, thank you sir!


Nice system, love the 7T’s.


7de48aec 072d 4b50 bcf0 e8d10e0a4e7a
@sbank, Thanks for the tip and compliment. The space under my listening room is a garage but it is finished so it is probably more work than I want to take on right now. Early on I certainly had some trials and tribulations. I did find that some of the issues that I thought were being caused by the rack had more to do with cabling which I resolved, but there is no question that the room sounds different with this rack in it. I saw your rack and it looks great! I wish I thought of a solution like that. Looks like you have options to adjust shelf height which I do not. I have a welder / fabricator near my house that built some mounting brackets for my kitchen speakers, so I sketched up the frame design and he built it out of 1 3/4" steel tubing. Not fun to move but it is heavy and rigid and I got the low profile look I was going for. Perhaps next winter I will reengage with it and do some experimentation but the sound is really good right now and other chores and hobbies have me busy. In regards to the Backert preamp, it is an absolute game-changer in my system. I started out with the Rhumba 1.2 and then upgraded to the 1.3 Extreme and I love it. Both of these provided significant incremental improvements that I have not seen with any other component upgrade in my system. The 1.2 I had was a great piece and with the right tubes got really close to the Extreme. I always hear people talking about great deals in audio and that preamp gets my vote for sure. I've never interacted with Bob but have heard a lot of positive things about his abilities and his integrity and Andy is super to deal with; looking back I am so thankful I found them. I hope the next time you see Bob or Andy you tell them about the happy customer you met. Thanks to you too! I am sure your feedback contributed in some way to the sound signature I get to enjoy every night😊 Take care, /mike 


@chilehed Love your system and room! I'm partial to the Backert preamp especially. Bob & Andy are friends and Andy spent many hours with their early prototypes listening in my system. 
I've also got a DIY rack that offers benefits along with challenges. When I lived in an older house with hardwood floors above a basement, I found that 3 2x4s in the basement below the rack bracing the hardwood above to the concrete floor below made a huge difference vs. the $10 cost. If you can do similar, just err on the long side when cutting the wood to fit and jam it in using a dead blow hammer...a good trick. Cheers,


Have you fixed your issue with your existing stand? Let me know if you retained the stand. I can help you couple it with a few really sound ideas. Right now it is a conduit for vibration of all components.


I do know for certain that soft wood pine with its open grain structure is a poor choice and will soft and defuse the sound a fair amount. My experience is oak really boosts the bass. Maple is also a hard wood like oak with a dense grain and is supposed to be a good choice, but it just didn't work for me, but many swear by it.


7de48aec 072d 4b50 bcf0 e8d10e0a4e7a
@mjcmt, thanks for the compliment and info on your experience. I used pine and was considering replacing the shelving with oak or maple, but it seems like those changes are not guaranteed to remedy my problems. Not sure how long I want to chase it for. There are a few easy changes I will try and if I don't see significant change I will I'll probably buy a rack. 
Regarding the kitchen setup, we spend a ton of time there so it makes sense and the sound is pretty great for a modest setup.


Very fine audiophile equipment and listening room. It is excellent that you chose to add an amp w/ extra speakers for the kitchen with high-end equipment.

Is you diy rack maple. I had my tube integrated amp on a 2" thick maple amp stand with solid aluminum feet set on the floor, before I put it on the equipment rack of laminate veneered mdf. The difference was very noticeable. I always read maple is a premier choice for equipment, but I found it softened the sound by a large amount, removed detail, and eliminated dynamics and the leading edge of the sound. Maybe for some equipment it's a good choice but it was not my cup of tea.
Also if your steel uprights went straight to floor w/o being welded to a cross member at the bottom this should tighten up the sound. And if each shelf is set on isolation spikes that would help, as well as filling your hollow steel square stock w/ sand.
Good luck on improving upon your design.


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@milpai, thanks for the compliment. Yes was also pleased with the look but there are unquestionable issues with the coupling or materials. Once I get some help going to try direct coupling. If that doesn't work I may replace the shelves with maple, or just go in a different direction all together.
@frozentundra, thanks..the span between legs is ~63" but there are no issues with mass or rigidity. The frame is a beast. (see discussion in "tech talk" "DIY Rack *fail*). I believe the issue has to do with coupling or materials.Regarding my location, I am north of Boston. Growing chile peppers is a hobby and I like eating chilli too:)


Chili 🌶;

Suggestion on rack?

You have to much span berween the legs?

Get a couple of pipe clamps in the middle and pre-Stress it ( clamp between top & bottom)
That should change resonance and see what happens.  Adjust tighter, looser & listen

Cheap option to try?

What cables are you running? 

Ps: Lovely room


Chili head?   Do you  live in New Mexico?


@chilehed ,
I really liked your stand, until I read that they set you back. I thought dampening marerial help tame the vibrations. But looks like something else went wrong. Hope you can fix them and make the sound awesome again.
I am assuming that you are using Rhumba with Pass and Aerial? Can't help it, but I really like your stand, since it is not tall and accommodates the gear nicely.
Have fun and enjoy your music.


7de48aec 072d 4b50 bcf0 e8d10e0a4e7a
@jond, thanks for the compliment. I'm going to deconstruct the rack and remove the damping material to see if that fixes the issue. If it doesn't, I will likely look to rearrange components in the room and purchase a solution from a manufacturer that understands this better than me. Never would have thought it but there is some weird science involved here. Thanks again for the kind words.


Nice looking system, I'm sorry the rack set your sound back but you did a great job on it. It looks solid and sturdy and expensive. I hope you get to the sound you want you certainly have the components for it. Happy listening!


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@hendrixinc, thanks. The room was unusable before the treatments and I still need to spot treat a bit more. The realtraps seem very effective and have tamed many of the issues I had in the room.
@frozentundra, thanks. I went from a Parasound P5 so the basic Rhumba was a noticeable improvement. When I rolled in a set of NOS Amperex Bugle Boy tubes it took the pre to a whole different level. The sound was terrific prior to the DIY rack I built. Never in a million years did I think or believe a piece of furniture could have such an impact and in my case it is negative. The sound is still very good but the rack issue needs to be resolved as soon as I have the time to deal with it. Most nights I simply can not get enough and completely lose track of time; it is a great source of enjoyment.


Nice setup!

How do you like the Rhumba

I thought seriously about it before going to CJ ET3

I bet your system is pretty resolving!



Nice big listening room and neat setup. I'll have to research the room treatment for my media center multi channel  area


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