Description

Vintage... Vintage...  Vintage. I am totally in love with both the sound and the aesthetics, and owe a debt of gratitude to a mentor I've never met -- Jeff Day of Jeff's Place and an Absolute Sound reviewer. His blog and reviews have guided so many of my decisions this past year and I couldn't be happier with the musical quality that has resulted. I have yet to find an idea that hasn't provided everything he has written about. Each time my expectations have been exceeded by the outcome I've experienced.Thank you Jeff!!

I'm also proud to say I built the speakers and turntable myself. Definitely a labor of love both during the construction and afterwards. It's difficult to describe how rewarding it is to look and listen to wonderful sound through things you've built yourself.

Although it's easy to point to the Tannoys as the source of huge sound stage, full and tight bass, and high end sparkle, it really is the synergy of all the components acting together that achieves the sound I marvel at the musical quality during every listening session.

As a woodworker, I welcome the opportunity to build most any project to your specifications and to collaborate with you on your next project.
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Room Details

Dimensions: 23’ × 12’  Medium
Ceiling: 9’


Components Toggle details

    • Tannoy Monitor Gold HPD 315
    I designed and built custom speaker cabinets in my shop for restored, vintage Tannoy Monitor Gold HPD-315 dual concentric drivers. Thanks to the help of "islandmandan" Dan Thomason, I generally followed his successful build and maintained the 150 liter (5.6 cu.ft.) size and port size and location of his build. Differences to fit my room include mine measure only 14" wide by 46" tall by 24" deep and are built using a combination of 3/16" Baltic Birch plywood, 3/4" MDF, 3/4" Baltic Birch, and 7/8" solid cherry for the tops to match the domestic cherry and ebony exterior wrapping finished with 8 coats of tung oil and wood paste wax final finish for a soft shine. The curved sides were made using 5 layers of 3/16" plywood glued up layer by layer and contribute significantly to the rigidity of the cabinet. And I love the look of the curved sides as well!

    External crossovers are from Mainly Tannoy of London and all wiring is wire-to-wire
    copper lug clamped using Duelund DCA 12, 16 and 20 gauge oiled cotton wire in the tradition of Western Electric.
    • Lenco or PTP L75 and PTP6
    This project started with the purchase of a working L75 chassis without tonearm. After researching many plinth options, I chose to follow the design of the highly respected Artisan Fidelity plinths with 5 layers of solid cherry and a single constraining layer of 1/8" aircraft aluminum between the 2nd and 3rd layers. The finishing veneer is Brazilian Cherry chosen for it's rich and prominent grain pattern to complement all the other cherry in the listening room.

    The plinth includes mounting location for two arms which can be from 9 inches to 12 inches long. A variety of armboards where made using mahogany and cocobolo woods secured with brass screws into brass threaded inserts.

    Initially the tonearm is a 9 inch Jelco TK-850S fitted with a Soundsmith headshell, custom Art of Tone leads, and a new Soundsmith Zephyr III cart. Alternatively I have a Jelco HS-30 Rosewood headshell with a Koetsu Urushi Gold cart and a Yamamoto SoundCraft HS-1a headshell with Art of Tone headshell leads to a Hana SL cart. I made the tonearm cable using Cardas DIN connector with Art of Tone 24 gauge zinc plated copper wire and Switchcraft RCA connectors.  The two MC carts connect to an Expressive Technologies SUT which connects through DCA 20 gauge shielded DIY interconnects to the MX-110 Phono 2 Inputs.

    However I've ordered Pete Riggle's Universal Woody tonearm (there's a 4 month lead time for delivery) and expect to mount the Soundsmith Zephyr cart.
    • McIntosh MC-30
    Completely "remanufactured" by Yves Beauvais of Vintage Vacuum Audio to original McIntosh specifications including a re-chromed top chassis, powder coated bottom chassis, re-painted transformer covers and all new stickers. The results you see have made for flawless cosmetics. Of course the electronics has also been completely restored using components that preserve and enhance the original McIntosh sound that has made them one of the most respected names in HiFi. From Stereophile.com interview of Yves:

    "So I started restoring these magnificent McIntosh monoblocks as obsessively as folks restore vintage cars or vintage motorcycles. It's probably not the best business model, because you have a finite quantity of them, and it's an enormous amount of work. I take them apart entirely, rechrome the chassis, re–silk-screen, repaint the transformers, and I do all the electronic work inside. When I'm done, I want the McIntosh in question to look and sound like we assume it would have when it came out of the plant in 1952, '53, '54.

    "A lot of people take a McIntosh and want it to sound like a Fisher, or they take a Marantz and want it to sound like a Scott. I never change the value of any part. I stick to what the schematic says. I respect and admire the engineers who designed these things. My goal is to do no harm, and hopefully bring them back to the original intentions of the engineers."

    Read more at https://www.stereophile.com/content/yves-beauvais-page-2#C3TZIEQBxoWEdj74.99

    All I can add is "well done" Yves. I'm thrilled to own a pair of your masterpieces.
    • McIntosh MX-110
    This is a Z version completed restored by one of the most respected McIntosh technicians in the US -- Terry Dewick of Knoxville, TN. While the cosmetics are all original and show wear on all the fragile printed labels, the sound quality has been fully restored to original McIntosh specifications. The original wood case was damaged in shipment so as a woodworker I re-veneered it using Brazilian Cherry to match my custom turntable plinth and complement the domestic cherry speakers and other components in my listening room.
    • Expressive Technologies SU-1

    I love this SUT and have found everything said below to be right on the mark. And as detailed, it's a great match for my MX-110 MM phono stage and both the Koetsu and Hana carts.

    From Stereophile Magazine review -- "The SU-1 is definitely not what one expects a moving-coil step-up transformer to look like. At 19" wide, over 5" high, and weighing 35 lbs, the SU-1 is clearly a serious product. The rear panel holds two pairs of gold-plated RCA jacks and a ground terminal. There isn't much to talk about inside the unit; the SU-1 is a black box that contains two other black boxes—the left- and right-channel transformers. Build quality is excellent."

    "A few other technical notes: the SU-1 works best with low-output moving-coils, especially those with output voltages of less than 0.5mV. The relatively low-output (0.3mV) AudioQuest AQ7000 cartridge I used was a good match for the SU-1, while many of the newer high-end moving-coils have output voltages of 0.18mV, making them good candidates for use with the SU-1. However, cartridges with a high output impedance (above a few ohms) should be avoided. Not all phono stages work well with the SU-1; the phono stage input impedance should be high (47k ohms is ideal). Phono preamp gain is also a critical factor in how much difference the SU-1 can make to the system. High-gain phono stages don't need the stepped-up voltage, and some may be overloaded by the SU-1 when driven by even moderate-output moving-coil cartridges. The ideal conditions for the SU-1 are a very low-output moving-coil and a 47k ohms input impedance moving-magnet phono stage."

    "If you love LPs and have a low-output moving-coil and a preamp with a high impedance input, the SU-1/IC-1 is a "must hear" product. But I'll warn you: Once you hear your favorite LPs through the SU-1 step-up and IC-1 interconnect, you may not want to live without them."


    Read more at https://www.stereophile.com/phonopreamps/692su/index.html#TSCELa3cbEryCVRZ.99

    Read more at https://www.stereophile.com/phonopreamps/692su/index.html#TSCELa3cbEryCVRZ.99
    • Isoclean Super Focus 2m
    Input to the transformers and output to the filter panel.
    • Isoclean PT-3030G III
    Dual transformers provide both clean and stable power for all components.
    • Pioneer Elite DV-47a
    Although all my serious listening is with vinyl, I do enjoy listening to CD's during dinner parties and family gatherings. I realize it's not a very good CD audio player and if my use changes, so will the player.
    • Shakti Innovations Hallograph
    Although I didn't buy these, the improvement in sound quality I've experienced with them makes the Hallographs a component I would not want to be without. Of course your results may vary.
    • VPI Industries HW-17
    Record cleaning machine uses an enzyme based cleaning solution. Enzymes clean different than detergents by rapidly biodegrading away grease and grime. The big advantage when cleaning records though is that they don't leave a detergent residue that requires rinsing.

Comments 11

222222&text=ra
Owner
Thanks sebrof! Much appreciated.

raceone

Center
Wow, just ridiculous! Beautiful system, and I'm sure it sounds as good as it looks. Thanks for sharing so many pics.

sebrof

222222&text=sh
Very Nice!

shane1960

Center
cool system, room and DYI projects !!!!!!!

tomic601

222222&text=pc
Dig the Expressive Su-1

pcosta

222222&text=ra
Owner
SMCCULL -- Yes, I'd welcome the chance to build one for you too.

raceone

222222&text=sm
Awesome! I have a Lenco GL75 and looking to move it to a custom PTP plinth. Is this the kind of wood working project you take on?

smccull

222222&text=ra
Owner
Thanks everyone, the kind comments are sincerely appreciated. I've found these DIY builds to be an incredibly rewarding path to travel and the accolades are truly the frosting on the cake.

MJ--The VTL preamp is being replaced this week with the MX110 that's on its way from Terry's restoration and the pictures will be updated after it's installed. Yes, although the VTL TL2.5 is quite nice, I've found the MX110 to be even better sounding. For example with the MX audience clapping during live performances no longer sounded like pink noise! 

More pics to come showing details of the builds😉

raceone

222222&text=mj
Very nice. I like the modern look to your Lenco w/ new Jelco arm.
I think you forgot to list your VTL preamp. The VTL/Mac pairing seems like a very good match too. 
Very nice LP storage and layout of your gear. Nice looking speaker cabinets as well. Very Impressive system.

mjcmt

222222&text=yy
Gorgeous room. Very inviting. Seems like the perfect place to sit down and listen to get music on a great system. I love the wall art work. Well done!

yyman23

222222&text=jo
Just wow! Amazing looking vintage/custom system and gorgeous room front to back. Your Tannoy cabinets came out looking professionally built great work. It looks like a great place to kick back and spin some vinyl well done!

jond

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