Description

This is my current reference system, with Aug 2022 updates:
Same Single Ended Triode and Single Driver philosophy as before. There been so many updates to my system that it was easier to just create a new system profile in AudiogoN to highlight what I'm currently listening to. Most of the other components in my older system profile largely remain but this is what I'm usually listening to. Highlights:
1) The Rethm Saadhana V3 and been upgraded to the latest V4 version. These are even better game changers.
2) I bought another Berning 300B SET ZOTL and it turns out that David Berning has made minor revisions which have improved this great amp. This latest version sounds great. Added the AGD Audions GAN monoblocks. Best solid state amps I've heard and very close to my Berning 300B.
3) The Wavac PR-T1 preamp is the best preamp in my system so far.
4) Sold the Chord DAVE DAC plus Blu2 Transport/Upsampler are game changers. Upgraded by adding AudioWise Opto-DX bnc-optical-bnc converters between the BluMk2 and the DAVE. Replaced with Playback Designs MPD-8 Dac with Stream-IF streamer. Great upgrade from the Chord DAVE.
5) The Small Green Computer Sonic Transport i9 optical streamer is a huge leap. My digital music is much better now and very close to vinyl. I love ROON with Qobuz and TIDAL. The Small Green Computer i9 optical, has 8TB SSD with 16TB RAM.  Running Optical fibre to a Sonore Signature Rendu SE which then converts to USB to the BluMk2. My digital is now very close to my vinyl.  (Generally preferring Qobuz for SQ).
6) Sold the Wavac LCR-X2 phono preamp is good. I use a AudioNote Kondo SFz step-up transformer with the Koetsu Coralstone Platinum (with Diamond Cantilever) cartridge. 
Added the BMC MCCI Signature  ULN phono. A good match to the Koetsu Coralstone Diamond cart. Added the ZYX Universe Optimum cartridge and matching ZYX Artisan Premium phono. Added the Channel D Lino C 3.0 phnostage. Really good with the Koetsu Coralstone Diamond.
7) Upgraded the Fidelity Research FR66s internal tonearm wiring to latest Ikeda silver wiring is an important upgrade and highly recommended to those who have the FR tonearms.
8) Changing to all Verastarr Silver foils for power cords, IC, USB  and ethernet cables have been a revelation.
Read more...

Room Details

Dimensions: 25’ × 14’  Large
Ceiling: 20’


Components Toggle details

    • Channel D Lino C 3.3 phonostage
    With 3 inputs:
    - MC Transimpedance input
    - MC Seta L, voltage input
    - MM input
    • WAVAC Audio PR-T1 preamp
    with NOS 12au7 tubes
    • Berning 300B SET ZOTL. Balanced 2020 version
    • Rethm Saadhana V4 Speakers + Townshend SuperTweeters
    • Technics SP10Mk3 Turntable with Krebs Mod 2, upgraded electronics and Porter Plinth
    • Fidelity Research FR66s tonearm with updated Ikeda internal silver wiring
    • Koetsu Coralstone Platinum Diamond Cantilever with Koetsu stone body headshell
    • Playback Designs MPD-8 DAC + Stream-IF Streamer
    Really good upgrade from my Chord DAVE. More organic, natural sound.
    I use the Stream-IF streamer to have the Playback Designs Fiber Optic link to the MPD-8. Sounds better than going through the MPD-8 USB input.
    Also using the Uptone ISoRegen USB reclocker/isolator to the Stream-IF from the Sonore Signature Rendu SE Optical
    • Chord Electronics Ltd. BLU2 CD transport and Upsampler
    • Verastarr Audio Silver Power cables, Silver interconnects (RCA and XLR) and silver speaker cables. All of them foils,
    • Sony PS-X800 Liner tracking direct drive turntable
    • Sony PS-X75 direct drive turntable
    • Sonore Signature Rendu SE streamer (optical)
    • Victor Labs TT-801 direct drive Turntable with vacuum platter
    • ZYX Artisan Premium Phono
    • BMC MCCI Signature ULN phono
    • AGD Production Audion Mk2 MonoBlock Power amps
    • ZYX UNIverse Optimum Cartridge
    • Small Green Computer sonicTransporter i9 Optical. ROON Core
    with HQPlayer option

Comments 12

222222&text=dd
Owner
Ok, I have not posted in a while but it's time to update to Dec 2021 status of this system:
1) Turntables:
- Added the Victor TT-801 direct drive turntable with no plinth. "nude" sits on 3 brass pillars. Very good. Maybe 85-90% of my Technics SP10mk3 with Panzerholtz Porter plinth. Perhaps a Plinth can improve the sound.
- Added 2 Sony fully automatic direct drives turntables, PS-X75 and PS-X800 linear tonearm. Bought them on eBay in 2020 for about $1200 each. Had them fully refurb and serviced. Audiophiles may laugh at these fully auto turntables but these were the last effort from the giant Japanese audio companies. With the Koetsu Coralstone Diamond Catridge. I reckon they get to about 80% of the sounds. If you can find good examples, they are keepers.
2) Phonostages and Cartridges:
- Sold my Wavac LCR-X2. Added the BMC MMCI Signature ULN Balanced current drive phono. Very good and very happy with the sound.
- Sold the Cyrus Signature phono and added the ZYX Premium Artisan Phonostage to go with the ZYX Universe Optimum Cartridge
3) Amplifiers:
- Added a fully balanced Berning 300B SET ZOYL amp. This is my 3rd Berning 300B SET ZOTL. This version is fully balanced and hand built by David Berning. Fabulous with vintage WE300Bs. I have 1930-40's engraved base and early 1950's WE300B. Sublime especially the mids.
-Added the AGD Audio Class D GanT amp. The best solid state amp I've ever tried. And I've bought the First Watt F2J and SIT2 but ultimately sold them. This AGD Audionsare keepers, especially the new MK2 with the improved KT88mk2 GanT amp modules. Competes very well with my Berning 300Bs. In fact with the Mk2 version, I'm spending more time listening to them than the 300Bs.
4) Speakers:
- Sold my Rethm Saadhana V3 and upgraded to Rethm Saadhana V4 version. Single driver heaven. Very happy with the sound.
5) Digital:
- Music Server (ROON Core). Upgraded to Small Green Computer SonicTransport i9 optical
- Sonore Signature Rendu SE (ROON Player). Connects to the music server via optical fiber.
- Sold my Chord DAVE and added the Playback Designs MPD-8 DAC. Really, really good. So organic, natural with great tone, timbre, presence, decay and air. Great upgrade from my Chord DAVE/Blumk2 with AudioWise Opto-DX optical links.
- Added the Payback Designs Strem-IF streamer. This goes in between the MPD-8 DAC and the Snonore Sig Rendu SE ROON Player and acts as ROON endpoint. It accepts USB from the Sonore and converts to fiber optic link to the MPD-8 DAC. i find the MPD-8 DAC sounds better with the Strem-IF rather than direct connect.
6) Power conditioner: 
- Added the Isotek evo3 Titan power conditioner. Very good and brings a new level of noise reduction/isolation. Highly recommended.

That's it. The only good thing the pandemic brought, was more time for my audio and I've made lots of changes.


ddriveman

222222&text=fi
How are you likin' the Zyx, has it opened up yet ?

fitcape

222222&text=sw
Very nice system! I am curious though about the “tweaks” that I see in the room.... do you feel that they have absolutely added to your systems performance and even if yes.... worth the price paid? Thank you so much in advance, and please know I mean no disrespect in my question.

swoody

222222&text=sw
Very nice system! I am curious though about the “tweaks” that I see in the room.... do you feel that they have absolutely added to your systems performance and even if yes.... worth the price paid? Thank you so much in advance, and please know I mean no disrespect in my question.

swoody

222222&text=dd
Owner
@bnbryant ,

The equipment rack is from Timbernation

ddriveman

222222&text=dd
Owner
@pr683 ,

With my speakers, I don't need more than 5 watts and I have driven the Rethm Saadhanas with 1 watt LTA MicroZotl preamp with great results. Wavac power amps are great SET power amps especially if you need high power but I just don't need high power even with my other Feastrex Field Coil drivers.
Another reason, and the most important, is that my Berning 300B SET ZOTL is a great amp. The best 300B that I've experienced. The one Wavac amp that could fit with my system is the EC300B (10w). I have not heard it but I really like the Berning ZOTL amps since they don't need output transformers which add their own character to the amp's sound. And the EC300B are over $25K and closer to $30K. Much more expensive.

ddriveman

222222&text=dd
Owner
@alfagil ,

I currently have slight toe-in. I tried straight ahead initially as most systems tend to favor the Rethms this way. But in my Rather small room, a little toe-in brings a solid. denser central image while still giving a wide soundstage.
My speakers are about 8ft apart, center to center and I sit about 9ft away.
And the Saadhana's work very well with my all Silver interconnects and power cables. But the Verastarr cables are very smooth even in my previous system using Feastrex Field Coil rivers which can also be fussy with silver cabling.

ddriveman

222222&text=al

Great system - the Rethms are certainly game changers.  The only other components I've personally owned that brought a profound improvement to my ears are the Apogee Stage and Benchmark DAC, both keepers.

Have you tried different amounts of toe-in?  I have the Maargas firing straight ahead most of the time, but sometimes I toe them in slightly.  They are about 7' apart, and my seat is also 7' from the speakers..

I'm also curious if you find if your Saadhanas mate well with the silver cables and interconnects.  Thanks.


alfagil

222222&text=pr
Just curious, why don’t you use Wavac power amp. to drive your speaker?

pr683

222222&text=bn
What type of equipment rack is it?

bnbryant

222222&text=dd
Owner
Hi devilboy,

I see you like Rethm. Well, the Saadhana V3 are quite amazing. Best so far in my system.

ddriveman

222222&text=de
Wow. VERY impressive.
My Rethm Trishnas are the best speakers I've ever had.
Good job.

devilboy

Displaying all 12 posts