Who knew vinyl could sound this way? Absolutely stunning. Still love it as much as the day I bought it so I got another as a back-up. On most any material, this takes my breath away. You are there.
The 2nd replacement cartridge sounds even better. Loaded at 500 ohms - a bit more dynamic as you'd expect. Oh, no, here comes the Lambda!
- Triplanar Tonearm & Mint Protractor IV w/ VII Upgrade
Tri Mai upgraded this baby with new wiring & bearings. It was a worthwhile upgrade at a reasonable cost. I also used a Mint Best Tractor Protractor custom measured for the arm. (I kept the brass parts on - more colorful).
- TW Acustic Raven Anniversary
Upgraded with Black Night copper platter, 3 motor unit, feet and the mat. This is a beautiful piece in looks as well as sound. I later changed the TW mat to a SPEC Audio AP-UDI for a little more open and dynamic presentation without losing any of the wonderful tonal color the turntable is known for.
- Phoenix Engineering Roadrunner
I liked the Walker Audio MC, then the Eagle motor controller with the VPI which was even better. It didn't work with the TW's DC motor controller but wasn't needed. Not so, the Roadrunner. The Roadrunner tachometer showing speed display on the left is not for the OCD crowd as that last digit is not always a "3". Speed stability of the TW Acustic TT varies < +/- .005 over 3 minutes or so.
- Audio Research Corp Reference 10 Phono
Decided to upgrade the phono section and picked ARC since I liked the REF 40 Anniversary so much. After installing all new tubes, tube rolling the power supply ensued. I liked the 6550C SED Winged Cs in the REF40, but here they were a little too soft sounding. The Sovtek 6550 WEs had a more definition, but still sounded a trifle hazy. The Shuguang KT-88 Z Treasures solved that and I finally ended up with them after about 300 hours of listening.. Very nice.
The first CD player I heard that makes beautiful music! A good SACD is simply stunning and rivals vinyl although they don't sound the same. Has a little more clarity if you ground it, short the digital clock input & put a copper sleeve on the power cord against the unit.
Mint condition with highly modified with Black Gate caps throughout, Schottky rectifiers and more. This sounds nothing like stock thanks to Stereo Surgeons and an APS-9 antenna & invites serious FM listening. Too bad there's not much worth listening to.
Way retro. But hardly as old as me! It retired when I did.
- Antenna Performance Specialties APS -9B
Has a Channel Master 9537 rotator, a Ken Wetzel low-loss high performance balun & 57 feet of RG-11 (the fat stuff). Routing it was a PITA! Using FMFool.com to find the exact channel directions. This was originally installed by a firm who also did work for the US government military. I had no doubt when I got the bill.
- Audio Research Reference 40 Anniversary
Sounds as good as it looks! Favorite tubes are the 6550C Winged "C" and the stock Sovteks 6H30s. Forget the expensive DP version. All tubes are matched within 2% with the Amplitrex AT-1000.
These sound nothing like stock because much of the original has been replaced. They have been completely re-wired with cryo Neotech 6'9s copper, have Vampire BPHEX solid copper binding posts, no fuses and no "socks" underneath the grill cloth. Very transparent and dynamic. Internal and external stock crossovers are gone....
- Custom 3.6R Crossover Duelund Cast, etc.
Replaced stock internal mid/tweeter XO with outboard box containing Duelund Cast & V-Cap caps and inductors. Hello reality!
More heavy metal! If you have Magnepans these stands make an audible difference and are well worth the money.
Five 10" drivers. Woof , woof, woof. Too bad they don't make these anymore. REW software confirms they have measurable flat response to 15 Hz. Good match with the Magnepans.
A very nice self powered 600Watt 15" subwoofer with outstanding build quality. It's not being used now as I didn't need it after adding the Center Stage footers which really improved the bass.
3 way XO w/ millions of settings used in band pass mode. You can change slopes, XO points, and Q settings & compare results almost on the fly. Over 150 parts changes were painstakingly made and auditioned in 25 iterations over an 18 month period! Left and right channel amp outputs balanced via the dials with a DVM to within .1mV to precisely balance the soundstage. Yes, it matters.
- Counterpoint NP220 Platinum Plus #1
One-of-a-kind amp from Mr. Elliott with an entirely different circuit than its namesake, along with several parts upgrades from me. For the 3.6 panel tweeter/mids: It's a platinum premium NP220 amp w/ ECC35 CV569 Mullards (fantastic and rare tubes),CuTF V-Caps,a Plitron choke & a main supply w/ all Black Gates totalling 160K uF coupled w/ solid high-grade copper buss bar. Critical resistors are all TX2575 naked Vishays & Cardas internal wiring. It even has damped circuit boards! Very sad you've retired Jack you will be missed!
- Counterpoint NP-220 Platinum Plus #2
Liked the first one so much, needed another one of a kind to assure the Magnepan's sonic coherence. This one drives the 3.6 Bass panels. Black Gates for the Power Supply no longer available so used the biggest Siemens Epcos Sikorels that would fit. These caps are just as famous at the BGs and maybe even better sounding, but very hard to find. Terrific build work done on a complex circuit topology by Music Technology. B.T. described the sound as "lovely".
Perfect amp for the subwoofers with 500watts/ch - way more than needed. The bass on this system is subterranean - flat and powerful, but not boomy to below 15Hz. This amp is well-built, doesn't run hot, isn't that heavy and really has the bass control Krell is famous for. Sorry, no class D for me.
- Acoustic Zen Absolute Copper
Trying to describe the sound of these is impossible. May be a touch forward sounding.
- Acoustic Zen Hologram IIs
All speakers now wired with AZ. With a tri-amped system there is lots and lots of cabling. Don't like it? Just turn the lights off!
I also tried Duelund DCA DCA16GA X 2. It's very nice an inexpensive to boot.
- Power Cords LessLoss, Neotech & DHLabs
One LL feeds all the front end components via a Furutech etp-60; the others feed the two custom Counterpoint amps. Neotech NEP-3003 feed the CD/SACD player and phono amp. The DH Labs PC goes to the sub amp.
- Other room treatments Real Traps & GIK Acoustics
Besides the RPG Pro diffusors, Real traps panels for first reflections & GIK corner traps. Tightened up the bass & really helped center the sound stage as the room is not symmetrical. Pic shows the completed room with panels mounted. Each one of these was placed and then REW was run to check frequency response, group delay and decay.
- Critical Mass Systems Center Stage V2 .8 & 1.0 Component Feet
Now have 11 sets of these under almost everything. .8s are under the ARC power supplies and the Sansui tuner. 1.0s under everything else except the 2 Pass Labs XO power supplies - maybe later. Noticeably larger and more continuous soundstage, much better 3 D images with better attack and decay which improved the overall tone / harmonics. I was quite amazed by the improvement...and the money spent
- DSpeaker Dual-Core 2.0 Antimode
Used with REW and ONLY in-line on the subs where it'll do no harm. Use REW's program to select the best EQ settings and then load those in to DSPeaker unit. Sonic results well worth the 100s of hours I've spent playing with this for EQ and time domain room measurement, speaker placement, and setting the XVR-1-3 crossover settings, etc. . Huh? Uh, oh.... Maybe I'm deaf!
Ignore this pic and look at the REW one. "Texbook" flat with a little bass boost and a gentle high frequency roll off.
Used in conjunction with the DSPeaker Antimode to achieve great room response in optimized frequency & time domain. This program is really quite amazing but takes some time to learn how to use.
- Leica Disto - Laser Measure E7400X
Want great soundstaging? Measure speaker distances to the listening position within 1/10".
- Audiodharma Standard Plus 3.5 Cable Cooker - Smokin'!
I love this thing and use it a lot. You too can be a cook! Myles Astor is right. You need one. Noise floor drops, more detail and a little more space. A very worthwhile upgrade and one that'll make you stop chasing cables. Recooking every 4-6 months brings back transparency. I also use this to burn in all my mod parts before installing them.
- VPI HW 16.5 Rec Clean - Foaming Action
Yes, it's the VPI but... with secret, proprietary, organic rose cleaning solution developed in the French countryside. Wonder why this stuff keeps evaporating?
- KL Audio KD-CLN-LP200 Ultrasonic Record Cleaner
Use the VPI for the heavy scrub first and then this baby as follow-up. Total cleaning and drying time about 15 minutes per record.
Added tubing, a pump, and a FlowMax .35 micron pleated filter canister to my KL Audio record cleaning machine. Run the pump and filter to clean the KL tank water for ~ 10 minutes after cleaning a dozen records or so. Can measure water "dirt" with a total dissolved solids meter (TDS). They're cheap too. Only I would ask for one for my birthday. No wonder my family doesn't talk to me.
Ack!!! Just saw a .2 micron filter with 40% more filtration for $5 more. No COVID-19 in my RCM waste water now.
- Hi-Fi Tuning The Supremes
These are in every piece of equipment. Nice step up from the originals.
- Feickert Adjust + Cartridge software
For cartridge azimuth adjustment, the end results are a more coherent sound stage. The software overloaded my computer soundcard so I had to pad down the output of the phono preamp output. A little fiddly to run all the cartridge position set ups. The standard bubble level's worthless. It's well worth the time and expense!
- Herbie's Audio Lab HAL-O III Stabilizers
Probably better than those rubber/sorbothane things. Cleaned up the sound of the REF40 a bit when used on the PS 6550C tubes.
Best new tester for tube matching. You can do curve tracing matching mu and Gm across a range of voltages with this hooked up to a laptop in computer mode. I have enough matched tubes to last at least 20 years. Hope tubes don't turn out to be old technology.....
- Get away Vehicle Richard Sachs custom
Forget audio. Not as fast anymore and getting slower, but has Sachs appeal!
Oh, I take obsessiveness seriously. When I was younger (a couple of years ago??!), the tires on this bike were woven silk and glued on the rims. Now, that's old technology, so I've upgraded.