Decades of experimentation, since the late '60s, have taught me you're never done trying new things if you want better sound. I'm now having a serious love affair with tubes, have finally reconciled with CDs/SACDs, and am embracing all the new tools available for room measurement that never existed when I started this hobby.

In the past few years I added a ARC Ref 40 pre-amp that has tremendous spacial and textural resolution, something that was missing from my solid state front-end. I've been suffering from serious sleep deprivation since I got it. It's that good.

After many years of vinyl only (I was a diehard) I added a Marantz SA 7 S1 CD player. This was the first CD player I really enjoy listening to and I've kept it. SACD can rival vinyl & well-recorded CDs sound really good. The addition of a Lyra Etna cartridge, the ARC REF 10 phono and the TW Acustic TT however, all have added a presence and naturalness for analog playback that's simply breathtaking. +1 for Vinyl!

I can't leave anything alone. Most of the components are very heavily modified, especially the Sansui TU-717, and both the Counterpoint SA-220s which actually use a completely different circuit than the original amplifier. The first SA-20 became an NP-220 courtesy of Michael Elliott. It has Mullard brown base CV-569 ECC35s (6SL7s), CuTF V-Caps, and a 160,000 uF all-Black Gate power supply with boatloads of TX2575 resistors in all critical places. I loved the sound of this hybrid amp so much I added a second one that is almost identical. These amps are classics and the proverbial "open window" when it comes to transparency and tonal color. Too bad few will get the chance to hear these since the "retirement" of Aria Audio.

The system speakers are tri-amped Magnepan 3.6s and include Kinergetics subwoofer towers(5 10" woofers per side). One Counterpoint NP220 drives the tweets/mids, the other the 3.6r bass panels, and a recently added Krell Evolution S2250e drives the subs providing a deep and solid foundation. This system's flat to about 16 Hz.

The Pass Labs XVR-1-3 3way XO is incredibly flexible. It would have been impossible to get this tri-amped system set up as well with an ordinary XO as the Magnepan 3.6s have some funky passive XO slopes you need to emulate. I'm using it in bandpass mode. Much more transparent this way.

I ran out of wall outlets and gave up on active quad amping. I upgraded the only remaining passive tweeter-mid speaker XO in the 3.6s to something exotic - Duelund Cast caps and inductors instead of another XVR-1. It was well worth it but big passive XO parts are best broken in with a cable cooker if you want to live long enough to hear what they sound like (nothing) when broken in. Nelson, you will have to fund your own retirement plan!

All the system cabling is supported by Cable Elevators - I tried using the empty champagne bottles but the system didn't quite sound as good -- burrrpppp.

The room had a makeover with acoustic treatment. It's 13.5 x 27' and is in the basement. An RPG pro diffusor sits behind the speakers with Real Traps & GIK Acoustics along the side walls & in corners. The back wall also has an RPG pro. The speakers have been moved away from the front wall so that second relection arrival time is almost 10 milliseconds delayed from direct radiation at the listener location. This treatment work substantially improved the imaging, depth, and bass control. You just can't get good sound without paying serious attention to room acoustics.

I've almost finished the final room EQ on the subs using REW and the DSPeaker Anti-mode 2.0 Dual Core processor. What a great gadget! The EQ settings still need a little work below 100Hz to minimize group delay. None of this impacts the main speakers so that transparency is maintained.

Various AZ cables were added and all have been "cooked". The transformation is remarkable. I've tried other stuff and I wonder why people spend $1,000s. The power cords are LessLoss.

The system power outlets are all Hubbell hospital grade 20 amp jobs on their own lines.

Let's talk about the music. It's thrilling to listen to it. There's not enough time in the day. There's lots of immediacy a trait which I value the most, wonderful tonal color, and the sytem has a terrific sound stage with solid center imaging. Most notably, there's a sweetness and liquidity somewhat like you'll only hear from SET audio systems. Overall balance is perfect, neither warm or bright, but with power and authority.

I listen to all kinds of music, classical, pop, jazz, world, etc. and this system is very musical. I'll miss the Aleph 2s heatsinks that all ran at 125 F but the sound still warms my heart!

Room Details

Dimensions: 25’ × 14’  Large
Ceiling: 8’

Components Toggle details

    • Lyra Etna
    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.
    • Marantz SA 7 S1
    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.
    • Sansui TU-717
    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.
    • Teac W-990rx
    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 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.
    • Magnepan MG-3.6R
    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!
    • Mye stands 3.6s
    More heavy metal! If you have Magnepans these stands make an audible difference and are well worth the money.
    • Kinergetics SW-800
    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.
    • Rythmik F15HP
    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.
    • Pass Labs XVR -1, 3 Way
    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".
    • Krell Evo S2250e
    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.

    • REW Room EQ Wizard
    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.
    • KL Audio Filter System
    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.
    • Amplitrex AT-1000
    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.

Comments 88

Been busy but here goes:

1) I now have 10 sets of Center Stage footers. These things are habit-forming and really work. More image solidity and more immersive and bigger soundstage. Very expensive so tonight's dinner is cat food.
2) The Pass Labs XVR-1 3 way crossover now uses 2 separate power supplies, one for each unit. Way overkill, but this is "AOA", right?. A little blacker background from somewhat lower noise. 
3) Rechecked and moved both speakers within .1" equidistant from the listening position.  Made some room and room treatment changes so that L&R channels are more symmetric. Much more solid center image.
4)  Put Herbie's HALO-III tube dampers on the KT-88s and 6550C tubes in the REF 40 preamp and REF 10 phono amps power supply. I was delightfully surprised at how much this cleaned up the slight grain of the overall sound which had been bothering me. Big bang for the buck!
5) Developed my own RCM formula after many hours of Internet research.    ( No it's not the "French formula"!).  Added a .35 micron filter system to my KL Audio record cleaner. Cleaned 500 records and then I got tired....

Have a few other ideas, but buying new equipment's not one of them. 


It must be voodoo!  

A few months ago I bought 3 sets of Center Stage 2 .8 footers for the CD/SACD player, the ARC phono and preamp. After the requisite settling time of 2 weeks or so, I listened and was amazed. I've modified lots of equipment, but I've never gotten sonic enhancements like I'm hearing with these things. Bigger and more integrated & realistic sound stage, better 3-D images, perfect timing, foundational non-boomy bass.  No downsides. The nitpicky issues that I had with the system, including some I didn't know I had, are all pretty much cured.  

I was very skeptical, but I couldn't live without 'em now.  I'll be buying a few more.


Some months ago, following the TW Acustic Anniversary turntable purchase, I bought an ARC RE10 phono. Following some PS tube rolling, it sounds great. I do lament that there's less DIY shown here now, but that may have been inevitable.

Also, inspired by recent political events, I built "The Wall" behind the right speaker where previously there had been an open doorway that I'd blocked up to stabilize the stereo imaging. Looks and sounds better and didn't cost billions! 


Barry that is one badass looking system! Love the modded Counterpoints I bet they sound fantastic. And thanks for the tip I empty Champagne bottles at a pretty good clip never considered using them as cable supports! Cheers!


Time for a splurge. Purchased a new TW Acustic Raven Anniversary turntable with many upgrades (see pic). Absolutely dead quiet in operation; very noisy in setup when I dropped the 45 lb platter on my fingers installing it.  Every audio nut knows that this hobby really is hazardous to your health.

Probably won't stop me from buying something else soon....


Finally got around to setting up the Lyra Etna's azimuth with Adjust + to improve crosstalk and phase for a noticeable improvement in soundstage perspective and increase in size.

I used a modified (lightened)  AccuMASTER digital level on the headshell instead of the fiddly bubble level that comes with the software for precise and repeatable results.  Oh, I'm cross-eyed when it comes to this kind of stuff.



Since my Pass Labs XVR-1-3 way crossover occupies the heart of my tri-amped audio system it became the obvious next target for parts upgrades.  126 parts were ultimately upgraded and replaced  with a mix of TX2575 resistors, V-Cap CuTFs,  Silmic IIs, and Jupiter Copper Foil and Wax caps. The sonic result was a yuge expansion of  soundstage, a noticeable drop in the noise floor, and just the right amount  of  added leading-edge definition.   

Making so many changes to so well designed a unit is not for the faint of heart.  This was quite frustrating at times as it took over  8 months,  4 iterations of changes and auditions, and more than just pocket change, but it was ultimately worth it.   

This was my biggest project yet and would never have been possible without a little help from my friends.  Thanks to you all bigly!

Also added the Duelund silver foil wax PIO bypass caps to the passive crossover. Very recommended for added air, space, and a touch of sparkle.



The thread drive experiment was not as successful on my TT setup as I had hoped. The sonic tradeoffs weren't acceptable. I used #4 silk thread as recommended by many and used a regular overhand knot that worked suitably well for trial listening. Getting speed stability was very problematic, but solvable. The results were an enhanced upper mid-range and treble and total loss of deep bass that was somewhat appealing at first, but ultimately, not natural. VTA/SRA  adjustment to restore deep bass would not have been possible and the tone arm was already parallel. Cranking up the subs wasn't the answer either.

Serendipity. Found a current model standard VPI black belt (harder material) I had and replaced the older clear one I had been using. Voila - near perfection. Happy ending after all! 

Next up: Skipping the o'scope for cartridge set up. Now have Adjust Plus in-house for azimuth setting. Much easier to use, but I may need to brush up on my German. Vorsicht, Marsleute!   Stay tuned....


Upgraded motor controller and added a strobe - the Phoenix Engineering Eagle & Roadrunner. Next up, thread drive for the turntable, rework of the DSP to lower group delay, and fine tuning of the Etna cartridge set-up with an oscilloscope. Been watching fishing knot videos on You Tube to learn how to tie a Blood Knot for the thread drive. Too bad audiophiles don't have outfits like fisherman - it would add a whole new dimension to the hobby.


Hello Pradeep! You found me.  Thank you again for the advice on the Etna cartridge. It's got about 60 hrs on it - tonal balance is stabliziing but the soundstage is still opening up a little more. I'm with you on the cable elevators - no real change in sound I can detect and my comments were more an attempt at humor. My room is 7.3' H x 13.6' W x 25.1' long (feet).Would be nice if the room were a little wider and ceiling a little higher but my wife has banished me to the basement.  I'm just about done with changes and have been buying a lot of records, mostly jazz.  I am going to burn in my tone arm cable with the audio Dharma cable cooker tomorrow which should open up the sound a bit and drop the noise floor.  Again, thank you for your help.  Regards, Barry


Congrats. This is a seriously impressive system. Maggies and tubes are a match made in heaven.
IMHO the Lyra Etna is one of the finest carts available today.
 I am amused by your comment that the cable elevators had some sonic impact. I have experimented with diy wood blocks with my speaker cables and now use a combination of Shunyata elevators( the old model) but honestly I find zilch sonic impact. 
What's the side of your room and ceiling height ?


Been busy with various upgrades. Downloaded and used Room EQ Wizard to add filters that flattened frequency improved response and time domain waterfall plots even more. Running DSP ONLY on the subs but able to equalize up to 250Hz even though the XO is set at 85Hz & 24dB/octave. No impact on critical midrange and high end frequencies.

Upgraded VPI TT platter bearing to Applied Fidelity's ceramic ball and sapphire bearing Gen III equivalent. Incredibly quiet!

Pass Labs Xono phono pre-amp further modified with over 70 TX2575 naked Vishay resistors in the signal path. Again, a significant decrease in noise enabling you to hear further into the music. No downside other than cost @ $8-10/ each! Ready for an XP-25 shoot-out any time.


Tube rolling and matching with the Amplitrex AT1000 has taken much of my time of late. The Ref 40 takes 10 6H30-Ps and a pair of 6550Cs in the power supply. The 2 NP220 Counterpoints take 6SL7 variants in the front end voltage gain stage (These are hybrid amps).

I tried a pair of 70's vintage 6H30P-DRs in the power supply and liked the stock ARC supplied Sovteks better as they had more extended highs and were a little more transparent. Didn't bother to try them in the line stage as it would have cost almost $2K. Others have reached the same conclusion. The NOS SED Winged C 6550C easily outperform the current Sovtek 6550WEs supplied by ARC as they are a little more natural in the midrange and have less crystalline highs.

For the 6SL7s, the Mullard ECC35 CV569s are my favorite and I have several pairs, but these are impossible to obtain now and will run upwards of $500 if you can find them at all. The good news is the Tung Sol 6SU7GTY smoked glass are virtually indistinguishable in sound to the Mullards and they are still available and affordable. About the only great tubes I have not tried is the RCA 5691 red base but no articles I've read say these are better than the Mullards and Tung Sols.

I also have a bunch of Mullard, Valvo, RFT and other makes of 6CA4/EZ81 and 6V4/EZ80 rectifier tubes to try in the Counterpoint voltage gain stage Power Supply but haven't finished ABing them.

Finally, a while ago I obtained and set up the Amplitrex AT1000 in computer mode. This takes some patience due to the instructions. The flexibility of this unit is really remarkable used this way. Most don't know it as they rely on stand alone mode only.


I personally preferred the ARC Ref40 preamp with tubes by a wide margin over the Pass XP20 in my system. While the XP20 had great bass, was detailed with very low noise and sounded terrific at low volumes, I like the texture, tonal color, and spatial characteristics of the ARC better as it seemed more musical and natural to me. I think you would find the Ref5se more suited to the type of music you listen to and your musical tastes are similar to mine. The xp20 would be better for hard rock as it has more leading edge emphasis on the attack of the music. I found that aspect of it a little too analytic and detailed but it could be better for rock. Note that I have not heard the xp30 which is supposed to be very different sounding than the xp20 and more tube-like. See if you can get some opinions on it versus the xp20. I have heard the Ref5se mates well with Pass amps although I have not heard the combination myself.


Barrysandy I thank you for your post. You wanted to know what displeased me about my system or sound. I`ve been an audio research and Maggie freak since the 70`s as you know at some point time your going to replace tubes. I`ve been thing about a S/S transition for some time especially now that I have the Pass X350 power amp. I feel that it might be a better match using the xp10 xp20 or the xp30 oppose to tubes although the ARC LS22 and the Pass x350 sound good. so before I make the change I feel I should get a little feed back from a Pro. You said the Pass is a very different sound and I would know it right away. Some say I will like it what do you say? or would you remain tubes? My system is the 3.6`s (2) 10" velodyne subwoofers Pass x350 power amp ARC LS22 preamp Ariston RD40 t/t ARC phono amp ARC CD3player (2) Crown 800 series reel to reels 1/4 and a 1/2 track etc. I listen to all type of music Classical,Jazz,pop,blues,world,Gospell. I would like to hear from you before I decide. Thanks


As is 10 x 10" subwoofers weren't enough I added a Rhythmik F15HP subwoofer at the very back of the room the same distance away from the listening position as the front towers covering the frequency of 40-200HZ. Intent was to see if I could even out the rom low frequency response a little and add a bit of ambiance. Can't say I hear much difference.

The system is now completely rewired with AZ Absolute copper ICs.



Thank you. I will find a way to try them!



VPN sorry for the late response. I absolutely love the AZ Absolute Copper and they are a steal for the money. High frequencies are beautiful. They have a little more leading edge definition than the AZ Matrix IIs but retain texture. They are not bright but clear. Musical instruments like chimes are sublime. Overall, the noise floor is low and there is a lot of detail and presence but the music is still natural. Try a pair between a source component and the preamp first and you'll see what I mean. The distributor said he likes them better than the Absolute Silver and I understand why.



How is the AZ Absoloute Copper ICs in terms of high frequencies?



System edited: Just recently tried the new AZ Absolute Copper ICs. The transparency, immediacy, and naturalness is stunning. It's the invisible cable. I had thought my CD player was a trifle bass-shy. Not with these. These are a bargain to boot. Redoing my entire system and you can see I've got a lot of cables! Way to go Mr. Lee.


You'll have a blast with the Pass - lots of options and you'll have even better luck getting good results if you can measure.



Great system! I am sure it sounds very realistic!

I think we are like minded: (i) I am currently in the process of having new external crossovers built with Duelund CAST components, (ii) have just bought a Pass XRV-1 and a second pair of Krell fpb 750mcx to biamp my Dunlavy SC-VI, which I will use to drive the four 15" woofers, and (iii) I am playing with Dirac Live measurement and correction.



I also owned a beautiful 1956 2door Chevy BelAir when I was 18. Dropped a Vette 350/350 horse small block in it. Had a 4.11 rear. Used to break speedometer cables. Got about 11/mi/gallon when I got on it - a real monster. That's how I got into Audio. Someone stole it and I took the insurance money and bought my first stereo. Probably why I can't stop modifying things now.


Boy that brings back the memories. My brother and I used to do all of the maintenance on our Mustang, including tune-up, brakes and even front ball joints. Today, the cars are built much better and really last. Unfortunately, you have to have a EE degree in order to repair anything under the hood. I'm not even sure how to fill the wiper fluid canister.


I'm old enough but don't remember that one. Do still dream of the 426 Chrysler Hemi's and always wanted a Charger.

If you can find a used REF 150, I'd go for it. Pricing appears to be around $8.5K. I considered buying a pair of 150's but didn't want to spend that much. I'm sure you'd be very happy.

I was lucky to find my second Counterpoint NP220 that I upgraded last November. There were only about 50 of these built between 1999 and early last year when Michael Elliott call it quits again and retired.

Glad i was able to help with the 5SE!


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