Description

I'm blessed to have this modest system that was chosen with performance and cost in mind. Clean sound with a huge soundstage (front-rear, and side-side). Recently treated most of gear with Walker SST. I've also added a Rega Planar 25 and given it a "rock-solid" dampened platform (read about the Rega to get the pun). So at the moment, I'm very comfortable with my system. For the future, I'd consider upgrading the cartridge and the speakers - suggestions for reasonably priced gear are desired. I'm lucky enough to have the family room dedicated solely to audio. (The living room has the TV, fireplace, and other amenities, so I can listen to tunes while my daughter vids out.) Recommendations for audio-related adjustments to the room are also desired.

The Stratos, Tempest, Jolida, and Rega all work well together and, to me, are affordable gear. Please note I feel the Jolida needs, to really shine, the upgraded PC and NOS 5751s. The Tempest, including its phono section, is outstanding. (I don't know how Odyssey makes any money on their products, and Klaus Bunge is a great human being.)

I've incorporated a mint Fisher Model 800-B AM/FM Stereo Receiver (1962) as my tuner. It has numerous pairs of Telefunken, Mullard, and Fisher-branded 12AX7s that got a spin in my JD-100. None of them could touch the Sylvania JHS Gold Label 5751WAs currently in the Jolida JD-100. However, as Albert Porter has commented, different tubes provide different results with different systems.

I note that the pictures need to be updated to reflect latest changes to the system.
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Components Toggle details

    • Zu Audio Omen Definition
    Full range speakers
    • Odyssey Audio Extreme Monos
    Power @ 8 ohm: 1 X 300W (mono)
    Frequency range: 2 - 500,000 Hz
    Memory: 180,000 uF per channel (mono)
    Current Delivery: [greaterthansign]60 Amps per channel (mono)
    Damping factor: [greaterthansign]800 Continuous
    Weight: [greaterthansign]66 lbs. each
    Plintron Transformers: 2x400VA

    Each used in conjunction with a VH Audio cryoed Flavor 4 PC. Each mono amp is isolated on a piece of granite.
    • Odyssey Audio Tempest
    With second set of outputs. Very nice MMC/MM phono section. PC = Chris VenHaus cryoed Flavor 2. Isolated on a piece of granite.
    • Jolida JD-100
    With the following: JHS Gold Label Sylvania 5751WA triple mica black plates, Chris VenHaus cryoed Flavor 1 PC, Herbie's Hal-O 9 tube dampers, all resting on a 22 lb. granite slab supported by Vibrapods. Also has a 12 lb. piece of marble on the top resting on coasters. Tube pins et al treated with Walker SST.
    • Rega Planar-25
    Upgraded subplatter/bearing. P25 on Audio Selection Gold Cones, on 35 lb. piece of 1.5" piece of marble, which also rests on cones. Also installed a Pete Riggle VTAF.
    • Rega RB-600
    This is the stock arm that comes with the Rega Planar 25.
    • Denon DL-103R
    Specifications: Type: Moving coil Output voltage: 0.25mV Frequency response: 20Hz - 45kHz Output impedance: 14 ohms Needle: 16.5 micron round pin Tracking force: 2.5 +/- 0.2g Compliance: 5.6 Weight: 8.5g Coil purity made from 99.9999% (6N) high purity copper wire Applied Walker SST to the cartridge pins.
    • J A Michell Tecno Arm Stub & Counterweight
    Made by J A Michell of England, tone arm stub and counterweight system designed for the Rega RB250, RB300, RB600, RB900 and RB1000 tone arms. Very low center of gravity. Comes with integral stylus balance: to the rear of the counterweight is an aluminium adjuster with markings at 0.1g intervals. Supplied with two weights for cartridges of 3 to 6 grams and 6 to 13 grams. High quality stainless steel. (Photo from The Vinyl Engine.)
    • Pete Riggle VTAF - VTA on the fly
    VTA on-the-fly adjuster for the Rega P25. Works like a dream, a pain to install.
    • Fisher 800-B
    I was using this unit as my tuner, but subsequently moved it to be the bedrock of a bedroom system. Truly a wonderful piece of craftmanship. Information is from link http://antiqueradio.org/fish02.htm. "This gorgeous Fisher 800-B receiver contains some of the finest in AM/FM tube technology and it also personifies a fascinating bit of radio history. One of the first receivers to support true "multiplex" FM stereo (the system in use today), it also supports the obsolete "FM-AM stereo" system that was used briefly during the late 1950s and early 1960s. "Manufactured for only a few years in the early 1960s, the 800-B is one of the most collectible tube-powered Fisher receivers...The 800-B was available with an optional walnut cabinet, although many were sold as bare chassis and built into custom cabinets...The faceplate is a champagne-colored brushed metal, with slightly raised lettering. All Fisher dials of this era look good, but the 800-B's is one of the most appealing. It has separate FM and AM sections, one on each side, with a magic eye for each tuner and the famous Fisher bird logo in the center. Lit with dual lamps on the ends of the dial, the green and gold lettering glows softly, seeming to float in space against a dark background... "The 800-B employs a whopping 22 tubes. Here is the tube lineup. Tube Type Function V1 6AQ8 FM RF amp, oscillator/mixer V2 6AU6 FM 1st IF amp V3 6AU6 FM 2nd IF amp V4 6AU6 FM limiter V5 6BA6 AM RF amp V6 6BE6 AM converter V7 6EQ7 AM IF/detector V8 EM84A AM tuning eye V9 EM84A FM tuning eye V10 12AX7 Channel A phono preamp V11 12AX7 Channel B phono preamp V12 12AX7 Channel A tone control amp V13 12AX7 Channel B tone control amp V14 12AX7 Channel A voltage amp/phase inverter V15 12AX7 Channel B voltage amp/phase inverter V16 7591 Channel B power amplifier V17 7591 Channel B power amplifier V18 7591 Channel A power amplifier V19 7591 Channel A power amplifier V20 12AT7 Low pass and 19KC amp V21 12AX7 38K synch oscillator V22 12AX7 Audio amplifier" I note my unit was part of my dad's stereo, and was a built-in unit. Thus, it lacks the walnut case, which is ok because guests like to see all the tubes!
    • Polk Audio SDA-1C
    Modded Polks making great sound. These now have the RD1094-1 silk tweeters, which is not an insignificant upgrade. Treated internal tweeter/driver/crossover connections with Walker SST, a tweak that has brought these speakers to a new level. Use a custom built A1 between-speaker IC for use with the mono amps. Each speaker rests on a 40 lb piece of granite. Also, note the lobster claw to the speaker's left, from an 8 pounder - the claw was a meal in itself!
    • Kenwood 130CT
    Dual deck, Dolby B/C, and some nice features that keep me playing some of the cassettes I've acquired in the earlier years. Isolated on a 18 lb. piece of marble.
    • Grover Huffman 1.5M and 1M pairs
    1.5M pair between preamp and monos, 1M pair between JD100 and preamp. Ridiculously phenomenal for the $. Grover's great to deal with, but no web site as of yet.
    • Groneberg 1m TS Premium ICs
    relegated to back-up duty
    • Groneberg 1m Quattro ICs
    relegated to back-up duty
    • Groneberg Quattro Speaker Cables
    Nice sounding cables. You can see part of this blue cable in the VenHaus PC picture. I also use carved corks as low-cost cable lifters.
    • Chris VenHaus Cryoed Flavor 1, 2, and 4s
    Great PCs at any price. Flavor 4s run the Extreme Monos. Picture is of the cryoed Flavor 2. The Flavor 1 really brings out the best of the Jolida JD-100. (Blue cable is the Groneberg Quattro speaker cable.)
    • Tubes - 5751s and 12AX7s
    Tubes I've rolled in the Jolida JD-100. Starting at the 3 o'clock position and going clockwise: boxes of the Sylvania JHS Gold Label 5751WAs I use in the JD-100, these tubes are killer in my system (go to Joe's Tube Lore to find out more); Jolida 12AX7s; Sovtek 12AX7LPS; GE JAN 5751 blackplates; two pair of GE JG 5751 triple mica blackplates. I love those old tube boxes, too. Furthermore, all the 12AX7s from my Fisher 800-B receiver (The Fisher has numerous pairs of Fisher-branded Telefunken and Amperex 12AX7s.) have had their respective turn in the Jolida, too.
    • Tubes - Sovtek 12AX7LPS & Jolida 12AX7s
    Never used the Jolida stock tubes, but they'll make nice targets some day out on the back acres. The Sovteks 12AX7LPS were so-so tubes, but I love the Cryllic writing on those red, white, and blue boxes. I used these tubes to burn in the Jolida JD-100 and the VenHaus cryoed Flavor 1 PC. I moved from here to some other tubes, but I think you can get some ok results with the Sovteks if your budget doesn't allow some NOS/NIB stock.
    • Tubes - GE JAN 5751 blackplates
    These tubes were a pleasant surprise, especially for the cost of $4/pair. My rural NH town has numerous antique stores. I found this pair while rummaging one day. They're not on par with the GE JG 5751s or the Sylvanias, but they're better than the Sovteks and many 12AX7s. Did I mention $4/pair?!!
    • Tubes - GE JG 5751 triple mica blackplates
    I purchased two matched pairs, and intended one as a back-up set. These GEs give a very nice sound (especially when compared to GE 5 Stars, which I've tried and subsequently returned to the dealer). Nice overall response, pretty well balanced. Lots of persons like these tubes. Then I had to go and try the Sylvania Gold Label triple mica blackplates, and the GE JG-5751s were soon sleeping in their boxes. Drop me a line if you are interested in these GEs (edit - one very slightly used, just burned-in pair sold; 1 matched pair, unused, available).
    • Tubes - Sylvania Gold Label JHS 5751WA
    These triple mica blackplates moved in and set up house in the JD-100. I haven't heard a tube that works this well with the Jolida, in my system, IMHO. You have to hear these tubes! My ex-wife even complimented the sound of these. I recently purchased a set of Yellow Labels as a back up pair (same sound as the Gold Labels; the Gold and Yellow Label beauties are tough to find, and are getting a bit pricey), and have included that picture.
    • Salamander - Five shelf unit with spikes
    Black lacquer with cherry end caps. Nice basic stand that fits in well for my system.
    • Onzow Zerodust
    Nifty stylus cleaner that works great.
    • Audio Selection Gold Cones
    Excellent isolation cones, used between the Rega P25 & a 35 lb. marble slab.
    • German Physiks Isolation Cones
    Used between ART Q dampers and marble slab, to help dampen the Rega P25.
    • A.R.T. Q-dampers
    Small dark blocks of synthetic graphite; on each block top is brass disk with hole in center to lock cone/spike. See the following link for more information: http://www.tnt-audio.com/clinica/qdamper_e.html
    • Vibrapods various (1s, 2s, 3s, 4s)
    Used under the marble under the JD-100, and part of the Polk SDA-1C mods. I like them, maybe you should try these low cost tweaks.
    • Herbie's Halo Tube Dampers Model 9
    I use these in place of the Jolida JD-100's stock tube dampers.
    • Herbie's CD Grungebuster Mat
    Easy to use and clean, and it works.
    • Cardas RFI/EMI Protection Caps Signature RCA SS C
    I place these non-shorting, billet brass, nickel plated caps over unused female RCA connectors to shield against RFI, EMI, dust, and corrosion. Love that Nautilus logo.
    • Walker Super Silver Treatment (SST) Contact Enhancer
    A small bottle of silvery paste/goo that has a immediate, positive impact on your system and your listening pleasure. I couldn't believe the results. Be careful applying this product - take your time!
    • Ray Samuels Audio Protector Balanced Headphone Amp
    Ray Samuels latest headphone amp, includes balanced output! Had to have made a balanced output adaptor, and my HD650 cable reterminated with XLR connectors. Will be tough to go back to single-ended amps.
    • Sennheiser HD650 Headphones
    The HD650 headphone, esp. when paired with the Equinox cable, provides a transcending listening experience. Very impressive headphones.
    • Stefan AudioArt Equinox 9' HD650 Headphone Cable
    Aftermarket headphone cable that wonderfully tranports the Sennheiser HD650 to an extremely high level of audio bliss. Two thumbs way up.
    • AKG K701 Headphones
    Another impressive headphone, this time from Austria. Excellent imaging and tonal qualities. Exceedingly comfortable headphones that require about 400 hours of burn-in - be prepared.
    • Grado 325i Headphones
    A nice addition, for the occasional times when I can't use the speakers. Love that Grado sound and look. Also added a pair of Headphile C-Pad mods. Very comfy!
    • Pass & Seymour / VH Audio 8300 MRI 20 amp duplexes
    Deep cryoed Pass and Seymour 20 amp "hospital grade" duplexes, deep cryogenically treated for VH Audio, for use with dedicated audio lines.
    • IsoTek System Enhancer CD
    Full System Enhancer & Rejuvenation Disc - works exactly as advertised. This disc saves me tons of burn-in time on new components / ICs / SCs / PCs, as well as restores my system to optimum listening after being unused for a couple days. Most highly recommended!
    • diffractionbegone Tweeter Felt Surrounds
    Custom fit tweeter felt surrounds that removes/neutralizes reflected tweeter waveforms, resulting in a more realistic sonic presentation. A no-brainer at Jim's intro price.

Comments 33

222222&text=sh
Great looking system and room. Give us more details about how the new speakers sound.

Shakey

shakeydeal

222222&text=dj
Owner
System edited: Added a pair of Zu Omen Definitions and did some room remodeling. Nice upgrades with hightened WAF!

djbnh

222222&text=dj
Owner
System edited: Added RSA Protector headphone balanced headphone amp.

djbnh

222222&text=dj
Owner
System edited: Sold my Xin SM-IV headphone amp, but it will be missed.

djbnh

222222&text=dj
Owner
System edited: Had an electrician run some dedicated 20A lines for my gear, and installed cryoed Pass and Seymour 20 amp 8300 MRI "hospital grade" receptacles purchased from Chris VenHaus of VH Audio. Electrician let me coat the 20 amp wire ends, prior to insertion into the receptacles, with Walker SST. I had to dismantle and move all of my audio set-up prior to the dedicated line wiring, except for my speakers. For RCAs, ICs, and PCs that I had to disconnect, I cleaned those items and recoated with Walker SST. My mono amps each now sit on 25 lb granite slabs, on the floor, nearby the respective speaker each amp powers. The TT was reinstalled / re-leveled as before, the preamp and its granite slab moved to the bottom of my audio rack, and the CDP left in its original position. I replaced my speaker cables with a shorter length of the same cable (shorter runs due to moving amps closer to speakers). The preamp and TT each were previously was plugged into a Monster Cable HTS2100 Powerline Conditioner; the HTS2100 is no longer used. System has responded very favorably. Very addictive listening to the numerous improvements.

djbnh

222222&text=dj
Owner
Linkoping, thanks for your comments. However, I need to post updated pics. I recently had dedicated AC lines installed. I subsequently moved my amps next to each speaker, and made other modest changes in the setup. Again, thank you for viewing my system and your uplifting feedback.

djbnh

222222&text=li
beautiful pictures. Very nice and peaceful "garden". I bet you get the best out of music in your place. Great job!

linkoping

222222&text=dj
Owner
System edited: Added a pair of AKG K701 headphones to complement my other phones. Impressive build quality, comfort, and sound quality. Long burn-in time required, approx. 400 hours.

djbnh

222222&text=dj
Owner
Glenfi,

Sorry for the late response. Re: move to Extreme mono amps worthwhile - very much so, more everything with these amps.

Re: Senns / Grados - yes, the cans each present a different sound signature, but this is no surprise to me since different brands of speakers do the same thing. [I'm debating what dedicated headphone amp to get, I'd like to have one versatile enough to properly drive both the Senns and Grados.] Anyway, both phones have their respective upside, and both type presentations are pleasing in their own right. I'd like to hear what an aftermarket Senn cord would do, but I think I'd first like to go for the amp.

Thanks for your comments. This can be such a fun hobby. However, I like to listen to music, even if it's on the car radio. Life seems to be enhanced at various times when there's music going on!

djbnh

222222&text=gl
Enjoyed seeing the pictures of your system and reading about the various upgrades and tweeks. Was your move from the Odyssey Stratos to their mono amps a worthwhile leap? The Odyssey gear was always an amp I would like to try in my system should I go with a new SS amp. Do you feel the Sennheiser phones better than the Grado's or just a different sound? Sennheiser's always seemed to have a more laid back sound too myself. Two thumbs up on your system. It is nice to have a dedicated space as well.

glenfihi

222222&text=dj
Owner
System edited: Added a pair of Sennheiser HD650 headphones.

djbnh

222222&text=dj
Owner
System edited: Added a Pete Riggle VTAF - VTA on-the-fly adjuster - for the Rega P25. Works like a dream, taking the sound to improved levels. Kind of a pain to install.

djbnh

222222&text=dj
Owner
System edited: Moved the Fisher 800-B out of my main system, and it now centers my bedroom system. This receiver truly is a lovely piece of craftmanship, nostalgia, and sound reproduction.

djbnh

222222&text=dj
Owner
System edited: Replaced the stock tweeters with the RD1094-1 silk tweeters. Also cleaned with Caig Deoxit, and treated with Walker SST, all internal wiring connections (re: drivers, tweeters, crossover). Results: I was flat out flabbergasted with the increased realism of the sound coming from this pair of speakers made in 1988! One knock on these Polks is that the mids are not that detailed; however, the tweeter upgrade/SST application to internals has turned this into a non-issue.

djbnh

222222&text=dj
Owner
System edited: Added two VenHaus Audio cryoed Flavor 4 PCs to use with the Odyssey Extreme monos.

djbnh

222222&text=dj
Owner
System edited: Moved from a single Odyssey Stratos, to a pair of Odyssey Extreme Monos. Should be fun burning these in and enjoying some enhanced audio.

djbnh

222222&text=dj
Owner
System edited: Received a pair of Grado 325i headphones. Like the sound and style of these 'phones. Very useful when for the odd time when using speakers would be problematic for others. For now I'm running them quite satisfactorily out of the headphone jack of an elderly NAD 1240 preamp.

djbnh

222222&text=dj
Owner
System edited: Added a Denon DL-103R MC cartridge. Used Walker SST on the cartridge pins during the installation process. Now that the cartridge has had about 30 hours to run in, I'm very pleased with its performance, and am scratching my head wondering what cartridge in this price range could possibly perform better. Also, a note of thanks to TWL for his "Strange Tonearm Tweak Long" column, which I use on my TT in conjunction with the Denon DL-103R.

djbnh

222222&text=dj
Owner
System edited: Recent isolation tweaks: 1) 1.5" thick, 40 lb. piece of granite under the Stratos; 2) 1.5" thick, 18 lb. piece of marble, and Vibrapods, under the Kenwood tape deck; and 3) piece of marble under the Tempest (need to scavenge a 1.5" thick piece like I have under the other components!). Note that all the granite/marble was free for the picking. Nice improvements, especially for the cost. I note the Salamander rack is not high-tech, but it does allow for the shelves to be infinitely adjusted, which makes adding granite and marble somewhat easy. Under the granite and marble, I also blue-tack coasters so I won't scratch the rack shelves - I couldn't tell you if the blue-tack/coastering adds or detracts from the dampening provided by the granite and marble.

djbnh

222222&text=dj
Owner
System edited: Replaced the original marble under the Jolida JD-100 with a 1.5", 22 lb. piece of granite. Placed some coasters on top of the unit, and added a 12 lb. piece of marble. The improved damping extended the lows, and tightened up the sound all around. A very nice, no cost tweak!

djbnh

222222&text=dj
Owner
System edited: Installed a Michell Tecno Weight including arm stub and integral stylus balance. This upgrade produced extremely desireable, refined presentation, as evidenced by non-subtle increases in detail retrieval, imaging, and sonic realism across the audible frequency spectrum. IMHO, the Tecno Weight works extremely well with the RB600 tonearm. I found the integral stylus balance vastly simplified making fine adjustments over the stock counterweight, although it takes a little doing/getting used to ensure the scalloped weight is sitting exactly balanced once you have dialed in the desired weight (you need to turn an allen key, and this process may offset the weight's position if you're not watching or properly securing the counterweight; I found measuring the height of each side of the scallop weight, and making them equal, ensured the weight maintained correct position). A very well made product that lifted my Rega P25 to a new high. [See the article/review at The Vinyl Engine: http://www.nakedresource.com/michell_tecnoweight.shtml]

djbnh

222222&text=dj
Owner
System edited: This is what can happen on a day off! I went ahead and further tweaked the dampening for the Rega Planar 25: 1) took off the three Rega stock feet, and in their place added Audio Selection Gold Cones/support discs; 2) rested the Audio Selection cones/discs on the 35 lb. marble slab; 3) added three German Physiks cones beneath the marble slab; 4) rested the points of the German Physiks cones in the brass circles in the top of the A.R.T Q-Dampers; and 5) let the Q-Dampers rest on the top shelf of my audio stand. Please note that the above procedure is better done with a helper, but can be done by yourself with patience, and some support blocks sandwiched by beer coasters to prevent scratching. End result - Very noticeable improvements in imaging, detail in bass/mids/highs (nicely noticeable in bass, vocals, cymbals, etc.), soundstage depth and width, blackness/background silence. Obviously, the Rega P25's sonic output benefits nicely from this multi-level vibration dampening. I'm also more exposed to what a great phono preamp section Klaus Bunge puts into his Odyssey Tempest preamplifier. Another positive was that this tweak was so much less expensive than purchasing a specialized turntable shelf; plus, the marble works with my audio room decor.

djbnh

222222&text=dj
Owner
System edited: Added a new picture of my rack to include the Rega P25 , as well as an updated picture of the Rega sitting nicely on the marble. Furthermore, added an Onzow Zerodust, including picture.

djbnh

222222&text=dj
Owner
System edited: Added a 35 lb. marble slab that measures 1.5" thick underneath the Rega Planar 25. The marble rests atop three A.R.T. Q dampers. The A.R.T. dampers sit on top of my stereo rack's top shelf. The results are improved detail, bass and treble extension, instrument and voice positioning. The Rega is becoming increasingly impressive, especially considering its price point. I'm still considering to what cartridge I'd like to upgrade, but due to this positive dampening experience, I've put on the brakes on buying for a while. The cost of the marble was $0.00; there's a business in our town that makes custom countertops, etc., and I picked up this piece (and some others) out back of the shop. I also have a set of Audio Selection cones (and a set of German Physics cones to try, in case I want to A/B them) I'm thinking of putting in place of the Rega's feet, but this might be overkill and the cones better applied in a different application. Of course, I could always put the Audio Selection cones in place of the Rega's feet, and the German Phyics cones between the marble and the A.R.T. Q dampers...oh, I did say "overkill".

djbnh

222222&text=dj
Owner
System edited: Tried the Walker SST product and am overwhelmed with the results. Even though the jar seems tiny, there's enough in it to treat a few hundred systems, so maybe friends can buy a jar and share. On the downside, you need to be extremely careful applying this product. Also, my 48 year-old eyes objected after applying SST slowly and carefully to some tube pins; I was going crosseyed.

djbnh

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