The love of music and the passion for all things audio started more than 45 years ago. This system delivers on the expectation of communicating music with tone and emotion while providing excellent imaging and sound staging. On well recorded material the Virgos pull the “disappearing act.” Speaker placement determined primarily by using Richard Vandersteen's methodology.

Preferred speaker placement ended up being on the short wall with the speakers approximately 4 feet from the front wall, approximately 8 feet apart (center to center) and toed in to cross just behind the listening position.

Many of the components were purchased previously enjoyed. As you can see, I am somewhat partial to classic/vintage equipment.

The Room: dedicated to audio, second story, frame construction with carpet over wood sub-floor. Excellent room acoustics and fortunately low mains noise. A Symposium Acoustics Segue ISO platform adds very effective isolation for the Rega P8 turntable.

System Addendums:

  1. Shakti “AIR” Electromagnetic (EMI) Stabilizer(s) added 4/2020
  2. Acoustic Zen Tsunami III power cable added 4/2020
  3. Acoustic Zen Absolute Copper interconnects added 5/2020
  4. Rega P8 & Ania MC, replacing Rega P25 & Exact II MM 5/2020
  5. Acoustic Zen Matrix Reference II interconnects added 5/2020
  6. Funk Firm Achromat (turntable mat) added 6/2020
  7. Acoustic Zen Tsunami Plus power cable added 7/2020
  8. AudioQuest Niagara 1000 added 7/2020
  9. AudioQuest Monsoon power cables added 7/2020
  10. GIK Alpha Pro Series 4" Bass Trap Diffusor/Absorbers added 7/2020
  11. Manley Laboratories Chinook SE, replacing Belles Aria PH-01 7/2020

Other Bits:

  • Mapleshade platforms & brass footers
  • Symposium Acoustics isolation platforms
  • Per Madsen record racks
  • VPI 16.5 vacuum record cleaning machine
  • Stable 33.33 Transit Platter
  • Equipment and room lighting by Littlite and Ikea
  • StylusTimer (How did we survive all these years without this device?)
  • s-covers (eBay) for covering other components not currently in use


Room Details

Dimensions: 18’ × 14’  Medium
Ceiling: 9’

Components Toggle details

    • Rega Planar 8
    Turntable: Fast, articulate and smooth, with more extension and detail in the frequency extremes.
    • Rega Ania MC
    Low Output Moving Coil Phono Cartridge
    • Rega P25
    Turntable with Groovetracer Reference sub platter / Groovetracer platter / Rega RB600 tonearm / Rega Exact II MM phono cartridge and Rega P9 feet.
    • Belles 21A
    Linestage with Auricap upgrade (tubes: 2 x RAM Tube Works SLN 12AU7's)
    • Manley Laboratories Chinook SE
    MM/MC Phono Preamplifier (tubes: 4 x NOS Tungsram PCC88's)
    • Belles 150A Hot Rod

    Amplifier on IsoAcoustic IsoPucks on Mapleshade platform w/brass footers

    • McIntosh MR-71
    FM Tube Tuner (not pictured, not currently in use)
    • Audio Physic Virgo III

    Speakers on IsoAcoustics GAIA III & GAIA carpet spikes

    • IsoAcoustics GAIA III

    These are the real deal. Easy to hear improvements in clarity, bass control and a deeper soundstage.

    • Woo Audio WA3
    Headphone Amplifier (tubes: 1 x '57 USN CRC 6080WA, 2 x NOS National PCC88/7DJ8) on Mapleshade platform w/brass footers
    • Grado GS1000
    • Sennheiser HD-600
    • Harmonic Technology Magic Link l
    Interconnects: Woo Audio WA3 to Belles 21A, Manley Laboratories Chinook SE to Belles 21A
    • Acoustic Zen Absolute Copper
    Interconnects: Belles 21A to Belles 150A Hot Rod
    • Harmonic Technology Pro 9 Plus
    Bi-wire speaker cables
    • Silnote Audio Poseidon GS Reference
    Powering the Woo Audio WA3 headphone amplifier.
    • Acoustic Zen Tsunami III power cable
    Powering the Belles 150A Hot Rod amplifier
    • Acoustic Zen Tsunami Plus power cable
    Powering the Manley Laboratories Chinook SE
    • AudioQuest Niagara 1000
    Low Z Power / Noise Dissipation System
    • AudioQuest Monsoon power cables
    Powering the Audioquest Niagra 1000 & Belles 21A linestage preamp
    • High Fidelity Cables MC-0.5
    Magnetic conditioning device (2)
    • Shakti "AIR" Electromagnetic Stabilizer
    Patented inductive circuits absorb radiated EMI & RFI. One placed on top of the Belles 150A Hot Rod over the power supply area. One placed on top of the Belles 21A over the power supply area.
    • GIK Acoustics Acoustical Panels
    4A Alpha Diffusors, Q7d Diffusors, 242 Acoustic Absorbers, 4A Alpha Pro Series Bass Trap Diffusor/Absorbers
    • Echo Busters Corner Buster
    Acoustical corner bass traps
    • Echo Busters Bass Buster
    Acoustical bass trap on-wall behind the listening position.
    • Cardas Audio Multi Blocks
    Cable lifters

Comments 7


Hi highend64, thank you for your positive comments. I would sum up sentiments on the 150A Hot Rod by saying, it’s a keeper. It is well balanced, voiced in some ways similar to a good tube amp and has excellent pitch definition in the bass/lower registers. My best to you.


Very nice system indeed. Really like how room is layout. How do you like the Belles 150A? Happy listening and Enjoy!


Hi Dan, thank you for your positive comments and well wishes. I'm not from Portland and for the life of me I can't remember the exact circumstances as to when I started doing business with Kurt and his crew. I'm betting their new location is beautiful. Many items purchased from them over the years and always a positive experience. Please stay well also.


You mention Echo Audio. Does that mean you are from Portland? I have a couple of friends there, and I've been in Echo Audio with them.

Very nice system, enjoy, and stay well.


Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan


The Virgos were purchased years ago from the great people at Echo Audio. They have been a constant in the system ever since.



Thank you, Jond. After 45 years; too many components/iterations to count, plenty of mistakes and lessons learned along the way.


Nice mix of gear looks really well thought out and those Virgo's look lovely.


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