I mostly listen to 20th century classical, delta blues and classic jazz.
I listen in the near field to the Soundlabs, which are brought well out into the room - 8 feet from the wall behind. In this configuration, I largely eliminate room effects, however I do want to investigate a properly designed room treatment plan for my room at some point.
Technics SP10 mk2 in a marine ply plinth with lead shot loading, weighs approx 100 lbs. Feet are first version of Stillpoints. The table is sat on a Symposium Ultra shelf directly on the top of the Adona rack.
Herron Audio VTPH2a
I use 4 x Telefunken 12AX7s and 1 EI Yugo 12AT7
Wyetech Labs Opal
The opal has the factory recommended Solen teflon foil caps. Tubes are Sylvania 6SN7s.
VTL monoblocks run in triode mode.
Soundlab Millenium M1 electrostats. The backplates are modified with the AU90 step up transformers, which eliminates the resistor/cap network.
I’ve had my Soundlab M1’s since 2016. It’s an older pair made in 2006 - I had them rebuilt with the PX membrane, they retain the 90 degree curve.
After I got them back I also replaced the high frequency transformer with the third party AU90 transformer - this really improved the sensitivity.
The current production speakers have the toroid II, a 45 degree panel and of course PX film and the new bass focus design - so quite different from my speakers.
Given where I am with my system, the speakers are the strongest link, Changes I make elsewhere for the positive are always clear (negative as well!). I still have plenty of room to grow with my amps and analogue front end and the Sound Lab M1’s will let me hear everything I’ve done.
I’m extreme happy with the M1’s and the sound I’m getting in the system currently - from both the audiophile and non-audiophile halves of my brain, if you know what I mean.
I haven’t heard the bigger speakers, but a good friend has the U1. His system is spectacular on every level.
Thanks for the comments on my turntable - I’ve been happy with the technics - it’s old school, not at all sexy but does a great job with the SME 312s - I’m currently using a London Reference cartridge which is a step up from the MSL GL, at least in my room.
Yes the VTL amps work well with the panels. The AU90 transformer modification for speakers really increases their efficiency as well as transparency, which enables me to run the VTL in triode mode, which I prefer at the moment.
The listening position is about 8 feet from the speakers - it works well in my room. Although the room nominally is quite large, what you don’t see is a chimney breast which cuts into the room at an angle - this has significant effects on the setup, so near field is the best option. From time to time I do change the set up to the long wall.
I’ve had a few phono stages - prior to the Herron I had a first gen aesthetix io, which was more flexible but used a ton of tubes. I will be adding a Hashimoto HM7 step up transformer in the next few weeks. I’m expecting good things over the jfet MC stage in the Herron.
I used to own a pair of VTL 450s, great amps, only let go as I decided to move to tube pre + SS power combination, surely a very good match with the Soundlabs!
I read good things about the Herron, did you have chance to compare it to other phono stages?
How close to the speakers is your current listening position? Since you don't mind near field listening have you considered using your left wall (in case it has no windows), placing your speakers a bit closer to the wall and with proper acoustic treatment?