Coming from an ATC speaker based system I felt I was missing some of the music, as whilst very good at what they do, I like a little warmer presentation.  The bass on the ATCs is generally very dry.  The JBLs became available in my country (Ireland) so I went an auditioned them and the rest is history.

I already had a suitably power amp in the MC2 Audio with 350W at 8 ohms, although JBL recommends 400W for the 250ti!

I have been through all the big names for turntables, from Linn to Technics, Rega to Michell and Nottingham Analogue too.  The Thorens came along at a bargain price straight after I sold the quite high spec GyroDec with a nice SME arm and DV cartridge.  After the Gyro, I feel the Thorens sounds less clinical and therefore less precise.  More LP12 like but with out the bloom.  I actually think it has a nice balance and is a good compromise of most of the decks I have owned.  The suspension system is engineered way better than the late 80s LP12 I had too.

The pre-amp and the phono stage are very new additions.  The Bryston is a very welcome addition, replacing the built in pre-amp on the Audiolab 8200 which I always though might be a weak point.  Certainly was, the system sound much more complete with this addition.  The processors are a bargain really given they have the 2 channel circuits of the BP-25 etc which are twice the price.

Music is about 40% vinyl, 60% CD but listen a lot to music on the internet too, especially internet radio.

Room Details

Dimensions: 30’ × 12’  Large
Ceiling: 15’

Components Toggle details

    • Thorens TD-321
    • SME 3009 s2 late
    • Audio Technica AT-100
    • Pure Sound P10
    • Bryston SP-1
    • Audiolab 8200CDQ
    • MC2 Audio MC650
    • JBL 250ti

Comments 7

Thanks for sharing about your gear, thoughts and ideas. I really like seeing systems assembled from components from very different times in hifi. Elegant, thoughtful.

Congrats on the Bryston - such a quiet and brilliant workhorse. I really like mine (B60), so simple. Yours is a good step up, must be lovely.

I love your room - a very nice environment to actively listen and enjoy.


Sweet, looking good.


Thanks DJ for the comments.  Some more images now added, included some of the JBL drivers.  Great speakers, wish I had more room to do them proper justice.

You are right, the DACs are fine in these processors for what I use them for (internet radio and Spotify) and stupid value right now.

Stay Safe


Nice system.  I've never heard those speakers, but they sure look Kool. A pic without grills would be appreciated. 
I have a SP2 used 90% of the time in 2 channel bypass mode in the living room system for vinyl. 10% for streaming (i use the SP2's dac, its actually pretty good if you don't care about hi rez) Great 2 channel preamp and the price on them are crazy low now when they pop up now. Smart move on your part. 
Enyoy the music, Dj


Thanks both.  I wouldn't say the speakers are unique but it is getting harder to find a good pair for sure.  Lucky enough to get these with Greg Timbers approved replacement bass drivers that should last a long while.  The Ti drivers can also be a problem on these, but they are OK for now.  I have some re-coning kits for the little 4" drivers, so some insurance there as well.  

I came from ATC speakers, which are very dry in the bass in comparison.  The JBLs sound far more effortless and suit a wider genre of music I feel.  The ATCs were unbeatable on electronic music, but relentlessly revealing on a lot of material.

The JBLs are hard to position in my long, tall, narrow room.  They like to be away from the walls I think.  When I demoed them, it was in a room much wider than mine, so they had the space.  The sound stage was superb, never achieved anything like that level in this room unfortunately.

The Thorens, well I got it virtually given to me by a friend after I gave up my Gyrodec.  I have had it for a good 6-7 years now.  Compared to the Gyrodec it is no where near as lively agreed, but the Gyro did sound a little CD like to me.  The Thorens is a little more like the LP12 I had (late 80s era with Ittok) but without the mid bass bloom.  It really is a nice table to listen to, no fireworks for sure, but it predictable and steady and never offends.  It sounds lively enough with the AT cartridges I use, I guess warmer sounding cartridges could lead to a very dull experience.  This model is considered the almost the pinnacle of Thorens by many in Europe though (excluding their silly uber models of course).  These guys hold them in very high regard:

Anyway, when I took that picture of the system the Bryston pre-amp wasn't in nor the new phono stage.

Bryston arrived very cold the other day.  I purchased this only for the 2 channel aspect, as in bypass mode it is supposed to be same circuits as the highly regarded BP25.  However, the BP25 go for more than double what I paid for this ;-).  Oh and the remote is super cool with this one.

I let it get to room temperature before turning on, and it sounded fairly identical to the pre-amp in the Audiolab 8200 CDQ I wanted to replace it with for a good few hours.  However, as the day went on it started to sing.  Adding far more meat on the bones, filling out the bottom end nicely.  No need to turn the wick up so much now as we have a very nice, full and coherent sound at lower levels.  Voices are easier to make out and in the right place in the far more layered presentation.  So much so, I find it hard to go back to the old pre-amp now.  It is flat and 2 dimensional in comparison.  I liked the simplicity of the CDQ, having a CD player, DAC and pre-amp all in one box, but unfortunately, the pre-amp performance doesn't cut it as I suspected for a long while.

The Pure Sound P10, well that only arrived today.  I had one of these about 10 years or more ago.  Was never super impressed, but I had a HOMC cartridge with it and thought that was the main problem.  Whilst a valve stage it does appear to be fairly neutral, but the jury is still out.

So a bit more lock down listening to go.  I haven't changed anytning in about 3 years, but now 2 things at once!!  I know, I know, but the opportunities came about at the same time.

I will keep listening and see how we go and I'll update the pics accordingly.

Thanks for the comments and stay safe.


Your speakers are unique and beautiful. As nice to hear as well as see, I would imagine.

Stay well, regards,

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

Nice. I had a TD318 once. Found it leaden and a little dull. May I suggest respectfully that you consider the TD160? It blows the 31x series away.


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