I recently sold my record collection and stereo equipment in preparation for a downsizing move, and replaced it with a Bluesound PowerNode 2i streamer, ELAC Debut 6.2 speakers and HIFIMAN HE-400i headphones. I added an old TV and Apple TV and now I have a comfy man cave. I also made the move from stereo to a 2.1 with a Jamo S 808 subwoofer. Unfortunately the move is on hold for the time being...
I bought these towards the end of 2018 on a Black Friday sale for $150. I had just refoamed my Paradigm Atoms when my niece called to tell me she had just bought a turntable. I sent her my Atoms and bought these as a replacement.
Bluesound PowerNode 2i
My wife and I decided to downsize, and I decided to shift from vinyl to streaming. I bought a Node 2i, but enjoyed it so much I decided to upgrade to a PowerNode 2i and save the space taken up by my receiver. Needless to say, I have much less clutter. This space was originally taken up by my old stereo system, 2600 records and a ProJect VCS. When we finally do move to a smaller space (temporarily on hold due to COVID-19) since I won’t have a man cave this system will probably be in an entertainment room.
Borykworkshop Black Hornbeam Custom Headphone Stand
Yurii Boryk from Borykworkshop handcrafted this headphone stand out of black hornbeam. Check out his Etsy website for some beautiful stuff.
Hifiman HE-400i Headphones
Some very nice planar headphones I got on a Black Friday sale last year.
DIY Speaker Stands
Ok, maybe this is controversial but it is part of my system...I made my speaker stands out of concrete blocks, painted to keep the concrete dust down, topped them with granite from a kitchen design store and kept it all together with BluTac. Not a high-end system by any means, but it does work well. Probably not coming to the new place, though.
Jamo S 808 Subwoofer
I thought I would satisfy my curiosity and indulge in a subwoofer, effectively turning my basic two-speaker system into a 2.1 (you may laugh, but for me that constitutes real progress). I have been interested in Jamo products lately, since they seem to be getting lots of press. I came across their smaller 8” subwoofer, the Jamo S 808, on sale at Adorama for $94 and thought I would give it a chance; if it doesn’t work out I could always transfer it to the living room.
Not at all! No reverb. I’m not an acoustic engineer, but I believe the layout of the room has a lot to do with it...it’s an alcove, really, in a really big undeveloped basement. If you look at the speaker placement, the sound waves either hit me and my chair or go to the far side of the basement. Little to no reflection off the side walls, and the speakers are front ported. Also, behind the concrete is southern Maryland solid clay soil.
Nothing wrong with the essentials. I find myself going in the other direction — I hadn’t listened much to records in years, but after reading the comments here about superior sound quality, I bought a new turntable and have been cleaning records like mad! I keep adding little items here and there, as I got the idea to convert my records to digital files and store on my Bluesound. When I called the company with a question, the guy told me he knows nothing about the device, as he has better things to do than spend his time converting records. Ut-Oh!! I agree, Mike’s system is thrilling to look at.
Mike, yours is the kind of system I would have loved if I had the money and didn’t have to move every 2-3 years (USAF). After my retirement I found myself adding to my vinyl collection exponentially, since southern Maryland still has lots of barn finds. I topped out at 2600, more than I could clean, much less listen to. Once I made the decision to sell my record collection it was easy. Minimalism brings me piece of mind.
there are times when my big system is more a burden than advantage......with streaming at the quality it is now, if i had it to do over again, i would likely be more like yours......than mine. downsizing has a nice ring to it.
We certainly had considered renovating the basement. We are in limbo right now; we were originally selling the house and moving to an apartment or townhome in the city (DC or NOVA) but had to postpone due to the pandemic. Now with changes to our employment, we might just stay here until my wife retires in a couple years. If we decide to stay the basement will certainly be finished.
BTW, for those concerned about humidity, seriously consider a heat pump. We had one installed a couple years back and it helps control humidity wonderfully (southern Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay can get 70-90 per cent humidIt’s in the summer). Our system keeps the whole house, including the basement, at a stable 40 per cent humidity. It was great for my records when I had them.
Thanks, mjcmt! After a lifetime of accumulation it feels nice to get back to basics and just listen to music. One of the unexpected benefits of going to streaming (besides the space and costs) is that my listening has expanded to newer artists. I can actually talk to my 15 year old grand-daughter about music, especially Twenty-One Pilots.