Just moved back to my loft after a remodel and the system is sounding good. The room is 70 feet long and 22 feet wide with a 22 ft high ceiling. It used to be a beer brewery and they converted the place to lofts. Concrete floors and ceiling.
The Audio Research Reference 3 preamp raised the system to a whole new level. It sounds outstanding.
The home theater portion really cooks....I plan to get the top of the line InFocus projector later this year.
Paste this link into your browser to see more photos of the whole room when the Kappa 9's were my main speakers.
VPI Industries HW-16.5 Record Cleaning Machine. A must-have if you are serious about your vinyl.
Audio Research PH-5 Tube Phono Preamp
Nice phono pre...
Oracle Audio Technologies Delphi
Nice table...I don't play it anymore since I got the Michell. It is beautiful and I keep it for eye candy.
Grado Platinum Cartdridge
Nice cartridge when I played my Oracle. I may try it on my Michell one day.
Audio Research Reference 3 Tube Preamp
All of the hype is true about this preamp. Outstanding.
Pass Labs X-600 Solid State Monoblocks
Nice amps. Open and detailed and fast. I'm using four of them, a pair to run the planar columns and a pair to drive the bass.
Infinity IRS BETA Speaker System
This speaker is everything that you've heard about it.
Infinity Kappa 9 Full Range Speaker
Very nice sound..... and good looking too! I use two of them for the rear channels and one for the center channel. These speakers would excel as main speakers in anyones 2 channel rig...they are exceptional as surrounds and center channel.
Signal Cable Premium XLR and RCA Cables
Nice cable...All Signal Cable interconnects throughout the entire system.
Signal Cable Ultra Double Run Speaker Cable
nice cables...used for the front mains and center channel.
Signal Cable Magic Power Cords
I have this power cord on all of my components. Excellent value.
Sansui TU-X1 Tuner
Baddest tuner on the planet.
Radio Shack Antenna FM
Grabs the stations by the throat and puts them in my living room.
Dave (Fabio) Ratcliff Hat Trick Component Feet
Ratcliff sound pucks under the amps, line conditioner and tuner. 18 month wait to get these from Dave.
Carver Silver 9t Monoblocks
I run three of them, one each for the center channel and two rears.
Velodyne DD-18 Subwoofer
Slam bam earthshaker
InFocus IN5148HD Projector
Nice for watching movies. 5000 lumens really helps with my huge screen and long throw distance.
Da-Lite Scenic Roller 16 Foot Wide Movie Screen
Sceen is 12 feet tall and 16 feet wide for a 240 inch diagonal picture.
Marantz AV-8003 Processor
Great on movies...incredible hi-def surround processor.
Marantz BD-8002 Blu-Ray/dvd/cd
Killer player....the images are truly film-like. Paid $2k for the unit...it was a steal. Built like a tank.
Streaming audio from the web or plays from your computer hard drive or any other storage device you use to store your music
X-Box 360 by Microsoft
Gaming Console...playing a video game on a 12 foot high and 16 foot wide screen in high definition with killer surround sound is an incredibly immersive experience.
NVIDIA Shield Pro video streaming device
This was an incredible upgrade....forget about that Roku and Fire Stick stuff and get one of these as your video streamer.
. I previously had a Ref2 Mk2. It was head and shoulders over the X0.2. The X0.2 doesn't even belong in the same sentence with the Ref3...no contest. I got rid of the X0.2 as soon as I could. Now the Pass amps....that's another story, they are sublime. .
. Got them in 2006. Had to replace the foam around the woofers once, no other problems. I think the foam around the woofers dry rot every five years or so. At $75 per speaker, it is an expected expense every five years. The way to go is, when one rots out, replace all of them. Because sure enough, they all start rotting one after another in the oncoming months. might as well do all of them at once and get it done with for another five years. .
I bought them from a SE Florida audio dealer called Sound Advice (out of business now) in 1989 for $10K - the most expensive speakers I'd ever purchased. J. Gordon Holt reviewed them in Stereophile that year and loved them with the VTL-300 driving the panels which I also bought. I really had no concept of how big a room was required for these speakers and tried to make them work in my 12 X 15 living room at that time. Obviously they over powered the room (house?) - especially the awesome low end. I actually hauled them with me in a U-Haul when I briefly moved to Evergreen Colorado in 1993, but traded them on a pair of Mirage M1si's before moving back to Florida. Although I have a much bigger and better listening room today, these speakers need a room like you've got them in. Have long have you owned them? Have you had to repair anything?Your's still look fantastic.
Hi Microstrip. Awesome. Thanks. I'm checking some Ref 3s now. Interestingly, the Ref 5s appear to be going in the second hand market for just a bit more (at times). so, will perhaps hold out a little for a Ref 5. Thanks guys
Notec, thanks for the compliment. --------------------- Shellphl,
Since I had Pass amps, I really wanted the X0.2 to work for me. I thought it would give me better system symmetry. But, it was just not up to snuff compared with the Ref2 Mk2 or the Ref3. Not even close. The X0.2 is an exellent preamp. It's just that the AR preamps are head and shoulders above it.
To me, the Ref3 is so good, I don't dare listen to the Ref5 or the Ref Anniversary. I have no self-control and I don't want to do anything financially irresponsible if I'm tempted.
Thanks Microstip. Your comments are music to my ears, as i really love the warmth of tubes. This is my very first high end system and I hope I can execute well. I intend to purchase a ref 3 in a month or so, but will of course demo before buying. ARC Anniversary...one day, one day. Out of curiosity, are you using a power conditioner? Thanks
Hi Shellphl, I own the ARC Anniversary and bass detail and impact in my system is impressive. However, as always, system matching can change sound characteristics. Some Boulder amplifiers have 25 kohm input impedance and this can limit ultra bass performance when used with tube preamplifiers. Your JC1 has 100 kohm impedance and should be a perfect match with the Ref3.
Hi all, great link. Mitch, I have a question regarding your comments on the ARC Ref 3 being so much better than the Pass X0.2. I listened to the ARC Anniversary pre (paired with a Boulder SS amp) last week and loved the sound. The detail retrieval was awesome and my Yellowjackets album never sounded better. However, when i switched to a gospel album, the bass/depth was unimpressive and without me saying anything, even the sales guy changed the setting on the Esoteric X1 (i think) to DSD to improve the bass. The issue is that I'm now building a system (Bryston bcd and bda; Pass xono; Parasound JC1; Marantz TT and Revel Salon 1s) and my heart was set on a tube pre (Ref 3). However, now I'm also willing to consider SS (may get a deal on an X0.2), but have never heard it and am thus curious about your own experience and the experience of others here. Thanks.
. I used a Signal Cable power cord when I moved the preamp and the stock cord wasn't long enough to reach in the new location. The Audio Research stock cord sounds fine to me.
I actually have a full set of Silver Resolution cables that I run in the system 6 months of the year and I use the Signal Cable premium copper cables the other 6 months of the year. I don't prefer one over the other....it gives me a different and fresh perspective on my recordings. The copper being a little warmer and the silver a little more precise. .
What a great system! I just purchased a REF 3 and love the sound. I see you also like Frank's Signal Cable. Currrently I use a combination of Synergistic Research and Signal Cable through out my system. I'm thinking of replacing the REF 3's powercord with a Signal Cable. What would you think of replaceing all of my Synergistic with Siganl cable, and which Signal Cable do you think would be the best choice for the REF 3? I'm thinking of Silver Resolution. Thanks, Steve