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. .
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.
. 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. .
System edited: Switched to a full-range Infinity Kappa 9 as the center channel speaker. Intended to be a front main speaker, it is incredible as a center channel. I was previously using a smaller Kappa 7.
System edited: ...upgraded a Sharp PG-F310X Projector...allows me to go from DVI to HDMI to get 180p/60 image. I also increased brightness to 3000 lumens. A nice brightness boost for my huge screen. The old projector was 2300 lumens.
System edited: Just added a Squeezebox.....verrry convenient for background and casual listening. No, it won't replace a top shelf cd player. I have a Rhapsody account, and the Squeezebox allows me to audition whole cd's via web sreaming before I decide to purchase the cd.
Dean......the wall was punched out right after you were here....pretty dramatic now that both sides open up to each other.
The ArtWalk was very good....I'm still waiting for you to put your works on display here during the ArtWalk. You've got to come over and watch a movie sometime and bring some friends, it is really a great movie watching experience.
The screen rolls up into the ceiling out of the way and I pull the curtain all the way back so that I still have my view out of the window.
Mike, I borrowed a PS3 from a friend for a week...it was outstanding. The Toshiba A2 is also a great player also. I decided on the Toshiba A2. The Toshiba A1 had too many quirks...it was a first generation player and quirks were to be expected, but I just couldn't deal with them any longer, so I sold it and got the A2.
I decided against the PS3 because of the lack of game titles and there is no clear winner now in the number of movie titles in Blu-Ray or HD-DVD. The A2 won out because of price.
Now it really gets weird. I found out after I got the A2 home this week that it only has a toslink output for audio and does not have the 5.1 analog outputs that that A1 had. If I want to be able to hear Hi-Def audio, I'll need to upgrade to the HD-XA2 for about $700.
The big problem for me is that my projector or pre-pro does not have HDMI and I'm forced to try and compensate in other ways.
Because PS3 only offers True HD sound over HDMI, I'm going with Toshiba because I can get True HD-Audio via the 5.1 analog connection on the flagship Toshiba model.
There is no clear winner in the on-screen image.... on both units the pitcture is exceptional...even with my modest projector.
To me the Toshiba XA2 has the edge in audio since I don't have HDMI.
I'm returning the A2 this week and getting the XA2. Because of my room size and screen size, I think it is important that I get the unit with the best sound available sound minus HDMI. The XA2 has on on-board processor that will process the new Hi-Def Audio formats and deliver playback though the discrete 5.1 analog outputs on the player.
Justin,......I'll probably get the least expensive option of the PS3. I'm buying it primarily as a Blu-Ray player, I'll use it as a gaming system somewhat also. x x Tboooe.......No complaints on the Ref3. It seems to get everything right. I bought the unit here on Audiogon ...it had 60 hours on it. Sorry, but I have no references for an ARC dealer. I bought my ARC PH5 from GNP Audio in Pasadena, but I already knew what I wanted. I walked in, plunked my money down and took the unit home. I really didn't establish a relationship with anyone there. I was in and out of the store in 15 minutes. I was a pretty nice store, but it seems their focus is on home theater.
It's funny, I get asked that all the time. The sound is incredible. My carpet is super thick and I have overstuffed furniture. No problems with the sound at all. Maybe in theory it is supposed to have problems, but in the real thing, it works beautifully.
Mike, yes, the Genesis will be overkill for a room your size. Even though great sound is what we are pursuing, I still believe the system should look presentable also. You have outstanding components that're well organized in a gorgeos room. With four towers nearly six feet tall each, it would look cluttered in your room. They need a lot of room away from the rear and side walls to sing. They work in my space only because the room is so huge. Aesthically they work because smaller speakers are just dwarfed by the size of my room. Looking at your room and system, I'd say you're already there. Forget the Genesis.....kick back and enjoy that badass system you have.
Sbr3,...I had the Audio Research CD2. Once I got the Ref3 and saw how good it was, it peaked my curiosity for the CD7. I don't play enough vinyl to justify purchasing the Reference PH7 phono pre, so, I upgraded from the PH3SE to the PH5. I am seriously looking to pull the trigger on a pair of Ref 600 MkII tube monoblocs. I've never had tube amplification before and the curiosity is killing me. I would like to try the new Ref 610-T monoblocs, but $40k for a pair of them is out of my reach right now.
So yes, the purchase of the Ref3 did influence my decisions on other AR gear.
The Carver Silvers are a HUGE bargain for the money. They are available for $1200 to $1500 here on the 'Gon or Ebay a few times a year. 900 wpc @ 4 ohms and they will drive ANYTHTING. Put a nice preamp in front of them and be amazed. No, they are not in the same class as the Pass X-600's, but they sure as heck hold their own for the money.
The aural reflections and flutter echo mentioned by JPE are non-existent. The system truly sounds good.
Gyrodec vs CD-7.....well, they are both excellent in their own right and I never thought to compare the two. I don't get a chance to listen to vinyl as much as I'd like to. I do know that since I've gotten my record cleaning machine and when I've got a piece of well engineerd vinyl on the table...it is sonic bliss. The CD-7 is no slouch either. I have no preference for one over the other as far as the way they sound. CD's of course are much more convenient, so I tend to listen to them 98% of the time. I will devote more time to vinyl in 2007.
Gunbei.....The past ArtWalk was the lowest attendance I have ever seen. There was a lot of other major goings-on near downtown LA and it took away a large chunk of the art audience. The committee that organizes it plans to re-tool and make sure they do their homework next time to make sure there are no major events going at the same time.
Guido, the X.02 was a very good preamp, but for $10k retail it is overpriced and it is nowhere near the performance of the Ref3. Overall, even the Audio Research LS-10 was better than the X.02. I bought the X.02 believing that I would have better system symmetry because I have Pass amps, that was not the case. The Audio Research preamps totally eclipsed the X.02. I have sold the X.02 and the LS-10.
I may keep my Ref2 Mk2 for a second system. I have a pair of Infinity Rennaisance 90's in storage that I'd like to try with the Ref2 Mk2 in a second system.
I found out right out of the box, the Ref3 lives up to all of the accolades that have been heaped upon it by other owners and reviewers. It is a truly great preamp. I've had it for 2 months now. I now need to save some scratch for the Audio Research Reference CD player and the PH7 Reference phono preamp.
I've had a few friends come over with their tube amps and they did sound quite good. However, I like the sound of the Pass amps overall...especially the headroom and authority they have over the speakers. Not too bright at all, especially when the Pass amps are paired with a tube preamp, I get enough tube feel. As you see, I have an AR tube preamp when I get in the mood for a taste of tube sound.
Guidocorona, the Ref 3 is going to have to wait until after the first of the year....I have to put the money elsewhere right now. But you can be sure that I will own one of those bad boys within the next 6-9 mos.
Gunbei: The Betas and the X.02 were delivered yesterday. I have them connected and playing. It is going to take some time getting the correct settings for the servo/crossover to get the bass dialed in correctly for the Betas. I certainly don't look forward to that. I'm more of a plug 'n play kind of guy. I don't look forward to the break-in period for the X.02 either.
One thing is for sure, I'm going to have to sell the DD-18. The bass output of the Beta bass towers is otherworldly.
I've ordered some 10 gauge cables for the surrounds, then I'll be ready to get the home theater hooked up.
My invitation is still open for you to visit. I'd like for you come by and critique the setup and offer any suggestions for tweaking.
Gunbei.....You are certainly welcome to stop by whenever you are in the area. Next time bring some cd's with you. We can try your ideas about speaker toe-in.
You can put whatever you want on the walls for the ArtWalk. My fee to use the space for the ArtWalk is an original signed piece of your artwork. What you show is totally up to you. The next ArtWalk is in October...let me know by August if you want to show your artwork for the next one.
The Betas and the Pass pre will be here this week. I've ordered custom RCA/XLR cables because the Pass amps only have XLR connections and the servo/crossover for the Betas only accept RCA's. These cables should arrive any day now.
The building used to be a Pabst Beer Brewery and they converted it to lofts. Huge building...., about 20 units on my floor. The floor underneath is concrete and I have very thick carpet in the living area and tile in the kitchen and bathrooms. The exterior walls and ceilings are one foot thick reinforced concrete, the interior walls are drywall.
Paul, since that other post, I have added the Ref2 Mk2 preamp and the ARC CD2 to the system.....huge improvements.
The Pass amps are light years ahead of the Carvers in detail, air, soundstage and musicality. But as far as raw brute power, the Carvers have more brute power in the bass arena. The Carvers have more raw slamming bass. For parties, I will use the Carvers. Of course I'll have the Pass monos connected for my critical listening. For the money, the Carver monoblocks are an excellent buy.
I have four pairs of Kappa 9's and four pairs of Carver monoblocks. I'm going to use the Carver monoblocks and two pair of Kappa 9's for my home theater. I'm going to use a pair of Kappa 7's for my center channel. I also have a pair of Sunfire Signature amps also and a pair of Infinity Rennaisance 90 speakers. I will use these items for second and third systems throughout the loft. The total space in the loft is 4500 square feet.