[2021 Updates] Swapped the Rainmakers with Totem Arros and added the BorderPatrol DAC SE.

We moved at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and have been slowly setting up our first listening room. In our previous house the system was in a mixed-use family room. These components have been pieced together over the last 5 years and am very happy with the current setup from a limited budget over the years. Of course there's still a lot to improve on and always thinking about the next upgrade or change. The small desk is a sewing machine table from the mid-twentieth century. It's very solid and heavy.

Our approach is format agnostic and love to stream, spin records, and play CDs. We listen to a wide range of genres and find the Heed/Totem combo does well balancing it all. Whether it's noisy, crunchy, distorted guitars, articulating the timbre of acoustic instruments, or maintaining tight, rhythmic pace that's needed for electronic music, it's all handled with ease. Plus imaging is outstanding.

Open to tips and tweaks.

Cheers from Portland, Ore. - Matthew


Room Details

Dimensions: 13’ × 14’  Medium
Ceiling: 10’

Components Toggle details

    • Heed Audio Obelisk
    Their SI Mark III integrated amp with phono board installed. Resting on Herbie’s Audio Lab’s Tender Feet on top of a very dense chopping board from Hay Design.
    • Totem Acoustic Arro
    Compact floor standing speakers with Totem Beaks
    • Clearaudio Concept
    w/ Verify Tonearm and running with a Russ Andrews PowerPak II PSU. Sitting on a solid granite slab for vibration isolation.
    • Soundsmith Otello
    The most recent addition to the setup. Amazed by the amount of detail and micro dynamics it's able to retrieve.
    • Border Patrol DAC SE
    D/A Conversion for the Node 2i and RCD-02 via SPDIF.
    • Bluesound Node 2i
    We enjoy streaming Qobuz, Spotify Connect, and a collection of downloads. Herbie’s Audio Lab Baby Booties offer support, and a simple cutting board to get the Node 2i off the rug.
    • Rotel RCD-02
    Picked up used for only $100 and it's a workhouse in the system. Analog out sounds terrific. Resting on Isonode feet on top of that classic Ikea "audiophile" chopping board.
    • Chord Electronics Ltd. Mojo
    D/A Conversion for the Node 2i -- For 24/192 files and headphone listening.
    • HiFi Man HE-300
    Open back headphones
    • Signal Cable Inc. Various Cables
    - Classic Speaker Cables
    - MagicPower power cord into the Obelisk
    - Digital Optical between the Node 2i and the Mojo
    - Silver Mini cable going from the Mojo into the Obelisk
    • AudioQuest Various Cables
    - NRG C7 power cable for the Node 2i
    - NRG-X power cable for the Rotel RCD-02
    - Sidewinder interconnects from the Node 2i (for when the Mojo is charging)
    - G-Snake interconnects from the Rotel RCD-02
    - Power cable and Coax for BorderPatrol DAC
    • AudioQuest PowerQuest 2
    Budget friendly power strip and conditioner. Love the handy USB port for charging the Chord Mojo. No wall wart needed.

Comments 19

Showing all comments by troutki50.

View all comments

Great, clean looking system!