Main system: standmount speakers, tube DAC, line stage, and amp; streamer and CD transport. Secondary amplification, solid state integrated amplifier.

Fall 2022 updates: Added a Schiit Bifrost 2/64 DAC and a 6SN7 DIY preamp. A Pass XA-25 amp now alternates with my QS mono blocks.

March 2022 updates: System now showing Ascend Acoustics Sierra Towers with RAAL tweeters and custom made audio rack from Clay Street Woodworks (Morrison, CO).

Spring 2021: Added photos with mixture of deflectors (boards), diffusors (GIK, bookshelves), absorbers (ATS, GIK), and bass traps (Real Traps), along with some DIY (utilizing OC 703, OC R38 pink fluffy).

Room Details

Dimensions: 35’ × 14’  Large
Ceiling: 7’

Components Toggle details

    • Quicksilver Line Stage Preamplifier
    2020 model.
    • Quicksilver Mono 60s
    2020 model.
    • Pass Labs XA-25
    Pass Labs XA-25 stereo amplifier.
    • Cambridge Audio CXC CD Transport: Version 1
    Purchased 2020 but v. 2 was out already.
    • MHDT Laboratory Orchid
    2020 model
    • Schiit Bifrost 2/64 DAC
    • Salk Sound SS-6M
    Designed and built in 2020.
    • REL R 328
    Purchased used, 2020.
    • Bluesound Node 2i
    2020 model
    • Acopian power supply feeding modified Node 2i Bluesound Node 2i
    I swapped in a power supply board from PD Creative and then added an Acopian power supply purchased on Ebay from Florida Industrial. Good deal and a real improvement.
    • Audience Adept Response AR-2p
    • Shunyata Research Venom Defender
    • Wiremold Legrand Power Strip
    Nothing fancy.
    • Porterhouse Audio Porter port
    Outlet plug.
    • Analysis Plus Inc. Copper Oval-In
    Various other AP wires, connects here.
    • AudioQuest Type 4 Speaker Cable
    • GIK Acoustics Tri Traps, HF Limited Bass Traps, Q7D Diffusors
    • RealTraps Mondo Traps
    • Ascend Acoustics Sierra Tower
    with RAAL tweeters

Comments 28

Nice job on the room treatments, I like the acoustic cloud you have hanging from the ceiling.


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@buellrider97 I am just about at the end of the trial period and will probably keep the Schiit Bifrost 2/64. At the moment, I'm hearing the two DACs as very similar in many ways; the tube DAC (with the present tube) is a touch softer in the mids, highs, and textures, but otherwise the main difference I'm hearing is that the silence around the Schiit means that sounds are better defined in the sound field and the separation between instruments is greater. As we might say of a good television, "the blacks are blacker." That's a step forward, as I hear things.


I see you’re trying a Schiit DAC . Maybe you could post some comments after review. I run a Gen 3 Yiggy fed from a Project Streambox Ultra II and I find it enjoyable. Unfortunately I’ve never owned a tube DAC and would love to hear your experience. Cheers , Mike B.


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@jond I have to say that the Ascend towers are really the best speaker's I've had in my system, which has had Salk SS 6M, Martin Logan XTi 60s, Fritz Carbon 7's and Carreras, Focal 836's, and Dynaudio Evoke 30's. They are sensitive enough for the tube amps and the tweeter located below the top driver is better for keeping highs from over brightness and for sound stage.


@hilde45 You posted a pic in a forum thread which led to me looking at your system again. Nice changes and I hope you're loving those Ascend towers!


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@lalitk Thank you so much! I've had a lot of fun experimenting with some very expertly crafted 6SN7 preamps and have also added a separate LPS to my Node. Things are sounding very good to me.


 @hilde45, WOW!!! It’s been a while I visited your sanctuary. What a transformation, kudos to you. I bet you’re enjoying the musical bliss :-)


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@jtcf Thanks for your comment. I really like the Ascends a lot. They're an excellent value. Those tweeters are very subtle and the company is completely professional and offers great value.


Just checking out your room today, finally:-) Looks great!The rack is really sharp and positioned wisely.
 Are you still liking the Ascends?


I particularly love the look of the Salks with the stands, classy.


Wonderful system great room enjoy.


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Thanks denverfred! Can't wait until Denver opens up again -- see you around!


Good work Hilde! Nothing works quite as well as keeping it simple and going for quality.


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Thanks, Technick and b_limo. Don Sachs makes great, great stuff. Glad to hear it pairs well with QS because I could imagine trying a preamp of his. Or a deHavilland.


Beautiful rig, man! Quicksilver stuff is great. I own a pair of mid monos and had a Don Sachs preamp and a Tavish phono, and I love it. 
That diagram of your listening space is very well done. Cool playlist too! 
Bravo on all fronts! Enjoy your rig, dude! It’s a beaut! 


Hey Bro, the systems lookin’ great!  Quite the journey we’ve both been on over the past year.  I remember when we first started talking and you were were considering the wow1.  The wow1 might be the best bargain I’ve come across with regards to driver cost vs selling price.  Just off the charts with the wow1.

Anyhow, congrats on putting together a really nice system.  I bet when you started this journey, you didn’t plan on having something like you’ve got now.  I sure didn’t think my rig would be where it’s at now after just 1 year.

Not much else to do now except to enjoy the music and share the knowledge you’ve gained.  Enjoy!


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I'm just seeing the comments here on this page -- was viewing them on thread before.
Thanks to all for your nice comments. For the few questions, let me try to answer...

@jond The Salks are 14 inches deep: 20x14x9, overall.

@douglas I keep the speakers at a fairly wide separation -- 8-9 feet apart. They're only closer here so they can fit into the photo.

@fatdaddy2 Thanks -- there is really no first reflection with sidewalls with these Salks. The problem (if I can call it that) is the low ceiling.

@el34 I did a little research and cannot easily determine if they are transmission line speakers. They're front ported for sure -- maybe that implies they are transmission lines? Out of my depth here.

@toro3 Glad the playlist and diagram were good additions. It's quite hard for us to project ourselves into another's system with photos of gear; I was hoping that some additional elements might offer some insight into what I chose.


Nice system! Love the exposed brick and those Salks look cool, are they as deep as they appear in your photo?


Congratulations! Nice advancement of the rig! 

You have changed the speaker location significantly. Have you tried to return to the wider placement? Why not have two "settings" for different experiences? :) 


Nice job setting up a good nearfieod arrangement within a particularly difficult acoustic space!  I'm using Salk Veracity's in my den system, so know how special those Salks can sound.  Enjoy!


Great room and system!  Happy Listening!


Very nicely and thoughtfully put system. Congratulations! I am sure you are having tons of fun listening to it.


Looks excellent. Enjoy the heck out of it!


Near field listening, nice work.


Well done, looks great!!

Enjoy in good health, 


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