Note: our music room (the living room at the front of our 1898 frame “historic” home) is 15.5 by 12.5 but the computer would not accept the fractions; and the room is open, the music is not confined
Building out our evolving system the last three years has been nothing but fun and interestingly our taste in music has evolved too. We always liked classical music, but classical music (including opera) is now 75% of our listening, if not more, which is a long way from our rock-n-roll days. Opera in particular benefits from a better system. We went all digital as we sold our old scratchy vinyl at least 30 years ago and don’t see how we could possibly replicate the thousands of albums we have enjoyed on Qobuz since starting this adventure. We initially bought an Oppo 205 to play CDs and SACD but it couldn’t compete against streaming once we upgraded our DAC, and so we used a professional service to “rip” our discs and they now live happily on our Statement (and the Oppo has moved over to our TV system, where it belongs, to play Blue Rays). I recognize our comfy old 1898 home might not be exactly an audiophile’s dream but we probably aren’t moving. The pro’s that sold us our first system placed the speakers for the music to flow through the home. I think we made the right choice.
Someone whose opinion I highly respect, the president of D’Agostino amps, told me that sooner or later, the law of diminishing returns sets in, and it’s time to declare victory. If we had to declare victory today, I think we would be very happy ... but heck, it’s more fun planning the next move.
Lastly, I am not sure if it’s okay to give commercials to dealers here, but until they come to “cancel” me, I will say thank you to Jamie at F1 Audio near Chicago for pointing us in the right direction and being fair to deal with.
We added the Nucleus upon realizing the Statement by Innous was not the best Core (Innous told us that would happen, in all fairness). The Roon sits in the back of our house next to our cable Internet source, which is close to our separate TV system (surround sound driven by Bose Select). We run an Ethernet cable through the floor, across the basement ceiling, to where it resurfaces behind our rack and enters the Statement.
“What We Make” custom built 5 shelve audio rack
We bought this rack through our dealer that sold us the D’AG which sits proudly on the top. The Bricasti and the PowerCell occupy one shelf each, but the Statement occupies two shelves, the server itself and its dedicated power source, as we failed to anticipate we would purchase something the height of the Statement when we accepted the dealer’s drawing of the rack and its proposed dimensions.
Synergistic Research PowerCell SX
Also purchased online on Audiogon from a reputable dealer in Los Angeles as an upgrade from the entry level Transparent power source.
MJ Acoustics Kensington Subwoofer
We purchased the Kensington before we purchased The Music in an effort to “close the gap” between The Kiss and The Music. We had similarly purchased a pair of super tweeters hoping to close that gap, but sold the super tweeters on Audiogon after we purchased The Music. The Kensington remains in our system but we are offering it for sale on Audiogon.
Bricasti Design M1 Gold Edition DAC (upgraded in 2021 by the manufacturer)
We found this very special DAC on Audiogon and upgraded from an entry level DAC, then took advantage of the manufacturer’s upgrade offer at the beginning of 2021. The upgrade was a noticeable improvement (just as the Bricasti itself was noticeably better than our original DAC).
D’Agostino Momentum Integrated Amp
We went the “integrated” route in substantial part due to space limits, and rack limits, and that our “member of the family” dog has free run of the room including the right to curl up on the floor behind the speakers and would no doubt enjoy climbing on mono-bloc amps if we had them. Like our speakers, the D’AG is our second integrated amp. We upgraded from a very good entry level integrated amp that we started with three years ago, upgrading the amp, the speakers, the DAC and the power conditioner last year (pretty much a complete do-over).
Innuos The Statement
We upgraded to the Statement as our server and streamer, and Roon End Point. It is an awesome product, but it is not ideal as Room Core.
Vienna Acoustics The Music
Our pride and joy speakers. We started with The Kiss from Vienna then upgraded buying The Music online as dealer demos. It’s fairly obvious Vienna doesn’t market as well as other brands, and they don’t seem to be in any rush to bring out newer models, but it was listening to some Vienna’s at a friend’s home a few years back that got us on the road towards this hobby. We are very glad we found this brand.
Because our Statement needs two shelves, due to poor planning when we designed our Rack, the umbilical cord supplied by the manufacturer isn’t long enough. They offer a longer cord but it is pricey. We improvised by placing The Statement on this block.
Synergistic Research SRX PowerCord
We upgraded to this power cord when we purchased the related power cell on Audiogon from a dealer in Los Angeles.
Transparent Audio Premium USB Digital
Connecting the Statement to the Bricasti DAC
Transparent Audio HP 122 speaker cable
Our speaker cables were professionally installed when we purchased our initial system. They run through the floor across the basement ceiling, where they are T-Boned so the length to each speaker is identical.
Transparent Audio Plus balanced interconnects
Connecting the DAC to the D’AG
Transparent Audio Reference Power Cord
Connecting the D’AG to the SRX Power Cell
CAT 7 Ethernet Cable
Running long distance from Roon Nucleus to the Statement.