Description

My modest but very nice sounding system. As this is a living room and listening room, it combines both 2-channel and HT. The HT set-up is completely separated from 2 channel listening as the 2 channel Belles Aria Signature pre has an HT pass-thru. The Vandy Treo’s are driven by the Belles MB200’s, even in HT mode. My two subs are connected directly to the each of the Belles MB200 in stereo mode, thus no LFE. Vandersteen 2CE Sigs are my rear speakers. HT is not really ‘critical’ at all for me. My concentration is 99% 2 channel, and those components, especially the vinyl rig.
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Room Details

Dimensions: 17’ × 12’  Medium
Ceiling: 8’


Components Toggle details

    • Vandersteen Treo
    Non-CT version.
    • Vandersteen 2ce Signature
    My rear speakers in HT. A bit of overkill, but sound great.
    • Elac Debut 2.0 Center
    Center speaker
    • Belles Aria Signature Preamp
    New 1/22. Very little info on this, but a wonderful preamp. Has broken in nicely.
    • Power Modules MB-200
    Belles mono block amps. 200wpc of the wonderful David Belles sound.
    • Hagerman Trumpet MC
    Tube Phono Pre with two CBS-Hytron 5814A in the au7’ sockets, and four Dynaco/Telefunken smooth plate ax7’s. Now powered by a SBooster power supply. Sweet.
    • Sbooster BOTW P&P ECO MKII 15-16V
    Power supply for the Hagerman Trumpet phono pre
    • SOTA Sapphire sIII
    Turntable
    • Jelco TK-850s MKII
    Arm
    • Soundsmith Zephyr MIMC
    Lo version of the Zephyr. .4mV output

    Main cart
    • Soundsmith Zephyr III
    Back-up #1
    • Goldring G-1042
    Back-up #2
    • Grado Prestige Red w/8mz stylus
    Back-up #3, boxed, unused
    • Ortofon 2M Mono
    Mono cart
    • iFi Audio Zen Stream
    Streamer only. Nice unit, great sound.
    • iFi Audio iPower
    iPower X used to power my iFi Zen Stream
    • Denafrips Ares II
    ‘Ladder’ DAC
    • Audiolab 6000CDT
    CD Transport. Very nice improvement over the Yamaha Blu-Ray I was using as a transport prior.
    • Nakamichi CR-1a
    Tape deck
    • Yamaha RX-V781
    AV receiver
    • AudioQuest Comet bi-wire
    These were literally ‘thrown-in’ with my Treo purchase, which was quite a deal. Running them installed right now. Sound very nice.
    • Western Electric 10 awg bi-wire speaker cables. 1950’s NOS
    Custom made for me. Had these hooked-up to my Vandersteen 2CE Sigs, and recently the Treo’s. ‘Sitting on the sidelines’ right now while I check out the AudioQuest Comet set.
    • Western Electric 10’ 22 awg interconnects. 1940’s NOS
    Custom made for me. Belles Aria Sig preamp to Belles MB-200 mono blocks.
    • Audio Envy Studio Prestige
    Interconnects - 3 sets

    Phono Pre to Preamp
    Nak Tape Deck to Preamp
    • Silnote Audio Morpheus Classic Reference
    Interconnects

    DAC to Preamp
    • Silnote Audio Morpheus Digital Reference
    Digital cable

    Blu-ray/CD player to DAC
    • XLO Electric UltraPlus
    USB Cable. Steamer to DAC
    • Chord Electronics Ltd. Crimson Vee 3
    Interconnects

    AVR pre-out to Preamp
    • BIC America F-12 Subs
    2 - Connected in stereo via Belles amp. Cheap but powerful subs. Ports stuffed with foam in order to work with the mains. All crossover and gain settings at the Subs.
    • Bellari Audio HA540 Headphone amp
    I hardly ever use headphones really, but as my Belles Aria Signature preamp has no headphone amp/jack, I purchased this simple tube headphone amp for those rare times I do. Replaced the stock 12AX7 tube with a RAM EI smooth plate, made on Telefunfen machinery. Pretty good deal for a smooth plate very similar to a Telefunken. Doesn’t sound too bad really. This is the earlier version of this amp.
    • Grado SR325
    Headphones
    • Record Doctor VI
    Vacuum record cleaner

Comments 44

128x128
Owner
Thanks Bill! The Treo’s are indeed special. Thought I’d miss my 2CE Sigs, but, albeit they are also great, not so much 😉

Thanks for stopping by

bkeske

128x128

Brian, your speakers look great and must sound lovely. Congrats! Good to see the analog and LP’s. You’ve got a comfortable room vibe going on for sure. Cheers!

Bill

bslon

128x128
Owner
Thanks Brian, sounding very good as well. Now if that new Belles preamp would show up... ;-)

bkeske

128x128
Revisiting to see the new Vandys! Congrats! Looks great.

noromance

128x128
Owner
@alan2 

Thanks Alan, your 5’s look great!

bkeske

222222&text=al
LQQKING GOOD!!!

alan2

128x128
Owner
@troutki50 

Thank you, as does yours. Good to see another with a dual purpose room.

bkeske

222222&text=tr
Looks great!

troutki50

128x128
Owner
@baylinor 

Agreed. As you can see, my room is naturally damped with rugs and furniture, so the little absorption I use works to tame a bit. This was a matter of a few days of trail and error, and listening. I also found that for me, diffusion was much more important. Not perfect by any means, but much better than without either.

bkeske

128x128
My experience was starting with a 90%/10% absorbers/ diffusers ratio which killed all echoes but rendered the sound way too lifeless. The later addition of multiple diffusers bringing the square footage absorbers/diffusers to a 55%/45% ratio brought back all the liveliness and still produces no echoes. Point being diffusers do widen the soundstage but they do much more than that. The acoustic treatment road is a tough journey but highly recommended.

baylinor

128x128
Owner
@baylinor 

Yep, when I was playing around with some absorption and diffusion within my room, that made a pretty big difference in the soundstage. I learned real quick that a 'hole' in between the speakers is not a good idea.

bkeske

128x128
Fireplace between the speakers, not ideal. Diffuser blocking it, great idea.

baylinor

128x128
Owner
Thank you very much. Yep, the Belles is special to me. I probably won’t hesitate to refurbish it when necessary. For a bi-polar amp design, it sure sounds more like a mosfet amp. David is amazing, and I’m proud to have one of his earlier efforts.

bkeske

222222&text=gr
Beautiful system, love the room and furniture, Belles sure do make great amps, have a SA 30 class A myself, great sounding.

gryphongryph

128x128
Owner
New speakers? Blasphemy Brian! 😁 Unless we are taking Quatros or 5’s 👍🏼

Thanks man.

bkeske

128x128
Hey Brian. Dropped by to check out your place. Looks very comfy! Great to see the Jelco 850 and Nobby springs in use. If I may: new speakers might be next.

noromance

128x128
Owner
@rello 

I would have to hunt that info down. I know I looked at tons of them on various sites before finding that one, and purchasing it. Yes, the frame is partially welded but the front, back, and sides, actually bolt together.

bkeske

128x128
Owner
@pgaulke60 

Those are actually 3D architectural tiles I found, and use them (attached together) for diffusion. I painted those so they blended/disappeared a bit better over the fireplace opening. Can be taken off easy enough to use the fireplace as well, but, since I put the Belles on the hearth, that didn’t happen last year.

They work really well, and helped out the soundstage and imaging instead of being ‘sucked into’ the fireplace opening (which only has a mesh screen over it).

bkeske

222222&text=pg
What is that insert in the fireplace.  Looks pretty cool.

pgaulke60

222222&text=re
Thank you for the reply on the rack. It looks to be a fully welded frame.  I like the wood shelves too. Which site did you purchase from?   Thanks again

rello

128x128
Owner
Thank you Joel, I am indeed. As Jim would say, ‘fun’, and that’s what it is all about. 😉

bkeske

128x128
👍👍
Fantastic Brian!  I love the SOTA.  Have fun with the Trumpet phono stage, rolling tubes.  Enjoy the system in good health.

mammothguy54

128x128
Owner
Hi rello, the rack is a non-audiophile rack that I purchased on-line through a home furnishing site. It is pretty well made actually, heavy, with a metal frame and wood shelves. It does the job I need it to do, and fits into my overall eclectic decor.

bkeske

128x128
Owner
Thank you Robert, yes, I also love my SOTA. Incredible table.

bkeske

222222&text=re
Nice setup. I really like the audio rack. Can you comment on it. ?  Thank you.

rello

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