I have had a few nice systems in my life, beginning from age 19. My system during my mid 20s to late 30s was by far my biggest and most powerful. I then developed a home theater system after having children which seemed to make the most sense at the time. But I sure miss those Accuphase components I had in that big system. Since retiring from the workforce 3 years ago I began building a new system for the sake of higher resolution and tonal balance. I have gone through a few changes in the process and still have another on the near horizon; changing speakers. The reason is that I had begun with a solid state amp (BAT VK-255SE) which drove the Dynaudio Contour 60i speakers very effectively. However, I decided to change to tube amplification and realized that I would likely need to change the speakers by doing so. Though the BAT VK-90T can certainly drive them, I am missing the bass slam that a more efficient and higher impedance set of speakers will provide when driven by this amp. I am presently seriously considering Daedalus Audio speakers, model Apollo 11, and will soon be flying to Washington state to visit with the owner of Daedalus and audition the speakers. If I buy Daedalus Audio speakers the lead time to finish the order is around 4 months. I will update the pictures for my system after taking delivery.
In the meantime I can certainly say this has been a very fun venture and the system is the most resolving I have ever owned. The backdrop you see is zebra wood which I had built some time ago. The floating shelf supports the OLED TV and for an audio session I place a treatment panel in front of the TV (as shown in the pictures). The cabinetry below the shelf, also floating, supports a sound bar for daily TV use and there is a center-channel behind the speaker grill in the center. Though I didn't add pictures of my theater components I do have that element for the entire system. In a separate cabinet, on a separate AC circuit, is a Marantz pre/pro, 7-channel amp, BDP, and all are connected to an Audioquest Niagara 1200 power conditioner. When playing movies I send the main R/L from the pre/pro into an input on the BAT preamp and have it set as unity gain. I have effects speakers in-wall for sides, rears, and overheads.
Other room treatments are the standup one from GIK that you see in front of the fireplace (I remove that along with the one in front of the TV when not listening to music), the GIK art panel you see on the left wall (both of these address first reflections), and there is another art panel not shown in these pictures that is to the right of the fireplace. I have GIK corner bass traps to address the subwoofer. These GIK room treatments made a very good improvement to sound quality and I am glad to have added them as a component to my system. Concrete floor, pad and pile carpet, and heavy furniture fill in as the rest of my room treatments. It's a house with a family room that must serve multi purposes. I wish that I had a dedicated listening room, but I don't.
What really works well for me is that the electronics are in a separate room which is the other side of the wall with the zebra wood. I have a dedicated 20 amp circuit in that room for the music system. The Niagara 3000 is connected to that and all music system components are powered through it. Speaker cables pass through nicely finished portholes in the baseboards. This provides an uncluttered listening environment for the family room. It also passes the WAF and maintains a good living relationship. The theater components are on a separate circuit and I have an Audioquest 1200 power conditioner for them.
Well, I will follow up once I get the new speakers and report on just how well they work with my system. I really do believe that will satisfy my goal for a more natural tonal and timbral balance.