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.

Room Details

Dimensions: 25’ × 14’  Large
Ceiling: 8’

Components Toggle details

    • Balanced Audio Technology VK-33SE
    • Balanced Audio Technology VK-90T
    Main power amp
    • Manley Chinook
    Phono stage
    • Rega Planar 10
    • Lyra Delos
    Phono cartridge
    • AudioQuest Niagara 3000
    Power Conditioner
    • Dynaudio Contour 60i
    Main speakers
    • REL Acoustics S-812
    Powered subwoofer
    • AudioQuest Earth
    Signal cables throughout the system.
    • AudioQuest Tornado
    Power cable, High-Current and Source, throughout the system.
    • AudioQuest William Tell Zero
    Speaker cables, for main speakers.
    • AudioQuest Rocket 88
    REL specific, Audioquest cable for REL high-level/Neutrix connection.
    • Symposium Acoustics Foundation Rack Ultra
    Main system rack.
    • Symposium Acoustics Ultra Pro Ampstand, Stealth.
    Ampstand for VK-90T main amp.
    • Symposium Acoustics Rollerblock Jr. HDSE
    These are under all electronics components and turntable.
    • Nitty Gritty Model 2.0
    Vacuum RCM
    • Degritter Degritter
    Ultra Sonic RCM

Comments 17

Ok, don’t lie… did you buy that fish just for the photo??




The Ultra Pro Ampstand  comes with "Terminator Cone Feet" (that's the name Symposium specifies them as).  They are made of 6061 aluminum and screw into threaded, machined holes in the platform. The cones have threaded Tellurium copper spikes in each.  This unit is 18" X 24" and weighs 35 lb.  The top has 3-layer of anodized aluminum which provides an excellent mechanical ground for vibration drainage into the constrain-layer design of the platform.  I use the Symposium Rollerblock Jr. HDSE under the amp which couples the amp to the ampstand for vibration drainage.
Long-winded answer, but I hope that provides a thorough explanation.


What feet are you using under the Ultra amp platform?


Everything neat and tidy. Love it!


Wow this is impressive.  And what a great description Joel.  Very sweet.


Awesome system Joel! Beautiful & well organized.


awesome groove !


If you buy a receiva, you can also listen to the tuna.


Fantastic Joel, looks great! And the BAT’s are indeed beautiful, and I’m sure sound even better. Congrats man 👍🏼


I'm hooked!


Very fishy system.


Nice fish!


Country Joe would be proud Joel ;-)


Thanks guys.  It's the biggest yellowtail I have ever caught and one of the bigger ones of the So Cal fishing grounds.  And they are very tasty, too.  I'll get the system pictures up sometime soon.  It's about on par with the yellowtail. LOL...  But I'm not done with it.  As it turns out I am not satisfied with the speakers I bought last year.  I am in discussion now with Lou Hinkley of Daedalus Audio and am seriously considering placing my order for a set of his Apollo 11 speakers.  I believe those will be a much better match for my recent acquisition of a tube amplifier.  Sensitivity and impedance are not well matched with my present speakers and amp.  However, I'll get the system pictures up and then make the adjustment after the next set of speakers arrive.  They are built to order and the lead time is at least 4 months so I may as well get the system posted up in the meantime.  Thanks again for the nice comments on my fish.


That's a helluva big fish! Expecting a big system to follow! ;)


great fish Joel ! living the dream dude.


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