I'm no longer really a "naimnut". Eight years ago I replaced my Apogee Centaurus Minor speakers with Quad ESL 63s. That was the beginning of massive changes in my system. First to go were the Naim 135s, replaced by an Innersound Electrostatic amplifier. The Naim 82 preamp/hicap was replaced by the Supratek Cortese preamp. I enjoyed the Naim equipment for several decades but now I really appreciate tubes. Especially the 300B.

I have enjoyed learning about the Jazz Kissaten in Japan. Now it seems I've basically created my own private Jazz Kissa in my current listening room. This is where I write.

Room Details

Dimensions: 24’ × 15’  Large
Ceiling: 8’

Components Toggle details

    • Garrard 401
    Garrard 401 in Baltic Birch plywood plinth. I've gone for a quasi-Scandinavian appearance with minimal stain.
    • Jelco 750L tonearm
    12 inch Jelco tonearm
    • Ortofon Royal G Mk.II
    Wow. Just got this to replace the Shelter. I really liked the Shelter 901 but I happened to switch back to my Dynavector 17D3 for a while and it sounded great.
    I've always been curious about the SPU cartridges. I *really* like this cartridge. This is the best cartridge I've ever owned. Amazing slam, detail, tonality and timbre.
    • Naim Audio CD 3.5 cd player
    Nice cd player. It's back in the system because of its ability to read a home-brew cd compilation from my brother that the Cambridge CXC couldn't read.
    • Linn LP-12 Sondek Ittok
    Late '80s model. No Lingo, No Cirkus. Still a very musical turntable/tonearm combination. Typically used with a Dynavector 17D3 phono cartridge.
    • Supratek Audio Cortese with LCR phono stage
    All tube, point-to-point hard-wired, tube-rectified, tube-regulated preamp. Currently running one Tungsol round plate & one other vintage 6SN7. Often have been running CBS 5692 (right? memory hazy this morning) mil-spec red-base 6SN7s.
    • Quad ESL-2805
    Fully serviced by Ken McCollum, owner of Electrostatic Solutions. Most recent service was on-site here in my listening room. My advice, even with the original Quad shipping boxes don't trust your Quads to UPS or FedEx. They don't treat them the way you want.
    • Audio Electronic Supply SE-1
    Modified 300B power amp. This unit has the Dennis Had conceived pre-driver modification where the 6SL7 is replaced with a 12AU7 driving a 6SN7. Wonderful sound from a comparatively humble stereo power amp. Solid state rectified. JJ 300Bs sound great. Haven't rolled any other types of 300Bs.
    • Quad 909
    Wonderful solid state power amp. Perfect match to the Quad 2805 speakers because it's designed to work properly with the 2805s "crowbar" protection circuit.
    • Nakamichi CassetteDeck 2
    Good sounding unit. Serviced. Reliable.
    • Sony 2251 turntable
    Nice unit but it appears to me that Sony compromised when they decided where to locate the tonearm pillar because I'm not able to obtain a proper Baerwald or Lofgren alignment.
    • JBL 4430
    Vintage studio monitors. 93dB efficient. Very nice speakers. Cabinets show some wear and tear.
    • MHDT Laboratory Orchid
    Tube-buffered R-to-R DAC using the venerable Philips TD 1541A chip. I'm using a tube adapter to allow substitution of a Amperex 6DJ8 Bugle Boy in place of the standard GE 5670.
    • Vinyl records Vinyl records
    Approximately 4,500 phono albums.
    • Yeti Goal Zero 1250
    Lead acid battery generator. Reduces the noise floor to nothing by generating a perfect 60Hz sine wave.
    • Cambridge Audio CXC CD Transport:
    Works well. Simple. I'm not crazy about the way the plastic drawer goes in and out. Also, I wish there was a feature that enabled me to brighten the fairly dim display. But I'm guessing the dimness of the display will help guarantee its' longevity.
    • Quickmill Lucca M-58 Espresso machine
    Required equipment

Comments 13

Nice kit!

I have the same espresso machine…


Nice setup. A Jelco 850 will move things up a notch.


Thanks for your kind comments. Frankly, the Quad ESL 63s were simply far superior to the Apogees. The Centaurus Minors I had were good sounding speakers for the money. The Quads are simply in a different league.

Regarding the big changes - many factors.
1. Long ago I was able to compare my Naim 72 preamp to a First Sound passive preamp. I was amazed at how much more transparent the First Sound was. The Naim was rolled off at the frequency extremes. In spite of that, I live contentedly for several decades gradually upgrading through the Naim hierarchy. But I felt there was more out there beyond Naim. The Innersound Electrostatic amplifier I bought a little while after I got my ESL63s showed me the limitations of the Naim 135s. The Naims were good. The Innersound was simply better. Clearer. More performance-transparent. :^)

@toro3 Thanks man. You appear to be a person of extreme sensitivity, keen perception and fine judgement! Wish we could share a cup of coffee and listen to to some tunes. ;>) 

Thanks, also for your comments. Yes, I switch between the two systems at will. Neither is perfect but each has something to offer. Regarding the impact of the filled Expedit shelves on the sound... I'm not really sure. I've probably got about 55 inches between the back of the Quads and the shelves. And the shelves are, I think, 15 inches deep. And I listen primarily in the near field.

@jmalen123 Thanks man. I appreciate your comments.

@robert53 Thank you. 

@jond Thanks man. You are kind.

You are all so kind to check out my system. Hope you are having a great holiday.



Very sweet system & music room 

What made you switch from the apogee to Quad?  And associated sound differences ? 
Usually a naim guy, they seem to stay that way 

What caused the big change ? 

You are a true music lover ……



Espresso, MHDT, Supratek = my kind of virtual system.

Ag insider logo xs@2xtoro3

Wonderful set up!

Am I correct to assume that you're switching between 2 systems... Quad 909 + Quad ESL-2805 (86dB) and Audio Electronic Supply SE-1 + JBL 4430 (93dB)?

2 of my friends have the Supratek Cabernet and both sound great in their systems, Mick makes excellent preamps.

Impressive vinyl collection! think you beat me... not by much though ;) I've actually been thinking of adding some extra Ikea Kallax shelves on the wall behind the speakers... how do you find they impact diffusion when filled with records?

Ever tried playing RTR tapes?

Cheers, enjoy the music :)

Ps: love the espresso machine!


Your system and room looks like something that belongs to someone who truly loves the music.


Very nice! Enjoy!


@pgaulke60 Those are Ikea Expedit shelves. Don't know if they still sell them. They might have been replaced by something similar.

I am thinking of looking on Craigslist for some used ones to supplement the ones I have.


With my Naim system I mainly used Apogee Centaurus Minors. I also used Linn Sara 9's. The Apogees were very good for what they did and very good value for the money.


What speakers were you using with your Naim system please?


What record cabinets do you use?


Awesome system Markus! Love the whole room and vibe killer system, love quads, tubes and old JBLs. And great record storage and espresso machines!


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