How I built my system

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How I built my system

Postby TheAnalogSource » Fri Jun 20, 2008 7:38 am

please post how you built your system. logic behind and order of acquisition of components. strength and weaknesses. how happy are you now. what's your next upgrades and why.

btw.... im using the past tense... because im assuming that your system ugrade is done... or... so you wish :D
Last edited by TheAnalogSource on Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Jon Agner » Fri Jun 20, 2008 9:37 am

I guess I already posted mine here:

http://wiredstate.com/forum/viewtopic.p ... &start=360

Happy? :D :D :D :D :D

My missing link would be a SUT for my MC :D

Image

As far as upgrades are concerned.... I don't know :D For me, my taste for music may change in the future, a change which may require me to put another system altogether that will suit the music. :D
Last edited by Jon Agner on Fri Jun 20, 2008 10:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Superman » Fri Jun 20, 2008 9:56 am

For me, it was always trial and error at the start (kaya medyo expensive because if it didn't match, I had to dispose)...however, I have learned so much from fellow members like stereophile, jon agner, etc. and finally found the synergy that I've wanted (at least for now)...I have always dreamed of having a Conrad Johnson Amp and Pre-Amp...also a nice TT system (I am happy w/ my VPI/Rega/Denon combo)...and after being blessed w/ the Denon AU-320 SUT, I believe almost complete na :D
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Postby pigdog » Fri Jun 20, 2008 10:34 am

pssst you have not reach the SET heaven yet Bub! hehehehe
Superman wrote:For me, it was always trial and error at the start (kaya medyo expensive because if it didn't match, I had to dispose)...however, I have learned so much from fellow members like stereophile, jon agner, etc. and finally found the synergy that I've wanted (at least for now)...I have always dreamed of having a Conrad Johnson Amp and Pre-Amp...also a nice TT system (I am happy w/ my VPI/Rega/Denon combo)...and after being blessed w/ the Denon AU-320 SUT, I believe almost complete na :D
:twisted:
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Postby Superman » Fri Jun 20, 2008 10:36 am

pigdog wrote:pssst you have not reach the SET heaven yet Bub! hehehehe
Superman wrote:For me, it was always trial and error at the start (kaya medyo expensive because if it didn't match, I had to dispose)...however, I have learned so much from fellow members like stereophile, jon agner, etc. and finally found the synergy that I've wanted (at least for now)...I have always dreamed of having a Conrad Johnson Amp and Pre-Amp...also a nice TT system (I am happy w/ my VPI/Rega/Denon combo)...and after being blessed w/ the Denon AU-320 SUT, I believe almost complete na :D
:twisted:


:twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
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Postby ESaudio » Fri Jun 20, 2008 10:47 am

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Postby Jon Agner » Fri Jun 20, 2008 10:59 am

pigdog wrote:pssst you have not reach the SET heaven yet Bub! hehehehe
Superman wrote:For me, it was always trial and error at the start (kaya medyo expensive because if it didn't match, I had to dispose)...however, I have learned so much from fellow members like stereophile, jon agner, etc. and finally found the synergy that I've wanted (at least for now)...I have always dreamed of having a Conrad Johnson Amp and Pre-Amp...also a nice TT system (I am happy w/ my VPI/Rega/Denon combo)...and after being blessed w/ the Denon AU-320 SUT, I believe almost complete na :D
:twisted:


Ches,

The Man of Steel went forward to the SET evolution.... then evolved back to push pull :wink: :D
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Postby pigdog » Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:02 am

actually i stand between SET and PP as i think both systems have thier own benefits. after three weeks on the road i got back to HK and enjoyed my music, only to experience soem problems with my SET, had to have it fixed and in the meantime i set up a back up PP amp by rogers which i never really used, rather amazed at the sonic qualities of this little monster and to think i paid only GBP50 for it! the shipping from england was more expensive!
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Postby pigdog » Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:04 am

hahah Jen maybe its time to go HORNY with SET! sige na! its sulsul time! hehehe come to the Dark side! Horn speakers with flea powered Single ended amps vintage ttable ala garrard! we know you want too! hehehehehe
Superman wrote:
pigdog wrote:pssst you have not reach the SET heaven yet Bub! hehehehe
Superman wrote:For me, it was always trial and error at the start (kaya medyo expensive because if it didn't match, I had to dispose)...however, I have learned so much from fellow members like stereophile, jon agner, etc. and finally found the synergy that I've wanted (at least for now)...I have always dreamed of having a Conrad Johnson Amp and Pre-Amp...also a nice TT system (I am happy w/ my VPI/Rega/Denon combo)...and after being blessed w/ the Denon AU-320 SUT, I believe almost complete na :D
:twisted:


:twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
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Postby TheAnalogSource » Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:09 am

my current system was built around my speaker - a remnant of 10 years forgotten hobby.

Dynaudio Audience 8 - Got it from a friend long time ago. Around mid90s, i was about to upgrade my wharfdale to a bnw 600 series floorstander because the former was not bass-heavy. Listenning Room had me auditioned this then-not-so-known brand. The tone-quality is very much the same as the BNW at i think half the price. So i end up getting a bookshelf. Couple of years later, got the floorstander from a friend who went HT-heavy. Then, my idea is that the speakers should be the heart of the system. It will make or break your listenning pleasure. So, its very important that the its tonal quality is to your liking. As with the audience 8, its not bright, just a bit of sparkle. Bass heavy and deep, not soft and muddy. Will be tighter if you put in the porthole plug. I did not bother about mids then as im more into pop and dance music then. Today, im still thinking how lucky i am to get this brand. the mids of this speakers (now a primary concern) are already above average. Its strength is on the male vocals where i think is more solid than others ive heard.

10 years later ... time to upgrade....

power amp - Classe. So many write-ups as well as listenning session leads me to target just one amp for the dynes. Very well matched as in just enough power for what the speaker needs. Or so i think it is because i cant yet afford the 10x more expensive ML amps :cry: Of course, a larger power amp is something to look forward to... as they say... there is no such thing as too much power. :D

pre-amp. ARC LS-1. Got it at a bargain post here at WS. Although ive been hanging around at sensible and been salivating at those ARC gears. My target was the SP-9 which is the least expensive in the lot until the opportunity came along. Why an ARC? I use a NAD integrated as pre-amp then... however, it seems that for different kind of music played - i need to adjust the tone controls in order to get the right sound. Until i installed the LS-1. Eh wala naman tone controls eto so wala ako maadjust but it seems that the tone-quality is just about right in anything i play on it. I believe that the pre-amp will be the one to give the flavor to your system. i have 2 other brand tubes for tube-rolling but havent touch it yet.

happy? yes
satisfied? yes. dapat lang. la na rin akong pang-upgrade :cry: :lol:

next upgrade - all tube power amp (ARC-pref) to drive my bookshelf dyne for a different flava. also thinking if i could place the bookshelf inverted on top of the floorstander for that d'appolitto configuration. not much because of sonic improvement but more of pangporma lang. 8)

to follow na lang un analog frontend... im still experimenting and tweaking but at this time, i think i have an acceptable frontend already :D
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Postby stereophile » Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:29 am

I believe it's a process/journey we started, as to the ending....

During my high school and college days, we had an all SONY hifi system at home: ttable, receiver, cassette player & speakers. Analog was slowly loosing ground to the CD forever revolution. I had a few local records. During med school, my mother 'disposed' our hifi system, preferring the smaller footprint of an all mini-compo SONY boxes. :( It could never capture the huge sound I was used to. I finished residency, went to the US for additional training. I got back to start practice, got married and had kids. I took up golf for a hobby. One of my MD buddies started me off into HT. That was fine. It was for the family.

It all began for me when I bought a pair of Acoustic Energy AE109 spkrs for my HT fronts from my friend Ninja. When I realized that my family didn't 'need' the speakers for their usual dvd viewing, the AE109s were 'set-free'. :D

My very first audio set-up circa 2001 consisted of ARC LS-2, MF XA-200 monos, Rotel 971 cdp and trhe AE-109s. ICs & speaker wires were mostly Ixus brand. At that point in time, a digital front was fine because I had about 1000pcs of original cds of mixed genre. Next addition to my system was a MF X-10D to give it a tubey sound. As you can surmise, I built the system around the speakers.

It should have been an ok system to hold onto for sometime. Problem was, my friend Ninja, knew another friend(Yucca) who was disposing electrostatic speakers... :shock: I was just planning to audition them at his place with my friend Ninja. When I first saw them....WOW :!: :shock: The Martin Logan Aerius i's were beautiful to look at. They didn't have that look of box speakers. When we started to play them, I realized how different electrostats image vs cones. Magical. After a scrumptiously delicious home cooked meal by his wife, I closed the deal and brought them home. They have remained with me since.

Expensive problems occur when you hang out in the wrong places. For me it was The Home Theater of Sonny Tuazon. :roll: :wink: AT the time he was always playing his Signature VAC 70 wpc 300B amp. Lovely, but too pricey for me. One day, it wasn't the VAC playing. It was a CJ MV-55 with matching PV10-AL pre. 'Patay ako dito' I muttered to myself. :( If I remember, they were hooked up to a pair of ProAC Tablette 2000 bookshelf speakers. After a bit of checkbook balancing, I brought them home. I wondered how I could keep the mrs. from noticing the addition... :?

Let me get to the point, with it's gold fascia and tubes sticking out: "What is that?" was the line that came from her when Sonny delivered the CJ combo. It simply had no chance of slipping in quietly. "What about your cylindrical amps?" :? I replied quickly: "I'm letting them go to offset the CJs ..." Napilitan tuloy akong ibenta kaagad. Then again I wasn't happy with the ARC/MF/ML speaker synergy. So now, I ended with a great tubey CJ sound w/c couldn't drive the 4ohm 87db MLs.

Since I wasn't using the ARC LS2 pre anymore, I put it up for sale at the HT. Problem nanaman. In the shop was an ARC D115 tube amp w/c was also being sold. When we hooked up the two, I couldn't believe the synergy. WOW :!: :shock: That's the way to go...an all ARC combo. The combo was hooked up to B&W 805s. Diana Krall's The Look of Love was luscious with the ARC combo. Patay nanaman me. :shock: I pulled out the LS2 and decided to keep it for the meantime.

How to drive those MLs....that was eating me. Sonny went on a trip to HK. He found another CJ MV55. I told him to bring it home... for me. Bi-amped with MV55s, I could now play the MLs with that lovely CJ sound. 90wpc of tube still wasn't enough for these hungry MLs. I felt the bass was still lacking.

Then a pair of 110wpc ARC VTM120s landed at Sensible Audio. I brought them home for audition. Another WOW :!: Here was the bottom-end I was looking for. I kept them. :D I knew the days of one of my MV55s was numbered. By this time I had added a MFA324 DAC into my system and swapped the hybrid LS2 for the matching all-tube LS-7 ARC pre.

Ayos na sana. Problems have been solved. What remained was just to unload one MV55. It happened again at the HT. I was 'lounging' after work when Sonny decides to fire up a Project RPM-4. TonyA was in attendance. Dang :!: :shock: Here we go again. It dawned on me I was approaching it the wrong way. I was trying to get the analog sound thru digital playback. To add further consternation, my MF A324 was superseded by the MF Tri-Vista DAC at 2x the cost :!: Hmmmm, it was really the wrong way to go about it. :(

I ended up ordering a two-armed Project Studie ttable. With a Grado Silver on the 9in arm and a Denon DL-103 on the 12in arm, I was in analog bliss. Phonostages at the time was a Project Phonobox SE & the classic MF X-LP. The more I played records, less cd time remained. I re-learned analog through this set-up. For a while I had a ProAc tablette, but my dad chose to bring them home over the AE109s- he chose well didn't he? I passed to him my spare NAD 320BEE integrated amp. I can't remember anymore when I got my pair of Quad ESL-63s. I am restoring(?) them at the moment..another WIP. :D

I eventually went on spring cleaning sale: the AE109 spkrs, the CJ MV55, excess amp stands, LPs and I unloaded my Project Studie. I had to keep the digital front for my wife who like to listen to her CDs via the MLs. I had a pair of Technics SL-1200s(Mk3 & Ltd) to keep my vinyls happy.

After the sale of the Studie and other gears, I bought a Michell Orbe/SME V as my reference analog front-end. If someone-who-must-not-be-told found out that my front-end cost more than the car I was driving, you'd find me in the obit the next day. :roll: But heck, this was one fine sounding analog front-end. I had loved the sonics and set-up of a Gyrodec. The Orbe had maxxed it out. 8) I had some left-overs from the spring cleaning sale, and ended up getting a pair of ProAc Reference Signature Tablettes. I had missed their being paired to my CJs.

A CJ Sonographe SA-400 came along. I could now hear the CJ sound via my MLs. :D It would have been the end of it. I was done with the middle and end of my audio chain. I was steadily collecting vinyl to feed my 3 ttables. Enter the vintage ttable bandwagon. I heard the 301s at the hifi show and I was hooked :!: :( :wink: I was able to discern the sonic differences between a direct-drive vs belt-drive vs idler driven ttables. Patay nanaman ako...

So now I find myself in analog heaven(? :roll: ) with a few ttables, carts, phonos, switcher(s)....others say I've gone deep over the analog edge. :wink: I say I have found inner peace because of the music I listen to with my heart and soul.

In the end, that's all that matters in this hobby.
Last edited by stereophile on Fri Jun 20, 2008 1:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby kabubi » Fri Jun 20, 2008 12:25 pm

as in all your extended posts, this is likewise a very enjoyable read :D

BUT

i just find this statement of yours "questionable" :D :D :D

stereophile wrote:with a few ttables, carts, phonos, switcher(s)....
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Postby Jon Agner » Fri Jun 20, 2008 12:57 pm

kabubi wrote:as in all your extended posts, this is likewise a very enjoyable read :D

BUT

i just find this statement of yours "questionable" :D :D :D

stereophile wrote:with a few ttables, carts, phonos, switcher(s)....


As long as one can still count the number of TTs with the fingers... that still is considered FEW :P :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby stereophile » Fri Jun 20, 2008 1:19 pm

Kabubi & JA- Kayo talaga...remember, it takes one to know one :!: :twisted:
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Postby kabubi » Fri Jun 20, 2008 1:32 pm

stereophile wrote:Kabubi & JA- Kayo talaga...remember, it takes one to know one :!: :twisted:


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby stereophile » Fri Jun 20, 2008 1:37 pm

Jon Agner wrote:Image


Si Dante ang may kasalanan nitong lahat. He makes bitbit his Altec SUTs to the Payatas Field Trip. Hindi tuloy makatulog si Chito, Dong, Obet & Randy among others... :cry:
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Postby Jon Agner » Fri Jun 20, 2008 1:43 pm

stereophile wrote:
Jon Agner wrote:Image


Si Dante ang may kasalanan nitong lahat. He makes bitbit his Altec SUTs to the Payatas Field Trip. Hindi tuloy makatulog si Chito, Dong, Obet & Randy among others... :cry:


Doc,

Dante wants to make inggit kasi eh.... yun, everbody wants one na rin :( :( :(
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Postby TheAnalogSource » Fri Jun 20, 2008 2:10 pm

to those who are not yet done... please also post how you are doing at this time
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Postby Superman » Fri Jun 20, 2008 2:27 pm

Eto, naghahanap ng SUT :D
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Postby Jon Agner » Fri Jun 20, 2008 2:30 pm

Superman wrote:Eto, naghahanap ng SUT :D


..... for a friend ba yang SUT na hinahanap mo? :roll: :)
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