How I built my system

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Postby dante » Fri Jun 20, 2008 2:55 pm

Jon Agner wrote:
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 :( :( :(


NOT guilty your honors! It just happened that Master Rivo finished my SUT on the same day as the Payatas field trip - and I had it in the car when I went to join the Boys for the session that Saturday. SO, in my excitement to hear what a SUT sounded like, I brought Red down to play with at Chito's place. The rest, as they say, is history... :wink:
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Postby Superman » Fri Jun 20, 2008 3:16 pm

Let me share my story in how I built my system, or maybe how my system have "evolved" to what it is right now...

Just like my other friends here in WS, my journey started with my fascination w/ HT (Home Theater)...back then, I was simply using an Aiwa Component System w/c was a gift from my late Lola...this was in 1999...at that time I was also starting to build my CD collection...

http://wiredstate.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2466


In December of 2000, after our house was renovated, I finally bought my HT system, pretty much "entry level" consisting of Wharfedale Diamond 8 speakers, a Yamaha RXV-496 receiver and a Pioneer DVD player...all cables were either generic or DIY-ed c/o the store where I bought my gears (Sights and Sound - Park Square)...It was actually my dad who influenced me...I remember every time we go on long trips, he would play (cassette tape) Sergio Mendes, Stylistics, etc. in our car audio system that's why I was exposed to that kind of music...

But HT became a dead-end route for me...I was longing for something more...more body in the music, more warmth - but I cannot get it from the HT system that I had...so I ventured into 2-channel audio...the first tube amplifier I got is a vintage amplifier c/o VINTAGE DOG...it was a 14-watter EL-84 based amp...it was oh so sweet...BUT, problem is...I never knew this was going to be the start - meaning - I GOT HOOKED! :D

From then on, I had a JE Labs 2A3, Tono 300B, Tono Pre-Amp (1st Generation), AMX Push-Pull Integrated Amp...to the Cary SLA-70/Counterpoint Pre-Amp, Audible Illusion Pre-Amp...but everytime I remember my visit to Gaucho's place, I simply cannot forget the CJ House Sound...I have been longing to get a CJ Amp and Pre-Amp...I have been into bookshelves, floorstanders, back to bookshelves, and now BOTH, hehehe! :D

I was more into TROUBLE when I got hooked on analog...started with Technics and Marantz TTs, then Goldring, then Denon, then Goldring again, then Pro-ject, now the VPI HW-19 Mk3 w/ Rega RB-300...It was a JOURNEY - and I had fun, but more importantly, I had a lot to learn and in the process met new friends and acquaintances...and now BIKINI BOTTOM as well - a real BROTHERHOOD!...

I finally got into MORE TROUBLE when I was able to score a CJ PV-10AL and a CJ Evo, but now a CJ MV-52...I am hoping (and saving-up) to get another MV-52 so I could bi-amp my current set-up...

I can't say I have found the "ideal" system that I want...but I am enjoying my system more than ever:


SOURCES: VPI HW-19Mk3 Turntable with upgraded TNT6 Platter, Sorbothane Pucks and VPI Power Line Conditioner (PLC), Rega RB-300 Arm with Origin Live VTA Adjuster (and Acoustic Signature VTA Adjuster), Denon DL-103 MC Cartridge, Consonance Reference 2.2 CD Player - "Mundorfed"

AMPLIFIER: Conrad Johnson MV-52 Power Amplifier with 4 x Svetlana Winged-C EL-34, 2 x Sylvania 5751 Triple Mica Blackplates, 2 x United 6CG7/6FQ7, Conrad Johnson Evolution 2000 200wpc Power Amplifier with 2 x RCA 5751 Blackplate Command Series Input Tubes, 2 x Sylvania 5751 Blackplate Triple Mica Input Tubes (also 2 x GE 5751 Greyplate Triple Mica Input Tubes as reserve)

PRE-AMP/PHONO STAGE: Conrad Johnson PV-10AL Tube Pre-Amplifier ("Mundorfed") with 2 x Valvo 12AU7 (and RCA Cleartops 12AU7, Brimar 12AU7, Tungsol 12AU7), Acoustic Signature Tango Phonostage (MM/MC), Denon Au-320 Step-Up Transformer

SPEAKERS: Harbeth HLP3-ES2 Reference Bookshelves with custom 26-inch 4-pole speaker stands, Monitor Audio (Rosenut) RS-6 Floorstanders

SPEAKER CABLES/INTERCONNECTS/POWER CABLES: Purist Audio Design Museaus Interconnects x 1, Purist Audio Design Elementa Rev. A Interconnects x 2, Purist Audio Design Elementa Rev. A Speaker Cables, Hospital-Grade Silver Power Cords x 3, Van Den Hul "The Name" Interconnects, 47-Labs OTA Hook-Up Speaker Jumpers

POWER ACCESSORIES: "Souped-Up" Yaden 3.0KVA Servo-Type Voltage Regulator, Hossoni 1.5KVA Servo-Type Voltage Regulator, Xindak XF-1000 Line Conditioner, JDLabs Power Line Conditioner, Quietline Mk2 Noise Filter x 3



There is synergy IMHO between all the current gears I am using, even down to the cables...Although ayoko magsalita ng tapos, but I think after the bi-amp project, I am slowing down on hardware and will concentrate of software - and also SUTs :twisted:

Salamat sa mga con-sulsol-tants ko: Doc Lito, MC, Jon Agner, MSM, IHJ, Hypertriode, Gaucho, Sonny Tuazon, John Martin, Audiostar, Kabubi and KD :twisted: :wink: :twisted: :wink:

Thanks for reading...di ako sanay ng mahabang posts, sa SMILEYS lang ako sanay :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


PS: Some sample pictures of the "incomplete" set-up:

Image

Image

Image
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Postby keith » Fri Jun 20, 2008 3:45 pm

... fast forward to today's current set up ...

When I decided to get the Von Schweikert DB-99 SE, I new that I would be in deep sh*t. By ordering the said speaker, I was headed down that SET road. And I happily obliged by auditioning several amps once the speakers arrived. I realized my solid state amp days were coming to an end (as a main setup that is). To cut a short story even shorter, I now have four different SET amps, a 45, a 2A3, a 300B and a 6C33C.

Obviously my whole system revolved around the speaker. I would never have auditioned any SET amps without the DB-99s. In the same way, should I agree to part with my DB-99, I am sure that this would be packaged together with a few of my SETs.

As to the rest of my system, here's the progression: speakers > amps > preamp > source > cables/tweaks. Each and every component I would
say was thought of and acquired based on my sonic preferrence.

Well, what I initially thought would be savings by buying the DB-99 followed by reasonably priced SET amps, turned out to be something much more expensive. I lusted after the Lamms and look where I am now ... a very happy camper. :P
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Postby zetroce » Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:23 pm

I actually started with a discman, an Eleshop amp that i bought in Raon and a pair of Monitor Audio Bookshelf speakers i bought from my brother.

Then i met rsm2a3 who introduced me to tube sound and the black disc.

My first tube amp was a DIY TB2a3 which i bought here in WS. My first turntable was a Technics SLB-20 belt-driven with a Shure N92E cartridge. I also bought a pair of Heybrook HB2000 bookshelf speakers and built my highly sensitive Bara-bara transmission line speakers using Fostex drivers. I just used my NAD C320 as my pre-amp and a Lo-D Phonostage which i bought from John Poscablo:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Then i decided to buy a Luxman TT PD-284 and Tono Pre-amp from Narayan. I also bought a pair of Kirksaeter Silverline 60 speakers from the web. I was experimenting then because there was something i wanted to hear but can't get it from my system then.

Image

Image

When i went to Singapore and got a chance to listen to rsm2a3's setup, i decided to get a belt drive turntable and a pair of LS3/5A.

Image

Image

But the TB2a3 and Tono Pre-amp was not enough to drive the LS3/5As, so i replaced them with a MF X-Pre and Dynaco ST-70. Wow, this combination really brings out the best of the LS3/5A.

Image

Then alot more stuff came and went.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Until i finally settled with this for my main setup:

Image

Luxman PD-300 with AT-1010 Tonearm and Denon DL-103R: Main Turntable
Garrard Lab-80 with Original Tonearm and SME 3009 SII : Secondary Table
MF XLPS : Phonostage
Audible Illusions Modulus 2B : Pre-amp
Dynaco Mark III : Power Amplifiers
Vandersteen 2CE Signature : Speakers


I'm happy with this setup. I can play any type of music that i want! :D

Saka na yung SUT-SUT!!! :twisted:
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Postby pigdog » Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:44 pm

PSSSST Sups! ditch the denon SUT and go for the 4722! hehehehe
Superman wrote:Let me share my story in how I built my system, or maybe how my system have "evolved" to what it is right now...

Just like my other friends here in WS, my journey started with my fascination w/ HT (Home Theater)...back then, I was simply using an Aiwa Component System w/c was a gift from my late Lola...this was in 1999...at that time I was also starting to build my CD collection...

http://wiredstate.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2466


In December of 2000, after our house was renovated, I finally bought my HT system, pretty much "entry level" consisting of Wharfedale Diamond 8 speakers, a Yamaha RXV-496 receiver and a Pioneer DVD player...all cables were either generic or DIY-ed c/o the store where I bought my gears (Sights and Sound - Park Square)...It was actually my dad who influenced me...I remember every time we go on long trips, he would play (cassette tape) Sergio Mendes, Stylistics, etc. in our car audio system that's why I was exposed to that kind of music...

But HT became a dead-end route for me...I was longing for something more...more body in the music, more warmth - but I cannot get it from the HT system that I had...so I ventured into 2-channel audio...the first tube amplifier I got is a vintage amplifier c/o VINTAGE DOG...it was a 14-watter EL-84 based amp...it was oh so sweet...BUT, problem is...I never knew this was going to be the start - meaning - I GOT HOOKED! :D

From then on, I had a JE Labs 2A3, Tono 300B, Tono Pre-Amp (1st Generation), AMX Push-Pull Integrated Amp...to the Cary SLA-70/Counterpoint Pre-Amp, Audible Illusion Pre-Amp...but everytime I remember my visit to Gaucho's place, I simply cannot forget the CJ House Sound...I have been longing to get a CJ Amp and Pre-Amp...I have been into bookshelves, floorstanders, back to bookshelves, and now BOTH, hehehe! :D

I was more into TROUBLE when I got hooked on analog...started with Technics and Marantz TTs, then Goldring, then Denon, then Goldring again, then Pro-ject, now the VPI HW-19 Mk3 w/ Rega RB-300...It was a JOURNEY - and I had fun, but more importantly, I had a lot to learn and in the process met new friends and acquaintances...and now BIKINI BOTTOM as well - a real BROTHERHOOD!...

I finally got into MORE TROUBLE when I was able to score a CJ PV-10AL and a CJ Evo, but now a CJ MV-52...I am hoping (and saving-up) to get another MV-52 so I could bi-amp my current set-up...

I can't say I have found the "ideal" system that I want...but I am enjoying my system more than ever:


SOURCES: VPI HW-19Mk3 Turntable with upgraded TNT6 Platter, Sorbothane Pucks and VPI Power Line Conditioner (PLC), Rega RB-300 Arm with Origin Live VTA Adjuster (and Acoustic Signature VTA Adjuster), Denon DL-103 MC Cartridge, Consonance Reference 2.2 CD Player - "Mundorfed"

AMPLIFIER: Conrad Johnson MV-52 Power Amplifier with 4 x Svetlana Winged-C EL-34, 2 x Sylvania 5751 Triple Mica Blackplates, 2 x United 6CG7/6FQ7, Conrad Johnson Evolution 2000 200wpc Power Amplifier with 2 x RCA 5751 Blackplate Command Series Input Tubes, 2 x Sylvania 5751 Blackplate Triple Mica Input Tubes (also 2 x GE 5751 Greyplate Triple Mica Input Tubes as reserve)

PRE-AMP/PHONO STAGE: Conrad Johnson PV-10AL Tube Pre-Amplifier ("Mundorfed") with 2 x Valvo 12AU7 (and RCA Cleartops 12AU7, Brimar 12AU7, Tungsol 12AU7), Acoustic Signature Tango Phonostage (MM/MC), Denon Au-320 Step-Up Transformer

SPEAKERS: Harbeth HLP3-ES2 Reference Bookshelves with custom 26-inch 4-pole speaker stands, Monitor Audio (Rosenut) RS-6 Floorstanders

SPEAKER CABLES/INTERCONNECTS/POWER CABLES: Purist Audio Design Museaus Interconnects x 1, Purist Audio Design Elementa Rev. A Interconnects x 2, Purist Audio Design Elementa Rev. A Speaker Cables, Hospital-Grade Silver Power Cords x 3, Van Den Hul "The Name" Interconnects, 47-Labs OTA Hook-Up Speaker Jumpers

POWER ACCESSORIES: "Souped-Up" Yaden 3.0KVA Servo-Type Voltage Regulator, Hossoni 1.5KVA Servo-Type Voltage Regulator, Xindak XF-1000 Line Conditioner, JDLabs Power Line Conditioner, Quietline Mk2 Noise Filter x 3



There is synergy IMHO between all the current gears I am using, even down to the cables...Although ayoko magsalita ng tapos, but I think after the bi-amp project, I am slowing down on hardware and will concentrate of software - and also SUTs :twisted:

Salamat sa mga con-sulsol-tants ko: Doc Lito, MC, Jon Agner, MSM, IHJ, Hypertriode, Gaucho, Sonny Tuazon, John Martin, Audiostar, Kabubi and KD :twisted: :wink: :twisted: :wink:

Thanks for reading...di ako sanay ng mahabang posts, sa SMILEYS lang ako sanay :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


PS: Some sample pictures of the "incomplete" set-up:

Image

Image

Image
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Postby bass_nut » Sat Jun 21, 2008 12:08 am

my humble approach

speakers --> amp (integrated, receiver or separates) --> audio source (digital, analog, broadcast tuner)

the exploration (experimentation) for different cables (interconnects, speaker cables) that go between these major gears is an additional educational experience :wink:
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Postby audiostar » Sat Jun 21, 2008 6:24 pm

Me? I have always been fascinated by building something from scratch and see to it that it works properly according to spec once completed. It's always been like that, no interest at all, or not giving too much attention to the musicality of the systems I created. As long as the osciloscope and RTA say its okay, then I'm fine with it.

I started from car audio, the motivation of which was to win competitions. Again, after winning or losing, went back to the drawing board and create some more.

It was only two years ago that I started to enjoy the musicality of the things I create. Like Halls, I build my system around my speakers. The evolution of my system is detailed in Jadis section (When You Wish Upon and (Audio)Star.

I'm very happy with what I have and extremely enjoying the fruits of my labor :D
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Postby vintage_dog » Sat Jun 21, 2008 8:46 pm

jen, you've come a long way in this jourmey...yes, i kinda recall your first initiation into the hobby and the tube sound...

i can fully understand/appreciate your love for the cj sound. Their amp/preamp combo is an excellent example of synergy. My pv11/mv60se is a keeper too.

Enjoy...
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Postby JackD201 » Sat Jun 21, 2008 10:03 pm

My Story is probably the most extensively documented ones here at WS (see JackD201 - No Holds Barred) so I'll just add on to that. Every major change has been a result of changes in rooms. Originally my family lived in 1702 or what is now the Lair. We only had one baby then and the small room served as the Sala/HT/Listening room in one. It had tile flooring and did not have the false walls back then. All walls were concrete. The system was comprised of B&W 604s, a CC6, 601s for rear and an AR sealed 12" sub driven by an Onkyo Integra and MF X-A200s. When we had our second child we moved to the 3 bedroom 1701 next door then owned by my brother who lived in the States and we rented out 1702. The sala is known in our inner circle as The Blue Room. This is the room nobody ever sees. It is the most treated room in the Lair complex. One designed by myself and one where anything in it tends to sound good. Walls are painted a pearl blue and it has a silver ceiling, falls walls and a perforated center broadband absorber also of my own design. The B&Ws were getting long in the tooth so out they went and in came the wonderful Energy Veritas 2.4s from Canada. These had reliability issues however and although the factory had solved these issues I was no longer comfortable with them. I traded in for Revel Performas.

Thus started my love affair with Madrigal/Harman Specialty Group. In came the Proceed AVP (later upgraded to the AVP2), BP3 and my first ML amp the 23.5. I purchased a No.332 a bit later but kept the 23.5 as a spare. The 23.5 was eventually sold and the No.431 entered the picture. This is now the mainstay The Blue Room. Today the blue room features VR-4jr Mk2s of a friend and client whose home is undergoing finishing touches. When they are delivered, The Ambience Superslim 1600s will finally take their place at L+R.

What about the Lair? Well as I said we were renting it out and quite frankly had lousy luck finding good tenants. We decided to just renovate it as a rumpus place so I could have finally my own listening place as well as a place for us to entertain. For those that have been to the Lair the Big Room is long and very narrow. It was extremely challenging because in its original state as the Dining Room it was highly reflective and sounded like a submarine. While it doesn't look like it is heavily treated today, well, it is. On a limited budget, I went with laminate flooring laid directly on top of the existing tiles and again constructed false walls where there previously was concrete. Velocity traps were built into the underbellies of the sofas and fire proof insulation material into the ceilings.

Now. The speakers. Lotsa stuff went bust in this long narrow room. Revel's F30 that were sounding great in the blue room. BUST. Dynaudio S3.4s sub augmented. BUST. Magnepan 1.6QR custom ordered in Off White with Cherry Trim. BUST. This was the most painful time for me because I felt like I was throwing away money. Fortunately these speakers did extremely well back in the Blue Room. None of them could make the side walls disappear not even a dipole linesource because the space BETWEEN them was too narrow. Nothing available did the trick i lost count of how many I home auditioned. I went to my technical notes and looked up what designs I should be looking at. Listening distance = FAR can't toe in too much so out go 1st order designs. Big space so minimum twin 8.5 woofers per side or a 12" per side. What drivers did I like. Hmmm. In love with the Ring Radiator tweeter found on the Sonus Fabers, being a B&W guy partial to Kevlar and Carbon Fiber composites. More searching. Search result Von Schweikert Audio. I heard an old pair at a friend's house and I liked the tonal balance. Leap of Faith time again and ordered factory direct.

The rest is history. I found the speakers that could thrive in shape compromised environments. Now as dealers something else happened. The VR-4 SR came out. I had to put my money where my mouth was and bring them in. So I bid a sad farewell to the VR-4 HSE. Bad thing is the original SR liked tubes more than solid state and had a midrange rise (a problem later solved with the SR mk2) that bothered me with solid state. I switched to tubes not because I really wanted to but because I had to. A blessing in disguise indeed.

The VR-9s are also the result of a change in rooms. Albeit an impending one. I had to get the units in before the dollar went back up and before the price increase set in. I would have been happy with the VR-5s to be sure. I just had to bite the bullet though and boy. I'm glad I did.

How did I build my front end? That's another LONG story :D
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Postby accastil » Sun Jun 22, 2008 1:59 pm

like most "younger" WS members, i also started off with HT after ive graduated from college. prior to this, ive always been a "music-lover", listening to FM radio almost 24x7. it gets intense everytime i read books..i love reading books while listening to FM.

after college grad, i spent sometime enjoying mini-component systems in stereo. then came the multichannel craze...this began my frequent purchases of speakers and receivers..from a pioneer minicomponent model to yamaha htib, marantz-MS combo, hk-paradigm combo...and so on.

i enjoyed HT for almost 2yrs...then came WS.

i began reading tempting testimonies and asking curious newbie questions to veteran "con-sulsul-tants". here came my journey from CA azur, rotel, BnK, paradigm,SF, VA, MA, maggie, project, vpi.

i would say the SFL2 became the backbone of my system. every audition i did during those days were based from its synergy with the SFL2. it was quite easy choosing the source and the amp. the bloodiest part was the speaker hunt. this one took me about 20 full tanks and a tire replacement right after im done...i had no choice but to bring every item home and hear how it does with my source, preamp, and amps..fortunately, a lot of WS sellers are kind enough to let me do a home-audition.

i initially fell in love with vocals and soft ensembles...which led me to hunt for the best BS i could afford in the used market..there were spendors, totems, VSA, MA, VA, SF, epos, BnW, aurum cantus, JMlab, jbl, triangle, and just about any bookshelf with really good reviews with the exception of merlin (the display at AVDI came too late for me :().

i enjoyed my choice of BS for quite sometime..but there was something i heard that wouldnt let me have a good night's sleep even as i already have the 2 best BS i could afford....it was a Duetta.

this made me switch my main system from a BS to a planar. the latest planar ive acquired might not leave the house anymore yet there are moments i miss the sound of pounding dynamic cone drivers.

so here i am again, trying to restrain myself from another impending acquisition...haaaaaaaayyy

.....

and yes of course, thanks to the WS gurus. they speak from experience. its only individuality that separates their teachings from what we choose in the end. more power.
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Postby Superman » Sun Jun 22, 2008 5:15 pm

vintage_dog wrote:jen, you've come a long way in this jourmey...yes, i kinda recall your first initiation into the hobby and the tube sound...

i can fully understand/appreciate your love for the cj sound. Their amp/preamp combo is an excellent example of synergy. My pv11/mv60se is a keeper too.

Enjoy...


Thanks Angel Locsin, este VD! :D
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Postby bass_nut » Mon Jun 23, 2008 12:21 pm

JackD201 wrote:My Story is probably the most extensively documented ones here at WS (see JackD201 - No Holds Barred) so I'll just add on to that. Every major change has been a result of changes in rooms. Originally my family lived in 1702 or what is now the Lair. We only had one baby then and the small room served as the Sala/HT/Listening room in one. It had tile flooring and did not have the false walls back then. All walls were concrete. The system was comprised of B&W 604s, a CC6, 601s for rear and an AR sealed 12" sub driven by an Onkyo Integra and MF X-A200s. When we had our second child we moved to the 3 bedroom 1701 next door then owned by my brother who lived in the States and we rented out 1702. The sala is known in our inner circle as The Blue Room. This is the room nobody ever sees. It is the most treated room in the Lair complex. One designed by myself and one where anything in it tends to sound good. Walls are painted a pearl blue and it has a silver ceiling, falls walls and a perforated center broadband absorber also of my own design. The B&Ws were getting long in the tooth so out they went and in came the wonderful Energy Veritas 2.4s from Canada. These had reliability issues however and although the factory had solved these issues I was no longer comfortable with them. I traded in for Revel Performas.

Thus started my love affair with Madrigal/Harman Specialty Group. In came the Proceed AVP (later upgraded to the AVP2), BP3 and my first ML amp the 23.5. I purchased a No.332 a bit later but kept the 23.5 as a spare. The 23.5 was eventually sold and the No.431 entered the picture. This is now the mainstay The Blue Room. Today the blue room features VR-4jr Mk2s of a friend and client whose home is undergoing finishing touches. When they are delivered, The Ambience Superslim 1600s will finally take their place at L+R.

What about the Lair? Well as I said we were renting it out and quite frankly had lousy luck finding good tenants. We decided to just renovate it as a rumpus place so I could have finally my own listening place as well as a place for us to entertain. For those that have been to the Lair the Big Room is long and very narrow. It was extremely challenging because in its original state as the Dining Room it was highly reflective and sounded like a submarine. While it doesn't look like it is heavily treated today, well, it is. On a limited budget, I went with laminate flooring laid directly on top of the existing tiles and again constructed false walls where there previously was concrete. Velocity traps were built into the underbellies of the sofas and fire proof insulation material into the ceilings.

Now. The speakers. Lotsa stuff went bust in this long narrow room. Revel's F30 that were sounding great in the blue room. BUST. Dynaudio S3.4s sub augmented. BUST. Magnepan 1.6QR custom ordered in Off White with Cherry Trim. BUST. This was the most painful time for me because I felt like I was throwing away money. Fortunately these speakers did extremely well back in the Blue Room. None of them could make the side walls disappear not even a dipole linesource because the space BETWEEN them was too narrow. Nothing available did the trick i lost count of how many I home auditioned. I went to my technical notes and looked up what designs I should be looking at. Listening distance = FAR can't toe in too much so out go 1st order designs. Big space so minimum twin 8.5 woofers per side or a 12" per side. What drivers did I like. Hmmm. In love with the Ring Radiator tweeter found on the Sonus Fabers, being a B&W guy partial to Kevlar and Carbon Fiber composites. More searching. Search result Von Schweikert Audio. I heard an old pair at a friend's house and I liked the tonal balance. Leap of Faith time again and ordered factory direct.

The rest is history. I found the speakers that could thrive in shape compromised environments. Now as dealers something else happened. The VR-4 SR came out. I had to put my money where my mouth was and bring them in. So I bid a sad farewell to the VR-4 HSE. Bad thing is the original SR liked tubes more than solid state and had a midrange rise (a problem later solved with the SR mk2) that bothered me with solid state. I switched to tubes not because I really wanted to but because I had to. A blessing in disguise indeed.

The VR-9s are also the result of a change in rooms. Albeit an impending one. I had to get the units in before the dollar went back up and before the price increase set in. I would have been happy with the VR-5s to be sure. I just had to bite the bullet though and boy. I'm glad I did.

How did I build my front end? That's another LONG story :D



i will be waiting for part 2 of your enlightening inputs sir Jack :wink:
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Postby bb3 » Mon Jun 23, 2008 2:07 pm

I started listening to music on my dad’s system consisting of Lenco turntable and a Scott integrated amp driving speakers which brand I never really got to see since they were built into those 60’s style console cabinets.
It was here that I got to listen to my dad’s collection of Sinatra, Bennet, Glenn Miller, etc
When my older cousins come over, they’d bring their Cascades, Gary Lewis, and Beatles Lps sometimes leaving them behind for me to listen to.


PROLOGUE
But my personal audio journey would have started when I fell in love with “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” . I could only catch that song on the radio so I asked my mom if I could have her AM/FM transistor radio.
Below is a list of that audio journey I have traveled culminating to where I am now.
You will have to bear with me. I may have forgotten some model numbers since my
half -a- century old biological hard drive have lost some of its RAM along the way.


1960’s
Mom’s AM/FM Transistor (forgot the brand)
Portable Cassette Player


My parents noticed my fascination with music since my ear was always stuck to that transistor radio. They decided to give me this portable cassette player. I think some of the older WS guys would remember this portable single speaker, top-loading device. A Nak it surely ain’t but this shoebox sized contraption introduced me to Motown, Chicago, and other artists of that time not unlike the iPod’s introduction of John Mayer et al to my kids now.
Btw, I don’t have that exact portable player with me now but was able to get hold of a similar one just for old times sake.



THE JOURNEY
1970’s
National Record Changer/Receiver
8 Track Cartridge Player (forgot the brand)
Philips Cassette Deck

This Philips deck was a cool unit. Hindi pa uso ang auto reverse noon so it had a device where you could stack the tapes on top of each other and when the first one finishes playing one side, a contraption would push it into a bin leaving way for the next one on the st[/color]ack to play.

The Japanese Invasion Part 1

My first real stereo set-up was a high school grad gift some 38 years ago co[/color]nsisting of:
Pioneer SX 650 35 watt Receiver
Technics SL 1500 Turntable
Pioneer CS (?) speakers
Sony (?) Cassette deck
Akai (?) open reel

This system provided me with endless days and nights of listening pleasure for the next couple of years. It transported me to a world where I could vocalize Colin Bluntstone’s “Caroline Goodbye” or Jim Webb’s “One Lady”. I could trade Philly Soul dance steps with the Spinners. And at times I could play “air guitar” while listening to The Who’s “See Me, Feel Me”. I guess I got all the chords mixed up cause Roger Daltry would just stare at me with a frown.

It goes without saying that this set up provided the impetus to my record collecting.


1980’s
I got married during the early 80’s and moved in to our garage-converted one-bedroom abode.
Due to the space constraints, I had to leave behind the Jap Invasion in my parents house and settled for a Sony FH something mini-compo. The sleek and convenient design of this system fit our small place and I told myself it would fit my “ears” likewise.

“NOT”. . .
Just like Doc Stereophile, I missed the big sound of big speakers.
I started to build up a new system, this time consisting of:


High-End Kuno
Vector Research 85 watt receiver
Fostex based local speakers
Pioneer PL(?) turntable
Teac (?) Sendust Ferrite Head Cassette Deck
ADS Equalizer

It was at this time that I started to hear the word “High End” but knew nothing much about it. So during a trip to the US in 1983, I entered a stereo store similar to Circuit City
and was fooled by the salesperson into believing that a Vector Research receiver I was looking at was a high end product.
Well, anything that wasn’t Japanese and had “Research” on it must be high end, I told myself.
Yeah Right! I reached back home only to find out that the “high end” Vector Research was proudly made in Taiwan!
Imbes na Bill Johnson, naging Bill Jong Song tuloy!
Just goes to show what happens when you don’t do your homework.


And so I hit back the books, or rather magazines.
At this point, I still haven’t heard of the Absolute Sound or Stereophile. But ironically, It was one article in Stereo Review that I read about a “sub-culture” in audio called High End.
I started reading names like Krell, Conrad-Johnson, Levinson, Audio Research (there goes that word again), Sa mga pangalan nalang, maganda ang tunog, ano pa kaya kung . . .


Audiophilia Nervosa PART 1
Since there was no WS then to guide me, I just kept on reading the Bulletin’s Classified ads to see if any name like Levinson or Krell might appear. Lo and Behold! Acoustic Research (there goes that word again) turntable for sale said one ad.
I quickly rushed to the place not really intending to buy anything. I just wanted to see what this high end thing was all about.
You could just imagine my awe at the sight and sound of the seller’s setup which consisted of a Luxman PD300, Conrad Johnson pre amp, Magneplanar SMGa with Decca Tweeters and for amplification – Audio (wait for it) Research D150.
To make a long story short, I traded in the Fostex for my first “high end” system:


Acoustic Research (?) Turntable
Stax D80 Amps
Precision Fidelity C7
Heil Ess AMT Speakers


Those of you who caught the disease Audiophilia Nervosa know what happens when you take this plunge. A never-ending addiction to sell and upgrade over-powers you.
It was during this second half of the 1980’s that this addiction consumed me to the path of the following:


B&W DM 6
Luxman PD300
Audio Research D76
Audible Illusions
Rega Planar
Systemdek II
Quad 57
Tympani (?) Speakers
Celestion SL6s
Counterpoint (?) Pre amp
Audio Innovations (?) Integrated
Audio Research SP9 Mk 1
Audio Research D79
Infinity RS 4.5
Michell Gyrodek/Odessey/Koetsu Blk
Audio Research SP9 Mk 11


Walang katapusang Carol Kidd at Jazz At the Pawnshop ang tugtugan during this time.

!990’s
We built the house at the onset of the 90’s. And since funds were needed during the construction period, I had to unload most of the stuff, leaving behind only the Gyrodek and D79. But the itch wouldn’t let up. And just like an addict, needing his fix to feed this high end itch, I sold Jap Invasion partt 1 which led to

Audiophilia Nervosa Part 2:

Audio Research D79
Michell Gyrodek/Odessey/Koetsu Blk
Magnepan SMGa
Cary Audio 40 monoblocks
Quicksilver monoblocks
Yves Cochet Preamp
Tannoy (?) bookshelves
Ckasse 30
Quad II monoblocks
Apogee Centaur Minor
Sonus Faber Minima
Enlightened Audio Design CPD
JVC 1010


This went on till the latter part of the 90’s.
Then it stopped.


2000-2005
Some call it “audio burn out”. But also, some personal priorities led me to unload ALL my stuff.
It was also during the early part of this decade when we set up DiscExchange.
The store gave me my daily fix of music sans high end though.


EPILOGUE

2005 –
I have been without any expensive stuff for the past few years.
I still get to feel that itch once in a while (especially during the Hifi Show)
though its under control now.
I still get to listen to music with:


Japanese Invasion Part 2:
Kenwood KA 6004 35 watt integrated amp
Sony Speakers (no model number)
Technics SL 1500


So after 38 years, I’m back to where I started.
Full Circle or Fool’s Circle?
You guys be the judge.

Cheers





Oh, by the way, this present 35 watt-Jap speaker combo still allows me to do a mean “air guitar”.
Roger Daltry still stares at me though.
But you know what? Now he’s smiling.
Last edited by bb3 on Sun Mar 20, 2011 1:44 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby Superman » Mon Jun 23, 2008 2:17 pm

Nice One, Chairman BF! :D
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Postby JackD201 » Mon Jun 23, 2008 2:57 pm

As you wish Doc Fer ;)

Part 2 - The Analog Front End

Trans'd(y)oōser one of my favorite words. Meaning to convert one form of energy into electrical energy and vice versa. Often times transduction is a mystical experience because of the infinite variables involved and how the qualitative effects often don't have words in our lexicon to sufficiently explain what we observe. Not that we don't try to though. It is here that the great debate over what is more important the front end (source plus preamplification) or the back end (amplification plus loudspeakers) takes place. This debate has never been resolved. Needless to say I have my own opinion. I arrived at it out of need otherwise I would be chasing my own tail like the dog I am. :lol:

As you may have guessed I put emphasis on the back end first. Speakers and Amps. I do this not because of any philosophical reasons. I do this because of a simple fact that can not be denied or ignored.

In any modern audio reproduction system only the speakers and amps actually convert electrical energy into SOUND.

All other conversions are from friction (in LP), magnetic (tape and HDs), and light (CDs) into electrical signals not sound. So I figured if the speakers and amps can't convert what's upstream into something I can hear (duh isn't that the whole point? :lol: ) and do it the way I want it to even the best source will mean nothing. I am however at a point and actually reached this point before the VR-9s came in and I did feel that investments in the front end gear was now justified.

ANALOG

I listened mainly to open reel tape and cassettes on Revox recorders growing up. My mom, a music major, pianist and contemporary of jbautista's teacher Linda Fule, spent hours recording her LPs into tape and played these hours on hours everyday. My big bro did the same in his system. This left a mighty stash of vinyls from Mom that had only been played no more than 5 times each. A collection I inherited eventually. I'll get back to that later. Not exactly being young you can say I grew up with Analog, was introduced to digital and RE-introduced to Analog.

Frankly I didn't have fond memories of analog other than having fun DJing. Back in the day we knew nothing of the rituals of proper set up, didn't have any decent rcms etc. Although we had Thorens tables as well as Revox linear trackers around they were never optimized. When CD came out sound really was better. True to its mission, WS brought me back as it did many others.

The one most responsible for dragging me back was ihatejazz. I've known IHJ forever. We would often be at Wack Wack's driving range together and for years did not know we shared another passion other than Golf. We got to talking one day and he tried to convince me to go to the dark side audiophile style. (I had 2 1200s and a mixer so technically was analog anyway but not "audiophile style" :lol: ) Many years passed but I still didn't feel it was for me. Things changed however when my Father-in-law, upon learning I had my technics' still running, gifted me with his record collection. A collection he took with him all over the world as a pinoy expat. I could not refuse this act of love. I told my Mom at dinner that same night and she gave me her collection too! That's a starter kit of some 300 LPs. Time to make that call.

I started out squarely in the middle of the VPI line with an Aries 2 and a JMW10 arm with CA's entry level hammerhead MC and a CA Basic. It did provide more delicacy than my war horses and I was pretty happy. I got itchy and upped the ante with the CA Stradivari and upped the ante yet again when I opted for all BAT electronics and got the VK-P10 SE phonostage. Oh boy things were cooking now. My CD combo (Tascam CDR 2000 Pro connected to ML 360s DAC via AES/EBU) was hardly ever used. I began hunting and stalking NMs exclusively. I'd buy VG+ on occasion but always with the objective of getting an NM later on. On the whole however I preferred to be patient.

Sometime later, tragedy struck IHJ and he offered up his personal rig for sale. This HRX fitted with a Graham Phantom. I suppose it was tough to justify having both an HRX and a Max Sol AMG at the same time so one of them had to go. A WS member (not IHJ) helped me unload my Aries 2 and I took IHJ's rig also with a trade-in for the Stradivari for a Titanium.

As my collection of rare LPs began to grow from a steady diet provided by Jadis, Pic, MT and Tatang and played back on a solid playback platform, so did my appetite for carts. The Dynavector came first, then a Koetsu Urushi that transmogrified into a Jade platinum then a Graham Nightingale. Here I could say "tapos na" especially with the Lamm LP2 pre and an incoming Koetsu SUT to match with my Jade and possibly another stone body down the road. Alas the Siren calls once more and her name is the TW Acustic AC-3. I've already ordered a second Graham arm for her so I can switch between carts even faster than the interchangeable arm wands allow me to today.

So what trajectory did this analog journey take. What was it that was driving me to upgrade? In a nutshell it was the elimination of noise and the hunt for ever lower noise floors in the table and arm to allow me to hear more of the cart and thus more of the LP itself. Just as resolution in the back end increased to the point where nuances in performance and venues became more apparent, I needed to get a lot of gunk out of the way. LPs had to be in better condition. The table had to be more quiet and the arm had to track better so the second most important TRANSDUCER the CART could do its job of extracting the music lying in the grooves.

So there it is. I studied in a Chinese school so maybe it is no surprise I built my system from Back to Front. ;)

Doc Fer, the invitation stands :D I'll be back July 15th hope to see you soon after!
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Postby rtsyrtsy » Mon Jun 23, 2008 4:20 pm

Any post that has "transduction is a mystical experience because of the infinite variables" in the beginning should be a good read. And it was!

Thanks, JackD for sharing and congrats in advance for the AC-3.
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Postby bass_nut » Mon Jun 23, 2008 7:13 pm

thank you very much sir Jack for sharing us part 2 of your very inspiring journey :wink:

I am looking forward to visit you & your LAIR after July 15.

with very kind regards,
fer
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Postby kabubi » Mon Jun 23, 2008 7:33 pm

WOW!

after reading Boy Bustamante and Jack Duavit, that's all i can say.

it's always nice to hear people who know their stuff and from whereof they came. but to learn from them by way of the beautiful way they write is a rare treat that's just too good to pass up.

i am made wiser and happier.
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Postby bass_nut » Mon Jun 23, 2008 8:45 pm

kabubi wrote:WOW!

after reading Boy Bustamante and Jack Duavit, that's all i can say.

it's always nice to hear people who know their stuff and from whereof they came. but to learn from them by way of the beautiful way they write is a rare treat that's just too good to pass up.

i am made wiser and happier.


well said sir Buboy... both sir Jack & sir Boy shared their very informative & very inspiring audio journey to us in the most effective way. i am very happy & gained much as well :wink:
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Postby pigdog » Mon Jun 23, 2008 11:18 pm

my journey with audio started not too long ago, as soon as i was able to set up my photo studio while sharing with a friend, one of my first priority is to install a Hifi system, consisting of a kenwood solid state integrated amp, and a sony LD player which also doubles as a cd player. since we have clients coming in and out of the studio and using the sound system, we stayed with a basic inexpensive rig, the LD player eventually died on us, so i bought my first ever stand alone cdplayer, a basic jap made pioneer. this was later replaced with a pioneer 5 cd changer.
speakers where small book shelve wharfdale bought second hand for a princely sum of HKD800 in 1994. bought from my audio crazy Van driver, he later offered me a pair of BOSE 501s

by 1996 the shared studio is becoming too crowded and my job requirements are getting more demanding, so it is now time to say good bye to my studio partner and move onto my very own studio in Happy Valley Hong kong. it was a decent 1000 sq ft apartment and just before i made the move. naturally the first thing i set up was a decent sound system, by then the same van driver offered me my very first Spark kt88
integrated tubed amp. it was still hooked up to the cd changer and i also bought my very first brand new pair of floor standers, a pair of B and Ws
which i paid a "princley" sum of HKD3500 brand new
Pioneer 5 cd changer
SPARK KT88 based integrated amp
el cheapo interconnects and
Bowers and wilkin floor standers.
at this time, i have no understanding of the audio components, synergy etc. and always wondered why inspite of the much hyped valved amps, my sound system is still not capable of producing music that i would enjoy.
but since i was too busy with work, i did not really explore audio that much

1998, the next door apartment became available, and i expanded my studio, where the next door served as a shooting area and the older unit as my private office, for the shooting area, i bought a Nakamichi Sound space, and it came with a subwoofer, i paid HKD5000 for it brand new. it was a fool proof system, easy to set up and somehow sounded nicer than my Spark, so this got me thinking.... the same van driver then offered me another tubed amp. this time it is an updated Cayin with 6L6G valves and 12ax7 and 12au7 valves and this being a power amp, i have to buy a preamp, the first preamp i ever bought is a kenwood and a friend offered my his equalizer, by then i got addicted to EBAY and was buying mostly 16mm motion picture cameras and during one of those evenings where there is nothing of interest in the motion picture section, i ventured onto the audio section.. BUT WAIT, i remembered my uncle used to own a pair
of BOSE 901s and i remembered everybody claiming it to be the holy grail of loudspeakers, so i went looking for a pair in ebay, after a few sleepless nights, i was succesfull in winning a pair of series 3 Bose 901s with the box and papers, shipping was by air parcel and the bose cost around USD450 for a pair and shipping from the US was USD500!
but the itch continues.....

Cayin 6l6 tubed power amp
cplayer still the el cheapo pioneer, but since i recently bought a pair of BOSE 901s i think i can allow myself the opportunity to buy a better cd player, so i bought my first "Hi End" cdplayer, a french made CAIRNS
beautiful to look at and very minimal design and i paid HKD6000 for it

for the preamp i was still using the kenwood, and i came up with this crazy idea of setting up a turntable, so off i went and bought me an el cheapo kenwood belt driven ttable with a shure carthridge, the ttable and cart costs HKD2000 brand new BUT.... i did not realized i needed a phono preamp and by now i am broke after splurging on the audio goodies, so i ended up buying an El cheapo turntable mixes which i used for a while.

1999 : my good friend from seattle having realized that i got myself into this audio mess decided to help me out by offering me his Audio Research d200 it was according to him a fine solid state amp and along with the package is a mint condition PS audio Preamp and the nice thing is, i came with a built in phono section! and i can even set the cart loading or whatever that is! so once i received this new setup, i thought it would be time to change the carthridge and its off to ebay for some serious shopping and i ended up with my very first MC cart an Ortofon and with the PS Audio's built in phono pre, it worked beautifully and i can ditched the embarrasing turntable mixer!

audio research D200
PS Audio preamp
Cairns CDplayer
Kenwood turntable with ortofon MC cart

decent system and not too embarrasing! BUT... i missed the valved amps, and it was during one of those days when i have nothing better to do that i discovered a shop in Shamshuipo selling used HI end audio gears that i encountered a preamp from a brand called Mckintosh, ok its a solid state and its been converted to 220v but it came with two phono stages! i bought it for HKD4500 also bought a california audio labs transport and my first ever DAC which i thought i can use as backup, itis i still have and is set in my bedroom. in a short time, i wandered into another vintage audio shop in HK and lo and Behold! a mckintosh mc240 being offered at a "princely" sum of HKD 12,000! i made an offer and an installment and in 5 months, the mc240 is mine! ditched the cayin in ebay and it ended up with a very happy owner in Paris!

Mcintosh MC240
Mcintosh C28 solid state preamp
kenwood turntable..BUT i find this turntable well boring and by then DJs are getting popular and the technics SL1200 ttable is the way to go, so back to ebay and wond a Mark2 SL1200 BUT.... the shipment never arrived.. so again back to ebay and won a brand new SL1200 Mk5 for usd 450 and this one arrived in HK safely, within a few months the SL1200 MK2 did finally arrived in hk via surface mail and was badly mangled. so that ttable was left sitting in the cabinet

it was during a job in manila that i met a fellow name Tony Gonzales, the brother of fellow ws member EF86 that i was introduced to the "master" Rene rivo and i visited his shop near cash and carry, i remembered that day as tony took me to lunch in one of the sushi joints near mkti cinema square and in a few hours, i got a nasty case of food poisoning! so my first meeting with rene rivo was not the most auspicious one! rene mentioned to me about a rowdy and crazy discussion group known to all of us as Wiredstate, i did not sign up until a few months later when i visited manila again in time for the 2nd Nov Audio show, from there i met Lito Gelano who tempted me with a LEAK stereo 20 and i also had the pleasure of meeting the Late Mang Johnny. at that time i dont know anybody else except rene so i did not hang out at the show. but in a couple of months, i am a proud owner of a LEAK stereo 2o courtesy of Lito Gelano
at this time the setup is as follows:
Leak Stereo 20
Vincent S6 cdplayer
Technics SL1200 MK5
Conrad Johnson PV12L
also available on rotation is a Dynaco St70 courtesy of my van driver,
Speakers were JBL monitors
phonopre Musical fidelity (the cylindrical one)
having discovered the LEAK stereo 20 lead me to a love affair with the venerable british amps. at this stage i have several amps and was buying regularly from a friend in UK where i got a pair of Leak Tl10s and later tl35+, an HMV integrated, QUAD II at this time, i read about the legendary LEAK TL12.1 so i set my eyes on a pair of 12.1s which is very hard to find. at this time i was offered a Kondo Nero for Princely sum of HKD57,000! BUT i was not ready for a SET amp nor do i know anything about SET so i passed this off and instead got the much Vaunted LEAK 12.1, this is a real find and i had it lovingly restored and will never sell.
back in 2004 i was tempted to try SET based on a 300B and it was through rene that i got my first 300B (the one that was giving me headaches over the past few days) somehow never appreciated the 300B
so it lingered in the closet for 3 years.

2005:
bought my very first altec lansing 604 and man that was a big change, it cost me HKD25K for the pair, i think i got ripped off but hell it sounded sweet! then my friend from the UK offered me a pair of tannoy reds,

our friend rene, then offered me a garrard 301 Grease bearing which he just restored and it belonged to a retired doctor. i paid PHP 35,000 for it!
Fellow WS member Bon D built the plinth out of cherry wood THE FUN BEGINS! the SL1200 MK5 sat neglected as i fell head over heels with the garrard
by this time i was beginign to get active in WS
LEAK 12.1
Vincent S6 cdplayer
Conrad Johnson PV12L later Bruce Moore Preamp later Audio note M2 Line
garrard 301 with sme 3009 arm with denon dl103r cart and rene rivos 6922 based phono pre
turntables are also coming in, a garrard 301 oil bearing which was later sold, a michel gyrodeck, a thorens td124, mated to an ET2 air bearing arm which was a subject of contention between egay and the previous owner. the western electric turntable,
at this time i have accumulated a personal stash of KT66, Ecc82, exx83, ef86, el34, 300B etc. around 2006 i was visited by tonyboy and in 2007 by Jen the superman and a few WS members including Egay

Nov 2007 during the last manila show, i spent a lot of time listening to the setup boys SET and fell in love with the SET amps, wait a minute, i do have a 300B! and it never occured to me that i should mate it with the altec lansing 604! and man oh man what a nice match it made!

current incarnation

rene rivos setup 1 based 300B set amp
audio note M2 preamp
47labs 4716 transport
dac lite dac60
turntables currently connected:
Nordic concept with schroders arm and 47 labs mcbee cart hooked to a Highphonic SUT
Thorens TD124 with a clearaudio linear tracking arm
EMT 930st with TSD15 cart

the garrard 301 grease the westrex and the michel are in hibernation while the technics sl1200 was sold to a fellow ws member and the mk2 was given away to another ws member which i last heard he was able to lovingly restore


the next step....


45 SET amp work in progress
Harana Isabel Preamp with ecc33 and cc32 valves
also work in progress a new V Vent cab courtesy of Joey 3rp with mang johnny's 604 B, with altec lansing 515 drivers, Vitavox S5 horns.
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