How I built my system

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Postby JackD201 » Mon Jun 23, 2008 11:36 pm

That trajectory must have launched you into orbit Chester! Bilis!

BB3 your love for the music is the stuff of legend! You have the wisdom idol!

Kabubi, Doc Fer you flatter me! There's something about writing your thoughts down that brings seemingly random things together. I learn a lot about myself whenever I write I guess that's why I love doing it. So I never feel like I'm teaching or God forbid, preaching. I'm just happy to know we are all learning together! :D
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Postby bb3 » Tue Jun 24, 2008 2:07 am

JackD201 wrote:. . . I learn a lot about myself whenever I write I guess that's why I love doing it. So I never feel like I'm teaching or God forbid, preaching. I'm just happy to know we are all learning together! :D


Thanks jack and amen to what you just said. i really hope that we don't come out as preaching.
i just like telling stories.

kabubs, ikaw naman . . .
alam mo naman i wish i could write half as good as you. ganun pa man, salamat sa inyo ni doc fer.

we're all the wiser, we're all the happier
it's just as simple as that. :wink:
Last edited by bb3 on Tue Jun 24, 2008 8:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby keith » Tue Jun 24, 2008 8:20 am

ahem ... JackD ... still waiting for the digital frontend :wink:
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Postby TheAnalogSource » Tue Jun 24, 2008 8:38 am

when i put up the thread, i was thinking of posts somewhat more on the technical side thus my putting it on the new topic group - SYNERGIES.

bearing in mind that readers- both seasoned and more important- newbies would learn a thing or two in building up strategies. Such that, those who are still to begin or at a lost can be guided on the proper way of setting up without the bank-breaking forest-detoured upgrade path.

so some pages later and what do we get....

not only can we have a study on the upgrade path posters have trekked but also they have given us a glimpse into their life journey as well. A surprise discovery is how well WS guys write.

to quote kabubi...

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


let me extend my heartful thanks to those who have posted already and welcome others to share some insights on your life - audio and otherwise.

cheers :D
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Postby JackD201 » Tue Jun 24, 2008 10:21 am

keith wrote:ahem ... JackD ... still waiting for the digital frontend :wink:


Anak ng.......nasita! O sige. Last hurrah. Pero mamaya na :lol:
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Postby Superman » Tue Jun 24, 2008 10:24 am

Congressman and Chairman BF,

I appreciate the way you write your "evolution"...it is very detailed and I feel like I am just there in front of you na nakikipagkwentuhan...It is very encouraging...How I wish one day I can write something similar about my audio evolution and experience...Keep it up, Sirs! :D Learning a lot here...Keep on inspiring your fellow audio enthusiasts! :D


Allan (K)ent :wink:
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Postby dimfer » Tue Jun 24, 2008 10:26 am

I wan'na be like JackD when I grow up..
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Postby JackD201 » Tue Jun 24, 2008 10:30 am

Pareng Halls,

When the mods decided to launch the SYNERGIES Corner the intention was the same. Many say the journey is more important than the destination and I'd have to agree for as long as the journey is not traffic and the destination is not the comfort room! Iba yun! :lol:

While we all take different routes, we all have something in common in that we're all trying to find how best to create a soundtrack for our lives and playback the pieces we have already collected. The latter is especially fun because when we can connect to the music it's like having a cosmic remote ala Adam Sandler with a Rewind button :D I'll be writing a piece on this as I promised Vic Sotto. Watch out for that one na lang ;)

Jack
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Postby jadis » Tue Jun 24, 2008 8:56 pm

It's been really nice reading on each of the posts here. For my own story I have to recall those RAM from my brain as to what I did and what I have done. I hereby confess the ff: :lol:

Circa late 70s I bought, probably with my own money from school allowance, a portable Sanyo cassette player which I 'converted' into wide stereo sound by plugging a pair of Daichi bookshelf speakers.

As would be the formula for all my further 'upgrades', I sold that, and bought another set of toy, this time a 'Silver' brand mini component (Japan) from Cardinal Audio.I really loved that thing. But again, SOLD. Next buy was a Sansui 'separate' mini component. As with other upgrade phenomena, the SIZE of the components gets bigger. I matched this with my first, ahem, US made speaker, the Boston Acoustics (forgot the model). Heaven. A few more months, a supplier in the office told me if I like stereo, I should get JBL speakers. He sold me a pair. (I do not wonder now.) :lol: It was the L-86. Then I upgraded it to the L-112 (again, bigger size). The same fellow introduced me to his friend who sold me an impressive but troublesome SS amp and at the same time I bought a JBL 4311 Studio Monitor. The ball was rolling hard and when I visited AudioLab in Timog to buy TAS magazine, I ended up bring home a Bose 901 SIII too, which I mated with yet another new intergrated amp, HUGE, heavy and hot Pioneer amp. I think by that time I had 3 systems in 3 different rooms. :shock: I know believe I did not know what I was doing then. :lol: And while rabidly bringing copies of TAS and Stereophile into my office and bedroom, I succumbed to yet another purchase, the so-called 5 star cartridge flavor of the month, the Madrigal Carnegie 1 which was designed by Ernest Benz of Benz Mirco.

Thereafter, some guy whom I met from the Bulletin Today classified ads sold me a Fisher pre-amp which I mated with an Apt Holman SS amp (yet another new amp). And the ball continued to roll that when I was introduced to Audiophile Components in Paco, I ordered via indent a pair of Infinity RS3b which was a younger brother of the then highly rated RS 1b (of which I had not enough money to buy anymore). :lol:

As luck would have it, I discovered that a neighbor also loved the hobby, and he bought my Fisher/Apt combo and I bought a Counterpoint SA7.1 pre-amp and Sumo Polaris amp from the late Mang Dima. By this time, my source was the Ariston RD110 table with the Sumiko Premeire MMT arm and a Grado 8 MI Cartridge.( Prior to this, the source were casette decks and a Sansui and Kenwood integrated turntable.) This was the period that I would regard as my first entry into 'high-end' audio. This should be in the mid 80s.

And this would be the start of REALLY building my system. I had sold all of my previous mini comps and JBLs, sort of consolidated my spendings into one 'big system', and here it goes further...Moments later, I would order a VPI HW 19MKII, a ET2 air bearing arm, and a Monster Cable Alpha 2 MC cartridge. In the meantime, the RS3b was sold and in came the B&W Martix 3 loudspeakers. It stayed briefly because the Celesion 600s came in, which later became the 600Si, and while I got 'tired' of the bookshelves, I ordered a pair of Thiel 3.5s from a US dealer in SF. By then, my electronics were magically converted via 'upgradtitis' into the ARC D115 amp and SP10 MKII pre-amp. And because of the phenomenon of 'trade-in-nitis', the D115 became D125, and the SP10 became the SP14. What happened next was an opportunity to own a virtual brand new Koetsu 'nude' cartridge that was rebuit by the Lyra boys of Scantech. Also, the ARC was sold in favor of a pair of VTL 120/75 monos.

Into the 90s: Bought a pair of B&W801 S3 monitors, Conrad Johnson MV125 amp and traded in some minor stuffs for a Jadis JPL line stage while retaining my SP14 as a phono stage. Theta Pro Gen 2 also arrived via trade-ins. While living happily at this period, the phone rang and it was the so called 'sulsultant' on the other line. Trade-initis again, this time, 801s for the humongous 800s. I can't refuse the deal, can I? :lol: After a great review, the 800s were the 'perfect' speakers of that time, or so said some reviewer. :lol: The rest is history. Another call in a few weeks from you-know-who and the CJ was to 'balloon' into the 4 chassis Jadis JA200. It was so hard to be good (to my wife). :lol: I sort of promised her (silently) that I wouldn't buy any hardware anymore (for a year maybe) but an irresistable offer from an old friend for a very very slightly used Koetsu Black passed by, and since it was relatively small, she did not notice. :lol: This combination lasted the a long time of non-movement, about 4 years until I decided to let go of the huge 800s speakers in favor of the Magnepan 2.7QRs. I realized I had been lisening to a lot of vocals, hence the move to the Maggies which are known to have a beautiful midband. I was not disappointed. At this moment on till about 10 more years, I did not do any 'upgrade' and in fact went downscale in the amp department as the JA200 proved to be unreliable and hard to service. In came the present ARC VS110 and it stayed till now and the SP14 became the ARC PH3. About 1 year ago, I also did a slight upgrade to my old Koetsu Black and changed its color to the Rosewood Signature. And here, is where all the build-ing ends, I would like to believe.

Like many other hobbies, the audio path we take is a learning one. We never cease to be students of our hobby. I admit that sometimes there may be no logic to my upgrade or downgrade movements but just by sheer passion and impulse. We may pause and go on, or perhaps finally stop in system building, but our learning process still goes on, from listening to other systems, and sharing audio experiences, exchanging insights and opinions.

Sorry for the long narration, I would have divided it into 2 parts but I thought I might forget some tidbits. :lol: Thanks for reading. :D
Last edited by jadis on Thu Jun 26, 2008 6:03 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Postby docsialu » Tue Jun 24, 2008 9:04 pm

sir philip, your journey is truly inspiring, :D
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Postby jadis » Tue Jun 24, 2008 9:35 pm

docsialu wrote:sir philip, your journey is truly inspiring, :D


thanks, doc. :)
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Postby Superman » Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:36 pm

Phil, thanks for sharing! Whew, what an audio journey! :wink:
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PART

Postby JackD201 » Wed Jun 25, 2008 8:29 pm

PART III - Digital, My other life as a bit head

I mentioned earlier that it took me a while to go head long into analog. A big reason was that from the beginning I always had musically satisfying CD players. Let me search my memory banks.

I started out with a Cal Audio DX-1 which was very analog sounding. It used a sigma delta dac and a j-fet output stage. No it didn't sound like vinyl being muted up top but it had the weight of 1/4" tape and some of the hiss too :lol: It kinda died on me so I went with my DVD Player into an MF X-24K. This was a great combo and to me the X-24K remains one of the best buys in CD playback. As rooms began to proliferate and systems along with it, in the Blue Room I went with the Sony DVD/SACD player into the AVP2 which uses essentially the chipset of ML's venerated No.360S. In the Big Room, the same venerated No.360S took residence with a Pro transport. The bedroom has to this day the Arcam Diva CD92 I have no intention of changing this unit.

The small room has had the most interesting residents over the years. The wonderful Audio Analogue Paganini was the resident CDP but was sold as a package with VR-2s and Pass Labs electronics. Shortly after I jumped at the Theta Pearl and Pro Prime DAC that was posted here for only 30k. One of the best deals ever here at WS. STill an unbelievable catch since this combo has never been shown up even when partnered with over 2 million pesos worth of speakers and electronics. Then there are the guest stars. The now pretty legendary 47 Labs Shigeraki Transport and DAC combo of Keith that lived here for a year. The Rega Brothers Apollo and Saturn. All these players were and are very analog sounding.

So you see how with players that gave my MMs a run for their money, I wasn't tempted all too much. It was only when the HRX-Phantom-Super Carts came along that my digital was left so far behind, I had to do something about it.

I still have a continually growing collection of CDs and SACDs upward of a thousand discs. There have been many discoveries lately that will never see a cutting lathe. I still need good digital playback.

Seeing as it would take somewhere between 40 and 50 dollars to challenge super vinyl at its own game I decided to take a different approach. I scratched Mr. Flatfish, Zanden and Esoteric off the list and decided to go for the antithesis. I wanted a digital player that excelled at Digital's strengths in bottom end dynamics to such a degree not even an idler drive table and a high output cart can come close. Thus I ended up with the Emmlabs CDSD and DCC2 transport and cart combo. While I dream of a Zanden every so often I'm happy where I am digitally.

My digital pursuits are not limited to CDs. I use a Mac as a server and stream wirelessly over wifi. I also have my Protools LE and a couple of CDJs for mixing. Digital will continue to move forward and someday when the leap will be worth leaping along I just might go for another ride.

Til then............... :D
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Postby audiostar » Wed Jun 25, 2008 8:33 pm

JackD201 wrote:Pareng Halls,

When the mods decided to launch the SYNERGIES Corner the intention was the same. Many say the journey is more important than the destination and I'd have to agree for as long as the journey is not traffic and the destination is not the comfort room! Iba yun! :lol:

While we all take different routes, we all have something in common in that we're all trying to find how best to create a soundtrack for our lives and playback the pieces we have already collected. The latter is especially fun because when we can connect to the music it's like having a cosmic remote ala Adam Sandler with a Rewind button :D I'll be writing a piece on this as I promised Vic Sotto. Watch out for that one na lang ;)

Jack


Yo! plugging ko na para di na makaatras si Cong Jack: watch out for my column 2nd sunday of August, featuring my guest, the one and only... Johnny Mathis :lol: :lol: :lol: :wink:
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Postby audiostar » Wed Jun 25, 2008 8:36 pm

Halls, pano ba ito :roll: I'm paid to write kasi 8) mura lang, P500 per column inch. Jok, jok, jok :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby jadis » Wed Jun 25, 2008 9:34 pm

Superman wrote:Phil, thanks for sharing! Whew, what an audio journey! :wink:


thanks for reading, jen. glad to share my journey. :)
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Postby kabubi » Wed Jun 25, 2008 9:36 pm

audiostar wrote:Halls, pano ba ito :roll: I'm paid to write kasi 8) mura lang, P500 per column inch. Jok, jok, jok :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


ex deal ang i-o-offer niyan sayo, instead of cash, black pizza. knowing him, he is seriously considering it... :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby audiostar » Wed Jun 25, 2008 10:23 pm

Reading all the posts in this thread glued me to my computer, boy was it a wonderful read. Doc Lito, Jadis, Jack, Kabubs and Noly, too all have the knack for pouring their hearts out in writing. As a journalist my training tells me to be detached from what I write, but too often I break this golden rule. Beautiful prose is borne out of emotions. This is what makes people read; and I wish we could have many more writers to lure our youth back to books, and yes to prose that can move mountains.

You guys are different in a way that you write about the things you love doing while enticing others to embrace the path you have taken. SALUTE!! Am I glad to be a part of this wonderful fraternity :wink:
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Postby TheAnalogSource » Thu Jun 26, 2008 6:30 am

kabubi wrote:
audiostar wrote:Halls, pano ba ito :roll: I'm paid to write kasi 8) mura lang, P500 per column inch. Jok, jok, jok :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


ex deal ang i-o-offer niyan sayo, instead of cash, black pizza. knowing him, he is seriously considering it... :lol: :lol: :lol:


seriously, daming pwedeng pulutin dito val.... might give you a year of materials :D :D :D

o un mga hindi pa nagpost how you built yours.... try na.... malay nyo... ma ireprint sa Abante :P :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby mullard88 » Thu Jul 24, 2008 9:09 pm

jadis,

Your post brought back so many memories. We met during the time you had the counterpoint preamp.

I can't help but smile remembering how my wife laughed when you told us you wanted to marry your Thiel speakers.

I also remember the dedicated music room you built on top of your garage that was accessed by a spiral staircase. It still amazes me on how you were able to bring up the Thiel speakers and the big power amps through that staircase.

Tube Newbie,

Perhaps you could build your listening room and an audio gear storage area on top of your garage.
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