Reviews of the components in my “good” system.

J!m

Veteran and General Yakker
Joined
Dec 24, 2019
Messages
2,669
Location
Connecticut
#1
So, over the last 30+ years, I’ve slowly evolved my system to its present state. Not “state of the art” certainly, but it delivers musical enjoyment for sure.

In this thread, I will find and post links to reviews of each component, assuming I can find one. Some I might not be able to, so apologies in advance.

So, first the introductions:

Speakers: Thiel CS 2.2*
Amplifiers: Counterpoint SA-220 used as monoblocks (but not bridged- I’ll detail that trick before the review posting)
Preamp: Perreaux SM6

Digital:
Theta Data Basic transport
Aragon D2A d/a converter

Analogue:
Rega Planar 3 (with my belt, Michell weight)
Benz-Micro Silver
Aragon 47k
Tascam 122 Mk. III (rarely in the main system)

Interconnects are actually video cables that were held in high regard, when my Radio Shack cables were falling apart, as well as being inexpensive. No longer made, and I’ll add their name if I remember. (Don’t hold your breath) And the balanced out from the Perreaux to the amps is Mogami.

Speaker cables are short (24”) silver plated copper Swiss Plasma Gun power cables. Normally water cooled, but a pair carries 1100 amps. Since each amp can only manage 50 amps, that should be ok. If you didn’t figure it yet, I made these. I guess I could make up a completely biased review of these since no one else has them.


*original name was 2.2 and later changed to 2 2 (no point) because Bose had copyrighted the “2.2” name. Insert eye roll here.
 

J!m

Veteran and General Yakker
Joined
Dec 24, 2019
Messages
2,669
Location
Connecticut
#3
Amplifier review:

http://www.gammaelectronics.xyz/audio_07-1990_counterpoint.html

So, I ran one (I bought new) for several years through Advent Legacy speakers; then Vandersteen Model 1s, and finally the Thiels. During one move, the amp stopped working so I sent it to Alta Vista Audio (Michael Elliot, the designer) who repaired a broken wire on the transformer.

Later I acquired a second amp, so I re-tubed them both and ran one channel each.

One day I was emailing with Mike (I don’t think he’s so approachable any longer) and he told me a trick as we were discussing “To bridge or not to bridge: that is the question.”

Well, when you bridge an amp, you get (more than) double the output power, with a doubling of distortion. Distortion is already on the high side (though low enough) so I didn’t want to raise it, and Mike let me in on a secret.

If you take the balanced output from the preamp, and run the “hot” to the left RCA center; and the “cold” to the right RCA center, and then connect speaker negative to right red speaker terminal and positive to left red speaker terminal, you have a balanced mono block, putting out 440 watts into 8 ohms with no increase in distortion. This also keeps the amp comfortably in class A as the volume becomes uncomfortably loud. Now, one CRITICAL detail: you MUST float (not connect) the RCA shield at the amp end. Otherwise, Win-win. So, that’s exactly what I did.

This scheme may, or may not work with other amps. So do so at your own risk. You fry it, you buy it.
 
Last edited:

J!m

Veteran and General Yakker
Joined
Dec 24, 2019
Messages
2,669
Location
Connecticut
#4
Preamp: FAIL

they recently released the SM6 Mk. II (which should be killer) so I can’t find reviews of the “old” one.
 

J!m

Veteran and General Yakker
Joined
Dec 24, 2019
Messages
2,669
Location
Connecticut
#8
Well, it’s really nice and came from the scrap barrel where I was working at the time.

I did have to buy copper spades and use copper tubing in a massive crimping tool to hold it together. Plus buying clear, red and blue shrink tubing to keep from frying my amps.
 
Last edited:

J!m

Veteran and General Yakker
Joined
Dec 24, 2019
Messages
2,669
Location
Connecticut
#11
Rega Planar 3: (Not the P3, or RP3 which are newer, and finally not the 2018 version of the Planar 3, which is about the only review I can find now. BUT, there have been many reviews- I just can’t find any but this linked recollection of a reviewer or something. If you have old copies of stereo magazines, maybe you have the ones sited at the end.

https://audiokarma.org/forums/index.php?threads/review-rega-planar-3-turntable.11837/
 

J!m

Veteran and General Yakker
Joined
Dec 24, 2019
Messages
2,669
Location
Connecticut
#13
I’m familiar with that site. But I don’t know what issues the reviews are in and you can’t search there as they are all scans.
 

orange

Veteran and General Yakker
Joined
Jul 6, 2010
Messages
17,704
Tagline
Broken beyond repair but highly affable
#14
My sig line explains it well.
 
Top