Systems

speakerman1

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#1
Well here goes. I don't talk about my systems often. I am always swapping parts so they never are the same from one week to the next. The sound room has 2 pres and an Int. amp. Will probably bi-amp with the Dynaco. If you never hear other systems how do you compare? Explanations first. When building a system in my world I search. Right now the Nikko is the pre on the L/R system. My cielings are pretty high in this room. It goes to the peak. I would say 20 feet.. With the Vandersteens positioning is pretty important. You have a rear firing passive woofer. They are tilted back to get the tweeter in phase. They are not for every room; because of placement. I ran this system without a pre a long time. There is no need for a sub. At the end I will post the CD he was listening to.

The first component is the Shanling CD. The tubes are just for looks. LOL Bought it when I was getting lines for my store. If you get a chance you should listen to one. It has a variable output. So I can pull the pre. I rolled the tubes once. I forget what I put in there. MSAP 3000.00

The Nikko is a temp pre. May pull it and put the SP12 in the line up. Only 2 things in the loop as inputs is the CDP and a Special Edition Yamaha cassette deck. MSRP 300.00 GBP

The Cary amps provide the basis for the system. I can upgrade the caps and I may. They used PIO caps. I do like the fuller sound from the tubes. Or from the Carys. Would I suggest buying Cary? For the sound yes I would. For the service? Nope Lee paid 1900.00

The Vandersteens CE IIs. not efficient at all. Were not bought to rattle widows. Found these for I think 450.00 OBO. He took 425.00. I paid 500.00. Felt like I was cheating him at 425.00. MSRP was 2300.00 I think. I didn't like them at first. Has taken about a year of tweaking for me to get cold shivers up my spine.

I started building this system 2 years ago. This system will probably be upgraded by source components and wires. The base system will stay the same.Wires are over 3000.00. Audio Magic and Tara Labs. I really think I'm being conservative in the price.

2 things I want or need. Depends on who you ask. TT and phono amp. Have 1 TT on layaway with 2 more arms. 1 TT I'm messing with. The phono amp will be a pretty big deal.

Alot of you know I do not believe in synergy. I pick and choose pretty carefully. When Graham put his list up. I was like a Kid in a Candy store. I was on a TT and tone arm hunt. Think I got a good deal. Jerry I think I have a pair of stands. At the end I will give you my thoughts where I am and where I want to be with this system. I have 2 thoughts on it. Does it sound good? Yes Can it sound better? Yes

Without the people I consider friends I would not have this system. I want to thank you all. I learn from you. There will never be any horns in my systems. No more high powered amps. Not my goal in life. Been there on the power. Wasn't the sound I was looking for. Jerry when I first heard the Piano like you heard I was in awe. Thought to myself I was hearing things. Then I thought noway it sounds like this. I have nothing to compare to. I can handle constructive criticism. I welcome it. Took me 6 months tweaking the speakers setting the tilt. Moving them around to get the best sound.

OK here goes me reading minds. The reason for the pricing was not to say I spent a lot of money. I didn't. I have a little over 4 grand in it. Your next thought is that I'm crazy to pay that much for wires. I have turned some of you on to some pretty cheap cables and I was told that they made a difference. Anyone want to try a little higher up the food chain ICs or Speaker cables. Chloba I'm sorry if you bought the Goldring. If you bought it on my recommendation. I know your TT is down. Do you want to listen to the Vinyl tapes. I'm sure no one will mind sending them to you. Joe has the M97XE if you want to try it. He can send it to you with the tapes. Probably could send it sooner. Joe did you try the MH?

Jerry some advice. Don't buy your speakers yet. Go for some higher sources. Just start looking and reading. Never know what you may find. You may have a good pair of speakers sitting there. The sound you heard was more the tubes than the speakers. Nothing is the best that I have. Compared to Grahams stuff I am a babe in the woods. I'm rambling. I'm in my forgetful mode. LOL
 

Elite-ist

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#4
Larry: that's a great in-depth profile of your sytem. That's what I like to read more of. As one of the lucky guys who received Tara Lab cables from Larry, the TL ICs do make a sonic improvement over my existing cables... and I don't use looney-bin (that's dollar-bin, for you non-Canadians) ICs.

Nando.
 

speakerman1

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#5
Larry: that's a great in-depth profile of your sytem. That's what I like to read more of. As one of the lucky guys who received Tara Lab cables from Larry, the TL ICs do make a sonic improvement over my existing cables... and I don't use looney-bin (that's dollar-bin, for you non-Canadians) ICs.

Nando.
LOL Nando I am the looney bin. I do know the shortcomings of my systems. I weigh them when I hear them. The questions when I do is can I live with them or do I try to correct them. There are so many small things you can do to tweak them. I am a very lucky person; because I have the means to try them as they are left over from other systems. I meant cheap in price not in build. This is the first system I have had where all sounds was equal to the others. The highs aren't bright or lacking. The mids were always there. The bass is there just not in your face. They are all equal.
 

orange

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#6
The Nikko PRE...

If you decide you should want to sell it...let me know more. I still need a pre.
 

orange

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#8
I still have Stuwee's and your Christmas presents held up from all the hoopla and a small glitch as it was...I hope to finally get them done and send my Teac 2340 to Sam as well early this week. If you needed to fix a switch it's no huge hurry to me. I packed a Teac AN-80 Dolby unit for FF and a welcome wagon package for someone else this weekend and now it's the big Teac's turn.

I managed to fall asleep last night without my insulin and this morning the monitor read HI, meaning it was over the range it covers so I left messages for my practitioner and consulted the hospital then increased my Novolog 3 units and fasted a couple hours until I got to 360 and my practitioner called and told me to drink lots of water and I could have my fishsticks...I'll be okay by morning and she said I did the right things so I was glad to know I have common sense.

Not going there again though...:whax:
 

orange

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#10
BTW Larry, if you want more than TWO images, look for the little teeny + and click it to add browse windows.
 

speakerman1

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#11
When building a system what is the 1st thing you look for? First I pick what want. SS or tube sound. Next wattage 1000 or 100. For me I'm dropping down in wattage. I have my reasons. To me the amps come first. Then the preamp. The only reason for the pre is if I want to switch sources. Sources then speakers. Then wires. I will swap wires for awhile.

I think I will pull the Nikko today. There is a hum. Turned off my amps one at a time. Still have a hum. For a phono amp. Think I will build off of the SP12. Will use separate power supply. Think I will talk to John. Wonder if I can do a battery supplied PS. No wall wart.
 

Pure_Brew

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#13
When building a system what is the 1st thing you look for? First I pick what want. SS or tube sound. Next wattage 1000 or 100. For me I'm dropping down in wattage. I have my reasons. To me the amps come first. Then the preamp. The only reason for the pre is if I want to switch sources. Sources then speakers. Then wires. I will swap wires for awhile.

I think I will pull the Nikko today. There is a hum. Turned off my amps one at a time. Still have a hum. For a phono amp. Think I will build off of the SP12. Will use separate power supply. Think I will talk to John. Wonder if I can do a battery supplied PS. No wall wart.
I usually consider the room first, then speakers and amplifier together based on relative efficiency, taste, listening styles. Then preamp & source.

For me personally, I probably flipped about the same amount of amps as speakers, which always ends up being a main focus. I think I'm in the same camp as you, being that I don't feel gravitated to horn and/or high power.

While I know I haven't heard it all, and I'm fairly new to tubes and TT's, I've been fortunate to have a great deal of exposure to a lot of equipment and brands that I have either sold in retail, or was able audition in various HiFi shops along the way.

Budget constraints have held me back, so at the moment, I don't mind finding some cheap things to clean up and enjoy. Because, afterall, the point for me is musical enjoyment. Sure, sometimes I fret over differences and long for upgrades, knowing what's achievable-as I have listened many times. But currently, I have been able to achieve a measure of enjoyment with the frugal equipment I have.

Indecently, I have at least discovered what to avoid and some personal preferences. At the bottom of the food chain, I have found often that soft domes and paper cones to be much easier to listen to. It has seemed to me that a lot of low priced speakers that use any other kind of tweeter (mainly low cost metal) are shooting for mass consumer appeal. They may sound exciting at first listen, and get sales, but they always fatigue. At least, that's my experience. On the upper end, with higher quality drive units along with more attention to crossover design, you can get more then just a bright sound. You can obviously achieve something with much better focus and transparency. But to me that is not usually what you get at the bottom.

I think this is why I have enjoyed these Snell EII's so much. It's Because I prefer a laid back sound over intense focus. Anything slightly forward sounding or bright is out.
 

Pure_Brew

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#14
I have run the gambit on solid state and wanted to try something new. I had amps from Adcom, Nak, PS Audio, Nikko, various receives etc. Some of them quite good, but after hearing some tube based equipment, BAT, Esoteric, Quicksilver and even some old school mono blocks on some old Quads, I decided I wanted to check it out (even though this stuff was WAY out of my range.

So I bought the Jolida, knowing I could return it. I felt power wise it would be close to what I was accustomed to, and the speakers I was used to we're not highly efficient. I have been happy with the sound, and with CD, it has been very much to my liking. A warm sound is defineatly what I'm getting from this, and it meets my power needs just fine. Still, the bass from the solid state amps I have are much better in control and dynamics.

There is plenty of room for improvement here, but while this system is not the most transparent, it has been a sacrifice I have been willing to live with for the sake of listenability.
 

Pure_Brew

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On cables and accessories, it's difficult for me to hear much of a difference on this system because I believe the lack of overall transparency. So at this point, I'm concidering weakest link. While I would like to grab a really top notch source, I'm a bit concerned about not getting a great benefit from it sonically. But I have never invested enough to source, and would love to grab something nice. I always end up changing amps, not sure what my next move will be. Maybe nothing, maybe a house that my wife and I keep talking about.
 

speakerman1

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#16
I usually consider the room first, then speakers and amplifier together based on relative efficiency, taste, listening styles. Then preamp & source.

For me personally, I probably flipped about the same amount of amps as speakers, which always ends up being a main focus. I think I'm in the same camp as you, being that I don't feel gravitated to horn and/or high power.

While I know I haven't heard it all, and I'm fairly new to tubes and TT's, I've been fortunate to have a great deal of exposure to a lot of equipment and brands that I have either sold in retail, or was able audition in various HiFi shops along the way.

Budget constraints have held me back, so at the moment, I don't mind finding some cheap things to clean up and enjoy. Because, afterall, the point for me is musical enjoyment. Sure, sometimes I fret over differences and long for upgrades, knowing what's achievable-as I have listened many times. But currently, I have been able to achieve a measure of enjoyment with the frugal equipment I have.

Indecently, I have at least discovered what to avoid and some personal preferences. At the bottom of the food chain, I have found often that soft domes and paper cones to be much easier to listen to. It has seemed to me that a lot of low priced speakers that use any other kind of tweeter (mainly low cost metal) are shooting for mass consumer appeal. They may sound exciting at first listen, and get sales, but they always fatigue. At least, that's my experience. On the upper end, with higher quality drive units along with more attention to crossover design, you can get more then just a bright sound. You can obviously achieve something with much better focus and transparency. But to me that is not usually what you get at the bottom.

I think this is why I have enjoyed these Snell EII's so much. It's Because I prefer a laid back sound over intense focus. Anything slightly forward sounding or bright is out.
I never consider the room till speakers. I can honestly say I have been very fortunate in the pricing of things I have. I will take physical defects if the sound is good. I'm sort of glad the 20 ft. Bi-wire TLs were to short for Lee to use. LOL Like I told Jerry. I wasn't looking for a 2400 Goldring when I found the one for 60.00. I feel blessed in what I find. The Vandys and the BL 10 I bought at the same time. I was looking for a Micro. Wasn't looking for the Vandys. Found them at a price I could afford for that much speaker. You may be able to get a pair of Chinese bookshelfs for what I paid. I also seem to have a nose for quantity buys of pretty good products.
 

Pure_Brew

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#17
Yeah I'm always looking for deals, that is, when I'm looking. $25 for the SL-1800. $135 for the Snells ( but I did put work in..). I got a FREE Adcom GFP-750 & GFA-555 from 2 different customers when I was installing. Wish I kept the pre. Sold it all.

Only significant money I ever spent on anything was this Jolida 502 BRC, which I bought new from Spear it Sound in MA. I did get it for less then what they sell for. But looking back I wish I had grabbed some Quicksilver mono blocks for that kind of money. Still would have needed/wanted a pre. and the higher powered 6550 seemed attractive. Ah well, another time I suppose.
 

speakerman1

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#18
Now don't get me wrong. I have spent a little money looking for audio nirvana. I'm very fortunate some people smile upon me. Graham does lay away. LOL The Nikkos, Carys and such AA, PT, and Onix. My Akai R2R that was bought in Vietnam. Someone sold to me at a very fair price.
 

Pure_Brew

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#19
Tossed around the idea of a different phono pre. Again with the Jolida. The JD9. It is one thing that they make that seems to be generally reviewed as a good product. Allows for some adjustment flexibility and MC.

I would like to try some new speaker cables. I'm using 4 conductor 14 gauge monster. It's CL3 direct burial type cut from a 500ft roll I got from work. Biwiring with it at the moment, have been for a year. I like it a bit more then the lamp-cord style I got from radio shack. I also have this massive bi-wire set from monster, free to me. But is to stiff and unwieldly. Jacket about as big as garden hose.

At this point, what would really help, is if my landlord gets off his ass and changes out my neighbors reostat for his kitchen light. Boy that thing is f'ing obnoxious!
 

dingus

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#20
right or wrong, putting a system together around the speakers always worked best for me. granted, within that mindset i've always been limited to the constraints dictated by budget, existing floor space, availability of components and WAF, but the idea is always - "how do i maximize the abilities of this speaker within the previously listed parameters?"
 
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