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......new pictures and descriptions. 'Click' on the (R) above after my name and select "1. 'new' room and Music".
After building a new dedicated room in my barn i have taken the last 18 months to get the system to fully take advantage of the assets of the new room. My system had not changed much since 2001, but this last year almost everything is different.....speakers, amps, preamp, interconnects, added set of speaker cable, racks, power cords, more chairs.
The last few months i have been working on refineing the set-up issues and am on the home stretch on that process.
the best thing is that over the last month or so i have been catching up on all the new music i had been passing on for the last three years during my room change and then gear discovery.
it is all about the music.
......everyone for the kind words.
Outstanding, and anyone else at any level, please feel free to post your pictures and describe your system. I'd love to see em'
"I prefer a bit of tape hiss actually"
...considering your response to T.J.E. People should aspire to your model at the expense of your system.
life full of hard work and a lifelong love of music. I feel the same way after getting my living room set up with some nice monitors, a couple hundred lps, and a Rega P5. That's all this is about. Well done!
DarTZEELs and Von Schweikerts. Those guys ought to pay you commisions. Sometimes the coolness factor trumps everything. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.
good 2 see you have the system working close to its potential
Mike, I would have surely thought given the VR 9's high efficiency and all the bass is internally powered that just one dart amp would have been plenty?. In fact a SE tube amp with the right tonal and musical qualities should be enuf.
BTW, have you heard the aussie contiuum TT yet?. would be an interesting comparison.
i had spent about 8 months last year with a single darTZeel stereo amp; first on the Kharma Exquisites, then with the Kharma Midi Exquisites (while i was waiting for the VR9's to be built), and finally with the VR9's. all during this time i was also using the Tenor 300 watt hybrids (which i still have). during this time i was using the Placette RVC and my switchbox (both of which i still have). i found that with the Placette i slightly preferred the Tenors as the darTZeel didn't match well with the impedence issues on the Placette and the dynamic challenges of my large (29' x 21' x 11') room. the single darTZeel with the Placette was very excellent and had plenty of slam and dynamics, especially on the VR9's, but a single darTZeel understandibly could not match the dynamic slam and ease of the 300 watt Tenor Hybrids.
as i had been bi-wiring with both the Tenors and dart amp since the VR9's demand it i was curious what a pair of stereo darts would do.
in October i got the prototype dart preamp and another dart amp; this combo went to a level beyond the Tenor Hybrids and the Placette; particularly in battery power.
a single dart amp is enough; but 2 are quite a bit more dynamic and portray a much better sense of ease and control.
i have not tried the Tenors with the dart pre as i no longer have the appropriate cables (i sold my 7 meter XLR Valhalla)......i have no doubt they would sound magnificent.
I switch off between four amps in my second system.... All low-power tubes.... All bring a unique perspective to the music.
each cartridge has it's strengths; depending on taste and context.
the Koetsu RSP is pure butta. really quite a great all-around cartridge IF your like a 'golden' view and have a low-noise high output phono stage (only .2mv output). at $5500 list price and about a $3500 'street' price a good buy.
i haven't really played the Colibri XGW .65mv cartridge enough (about 20 hours) to have it's full measure. very dynamic but also a little forgiving compared to the XCP. wonderfull ease and see-thru transparency. $7000 list price; around $3k street price if purchased 'grey' market.
if i were to choose one cartridge to recommend to anyone as the overall best sounding cartridge it would be the Dynavector XV-1s. it's a bit of the Koetsu combined with more dynamics and energy. not so colored but still having color. at $4200 list price and likely a street price in the mid-$3k range it's not cheap but always sounds great. the only drawback is that at .25mv output it also needs a very good low noise high output phono stage. it is a good tracker and works with well with most arms (according to feedback i read).
the vdH Colibri XCP is the most exciting piece of audio gear i have ever heard but it's also an edgy piece of shit when not fed properly. i bought the XV-1s because my system was going thru a phase where the XCP made much of my favorite music sound edgy. i thought the problem was my cartridge but it turns out the Colibri was just telling me that the system had 'issues'. that was last summer. in the last 6 months i solved the issues and the Colibri is now singing beautifully.....the system is now worthy of the cartridge. the list price of the Colibri XCP .85mv is $7000. i bought mine 'grey market' 4 years ago for $1700. the same cartridge now is $2500-$3000 street. it is the steal of the century if your system is up to it.....and.....you have flat records, a very good clamping system, or vaccuum hold-down. it is 'nude' and intimidating to handle....and does track very light---1.35-1.50 grams. the XCP is amazingly explosive, detailed, has very natural sense of sorting out complicated musical lines, and is really unflapable on musical peaks......and yet will deliver the most delicate nuance and musical pulse. really breathtaking and humbles any other cartridge on direct comparison.
i did a shootout of a couple of these cartridges a few months back.....click below if you are interested.
how do you heat and cool the place? Do you have a seperate heat pump or???
I'm getting ready to move to a place and will have 2 detached garages. I was thinking of doing something similar.
i have a dedicated HVAC system for the room. it is a closed system with 2 outlet vents in the ceiling in the rear of the room and 2 cold air returns at the front of the room. the air box is in the attic above the hallway outside the room mounted on an isolation platform. the heat exchanger is outside the barn on the opposite side from the listening room.
the system is very nearly inaudible with everything off......you can hear a 'click' as it cycles on and off.
Rives Audio (my acoustical designer) worked with the contrator to incorporate the design.
e-mail me if you want more info about this. done wrong; HVAC can be a pain in the ass.
there is more info in my room article......link at the bottom of my system page.
...that according to many people right here on the Asylum, your system doesn't sound any different than a rack system! Or is it that a rack system is more "accurate"? Hmmm... something with three letters in it that proves you overspent... can't quite remember what... LSD, maybe. Anyway, you must have had quite a few naysayers from AA at your house listening for them to make that claim, didn't you? They seem so sure of themselves! :)
This message has been moved to a more appropriate venue .
.....is the addition of the two seats behind the main listening chair. now 2-3 people can immerse themselves into what truly must be a wonderful sonic experience.
and....there's now room for visitors.
as my main chair is so tall; when i do have visitors i move it rearward and to one side and move a shorter chair into it's place so listeners in the back row have a clear listening field. i also have 8 additional chairs i can bring in any time.
i plan on adding one more Barcelona chair so i can have a row of three for up to 5 people. i can also move the row up front for an 'all-up' sofa configuration i sometimes prefer.
I'm considering Rives for an audio only room in my unfinished basement. I've made contact with them and am looking into a level 3 design. If possible I'd like to chat sometime about your experience with them. I've sent you a message via the asylum. Thanks.
...driver center, passangers outboard and aft.
Finally a clean, neat, aesthetically pleasing room!! Congrats, I am not as impressed by the cost of the room as I am by the fact that is not a mess as most of the ones I see...I cannot enjoy music in a dirty, messy environment...
Perfection would be within reach if you managed to remove all cabling!!!
IDEA! you have your cables suspended over the floor...Do you have a basement? Can you suspend the cables UNDER the floor??. Imagine free floating amps and speakers!
The lounge looks comfortable, how about a Le Corbusier? Lose the side table and get a Barbara Barry or a French Moderne period piece that will go with the lounge...
Ah! perfection...enjoy the music...
i'm a neatnick by nature. when i had the room designed i wanted a 'place for everything' and 'everything in it's place'.
my nature up till now is to compare cables from time to time (i've probably done 30 rounds of cable comparisons in the last 6 years) plus i like cables to be as short as possible. so using underfloor conduits for cables (for my 2-channel system) was not a priority for me. OTOH i did bury conduit in the 6" concrete floor for future runs to rear speakers, front subwoofer and center channel. my room article (a link at the bottom of my system page) describes in more detail some of these design choices.
my chair is about comfort for long listening sessions. as 'cool' as some chairs look......i'll go with NASA (who designed the 'zero gravity' chair for space travel)......for ultimate comfort. for me always 'performance first'.
....but even better than ever this time. I can only imagine how it sounds.....
Really, I do.
Looks like absorption has been used in moderation, and your hard surfaces are almost all curved so that you get good scattering (diffusion) of reflected energy which promotes rich timbre and ambience. I think the speakers you chose are very appropriate for those acoustic conditions; a lot of speakers would like more absorption because their off-axis energy is poorly balanced.
I especially like the way your CD and record collection in the back third of the room doubles as diffusors. Marvellous idea! Hey everybody, let's buy more CD's and LP's and kill two birds with one stone!
I'm impressed with the attention devoted to the ceiling reflection. That's something I haven't played with yet.
Sure I'll never be able to have a room or system as good as Mike's but thank you Mike for inviting me into your home as much as the internet permits and letting me take a good, long look around.
If I may venture a couple of questions (my apologies if these are repeats of questions you've fielded before), but what kind of surface is on the walls in the corner quadrants behind the speakers? I'm guessing it's absorptive but can't tell. And, what's that chair?
the design approach of the room is for most surfaces to be diffusive to retain as much musical energy as possible but eliminate beaming LIKE A CONCERT HALL. the wood floor at the front of the room is like a stage, the adjacent walls are either absorbtive or diffusive so the energy retained there does not beam.
those 'walls' behind and beside the speakers are actually fabric covered 1" Corning 703 Fibreglass and the angles of both walls create a very large bass trap. the corners are 18" from the true room corners. the fabric covering is absorbtive as a balance to all the diffusion and along with the ceiling treatment allow for amazing soundstaging. the whole 'drop' ceiling also has 1" fibreglass sides and is one very large bass trap.
as you are almost a neighbor you are welcome to do more than internet visit should get over here to the 'Big City'.
........ ..As I have said before I love the fit & finish of your room.
I am not terribly au fait with most of your gear but I thank you for sharing your efforts and dreams with all here @ AA. Some wonderful pictures you have taken of your new set-up.
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