Archive for February, 2008

BlaineH’s System

DIGITAL SOURCES

  • Sony 9100es

ANALOG SOURCES

  • None

PREAMP

  • Placette passive RVC

› Continue reading

Thursday, February 28th, 2008 Member's Systems Comments Off

MiguelDF’s System

Sources:

  • Linn Pekin Tuner
  • Rotel DVD/CD RDV1040
  • C. E. C. CD Player TL51XR

Integrated Amp

  • Audiomat Opera

Speakers

  • Silverline Audio’s SR 17.5s

› Continue reading

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008 Member's Systems Comments Off

ChrisG’s System

DIGITAL SOURCES

  • Sony 777ES Modified by Vacuum State to Level 6

ANALOG SOURCES

  • None

PREAMP

  • BAT VK 5i

› Continue reading

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008 Member's Systems Comments Off

CraigS’s System

DIGITAL SOURCES

  • @tunes SB+ Streaming Device (coming)

ANALOG SOURCES

  • Garrard 301 Turntable; Denon 103R; OL Silver Tonearm
  • Marantz SLT 12U Turntable; Denon 103R

PHONOSTAGE

  • Decware ZP2

PREAMP

  • Eastern Electric MiniMax (upgraded by Tom Tutay)

› Continue reading

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008 Member's Systems Comments Off

Recommended Format for “Your System”

I just got a good suggestion from Aaron re including general location info in the listing (e.g., “Santa Clara” or “Peninsula”).

So that gives us the following recommended outline:

  • Digital Sources
  • Analog Sources
  • Preamp
  • Amp
  • Speakers
  • Cables
  • Other (incl. power conditioning)
  • Can members visit?
  • Location
  • Pictures

Please follow this format, as it makes it easier for me to post the info!

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008 Bob, Member's Systems Comments Off

WimV’s System

Power Conditioning

  • Belkin, PURE/AV PF60

Pre-amplifier/processor

  • B&K Reference 50 with version 2.03 software

Phono-Stages

  • Musical Fidelity X-LPS
  • Picolo, Hagerman MC preamp.

› Continue reading

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008 Member's Systems Comments Off

BobS’s System

thiel37.jpg

Speakers: Thiel CS 3.7

Amplifier: Parasound JC-1 monoblocks.

Preamplifier: None; DAC has gain control.

CD: Lavry DA-10 DAC. Levinson 37 transport.

Analog: None.

Cables/Interconnects: Cardas Neutral Reference XLR interconnect between Lavry & JC-1; Stereovox digital coax cable; Tommy Jenving Supra Ply loudspeaker cable.

Power Filters: PS Audio UPC power filter for power amps; Monster Cable HTS-3500 power filter for other gear.

Room Size: 27 x 15.3 x 8 (excessively live; needs absorptive treatment)

Music preferences: Classical & Opera.

Bob’s early review of the Thiel’s is posted here.

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008 Member's Systems Comments Off

DonD’s System

dond.jpg The main components are:

DIGITAL SOURCES

  • McIntosh MVP-861 CD/DVD all formats Player
  • McIntosh MS-300 Music Server & CD Player
  • RSQ MV-333 DVD-G Karaoke CD Player
  • McIntosh MDA 1000 DA converter
  • ANALOG SOURCES
    • None
  • PREAMP
    • McIntosh MX-132 Surround Pre-amp
    • Merlin Bass Activation Module
  • POWER AMPS
  • Tuesday, February 26th, 2008 Member's Systems Comments Off

    JimG’s System

    bc204.jpg

    The main components are:

    DIGITAL SOURCES

    • Apple G5, Apple RAID array file server in the basement for ITunes capable MACBook upstairs
    • APL 3910 Universal player CDP
  • ANALOG SOURCES
    • None
  • PREAMP
    • APL
    • Merlin Bass Activation Module
  • POWER AMP
    • Blue Circle BC204 stereo hybrid amplifier
  • Cables
  • Tuesday, February 26th, 2008 Member's Systems Comments Off

    TomB’s System

    majestics.jpgTom’s system can best be viewed by clicking here, but the picture kinda tells the story!

    Tuesday, February 26th, 2008 Member's Systems Comments Off

    ToddM’s System

    The main components are:DIGITAL SOURCES

    • Sony S530D DVD Player (on its way out)
    • Benchmark USB DAC1 (in the mail)
    • My digital source is evolving and is likely headed to PC audio
  • ANALOG SOURCES
    • None
  • PREAMP
    • None
  • POWER AMP
    • Prima Luna Dialogue II
  • Cables
    • Blue Jeans/Belden 10 gauge copper
  • Speakers
    • Devore Fidelity Super Gibbon 8s
  • Other
    • None
  • Members can visit?
    • Yes

    Tuesday, February 26th, 2008 Member's Systems Comments Off

    Bob Walters’ System

    tl-d1.jpg

    The main components are:

    DIGITAL SOURCES

    • Oppo DV-980H (for video only)
    • SlimDevices Transporter (soon to be modded with clock/Class A out)
    • Oritek DAC
    • Pioneer DV-58AV w/EVS mods
  • ANALOG SOURCES
    • None
  • PREAMP
    • Oritek Prototype w/Stepped Attenuator
  • POWER AMPS
    • Packard Bell EL84 SE amp (4 wpc)
      • …extracted from 1960 console, moddedaleph-jr.jpg
    • Packard Bell EL84 push-pull (12 wpc)
      • …extracted from 1960′s console, mods in progress
    • Curtis-Mathis “High Fidelity System” EL84 PP Receiver (14 wpc)
      • …vintage piece restored by Ori [my current tube reference amp]
    • VTL/Manley Labs EL34 “Signature” Monoblocs (35 wpc)
      • …with Mundorf Silver/Oil caps, reduced voltage and gain
    • Antique Soundlabs (ASL) 1006-DT2 (845) SET Monoblocs
      • …with Hovland coupling caps and reduced feedback and gain
    • Pass Labs (Rawson clone) Aleph-3 SS Class A (30 wpc)
      • …can heat a whole house – more than the 845′s [current SS reference]
    • Pass Labs (Rawson clone) Aleph-J Jr SS Class A+ FET (10 wpc)
      • …tubier Aleph-3 that runs cool(er)
  • Cables
    • Oritek X-2 interconnectsel84group.jpg
    • Oritek X-1 speaker cables
    • Verastarr Experimental Ribbon Power Cables
  • Speakers
    • Tonian TL-D1 1.5-way Floorstanders
      • …Fostex 8″ driver + ribbon supertweeter, modified [current reference]
      • …awaiting delivery on “Classic 12.1S” (Phy 12″ driver + ribbon supertweeter)
    • Usher CP-8571 Dancers
      • …rewired with NOS silver/teflon, Dayton foil caps, soldered connections, and custom phase-coherent crossover networks
  • Other
    • Velleman HPS-40 O-scope
    • elec-bamboo.jpgMarchand Signal Generator
    • Goldline 30MP Real Time Spectrum Analyzer
    • Electric Bamboo Power Conditioner
  • Members can visit?
    • Yes, schedule via email


    Tuesday, February 26th, 2008 Bob, Member's Systems 2 Comments

    Posting Comments on This Site

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    Sunday, February 24th, 2008 Announcements, Bob 1 Comment

    Bybee/Nuforce/VTL event at Audible Arts

    bybeenuforceusherusherNOTE: Please post your discography as a comment to this post!We had a great event at Audible Arts yesterday.About 40 BAAS members enjoyed over 3 hours of great music/listening, several interesting hardware configurations, and conversations with Luke Manley (VTL), Jack Bybee, and Jason Lim (Nuforce).While we did experience some bass-loading problems in the main listening room (the flagship Be-20 Ushers produce massive bass), the afternoon provided ample opportunity for experimentation and tuning – and therefore learning.I must commend our hosts (Jeff Wells and Will of Audible Arts) and guests for their hospitality and forbearance. We requested about a dozen system changes over the course of the afternoon, and all requests were enthusiastically embraced. (Of course, Jeff provided food and drinks as well.)Here are my high-level observations on the gear:

    • VTL – Smooth, powerful, and clean. A joy to use. If you think that tubes can’t do bass, think again.
    • Nuforce – “Force” is the right word. Nearly 200w (8 ohm) at a damping factor of about 50K will do that. The Version 2 models seem to eliminate the treble problems commonly associated with Class D.
    • Bybee – Most sessions were done with Silver Bullets in place, and we didn’t get the opportunity to A/B them. So I’ll just let their reputation speak for itself. Jack did promise BAAS that he’d buy back any component that we bought and didn’t like. A nice touch!
    • Usher – A victim of their own bass. Sounded better with Nuforce (that damping factor…). Great mids and highs, and you’d never know it’s beryllium!
    • Podium – A unique panel loudspeaker. Great speed and the ability to vanish in the room. Creates a “wall of sound,” similar in soundstage to an amplified concert – with similar imprecision of image placement. Well worth a listen in the $6-8K price range.

    For those that played their own tracks, please add a comment to this post giving the discography. Send me an email to register on the site – you must register in order to post comments.

    Sunday, February 24th, 2008 Bob, Equipment, Events 5 Comments

    RR 24/176 Hi-rez & Magico V3′s – A Listening Impression

    ref-rec.jpgmagico.jpgA couple of weeks ago, Ori and I had the opportunity to listen to Magico V3 floorstanders with about $100K of electronics feeding them. If that wasn’t cool enough, we were in a purpose-built ($50K?) listening room. And for dessert, we got an early listen to Reference Recording’s soon-to-be-released 24/176 recordings.Here is my impression of the sights and sounds:

    • The electronics. All-solid-state and clean and powerful. Very transparent. Harmonically balanced and tuneful. No glare. With about 600w/chan on hand, the Magico’s were modulated by a very firm grip.
    • The speakers. The V3′s are so transparent and balanced that they practically vanish. At one point, I commented that an apt description is “low-distortion loudspeaker.” In fact, the overall sound reminded me of that of my AKG-701 headphones (with Stefan Audioarts cables) – albeit with the V3′s having more bass impact and (of course) soundstage.
    • The room. The room was clearly less bright that a normal modern living room. Lots of sound absorption and diffraction material hanging on the walls saw to that. But it was not at all dead either. All-in-all a good match for the searingly-accurate system that it housed. A particularly interesting aspect of the room was the way in which the music changed when the door was opened – the loss of pressurization weakened the low-to-mid-bass. On some bass-heavy material this was goodness as the V3′s prodigious bass was overwhelming the room. But on most recordings, the relative lack of bass foundation weakened the focus of the midrange frequencies above it. We kept the door closed.
    • The media. Over the course of 4-5 hours, we progressed from Redbook to SACD to RR 24/176 to Linn 24/88 downloadable files. This will sound trite, but everything that we played (hand-picked quality recordings) sounded very good. But as we progressed from 16-bit to 24-bit, the smoothness of the tones and the “of-a-whole” feeling of the music skyrocketed. BTW, I honestly don’t understand the unfocused thrashing that the SACD format receives. To my ear, SACD sounds much better than Redbook (when equivalent care is taken in mastering).
    • The hi-rez experience. I am not a “golden ear” – certainly much less so than someone like Ori. But literally from the first note, the RR 24/176 material sounded different. It was almost ethereal in presentation. In some senses, it sounded more “analog.” But I have seldom heard the utter blackness of noise floor and complete lack of “glow” around the instruments that I was experiencing. Some may find the sound a bit analytical, but I thought it was simply the music pared to its essence and was therefore utterly engaging. And then came the Linn recordings….
    • Linn “hybrid” recordings. The Linn 24/88 recordings clearly showed their analog roots. Linn still uses analog masters, and is proud of it. So how did they compare? Coming off the silvery crystalline sound of 24/176 DDD, I (initially) found the Linn material bloated to the point of distortion. Interestingly, both Ori and our host declared it “more real.” Hmmmm. But then our host changed the configuration of the digital hardware, externally clocking everything from sound card to DAC with a mega-buck Cesium clock. Wow – huge change in resolution, clearly heard. Now the analog-derived Linn recordings sounded great. Very natural and familiar. Kinda like “the best SACD’s you’ve ever heard.”

    I am sworn to secrecy about where I heard this stuff – sorry. Will we have a BAAS event there one day? Not likely, but maybe.But I predict that you will be very impressed when you hear the RR 24/176 Recordings at our upcoming BAAS event. I very much suggest that you not miss it!

    Friday, February 22nd, 2008 Bob, Equipment Comments Off

    VTL/Nuforce Event 2/23/08 in Campbell

    Just a quick reminder of our upcoming BAAS event this Saturday at 2PM in downtown Campbell. Attendance will be great – over 35 of you have signed up already. We have only a few remaining seats!

    Highlights:

    • Four listening rooms will be available
    • We will showcase amplification from both VTL and Nuforce
      • Great tubes vs great Class “D”
        • Executives from each company will be there
    • We’ll use Usher’s flagship dynamic speakers in Room 1
      • …and the excellent full-range ribbons from Analysis Audio
    • Snacks available, and great restaurants are an easy walk
    • Ample parking

    Location:

    Audible Arts
    412 East Campbell Avenue
    Campbell CA, 95008

    med aud arts map

    Thursday, February 21st, 2008 Bob, Events Comments Off

    Hello world! (New web site launched)

    Welcome to the new BAAS website! Tune in frequently for updates on events, specials, equipment, etc.

    You can now reach me directly at: bob at baasnotes.com Please contact me if you have any comments, suggestions, or other requests.

    Note that you must register before posting comments on this site. Send an email request to me if you so desire.

    Bob Walters

    Thursday, February 14th, 2008 Announcements, Bob 3 Comments