Charles' Little 2-ch Hi-Fi System...

allhifi

Well-Known Member
Jun 19, 2016
85
7
73
#61
Nice ! ... nothing like experiencing new musical interpretations/perspectives of new gear.

YET, I remain impressed by your photography skill !

Enjoy,

Oh, and don't forget to elevate SQ several notches up with the inclusion of:

http://www.vtimanufacturing.com/vti_product/bl404-audio-rack/



pj
(P.S> Or an equipment rack of identical/modular-spiked design; several manufacturer's offer up an identical 'design')
 
Likes: Chops

Chops

Well-Known Member
Apr 27, 2016
279
161
130
Central Florida
#62
Amp swap!



 

Chops

Well-Known Member
Apr 27, 2016
279
161
130
Central Florida
#63
It's apparent our new little "Bucky" enjoy's watching Paul's videos as well!

 

Chops

Well-Known Member
Apr 27, 2016
279
161
130
Central Florida
#64
Well it seems as though an update is in order. The Sonus faber Venere 1.5's are gone for a second and final time. One of my brothers bought them off of me. Something else that's gone... The JL Audio e110 subs. They aren't sold yet, but I will be selling them soon.

As for the current system, everything is the same except that I have added another shelf onto the Pangea audio rack and using all of the shorter uprights. The other change are the speakers. I am once again running my dream speakers, tried and true, old faithful NHT 2.9's that I purchased some 11 years ago when Teresa and I first got together.

The biggest and best change/upgrade of all is that we just moved out of that lousy apartment after a 6 year stint and into a nice little house built in 1951 with all original wood floors and solid plaster walls and ceiling. The only downside, not a single grounded outlet in the entire house. However, I did ask that at least the one outlet that I'll be using for the system be grounded, which it now is.

The wood floors were just freshly repaired, sanded and refinished by a friend of mine, and my brothers, Teresa and I did all of the painting and sanding/refinishing of the entire interior and doors. Luckily, my new landlord is also a good friend of mine, and his wife actually grew up in this house as her parents moved into the house in 1952.

We have been given the liberty to do pretty much anything we want to the house within reason of course. We just moved in this past week, and this is our 4th night staying here, and we're loving it already!

Anyway, on with some pics...

From this hillbilly wreck from the previous resident...


To this after we got a hold of it...


And now to my own personal touch...







 

Chops

Well-Known Member
Apr 27, 2016
279
161
130
Central Florida
#66
Very nice , clean and simple.

Enjoy
Thank you. Clean and simple is what I was going for, one of a few reasons why I dropped the JL subs from the system. It's a good thing I never sold these NHT's. They are just too darn good.
 

Chops

Well-Known Member
Apr 27, 2016
279
161
130
Central Florida
#67
Well as usual, things don't stay around here too long.

First off are the speakers... I came across a really smokin' deal on a mint, nearly new pair of Klipsch Heresy III's. So good of a deal that I made an 880 mile round trip to go pick them up since the seller was only going to sell local and not ship. From central FL to just south of Atlanta, GA. A 15 hour non-stop road trip! My girlfriend and oldest brother went along for the ride. We left town at 1am and got back home around 3:30pm. It was actually a fun and relaxing drive.

Heresy's aren't known for their bass capabilities, so I reinstated my 10+ year old Polk Audio PSW505 subwoofers as the amps in the JL subs have gone south for a second time now. Anyway, the Polk subs are getting their signal via their high level inputs from the main amps and they are on top of IsoAcoustic isolation stands. These subs have never sounded this good. Extremely good in fact! Shockingly good in fact!!

Speaking of main amps, since I don't need 700 watt monoblocks for these 99 dB sensitive speakers, I decided to sell off the PS Audio gear and get back into tubes and some low power amps. Here comes some Schiit! I went with the low powered, Class A Aegir amps. Of a matter of fact, I went with two of them. Not that I need even 80 watts of power for these Heresy's, but I wanted to keep the signal balanced, and the only way to do that is to run the amps in mono.

Since I needed a new preamp and wanted to get back into tubes, I went with the obvious choice of the Schiit Freya + preamp. Honestly, the only reason I went with the PS Audio gear was because at the time, Schiit's first Freya preamp kept the tubes burning all the time, even if you were in passive or JFet mode. With the latest Freya +, once you go into passive or JFet mode, the tubes fully power down. This is a requirement for me since I leave my system up and running 24/7. When we're asleep or at work, I switch over to JFet mode, saving the precious tubes for actual listening time.

I have my Sonus Faber speakers up for sale, and once someone buys them, I will be purchasing the latest Schiit Bifrost 2 DAC, which I will also be running that balanced into the Freya +. Right now I'm just using the analog output from the Bluesound Node 2, but even so, this system sounds much better overall than the PS Audio gear did in the same system/configuration. Even in passive and JFet mode, there's significant improvements in sound over the PS Audio gear, so it's not just the magic of the tubes making a difference. It's those Aegir amps. Of course, once you heat up those tubes, they make things even better!

And speaking of tubes, I'm getting in several different matched pairs of NOS tubes. I already have a pair of NOS Raytheon/Baldwin 6SN7GTB's that I've been running for the last few days. Just yesterday, I got in a pair of NOS Sylvania JAN-CHS 6SN7GT (VT-231) tubes that I've been running. So far, they're excellent as well. Definitely a different sound signature from the Raytheon/Baldwin's. And then in the mail (should be showing up in the next day or two) is a pair of NOS RCA Radiotron 6F8G tubes along with adapters to work in the Freya +. Those should be interesting!

Lastly, I also purchased and installed some tube socket savers (risers) to get the tubes "out" of the chassis. I'm keeping the stock JJ tubes on the left side right for now since that's the cathode follower output stage, and to keep a constant for now while I roll in the new NOS tubes. The right side is the input voltage gain stage, which is said to have more influence on the sound than the left side tubes. Eventually, I start rolling tubes on that side as well. It's something like a 70/30 ratio in sound influence with the right vs left tubes, so we'll see.

Anyway, enough yacking. Let me post up some pictures of the new goodies. BTW, all of this has taken place in the past 5 weeks!

Out with the old...


In with the new...
















Raytheon/Baldwin tubes...


Sylvania JAN VT-231 tubes...
 

Chops

Well-Known Member
Apr 27, 2016
279
161
130
Central Florida
#68
Decided to go ahead and throw the Raytheon/Baldwin tubes on the "output" side of the preamp, so now NOS tubes coming and going... One word...

WOW!!!

Talk about a holographic sound! It's so three dimensional, so sultry, so emotional. It even seems to be more dynamic. It's certainly even quieter at the tweeter with nothing playing and just the ever so slightest "hiss" barely coming through at full volume. It's quite incredible what adding these tubes to the mix did.





 

Chops

Well-Known Member
Apr 27, 2016
279
161
130
Central Florida
#69
Finally got the 6C8G to 6SN7 adapters in to run these sweet NOS RCA 6C8G's. They've only been running for about an hour, but man... They sound GOOD! And look great too! A bit of a tight squeeze in the rack, but they fit just perfectly!





 

Chops

Well-Known Member
Apr 27, 2016
279
161
130
Central Florida
#70
Currently listening to Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation album. I was 14 when this album came out.

I remember my brother blasting this album on his system consisting of a Pioneer's VSX-4400 receiver back from 1988 (which I still have and use) along with a Realistic 10-band LED EQ with "IMX" Expander and a pair of Realistic Mach II's. It sounded really good considering. Very loud (for a tiny 10x12 bedroom) with loads of thumping bass with those Mach II's crammed into the corners on top of a couple of dressers.

Then one time when no one was home... That's a lie. It was actually several times. LOL! I snuck this CD into the living room where my father's system was, consisting of the TOTL Technics SU-8099 integrated amp (which I still have and need to recap), Azden GX-50 10-band EQ, and Klipsch Cornwall's. I blasted the heck out of that system and it sounded extremely good! Loud, crisp, clear and powerful. The bass was a little leaner but was more impactful. It had more of that tight "thwack" kind of bass and of course, mountains of dynamics.

Both systems clearly blew away my little 25 watt Technics SA-5170 receiver (which I still have), Kenwood GE-770 EQ (also have) and Realistic Nova 16 speakers. My system was better than anything my friends had, mainly because they didn't have systems. LOL

Now, 30 years later and listening to this album on my system... It brings back great memories of my childhood, those systems and the differences between them and how they stack up against current gear like what I have now. Those were the good ole days. No worries, no real responsibilities other than the typical chores around the house, no bills, no job (for another 3 years anyway), and dabbling in my new found love of audio gear, building horrible speakers and music.

Obviously attempting to do any kind of sound comparisons on 30 year old memories from a 14 year old, easily impressed boy isn't going to hold any merit, so I won't bother. All I can say is that my system surely trumps those systems by a long shot. Never fatiguing, never tiring, never boring, never turned off.







 
Likes: Mr Rickz
Dec 27, 2019
35
22
10
70
Southern California
#71
That's a nice pile of Schiit. I have a similar system with an original Freya, a Gungnir Multibit and a Mani. Running into a pair of bridged Parasound A23s, or PrimaLuna Prologue Five. Primary speakers are KEF LS50s.

Enjoy your Schiit. I really like mine.
 

Chops

Well-Known Member
Apr 27, 2016
279
161
130
Central Florida
#72
I'm loving my pile of Schiit. And they're the perfect match for the Heresy III's. I still need to get the Bifrost 2 to complete the set so to speak. That is of course IF I don't decide to get the Sol turntable as well.
 
Dec 27, 2019
35
22
10
70
Southern California
#73
I'm interested in the Sol as well. But I fear that the set-up is beyond my capabilities.:cool:
 

Chops

Well-Known Member
Apr 27, 2016
279
161
130
Central Florida
#74
I'm interested in the Sol as well. But I fear that the set-up is beyond my capabilities.:cool:
After watching the setup video a couple of times, it doesn't seem too difficult. The most difficult part (which goes for any turntable) is getting the cartridge properly aligned... Especially now since I'm getting to the point that my near field vision is getting a little "off" these days. I have to use a pair of readers these days for up close and personal work.
 
Likes: Mr Rickz

Chops

Well-Known Member
Apr 27, 2016
279
161
130
Central Florida
#75
Added a nice rug to the mix. Two benefits... You can still see the natural oak floors and helps with reflections with the speakers.




 

Chops

Well-Known Member
Apr 27, 2016
279
161
130
Central Florida
#76
Got more new Schiit today... Bifrost 2 Multibit







 
Likes: GMKF

Chops

Well-Known Member
Apr 27, 2016
279
161
130
Central Florida
#77
A little change to the system yesterday... Not that anybody is interested apparently. Anyway...

The Bluesound Node 2 has been moved to the bedroom system, and in its place in the main system, I purchased a Raspberry Pi 4 (2 Gb model) with a 32 Gb micro SD card that I installed RoPieeeXL on, and installed the Pi 4 in a neat little aluminum Flirc case which lowered the processor's temp by 7*C (14.6*F) as the case is the heat sink. Pretty impressive.

Naturally, I have the Pi 4 receiving its signal via WiFi which works flawlessly. Using one of the 4 USB ports, the digital signal is being sent to a Wyred 4 Sound Recovery with the included 6" USB cable that Wyred supplied with the unit. From there, it passes through yet another 6" long USB cable, this time a Wireworld Ultraviolet 7 into the Unison USB input on the Schiit Bifrost 2 Multibit DAC.

From the testing/trial state...





To the final/complete/proven state...




 
Likes: GMKF

adamaley

Well-Known Member
Apr 15, 2016
382
303
148
Minnetonka, MN
#79
An
Got more new Schiit today... Bifrost 2 Multibit







Any thoughts about moving up to the Gungnir/Gungnir multibit? They get you scarily close to the Yggdrasil. A buddy has the bluesound and really likes it. Thanks for chronicling.
 

Chops

Well-Known Member
Apr 27, 2016
279
161
130
Central Florida
#80
An

Any thoughts about moving up to the Gungnir/Gungnir multibit? They get you scarily close to the Yggdrasil. A buddy has the bluesound and really likes it. Thanks for chronicling.
No sir. After speaking with Grover at Schiit via email, he felt the Bifrost 2 would be the best choice as far as overall performance and bang for buck ratio, short of going straight for the Yggdrasil which at the time (and still is for the most part) out of my price range.
 
Likes: adamaley

About us

  • What’s Best Forum is THE forum for high-end audio, product reviews, advice and sharing experiences on the best of everything else. A place where audiophiles and audio companies discuss existing and new audio products, music servers, music streamers and computer audio, digital to audio converters, turntables, phono stages, cartridges, reel to reel, speakers, headphones, tube amplifiers and solid state amplification. Founded in 2010 What's Best Forum invites intelligent and courteous people of all interests and backgrounds to describe and discuss the best of everything. From beginners to life-long hobbyists to industry professionals we enjoy learning about new things and meeting new people and participating in spirited debates.

Quick Navigation

User Menu

Steve Williams
Site Founder | Site Owner | Administrator
Ron Resnick
Site Co-Owner | Administrator
Julian (The Fixer)
Website Build | Marketing Managersing