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

Chops

Well-Known Member
Apr 27, 2016
279
161
130
Central Florida
#81
I can't sleep, so I'm sitting here listening to the system, playing Stevie Wonder's "In Square Circle" album on Qobuz. At peaks of about 58 to 60 dB, it is totally involving listening to it at these quiet volume levels displaying these kind of dynamics while everyone else in the house is asleep. Hearing little, distant musical cues typically buried in the background are clear and present. Very subtle details and textures within the sound of various instruments are quite palpable. Currently listening to "Overjoyed", and there's a water droplet sound just barely right of center, and it has a certain dimension and heft to it which I've never heard before. I mean, I've heard the droplet sound, but not with that dimension and heft. It actually sound wet! And speaking of dimension and heft, even the bass at these low listening levels are balanced, solid and extended. Naturally, you can't "feel" it, but you can definitely hear it.

I just listened to this same exact album last week around this same time and volume when I got home from work, and it was rather bland sounding in comparison. I remember thinking how "average" this album sounded. I couldn't believe that Qobuz had this album in 192/24 and it sounding this blah. It's obvious to me now that it wasn't the album at all, but the Bluesound Node 2 not being able to deliver the goods to the Bifrost DAC. I'm finding myself re-listening to albums I recently played prior to the Pi 4, and getting new enjoyment and excitement out of them.

Who says you have to play music at high levels to enjoy it?!
 

drrsutliff

Well-Known Member
May 6, 2013
6
1
250
Fleming Island, FL
#82
It is so enjoyable to make an upgrade and then hear the musical insight it provides in our system. That is the purpose, in my journey, of this crazy wonderful hobby. Starting the day with a little Bob Marley “Exodus” here in north Florida.
 
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Chops

Well-Known Member
Apr 27, 2016
279
161
130
Central Florida
#83
And now back to ole' faithful, with their fully upgraded crossovers thanks to Danny Richie of course. Man, I love these speakers. I don't know why I keep putting them away and going with other speakers all the time. Literally nothing I have tried over the years compare to these X-Statik hybrid open baffle speakers. They are just THAT good.

Temp setup with microfiber towels under them until I get the positioning just right, then the spikes and little footers will go on.



 
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Chops

Well-Known Member
Apr 27, 2016
279
161
130
Central Florida
#84
Finally got these X-Statik's dialed in and installed the spikes and footers. It's simply amazing how these speakers continually amaze and shock me every time I sit down and listen to them, especially with recordings that I'm very familiar with. They even make new music very exciting to listen to for the first time. They do so much right and completely disappear with the right recordings.

I plan on eventually upgrading to GR Research's latest and greatest NX-Treme's, which I can't even begin to imagine how much better those things are going to sound. They use the same woofers as the X-Statik's, but 16 ohm versions, and eight of them per channel, plus two very similar 6.5" mids and a ribbon tweeter, all open baffle from top to bottom. Oh, did I mention that they stand 7 feet tall?!

Now I just need to sell off those recently purchased Klipsch Heresy III's and the pair of JL Audio e110 subs that I have sitting in the closet.

Anyway, here's some pics taken a couple days ago right after installing the spikes on the X-Statik's...









 
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Chops

Well-Known Member
Apr 27, 2016
279
161
130
Central Florida
#85
Added some LED accent lighting today. Adds a nice effect.





Don't mind the kitty pillows and toys on the floor.

 
Likes: GMKF

allhifi

Well-Known Member
Jun 19, 2016
85
7
73
#87
So here's the latest rendition of my 2-ch system. It's gone through many stages of refinement, and it's a never ending process. It's much smaller and higher quality than any of my other systems over the years. And to top it off, this is all in your average apartment complex.

It all starts with a pair of PS Audio Power Ports I put in the wall.






In the adjoining room (which is on the same circuit, which is also our son's bedroom), I have a Blue Circle Audio Yalo Bulala surge protector. In this same room, on the top shelf of the closet I have a tweaked laptop, a 6TB Synology NAS, and two 2TB HP backup drives which hold all of my ripped CDs as FLAC files, as well as downloaded FLAC files. The laptop runs JRiver 19, however it is no longer used.






The nerve center of the system is the preamp, a Parasound Halo P5, which gets its power from the APC H15 power conditioner via a Wireworld Aurora 7. The H15 is plugged into the wall via another Aurora 7. Resting on top of the P5 is an AURALiC Aries LE with the AURALiC linear power supply and another Aurora 7. Connecting the Aries to the built-in DAC of the P5 is a Wyred 4 Sound Recovery USB Reclocker and a Wireworld Ultraviolet 7 USB. It's powered by an iFi iPower linear power supply.

To the right, the Oppo BDP-105D with a little Roku plugged into the front HDMI input. After trying the Oppo as a DAC, I surprisingly prefer the DAC in the Halo P5, so the Oppo is only for video. It uses Wireworld Oasis 7's to the preamp and a single Ultraviolet HDMI to the TV and one from the cable box.

On top of the rack is the analog section, the wonderful Lounge Audio LCR MkIII phono preamp and Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Esprit SB DC. Mounted to the tonearm is a brand new Ortofon 2M Bronze, an excellent upgrade over the stock 2M Red. More Oasis 7's connect the turntable to the phono pre, which in turn is more Oasis 7's connecting that to the Halo P5.

On the bottom right, below the cable box, the Wyred 4 Sound ST-250 amplifier, connected to the Halo P5 via a pair of balanced Oasis 7's, and plugged directly into the wall via another Aurora 7. From the amp is a pair of Oasis 7 bi-wire cables which plug into the back of a pair of Sonus Faber Venere 1.5's. These are perched atop a pair of custom 1.5" thick white quartz slabs.

Lastly, a pair of Polk Audio PSW505 subs that are also plugged directly into the wall via Mojo Audio 9awg power cables. These subs never sounded good in previous systems and sat for 4 years in the closet, unused. However, with quality gear ahead of them, they sound amazingly good, so much so I have held off on pulling the trigger on a pair of REL subs. Maybe one day I'll upgrade to the REL's, but see no reason to at the moment. These are connected to the Halo P5 via a pair of DH Labs cables.
















Looks great ! Thanks for sharing.

A few Rec's":

1) Give your 'sub-woofers' the same platform as the main speakers -and add some 'footer;s.
2) Consider VTL 300/400 series modular racks (304 =Tripod style/404 = four pillar/posts -more
stable).

These are modular, (stack-able) economical, highly effective isolation/coupling, available
in different shelf/cap colors-finishes -but most importantly (to my mind) sound GREAT !

http://www.vtimanufacturing.com/product_category/audio-video-rack-bl-series/





https://www.standsandmounts.com/vtiblseriesaudiorackbl404variousshelfpoleandcapfinishes.aspx


pj
 

dcathro

Well-Known Member
Sep 16, 2016
52
30
83
Melbourne, Australia
#88
Hey Chops,

I enjoyed reading your thread. My head was spinning with all the changes.

Cheers

David
 
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Chops

Well-Known Member
Apr 27, 2016
279
161
130
Central Florida
#89
Looks tremendous.
Thank you. I really like how it makes the floor "pop". It looks just like that in person as well.
 

Chops

Well-Known Member
Apr 27, 2016
279
161
130
Central Florida
#90
Hey Chops,

I enjoyed reading your thread. My head was spinning with all the changes.

Cheers

David
Thanks. Yeah, I know... More changes than my underpants. LOL
 

Chops

Well-Known Member
Apr 27, 2016
279
161
130
Central Florida
#91
Looks great ! Thanks for sharing.

A few Rec's":

1) Give your 'sub-woofers' the same platform as the main speakers -and add some 'footer;s.
2) Consider VTL 300/400 series modular racks (304 =Tripod style/404 = four pillar/posts -more
stable).

pj
You do realize you're referring to a post from over 4 years ago, right?
 

Chops

Well-Known Member
Apr 27, 2016
279
161
130
Central Florida
#92
Added my father's mint, barely used Panasonic SV-3700 to the mix... Been listening to the tapes we made of our 19 rank pipe organ that we built in our house years ago. Sounds like they were just made yesterday!

 
Apr 11, 2020
44
43
20
54
#93
I read all four pages.
I just did as well! Kind of cool to read an audiophile's diary that spans many years. Kind of inspires me to want to take notes today on my system and then read them back years from now and see where my future self's priorities and sensibilities land.
 
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Chops

Well-Known Member
Apr 27, 2016
279
161
130
Central Florida
#94
A little project that's been brewing for a bit... The analog stack.

This is only a temporary solution until I either find a rack or build a custom "flexi-rack" to accommodate the massive Nakamichi 582. That thing is 19.5" wide! Not to mention on top of it all, I need room for a nice RTR. It will be a really pleasant corner of the room when I'm done with it.

Only power is connected for now. I need to get some kind of line driver to convert to balanced and run signal cables to the front of the room to the system. Something like the Rane BB 22 I used a bunch of years ago.

And of course, a dbx 200x or 400x.

From top to bottom...

Nak DR-1
Nak 582
Yamaha K-1020
JVC KD-A8
Monster Power HTS 5000





 

GMKF

VIP/Donor
Aug 15, 2017
430
73
95
Munich
#95
Thats a really cool stack.
I do like the look of the Monster Power HTS 5000 :)
 
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kach22i

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
1,519
174
485
Ann Arbor, Michigan
www.kachadoorian.com
#96
I'm tempted to post some of my compact cassette decks now.

Sadly none of them are 3-head.

Two of the decks were given to me, both dual decks (Sony and Onkyo), and I have not even tried to play them. Been in my possession 2-3 years now.

Last time I played my Yamaha single deck was about five years ago, still sounded good. It took a big chunk out of my disposable income at the time. Pre-credit card era for me, saved up for at least five months as I recall.

We need a shootout of your decks "Chops".

Which one earns permanent connection to preamp?
 
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treitz3

Super Moderator
Dec 25, 2011
4,849
62
470
The tube lair in beautiful Rock Hill, SC
#97
Hello again, Chops. it has been nice watching your system evolve over the years. You remind me a lot of myself. At one point, I had over 13 amplifiers in the house, many of them being rotated in and out with the various gear I had going in and out at the same time. It's like a sickness....but a good one.

I have since settled and for the most part, am done with my system but I still enjoy watching others as they go through their own audio journey. It looks as if you have been having a blast. Congrat's on the new digs BTW.

I agree with you that listening at extreme or loud volumes is not always necessary to enjoy an album, performance and the like. Creating a system that does not change as the volume goes up can be quite a challenge IME. Listening full range at low volumes can be just as enjoyable as listening at concert levels.

One thing I would like to comment on would be the couch. I can see that your space is limited and this may not even be possible for you to even consider but I'll throw it out there anyway. Is there any way that the couch can be removed and not occupy the space in front of the right speaker? It seems to me that the absorption from the couch being so close in relation to the speakers would yield an "offset" sound stage and imagery, or at least the perception thereof.

Tom
 

Chops

Well-Known Member
Apr 27, 2016
279
161
130
Central Florida
#98
I'm tempted to post some of my compact cassette decks now.

Sadly none of them are 3-head.

Two of the decks were given to me, both dual decks (Sony and Onkyo), and I have not even tried to play them. Been in my possession 2-3 years now.

Last time I played my Yamaha single deck was about five years ago, still sounded good. It took a big chunk out of my disposable income at the time. Pre-credit card era for me, saved up for at least five months as I recall.

We need a shootout of your decks "Chops".

Which one earns permanent connection to preamp?
Go ahead and post some photos. I would enjoy them!

Which Yamaha deck do you have?

And as for a shootout?... They're all going to stay permanently connected. They're all just too good to single only one of them out.

The JVC and Yamaha need some work. The JVC plays and fast forwards just fine, but it doesn't exactly like to rewind that much. And the Yamaha plays about 7 minutes into a tape until the load overwhelms the drive and it stops, dumping about an inch of tape out. However, it seems to fast forward and rewind fine.

The two Nak's have seen pretty regular usage over the years and the DR-1 just had a quick once-over and a new belt within the last 6 months or so, so those two are perfectly fine... For now.
 

Chops

Well-Known Member
Apr 27, 2016
279
161
130
Central Florida
#99
Hello again, Chops. it has been nice watching your system evolve over the years. You remind me a lot of myself. At one point, I had over 13 amplifiers in the house, many of them being rotated in and out with the various gear I had going in and out at the same time. It's like a sickness....but a good one.

I have since settled and for the most part, am done with my system but I still enjoy watching others as they go through their own audio journey. It looks as if you have been having a blast. Congrat's on the new digs BTW.

I agree with you that listening at extreme or loud volumes is not always necessary to enjoy an album, performance and the like. Creating a system that does not change as the volume goes up can be quite a challenge IME. Listening full range at low volumes can be just as enjoyable as listening at concert levels.

One thing I would like to comment on would be the couch. I can see that your space is limited and this may not even be possible for you to even consider but I'll throw it out there anyway. Is there any way that the couch can be removed and not occupy the space in front of the right speaker? It seems to me that the absorption from the couch being so close in relation to the speakers would yield an "offset" sound stage and imagery, or at least the perception thereof.

Tom
Thank you, Tom!

Yeah, my system likes to "evolve" all the time. There's no telling when or where something new is going to pop up or completely change. Heck, even I don't know. LOL

Yeah, the couch... They stink. They're too large for this small room, and unfortunately, there's nowhere to move them. Surprisingly enough though, left to right balance, imaging and staging are pretty darn good, even with this giant acoustic sponge sitting directly in front of the right speaker. In fact, as far as that is concerned, this has to be the most "even" sounding room I have ever had.

I can't explain it and I don't pretend to know either. LOL
 

Chops

Well-Known Member
Apr 27, 2016
279
161
130
Central Florida
Just daisy-chained the decks together minus the JVC at the moment, just to get some action shots and have some lights (and needles) bouncing around. I can't wait until I get the rest of the gear to get these linked into the system.











 

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