JackD201 - Version 2.0

JackD201

[WBF Founding Member]
Apr 21, 2010
11,268
240
63
Manila, Philippines
#1
Why did I do it? What did I do? This is my story.

In my original Member thread, I touched on my beginnings in the hobby up until the dream of having a purpose built listening room built and later getting the chance to populate it with lots of good stuff. I think it time to go into a little more detail. To be honest I was pretty darned happy and could have stayed exactly where I was. That is until one uneventful day that I got curious about what my fellow hobbyists had on their wish lists. It would have been strange if I just came out and asked so I figured I’d start the thread by making a list of my own. Uh-oh. There was A LOT on that list. This was, here http://www.whatsbestforum.com/showthread.php?22140-The-Future, stamp says Christmas Season 2016. By March of 2017, I had become speaker-less as the self fulfilling prophecy had taken a life of its own.

While the list was generated out of top of mind, I later asked myself why these items made up the list and why others that came later made it on there, albeit unpublished. Between March of 2017 and a scant week and a day ago, I had a lot of time to look inward and organize my thoughts.

From the very beginning, my philosophy had been really simple. If I could get rid of the nasty stuff, only the good will remain. In hindsight, no it wasn’t simple nor was it easy. Going back to the very beginning there was always one quote that stuck with me. I’ve probably mangled it over the years too! I would always remember what my Uncle Johnny used to say as quoted from Peter Walker, for every song there is a correct volume. Well, something like that, you get the drift. In a weird way it was like Walker telling me, you’ll know it when you hear it, like some sort of Audio, Yoda Force Ghost. We all pretty much “know” it every time we go and listen to our music, but I’ll be darned if something didn’t always have me coming crashing back to Earth. It had become such a given that I never even thought about it, but back in the back of my mind, it had been steering me in one particular direction. The volume control.

Of all the things that bother me most, nothing has taken me out of the moment more often than having to ride the volume control. I never had Walker’s right volume for an entire piece of classical music. This led me on a quest for ever more usable dynamic range. This manifested itself over the last two decades. The first thing I did back in 2002 was to go and see what other guys were doing. At that time, I had what could be considered a good system but I felt boxed in. I was all CD so I said to myself, let’s go visit some people with good turntables and carts. What’s with tubes? What’s with SETs? What’s with Planars? On and on I went, making lifelong friends along the way and imprinting in me the positive traits that my new friends enjoyed for me to try and hopefully emulate.

Into the rabbit hole went I. Here’s where I went from music lover to crazy person. How crazy? When the time came that we could build our own house, this is what I told my architect. I want a basement with these dimensions, build everything else around that. Yes, THAT crazy.

The very first step, the foundation if you will allow the pun, I knew would be acoustical and mechanical. In the original thread it detailed my goals and benchmarks. I wanted the room to respond as a topnotch recording as opposed to control or mastering space. So, what to do? I hired the man that did our soundstages of course. Tried and tested with flying colors. I wanted it both quiet and alive, thus starting the pattern of attempts at breaking established dichotomies. With the room built and the system safely transplanted I certainly heard the improvement a good space brings. It also whispered silently what was amiss.

To be continued…….
 

ack

VIP/Donor & WBF Founding Member
May 6, 2010
5,492
172
63
Boston, MA
#2
The new system looks spectacular... eagerly awaiting listening impressions
 

SCAudiophile

Active Member
Sep 11, 2010
792
29
28
Greer South Carolina (USA)
#3
"Into the rabbit hole went I. Here’s where I went from music lover to crazy person. How crazy? When the time came that we could build our own house, this is what I told my architect. I want a basement with these dimensions, build everything else around that. Yes, THAT crazy. "

That's my kind of crazy Jack(!) and I'm warming up to do the same thing over the next 1.5 to 2 years once we sell this place, find a lot, builder, etc....just have a to find
a way to shield my real intent with the "W factor"
:cool:!!!!
 

jadis

Well-Known Member
Apr 28, 2010
6,937
403
83
Manila, Philippines
#4
We continue Version 2.0 with a coverage of the Manila visit of Herr Wolfgang Meletzky, the man behind the massive battery power sine wave source known as Stromtank, and founder of MBL.

Jack hosted a welcome party and listening event for some audio friends and dealers and it was a magnificent show as usual, as the system seems to have finally hit its stride after a few weeks of burn in and settling in.

The 'Welcoming Committee' - Jack (in Congressional Uniform) :D , Sam, and Keith (Pure Sound partner of Jack.

16.jpg

Wasting no time, Jack immediately showed Wolfgang to the Lair and the listening session started.

viber image.jpg


The Stromtanks

1.jpg

9.jpg

2.jpg
 

jadis

Well-Known Member
Apr 28, 2010
6,937
403
83
Manila, Philippines
#5
The SPEAKERS of the HOUSE

11.jpg

Cocktails before dinner

13.jpg

Dinner time, and Jack is the TRUE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE. :D

14.jpg

15.jpg

Thanks for the marvelous event, Jack, always glad to be a part of your audio journey and showcases; and congratulations for achieving your 'legend' status as far as audio setup is concerned, you have reached Mt. Everest and Nirvana at the same time. :)
 

JackD201

[WBF Founding Member]
Apr 21, 2010
11,268
240
63
Manila, Philippines
#7
Thanks so much guys! Work has been pretty hectic and drama filled to boot. I promise to get back on this as soon as I can.
 

JackD201

[WBF Founding Member]
Apr 21, 2010
11,268
240
63
Manila, Philippines
#9
Tonally I would say yes Stevie, the 111's DNA imprint is deep within the U11s. As far as that feeling of being swept by waves and waves of that energy, The 111s have an iron lock IMO. :)
 

JackD201

[WBF Founding Member]
Apr 21, 2010
11,268
240
63
Manila, Philippines
#10
Finding Beauty

 

JackD201

[WBF Founding Member]
Apr 21, 2010
11,268
240
63
Manila, Philippines
#11
I fell in love with this sculpture the moment I laid my eyes on it. The artist had a private showing and this particular piece stopped me in my tracks. I told him, bro, this piece you have to keep for yourself. A few weeks later she was in my home. He said, take care of her for me. Maybe, maybe someday, I'll ask for her back. Maybe. I hope he never does.

She represents a lot to me. She's made of metal but she looks soft, supple even. She is static but she seems to flow and dance. She takes on the colors of her environment but has a patina all her own. I've found that in both visual and musical art, I am most moved by contrast the way I am most moved by Irony in literature. The most interesting characters are the complex. They are the ones most human. Does it not suggest then that sound that reveals the complex intricacies and counterpoints of music's movement, tone and texture also the most human? These are the things I end up thinking about when my buddies practically force me to carve out a few hours of my now more precious "me" time for writing and taking pictures instead of chilling out listening.

So okay, let me try and give this a go. Like I said in the intro, I spent quite a few years making friends, making the rounds and making notes of the aspects of certain systems that I found attractive or perhaps candidates for emulation. I'm not done yet either. I don't think of it as a punch list, more like a mental journal that I can go back and reference. I went through practically every topology and every format of loudspeakers and the same with amplification. Unlike some whose positions are set in stone, I've never been one who has been very quick to dismiss. Through it all, when it came to building a system for me, topology didn't matter only the end results.

Obviously this "whole" is made up of "parts". You guys might be more curious about the parts than the whole yeah, why not. Let's start with the back end o up to the front and I will give a brief, non-hyperbolic explanation on why that particular piece made the cut.
 

JackD201

[WBF Founding Member]
Apr 21, 2010
11,268
240
63
Manila, Philippines
#12
The Loudspeakers - Von Schweikert Audio Ultra 11s in Custom Brilliant Blue Pearl



So fancy! LOL!



I'm an audio Lothario okay there I admit it. I love it all, the good stuff anyways. I love bookshelves, stats, horns, OBs, single drivers, Omnis, Big Towers, just do it right and I'll love it. What I am not is Warren Buffet. I cann't afford to have multiple systems and I certainly can't afford a mansion to house them in. No, no, no. Gotta make choices here. I want it all, scale, dynamics, harmonic richness, the ability to play big or small, bass, yes, I like bass. Real life bass. Not wimpy clickety clack bass where the band is full sized but the kick drum is the size of a cracker can. I've worked alongside VSA for almost two decades now. They know me really, really well. We know each other really really well. I can claim at least 4 models that came into being because of my constant badgering.

This however wasn't one of them. The bad boys sucker punched me while I was in VR-11 bliss. The Ultra 11 really does it all for me. It's the perfect size for my room, I'm sitting in the best spot in the room. It disappears even visually. With the car dealership lights on even. LOL.



That dichotomy busting thing? Stat like inner detail and transparency. check. Horn like midrange jump, thanks to the short throw underhung mids with the massive magnets, check. scary punch a hole in your chest when called for, check. Yada, yada, cost a Fortune. Once listened for over 10 hours straight. God Bless my wife who was sending meals down to the basement. Wife, Priceless. Speakers, Worth it.

Why the fancy finish? Why not? :D
 
Last edited:

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,873
106
63
#13
Fantastic! Congrats Jack! I just looked at the VS website...it appears their VR series has totally changed...it used to have VR100-the four piece speaker, along with several others...all now gone? Just 2 mid-sized actives...and the Ultra Series is Ultra 9 and Ultra 11?

In any event, the Ultra 11 description is remarkable! How many external boxes actually come with it...or is it 'just' 2 massive towers?
 

SCAudiophile

Active Member
Sep 11, 2010
792
29
28
Greer South Carolina (USA)
#14
Jack,...this is one awe-inspiring room and system...have you gone CH across the board for front-end and amps?

One additional question,..what in particular did the Strom Tanks add to the system?

Congratulations again...you've achieved what many of us have only dreamt of in terms of total beauty of room,
system and level of attainment in gear and speakers. The home itself also looks amazing judging from a few
glimpses in the photos that you have posted!
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#15
I fell in love with this sculpture the moment I laid my eyes on it. The artist had a private showing and this particular piece stopped me in my tracks. I told him, bro, this piece you have to keep for yourself. A few weeks later she was in my home. He said, take care of her for me. Maybe, maybe someday, I'll ask for her back. Maybe. I hope he never does.

She represents a lot to me. She's made of metal but she looks soft, supple even. She is static but she seems to flow and dance. She takes on the colors of her environment but has a patina all her own. I've found that in both visual and musical art, I am most moved by contrast the way I am most moved by Irony in literature. The most interesting characters are the complex. They are the ones most human. Does it not suggest then that sound that reveals the complex intricacies and counterpoints of music's movement, tone and texture also the most human? These are the things I end up thinking about when my buddies practically force me to carve out a few hours of my now more precious "me" time for writing and taking pictures instead of chilling out listening.

So okay, let me try and give this a go. Like I said in the intro, I spent quite a few years making friends, making the rounds and making notes of the aspects of certain systems that I found attractive or perhaps candidates for emulation. I'm not done yet either. I don't think of it as a punch list, more like a mental journal that I can go back and reference. I went through practically every topology and every format of loudspeakers and the same with amplification. Unlike some whose positions are set in stone, I've never been one who has been very quick to dismiss. Through it all, when it came to building a system for me, topology didn't matter only the end results.

Obviously this "whole" is made up of "parts". You guys might be more curious about the parts than the whole yeah, why not. Let's start with the back end o up to the front and I will give a brief, non-hyperbolic explanation on why that particular piece made the cut.

Beautiful sculpture indeed

Jack was it done by the sculptor who did a few other pieces in your house whom I met when in Manila
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,873
106
63
#16
Jack,...this is one awe-inspiring room and system...have you gone CH across the board for front-end and amps?

One additional question,..what in particular did the Strom Tanks add to the system?

Congratulations again...you've achieved what many of us have only dreamt of in terms of total beauty of room,
system and level of attainment in gear and speakers. The home itself also looks amazing judging from a few
glimpses in the photos that you have posted!
+1! And also very curious about what Strom Tanks add. And further...do you put the amps through them or just the source equipment?
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,520
607
113
#17
Stunning pictures Jack! congrats.

it's got to sound fantastic......a dream set-up. i'm very happy for you.

Mike
 

mountainjoe

Industry Expert
Mar 25, 2015
111
27
28
Bay Area, California
eigenaudio.com
#18
Spectacular room Jack and quite a journey - congratulations on what must be an amazing sounding system!

For me the Ultra 11s are all about effortless scale and speed but giving up nothing in finesse and detail = simply jaw dropping realism.

Cheers, Joe
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,873
106
63
#20
Jack - now that you have clearly gone way Ultra...I am curious given the dimensions of your room, etc (and also your penchant for bass) whether you have ever spoken with VS about the fact that some of their designs have involved separate subs (VS-100 for example)...and whether you have ever discussed with VS whether you would want them to do the same with your Ultra 11s and have 2 other subs placed elsewhere in the room.

Is this something that is no longer necessary as a consideration given the Ultra 11s flexibility, adjustability and/or the design of your room acoustics?
 

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