Sablon Reference system

Sablon Audio

Industry Expert, VIP Donor
May 22, 2015
I thought it might be interesting to share details of my reference system to give a better understanding of my priorities.

As a manufacturer, the rationale behind the choices differs somewhat from those important to consumers, even if we may end up sharing a similar sonic outcome. Transparency, neutrality and consistency are what I most need.

- Transparency gives me the ability to easily discern any changes being made
- Neutrality helps give an accurate steer on product voicing to suit the majority of users rather than try correct tonal aberrations for a minority
- Consistency means that I can ‘read’ what is going on quicker and more predictably.

To this end, I need equipment with a low noisefloor, rock solid reliability and no overt colouration. System downtime for repairs / upgrades and burning-in really eats up product development lead-time, so I’m pretty much a buy and hold sort of guy. My reference system for the past 3 years has been:

- Taiko SGM2015 server
- T+A dsd dac (modified)
- HE1000 v2 headphones (for 99% of my listening)
- Berning Quadrature Z monoblocks
- Wilson Benesch ACT speakers (modified)
- Sistrum stand

The server will however imminently be replaced by the new Extreme model. Rather than change too many sonic variables at once, I will use it initially with the existing T+A dac however this will be upgraded to something altogether more serious in the Autumn. I also have a Berning Pre One standing by in anticipation, which will receive a few mods to optimise it for single source usage.


Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
E. England
Good luck on the dac search. As you know Mark, I've heard both the Dac8 and Aqua Formula XHD on Barry's SGM. Which is the most neutral and transparent, well there's an interesting Q.

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