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mobile homeless's PLEONEXIA System
Last Update: April 16, 2007 at 05:41:09 IP Address:

Welborne Labs 2A3 Moondog Monoblocks

In trying to relive the magic I once heard in 1990 with the original Cary 300se Monoblocks, the Moondog 2A3 was added to the mix. Quite simply, there is nothing more frustrating than system matching for a low watt SET. Besides the speaker load interaction, wire and source must be looked at critically. I had to toss my Transparent cable as it was heavy via the Moondog. What took its place? After a brief stint with about 75 cents worth of Radio Shack 18awg solid core, I started a project with DIYCable.com doing their website. Ah, the perks of web work; I found the DIYCable Fat Ones, Superlative, and Twisted Cross Connect speaker cable to be truly excellent, replacing all my other cable in one fell swoop! It is amazingly open and detailed sounding without glare. It has become part of a synergistic match with my latest speaker find, a find that has literally changed my whole system in a profound way.

As for the Moondogs, I have come a long, long way with these beasts... Removed the stock Philips 6SN7s and deposited NOS Sylvania 6SN7WGT 'Yellow Lettering' 60s vintage leading into a CBS 5692. This simple input tube switch really fleshed out the sound and gave the presentation a certain harmonic richness that was missing before. In addition, I have added a set of RCA Black Plate 2A3s from '44; excellent sound here! While my Sovtek 2A3 might be subjectively slightly more extended, the RCA really add a beauty and soul to the sound that is extremely addictive. Even though the Moondogs are around 3.2 watts or so, I am getting extremely musical results! And with the addition of my new speakers, I have finally reached a certain level of SET nirvana.

While question the Moondogs at first, I have come to love them; it just takes some patience and work. Once your system is truly optimized, the single-ended triode is one of the all time most musical, natural, pleasing amps I have yet experienced.

I now believe the Audio Note copper paper in oil caps and Audio Note Tantalum resistors are doing me right. Very musical and I dont think I would prefer the sharper sound of a standard film and foil cap in the long run. I can now recommend these amps highly.

Preamplifier (or None if Integrated):

Cary Audio SLP-70

- Power Capacitance mod w/ ELNA and SOLEN BANK

- Outboard Power Supply

- TKD Stepped Attenuator

- MIT RTX caps throughout

- Kimber silver wired

- Kimber silver jacks

- Removed balance

- Silver switches - Holco resistors

- NOS RCA RED BASE 5691/5692

- Telefunken 12AX7 in phono

Sounds ultra clean and quiet with great dynamics and amazing transparancy while still retaining the all important musicality. Head and shoulders above Stock unit. This actual unit was used to audition the original Cary 300se Monoblocks back in 89-90 by Cary Audio Design.

This is an amazing sounding unit and extremely transparent but needs short, simple interconnects to amp. Moondog is on the sensitive side so is good match. Some might feel it sacrifices a bit of body for the transparency and they might have a point - But when you have a good source in your CD Player in that it has a robust, stiff, power suppy, and can put out a minimum of 2V, combined with a senitive amplifier, the passive can work wonders. The little Creek OBH-12 is a bit more transparent than the Cary as well as a slightly lower noise floor. I think the passive preamp is a great way to get high performance on the cheap, however, I ultimately believe a high quality active tube preamplifier to be the best solution for the increased drive, dynamics, and warmth, especially if going with 2A3 SET.

1977 Klipsch Cornwall w/Alnico

These speakers have been a near revelation; At this stage, I know of no better bargain nor soulful device! These '77 Cornwalls employ Alnico magnets with the horn drivers. These are some of the most musical speakers I have ever had the pleasure of using in my home. They possess a certain magic and soul that is very rare in the speaker marketplace. No, it is not perfect, but even given its faults, I am just completely amazed at the quality and naturalness I am getting from these vintage speakers with my Linn, Cary, Moondogs, and DIYCable wire. They sound is so big and bold, with a immediacy and life that is very beguiling. I am working on a full review of these speakers. As of now, I can say these speakers have brought my system to the next level of musicalty and realness.

CD Player/DAC:

Rega Planet

Just one of the most musical players out there; deserves all the hype. Unfortunately, I do believe one of the problems with this player is the inordinate breakin time and the variability between models. I have had two Planets in my home for extended times and they really sounded different, even on the same system. I think this might account with some of the differing opinions on this player. Also, some people are quite used to the hyped up detail of other, lessor machines. Not quite the ultimate detail of some 24bit units but more musical than many of those machines, which have less body to my ears. I almost prefer the sound of a proper 18-20 bit machine to a cheaper 24bit. It does not always pay to upgrade.

Other Accessories/Room/Misc.:
Speaker Cables/Interconnects:

white wire


Room Size (LxWxH): 19 x 12 x 8
Room Comments/Treatments:
- wife lies about to reduce standing waves

Music Preferences and Comments:
Music Used (Genre/Selections):
musics... Audiophile entries need not apply as they usually represent some of the most soulless, vapid, and hollow recordings made. The curse of the Audiophile is the sentence to always listen to the GEAR and not the music. Too much music to list here but 50s & 60s jazz, independent music of the 80s thru 90s, and great classical, with a nod to smaller scale works.

System Goals/Comments:

mimic life

System Strengths:

Tries to mimic life

System Weaknesses:

Merely mimics life as there is nothing that can totally replicate the live event. quality valve< amplifiers seem to do a more credible job bringing the emotion of the performance to the listener. Then again, an AM radio in the dash of a bench seat auto, belting your favorite piece can bring the same chills in the right situation.

Video/HT System: None
URL Link: http://home.earthlink.net/~ivol/audio/set.htm
Other Interests/Hobbies/Occupation: Web Design/Editor/Writer - www.i-vol.com

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