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Vinyl Rules!'s Audio & A/V 5.1 Combined System
IP Address: 75.170.246.50 Last Update: June 26, 2019 at 18:56:35
Amplifier: McIntosh MC2205 for front speakers; McIntosh MC2125 mono'd for centre channel; McIntosh MC2205 for rear speakers. All of my Mac equipment has been refurbished by Terry DeWick in Knoxville, TN. There are other good techs but I can drive my equipment to Terry's location as my primary home is in the northwestern corner of NC where the NC/VA/TN borders intersect - A very isolated, but very safe and beautiful area.
Preamplifier (or None if Integrated): Yamaha Adventage RX-A3040 as an A/V preamp [SPECIAL NOTE & LONG RANT: 😲 I STRONGLY recommend using a good AVR (Audio/Video Receiver as just an A/V preamp in your Home Theatre system. Why? Well, the audio and the video CODEC'S, the quality of DAC's in Home Theatre A/V's and AVR's, and the physical configuration of the audio and video connectors for Home Theatre continues to evolve. We've gone from 75 ohm connectivity to RCA composite connectors for video and audio to SVHS connectors for video and audio to RCA component connectors for video. And now we are at the current HDMI standard for switching audio & video signals in Home Theatre equipment. But even the current HDMI standard has undergone numerous revisions: HDMI began with the HDMI 1.0 standard. Now we have gradually evolved to the HDMI 2.0 standard, and this HDMI standard ALSO needs to support HDCP and HDR and Dolby Vision for optimal viewing of the lastest 4K (soon to be 8K) BluRay optical discs, and not all do. And these current standards WILL CHANGE yet again in the next 12- 18 months. IMHO, It is simply not economical for the manufacturers of expensive "high-end" A/V preamps to manufacture separate A/V preamps with all the latest "bells and whistles" but it IS economical for the manufacturers of A/V receivers (AVR's) to do so because they can spread these costs over a wide offering of AVR receivers that enjoy significantly greater sales volumes than sales of expensive "high-end" A/V preamps from the likes of McIntosh, Krell, Mark Levinson, etc. Virtually all high-end A/V preamp manufacturers have units that are less than 2 years old that CANNOT BE UPDATED:👎; Many of these units sold new for prices ranging from $5,000 to $30,000+, and now they are "orphans," worth pennies on the dollar (5% to 15% of their original cost) because they cannot be updated. I believe it is much more sensible to spend $1,500 to $2,500 on an AV receiver to use as an A/V preamp than to spend $25,000 (or more) on a high-end A/V preamp that will be an "orphan" in less than 2 years. IMHO the A/V performance of AVR's from the top manufacturers is essentially identical to the performance of the top high-end A/V preamps. And generally, separate power amps fed by preamp outputs from a top AVR will be more powerful AND sound BETTER than the multiple power amplifiers contained in top-of-the-line AVR receivers. End of rant🤐.]; Creek OBH-8SE phono preamp; Denon PRA-1000, Hitachi HCA-8500MkII, Lexicon DC-1, Marantz 3300, Marantz 3800, McIntosh C-28, and McIntosh C30 preamps; McIntosh MX117 tuner-preamp. Sony TA-P9000ES multichannel 5.1 preamp for A/V, SACD and DVD-A listening. I like the Marantz 3300, Marantz 3800, McIntosh C30, McIntosh MX117, and Creek phono sections best.
Speakers: Den: Polk RT-2000p's for front, Polk CS-400 for Centre, & Polk LS f/x for rears run through an M&K Goliath II subwoofer. Also use a Cambridge SoundWorks Newton P300HD subwoofer and a Sunfire True Sub MkII - Can you say "SHAKE THE HOUSE?" Alternative front speakers are B&W DM3000's for front, B&W HTM for centre, and B&W Solid Monitors for surround; Living Room: Hartley Holton 'A' and Hartley Zodiac speakers (Dynaco Quad adapter). MBR: EPI-100 speakers. Guestroom #1: Wharfdale Diamond speakers (second version). Guestroom #2: AR-2a's. Guestroom #3: KLH 22's. Basement: Coral BX-1200 and Coral BX-1000 "Kabuki" grill speakers. Also have 4 pairs of Realistic Minimus 7's (early models) that get used for various projects. Most recent addition: A pair of Polk Monitor 4.6's from the GW for $12 - These are great sounding speakers! My Raleigh, NC townhouse has Pioneer SP-FS51-LR front speakers, SP-BS21-LR rear speakers, SP-C21 centre, and TWO SW-8 powered subs - KUDOS to Andrew Jones for champagne quality at a "Night Train Express" price!
Sources:
CD Player/DAC: Cambridge Audio CXU for BluRay, CD, DVD-Audio, HDCD, and SACD discs; Denon DVD-2910; Oppo BDP-95; Oppo HD-981; Oppo HD-970; Philips CD-80; Pioneer DV-610AV-K Multi Region Code Zone Free DVD/SACD/CD; Sony DVP-NS500V feeding an Adcom GDA-700 HDCD DAC; Technics SL-PS840 with "Super Mash" 64x DAC. Finally, an Onkyo DX-C390 6 disc CD changer and a Technics SL-PD1010 5 disc CD changer used only during Christmas!
Turntable/Phono Stage: J.A. Michell GyroDec MkIII (AC motor) with QC external power supply, Rega RB-300 and Shure V-15vMR (NOT the xMR); Sony PS-X7 with Shure V-15 RS; Sony PS-X555ES w/Goldring Electra; Sansui QR-X7 w/Stanton 881S; FONS CQ30 with SME 3009S2 and Shure V-15III with mono stylus for 78's. Before he died, TAS' HP finally admitted the V-15vMR comes closer to replicating the sound of a master tape than anything he had ever heard. And I have several extra V-15vMR bodies and many extra NIB styli for them when they are needed.
Other Source(s): Bluesound Node 2i; Denon TU-767 Tuner; Denon TU-800 Tuner (Maxed out & modded by Bill Amons); Hitachi FT-5500MKII Tuner; Kenwood KT-5020 Tuner; Kenwood KT-8007 Tuner; Marantz ST-17U Tuner; Marantz ST-54 Tuner; Marantz 125 Tuner; Marantz ST-500 Tuner; McIntosh MR74 Tuner (Modded & updated by Terry DeWick); McIntosh MX117 Tuner (realigned & updated by McIntosh factory service in Bingihamttn, NY, but they don't do mods on ANY McIntosh equipment); FIVE Mitsubishi "Micro" M-F01 FM-only Tuners (Note: This is a INCREDIBLE "sleeper" that flies really low under the radar). It has quality construction, 5 gangs, a linear phase IF so no ceramic filters to deal with, and this tuner has INCREDIBLE SOUND QUALITY, but it IS NOT a DX'er and it does not handle strong adjacents well. However, IMHO it beats the pants off Mitsubishi's better known DA-F20 in sound quality, but it is not as selective nor as sensitive as the Mitsubishi DA-F20. It is VERY RARE tuner and only 1 or 2 show up for sale on eBay every year or so, often for less $50 USD; Mitsubishi DA-F30 Tuner; Pioneer F-91 Tuner; Rotel RT-2100 Tuner (soon to be modded/updated by Mike Williams {AKA Punker X}); Scott LT-112B Tuner; TWO Sony XDR-F1HD Tuners (both maxed out less the external cooling fans by Punker X); FIVE Sony ST-J75 Tuners; Sony ST-80 Tuner; Sony ST-333ESXII Tuner; Yamaha T-85 Tuner (Modded by Punker X); [Note: Have tried many different tuners here and nothing has yet surpassed the sound quality and sensitivity of my modded Yamaha T85]. And we have satellite radio on our DISH Network system: Satellite radio is equivalent to eating a 100% soy-based fillet mignon and washing it down with Night Train Express! Pioneer Elite CT-W59 cassette deck; Pioneer Elite CT-W53 cassette deck; Sony TC-K700ES cassette deck; Tandberg TCD 310 Mk. II cassette deck; Tandberg TCD 3014 cassette deck; Teac A-4010GSL open reel/Teac AN-180 Dolby; Teac A-4070GSL open reel/Teac AN-300 Dolby; DISH Network DBS receiver; Houston Tracker 8+ receiver for 10' C and Ku band satellite. Denon DRA-750 stereo Receiver; Harman/Kardon H/K 930 stereo Receiver; Onkyo TS-DX696 A/V receiver; Pioneer VSX-521 A/V receiver; Sansui,1000X stereo receiver; Sansui 2000A stereo receiver; Tandberg TR 2040 stereo Receiver; Tandberg TR 3030 stereo Receiver; Yamaha RX-V657 A/V receiver; Yamaha RX-V867 A/V Receiver; Yamaha RX-V1800 A/V Receiver; Grundig Satellit 800 ShortWave; Grundig 960 ShortWave; Sony ICF-2010 ShortWave; Degen DE-1102 ShortWave. No system is complete without headphones. Mine are: Audio Technica ATH-AD700, ATH-M50x, and ATH-WS50BK; Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro Plus (IMHO, an amazing bargain for less than $150 and maybe the best-sounding of all my headphones!); Beyerdynamic DT-990Pro's (32 ohm and 600 ohm - the 600 ohm ones sound better); Sennheiser HD 580 and HD 280 Pro; Sony MDR XD200 (These Sony's are extremely good and extremely cheap).; Stellar Labs 5960 (Incredibly good headphones). Finally, I'm a physical media person and I don't download, nor have I digitized any of my LPs or CDs, but I find myself listening quite a bit to Tidal and Qobuz quite often.-
Other Accessories/Room/Misc.:
Speaker Cables/Interconnects: Radio Shack 10 gauge speaker cable w/Custom terminations; Radio Shack 'golden' interconnects.
Other (Power Conditioner, Racks etc.): Protection begins with a whole-house surge protector installed between incoming power line and 200 amp breaker panel. Two 30-amp circuits custom wired to den and a separate 20-amp circuit wired for bedroom system. Large Panamax surge protector for 10' dish and DISH Network system. Special Sylvania surge protectors (not commercially available) used throughout house acquired when I worked for GTE and they owned Sylvania. Also use McIntosh MI-3 and Kenwood 6060A O-scopes for FM tuning & signal analysis and for audio signal analysis.
Tweaks: APS-13 FM antenna and Channel Master rotor. VPI 16 record cleaning machine modified with "boxer" fans so as to not overheat when I clean for more than an hour at a time.
Room Size (LxWxH): 24' x 12' x 8 1/2'
Room Comments/Treatments: Acoustic tile ceiling, oak floor, and 1" wormy chestnut plank paneled den make for an incredible listening experience - I've never heard a room this good and I attribute it mostly to the wormy chestnut 1" thick wood paneling.
Music Preferences and Comments:
Music Used (Genre/Selections): Celtic, African, Cuban, other world genres; Classical; Opera; Acoustic; Gregorian Chant; Medieval; Rock from the late 1950's through the early 1980's; Hawaiian slack-key guitar; And Tuvan "throat singing."
System Goals/Comments: I've got the system where I want it, most money now invested in more vinyl and tuner alignments/power supply upgrades. And you can never, ever have too many good tuners (or too much vinyl!). 🔊 📻 💽
System Strengths: Incredible dynamics, low-level detail, and very natural midrange reproduction. As good as it gets for anything I've heard under $500,000. Sounds equally good in Stereo as well as 5.1 and most of you know this is not easy to accomplish!
System Weaknesses: Am running out of storage space in basement - Currently have over 25,000 albums and not enough time to clean and listen to them all!
Video/HT System: Integrated
TV/Projector: 40" Philips 7705 LED LCD, but SWMBO is pressing me to get a 75" or larger TV.
Processor/Receiver/Amplifiers: See above
Speakers (Center, Surrounds, Sub): See above
Sources (DVD/VCR): Cambridge Audio CXU and Oppo BDP-95 for BluRay's and DVD's; Denon DVD-2910 (a great sounding CD player that also supports HDCD discs); Oppo DVD-970 HD and Oppo HD-981; Pioneer DV-610AV-K Multi-Region Code Free DVD Player, plays all regions and both NTSC and PAL DVD's and even plays SACD's. Panasonic PV-9664 VCR with "Dynamorphous" heads - There's something to this "Dynamorphous" claim - These tape heads were used in some of their professional broadcast VCRs and they come very, very close to S-VHS in recording quality. Also have some older Sony VHS VCR's and even have a few Betamax machines in the basement.
Other HT Gear: Avoid cheap recordable media (CD's, DVD's, etc.) However, I have gotten excellent results and good longevity (so far) with Verbatim blank media. The dye sublimation process on cheap blank media DOES NOT hold up over time and they all go bad within a 2 to 5 year time frame and become unreadable. Many professional photographers who moved their archives to inexpensive CD-R's and The Library of Congress are sadly learning this lesson now: Much historic material has already been lost. Isn't it amazing that nothing yet beats a good vinyl LP for long-term storage, or a temperature and humidity-controlled magnetic tape?
Comments on HT System: Plan to replace the Philips 40" LED LCD with either a 75" (or bigger) TV, OR a powered screen and either a DLP or LCD projector sometime, but good sound reproduction with a decent picture is much more important in an A/V system than a killer picture with only an OK sound system.
URL Link: http://www.linkedin.com/in/tmbritt
Other Interests/Hobbies/Occupation: Currently fighting my Agent Orange cancer. When I'm healthy, I enjoy SCUBA, underwater and dry land photography, writing about audio & music (my work has been featured in The Absolute Sound and HiFi+ magazines and the book McIntosh..."for the love of music..."), helping moderate the FM Tuner Group at www.fmtunerinfo.com, gourmet cooking, reading, shooting (I am an expert marksman), quilting, smocking, and needlepoint (last 3 for SWMBO 😍. We live at an elevation of about 3,500' in the Blue Ridge Mountains where the TN/NC/VA borders intersect. Former NSA/DIA/NRO/NCIS/ MACV-SOG spook. Mostly retired but you never really "retire" from a 3-letter government agency. Favourite small arms are the FN FiveseveN pistol and its matching caliber FN P90 bullpup SMG with SS190 body armour piercing ammo. Please let me know in advance if you plan to visit - I never got over the urge to shoot lot's of things and blow shit up!! ⚔️ 💣 🤺 🎖 🏹 🕶

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