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Firochromis's Oldies but Goldies System
IP Address: Last Update: January 02, 2014 at 00:36:02
Power Amplifier: Coincident 300B Frankenstein Mk. 2

Coincident Frankenstein
Preamplifier (or None if Integrated):
Preamplifier: Counterpoint SA-5.1

Preamplifier is the core of the system and in my belief must be chosen more meticulously than other components. Its your Conductor at your home orchestra, so your music tastes must match. I truly love Counterpoint sound. So pre-amplifier choice was easy for me. This unit was built in the era when still lp's were the most popular source for music. And in that era, commercial products were not being designed considering the part costs, oil prices, euro/dollar exchange rate etc.

One of the main reasons I chose this pre is, it uses 6DJ8 tubes. For my music taste I prefer them and there are really good 6DJ8's out there. At phono stage I have Telefunken 6922 E88CC Gold Pins and at line stage Amperex 7308 E188CC Gold Pins. I also installed C8 type 6CA4 at Rectifier.

Counterpoint SA-5.1

This unit has a Phono Stage Premium Upgrade and Line Stage Standard Upgrade performed by Michael Elliot. This makes almost all the line stage and phono stage is replaced with top of the line parts. He also made some smaller modifications like RCA jack upgrades to several inputs and amplifier out. For further fidelity, he also bypassed low gain input for phono and bypassed balance trimmers. Nowadays his motto is: "Whenever flexibility is added, the additional complexity has a negative sonic impact. And I humbly agree with him.

When the unit arrived here in Turkey the previous owner (also a friend) experienced some hum (probably occurred during shipment) and have it serviced to Mete Kuzer, a gifted technician. He removed the hum and also performed the 110V-220V change and a Alps Volume Pod change.

The friend I bought this unit from, previously had another SA-5.1 and a SA-3.1 both in stock. He says that this unit has the lowest hum but somewhat higher microphonics. I'll try to lower it with Herbie's various products.

UPDATE on 06/02/11: I applied various Herbie products and they are simply fantastic. Stock feet are changed with Herbie's Tenderfoot and I believe they make the lion share of improvement. All four 6DJ8 tubes have Rx Ultrasonic tube dampers, and remaining tubes have Preamp UltraSonic dampers. After those, microphonics on the SA-5.1 has gone.

Counterpoint SA-5.1

Next move will be changing the old capacitors in the power section. My main motivation is to get rid of the 20 year old electronic pieces. Added gain in sonics will be my profit (if any). I'll also install a Plitron tranny and a Hi-Fi Tuning Supreme fuse.

Counterpoint SA-5.1
Speakers: Coincident Super Eclipse Mk. 3

If there is only one magician in this hobby, that is definitely Israel Blume. Very few manufacturers produces such a wide range of products with this success.

Eclipse series is the entry level in the Coincident Speaker line. But there is something special with the Mk. 3 of the Super Eclipse: with 5 drivers per channel it is nothing short of performance against his bigger brothers. The announced design goal of this speaker is: "To create a loudspeaker with the sonic attributes of the ground breaking Total Eclipse, but in a more compact, affordable package. This loudspeaker would be state of the art on both micro and macro levels and could be driven by the finest amplifiers without compromise." Blume definitely meets this goal. With 92 db sensitivity and 14 ohm impedance, this speaker is an easy load for amplifiers. In fact for my taste 92 db - 95 db range is perfect, since it gets higher microphonics gets a bigger problem.

Coincident Super Eclipse Mk.3

The tweeter choice is a silk dome ScanSpeak Revelator; which is the same on Total Eclipse. This tweeters are simply excellent. midranges are 2 - 5,25" carbon fiber cone units per channel. The D'Appolito arrangement was chosen due to the many inherent advantages of the design (i.e. greater sensitivity and enhanced dynamic performance and power handling capability due to the coupling of the midrange/woofers). With the help of this design there is no need to a "listening point" Indeed, listen to the Super Eclipses while standing or seated and very little difference will be observed with regard to imaging or tonality. In the horizontal plane, listening while moving from side to side will still provide the listener with superb focus and dimensionality. The woofer chosen for the Super Eclipse uses a huge magnet assembly with a 2" voice coil. A very stiff, specially treated paper cone is almost impervious to cone break up or flexing. They are not huge in terms of size (2 - 8" Paper Treated Woofers per channel) but the enclosure is highly engineered to give enough low frequency response.

Coincident SEIII Mk.3

So, what can be done to this already excellent speaker. Well, not much but the previous owner had Mundorf Silver-Goldoil capacitors and Echole Silver-Gold-Palladium inner cables installed by Kerem Kucukaslan of Echole Cables. He also changed the stock posts to Eichmann Cablepod Binding Posts.
CD Player/DAC:
CD Player

Cookie Monster

Yeah friend, thinking the same!

Turntable/Phono Stage:
Turntable: Michell Gyrodec Mk. 2 Bronze Edition

I always thought that task of a turntable seems to be simple. At audio frequencies, the arm should be kept locked above the groove, without any motion relative to the cartridge. And the lp should be turned at a constant angular speed underneath the stylus. This means that, the pieces ie. platter, bearing, (sub)chassis, arm board, tone arm, and cartridge body should behave in a rigid and non-resonant fashion.

John Michell (R.I.P) was a brilliant engineer and has various solutions for the issue. One of them was clamp. Michell turntables clamp the record to a hard platter. This flattens out warps, and it also couples the LP tightly to the platter so that internal resonances can be drained away from the stylus, as if the LP effectively is of a much higher thickness and rigidity. The platter is from a proprietary self-damping compound of carbon/vinyl -loaded acrylic. This material closely approaches the mechanical and acoustical properties of the vinyl record itself, enhancing the coupling between both.

Michell Gyrodec Mk.3

Michell Gyrodec Mk.3

Tonearm: SME Series V: This was a dream come true. Back in 2005, when I wanted to buy first real hifi system, I made months of search and fall in love with this arm. At that time I couldn't even think of owning one, but as years passed I go deeper in this hobby and at last I have one.

This arm is the physical state of pure engineering. Some one can argue that there are better arms, and in fact there may be. But Series V will always be a true classic.

The functioning of a pick-up arm appears simple but is in fact very complex. All cartridges employ relative motion between tonearm and stationary parts of a system to produce the signal output. Reproduction can only be true therefore when all movement representing groove modulation is made by the armature and none by the stationary parts represented by the cartridge body. Unless the pick-up arm holds the latter against even the minutest movement at audio frequencies the signal will be modified in some way. The result is a subtle loss of clarity, dynamic range and transient attack that can make the sound from even the best system tiring to listen to.

So, in common with any mechanical device the behavior of a pick-up arm is governed by three properties of matter that also define the laws of motion. The first property is mass which opposes any change in motion. The effective mass of an arm and cartridge resists motion least at low frequencies but increasingly as frequency rises. It is this resisting force which makes the operation of a cartridge possible. The second property is stiffness which resists bending or flexing. It is a restoring force, proportional to position or deflection. The third property is damping or resistance to motion. Mass and stiffness determine how much a pick-up arm will flex and vibrate and damping determines how long it will vibrate. Damping alone cannot prevent flexing or vibration, it can only lessen its effect. The stiffer the arm the less it will flex and vibrate; the more massive the less it will vibrate.

This seems a hard equation to solve but thousands of users in some decades proved that, engineers in SME found the perfect solution. Optimum stiffness and vibration is provided with the optimum amount of mass.

Added strength of a Series V arm is the flexibility in usage. Every parameter you need can be adjusted with simple operation. For me the weakest link of the tonearm is the stock Van den Hul tonearm cable. I think this arm deserves much more than this. Currently using the Grado Reference Master1 MI cartridge with it.

UPDATE on 09/15/11: I changed the tonearm cable with the excellent Cardas Golden Reference cable.

SME V Tonearm
Other Source(s):
Tuner: Sansui TU-717

This baby is not for display or show off. I use it very frequently, some times as much as my Michell. Since it comes I sold the Rega Apollo CD player for buying other gear. It is in very good condition but soon I want to make some upgrades including some caps, RCA inputs power cord, fuse etc.

Sansui TU-717

Tapedeck: Denon DRW-585

Denon DRW-585

Since I don't have enough space on my rack, Denon is for temporary usage.
Other Accessories/Room/Misc.:
Speaker Cables/Interconnects: Speaker Cables: Electricity Wire type shitty! Soon will be replaced.

Phono Cable for SME V: Cardas Golder Reference Phono DIN-RCA.

Phono Cable for Moerch UP-4: VPI Red Cable DIN-RCA.

Interconnect Between pre-power: Ecosse Maestro RCA-RCA. Soon wil be bettered.
Other (Power Conditioner, Racks etc.): Ecosse Big Reds and stock cables with various Furutech plugs at both ends (Ecosse's). Soon will be bettered.
Tweaks: I'm using Herbie's Tube dampers and other various products.
Room Size (LxWxH): 23 x 14-19 x 8,4
Room Comments/Treatments:
Room: The Good, The Better and The Sweety

Originally my room setup was different and the title was The Bad, The Worse and The Ugly. Now I made a new placement keeping the Hi-Fi on mind. You can find the original article on http://www.firochromis.com/english/hi-fi-related/

The Good: This is my main living room, but I designed it to serve me a listening room as well. Formerly my system was not symmetrically placed in the room. But now I have a better placement with enough spacings around the speakers.

Room 01

The Better: People usually place the hi-fi rack in between the speakers. From what I read, I choose to move the hi-fi rack to a side wall so that the area between the speakers are free to walk. This has to benefits: As a living room better usage, as a listening room better acoustics. Sound stage is more clear, reflections from the rack is gone. Moving the tubes out of the woofers' range is added plus. The sound is clearer now. The only disadvantage of this placement is increased speaker cable length for me.

Room 01

The Sweety: Although it is my main living room I made a few arrangements for acoustical treatment. I made diy QRD panels to the behind of the speakers. I don't want to kill the sound, so preferred diffusers. There are two fiberglass absorbers to tame the low frequencies. The parallel walls are a little on the bright side so I build two more absorbers for the first reflection points at the side wall. But I'm using them at critical listening. Otherwise they are resting somewhere else. I haven't done anything for the large windows aound the speakers. I'm considering out of the common solutions like Sugar cubes of the ASI.

Room 02

Room 02
Music Preferences and Comments:
Music Used (Genre/Selections): Mostly Classical with over 700 LP's and 100 CD's. Other than that, Jazz, 80's and Rock (another 200 LP and 200 CD).
System Goals/Comments: Every year I listen around 30 classical music concerts in Turkey and Europe (mostly Germany). So I expect my system come as close as possible to a 5-6 row of a concert hall.

For this, I try to choose good equipments and my primary source is Arthur Salvatore's excellent web page. My budget permits Class 'C' and sometimes 'B' references of Salvatore's.
System Strengths: This is a evolving system and needs time. But I can say that the synergy between the equipment is promising.
System Weaknesses: Cables! (not chosen specifically to this system.)
Video/HT System: Separate
TV/Projector: Cheap CRT TV
Processor/Receiver/Amplifiers: Denon AVR-2106
Speakers (Center, Surrounds, Sub): Fronts: Coincident Super Eclipse Mk. 3
Center: Gallo Micro
Surrounds: Gallo Micro
Sub: Jamo
Sources (DVD/VCR): Denon DVD-1920
Comments on HT System: This is just enough for me because I seldom use it. The weakest link is TV. I'll add two more Gallo's for fronts and hopefully a better sub in the future. And again hopefully separate it from my stereo system.
URL Link: http://www.firochromis.com
Other Interests/Hobbies/Occupation: I'm a 32 year old self employed engineer in family business. Zero WAF factor, so enjoying plenty of hobbies in my home. I like aquariums, cactus, photography, typewriters and pens, cycling, history, literature and etc...

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