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el34eh@yahoo.com's Music Matters ' H/ear ' System
IP Address: Last Update: December 20, 2019 at 03:22:49
Amplifier: [ 1 ] Audiomat Arpege 10 Reference

* [ Tube Integrated rated @ 33 w/pc Made in France ]

As I've been following this very nice sounding EL34 based amp since its first review in the Listener magazine back in the mid 90's, it had been on my very short list of must-have amps, and being fortunate enough to find one used several months ago for a very very nice price, I simply had to have one.

It has me tickled pink - which is hard to do.

[ 2 ] Pathos Acoustics Classic MK III

At this point in my life, I merely wanted to sample a hybrid design and it came down to either this or the Croft Integrated......., I believe I choose correctly.

[ 3 ] Coda Technologies Unison 3 Ultra Edition

This is my first and last venture into American made solid state, and I'd have to say that the wait was certainly a big surprise, as this integrated is a beast, and offers sound to which I compare to the likes of Mark Levinson ( mid 80s, early 90s vintage ) | Jeff Rowland Design | Pass Labs | Forte | Accuphase | Muse Electronics | Sugden, in that it's pure Class A upwards of 35 w|pc and offers sonics to which I can definitely live with until the Creator calls me home, and even then........, as with the EL84 based integrated above, these are both making the journey with me, after all Pharaoh's shouldn't be the only ones to have their toys in the afterlife, or should they?, I think not.

[4] Naim Audio Nait 5SI

Just because it reminds me in so many ways of my once beloved Naim Nait [ original and two different vintages of their Olive version ] as well as the Onix OA-21S during the period of 1989 - 1997, memories renewed if you'll......., it's weird how life can at times take us full circle to our humblest of beginnings.

Lesson learnt

" Just because something is newer and sounds different doesn't make it better - just different ".

Once again it merely came down to

" Mi-Fi that matters most to me at the end of the day, and I've to please my ears first, otherwise whom am I trying to please - that's right - Me. "
Preamplifier (or None if Integrated): N|A
Speakers: Totem Acoustics The One

Reference 3A Dulcet [ High Gloss Maple ]

Fyne Audio F301's [ Light Oak ] | F500's [ Dark Oak ]

Harbeth Acoustics P3-ESR [ Tiger Ebony ]

As a gift from my 26 year old son circa July 19th 2017, as he felt they lacked dynamics, he had moved onto a pair of Scansonic MB-1s......, whom said the younger generation isn't into Hi-Fi?, my son has proven this to be wrong ].

As some of you may recall?. I've been an avid collector of Mini-Monitors starting in '82 with a pair of Chatwell LS 3/5A's which lead me to ProAc Tablette MK 2, followed by Tablette 50 Signatures, then Tablette Reference 8 Signature and Response One SC.

Along the ways I've owned my share of said Mini-Monitors from the likes of Neat Acoustics Petite ( original ) and MK 3 versions - Audio Physic Step SLE - Harbeth HL-P3 and LS 3/5A ( Gold Edition ) - Acoustic Energy AE-1 Signatures - Reference 3A Dulcet - Vienna Acoustics Haydn SE - Celestion SL-6 - Kef Reference 101and LS 3/5A - Snell K/II's - Linn Kan MK 1's and II's ( Ku-Stone ) - System Audio SA-501 - DeVore Fidelity Gibbon 3s which lead finding myself going full circle to said Totem Acoustic Model Ones based designs or upgraded versions ( which had lingered in my mind since first hearing them at a doctor friends home in 1994, and was so taken with the manner in which they played brass instruments, as if there was no tomorrow. I'm hindsight a mistake corrected in finally having a pair of them, in home ).

As The Ones have simply in my mind/heart become one of the most beautifully balanced and musically involving transducers I've encountered to date, olde technology and all. It simply offers a very refined, yet fully developed upper treble emphasis with spacious mids along with a very responsive - nimble - and quite agile lower midrange response timing, which tends to start and stop on a dime without any sort of unwanted coloration whatsoever.

It offer enough bass which allows for a owner to invest in better speaker cable knowing that in all but the most demanding of you would even remotely crave adding a sub. ( which to my ears in my space simply color the sound, and lack speed along with snap. )

The only other speakers in my life that I've come to cherish more are the DeVore Fidelity Gibbon 3XLs.

At which point, I'm done chasing after an illusion of TAS!, and much rather prefer to chase the Music side of our shared hobby.

I've said Mini-Monitors placed atop a pair of Sound Anchors 3 Post Signature Stands and Single Post Stand [ for P3-ESRs ] w|. Herbie's Audio Labs Fat Dots as their interfacing devices and am quite pleased with the end result.

Some might disagree, but I find that when a system is clicking, it's best to leave well enough alone.
CD Player/DAC: Pro-Ject DAC Box DS2 Ultra | ZeroZone 18V | 2.5A LPS

[ LPS to be upgraded in 2020 to Teddy Pardo version ]
Turntable/Phono Stage: N|A
Other Source(s): Mac Mini 2014 | 500GB

* [ Solely for tracks/songs that aren't available on Vinyl ]

Now as someone whom in his mid 20's was fond of going to rave clubs with the wife!, it's cheaper to download those still nice sounding Depeche Mode 12" singles for $1/$1.29 per song as opposed to spending upwards of $16 just to obtain a pressing from the U.K. Is it not.

Vinyl is my format of choice - especially Jazz, but when those rare occasions come up when the wife and I still like to pretend our bodies aren't aching - it's nice to hear these tunes that bought us both joy and closer together all those moons ago. ( Cats over 50, whom are happily married know what I'm talking about - don't you!. )

The cable used to connect Phono-stages to either amp are CRL Bronze Series ICs - which I find very very addictive to say the least.

As they work quite well in this application to a point I don't need anything else - period.
Other Accessories/Room/Misc.:
Speaker Cables/Interconnects: Cable Research Lab

Phono-Cable RCA - RCA ( 1.5m ) which has a even better overall balanced compared to my once beloved Synergistic Research Tricon Analogue, who knew?.

CRL Bronze Series ICs | Speaker Cables.

Jena Labs Trio Plus | Fugue | Crimson Rx Red Cs | Twin 5 SCs

Jena Labs StreamDancer | Aucharm USB Cables

X2 Oyaide Electric Black Mamba-Sigma V2 | Jena AC Crimson Rx Red | Analysis Plus Power Oval 2 mk 2 AC Cords........, Thanks again for such a solid recommendation here on said Oyaide, goes out to Duster, these are spot on fidelity wise.

My only question is,why aren't more music lovers familiar with the CRL line of cables?, is it because they're seen as to cheap/expensive other then their Bronze Series?, as I tend to believe these are amongst the most musically balanced sounding lines I've encountered in my entire life, what I can only term as a friend mentioned about their sound -

" Copper Done Right ".

There's a certain correctness to them that leaves other costlier cables for dead, but don't take my word for it - just listen for yourself, this one goes to the top of my list on cables that merely sound natural.
Other (Power Conditioner, Racks etc.): Chang Lightspeed CLS 9600 MK ll

Mainly due to the fact it allows my simplified system which only consist of said music server along with my amp to receive clean power via an Oyadide R-1 ( A.C. Receptacle in tandem w/. WPC-Z Carbon Fiber/Aluminum Cover ).

Isotek Systems Evo 3 Neoplug ( total of 3 ) one placed upon said NANA with the remaining two placed into AC outlets either side of the system, a Shunyata Research Venom Defender is placed into the systems main AC outlet - with 2 Nordost Qv2's placed on NANA Line Distributor itself.

( As power begins outside of our homes at a junction box of sort, why cheat yourself on not having your system's power to be the clearest it can upon powering your components. )

I've invested in 5 separate racks/stands from Sound Anchors since '95, and don't see any reason to look anywhere else.
Tweaks: I'm an avid user of African Blackwood Isolation Devices and have found that both Shun Mook Super Diamond Resonators along with Yamamoto Sound Craft MBG1's and ClubWood Mpingo Cones and Cable Dampers.

As well as a set of Symposium Acoustics Rollerblock Jr's HDSE ( Tungsten Carbide Balls ) to which I've been quite taken with underneath both my turntable as we tube integrated's to say the least - a big surprise here I might add.

Isoacoustics Inc, Orea Indigo Footers [ DAC ] | Bordeaux Series [ Coda Technologies ].

These have worked wonders underneath ever application I've them in.

I was turned onto these Asian friend in '04, and you know what - he's words in regards to either couldn't have been truer.

Most would at first think them to add to much warmth, while taking away to much detail - well to my ears, they simply allow you to hear the manner in which the notes are actually bent into shape and offers more spatan details to be heard for the first time within the underlined texture of said notes.

In other words while lacking the upper treble detail many have become accustomed to from using various alloy devices.

Been there with the Walker Audio Valid Points, Stillpoints, Finite Elemente or the Original AudioPoints or the current Nordost Kones for that matter.

One begins to hear a sense of Musical flow - a truer sense of involvement and above all, nuances unlike anything you might have every heard before.

Detail and resolution is one thing, but ask yourself one thing - what does either have to do with Musicality?, the lucky few will know what I'm getting at here, while the rest might assume me fruity to say the least, but as most things are in this hobby - it's all about objectiveness. Yet it never hurts to have an open-mind.

I'm also a believer of ASI Resonators and Sugar Cubes as meant to be used for ones room treatment devices.

Weird science I know............, but it works. Just look into what's being written about these along w/. the Synergistic Research ART and HFT Systems and a few others of late.

I also use a set of Synergistic Research ECT's attached to the bottom of either integrated when in use, as well as Telos Audio Gold and Platinum as well as their newer Quantum RCA Caps on unused RCA jacks on the rear of said Integrated's.
Room Size (LxWxH): 21'8" x 12'3" x 9'7.8"
Room Comments/Treatments: Synergistic Research HFT [Level 2] along | Acoustic Revive QR-8 Quartz Resonators.

These form the prefect means of Acoustic Room Treatment for my space.

( YMMV?, but I do hear a difference for the better, I might add. )
Music Preferences and Comments:
Music Used (Genre/Selections): I'm a Jazz Head, I began collecting records since age 10.

While some of my friends/associates are blessed to own $350.000.00 systems, very few of them have more invested into their Music Collection then I, as I've always viewed it - one should have more money tied up in said collections, otherwise in my view their priorities are misplaced.

I don't think there's anything worse then being invited into one of these snobs homes for a listening session, only to hear the same track over and over 10 times, and looking at their collections of the top 30-48 Audiophile approved LP's or CD's, I can say with a big ass smile on my face.

I've them beat and then some. If you weren't able to pick up on it?, the wife and I only do Vinyl!.
System Goals/Comments: Balance - is all anyone of us can ask for.

It plays Music better then most I've heard and makes me want to buy more Music.

Which I found out years ago, is when you should know things are clicking!, check this out - how many times have you visited a fellow music lover and came away marveling over his toys?, now on the other hand, how many times have you come away with a list of records you just had to have?, therein lies the message.

If you aren't playing attention to what's playing!, who the artist is?, what goes into the craft in which the artist has put into said recordings?, the system in question has already missed the point, as has its owner.

A balanced system gives one the desire to pursue each and every recording heard - as well as having the ability to play all genres of Music equally well.

( Just thing about that for a moment,,it'll shrink in sooner or later. )

System Strengths: To Cheap - to be doing what it does. But everyone whom has heard it, attempts to mimic its performance in their homes.

Nuff said.

Oh, I forgot to mention power cords above, as I didn't see a space for them, but at present I'm using a Triode Wire Labs 10+ AC Cord with either of the Integrateds and had the power cord for the Well Tempered motor upgraded with a CablePro Revive V-3 Power Cord with Furutech FI-11M ( Cu ) AC Plug.

Above all else, I'm a firm believer in Simplicity, as well as the use and understanding of a system that it formed as a systematic whole. As I've mention yet once again - Synergy is of the upmost importance.
System Weaknesses: Never enough Music.

That's right, it's all about the Music first in my book.

One day, you'll understand why I'm constantly taking about a WORTHWHILE collection, not a BS one.

Great Music is Rare, but putting together a system that allows it to shine, is rarer still.
Video/HT System: Separate
TV/Projector: Visio 60" M Series ......, which is currently being used in our main bedroom, where the Panasonic 55" now resides in our share one.

[ LED's are nice for Gamers - but I prefer the more natural color balance and tonal coloring that they're lacking - hence preference for plasma ].
Speakers (Center, Surrounds, Sub): Z-Vox Soundbase 555.
Sources (DVD/VCR): Oppo BP-105D Blu-Ray Player
Other HT Gear: Apple TV | Roku 4K
Comments on HT System: It's serves the purpose of entertaining the wife and I while we're chilling out in the bedroom.

To us Music is number one, which is why it's placed in the livingroom, while video takes its place in the back room like an ugly child is meant to. ( Just kidding guys, lighten up and never forget laughter is good for the soul. )
Other Interests/Hobbies/Occupation: Family First & Foremost.....,Photography, friends whom are both like minded and/or of kindred spirit.

[ Analog - Hence my reason for lack of photos........., it's that olde school thing in me - I guess ].

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