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Janos's Living room setup 2018 System
IP Address: Last Update: September 14, 2018 at 14:43:52
Amplifier: DIY SE 807 in triode mode with 700VDC supply, 6SD7GT driver in triode mode with separate power supply. 807 sounded best in SE pentode mode, screens supplied by a pair of OD3 VR tubes. Terrific dynamics and detail. In triode mode rounder, pleasant sound, but exposive dynamics gone.
Preamplifier (or None if Integrated): Passive; input selector switch feeding TVC
Speakers: Tweaked Mirage 760: rebuilt crossover with MKP caps (various, nothing fancy), treated drivers, Kimber wires to woofers, solid core silver to tweeter. Surprisingly good sound for such old speakers. Has the benefits of modern speakers, without the artificial feel.
CD Player/DAC: Micromega Stage 5.
Turntable/Phono Stage: DIY corian table with VPI platter, DIY yard long wooden arm (balsa/spruce), AT440ML cartridge, Hagerman Violin phono stage.
Other Accessories/Room/Misc.:
Speaker Cables/Interconnects: Various, not optimized at the moment. DIY all-silver wireing (IC, speaker wire, power cords) were by far the best sounding. However, over the years they got tarnished and that destroys the sound: robs life and realism. Before I remake all of them, I need to find a way to prevent oxidation that sounds good as well ; . Until then, I'm using various commercial copper cables.
Tweaks: Too many to list.
Room Comments/Treatments: Room is extremely difficult - wide and shallow, with open kitchen / staircase to upper floor on one end, and whole wall glass doors to garden on other end. Nearly impossible to get decent base in the room (just sit on the staircase for base - it's perfect from there, though). 4 dedicated lines for stereo in living room, and 1 dedicated line for projector/DVD player. (Romex 10/4 each). FYI, dedicated lines give extra punch, but they also allow for a more direct transmission of noise from other breakers / neighbors. They let both good and bad flow directly, without hindrance.
Music Preferences and Comments:
Music Used (Genre/Selections): Classical: emphasis on baroque, medieval music, and Beethoven. Enjoy a few modern composers (CM Widor, G Holst), but can't stand most modern composers. Stunning sound quality alone does not appeal to me when it comes with material I don't care for. Briefly, I care for classical music that adds to my internal state (recharges emotions and feelings, drives me towards balance and center), and I avoid music that drains me or creates chaos.
Although I have about 200+CDs, most of them also on mp3, I listen to digital almost exclusively at work and in the car. My record collection absolutely dwarfs the digital collection. While digital sounds good, analogue is much more refreshing and I have most of my favorite material on LPs.
Favorite labels: Unicorn, Telefunken, Chandos, Harmonia Mundi, L'Oiseau Lyre. I love mono, have a sizeable collection of old records - Pathe marconi, Emercy, etc. Although recordings from 20s-40s very much more simplistic and by todays expectations quite lacking, however, vocals on these recordings surpass anything modern, and are the only recordings that carry the impact of real life singing (I have fantastic singers in my family - imagine someone of Pavarotti's caliber singing without restraint in your living room - the experience is on a vastly different scale when the singer is next to you, compared to them being on the stage).
System Goals/Comments: Natural human voice and chamber music. Proper harmonic content and phase correctness is paramount.
System Strengths: In pentode mode with Voigt pipes in my old place was by far the most dynamic amp in my system, with such attack speed that got me genuinely scared once (I'm a martial artist, and it's next to impossible to scare me with anything). The only system I ever heard that produced natural 3d imaging without listening position constraint. You could stand anywhere in the room, and it portrayed accurately "real life" musicians playing in the front half of the room. You could even mingle among the musicians. My friend plays live jazz, and I found no sonic difference between him playing in the club and I moving around the floor, and playing Jazz at the Pawnshop and moving around in my living room. Too bad I changed the amp (wanted to improve on it, silly me).
System Weaknesses: Currently, in triode mode the 807 amp is mediocre at best. No strengths whatsoever, apart from a pleasant midrange. IMHO in triode mode 807 absolutely needs direct coupling - building a DC coupled 807 amp at the moment, and when that's ready I will revert the current amp to pentode mode.
Video/HT System: Integrated
TV/Projector: Entry-level Epson, ceiling mounted, fed from dedicated line. Been using for 3yrs+. Had to change bulb and internal fans due to frequent breaker trips in my old place. Other than that, its a dependable unit with very long bulb life, and provides surprisingly good viewing experience on 90+in screen.
Processor/Receiver/Amplifiers: Sound feeds to 2 channel main system directly. No processing, no surround. I personally have a huge aversion to surround, much prefer the natural 3D sound of 2 channel stereo. I want the sounds around the action, not around me. Also, have not heard a single surround setup yet that sounds natural. Too much phase errors IMHO to make it seem natural for speech, and I do not care for effects. (No fake phones ringing, nor machine guns behind my ear).
Sources (DVD/VCR): Older Pioneer Blueray player, ceiling mounted feeding the projector through 1ft cable. DIY interconnects running in-wall to main system.
Other HT Gear: DIY power conditioner based on corcom units, ceiling mounted, fed from dedicated line (AWG10, red conductor used instead of the black) feeding projector and blueray.
Comments on HT System: The short cable length between player and projector is critical on picture quality. Picture quality (especially the brilliance of colors) accurately reflects line power status. Screen is between the speakers. Watching netflix mostly, so not that keen on highest resolution. Proper power conditioning, dedicated AC line, short HDMI cables make for surprisingly good picture quality for such a modest setup.
Other Interests/Hobbies/Occupation: Argentine Tango, martial arts, speakers/tube amps/cable / tonearm building & tweaking. Record collector (mostly classical). Occupation: cancer research.

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