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the_stranger's Income Repellant System
IP Address: Last Update: March 28, 2009 at 16:26:25
Amplifier: Pass Labs X250.5
Preamplifier (or None if Integrated): Pass Labs X2 Generation 2
Speakers: Totem Forest, Magnepan MG-IIIa
CD Player/DAC: Micromega Drive 3 --> Pass Labs D1
Other Accessories/Room/Misc.:
Speaker Cables/Interconnects: Bi-wired Kimber 4TC on top, 8TC on bottom, Cardas Golden Reference interconnects (the old grey ones), Golden Refernece power cord on the dac, Space Tech Lab power cables on everything else, Kimber Orchid AES/EBU cable.
Other (Power Conditioner, Racks etc.): PS Audio P500
Tweaks: Totem Beaks - two on top of each Totem speaker... not sure they do very much, but I bought them used for a song, so can't really argue.
Music Preferences and Comments:
Music Used (Genre/Selections): Some favorites include XTC, Steely Dan, 10cc, Dire Straits, Fleetwood Mac, Kate Bush, Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson, Pink Floyd, Supertramp, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Weather Report...
System Goals/Comments: It has proven a struggle to get something which is extremely resolving with very precise instrument separation, without sounding painfully analytical. Each instrument must sound natural and palpable, without detracting from any other instrument. Dynamics are of high priority, though detail and resolution must not suffer as volume goes up. I also enjoy a lot of music which is not particularly well rercorded, and this system does seem to do a good job of making those recordings listenable, most of which I put down to the goofy-warm Cardas cables. There is zero fatigue even with the notorious ribbon tweeters on painfully bad recordings, but it never sounds rolled off or muffled on the good recordings.
System Strengths: With the Totems: incredibly intimate presentation, spectacular imaging. With the Maggies: Pretty much everything but that 'intimate' feeling the Totems do so well. The X250.5 is a SPECTACULAR match for these speakers. The standard Maggie complaints do not apply here. Superb dynamics, spectacular portrayl of soundstage depth/height/placement, pinpoint imaging, incredible bass, but still great to listen to at low volumes. The true ribbons love good gear, and the Pass stuff delivers in spades.
System Weaknesses: It's a beast... the room could use a lot of treatment. The Maggies would like to see an X350.5, no doubt... but the X250.5 is really fine in my room, and i'm sure my neighbours would prefer an X150.5 ;)
Video/HT System: None
Processor/Receiver/Amplifiers: Grado RA1
Speakers (Center, Surrounds, Sub): Grado RS1
Sources (DVD/VCR): California Audio Labs Icon mkII HDCD
Other HT Gear: PS Audio P300, Cardas Golden Reference interconnects, crappy power cords
Other Interests/Hobbies/Occupation: IT Consulting

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