Audio Asylum Inmate mxj's Main System

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mxj's Main System
Last Update: November 04, 1999 at 04:15:33 IP Address:
Amplifier: Audiolab 8000Mx2 (125W/ch monoblocs)
Preamplifier (or None if Integrated): Audiolab 8000Q
Speakers: Heybrook Quartet/S1 stands
CD Player/DAC: Copland CDA 266
Turntable/Phono Stage: Michell Gyro SE; Rega RB300 (Cardas/vdH re-wire); Ortofon MC25FL; NVA Phono 1 MC
Other Source(s): Nakamichi DR-3 cassette deck
Sony MDS-JE520 MD deck
NAD 402 AM/FM tuner
Other Accessories/Room/Misc.:
Speaker Cables/Interconnects: Nordost, van den Hul, Chord Co (all far too expensive and of dubious merit; I'm learning...)
Other (Power Conditioner, Racks etc.): Projekt B3iii rack for all but power amps
Tweaks: I'm highly suspicious of this area of audio retail but will admit to using brass/carbon fibre isolators underneath my phono pre-amp (can't recall the brand name; two of the original rubber feet came off).
Room Size (LxWxH): 5m x 4m x 2.5m
Room Comments/Treatments: Not a good room acoustically - a little live, with some obvious bass problems. The constant roar of traffic outside is far more of a concern however. I'll be moving sometime in 2000...

Treatments ? 20s photo-frame on right speaker, Laika snowdome on left; lovely bottle-green ArtDeco three-piece suite; Johnny Cash lithograph on right wall; shelves and crates of playable media scattered about. Partly-intentional 'moody' lighting.

Music Preferences and Comments:
Music Used (Genre/Selections): 1980/90s independent pop music;
Brazilian tropicalia*;
20th century classical;
contemporary/avant jazz;
European electronica;
Andorran gloomcore;
Awkward Slinky;
burgeoning late-in-the-day interest in hip-hop, 70s Jamaican reggae*;
coruscating digital filth
(* tautological ?)
System Goals/Comments: Hope to realise more of the potential of the sources/amplification with better speakers (Dynaudio/ProAc/Sonus Faber class of monitor) in a better listening environment.

I don't really envisage taking the Gyro (and ancilliaries) up to Orbe status at any time in the next couple of years - existing vinyl collection doesn't require anything more and new LP purchases are still heavily outnumbered by new CD acquisitions.

CDP and amps will remain until they fail or I win the lottery.

Vague plans to replace all cables with homemade ones.

Would like to replace ageing NAD tuner with DAB-capable model sometime next year.

System Strengths: Always engaging musically; no obvious 'signature' (though tube-users seem to find it 'brittle') - amplification essentially neutral. With good pressings, vinyl and CD are hard to distinguish, enabling me to choose between formats based on price, artwork, etc, without worrying about any gulf in sound quality.
System Weaknesses: Speakers are fine performers at the price (650gbp) but clearly the weak link in the chain. Nothing needs replacing so much as the listening room itself, though.
Video/HT System: Integrated
TV/Projector: Panasonic TX-21S
Processor/Receiver/Amplifiers: (routed through Audiolab gear)
Speakers (Center, Surrounds, Sub): (two-channel only)
Sources (DVD/VCR): Panasonic NV-HD90 Nicam VCR
Comments on HT System: Perfectly adequate for rented movies or music broadcasts. VCR is 5 years old and is beginning to show signs of wear.
Other Interests/Hobbies/Occupation: MYOB

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