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A.J.'s At home System
Last Update: November 18, 2005 at 14:48:05 IP Address:
Amplifier: - Audio Synthesis Desire Decade

- Sugden Headmaster headphone amp.

- Ars Sonum Filarmonía SE tube integrated

Preamplifier (or None if Integrated): Joule Electra LA-150
Speakers: Merlin VSM-MX in Piano Black.

Sennheiser HD600 Headphones.

CD Player/DAC: - Theta Data II Transport.

- Sony CDP X707 ES player used as CD Transport.

- Museatex Bidat (John Wright mods) DAC.

- Marantz CDR-631 recorder

Turntable/Phono Stage: - Nottingham Analogue Hyperspace TT.

- NA Acespace tonearm.

- Shelter 901 cartridge.

- Denon 103 Cartridge.

- EAR 834P Deluxe phono stage with Telefunken ECC83 tubes.

Other Source(s): - Nakamichi BX-125 Cassette deck.

- Sansui TU-919 tuner (probably the best of my sources).

Other Accessories/Room/Misc.:
Speaker Cables/Interconnects: Cardas Golden Reference (CGR) speaker cables and Interconnects.
Other (Power Conditioner, Racks etc.): Schroers & Schroers rack, custom power conditioner tablette (unbranded). Cardas Golden Reference Power cords.

Dedicated power line from break box to equipment outlet. Salicru Voltage Stabilizer (at 230V) and common mode noise filter (80dB).

Tweaks: Still points ERS sheets on the Bidat, transport and BAM (Thanks Bobby).
Room Size (LxWxH): 7 m x 3,5 m x 2,4 m
Room Comments/Treatments: 3 x 2 m wool carpet in front of the speakers, some cushions to tame tweeter reflections.

This room is quite complicated for bass response, I had to sell a pair of SF Amati speakers since I couldn't get them sounding right. I'm using a long wall placement with the speakers 6.5 feet in between them, 4 feet away from the front (long) wall and more than 12' to lateral (short) walls. My ears are right at the height of the middle point between tweeter and midwoofer, about 7 feet away from the speakers front plane. I sit on a coach placed against the back wall, so no need to treat the space behind me.

Music Preferences and Comments:
Music Used (Genre/Selections): All genres, especially jazz and classic but also rock, funk, sometimes disco, cuban and brazilian folk... Anything that can move my soul and my feet!
System Goals/Comments: Still growing and improving. I'd like to have it all, transparency, detail, excellent stage and above all, music, plain music from a system-less room.

Since I have the Merlins, the system doesn't have a signature of its own, it's very transparent to the recorded music, so rock sounds sparky, alive and hard if required, small chamber works sound delicate and moving, symphonies huge and dynamic. Every kind of music sounds as it should.

System Strengths: Neutrallity, it doesn't hide anything on the recording, but it manages to do this without sounding analytical or bright. Disappearing, the Merlins get off the room and let you in front of people making music in your house.

Sounds like the music. It's unbelievable how the system can rock, or make a string quartet sound as it is, delicate if music is, or extremely dynamic and robust sounding when required. I couldn't say the system is better or worse for any kind of music.

Balance, the system sounds the same playing very loud or at quite low levels. Stage, tonal balance and dynamics are kept, it doesn't matter how loud or soft you play.

System Weaknesses: By now not many, but (read room comments)I'm still working on the system to make it better. It lacks the half lowest octave, but the bass reproduced is so good that I really don't miss it but for organ works and some electronica.
Video/HT System: Separate
TV/Projector: Loewe Planus 28' CRT TV.
Sources (DVD/VCR): Marantz DV-3100 DVD player (tweaked for multizone), JVC HR-S 8500 S-VHS VCR.
Comments on HT System: Not really a Home theatre fan, polite and correct DVD/VCR reproduction.
Other Interests/Hobbies/Occupation: I Like PCs (betatesting programs, gaming, surf audio sites and ensambling my own PC systems), reading, cinema (at a big movie theatres) and above all, my family (by the moment just my wife).

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