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SET Man's System One System
Last Update: February 03, 2004 at 21:36:44 IP Address:
Amplifier: Welborne Labs Apollo I monoblock with caps, resistors and meters upgrade. 18w/ch of pure class A Single Ended Power! KR 842HVD output tube driven by NOS GE 6EA7. I bought these as a kit and had fun assembling them. These could drive my Maggie more than loud enough with great control. These amps proof that all watts are not created equal.

Why tube? Because it sounds more natural. Why SET? Becasue it sounds more complete.

1937 Philco 84B Cathedral radio with 6F6 output tube for a whopping 0.5 watt power out put!

Preamplifier (or None if Integrated): Audio Note M1 with DIMY (Did it myself)resistors upgraded to Caddock, Jensen paper in oil copper cap and Welborne Labs dual mono ladder type attenuators. Mullard CV4003/12AU7 line for line stage section and Ei 12AX7 elite gold pin for phono section, excellent tube by the way. Nothing fancy just a great inexpensive simple tube pre. After audition the M1 and the similar priced C-J tube pre (10PV I think) I bought the M1 somehow it sounds better to me.

Speakers: A pair of sexy, slender, sophisticated and sweet Maggie 1.5 with DIMY crossover upgraded to Gorzt 12ga copper foil inductors and MIT PPFX caps. 16 watts 0.10 ohm Caddock resistor in place of the fuse. Oh! I also changed the finish from natural oak to reddish Bombay Mahogany, very easy just sand them and buy a can of finish you want. I use the 2 in 1 stuff from Minwax I think. I do not recommend this 2 in 1, doesn’t look as good as the old 2 step. If I could do it again I would get separate finish and polyurethane. Speaker are 4ohm, 86dB. The speaker are now wider than in the picture… now is about a little over 3 ft apart from edge to edge and about 35 in from the front wall.

Also, good old (6y/o now)Grado SR 60; can't think of anything better than these at this price.

I now also have a pair of DIY Fostex FE167E in back loaded TQWT. They sound amazingly good, must be because there is no crossover! I will write some more about it soon.

CD Player/DAC: Sony CE775 SACD/CD player. I like to think this as an excellent CHEAP CD player with SACD capability as a bonus. After my Rotel broke from 5 years of service I did not want to spend lot of money on a CD or SACD or DVD player because of the uncertain future of digital. The Sony CE775 surprised me big time… it gets my vote for great cheap CD player under $750.

Turntable/Phono Stage: Rega Plana 2 with DIMY cable upgraded to Cadas tonearm wire and twin 21ga Cadas output wire.

With Blue Point cart. Hard to believe that this 100+ years old technology needle-in-da-goove give me chill up my spine more than CD every time I listen to it.

Other Source(s): Denon TU-280 tuner.

Home made tube AM transmiter for the Philco.

And Akai M8 tubed reel to reel form the 60's which I recently restored. Sound wonderful. Too bad they don't make tube r to r like this anymore.I rather have this than CD recorder. The Akai M8 also served as tube headphone amp. With those SE EL84 and pure tube design.. man what a great way to drive my Grado.

Other Accessories/Room/Misc.:
Speaker Cables/Interconnects: MIT 2 from CD to pre. Kimber Kable TC-4 4ft double run to Maggie in bi-wire config. Monter cable 500 from tuner to pre. Monter 350 from Akai M8 in/out to pre. Monter 350 from pre to amps… yes I currently using this $35 2M pair from my pre to amps because after rearanging my room I ended up putting amps in the middle of speakers and the only 2 meter cable I have is these cheap Monter. I was surprised that they don't sound as bad as I expected… I will buy something better soon. I’m think of Harmonic or Alpha Core.
Other (Power Conditioner, Racks etc.): PS Audio Power Plant P600. Well, so far went it come to power stuff this is the real thing assuming it can handle the load. After I got the P600 I see that my system with everything on use only about 200 – 220 watts in normal use which I could have gone with the P300 but when it come to Power Plant is best to have head room. I don’t use the multi wave stuffs I don’t like the idea of it, I stick with good old 60Hz which the system were designed for. If you hear one in your system I’m sure you have hard time letting it go.

Also, I built cover for my amp when not in use to protect them from my cat. I used ¼ in thick acrylic and just glued them with two side open. They also served as side table and foot stool when I listen to music.

All those threaded steel rods shelf are home made. The system shelf make with ¾ in thick MDF and ¾ in steel rods.

Tweaks: My CD/SACD player,TT and amps sit on ¼ thick granite which it sit on inflated bicycle tube. Small sand bag on CD/SACD. Pre is sitting on homemade platform which use fishing line strung tightly in X pattern. I highly recommend you try this with your tube pre it cheap and work wonder for me… make sure the fishing line could handle the load. Although I think it not a good idea if you have very heavy pre. Speaker cables sit on shot glasses, why spend money for those over priced cable lifter. Remember junior high science… glass isolate static electricity.

The speakers are spiked by using round top 3/8 nuts and bolts. Hard to believe this change the sound of Maggie dramatically (If you try this remember your result will vary, you might not like it and ended up with holes) Maggies sit on 50lbs 18 X 18 in patio concrete block.

Room Size (LxWxH): 15 x 8.5 x 8
Room Comments/Treatments: A few pieces of cheap foam bed unlaying sheet behind speaker and behing my listening position. Works great but I will try to save money and by a nice room treatment soon.
Music Preferences and Comments:
Music Used (Genre/Selections): Trip hop, rock, classic rock, electronics, soft rock,pop, a few classica and jazz. Well almost all kind of music
System Goals/Comments: To get the best possible sound in my room. Within my limited budget. And to have a system that doesn't make me think about the hardwear and just leave me with music.

System Strengths: Sweet, seductive like a pussycat but it could roar like a tiger when I need it to.

Well here in audiophile talk; surprisingly very good extended and well control of bass from 18w/ch, sweet extended top end, and a killer midrange. Excellent sound stage. The system play more than loud enough for me and my neighbor

And the greatest strength of this system is that it able to keeps me from my work while it’s on. Have wowed many of my friends and people I've met in sound quality (and price; they think I'm nuts spending this much money for a stereo system with low power amps, no surround sound and no remote!) But it all worth it. Nothing like music through the system that could reproduce all the emotional feeling that were intended by the artist.

System Weaknesses: Not much below 40hz Maggie only extended to about 37hz in my room; but still very good. Narrow sweet spot. And the system size is quite big for my apartment here in NYC.

No rock concert level here with 18w/ch. But than agian I usaully don't listen to music very loud anyway. But agian I rather listening to at a nice comfy level for the rest of my life than listen to music very loud now and can't listen (or hear anything)to it at all when I get old.

Video/HT System: Separate
TV/Projector: no tv in this room
Speakers (Center, Surrounds, Sub): none
Other HT Gear: Not really interested
Comments on HT System: Not a big fan of HT stuffs. Music is more important than movie for me.
URL Link: http://groups.msn.com/BuddysStuffs/shoebox.msnw
Other Interests/Hobbies/Occupation: Photography,Biking around town and parks.

Oh! to all the inmates if you are in NYC or will in the area. You are all welcome to audition my system just email me.

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