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Vettriano's Gallery System

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Vettriano's Gallery System
Last Update: October 15, 2002 at 14:31:19 IP Address:
Amplifier: Musical Fidelity A100 50 watts /channel integrated, modded. See 'Tweaks'.
Preamplifier (or None if Integrated): None
Speakers: Scratch build BBC LS3/5a clones. Larger cabinets to lower 'Q' and flatten & extend bass response for better room matching. Falcon Acoustics crossovers with acoustic Butterworth tweeter section. Mono-wired.

Also a 'rescue' pair of Rogers LS7t's. Had to rebuild the crossovers with original spec capacitors as the previous owner had butchered them.

CD Player/DAC: Pioneer PD8700 used as a transport, optical output into Audiolab 8000 DAC.
Turntable/Phono Stage: Linn Axis, Akito I, K9 & Audio Technica F5.
Other Source(s): Technics ST GT650 tuner - surprisingly good.
Other Accessories/Room/Misc.:
Speaker Cables/Interconnects: QED QUDOS speaker cable

DIY interconnects. Bi-axial, OFC, polyethylene insulation. Huge savings over off-the-shelf stuff and they can be made whatever length you need.

Other (Power Conditioner, Racks etc.): Sound Organisation 2 shelf table.
Tweaks: The Axis MUST be plugged into an electrical outlet across the other side of the ring-main to the amplifier, otherwise it will sound grey, grainy, gritty, unfocussed, wooden and everything else some seek to blame the K9 for!

Also, setting the cartridge overhang on the Akito correctly is vital. Even 0.5mm off ruins the image, and it can't be compensated by adjusting the offset. Trust me, I've tried. You end up with a phase shift beteen left and right channels that 'twists' the soundstage. Weird. But when it's all spot on. Wow.

Oh yes, nearly forgot. The A100 has been rebuilt with Elna Starget electrolytics, Arcotronic polyesters in the signal path, and a NE5532 pre-amp stage piggy backed onto the volume pot (Thanks to Mark Hennessy for the design, check out his MF A1 web page)

Room Size (LxWxH): 16 feet x 12 feet x 8 feet
Room Comments/Treatments: My apartment has concrete floor and ceiling so the energy build-up is quite something. Even the 3/5a clones set the sofa moving.

There is a large Ikea rug nailed to the wall opposite the 'speakers to damp the reflected wave.

No bits of silver foil stuck under my listening chair or stuff like that.

Music Preferences and Comments:
Music Used (Genre/Selections): You might have guessed from the system that it's built to suit female vocal, piano and acoustic instruments. Mary Black, Annie Lennox, Kate Bush.... BUT, my vinyl / cd collection is pretty varied. Records are mostly mid 80's to late 90's. Cd's mid 90's to date. Some 70's vinyl. Led Zep, ELO, Queen etc.
System Goals/Comments: Maybe one day a Sondek LP12, Lingo & Ekos. Keep on dreaming.

I have the B139 bass units to go with the B110 mid & T27 tweeter and intend to build the cabinents for them and go active. Not in this apartment though!

Over 12 years I've tried bi-wiring with many different 'speakers & amplifiers and finally concluded it's flawed. You always end up with a 'step' in the 3D soundstage vertical plane at the crossover frequency with the tweeter output being a couple of inches in front of the mid. Always.

System Strengths: The 3/5a clones are fairly revealing with good width and depth. Nearfield listening is truly excellent.
System Weaknesses: The A100 gets real hot, being class 'A'. Bad in the summer, good in the winter.

Choosing my next cartridge is proving a headache. My last K9 stylus is nearly dead so I'm going to try a AT95E stylus and if that doesn't cut it, a change to a Goldring 1012GX should help. (The specs look suspiciously like Linn's new Adikt. Could it be a badge engineered 1012GX?)

Video/HT System: None
Other Interests/Hobbies/Occupation: Used to play piano and violin, but not at the moment. Hence the need for a system that reproduces piano reasonably well.

For a living I\'m a design engineer for a company who design, build and test gas turbine engines for planes, trains and automobiles

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