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krikor's Mini System with Headphone Option for Bedroom-Office System
IP Address: Last Update: May 15, 2009 at 07:31:13
Amplifier: Tecon Model "55" or Sonic Impact T-Amp... for speaker listening only.
Preamplifier (or None if Integrated): Koss ESP/950 electrostatics... for headphone listening only.
Speakers: Tekton Design Fostex FE167 single-driver speakers or DIY Samadhi Kittens featuring drivers from the Radio Shack LX-4 speakers in a Ceiling Boundary Ambience Enhancement (CBAE) configuration. See http://www.blackdahlia.com/samadhi/samadhi_kitten.htm for details
CD Player/DAC: Apple PowerCD shared with my headphone system (This is an old semi-portable CD-ROM drive with a battery pack. Includes a remote control and can play PhotoCD directly on a TV. Has both headphone and line level outputs. Great sound for a simple desktop CD player.)
Other Accessories/Room/Misc.:
Speaker Cables/Interconnects: Those ubiquitous black interconnect cables provided with Koss ESP/950 (at least these are gold-plated). Speaker cables are some generic copper stuff I had lying around (came with a pair of outdoor speakers).
Music Preferences and Comments:
Music Used (Genre/Selections): Wide range. Just about anything I can tap my foot to.
System Goals/Comments: As a small system for a spare room, the Tekton/Tecon 55 combo is fantastic and my preferred setup. The Samadhi's I usually use as computer speakers in the office with the T-amp. Still need to do some listening with the Samadhi/Tecon combo. As for the headphones, the ESP/950 cost me $450 more than a decade ago and has a lifetime unconditional warranty, I don't think I could get better bang for the buck.
System Strengths: VIA SPEAKERS: Tekton/Tecon combo is not the last word in detail and soundstaging, but something about them keep me planted in the seat with my foot tapping. The Samadhi kittens require a bit more power than the Tecon 55 can deliver, but they sound better with the Sonic T-Amp... Samadhis are incredibly smooth and detailed. The CBAE speaker alignment really throws a huge soundstage and has tremendous bass for such a small (4-inch) woofer. VIA HEADPHONES: Detail and finesse with great bass. I use this setup to discern whether anomalies I hear on my main system are the result of the recording or the system.
System Weaknesses: VIA SPEAKERS: Tekton/Tecon can be a bit forward sounding in the midrange with vocals push to the front, but not objectionable. With the Samadhi/Sonic (though I've heard this with others as well) the T-Amp seems somewhat soft and recessed on the top end. Speaker positioning, especially getting my ears slightly above the tweeter, helps a bit. For the most part it is not really a problem and makes the system incredibly listenable over the long haul. But it just seems to lack excitement/presence/interest at times. VIA HEADPHONES: It of course has that 'in your head' affect. May try a Headroom amp sometime, but don't see the point of inserting something else between the CD player and necessary ESP/950 preamp.
Video/HT System: None

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