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Simple but satisfying:

Wharefdale Diamond 225 speakers
Rogue Audio Sphynx v2 integrated amplifier
Denafrips Ares II DAC
Audiolab 6000cdt cd transport
Audioquest Cinamon, Red river, and Rocket 33 cables
 

MarcelNL

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you don't want to see mine, just look at the OCD thread at how the server proto looks and you see why, you should hear it though!
The Klangfilm KL-V204a Amp is stock though, but that is a temp stayover until the mesh tube amp is done.

Just starting the build of a phono amp with selector for RIAA/DIN curve...
 

Koop

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Put together an Elekit TU-8200R integrated stereo amp. Great kit and fun to build. Sounds really good - performs way above it's price point. I've changed the input tubes to new production Tung-Sol 12AU7 (New Sensor).
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Running CDs through Cambridge Audio CD player.

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Vancouverguy

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ATC 150s.
Cary cad 300 se
Audio research pre Amp
Torus power air power condition
Jadis power supply
Jadis jd1mk2 turn table

I have a krell md-1 cd turn table and a krell sbp-64x digital processor and a maraniz for tuner model 10b, and a Pierre lurne audiomecha-J4 nr1422 for sale too. We can chat about this in the dms. I have a canuck audio account.
 

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ModRQC

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Aaaaaah lol... I'll play but in an unimpressive undertone.

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Fully blasting as the pictures were taken...


This was built back in the years I was all about audio and as a secondary priority, general A/V - without much of financial means. I'd say the bulk of it is about ten years old when I got it - the amp older still because it was secondhand but fairly recent back then. The next generation was just out when I got it.

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TV is a Sony LED 55" luxury model from 2014 - IPS but just a good old 1920*1080. 4K was out then so they did have higher end models still. I think the series was something like B950 or whatever. I couldn't care less about most of the extra connectivity and stuff they added on it, nor for 4K (I still don't and find full HD quite sufficient nowadays), but I chose Sony for their dedication to keep older ports in and a regular 1/8 jack audio out. Versatile TV (proven useful a fair few times since, would it be occasionally plugging in my old SNES or something) with an oustanding image, as close to Plasma I could find in these years where Plasma was being mostly abandonned.

I had a quite high end Panasonic plasma before, you see, quite better than this one where image and effective (instant with Plasma) refresh rate were concerned, but it also busted out within two years, and where I managed to extort out of Panasonic a free repair out of warranty, they didn't have nor produced the board anymore, and the tech came in with a certified refurbished board that also went dead like four months after the repair. So this was me out buying a new TV, but not going into any Plasma anyhow and this one was quite superior to any other LED I could find for a around a thousand bucks. An impressive feat back in those years - that TV model had been sold around the 1400-1600 mark for most of its shelf life. CAD, mind you. 1K models of that size were mostly cheap Chinese iterations of whitewashed, skimpy LED technology.

Back when I had bought the Panasonic - around 2012... is mostly when I got most of the kit as well: Monitor Audio BX5 speakers, Sunfire SDS-10 subwoofer, a bunch of high end cables, a Pioneer Elite Blu-Ray player that is the most higher end they did offer back then, and nowadays serves no purpose but playing that pille of Blu-Rays Harry Potter my daughters listen avidly every few months which you can see right aside the TV. My own Blu-Ray collection has long been converted into .mkv but I never bothered with converting Harry Potter, let alone in french dialogue they need, but that I myself cannot stomach in any movie but originally French ones. I used to have a dedicated CD player too - some Marantz I believe. Long sold when I also got all my CDs converted into .flac... Also some Panamax dedicated AVR power bar.

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I started with a Yamaha stereo amp... pretty sure it was something like AS-500. Also sold when I got the CA Azur 840A for real cheap on secondhand market. Mostly lost no money, my Yam was almost new, still under warranty. and I sold it real close to price paid. That was somewhere around 2013.

The HTPC was built around the same time I started converting every hard medias I owned into digital files - 2013-2014 indeed. The core system has been updated since, but the gist of the audio is unchanged: an old, long dicontinued Xfi Titanium HD - one of the rare internal audio cards left in these years with full in and out RCA ports for a much nicer price than dedicated, most often external DACs. Gold-plated - LMFAO.

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I used to route all cables separating audio and video feeds as well as power feeds... It's just like the most of the cables I still use nowadays because I have them: high end cables, the kind that have a direction you know, but if back then perhaps I could convince myself in hearing a difference, nowadays I can't care about it all. Same for bi-amping my speakers - I had led endless tests back in those days, but nowadays plug it the same just because it's set that way. You can see most of the expense clearly in the pics - heavy-gauged golden flecked black mesh (HDMI) or silver flecked blue mesh (audio from soundcard to amp), and around 12 gauge/4 fully-insulated wires speaker cable.

The subwoofer is possibly the most outstanding piece of equipment. It was no high end, but this thing can push low frequency out like crazy with impressive presence and details. I'm mostly running it with 100Hz cutoff and low volume settings. Way too crazy or overwhelming in a regular sized room and stereo setup otherwise. Also has it's own dedicated silver-flecked sky-blue Y-ended mono - was that the belief of a clear +3dBA difference or some other stupid waste of time and money, I could not say.

I never went into multi channels receivers, and never will. I don't believe SO MUCH in cables and otherwise nerdy audio stuff anyhow, but a dedicated quality stereo amp and stereo setup is never going to be a concession. Even with movies, this setup is astounding - no need for surround there in a regular sized room.

That's the audio setup of a guy that stopped pursuing delicacies, and stopped caring so much altogether but keep it running and nice sounding - but that once was all too much into it with all too much of a limited budget.

Also back then bought a few things for my main PC. Active speakers, some Pioneer Subwoofer that's actually in its box right now but an outstanding piece of low-end equipment signed Mr. Andrew Jones (IIRC) but not of the real high end he mostly collaboarated into with Pioneer. Some Asus Xonar external DAC that was none of the high-end Xonar but in between. A headset of Sennheiser HD 550 open circumaural I nowadays strictly use with the main PC in guise of the old active & subwoofer setup. I'd really be due for a change of that headset - or at least the earpads - cause the foam came loose at one point since. But I'll probably go rather luxrury mid-end again with a new set because that is a crucial piece of equipment.

Mind you back then I had chosen the Asus Xonar because it did carry a 3/4 audio jack. The Marantz CD player had its own back then and pretty good dedicated DAC. The CA amp obviously also did, as well as the initial Yamaha. Gave the PC active speakers to some former girlfriend a few years back. All these things were SO important for me back then. Nowadays... well I like the sound quality, but most of the craziness I'm long jaded with.

I'm just happy that the audio choices still stand strong today. I can probably not make out so much audio subtelties as I believed I did back then - or hoped to - but for quality and endurance I'm quite confident with the choices I've made.

As cheap as it is, this is the fabled vintage 2012 circa 5K$-range dedicated stereo **** reasonable budget - obviously not counting the TV in nor the cost of the HTPC outside of the Audio card. Don't even want to think how much I'd be into nowadays.
 
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ModRQC

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So sorry I'm forgetting all the exact lingo... Bi-WIRED speakers.... although the amp has two amplification channels it's still bi-WIRE.

Also I was working in audio back then, so that 5K was probably closer to 6-7K CAD for the layman.

I even have a replacement amp and passive driver for the subwoorfer... a dead active driver case in store where the rep came to see to the destruction of the unit replaced - but allowed me to escape with the still good (and tested - oh I was that maniac) parts that were likely to die on a long enough timeline... but that I never had to replace since. It's in yet another box somewhere.
 
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Delat

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Sadly sold off all my electronics and now the Martin Logans have been very literally gathering dust in a closet for a few years. My wife just couldn’t bear to part with them since we auditioned a ton of speakers together before picking these.

Fun fact - when you sell the electronics on craigslist and tell people “bring your own speakers if you want to verify they work”, buyers will show up and ask if you have speakers to hook up to verify they work. I was basically giving the stuff away b/c I didn’t want to throw it in the trash (adcom and parasound electronics for $100 a box) so take it or leave it, people.

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Here’s the much simplified system. Super convenient and certainly much less clutter, but I do miss those glorious electrostats and the ridiculous 15” subwoofer. It’s funny how reviews are all glowing for Sonos and I’m like meh, but it works well enough for the size and price.

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MarcelNL

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IMO there is only one alliteration valid for Sonos, and it means that it's similar in quality as the much fabled Bose Milk cartons of the 90-ies.

Shame letting the ML go to waste!
 

Delat

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IMO there is only one alliteration valid for Sonos, and it means that it's similar in quality as the much fabled Bose Milk cartons of the 90-ies.

Shame letting the ML go to waste!

The Sonos is fine for video, but for music it sounds like it’s playing from under a wet blanket. I tried out several portable bluetooth speakers too and they all seem to sound that way; I can only conclude that it must be a popular sound profile for budget/consumer grade speakers for some reason. All about the bass, no treble ;)
 

M1k3

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Bluetooth sucks for music.
 

MarcelNL

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indeed, as does WIFI! Yet there are some of the newer BT protocols that are supposed to be better, I dunno, not going to try them.
Still I think that the main issue with most BT speakers is not even BT itself but a blatant ignorance of the most basic design rules for boxed enclosures imposed by controllers whilst at the same time being held back by marketing folks trying to cater for a young audience that grew up listening to music using their cell phone speaker.
 
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@stringer Back in the 80s I sold Martin Logan at an audio store in Tampa. We had quite a bit of high-end equipment, and it was a lot of fun for a while. Going to CES for high-end audio was pretty cool. Seems like forever ago.
 
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We used to have stand alone audio stores here.
The place were selected Canadian PSB towers as best sounding towers they had is long gone.
I don't know of any home audio stores left.

The big box stores push Bose systems, only Best Buy carries good speakers. There are still car audio places.
 
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The place I worked was Audio Visions, and it was home audio with a little video, but no car stereo. A lot of high-end like Threshold, Mark Levinson, Linn, Thiel, Magnapan, B&W, etc... After I left, they later shifted more towards custom home installation, because that's where the money was. Still, I remember the time fondly, but most places like that seem to be gone these days. Audio Visions closed five or so years ago, and the owner retired.
 
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@stringer Back in the 80s I sold Martin Logan at an audio store in Tampa. We had quite a bit of high-end equipment, and it was a lot of fun for a while. Going to CES for high-end audio was pretty cool. Seems like forever ago.

That's cool. I inherited mine from a friend who passed away about ten years ago. They are about 25 years old now and still sound amazing. ML is headquartered I Lawrence, KS. And as a lifelong jayhawk fan and native Kansan, I find that pretty cool too.
 
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Here's some trivia. The Martin part of the name comes from Gayle Martin Sanders, who was one of the founders. The other was Ron Logan Sutherland. At first, I had it backwards.
 

gregfisk

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I’ve been meaning to add to this thread but have been pretty busy setting up a rental for traveling nurses. Just trying to do my part to help out. This is another out building that I turned into my audio room as well as a guest house when friends and family come over. The other place is full of glass and wouldn’t make a very good audio room. This place was designed for audio from the ground up.

My equipment consists of a combination custom built/diy speakers by GR Research, Lampizator dac with volume control, Musical Consepts highly modified Hafler XL-280 amplifier, and Macmini music server running iTunes and Audirvana software. The speakers are open baffle and utilize two 12” Servo subs per speaker and a 12” coaxial speaker on top. I have a lot of absorption panels and keep the space between-my speakers clear.
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gregfisk

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I have not measured my room yet but I will say that I’m very happy with the sound that I’m getting. Even though I’m completely shooting in the dark. Because I have open baffle speakers and have them about 6’ from the front wall the soundstage on some tracks is really good. On certain recordings the soundstage appears as far as straight across from my ears to the left and right. This only happens on certain recordings but it’s really cool when it happens. Because my speakers are open baffle the entire front wall is filled with music, much like what Marcel has mentioned with his set up. Here’s the back of my room which is the kitchen and bath and has no treatment. I also included a picture of one of my servo amps if anyone is interested. I really do need to measure the room but I just haven’t done it yet.
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Pie

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Man some of you guys don’t mess around when you hobby. I’m of the “how can I plug a vehicular subwoofer into my wall” camp. Some of this equipment looks mad scientist level. Cool stuff!
 

MarcelNL

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Man some of you guys don’t mess around when you hobby. I’m of the “how can I plug a vehicular subwoofer into my wall” camp. Some of this equipment looks mad scientist level. Cool stuff!
actually, plugging a speaker in a wall is a great idea! This was the early stage of my previous setup, the (storage) room behind that wall nicely cancelled the sound waves.

Two 'Breitstrahlgruppen' with a tweeter a la 'd Appollito
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