| Proac Response 1sc pic|
Michell Engineering TechnoDec Turntable pic
Benz Micro Glider Cartridge pic
Isotek GII Mini Sub pic
Solidsteel ZX-7 Black Stand pic
PS Audio Perfect Wave DAC & Bridge pic
AKG K702 Tweak pic
Salamander Archetype 3.0 (Cherry) Stand pic
Sutherland Ph3D Preamplifier pic
LSA Statement pic
Nordost Heimdall pic
Nordost Heimdall Interconnect pic
Proac D28 Speaker
Not all who wonder are lost...
A mish-mash of pieces that is part experiment and part soothsayer with both analog and digital front ends.
I used a Stingray for a couple years that gave me that great vivid sound I like but also comes across a bit compressed. It lacked the refinement and raw power the ProAcs need to sing. Experimented with the battery powered Red Wine Audio Signature 30.2 that gave great staging, separation, and clarity but lacked the PRAT of a good tube amp. I bit the bullet and stepped up to the LSA Statement Hybrid integrated that gives me the 'Full Monty' so to speak. A tubed stage, A/B amplification, 150/300w of power all make the ProAcs sing and slice through anything.
The heart of the system are the ProAc Response 1SCs - they are just plain spectacular in my opinion. Even as my system has grown in refinement and scale, these baby's are hard to top for even twice the money. About the only thing more I want is just the ability to move more air and get the "wall of sound" effect. I experimented with the Ohm Walsh (I'm fascinated by the idea of a wider sweet spot) but found them wanting in midrange sweetness and with a tough of glare. I will likely go with a bigger ProAc or LSA floorstander at some point. Until then, the 1SC fit the bill nicely.
New to my rack is the Sutherland Ph3D. It may be a little less accurate and/or slamming than the PS Audio GCPH I was using, but the PRAT is just mesmerizing- a real joy. My table is the Michell Technodec with a Benz Micro Glider M. A solid mating that I would have to spend more than double to get better from the other set ups I have heard and read about.
My digital front end is the PS Audio Perfect Wave with network bridge. It is an exceptionally versatile DAC that has opened up my system to hi-resolution computer audio - something I recommend to everyone. Before the bridge, I used a laptop for hi-res and a modified Sonos for Redbook. Sonically, the only DAC I've heard I might prefer to this is the Wavelength, but I have never heard it head to head and haven't listened to it since I added the bridge to my unit - which makes a big difference.
CABLES & CONDITIONING
I've experimented with a few lines including Transparent, Audioquest, and Monster but find the consistent neutrality of Nordost hard to beat. I'm in the process of converting everything to the Heimdall and Vishnu lines. I have an Isotek G2 mini sub conditioner, but only the DAC runs on it as the LSA does not like it. I may try a PS Audio Power Plant.
For what itís worth, I listen mostly to rock digitally (Porcupine Tree, Rush, Genesis, Supertramp, Steely Dan) and acoustic jazz on vinyl (Brubeck, Miles Davis, Chet Baker) with classical in high resolution digital (Orf, Motzart, Bethoven). Those are, of course, generalizations as I listen to Saga's "Worlds Apart" on vinyl while writing this, but it gives you a good idea of my habits and likes.