Anyone else's experiences with Space Tech Labs?
I usually don't use my Stereo System as bragging rights, bragging with tools just isn't my style. I also like to listen to Music more than Brag; however, no reflection on anyone else, this is just me. I have had this System for awhile, but decided to skip commenting on it. Reading back on comments of others who own Space Tech Labs Equipment, I thought that I owed STL a comment.
The System consists of a STL A-102 Vacuum Tube 20 Watt Headphone Amp. All of my listening is done via Headphones, currently utilizing Grado PS-1000 Headphones. I am also utilizing an STL BUF-103 Tube Buffer feeding a Balanced Input to the Headphone Amp. The Buffer has multiple Inputs from various sources. One source is the Balanced Analog Output from a STL DA64XT Super DAC. The DAC utilizes a STL STR-104 Vacuum Tube Rectifier. Another source to the Buffer is the Single Ended Output from a STL P-102 Tube Phonostage with Tube Regulator. I am utilizing a very old VPI HW-19 MK4 Turntable (not too proud) with a Grace Tonearm and Grado Silver Cartridge. I am also utilizing a Pioneer DV58AV Universal Player modded by STL with a Balanced Digital Output to STL DAC, and Balanced Analog Output from Pioneer Player as alternate Input to Tube Buffer. This Alternate Input is utilized for playback of SACD, DVD-Audio, Multi-Channel High-Rez DVD-Audio Downmixed to two Channels utilizing the Pioneers DAC. Tube Buffer works miracles with this!
The Sound? Well, concidering the extent of all of the electronics involved plus Grado PS-1000 warm-up, it does take about an hour for this System to sound its best. When it does sound its best, the most remarkable thing is the added depth/decay/harmonics that Redbook CD playback doesn't have a right to have. Air is a good description, but it sounds like the Soundstage extends back a few more feet. Background Instruments have almost as much detail, and presence as the forward Instruments. Background Choruses on ENYA recordings actually sound like real Choruses in a Deep Hall, something you hardly ever hear on Redbook CD. Other close Miked Recordings sound like close miked Recordings, so this deep Soundstage isn't being synthesized by the equipment. When the Recording has Rythim I am getting it all, as my toe is tapping furiously. When the System sounds its best, Dynamics take off more than any Tubes have a right to produce. Electric Guitar has a certain twang, as I have heard from a friend of mine practicing on his Electric Guitar. This is something else that all of these Tubes seem to delite in producing. All of the background Guitars on all of my favorite ABBA CD's, now have new life and depth.
One Reviewer of the Grado PS-1000 Headphones claimed that they seem to dull the leading edge mid-range attack on certain instruments. All of this is true with the first two weeks of break-in plus 45 min. of warm-up. When they sound their best, it is the exact opposite atleast with the STL Electronics. The Tubes really open up the Soundstage on these Phones, and STL makes these Phones sound quicker, more detailed, and more immediate. These Grado's really love the STL Vacuum Tube Electronics, the combination has opened up a whole new Window on all of my Music. SACD, DVD-Audio, Multi-Channel Hi-Rez DVD-Audio Downmixed to Two Channels, Ditto to a greater degree with everything that I have said with CD Redbook.
Would like to hear about anyone else's experiences with Space Tech Labs. Not bragging here, probably an injustice to STL. I just concider myself extremely lucky not paying way too much for all of this. None of this gear costs more than $2000.00. That is the ceiling of my affordable budget.