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Believe it or not, I'd keep my room the way it is now. Would change system as follows:
1. Esoteric X-01 limited changed to Esoteric P-01/D/01/G-0S.
2. Rowland Criterion linestage a reall keeper. . . will definitely stay the way it is.
3. Rowland Modewl 312 stereo amp changed to upcoming Rowland 925 monos. On the other hand, I have not heard 925 yet, so this is a wild guess on my part.
4. Vienna Mahler speakers changed to Vienna Die Muzick. Die Muzick are my fav speakers regardless of pricetag.
5. Shunyata Aurora ICs and speaker wires + Shunyata King Cobra CX power cords. . . Simply magnificent. . . Just completing breakin process right now. have not heard anything that I like better than these wires.
Bottomline: there some real keepers in my system that I have no intention of changing. . . there are some components that I will consider upgrading, but still staying in the same brand that truly works for me.
Mapman, it never entered my mind that the listening room in itself would be money well spent when I put forth this thread but that is a heck of good response. I still miss my older but very large home prior to buying my new house. It had an extremely large living room with ten foot ceilings. The acoustics in that particular room were mind blowing, but thats the only thing missed.
Recorded music can only get so good. I'd eliminate that weakness by building my own concert hall. A small venue with about 100 or so comfortable seats in a sonically perfect room, a fully stocked and staffed bar and grill, and a walk in humidor would do it for me.
I'd pay some bands to drop by and jam for me and some family and friends. It would be interesting to have a few drinks, food, and cigars with them.
I've heard some systems that probably cost more than the GDP of some small countries (maybe an exagerration, but you get my drift). While most of them sounded phenominal, they didn't come anywhere near what a concert - amplified or acoustic - sounds like in a great small venue.
You asked what you would put in your rig. So that precludes a new room. It's difficult to pick which pieces to add if money were no object. I would possibly say some Tidal speakers as they have become my high end interest and the front end would need to be changed to maybe the top of the line Cary SACD Pro and new cabling all around; maybe Synergistic; and maybe that Synergistic Powercell. I'm wanting more clarity, holographic sound and bass slam.
I could change anything I want to - money is not a constraint. My only constraint is common sense. Common sense is probably the main reason I now find myself in the situation of having no monetary constraint. Some may recall my warnings about the financial crisis well before it happened. Some may recall they laughed at me. No doubt some of those who laughed have $1,000's invested in speaker cables despite being monetarily constrained. It's a weird world.
Money no object: Create a Hi-Fidelity Hall of Fame open to the public complete with working demonstrations. Have a wine cellar of NOS/NIB vacuum tubes. Travel around the country to buy veterans in the audio industry a information gathering five star class meal at the fanciest restaurant in town. Give away (includes all shipping costs)all my gear to my friends. Armmed with this information: rebuild my system accordingly.
just as a side-bar to this question- WHAT IF the only BIG Improvements you could get over what you have on (let us say) redbook cd's- which i have the most of to begin with, is a LOUDER system, with more watts, more spl's, and so on? I.E.-
i don't think i've heard a signifcant qualitative improvement over the system
i heard at a stereophile show Many years ago featuring sonus faber extrema speakers and an SME-30 turntable playing AC Jobim records. the rest of the system was good but nothing extravagant- a copeland preamp, an audio research cdp and solid state stereo amplifier, un-remarkable wires, and way-less than optimal room acoustics.
the MBL room was very nice too with surround-sound, but that was about it.
i more recently heard the Wilson Alexandria's (series-1) and they imaged great and sounded really transparent at a hefty volume level, but i didn't find them any more enjoyable or musically satisfying.
OF COURSE all of this is limited to my perceptions and what components i've had at home (eggleston andras and now von schweikert vr-9's- more detailed, more bass) but AGAIN not more musical than the andra's).
i have an emm lab cdsa cdp in the living room which is darn good, but in another room i am still listening to a Mark Levinson 390s CDP which ALSO sounds very organic, very satisfying, over a (little) pair of sonus faber guarneri homage speakers. SO, anybody out there with similar "Ear-Genes" to mine may want to re-assess dumping their mark levinson digital gear or their egglestons, sonus fabers, Rowland preamps, etc. not only were these components very good in their day, but i think that perhaps until one of them breaks down, there's more than likely only subtle improvements to be had (at the volume levels you're already happy listening to).
of course i would STILL like to hear some Wilson Sasha's, or Rockport ANTARES, and/or a Soulution preamp/amp combination. AND ALSO (of course)
HI-RESOLUTION sound files of Mozart Piano Concertos.
as a certified gearaholic, i like to keep an open mind...
Even if I had unlimited funds, money would still be an object. The few people I know in that situation think that way. It could be why they have unlimited funds.
But if it were me, I'd build a recording studio with an audiophile sensibility dedicated to recording musicians playing real instruments in real space.
I Thank you for being concerned with my health.But I do eat allot of brown rice and I don't stay up late. I don't drink alcohol or run around with wild woman. I believe in clean living.Then again I wouldn't call it living LOL. No kidding I plan on cryogenically freezing myself like them high end audio cables.Then maybe on a day being brought back to continue with the vinyl collection.I can do an Eric Cartman on southpark and practice in the refrigerator.
I'd drop that huge MBL system right in place of my current one. The girls clothes would fly right off when they walked in the room.You think so?
I think that's an audiophile's fantasy that has absolutely no basis in reality. You ever see any hot women at RMAF or CES, other than the paid spokesmodels or hookers?
I think I would still be looking more at the question of how and why does something blend (or not) and work well (or not) with something else. That means a nice fat budget to buy used equipment and flip it back out if I don't like what I'm hearing.
That and probably some formal education from a technical college to round out my electronics knowledge. There's more fun in this hobby when you have a soldering iron in one hand and a schematic in the other.
I would purchase some Soundlab U1's new with 2 of those huge Wilson Sledgehammer (?) subs. I would keep my current TRL electronics and then spend some big $$ on room treatments and sound consultants for room set - up.
I also want one of the large wind turbines to generate power for my sound room only :-)
Remember Magico Ultimate II horn speakers? After I customize my miniature Carnegie Hall, I'd install the Ultimate IIs, multi-amped, and get a nice chair to admire the organ pipes behind the speakers. Once that's set I go to my huge record collection and grab some LPs. Then I'd pass through my fabulous modern art collection to reach the mega-wine cellar. By the time I have made it back the tubes would be warmed up, ready to go. All my tubes would be NOS for the 1920s-30s in their original packaging, which I would keep in the original store display units that I painstakingly scoured the globe for. I would also be backing my own high end tube company and reprinting all the classical albums that no one seems to want to reprint (180 gram/45 rpm). I can afford to work out the details with Sony and BMG. Maybe I've talked myself into reel to reel and I go that route too?
How much $$ we talkin' about?
For 'A lot' of money I'd work on the room. Acoustic treatments, new drapes and other appearance items.
At the 'Obscene' level, I'd add some new electronics and a pair of new subs, to replace the single sub I now have.
If I were truly 'Profane', I'd go all the way spend and about 130$ per square foot on a full designed in room addition of about 300 ft/sq. At that point, I'd replace my MG1.6s with the forthcoming (I should live so long!) MG3.7s
Jmcgrogan2, really, I didn't know that any gear could be that expensive. I think you missed the point entirely and the thread was meant to examine someones dream system. As an audiophile you already know that most of us have set lofty goals. But I think it it is clear based on the response from Shadorne he has no monetary constraints. If you don't have the hokey, you can't do the pokey. That is not meant to be sexual.
I guess I'm just the Thrifty sort!
If money REALLY were no object?
I would go INSANE at the choices.
How about an ALL Magnepan HT setup? 20.1s all around. Bryston monobloc behind each speaker. Individual 20 amp circuit to EACH and a pair of 20 amp circuits to drive the TV and other low level electronics. Room designed and built by some major consulting / design firm. (Rives?) AT LEAST 4 subs. No less will do in MY fantasy setup. All equalized to 20 hz. Who makes the best sub? REL?
I'd have my own drop from the transformer, too. with the stereo having its own 200 amp panel......House on a completely separate line.
Motorized screen, (research needed) a projector and of course a new HOUSE to go with it all!
Probably a modest 2000ft/sq with a 400ft/sq HT room for the new toys.
But WAIT, there's more!
Same room, I like where I live.
BAT REX preamp would replace BAT VK-42SE
BAT REX monos would replace the Manley Snapper monos
BAT VK-P10se w/Bat Pak would replace The BAT VK-P10 phonostage
Harbeth 40.1s would replace the Harbeth SHL5s
Not sure what my new Turntable/arm would be. But cartridge would be the Dynavector XV-1t to replace the XX2 MKII I use now.
Phd, some have the hokey and don't do the pokey. Some do the pokey and don't have the hokey. I would never say that I've even approached a system with a money is no object attitude, yet I have owned audio systems worth well over $100K. For me, if money was no object, I'm sure I could assemble a dream rig/room for around $1 million or so. However, since I don't see the hokey coming in, short of hitting the lottery, I won't even bother with the research. I'll just spin some more Licorice Pizza instead.....John
Were money no object, I would immediately buy the Tidal Presencio and Impact Monoblocs. I would not change any source (Bergman SIndre with Ortofon A-90 and Mac server with Weiss Minerva), cabling (all Synergistic Research) or isolation (mainly StillPoints with SR Migs). I am mainly happy with my 18 x 26 x 11.5 foot listening room but would like additional low WAF treatment and more isolation from the rest of the house.