Oracle Delphi 5 with Turbo PS, an SME5, and Benz Ref cartridge. The 'table sits on the top of a Black Diamond Carbon shelf and cones which rest atop a DIY Corian sandbox (a la Brightstar)with about 50 pounds of play sand in it, which sits atop one of the more solid competely welded Target 2 shelf tables. Phono stage is a just aquired Aesthetix Io with both Pre and Power supply boxes parked on more BDR cones on additional sandboxes and another Target rack. Wiring is new Cardas Golden Ref Balanced in and out. Power to the Aesthetix is via a Foundation LC1 power cord/conditioner.
How does it all sound? I have no Idea! This is the culmination of a number of upgrades I've been doing to both the analog front end and the rest of my system recently. The new wires have yet to arrive so haven't heard it all lashed together yet. I have high hopes. It all sounded pretty good before. I'm secretly hoping to "see God" but we'll see.
Started out from scratch again a couple of years ago after being off the analog bandwagon for a long while. Spinning records again felt like coming home. The front end was originally the Delphi 5 with a SME 345 and a Benz Glider, an ARC PH3, and XLO Signature wires to start with. I'd been gradually tuning and tweaking (sand boxes, BDR cones, Oracle Turbo Power Supply, etc.) and as usual, when the potential for tweaks ran out, the upgrades resumed. The most recent spate of frenzied purchasing (The Aesthetix IO and Cardas Gold Ref wire throughout) was set off by the seemingly harmless trade/purchase of the most recent itteration of my favorite speakers. Who knew that the latest Merlin VSM Milleniums would be that much more revealing than the earlier VSM Gen3s... Dohhh! With a little luck the new wire, phono stage, and yet-to-be- determined linestage will provide the additional warmth and musicality that the prior ARC LS2B, PH3, and XLO Sig wire just weren't quite managing.
Say- anybody have recomendations on a true balanced in/out linestage that gets the warmth/musicality thing down along with all the rest of usual list of audiogeek virtues. Currently considering a used ARC LS5 series III that I would do some Hovland cap upgrades on.
Oh, since we're on an Analog kick here, keep your eyes peeled on the used jazz bins for Zoot Sims Samba Swings on Colgems in stereo. This album is killer!