| ADS L 2030 |
Velodyne HGS-15 Subwoofer
Tannoy ST 200
Levinson No 20.6 Amplifier
-- Essential 3160 Phonolinepreamp. pic
PC based -custom made and a Denon. A/V Station and DVD-2910.
Acoustic Signature Analog One MK II Turntable
Microseiki RX-5000 Turntable
Many. --- Tonearm
Many --- Cartridge
Analysis Plus Silver Oval Interconnect
Kimber Kable KCAg Interconnect
Harmonic Technologies Silver
Analysis Plus Silver Oval Speaker cable
Custom made Silver Kimber Kable. Power cord
Tice Audio Micro Block AC filter
Michael Green. --- Stand
VPI 16.5 Tweak
Sonex 4 Tweak
Many More Tweak
Eumig T 1000 Tuner
Nakamichi 700zxl Tape deck
Eichmann RCA connector Silver Tweak
WBT RCA connectors Silver Next Gen Tweak
On the Quest of Audio Heaven.
Well, this is an audio/music life/love work. Many fallens and failures to reach this quality level. My audio system is ( still ) build around what are my references/priorities about music/sound reproduction...
My reference is: live music, I use at least 12 hours ( each month ) hearing live music, mostly classical and jazz/blues.
I attend to hear live music not only because I'm a music lover ( first than all. ) but because in this way I don't loose my references, this way I try to have my foots on earth an my ears equalized.
My audio/sound reproduction priorities are in this order: neutral and natural tonal balance, accuracy ( low distortion, low noise, no colorations, no cliping, grain free, liniarity, no compression, etc...), timbre, dynamics, focus and soundstage .
My whole audio system target is to be nearest to the recording adding the less and loosing the less of the audio signal through each audio system link.
The system belongs to my living room at one side of the dining room ( I live in a apartment ).
The room is an inverted L that measure: 8.0m ( inverted L base ) x 9.5m long and 2.3m high. The system is across the inverted L base ( around 4.2m ).
I'm very luckily and don't have ( I fix it ) many room problems related: till now I use 4" Sonex in the left lateral wall and at the center ( behind and between the system where is a window. ) of the system ( floor to ceiling ).
Well my friend Guillermos borrowed to me two original RPG Skylines that I want to try in my room ceiling but I couldn't do it yet, so what to do with these two Skylines sheets?, I decide to put both in the rear wall/window seated in the floor and behind each speaker and guess what?: impressive improvement all over the frequency range, impressive!!!!!
ADS L 2030: This is a Full Range Professional Monitor that I own for many years.
These L 2030 was designed by Mike Kelly ( Aerial speakers ) and till today it match all my priorities.
It is " heavy " tweaked to do that: first it has " three hands " ( internally ) of a insulation/antivibrational treatment ( like a white paint. I can't remember the ingredients. ) from Acoustical Magic Company ( it works marvelous ) inside all the box ( a big one box: 58-5/8" ( H ) x 27-1/4" (W) x 13-1/8" (D) ).
It is internally hard wired with Silver Oval by Analysis Plus cable.
I take out the crossover ( now is external ) and change all the parts: resistors ( Duelum. ), silver air core inductors, caps, etc, etc, the speakers cables goes soldered directly to the crossover parts and all crossover caps are by-pass by Teflon caps. This speaker crossover is hard-wired.
In reality are three separate/stand alone crossovers: one for the tweeter, one for the midrange and the other for the woofer, all these hard-wired directly to the amps ( no connectors. )
I'm only not biamp my system ( with the subs. ) but these ADS main/satellite speakers are true tri-wired in hard-wire directly to each crossover parts in the three way speaker design all the way down to the amplifier output.
I change the internal damping glass fiber by 10kg ( each one ) of long hair 100% virgin wool and change the fabric cloth of the grille for a " transparent one ".
Both speakers have at the rear-center the Antiresonant Vibration System by MICROSCAN model TM-8 that works from 20hz to 1.5Khz.
These L 2030 have: One acoustic suspension 1" silk dome tweeter, one main acoustic suspension 2" silk dome midrange, three auxiliar acoustic suspension 2" silk dome midranges ( similar to the main midrange but with a less powerful magnet. ) and two long-excursion acoustic suspension ( sealed. ) paper 14" woofers.
These are exceptional drivers especially the tweeter/main midrange ones.
These L2030 midrange design permit to " run " the speakers on " point source " mode ( tweeter and main midrange ) or through a " weighted " line source mode ( tweeter plus the 4 midranges. ), in this last " fashion " is how I have it ( hard-wired too. )
These are some manufacturer specs:
- Frecuency response: 22-20K +.- 3 db ; 18-28K +.- 5db.
-Efficiency: 95 db SPL.
- Power rating: 300 watts nominal; 1,200 peak.
These L 2030 are the " speaker satelite " in my subwoofer/speaker satelite configuration and works from 48Hz and up. Main reason to take this " road " was and is to lower the speaker IMD.
In the past I try many configurations: single amp, bi-amp, tri-amp, with sub, with out sub, only SS amps, SS and Tube amps, with passive crossover, with electronic crossover, hybrid crossovers, etc...
Finally I'm here.
Back external tweeters:
These ones was a spare tweeters from a Dalquihst DQM-9 that I owned and already sold.
These tweeters are 1" silk dome ( same efficiency that the front ones ) and are connected in phase with the front ones and works with his own crossover ( with by-pass Teflon cap. ) at around 7k and up and have, too, an off/on switch.
As you can see in the picture this supertweeters are sitting at the top of the L 2030.
The ST-200 is a 1" titanium dome with it's own crossover. I choose 16Khz for the crossover frecuency. These supertweeters has a clean response beyond 50k.
The back tweeters and the Tannoy supertweeters are wired with silver KAG by Kimber Kable.
These two self powered subwoofers are in front of the main speakers and in side firing position.
It crossover at 75Hz. I do some tweaks in the circuit for a better quality sound reproduction and I changed the internal wiring that connects the woofer to the internal amplifier ( 50-60cm ), the original is a very bad zip cord one that I changed with Kimber Kable KCAG that I soldered directly to the woofers and directly to the amplifiers: with no connectors in between.
The power cord comes from Analysis Plus and is soldered directly to the inside subwoofer switch on/off with out no single connector kind ( at both sides/ends of the power cord ) and the IC cable is the Silver Oval by Analysis Plus too.
I change too the internal electrical power wires that goes from the subwoofer switch on/off to the Subs amplifier, I'm using 8TC by Kimber Kable.
Both subwoofers are " seated " over three Van Slike footers/isolators along with inverted Tip Toes ( position ) over these Van Slike isolators. Both subs have a dead-weight ( on top ) of 30kgs.
NOTE: I'm not using the subwoofer internal crossover or an external electronic crossover to send the signal to the ADS L 2030.
The crossover function happens inside the two Levinson 20.6 .
In this way the signal from the preamp goes normally ( pure and clean ) to the 20.6s and to the loudspeaker with out any additional electronic stage or cables/connectors and the signal was taken directly from the Essential 3160 by the Velodynes.
MARK LEVINSON REFERENCE 20.6: IMHO these monoblocks are truly Reference status.
It is a great industrial design, military specs, bullet proof, great performance.
It is a fully regulated input to output design that use Arlon ( this material is used in the Levinson Reference 33. I understand that only 5-10 20.6 amps were build with this material. ) circuit boards and have " only " 100 watts of pure class A at 8 ohms, that double that figure at 4,2 and 1 ohm with an output impedance of 0.012 ohms!
Btw, in the way my ADS's are internaly wired the impedance goes lower than 2 ohms, this means that this ML monobloks are " running " at 400+ watts of power, so the system has a very good power " headroom ".
The power supply is supported for two " big " toroidal transformers ( 600VA each ): one for each polarity in each monoblock.
I modified the original Levinson circuitry where the signal only " see " one tiny value teflon cap ( crossover. ).
In this manner these 20.6 amps are IMHO able to compare with any of today's top designs.
The amplifiers power cords by Analyzis Plus are hard wired all down the amplifiers circuit boards with no single connector of any kind between both ends of the power cords.
I change too some internal critical place cabling using now KCAG by Kimber Cable.
ESSENTIAL 3160 PHONOLINEPREAMP: This is a phono/line preamplifier . Btw, IMHO this analog audio stage is the most extremely critical link for the quality/accuracy of the music/sound reproduction in any analog audio chain.
I would like to explain some of the critical issues on any phonoline-preamp:
First: it has to mimic the RIAA equalization with what the LP recording was build.
As a fact this mimic RIAA equalization is an inverse mimic RIAA equalization.
Any deviation from this RIAA eq. do severe degradations to the quality
sound reproduction due that is a curve and affect almost 2.5 octaves. So we need here: accuracy.
For a phonopreamp really do its job that RIAA eq. deviation IMHO must be at least ( no more ): +,- 0.05 db between 20Hz and 20kHz.
Second: it has to have enough " gain " for it can reproduce the very low
signal that comes from the phono cartridge, specially MC ones.
Third: That " gain " must be with out noise/distortions/colorations.
The Essential 3160 not only achieve those desired targets but surpass in some ways.
This, our self design, Essential 3160 use bipolar transistors in two gain stages for MC phono stage and FETs for MM phono stage in the same two gain stages, the Essential 3160 is not only a phono stage that you must to connect
to a line preamp ( where you need an additional interconnect cable that do a degradation to the signal ).
No, the Essential 3160 is an integral one unit (with out step-up transformers ).
This is very important because we need synergy between phono and line level. It does not make sense to me to have separate phono stage and line stage from different builders where you have two different " colorations "????
In reality this phonolinepreamp have three preamps instead of only one: it has and MC phono stage, it has a MM phono stage and a line level stage preamp. All this three stages are totally independent from each other.
Where there is no compromise, the MC and MM stages are very critical and needs to be independent. Each phono stage ( MC and MM. ) is designed for its self precise and specific needs.
Our design is a discrete Non-feedback, direct coupled, pure class A , true balanced ( differential ) input to output, dual mono design and fully regulated input to output.
The dual mono design only share
the chasis but both channels are totally independent from each other even in the dual mono external power supply ( that use too a pure silver Kimber Kable power cord. ) that is so important to the performance on this phonolinepreamp, it has separate attenuator volume control and separate phono/line switch, impedance changes by solder resistors.
Inside parts: teflon capacitors, " naked " resistors,mathed transistors , no internal wires ( every part is soldered directly to the four layers circuit boards. ), etc....., only the best neutral non-sound parts ( no step-up transformers, no head amps, etc.. ) and in the critical stages with tolerances at 0.005%.
The RIAA equalization is a critical issue. RIAA accuracy of better than 0.1 dB is highly desirable, because even a 0.1 dB error will be audible due to the RIAA poles spanning as much as 3 octaves of the audio bandwidth, resulting in a permanent coloration that will be present in every phono record, veiling the character of the recording and resulting in a monochromatic, predictable sound.
A developed proprietary technique guarantee an accurate RIAA de-emphasis. This technique assures an initial RIAA accuracy of +/- 0.015 dB from 20 Hz to 20 kHz ( Both channels ), resulting in a neutral phono stage that reproduces exactly what the cartridge generates that are in the recording.
The result is a preamplifier combining the purity and transparency of a passive preamplifier with the speed, dynamics and drive of an active preamplifier ( Truer to the recording. )
To round off the preamplifier's RIAA capabilities, its has a switchable 3.18 us turnover point to compensate for the cutting head preemphasis roll-off during the recording.
There is also a switch for low-cut filter designed to remove unwanted rumble
frequencies, selectable between DC, 16 and 32 Hz.
- RIAA eq. deviation from 20 Hz to 20 Khz: 0.015 db ( both channels )
Frequency range to: 0.01 Hz to 1,5 MHz. ( both channels. )
Clean gain: Adjustable to 100 db
Signal to noise ratio: better than 82 dbA in MC stage refered to 0.5mv. and according the standard/norm/rule: EIA/CEA-490-A , the same spec for MM but reffered to 5.0mv and 110db at 1 V ( unity gain ) in line stage. ( Both channels .)
Slew rate: 300 V/mseg.
Common mode rej.: 130db. ( Both channels. )
Distortion: 0.0002% ( Both channels. )
Dynamic range: 131db.
Crosstalk: better than 140db.
Input overload: MC: 15 mVrms @ 1 kHz (High-gain), 30 mVrms @ 1 kHz (Low-gain)
MM: 500 mVrms @ 1 kHz.
Total weight: 55 lbs.
No-odds harmonics: the third harmonic is 96 db below the main and the fifth harmonic is 44 db below the third!!.
Here too the power cord by Analysis Plus is hard wired with no single connector in between power cord ends.
THE ANALOG RIG.
ACOUSTIC SIGNATURE ANALOG ONE MK II: the system have two of these TT's, each one with three differents tonearms/cartridges.
In the picture Turntable 1 the cartridges are, from left to right starting at the Audiocraft tonearm: Audioquest AQ 7000 Fe5, Ikeda REX9 and Shelther 90X.
Turntable 3: Goldbug Brier, Accuphase AC-2 and Dynavector XV-1.
Both TT's seats over three Audio Technica AT-616 neumatic suspension isolators with inverted Tip Toes ( position ) on top of these AT isolators.
The Acoustic Signature separate motors " seat " over an AT-666 neumatic isolator too.
MICRO SEIKI RX-5000: This " old " japanese design is a great performer, we do some tweaks inside the power supply that are very important to the performance of this particular TT.
The cartridges here starting with the MDC-800 are: Van denHul Colibri, Koetsu RSP, Ortofon MC 7500 and Allaerts MC2 Finish.
This TT/motor/powersupply seats over a neumatic suspension Audio Technica AT-616 audio insulators and the platter is internally dampening with sorbothane.
I don't use any TT clamp and the TT mat is a self design propietary blend build material: stunning!!!
I own other 6 TT's: Denon DP-75, Denon DP-80, three Technics SP-10MK2 and Luxman PD-310.
Others cartridges that I own and that are not on the pictures are:
Sumiko Celebration, Denon DL-S1, Denon DL 1000, Denon 103 and 103D, Audio Technica: Art 1, OC-30, ART 2000, At 1000, At 37E, Victor L1000, Fulton High Performance, Highphonic MC-A6, Supex Ruby, Fidelity Research MC 702, Benz Micro Ruby 2 and LP, Dynavector Karat 23R, Sao Win SMC 10, Clearaudio Discovery and Insider Gold, Lyra Helikon, Transfiguration, Koetsu Onyx, Van denHul Frog, Ortofon MC 2000, Ortofon MC X-5, Technics P-305MC MK2, Sumiko Blue Point Special, Dynavector Karat Nova 13D, Ortofon MC3000MK2, Sony XL44L, Sumiko Talisman, Audiocraft AC-01, Lux LMC-1, Empire MC-5, GAS Sleping Beauty, Monster Cable Genesis 1000, Crown Jewel, Signet MK220E, Azden GM-P5L, SIGNET MK111E, Micro Seiki Lc-80W, Denon DL-H5LC, Lyra Clavis Da Capo, Apature MC-150, Coral MC-81, Goldring Electro II LZ, Audio Technica AT-36E, Mayware MC-3L, ADC MC-1.5, Audio Technica AT-32E, Sumiko Premier LMX, Carnegie 1, Sony XL55, Carnegie 2, SUPEX SDX-2000, Fidelity Research MCX-5, Van den Hul Colibri Wood XGW, Entre-1, Linn Akiva, Clearaudio Goldmund, Wilson Benesch Carbon One, EMT TSD 15 SFL, Pioneer PC50MC and Transfiguration Phoenix.
Those are MC cartridges and the MM/MI type cartridges are:
ADC Astrion, Technics U205CMK4, Empire EDR.9, Stanton LZS 981, Audio Technica ATML 170 OCC, Audio Technica 180 OCC, Micro Acoustics MA 630, AKG P25MD, Empire 600LAC, Grace F9E, Elac 896 H24SP, Sonus Gold Blue, Empire 750 LTD, Bang&Olufsen MC20EN, B&O MMC20CL Bang&Olufsen MMC 6000, Empire 900GT/1000GT, Reson Reca, AKG P8ES Super NovaII, Empire 500ID, Sonus Dimension 5, Audio Technica AT20SS, Philips GP 412 II, Audio Technica AT 20SLa and 7V, Nagaoka MP-50 Super, Empire 4000D/III, Garrot P77, Bang & Olufsen MMC 2, Grace F-9 Ruby, Grado " The Amber Tribute ", Supex SM-100 MK2 , Astatic MF-300, Astatic MF-200H, Ortofon OM20 Super, Audio Technica AT-ML160-LC/OCC, Ortofon VMS-520MK2, Shelter 201, Rega Super Elys, Acutex LPM 315III STR, Audio Technica AT-95SA, Acutex 320 III STR IMproved, Astatic MF-100, Andante P-38, Ortofon M20E Super, Nagatron 350E, Sumiko Pearl, Mission Solitaire, Clearaudio Virtuoso, Ortofon VMS30 MKII, Ortofon VMS 3e, Shure M97 Xe ( Jico SAS stylus ), Ortofon M20FL Super, ADC TRX-1 , Micro Acoustics MA 2002e, ADC XLM MK3, Signet TK10ML-II, AKG P8E, Empire 1000 Z/xe, Audio Technica AT-24, Andante P-76, Technics epc-p100c mk4, Ortofon M20E Super , Empire 1080LT , AKG P-100LE , Audio Technica AT155LC, Grado RSII, Piezo YM-121, Azden YM-P50VL, Victor Z-1EB, ADC 25, 26 and 27, Shure ML140HE, Audio Technica 331LP, Excel ES-70EX4, Nagatron 9600, Acutex LPM320IIISTR, Signet Tk7E, Micro Seiki LF-7, Shure V15-III, Signet TK7SU, Philips GP 412 MK3, Acutex LPM420IIISTR Goldring G800, Pionner PC-400, Fidelity Research FR-6SE, Goldring G-820, Goldring 900IGC, Azden YM-P50E, Pickering XVS 5000II, MicroAcoustics 530MP, JVX 4MD-20X, Van den Hul MM-3, Sony VL-32G, Stanton 981HZSII, Grado MCZ/A, Audio Technica Precept PC440, Glanz MFG-71L, ACUTEX M315 III STR, JVC X-1, Pickering TL-4S, Precept PC220 and XE, Astatic MF-2500, Precept PC550ML, Pioneer PC550E, Precept 440LC and JVC X-1MK2.
SUT for LOMC cartridges:
Denon-AU340, 2-Entré 100 in mono-fashion, AudioCraft T-26 and Denon AU-1000.
Other tonearms: Moerch DP-6, Audio Technica 1503-III, Technics EPA-100, Epa 100MK2 and 501, Ortofon RS-212, Fidelity Research FR-64, Koetsu SA1100 MK II, SAEC 506-30, Stax UA-9N, Dynavector DV505, Grace G-945, Audio Technica AT-1010, Sony PUA-237, JVC UA-7045 and Grace G-840FB.
I'm along Guillermo in a universal tonearm design that through our first prototype is very promising, we will see at the end.
All those cartridges are mounted in its own individual/matched headshell.
Step by step ( very time consuming and hard work .) I test each cartridge with different tonearms till I find the best match. No, I'm not finish yet.
Well, I know that for many people the visual beauty of an audio item is really important, for me: it is ok but what I really care is about QUALITY PERFORMANCE if it has " beauty " great, but if not: I don't care at all.
I know I have to much work/fun in the near future.
GENERAL INFO: I use a 30amp dedicated electrical line and the power cords go conected directly to the electrical box ( no power connector/plugs ).
All these power cord goes directly soldered inside the electronics audio items ( amps, preamps, subs, etc, etc. ) with no male/female connectors in between and no power line conditioners in between ( the best electrical power conditioners ( any ) IMHO is NO electrical power conditioner. ).
The electrical power " signal " goes straight from the electrical power source " box " to the audio item power supply with out any single " obstacle " ( transformers, capacitors, filters and the like that comes in any power line conditioner. ) that can " disturb " it.
I change and soldered to the boards all the internal fuses that comes with any single audio item/device in the system for : HIFI-Tunning silver/gold type.
All the audio items are " ground floating " ( well, not exactly. ) except the Essential 3160 where is connected to the dedicated true " earth ground ".
The audio signal that goes from the Essential 3160 to the Levinson amplifiers goes directly soldered to the Levinson input boards, so there is no RCA or XLR connector in the audio signal here that can degrade in anyway the audio signal integrity..
All the cables: interconect,speakers and power have at the input/output ferrita noise stoppers.
All the interconnects/speaker cables are Silver Oval by Analysis Plus, except the phono interconnects where I use: Silver Analysis Plus and Silver Harmonic Thecnologies and Silver Audio Note.
I'm are very intolerant and very critical with what I heard trough my system. I love the music, nothing less.
Part of my philosophy is that : " less is more " trying to add and lose the less.
I'm not a " specs lover ". I analyse the " numbers " where really count, examples: RIAA frecuency response deviation, speed accuracy/stability ( TT's ), output impedance on amplifiers, signal to noise ratio.
Well that's more than enough about.
Now : How it sounds ? What can I say ?
ˇˇˇˇˇˇ LIKE REAL MUSIC !!!!!! ( far from there but still on the quest: )
Neutral/ Natural, accurate ( with both frequency extremes spot-on. ), Articulate, Transparent, Fast, Dynamic, Great Timing, Full of Emotions.
Well, am I nearest to the recording?, that's what I'm trying and working around my audio system and yes today I'm nearest than before but still trying to be " there " through Fine Tunning the system.