A quick run-down of my music system (as of this date!)…
An old-fashioned 2-channel stereo system. But mostly DIY and there’s a lot of valves (vacuum tubes) involved. Music source is almost exclusively vinyl records these days. HDD-based digital music playing hasn’t made its way around here yet.
- Record player – Aura turntable with Terminator linear tracking, air bearing tonearm (Transfi Audio). A second tonearm is the Apparition 12″ unipivot (Analog Instruments Ltd). Cartridges are Transfiguration Temper W (acquired recently from another vinyl enthusiast), Koetsu Red Signature (used for many years before being rebuilt by Koetsu) and Denon DL103.
- Step Up Transformer (SUT) – my favourite is a vintage Fidelity Research FRT-4. (Other SUTs on hand – FRT-3G, Stevens & Billington TX103, Bob’s Devices Cinemag 3440A…you can never have too many SUTs!)
- Phono preamp – DIY build of Diego Nardi’s φ42 SL design (published in Sound Practices Issue 14).
- Line stage preamp – my DIY implementation of the JEL linestage design, with outboard PSU.
- Power amps – DIY build of ‘Tossie’s’ 2A3 Push Pull design from his Valves’ World website.
- Loudspeakers – horn speakers, a long journey, currently using a single SEAS FA22RCZ driver in a compound horn – DIY fibreglass Tractrix midrange horn + DIY Hypex basshorn. A Fostex T90A tweeter has been added. Update Sept ’14 – Beyma CP-12/N tweeters trialled – Fostex T90A still preferred (a less metallic treble tone).
- DAC – DIY build of the ‘Adagio’ TDA1541A-based, non-oversampling design by Thorsten Loesch.
- CD transport – TEAC P700.
- Cables and interconnects – DIY again, mostly ‘solid-core’ 0.71mm diameter (~21AWG) enamelled copper, except for CDT-DAC & tonearm-phonostage links.
- Update 2014 – Trans-Fi Salvation rim-drive turntable introduced (with Terminator linear tracking, air bearing tonearm).
- Update 2015 – Miyajima Kansui MC cartridge.
- Updates 2017 – Fostex T925A tweeters replace Fostex T90A. London Decca Super Gold cartridge installed (SUT no longer needed).
In the days/months to come, I will post more detailed description, build notes, history and pics of the above components. Hopefully some of it will be of interest. As you can see, it’s become largely DIY over the years. An ongoing learning process.
Any comments welcome!