System Two now has two racks

… and system Three has none.

Both RixRax equipment racks are now over on the second system. We wanted the added capability to compare two turntables, two phono stages, and the Audio Note Ongaku to the Kegon Balanced to the Kegon.


We put the Kehon Balanced amps on the Kharma Mini Exquisites.


The tops have been off so we can stare at the internal electronics for awhile :-) But the tops will be back on soon enough… 1) they take up a lot of room just laying around, 2) the safest place for the tops of the chassis is on the chassis, and 3) just to get the aesthetic effect of a system that does not have exposed tubes.


Since our Audio Note M9 Phono preamp is still to arrive, we are using the Audio Note M1 phono preamplifier to drive the Kegon Balanced. We also had the M1 on the Ongaku integrated for awhile, to get a feel for the sound of the M1 in the system that we are so very familiar with.

The M1 is a very nice pre and I, personally, want to keep it here forever. At the price it sells for on Audiogon sometimes, $700, it sounds more like a $5K to 10K pre – and it always surprises me.

All the low-end AN gear surprises me – I keep expecting a more discordant and harsh sound – like the low end of every other line of equipment. But nooooo, this has more harmonics and warmth than the top-of-the-line, which is more neutral and detailed and transparent and realistic.


The end of the rack is now ALFULLY close to the speaker. But we figure the trade-off is worth it – that we can configure some great sounding systems that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to hear.


The Audio Note Kegon Balanced on the Kharma loudspeakers.


The Audio Note Kegon Balanced. On first blush, the M1 pre + Kegon Balanced amps is very, very competitive with the Ongaku integrated amp.

I would say more neutral [OK, nothing has that 211 sound except 211-based tube amps and the Kegons are 300B-based amps] and more transparent – more separation …and solidity?

We’re still listening…


The Soundlab system without a rack looks pretty darn cool itself. The Audio Aero Prestige is sitting on a Rix Rax amp stand.


Yes, that is a Nordost ODIN between the Prestige and Edge Signature One amps.


The Ongaku is now in System Four in Listening Room Three (L3). We haven’t hooked it up yet – this is still a AN Oto integrated-driven system.

What we're playing with this week

We’ve been spending most of our time downstairs.


We set up the Audio Note TT3 Reference turntable next to the Walker Proscenium Gold Signature turntable.


It has been back-and-forth, Walker –> TT3 –> Walker –> TT3 ….. both through the Lamm LP2 phono stage into the Ongaku integrated amp and the Kharma Mini Exquisite loudspeakers.


How do they compare, you may ask? In raw terms, the Walker is an audiophile’s dream come true and the TT3 is a music lover’s dream come true. Since we are music loving audiophiles, we can’t really talk about one being the ‘winner’. The TT3 is more dynamic, more lively, more engaging… more youthful. The Walker has a lower noise floor, is more accurate top-to-bottom, a more mature sound.

In fact, the idea would be for us to make them sound a lot more alike [which we have to some extent already] – to get a more musical cartridge for the Walker [we are using the Blue Magic Diamond – not so bad obviously, but there are better, unfortunately more expensive ones out there that are generally considered better]. And conversely, to dress up the TT3 with a rack with more vibration control, to correspond to the Walker’s air suspensions [even though the RixRax with HRS platforms comes close, HRS’s MXR rack still laughs at this setup].


Upstairs we still have the EDGE amps on the Coltrane Supreme loudspeakers, with the Lamm ML2.1 amps waiting for us to get our act together and replace the EDGE.


We have our new HRS SXR 3-shelf rack next to our HRS MXR 4-shelf rack.


Look at all that black!


Neli cleaned everything up, but this is two days later and already some Rocky Mountain dust has found its home on our stuff again.


We’ve appropriated some platforms / shelves for our playtime downstairs.


The Brinkmann Balance turntable.

Right now, we only have one phono stage, which the TT3 and Walker share. Even after our Audio Note M9 Phono arrives, we will only have two phono stages. But we have THREE turntables [well, four, but the little TT2 uses the little Audio Note Oto integrated’s phono stage].

We also do not have rack space for digital on the RixRax equipment rack in listening room 2.

What this means is that our Walker is up for sale on Audiogon [Neli is still glaring at me, because this was really my decision]. If anyone is interested…. be sure to think it over… it is not like they appear on Audiogon everyday [in fact, almost never. And for a good reason].

Next : Audio Note SOGON interconnect versus Audio Note SOOTTO interconnect versus Audio Note PALLAS interconnect. And a CES 2008 retrospective.

Valhalla power cords on ODIN-cabled system

We just put the Valhalla power cables on the equipment: Audio Note Ongaku integrated amp and DAC 4.1x Balanced DAC and CDTThree transport.

Still evaluating. The equipment was off for several hours, so our listening must continue… but, so far, on some tracks the performance was improved and on some, not. Pretty much like any top-notch power cord.

So far we’ve tried Shunyata and now Valhalla. Elrod is next, and then Acrolink.

But can’t help but think what Odin power cords are going to sound like. And how much they are going to cost… *whine*.

This testing of the Odin with different power cords, then different components, will be necessary, I think, to get a feel for the overall performance curve of the Odin.

But, as a sneak preview, it is my impression that the Odin interconnect is the bargain [I know, I’ve gone from $7K bargain Jorma Prime interconnect to $16K Odin interconnects… but…] For some reason interconnects, perhaps because they carry the most delicate part of the signal chain, seem to have the most impact.

And the Odin interconnect is in the spirit of Ultimate harmonic detail, perfection and cleanliness personified. The Odin speaker cable is all about ease, dynamics and the darkest blackest background you can imagine personified.

It is strange… people who did not like Valhalla are going to LOVE the Odin speaker cable, I think.

And everyone is going to love the interconnect.

I guess, in a nutshell, not much to complain about :-)

It is hard to capture in a photo, but the Valhalla power cords, they, uh, don’t behave. They go this-a-way and that-a-way.

And with the white carpet and silver cables, it is actually kind of attractive to look at during the listening.

Kind of looks like a madman’s roller coaster :-)

….

Hope everybody is setup for a nice Holiday!

Jorma 'Prime', Soundlabs, and more Marten Coltrane Supremes


Kharma Mini Exquisite speakers on Audio Note Ongaku, driven by Meitner CDSA CD / SACD player, 100% cabled by Jorma Design Prime cables.

Very small, very exquisite system.

Upstairs we had the player across the room, so always connected it to the system using he 10m Valhalla interconnects. So this was the first time we heard the Kharma speakers, and later the Marten Coltrane speakers, in a 100% Jorma Prime system.

Yummy.

Sonically, it was just more of what we heard upstairs, taken to a higher level. Specifically, more PRESENCE. Voices were just THERE. Bass seemed even tighter as well, though that might be the smaller room.


The chairs are turned away so that people can hear the Soundlab system in this photo.

Later, we put the Martin ‘Coltrane’ speakers in this system. First time we heard the Ongaku on the Coltranes. Compared to the Kegons, the Ongaku seems to control different frequencies, … differently. It is sweeter than the Kegons – but not sweet in the sense of warm, but perhaps in the sense of more color, and a better sense of the ‘right’ note decay.

The Kharma and Marten are worlds apart in this kind of uber-system, and, to generalize, the Marten in a more neutral speaker, more even top to bottom, soundstage behind the speakers, and the Kharma is a more exuberant speaker, very high-resolution in the mids and upper mids, soundstage in front of the speakers, and probably can’t be beat on vocals.

Also, the Kharmas prefer larger rooms and the Coltranes smaller.

Again, just generalizing.


The soundlabs!

Finally, the SoundLabs get a chance to breathe…. Nice to have them back out from behind the Coltrane Supremes…


And speaking of the Supremes… here we see them all nicely polished up by Neli.


The aesthetic of these speakers, tall vertical, wooden, in this room with its tall vertical wooden beams – is striking now that we are getting used to the whole idea that they are FINALLY up here.

Acoustic Zen Adagio loudspeaker on Kharma amp and Audio Aero Prestige player

After going through several system configurations, this one was perhaps our favorite, especially of those with speakers driven by solid-state amplifiers.

Adagio speakers on Kharma amps

The Adagios, in this configuration, in this room (that wall behind the speakers is not symmetrical and not flat…) seemed to prefer the more aggressive Kharma digital amp than the more powerful, more laid back, and more expensive EDGE amps. It helped wake them up, so to speak.

Adagio speakers on Kharma amps

All Nordost Valhalla cabling. Yeah, each cable cost more than the speakers… but we save money using the Office Depot power strip, see? :-)

But in the end, this is a fairly reasonably priced system at about $25K + cables.

Adagio speakers on Kharma amps

No, these speakers don’t sound as tight and controlled and have the finesse of the $45-$50K Kharma Mini Exquisite and Marten Coltrane speakers… which just seems to depress our visitors who are auditioning the Adagios.

Maybe we should just hide them next time?

We already go through the ‘You really don’t want to hear these. You’ll be spoiled and will never be able to go back”. Doesn’t work, though.

And we really LIKE the Adagios… what other speaker can you play (successfully) rock & roll AND opera on in this price range? Like none, man.

Kharma Mini Exquisites, Audio Note Ongaku, and Jorma Design Prime

I hesitated a long time to write this post. After all, I first thought that the Audio Note just did not drive Kharma very well, especially when the Kegon amplifiers just did not drive the Kharmas to distraction – which they had with every other speaker we had tried them with.

With the Audio Note Ongaku, the Minis were well driven, surprise! and the Minis were able to fill up our large room with sound [more surprise!] , including bass, very nicely thank you. In fact, it was the best we had ever heard the Mini Exquisites sound.

Even though many people who heard this system thought it was the best system we had here, for their taste, [as some did with the AN SEC Silver Sig speakers in this system previously], some of our test tracks, like the 1st cut on the SACD version of Santana’s Abraxus – just did not lite our fire like they had with the previous, Very Large reference speakers we had in our main room.

Then Neli put the Jorma Design ‘Prime’ speaker cables on the system replacing the Valhalla [No, we havn’t heard the Odin yet… tick tock tick tock…]. Usually these cables add detail and ambiance and coherence – all those ‘cable-ish’ things – which these did again. But…

They seem to also now let through more dynamics, like there is more power coming from the amps. The sound wave front is much more bloomier, larger (and it was pretty big before) – the ‘color’ of these cables, orange-ish in my mind – just ADDED to the color of the Ongaku and Kharmas, both exemplary examples of what controlled-color-machines should be themselves.

With the Meitner CDSD/DCC2 digital and 10m Valhalla interconnects as source – the system was given a very pure signal.

Anyway, this is the first system where the sound rivals that of the previous system with those Very Large [Acapella Triolons] speakers… and in such a small package, too!

The soundstage is as wide and about as tall as the 7 foot speakers [except when those other speakers put the soundstage up in the rafters, which it did if you were sitting low in the listening chair] – but more firmly fixed in place.

The resolution is better – something for which the Kharmas have few peers.

The color is ‘better’, which is to say that there is more of it [in general we like a neutral sound, but not too neutral, and this lies pleasantly within our preferences].

The wrap-around sound is better – don’t know why that would be… maybe the Ongakus which we never tried on the previous setup.

The bass is, of course, not has powerful (compared to 8 10 inch woofers, surprise) but it is satisfying enough that we only miss it sometimes [and can you say… ‘Midi’ Exquisites … with their 4 large woofers? I knew you could :-)]

The dynamics is not the same, compared to that of the 30 inch and 20 inch horms – but it is only in very loud complex passages that it becomes a fault. The punchiness of the amp, and the broadband nature of the Prime cables, seems to make up a lot of ground with respect to the difference in efficiencies.

The only nit I have is that there is the slightest reticence in the mid bass somewhere – and we do not know if this is a characteristic of the speaker, speaker-amp combo, or perhaps lack of adequate vibration control on the source equipment…

So anyway – this is cool. We’ve had a number of people up here who are picky [you know, EVERYbody is picky – what is with that? :-)] and they seem to agree that this ain’t too bad sounding. So we aren’t going insane. Too much.

What does it mean that one can get much of the benefit of large efficient speakers with a properly driven small speakers [add a subwoofer for that lowest octave, which no speaker can do anyway unless it is the Marten Coltran Supremes – which will be up here presently]?

It might mean that there is a conservation of system cost – you spend it here or ya gotta spend it there – move the money from speakers to amp and cables. But this isn’t exactly true, as expensive speakers needed expensive equipment as well.

It might mean that, given money, you can chose to have a few constraints, like being able to see out the windows – and still have world-class sound.

Or it might just mean that Neli and Mike just got lucky and that there is no deep meaning here at all.

Yeah, that is probably it.

Oh well, party on dudes and dudettes.

P.S. Here we have Neli’s solution to holding up the Elrod power cord going into the Ongaku. Too bad I tore up my Harry Potter box from Amazon in a rush to get the latest book out – we could of used it instead to add a little ‘magic’ to the system… ;-)

Audio Note Ongaku amp on Kharma Mini Exquisite speakers

Well, well, well… it is working a heckuva lot better than anticipated.

Actually, it sounds really excellent.

We are really performing two tests here:

Can the little Kharma fill our large room with sound? Yes.

Can the Ongaku integrated drive the Mini Exquisites. Yes, for the most part.

The highs and mids are extremely lovely. We have not heard the Kharmas sound like this before. The 6C33C tubes on the Lamm ML1 and ML2 amps, and even the 300B on the audio Note Kegons, just do not have the amazingly seductive quality of the 211 tube on the Ongaku. Combined with the Kharma’s natural seductive qualities, along with its very, very high resolution in these frequencies – it is just a joy to listen to.

As for the bass – the bass is present – and satisfactory. Enough to not take away from the rest of the frequencies. But seriously, bass is not why a person has these littler Kharmas nor a tube amp. So I would give it a ‘B’ for bass. An A+ for the rest.

Finally – there is some slight congestion during very loud, complex passages… this started to diminish over time, so perhaps the amps were still warming up from when we turned them off to hook them up. We’ll hear how far things have improved in a few days….

The upstream components… mostly using the Emmlabs CDSD/ DCC2 combo, with the Audio Aero Capitole stepping in for comparison purposes.

Shootout at the PowerCord Corral – Shunyata, Pranawire, Elrod

By the wagons we got the Shunyata Anaconda Helix Alpha.

By the well we got the Elrod Signature 3.

and By the barn we got the Pranawire Satori.

OK. Ready. Set. Play!

Showroom 3
The system we compared them on was the following: Kharma Mini Exquisite loudspeakers, Edge Signature One amps, Lamm L2 linestage, and EmmLabs DCC2 SE / CDSD SE CD / SACD front end. INDRA interconnect between the DCC2 and the L2, Valhalla between the L2 and amps, and Jorma No. 1 between the amps and speakers.

We tried out all 3 power cables on the Edge Signature One amps.
Showroom 3

1.

First up were the Shunyata Anaconda Helix Alpha (who win the award for the longest name). Usually we like the Shunyata Anaconda Helix Vx cords better than the Alpha cords on the Edge, and now was probably no exception, but the Vx cords were on the Audio Note M10 linestage power supplies on a different system… so…

We played the first track on Radiohead Amnesiac. My thought when it was all over was that nothing was going to beat this – the resolution and imaging and ‘techno feel’ was first rate. And I was right, as far as it went, that nothing did beat them in these categories – there are other categories however… always more categories…

The Power Cord Fiesta
Photo taken after the shootout. Here we see the power cables with the red label (Shunyata Anaconda Helix Alpha), the green label (Shunyata Pyython [sic, WordPress has a bug that does not allow this to be spelled correctly, since this is also the name of a computer language it is confusing the poor thing…] going to the Soundlab speakers – not in the shootout), gray label (Shunyata Anaconda Alpha that were powering the Emmlabs), the silver-braid shielded power cords are the Pranawire Satori, and the big (but not as big as their brothers!) Elrod Signature 3 power cords. Oh, and the cords that look like red and blue stripes is the Valhalla going to the Lamm L2 linestage.

We also played Mark Knopfler’s Sailing to Philidelphia – first two tracks. [Pick this up if you like Mark Knopfler and high-quality music and sound – we’ve had many people who wrote the name of this CD down after hearing it here].

On the first track, Mark plays several licks that are up front and can be biting unless there is a lot of support from the system in terms of not just resolution, but harmonic integrity – the notes have to swell just right or they rise too fast and sound ‘bright’. It is in this respect that we prefer the Shunyata Vx cords on these amps – they handle the notes in a more relaxed, organic manner that seems to fit most of the music better.

2.

Next volley was heard from the Pranawire Satori. Pranawire has a trademark sound that is, what we call ‘psychedelic’ [or acid-like …including flash-backs] (and the Jorma Design Prime cable has some of this too, but in a different context, as do the Kharma loudspeakers). This sound is very very engaging – somewhat like 2A3 tubes in a good amplifier in that it is very subtle yet readily recognizable. Which is to say it does NOT distort the sound in order to entertain the listener in some kind of gross way by catering to the common human weakenesses for syrupy or euphonic sound.

The Power Cord Fiesta

It is a sound that is hard to describe – it is like adding ‘life’ to the music, or ‘color’ where there was none before but we were colorblind and did not know it. Anyway, with the power cords on the amps we heard this ‘effect’, which we have heard in their top-of-the-line cosmos speaker cable, but not so much in their cosmos interconnect. YMMV.

As for the sound, per se, solidity in the soundstage was better than the Shunyata for various instruments, accompanied by a reduction in resolution and – if I remember correctly (Neli is at the gym) a reduction in mircodynamics and air but an increase in the ability to swell dynamics from one state to another.

The Power Cord Fiesta

In many ways this was similar to going from solid-state to tubes – it is a tradeoff and depending on you and your system, you may or may not like it. I liked it, and certainly from the point of view of being a system builder: now I could add this ‘sound’ without having to deal with the somewhat large Cosmos speaker cable – which had some other side-effects – or having to swap out amps of source components or anything. I.E. swapping powercords for for the listener [who might be us!] who wants something a little more engaging (albeit a little less real) at the moment is now as easy as switching a power cord or two.

Radiohead’s voice and Khopfler’s guitar were all wonderously colorful and alive – there was however some reticience in the transition from one note to the next which we interpreted as probably resulting from these powercords being not quite burned in yet. [If you have been following the Blog lately, you might understand how we are growing impatient waiting for things to finish breaking in around here… ;-) ]

The Power Cord Fiesta

3.

The Elrod mosey’s in with the shotgun.

The Power Cord Fiesta

The sound of these was surprising to me … more detail (though not quite as much as the Shunyata Alpha) and much more separation – the soundstage really cleared up. The solidity was about the same as the Pranawire (the Anaconda Alpha had better pinpoint imaging than either – but it was not as 3D or ‘solid’). The Shunyata Anaconda Helix Vx has been our reference on these amps – and will continue to be so as it has performed well in 100s of system configurations we have set up – but the Elrod Signature 3, which we are learning more and more about, did much of what *we* like in a system, which is walk that fine, fine edge between real and musical. It entertained our minds, fooled our minds, and warmed our hearts (though that last not quite as aggressively as the Satori :-) )

4.

As a final test, we replaced both the powercords that were powering the Emmlabs transport and DAC with the Satori, they were what I think are from the photos Anaconda Vx (not the new Helix) . Could we hear the Pranawire effect even with the cords on a low current device like the digital front end?

The asnswer was yes, but it was only about between 15 and 25% of the effect it had when on the amps, in my estimation. It also clouded up the soundstage some,,, I think. It was weird. Maybe I was too tired at this point. Instruments and voices just sort of appeared in the soundstage, solid, but then faded from view somehow. It someway this was much more REAL than anything I have heard before in terms of what happens when a musician plays something then stops for a few moments. Or it was totally wacky and unnatural as the msucians did not seem to be in the same universe – much less in the same studio – but who knows, maybe they weren’t.

Anyway, more experiemtation is needed with mix and matching of these cords together in various systems.

Finale.

Acrolink burning in
Acrolink burning in on the Winter burn-in device

Acrolink burning in

So. We didn’t get to hear from the Shunyata Anaconda Helix Vx, nor from the Valhalla (which is on the Lamm L2 in this shootout – but we do not usually put it on the Edge, but in a shootout, ANYthing can happen :-) ), nor the Acrolink 7N power cords (which in some ways are the ultimate powercord, having both most intensly detailed resolution we have heard in a PC along with an even handed approach to harmonic body).

Updated Our On-site Equipment List found in the Tour

Still need to update the Tour photos…

But it was time to update the Equipment List.

Much of the text that we had there (and some of it still is there) was written in the first year of our store, some 4 years ago.

I had included stuff like This Magazines Award and That Magazines Award.

I thought I was sceptical at that time of the Reviewer community… hah! Now it is all but ludicrous.

I can just see the budding reviewer as a child on career day…

Politician? Reviewer? Politician? Reviewer?

Hey, at least it keeps them away from the nukes.

We try hard to ignore that part of the industry… really we do.

The equipment page was fun to redo – we have some cool stuff here – and some cool pics:

Audio Aero Capitole amplifier
Audio Aero Capitole amplifier. The colors! More larger pics

The text describng our equipment here has a ways to go – to sort of migrate from the advertising copy approach which we kind of cut and pasted from various manufacturer’s copy to the “What Neli and Mike Think” approach.

For example:


Our Kharma Mini Exquisite loudspeaker. More larger pics.

What we say now is:

“The best 2-way speaker technically and perhaps the most magical 2-way as well.

Ours here, pictured at left, are in aubergine – which is kind of like an eggplant purple. Subtly hallucinogenic – just like the way they sound.

That 1.0 inch diamond tweeter provides an amazing amount of resolution, seemingly much more than the 3/4 inch, and it just seems to be able to project the music from the speaker into the listener’s head.”

This is all to say that the speaker functions excellently in a technical sense from the perspective of a listener compared to all other 2-way loudspeakers (for the sake of argument please ignore the ‘stone knives and bearskins’ that J.A. et. al. use to measure sound quality).

It also is trying to say that there is something going on that is hard to describe, but revelatory and pleasurable – that the mind, while focused on and enjoying the very high resolution of the one inch diamond tweeter, is penetrated on other levels which at this time there are no words for.

So we call it magic. Or hallucinogenic. Or “don’t know what it is but I like it”.

It would be easy to kind of cop out and borrow lots of terminology from some religion or another, or Terrence McKenna, or New Age Hermetics, or…. .or Cheech and Chong.

But, although once in awhile borrowing phases from Star Trek TOS (which is simultaneously both tongue in cheek and strangely technically relevent), we try to avoid letting the ‘magic’ of muscial experience be drowned by the hyperbole, nomenclature, stifling hierarchical bureaucracy or consensual irrelevancies of these other pursuits.

We have our own hyperbole and consensual irrelevancies, thank you.

Oops, got side-tracked.

So, trying to explain each component we have here in a few words to someone checking out the list to see if we have something worthwhile listening to… What to say. What to say.

If they are just looking around at various dealers to hear what has received rave reviews – well, that is not going to narrow the list at all. Everything sounds great, haven’t you heard?

So, hopefully just putting down what we think is going on, in halting English, putting it out there – exposing our stumbling around in the dark, for everyone to see, as we try to figure out just WHAT this speaker, and a few other components here and there, do that is so darn AMAZING – that this will tempt people into comimg here to hear and experience the whatever-the-heck-it-is for themselves.

[Oh, and now I see in the TAS we just got that Wayne Garcia just raved the Mini Exquisites. Don’t know whether to giggle or scream. So I guess I’ll just go to bed. G’night everybody.]

[P.S. Hope everyone had a peaceful night. The problem with a rave reviews from most reviewers is that it puts a potentially really great speaker or component on the same level as all the mediocre speakers and components that the reviewer also gave rave reviews to.

Yes, many dealers just point to the recommended lists in Stereophile and TAS and grunt a little – and so random raves do spread the sales around to a wide variety of products – but it does a disservice to the consumer interested in the sound of their equipment. Why must this industry treat audiophiles like ‘marks’ at a carnival – like they were just wallets and purses with credit cards for arms, industry sanctioned ‘recommeded lists’ for eyes, and without any ears? We can do better.]

The Kharmas, the ML2.1 too, the Audio Aero Prestige, the HRS racks and their bases, the Elrod, Shunyata and Jorma Design and the rest, all here on …

Picture of entire system
Picture of entire system with Kharma Mini Exquisite speakers, Lamm ML2.1 amplifiers and Audio Aero Prestige CD/SACD player on HRS M3 isolation bases and MXR equipment rack. Cabled by Nordost Valhalla and either Elrod Statement power cords or Shunyata Anaconda Alpha Helix power cords.

Picture of entire system with one Kharma Mini Exquisite in foreground

Kharma Mini Exquisite from above
Kharma Mini Exquisite from above.

Sonically, this isn’t a blow-us-away system compared to the same system with the Marten Design Coltrane speakers. It is very nice and enjoyable – but not surprisingly so. Maybe our expectations were too high. Is it wrong to be so spoiled? At what point does our addiction get so out of hand that we no longer represent the average guy or gal? Oh, you are saying we passed that point a long, long time ago? Oops.

We still have to work on the positioning – and we are planning on moving the EDGE solid-state amps over on this side of the room – they being so successful on the other side on these Mini Exquisites, and switching back and forth.

Speaking of switching back and forth….

The power cords powering the ML2.1
The power cords powering the ML2.1.

The power cords powering the ML2.1

The power cords powering the ML2.1
The power cords are the Elrod Statement III (the big ones) and the Shunyata Anadonda Helix Alpha (the red ones). The speaker cables are the Nordost Valhalla. This could be abstract art if it wasn’t so functional.

The Shunyata lends the system detail. The Elrod body and bass. If we are being picky we switch them for each song, depending on what we think will sound best. Though waiting for the Lamm amps to restart after switching power cords – waiting through their 90 second power-on cycle – is long enough for husband and wife to get a chance to talk to each other……

MXR equipment rack
TheHRS MXR equipment rack is looking a little empty. And missing the top shelf. That Audio Aero is doing source and premaplification duties – what used to take four shelves now just takes one.

Close up of MXR equipment rack top shelf missing
The top isolation base was out on loan – and now that it is back it is being repurposed elsewhere we are going to move the Brinkmann Balance turntable over on to the MXR equipment rack…. leaving just the Walker Proscenium Gold Signature TT on the RixRax / SoundLab system.

Jorma Prime interconnect burning in on Nordost Vidar burner
Finally, we are anxiously awaiting the conclusion of our Jorma Prime interconnect burning in on the Nordost Vidar burner.

Tick tock tick tock….