The Worl'd Gone Topsy Turvy or…

or “Round ’em up, Head ’em out”

or “We’re just going to pieces”

or “Break in Two Systems, Two Systems, Two Systems in one”

Breaking in Sound Lab Ultimate loudspeakers and Audio Note M10 preamplifier together
Breaking in Sound Lab Ultimate loudspeakers and Audio Note M10 preamplifier together – using the EDGE Signature One amps and Audio Aero Capitole CD player driving them over on the floor to the right [Oh, you can’t see it in this picture, but you can see the Nordost Valhalla interconnects snaking across the floor there].

This is all just a temporary setup. We are breaking in each notch on the M10 volume control. We got up to ‘5’ yesterday, but that was driving the little Kegons pretty hard – and the Coltranes were getting pretty loud.

But over here, on the still somewhat inefficient Sound Lab speakers – with a solid state amp… we are doing ‘6’ today and will do notch ‘7’ tomorrow. That ‘should’ be enough, the Marten Coltrane Supremes (which made it through customs, yay!) are much more efficient than even the Coltranes, so notch ‘7’ should be plenty loud enough for the show…?

Every time we up the volume a notch, the M10 sound is bright and annoying for several hours and the pre lets off another waft of New Electronic Component Smell [Yummmmmm. Is this the only reason we buy TVs and computers and $50K preamps, to be able to experience this smell? Nahhhhhh].

This M10 + Sound Lab speaker-centered system sounds surprisingly good. The Sound Labs really like upstream equipment that errs on the warm side (as opposed to the more icey Parasound or Pass Labs soild-state amps, the former is usually shown witht eh SoundLabs at CES and the latter is to be at this RMAF show in the IsoMike room), and even warmish cables help – like the Pranawire Cosmos speaker cables.

The latest Sound Lab upgrade did seem to tighten the bass quite a bit and increase the midrange dynamics as well – adding perhaps 3dB? of efficiency. Still breaking in, but I noticed that the unfamiliar bluring of images in the soundstage that I heard when we first starting playing the SoundLabs after their upgrade has almost completely gone away.

The old Marten Coltrane system, going to pieces.
The old Marten Coltrane system, going to pieces Time to box up most of this system, and move the Marten Design Coltrane loudspeakers to listening room 3. The Sound Labs are going to go over here, next, after the show – and how we get around them when we go up and down the steps is still to be determined.

The current state of listening room 3
The current state of listening room 3. Most of the system proper is going to the show, including the Acoustic Dreams rack.

We want to put the Marten Coltranes in here after the show – but they sound best with the Lamm ML2.1 amps and the HRS MXR rack. But the Kharma Mini Exquisites sound best with the EDGE amps… it will be hard to build a system that is optimized for two different speakers like this… not to mention the Acoustic Zen Adagio speakers.

And then there is the HRS MXR equipment rack problem, or rather lack of problem: we want a double wide on the Coltrane Supreme speaker system in listening room #2,and another one upstairs so we can play a turntable in listening room #1 (it is the only thing that will work on our very bouncy floor) – but we currently only have one rack….

So little time (and money) and such a long Wish List.