Stuff I've owned


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Speaker Chronology

I've been happy with most of the speakers below. I don't enjoy a lot of excess coloration and prefer a neutral/natural voicing.  When I was younger and house sharing I made a switch to the little Proac Tablettes - in hindsight a mistake - too much low end sacrificed for other attributes. The Mini Towers didn't help much, things only got back on track with the Response 2. The Harbeth period followed and I really enjoyed those speakers, especially with acoustic program. However I ultimately found my music choices being somewhat bent to suit the speakers. I wanted something neutral, but dynamic, that could play any type of music with equal competence - enter ATC.
Harbeth Compact 7 ES2
Harbeth C7ES2

Harbeth Compact 7 ES3

Harbeth C7ES3

Harbeth M30.1

Harbeth M30.1 in room

ATC SCM19 Mk2

ATC SCM19

Amplifier Chronology

(NOTE: Other combinations were used. I also bought other amps, sold them, and went back to previous combos. Listed combos indicate a step change that lasted for at least several months. Not always for reasons of sound improvement, some changes were made for convenience/features or due to moving in different direction.  Sometimes just to try stuff out.)

Plinius & Harbeth setup
Plinius and Harbeth

ARC SP16 & VS55
arc sp16&vs55

Cary PH302 and Choir Audio Hashimoto H7 SUT
Cary PH302 Choir H7
NOS Sylvania Gold Brand 6SL7WGT  & Mullard 1968 vintage GZ34
0.22uF 'Audio 1' oil cap in PS replaced with Multicap RTX.
0.1uF Solen interstage coupling caps replaced with ClarityCap MR. 1uF output coupling caps replaced with ClarityCap MR.
0.01uF KimberCaps in RIAA replaced with Aura T (1% tolerance) Teflon.
(All replacement capacitors are of the same nominal value as stock caps)


The very versatile Grace Design DAC/preamps
Grace m903 & m920

Odyssey Khartago power amp
Odyssey Khartago

Quad 909 - smooth amp, suffered in extension and transparency next to the Khartago
Quad 909

Xindak PA-M, 20W Class A - lacked liveliness compared similar power F6
Xindac PAM

ModWright KWA100SE - too warm, lacked the directness and life of the F6
ModWright KW100se


DIY Nelson Pass F6 (Class A) and Halcro MC30 (Class D)
Halcro MC30 & F6

DIY Nelson Pass F6 and Benchmark AHB2

nelson pass f6 & AHB2

DAC Chronology

Yggdrasil and Grace m920
Yggdrasil and Grace m920

PS Audio Directstream Jr - upgradable firmware
PSA DSJ
PSA Directstream Jr
 

Turntable Chronology

Cartridges owned in (rough) Chronological order

Grace F9E, Grace F9L, Audio Technica OC9, Sumiko Talisman S, Garrott P77, Audio Technica ART-1, Monster Cable SG-2000, Sumiko BPS (worst cartridge owned!), Benz Glider (0.9mV), Crown Jewel (VdH retip), Denon 103R, Ortofon Jubilee, Ortofon A90, Denon 103R stock & Soundsmith retip/various bodies x 4, Audio Technica 33PTG(briefly), Audio Technica OC9-III(briefly), Ortofon Cadenza Black, Audio Technica ART-9  

Trialled in system but not purchased: Grado TLZ, Shinon Red, Clearaudio Gamma   

Phono Accessories

Note: no longer own Graham tonearm or MintLp tractor:

Mint LP tractor - amazingly precise tool for establishing exact stylus/cantilever geometry. 
There are reports that this tractor is a PITA to use but, after following the (very clear) instruction steps, I found it easy enough - certainly easier than non mirrored tools. However allow at least 15 to 20min after you are familiar with the adjustments. 

Note: The Graham alignment tool supplied with the Phantom arm I'm using has the advantage of doing alignment away from the turntable, seated comfortably at a desk with adequate lighting etc. Alignment is much faster with this tool - 5-6min - and also very accurate (accuracy reliant on exact setting of the initial arm overhang and care in using the alignment tool). I find myself increasingly reliant on the Graham tool - no crouching in awkward positions at the turntable!

KAB Speedstrobe, a brilliant tool for setting turntable speed

Disc Doctor Miracle Record Cleaner and Quickwash
Nitty Gritty 2.5 vacuum record cleaner
Zerostat Antistatic gun
Magic Eraser used for stylus cleaning
Digital pocket scale (.01g resolution)
 

Phono Loading

Denon 103R (14 ohm DCR):                  Active stage: 100ohms; Step-up transformer: ~46ohms**
Ortofon Cadenza Black
(5 ohm DCR): Active stage: 100ohms (Rowland Capri S2 phono cards); Step-up transformer: ~52ohms* 
Ortofon Jubilee (5 ohm DCR):            Active stage: 100ohms; Step-up transformer: ~52ohms*  
Ortofon A90 (4 ohm DCR):                 Active stage: 47ohms (Note: I didn't have an SUT in my system when I owned the A90)

*Note1: Using Choir Audio/Hashimoto SUT on 1:30 setting, 47K ohm phono stage
**Note2: Using Lundahl LL1941 SUT on 1:32 setting, 47K ohm phono stage
(reflected impedance = Rload/N2, where
Rload is the input resistance following phono stage and N is the turns ratio of the SUT)

Uwe/Denon 103R with Soundsmith ruby cantilever and Optimised Contour Line contact stylus
 
Denon 103R's with Soundsmith ruby cantilever/Optimised Line Contact styli, epoxy potted in 'Midas' Aluminium bodies
 
Old favorite: Ortofon Jubilee Moving Coil Cartridge - Silver coils, Boron Cantilever, Shibata Stylus


Ortofon Cadenza Black Moving Coil - boron cantilever, Shibata stylus (moved on)
Ortofon Cadenza Black


Ortofon A90 Moving Coil Cartridge
Minimalist steel body formed by Selective Laser Melting (SLM) process, boron cantilever, 'Replicant 100' Stylus


Bob's Devices Cinemag based SUT and the Choir Audio SUT-H7 with Hashimoto HM7 transformers - sold for other stuff
Cinemag and Choir Audio H7
 

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