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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was not aware of this forum until now. Thank you to those who made it possible.

It seems that the majority audio systems are for Home Theater only. Surely, there must be some of the old schoolers who live, breathe, and die two channel audio.

I have a mixture of vintage and modern.

Current Audio System:

  • McIntosh MA5100 integrated amplifier
  • Marantz NA7004 network audio player
  • Acoustic Research XA turntable modified with modern upgrades
  • Emotiva XPS-1 phono preamplifier
  • Pair of Focal 806V bookshelf speakers
  • Panamax M4300 Power Conditioner
  • Emotiva/Blue Jeans Cable interconnects and speaker cables
  • AKG Q701 Headphones
  • Little Dot MKII tube headphone amplifier

Additional Components:

  • Harman/Kardon Citation 19 power amp
  • Harman/Kardon Citation 17 preamp
  • Dual 721 direct drive turntable
  • Ascend Acoustics CMT-340-SE speakers
I do not have any pictures yet. Just bought a digital camera and will be taking pics of the system this weekend.

Ok WFs, show us what you have, and include some pictures of your system. It will be interesting to see how diverse and eclectic WF members' audio systems can be.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
<-- Reserved for CDogg's audio system pictures -->
 

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Great idea for a thread!

You've amassed quite the impressive setup; I'm an audio enthusiast myself (I'd hesitate to call myself a bona fide audiophile) but lately I've spent far more time (and money) with watches than hi-fi gear.

I've been obsessed with audio gear since childhood because of my dad's interest. As you mentioned is commonplace now, I have two surround sound setups in my house, both driven by Yamaha RX-V series A/V receivers. Our living room setup has Polk RTI A1s as the mains and Definitive Technology speakers round out the rest of the channels. I really enjoy listening to the Polks in stereo mode as well as using pro logic music mode in 5.1. Our upstairs home theater setup uses an Energy 5.1 setup.

Any more, much of my listening at home is done on my Audio Technica ATH-M50 headphones. I have fully embraced compressed digital audio, having started 'collecting' MP3s around '98 or so. I appreciate and prefer LPs, but most of my music consumption is done on the run. When I rip CDs I use the highest bitrate and quality settings available in the codec I use.

Back to the point of your thread, though, I do still have two stereo setups, one being primarily vintage - it has two Sansui SP-2500s driven by a Kenwood KR-5150 (circa 1972). The turntable is a cheapo Audio Technica AT-PL50 I purchased about 12 years ago in college to record LPs on my PC - it does an admirable job for a budget piece. I'd like to get a high end turntable someday soon.

The 2500s are beasts; a 12" woofer, two 5" mids and two horn tweeters. My dad purchased them around 1969 while stationed on Guam in the navy. I still have his original JVC receiver, but it is in disrepair (bad capacitors). The Kenwood was a thrift store find and drives the Sansuis nicely. He also had a Teac reel-to-reel and JVC turntable; both are inoperable today. His original setup also included a quadrophonic amp and two more SP-2500s, those were sold sometime in the early '70s.

My other stereo setup consists of a Sherwood receiver (sadly, not a 'real' Sherwood, but made by the newer Chinese version of the brand) I purchased some 15 years ago and some old KLH 911Bs - I have this set up in my office at work and it sounds surprisingly good at moderate volumes.

Here's a pic of my vintage stereo setup in our game room:


I would love to purchase some additional vintage gear, especially Marantz or McIntosh and perhaps a tube amp of some sort. That'll probably come after some watch grails in a few years.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I wanted to put together the best audio system I could because this is our only source of entertainment. We decided over two years ago to cut the cable but keep internet. I'm very happy with what I've been able to accomplish.

I have been trying to sell my Dual 721 on other forums. This would be an ideal turntable for your vintage system. If you'd be interested, send me a PM and we'll discuss.

I appears that not too many watch guys are into audio. I would like to see this thread become popular.
 
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I would love to see a picture of your set up Chesterdogg.

Growing up I had huge Techniques speakers and top of the line record players and components. Sound was amazing for the day.

Sadly now all I have is about 5000 songs on my iphone and in my "music library" that I play through really nice Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones.

So my current sound System is Bose noise cancelling headphones!!
 
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This is a sore topic to me. I own a Audio Research SP3-A tube preamp, Bryston 3B NRB amp, Acoustic Research LST speakers a couple Thorens turntables and some misc. gear. It is all in my home workshop tucked away in a corner. There are a number of reasons why it's not setup. My living room is just all wrong for a good stereo to work properly, fear of my children doing something to the equipment and of course the wife acceptance factor.
I also have 5 rebadged and modified Bryston 7B amps sitting in another corner of my shop. I don't have a clue what I'm going to do with those!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
This is a sore topic to me. I own a Audio Research SP3-A tube preamp, Bryston 3B NRB amp, Acoustic Research LST speakers a couple Thorens turntables and some misc. gear. It is all in my home workshop tucked away in a corner. There are a number of reasons why it's not setup. My living room is just all wrong for a good stereo to work properly, fear of my children doing something to the equipment and of course the wife acceptance factor.
I also have 5 rebadged and modified Bryston 7B amps sitting in another corner of my shop. I don't have a clue what I'm going to do with those!
Why is this such a sore topic for you? You've got all of this gear sitting around collecting dust, and you have no clue what you're going to do with the gear? USE IT! That's like buying all these watches and not wearing them. What's the point of having objects and not using them?

You mentioned the fear of your children doing something to the gear, and the WAF. You are in the perfect position to teach your children about audio gear, put an album on the turntable and drop the stylus, and look at their faces of amazement. You have an opportunity that most of do not have. When you mention music to the younger generation today, they will whip out their i-Phones. You can teach your children the joy of listening to music, and you can teach them the difference between digital music and analog music. I cut cable almost three years ago and I haven't missed TV for one minute. That's a topic for another post.

Bring out what you have and give it a good cleaning, and enjoy listening to music. Once you've had a chance to listen with the gear you have, you will have a better understanding of what your weakest link will be. Now is the time to reacquaint yourself to the world of audio, and for you to get your family involved as well. It may surprise you that your children may enjoy listening to music instead of playing video games, or watching too much TV. What a perfect way to introduce your family to a new and improved Family Time.

This could very well be the best decision you have made for your family. Enjoy your time with your family, and please let us know how it's going. :music:
 

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I use to be an audio engineer (live) as my full time job for 15 years. Now I just freelance.

I know many engineers, especially the young ones, that always have to have the newest technology. Everything is being driven by some type of computer interface and tubes seem to be a thing of the past. The best thing about analog is that you can actually fix it!

I run my technics turntable through a Roberts 1055 reel to reel, into a pair of "mini Advent".
I have another system, for surround, that has an Yamaha rx-v receiver, Samsung blue ray (barely can use it!), an old Aiwa cd/DVD that has light pipe, a Sony mini disc, and a mix of very old cerwin-vega speakers.
The garage system has a marantz dual rack mount tape deck, Sony str-d911, pair of Bose 301 series II.
My, now stripped down, studio speakers are KRK self powered.

I know what your thinking, "an audio engineer should have better stuff!" Well, we moved just around the time the market crashed and lost money when we sold our house, so some things had to go. Most of it was stuff I thought I could part with.

As far as what was kept, each system is for a specific listening environment. The garage stuff is good for anything. The cerwin-vega system is for LOUD listening and movies. The main speakers were purchases direct from the Cerwinski's. I remember writing the check! The Roberts setup is for the reel to reel and LPs. Like a watch, it's stuff that I like, but I'm always searching for the grail gear!

One of these days I'll get another tube amp, but I'll probably get a watch instead.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
JJDeal79... You know, all of us had to start somewhere whether it be watches or audio gear. The only person you have to please is yourself. If the music puts a smile on your face, that's all that matters. Of course we would like to have the best, but is it feasibly and financially possible. For me, the answer is no. Believe it or not, I am happy with that decision.

Even though my wife has been unemployed for over three years now, it would be nice to have two incomes coming in. It has been a struggle at times and the main reason I sold my entire watch collection. Family means more to me than material objects. Sometimes we have to do what we can in order to survive. It has brought our relationship closer. Watches or audio gear cannot do that.

JJDeal79... Enjoy what you do have. Sometime in the future you may have an opportunity to upgrade. My advice to you is go slow in your decision. Evaluate what you have and what you think the weakest link in your system could/may be. Take it one step at a time and eventually you will get to where you want to be.

The bottom line is enjoy the music and have fun! :music:
 

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ChesterDogg.
Your right! Life isn't easy. What we (everyone) have, we work hard for. We get what we like and can afford at the time. Sometimes we have to part with stuff to make ends meet. At the end of the day, I know we would sacrifice anything to take care of our family.

If or when I upgrade, it will probably be a DYI tube amp. I have a few tubes packed up waiting for a new home.....
 

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jjdeal79- I remember back in the '70's at a local stereo store (remember those!) seeing a Cerwin Vega speaker that had just been delivered to the store from the manufacturer. The low freq driver was not centered in its cutout. It was mounted way off where it should have been mounted. The salesman made mention of "those Hippies" building them. They also sent out a 12" woofer with a 110v plug on it. It was to show how strong their voice coils where. What a sound that made when plugged in!
 

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A poorly lit shot of my current two channel setup

Technics 1200 MK2 (tonearm and RCAs redone by KAB)
Hana high output moving coil Shabata cartridge
McIntosh C712 preamplifier
McIntosh MC2100 amplifier
Pioneer CS-A700 speakers (not seen)
Blue Jeans interconnects and speaker cables
 

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A poorly lit shot of my current two channel setup

Technics 1200 MK2 (tonearm and RCAs redone by KAB)
Hana high output moving coil Shabata cartridge
McIntosh C712 preamplifier
McIntosh MC2100 amplifier
Pioneer CS-A700 speakers (not seen)
Blue Jeans interconnects and speaker cables
The MACs are top notch, the last of power amps with a chrome plated chassis.
 

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In the Eighties I was able to put together a system that at first glance is a strange mix of components. When we found our second apartment I sold everything to get some extra funding. I never regretted this but there's still a yearning for a good setup. I now have two means of playing music (actually three but the latter is never used). I mostly play high resolution audio files from a Synology NAS through my iMac that is connected via optic fibre to a Fubar IV Plus DAC/Class-A headphone amp. Again, older stuff. Cans are Grado's SR325 with custom ear pads. Second mode of replay is again trough the Imac but via Bluetooth connected Ruark Audio MR1 bookshelf speakers. Active two-way system with Class-D amps.

And now the Eighties system:

Turntable was a Dunlop Systemdek II:



Arm was a Siltec modified Mission 774:



Cartridge the back then very famous Kiseki Blue:



Pre-amp one of the first series Krell PAM-1 (shown here without the two external PSUs):



Power-amp the magnificent L'audiophile Hiraga 2x20 Watt Class-A (I had one with a chrome plated cover):



Speakers Etude MP IV floor standing hand made in Belgium (rewired with silver and on spikes. I also had them painted in piano gloss black):



I can't remember the cabling any more but I'm sure is was up to scratch.

All pictures are borrowed from the 'Net as I don't own the equipment any more.
 

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I've never owned a CD player eligible to be connected to a system like this. I did own a Nakamichi 582 cassette deck however. There's a crazy vinyl revival going on with a specialized plant in The Netherlands (180 gram LPs) that is not able to cater for the demand. They never stopped pressing vinyl but lived a dormant existence until 2 two years ago.
 

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The vinyl resurgence hit Seattle big time about 8-10 years ago and my local record store has continually expanded the LP section while the CDs are ever-shrinking. I thought it'd pass as hipsters would eventually move on to some other calculated interest but no. In fact, it has thankfully forced companies with initially crappy repressings, to up their game.

Nowadays here you can pick up a quality new copy pressed by a reputable record company for about $15-$25 and the digital download is included. From '50s jazz to the latest indie offerings. There are still horrific pressings and you get burned every once in awhile but the odds have greatly increased in our favor. :D

I too use a KAB modified SL-1200MK2 most of the time, in a KAB wood base. Because it is simply a workhorse and a joy to use and as folks like to say "punches well above its weight".

But I also favor my old slightly modded Thorens TD145 MkII. Particularly when I want its auto lift and shutoff feature.

Modest but satisfying and tables with different personalities.

https://flic.kr/p/YiU3L9 https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

https://flic.kr/p/XXUj91 https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

I had a Systemdek II for awhile Frans. And a lot of other gear I wish I'd hung on to.
 

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I still have 400+ LPs in my shack. They are stored there for over 30 years and the shack is not heated. I dare not inspect them as they are in plastic crates stacked upon each other. Probably warped beyond 'repair'. Among them high end pressings and collectibles.
 

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I still have 400+ LPs in my shack. They are stored there for over 30 years and the shack is not heated. I dare not inspect them as they are in plastic crates stacked upon each other. Probably warped beyond 'repair'. Among them high end pressings and collectibles.
If it's not heated, they might be just fine. Perhaps not their jackets though.

Mine have always been indoors, most are upstairs while the less desirable or shall we say, embarrassing, are in the basement. Maybe 2500. I could never part with them even during the Cee Dee takeover.
 

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My pride and Joy, these Acoustic Research 9LS reference speakers, a tower of power, at the bottom 12 and 10 inch, then rising in range to to end up with the tweeter at the top. I used to drive them with a Carver 200watt until a lightning strike fried that. Now use an Onkyo which sadly doesn't have an input for my AR turntable and Shure V4 cartridge. These can rattle the pictures on the wall even when you can't hear the low frequencies.
 

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I have attached a few more shots of my two channel system.

My speakers are Pioneer CS-A700s, and I have found them to take everything. The Pioneer 99a speakers are the expensive ones on the after market, but I am not looking to fill a large room.

I think the shots show how crowded the area is that I am working with. The two speakers are focused on the chair that I spend 60+ hrs a week sitting in.
 

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