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A recent post mentioned audio gear and how perhaps Big Stereo is kind of a dying thing so is anyone else here into audio gear? I've got a few systems and here's the downstairs one which sounds pretty nice.


Lots of tubes and yes, I have a very understanding wife!





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Yes, those a f**king speakers, ha, ha. Those are a pair of Magnepan 3.7s and with those the room is the box which is just so clever - they're a dipole design with strips of foil on a big sheet of mylar. To the left is an SVS subwoofer. I've had Maggies for almost 25 years now; everything else just sounds kind of "off" to me. They're made up in Minnesota and here's their site if you're interested: www.magnepan.com


They need some room to work well and will suck up all the power you can throw at them so each one is using a VTL 300 monoblock. I did mention lots of tubes!




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Still got these -


Garrard 401, factory upgraded SME 3012 arm now with Audio-Technica AT120E cartridge all in ancient SME plinth which I should replace:




CD player is now an Arcam CD37 (not in picture - that's a Sony XE670)

Quad 34 preamp

Sony TCK611S casstte recorder/player

Sony DAT (going to sell this)

just visible at bottom Quad 405-2 power amp

1 of 2 Gales 301 speaker cabs with all new drivers




Part of the library -





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Ah, yes.


I USED to be very into it. Learned a lot too. I have since went broke and into debt, the point being I have not right to spend money until the debt is paid.


Another tragedy, I lost my system(s) in the storage fiasco. I consider them stolen.


My main system was: Pair of Quicksilver Silver90's (KT-88 based power amps) driving a pair of Vandersteen 2ci's. Quicksilver line-level pre-amp, or none at all depending on the source.


The front end was Theta for CD, (can't remember what it was or where I was on the "upgrade path", but who can keep up?). Tuner was various, but an Accuphase tu-100 for fm, and am was an...I can't remember. Also, a Tandberg was in there, but I gave it to my mom.


Cassettes were my thing, and I had quite a collection of NAKs, and what was the best one (for me) was a 582Z. I didn't have them all, no Dragon. For recording, I plugged directly in, bypassing any pre-amps and such.


Turntable-my favorite part- was a VPI Jr, that was in a constant state of tweaking and modification. It had a plinth I made to swap armboards for the tonearms. Actually, it had many plinths at one point or another. I had RPM, Rega, and Audioquest tonearms, and Sumiko and Lyra Cartidges. Micheal Yee Phono Amp. (interesting sidenote on that, it was the actual one used for the review in Stereophile magazine, which had an "imbalence" of some sort keeping it from being classed as "class A". So, I had 2 circuitbaords for it, the origonal, and a new one given to me by Mr. Yee himself. As they had a different sound, we were discussing it at one point in time as I tried various things to figure out why, or which was "better".


All the tomearms I had were at least re-wired, stuffed with cotton or cat hair, (or not), armtubes, counterweights, etc. Some with replaceable wiring harnesses. One thing about the whole pile was that the phono amp was usually parked right next to the tonearm with no cable and short leads, just as the mono amps were parked right next to the speakers with short speaker cables.


Most wouldn't know or care, but the system was quite "incestuous". For example, the guy who designed the speakers used the same amps, and visa versa. The guy who designed the phono amp used the same cartridge and tonearms, the guys who designed the cartridge used the same arm, the guy who designed the arm...so on and so forth.


Of corse, the BEST part is kinda like the photo from the OP. All accesable from the back for swapping cables, and extra shelves for storing the tubes, cleaning supplies, meters, etc. And in my case, not too far was the workbench for taking things apart, cleaning records, and that included guitars and such. Drawers full of pickups, shelves for speakers, and boxes and boxes of tubes.

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The dreaded upgrade path, I know it well.


THAT is why I have to save my pennies in order to replace my Firebird VII - I needed some cash in a hurry to pay off those 3.7s which I ordered. The Firebird sold in the nick of time. Stereo stores are dangerous places to wander in to...


Where I totally lost my marbles is when the same stereo dealer dangled a pair of 20.7s under my nose with my 3.7s as trade in and time payments for the rest and I said yes. They've since been sold and I returned to 3.7s but the sound from the big boys was just astonishing. They're far and away the best speakers I've ever heard with a 3D soundstage like you can't believe. Someday I'll own a pair again but not this year.


I ended up selling them to a fellow who had some 3.7s plus cash so I paid off the stereo store who was driving me insane over the balance and I went around in a big circle.


Here's a pic of the majestic 20.7s; they kind of ruined me for life as what's been heard can not be unheard if you know what I mean.



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I have a Rega (c. 1980) turntable, Harmon Kardon receiver, and ADS and Cerwin Vega speakers, all top of the line (in 1976), as the core of my system. They are all stored in a closet and my thousands of records are stored at a friend's house with his thousands. I miss the sound and the music. I use a Bose surround sound entertainment system now, but it is just not the same.

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Go get that stuff out of storage, have a shop go through the stuff to bring it back to life and get going again!


I always loved Harman Kardon stuff; I use one of their early 60s tube tuners on a regular basis and it brings in stations better than anything else I've ever owned.




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I like '70s and '80s stuff


Turntables: Harman Kardon T-35, Dual (United Audio) 1219, Technics Sl-1200 MK3


Power: Yamaha R-700, Realistic STA-870, Harmon Kardon 330c


Speakers: Boston Acoustics A150, Bose 6.2, Advent Laureate, Advent Prodigy, Wharfedale W60, ADS L710


CD: Sony DAV-C700 This is actually a DVD player, but Sony decided to add SACD capabilities to these things in the early 2000's so it's actually a pretty nice CD/SACD player, and it's also a 20WPC receiver that I don't use to power any speakers


Tape: Technics RS-M235X

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