Jump to content
IGNORED

System Set Up, Thanks for Helping a Newbie


Recommended Posts

I came to this forum a while ago looking for info on how to get into computer audio. I am using pieces cobbled together from former systems, which had been laying dormant due to moving in with my (now) wife several years ago. Well, after a lot of reading here, and a lot of work this weekend moving things around in our downstairs, my system is setup. It was setup earlier, but not anywhere near ideally, as we had a lot of junk from my moving in we had never really dealt with. Now, we have a half listening room backed by some freshly cleaned out sewing space for my wife, and I am really enjoying the sound.

 

Some details: The room is 175" x 275" x 74" (h). The system is set up against the short wall, with a rug we put down over the composite over slab flooring. I used the Cardas method, slightly modifed for logistics, to set the speakers up. They are a little over six feet apart, and toed in to point slighly behind my head. This point forms an equilateral triangle with the speakers. I have the speakers on spikes and have them angled so the tweeters point slightly up. Doing all this I was able to get pretty good resolution of the LEDR imagining tests that member ESLDude pointed me to. Setup like this the speakers give great imaging, especially on solo and small group acoustic music. Even on some big orchestral stuff (e.g. Peter and the Wolf narrated by Leonard Bernstein) they still provide a satisfying soundstage, however.

 

Equipment is as follows. Front end is a Mac Mini with 8GB ram, a 60 GB SSD, and the music collection on a 1TB LaCie Thunderbolt drive. I am using a cheap HDTV for the monitor and a wireless keyboard. Mostly I leave those off and run it from an old iPhone using Remote. Software is so far iTunes. I have around 300 CDs ripped. I have not messed with any software players other than iTunes, nor any HD downloads yet.

 

The preamp is a Parasound P5 with a built in DAC. I am running the signal from the Mini into the USB input of the DAC, which goes to 24/96 via USB. The amplifier is an old resurrected Acoustat TNT-120. It's connected to the pre by some impressively thick Monster interconnects I think my cousin gave me years ago. Speakers are Signet SL-280ex, which are two-way box speakers with some sort of a metal dome tweeter and a treated paper woofer. They are connected via some thick brown cables I rescued from my late father-in-law's house, which I terminated with screw-on bananas. I may get some spades and cut them in half to bi-wire, just because.

 

Edited to add, I also have an old Pioneer belt-drive turntable that needs some TLC but will soon be added to the mix, at which point I will have a way to listen to my small but nice vinyl collection.

 

Eventually I would really like to get new speakers, but these Signets are sounding so good right now, I'm trying my best not to give in to upgrade-itis, as we have stuff to do around the house and a kid in college.

 

So a thanks to the collective group for helping get me sorted out on starting in computer-based audio.

Link to comment

You sure put a sweet little system together there - enjoy it! :)

 

And when you get antsy, try downloading some of the high end players, like Pure Music, Audirvana+, Amarra, and JRMC. I think they all have trial period on them for fun. You might be amazed at how different the sound from those players might be, and the good part? You can leave good old iTunes alone and the players, except for JRMC, just layer on top of iTunes and the Remote.app.

 

Lots of great fun lies ahead for you!

 

-Paul

 

 

I came to this forum a while ago looking for info on how to get into computer audio. I am using pieces cobbled together from former systems, which had been laying dormant due to moving in with my (now) wife several years ago. Well, after a lot of reading here, and a lot of work this weekend moving things around in our downstairs, my system is setup. It was setup earlier, but not anywhere near ideally, as we had a lot of junk from my moving in we had never really dealt with. Now, we have a half listening room backed by some freshly cleaned out sewing space for my wife, and I am really enjoying the sound.

 

Some details: The room is 175" x 275" x 74" (h). The system is set up against the short wall, with a rug we put down over the composite over slab flooring. I used the Cardas method, slightly modifed for logistics, to set the speakers up. They are a little over six feet apart, and toed in to point slighly behind my head. This point forms an equilateral triangle with the speakers. I have the speakers on spikes and have them angled so the tweeters point slightly up. Doing all this I was able to get pretty good resolution of the LEDR imagining tests that member ESLDude pointed me to. Setup like this the speakers give great imaging, especially on solo and small group acoustic music. Even on some big orchestral stuff (e.g. Peter and the Wolf narrated by Leonard Bernstein) they still provide a satisfying soundstage, however.

 

Equipment is as follows. Front end is a Mac Mini with 8GB ram, a 60 GB SSD, and the music collection on a 1TB LaCie Thunderbolt drive. I am using a cheap HDTV for the monitor and a wireless keyboard. Mostly I leave those off and run it from an old iPhone using Remote. Software is so far iTunes. I have around 300 CDs ripped. I have not messed with any software players other than iTunes, nor any HD downloads yet.

 

The preamp is a Parasound P5 with a built in DAC. I am running the signal from the Mini into the USB input of the DAC, which goes to 24/96 via USB. The amplifier is an old resurrected Acoustat TNT-120. It's connected to the pre by some impressively thick Monster interconnects I think my cousin gave me years ago. Speakers are Signet SL-280ex, which are two-way box speakers with some sort of a metal dome tweeter and a treated paper woofer. They are connected via some thick brown cables I rescued from my late father-in-law's house, which I terminated with screw-on bananas. I may get some spades and cut them in half to bi-wire, just because.

 

Edited to add, I also have an old Pioneer belt-drive turntable that needs some TLC but will soon be added to the mix, at which point I will have a way to listen to my small but nice vinyl collection.

 

Eventually I would really like to get new speakers, but these Signets are sounding so good right now, I'm trying my best not to give in to upgrade-itis, as we have stuff to do around the house and a kid in college.

 

So a thanks to the collective group for helping get me sorted out on starting in computer-based audio.

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

Link to comment

Glad I could be of at least a little help to you. Sounds like a great set up.

 

Those Acoustat amps aren't all that common. But they had a good reputation. I never had those amps, but had some Acoustat Two speakers they were made for. Your Signets are a much easier load so it should work very well.

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

Link to comment
Glad I could be of at least a little help to you. Sounds like a great set up.

 

Those Acoustat amps aren't all that common. But they had a good reputation. I never had those amps, but had some Acoustat Two speakers they were made for. Your Signets are a much easier load so it should work very well.

 

The amp is sounding very good. I do wonder if it might benefit from recapping. Roy Esposito, who is a former Acoustat employee, offers a pretty thorough refurb of these amps for $395. For an additional $250, he will add balanced inputs, with the appropriate circuit conversions. This is a wonderful amp, but I do wonder if I should go for either the base refurb, base refurb with balanced inputs, or hold off and get a new amp. I am thinking of the Peachtree 220, both for its increased power, good reviews, and power saving class D circuitry.

Link to comment
The amp is sounding very good. I do wonder if it might benefit from recapping. Roy Esposito, who is a former Acoustat employee, offers a pretty thorough refurb of these amps for $395. For an additional $250, he will add balanced inputs, with the appropriate circuit conversions. This is a wonderful amp, but I do wonder if I should go for either the base refurb, base refurb with balanced inputs, or hold off and get a new amp. I am thinking of the Peachtree 220, both for its increased power, good reviews, and power saving class D circuitry.

 

Well, haven't heard your amp or the Peachtree. I do use a Wyred4Sound switching amp, and find it quite good. So if you can borrow and listen to the Peachtree I would probably go that route. If you get the refurb and balanced you are more than halfway toward the Peachtree. I do like balanced inputs as they are simply far more resistant to noise pickup.

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×
×
  • Create New...