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Best (Local) Computer Audiophile System

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I have been thinking about this for some time now. It would be really cool to build an audiophile system built solely with components from local manufacturers. So, I will start us off with my perfect system built from manufacturers in my home town of Minneapolis, MN and hope others post their best system. The one piece that doesn't need to be local is the computer because options are so limited for those people who don't build their own. Also, don't let it stop you if you are missing one piece of equipment because no local manufacturer makes one. Just branch out a little further. The term local is somewhat relative. Also, this is not a race to see who can build the most expensive system, just build the best system. What that means is up to you. Add your own personal / local flair to this. Which brings me to another purpose of this post. I think there are way too many audiophile components out there that we have never heard of or have never seen reviewed in any of the popular magazines. This should give us a chance to span the globe looking for great audiophile components without leaving the house and without waiting for a magazine to review the piece. If the equipment that comprises your system is popular and has been reviewed before that is OK too. There are really no harsh rules around here, just use common sense. If you prefer to keep your physical location to yourself, just pick somewhere on the globe and build the best computer audiophile system you can. I will kick it off here. This should be really interesting.


DAC: Bel Canto e.One Dac3 (Minneapolis, MN)

Pre Amp: Audio Research Reference 3 (Plymouth, MN)

Amp: Atma-Sphere MA-1 Mk.III Monoblocks (St. Paul, MN)

Music: Stereophile Recordings of Cantus (Northfield, MN)

Speakers: Magnapan MG 20.1 (White Bear Lake, MN)

Cables: NBS Cable Omega Extreme / Statement IV (St. louis Park, MN)

Balanced Interconnects

Speaker Cable

Power Cable

Computer: MacBook Pro with iTunes 7.4.2 (because of version 7.5 issues).


This is the best local computer audiophile system I can come up with. I look forward to seeing what others come up with!


- Chris

Computer Audiophile | Turn Down The Silence




Founder of Audiophile Style | My Audio Systems

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the only addition I would make to your system is adding a sub from ACI in LaCrosse, WI. I have Magnepan 1.6QRs because I don't have the room for the 3.6 or 20.1 models. Have you listened to any Van Alstine equipment? I have his T6 tube hybrid preamp and it's quite good. Van Alstine is in Woodbury, MN if you aren't familiar with his company I live in Golden Valley and have the long term goal of an all local system. Won some NBS cables at HiFi Sound years ago so that is covered.


Thanks for the website, just learned about the issues with iTunes tonight so that was helpful.




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It is interesting that I am from Minneapolis and had never heard of ACI subs and did not know Van Alstine is in Woodbury, MN. I am looking at the Van Alstine site right now ( http://www.avahifi.com ) and it looks very good. I see a Golden Ear Award and I have only been on the site about five seconds. I may have to adjust my system.


What do you think of the NBS cables? It is so hard to traverse through the overcrowded audiophile cable market and make a decision on what to buy.


I am a big fan of Magnapan speakers, I just wish they would update the look a little. They have looked the same as long as I can remember. Not that looks are everything, but it does help when you're spending a big chunk of money.


- Chris

Computer Audiophile | Turn Down The Silence


Founder of Audiophile Style | My Audio Systems

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I only have one pair of NBS cables and they don't seem to add or take anything away from the sound. Cables are one of the areas I think its very easy to overspend. My other cables are the MIT AV series and that is probably as expensive as I want to go.


I've owned Magnepans since '87 so I understand about the styling not changing, however I don't know how much more they can do given the size. I agree with needing the styling to help with approval of the purchase however the size is something my wife doesn't look past no matter how stylish.

Look at Audio Circle for the ACI message thread. ACI also makes main speakers to go with their subs. Because they are mail order the price to performance ratio is very good and their customer service is very good. I went down to the ACI shop in October to have them check out my sub and Mike Dzurko, the owner, made a special trip to meet me on a Saturday and run some tests for me. Turns out I was the problem not the sub. Their subs are very adjustable and blend well with main speakers.


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