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Audio System

Combination of DIY and very Hi-end equipment.  I have pretty much transitioned to a mostly Digital playback system up sampling everything to DSD512, even though I own a excellent Turntable/cartridge combination.


Speakers- Wam Engineering Speakers (Flex) with D'Appolito configuration, unfortunately for audiophiles probably only 7 pairs of this speaker were ever made.  It uses Audio technology drivers with kapton voice coils for bass and midrange duties and Raal 70-10D ribbon tweeters for treble duties.  Cabinets are made of double thick Baltic birch plywood with heavy internal bracing and damping.  Measure pretty flat from 25 Hz to 20kHz.  Confident these will hang with speakers in the $60K range and above.  Phase angle is very flat and near 0 degrees, impedance never dips below 5 ohms, D'App heads are designed so the 3 drivers angle together at 9 ft (kind of a point source). Amazing speakers.


Amp(s)- Wyetech 211A+ as Roger calls them but they have the newest mods to make them the C version, these amps have the very well regarded AudioNote output transformers.  18W of pure single ended bliss with balls and capable of transient peaks of over 50 watts for short durations.  You have not heard SE amps until you hear these; fast, transparent and incredibly dynamic amps.  These amps only run the D'App midrange and tweeters.  January 2021, I upgraded the input resistors from Holco H2 to Texas Components TX2575 bulk metal foil.  This was a MAJOR upgrade.  I was stunned by the positive change this made.  Resistor runs from RCA input to The Grid of the 6SN7 voltage gain stage tube.  Listening to 3AM now regularly occurs.


Bass Amp- custom modified 250Watt per channel solid state amps, we actually play the bass up to about 250 Hz as the bass drivers are spec'd up to 1000 Hz, This makes driving the D'app heads very easy for the Wyetech.


EQ- Rane PEQ55, we only EQ the bass and use Clio software (V8.52) to set it correctly.


March 2019-  I have spent the last 2 weeks with clio further analyzing my system, mostly paying attention to MLS chirp signals and impulse response.  My goal being to get the flatest acoustic phase response between the drivers which I now have accomplished.  From 20K Hz to around 70Hz acoustic phase centers around 0 degrees phase with largest swings being no more than + or - 30 degrees for small bands, both phase responses lay almost perfectly on one another.  As to time alignment, with impulse response I have it set so each speakers tweeter and midrange impulse arrive at each ear at exactly the same time.  Something we often take for granted but usually have no way to electronically verify.  Before this exercise I was off by 1-2 milliseconds.  Not bad one would think, but to hear it now better time aligned and with the phase response as flat as it is, just spectacular.  By far the best sound I have ever had in my room.  Get the science right is what my mentor Wally Malewicz always told me, use ears to verify, but science has to be right.  I can't argue with his logic.


Room Treatment- Pretty much homemade 2" thick acoustic foam located around the room in key locations to give me a overall reverb time of just under .35 seconds which through the years we have found give the best compromise between lively and dead.


Analog- SME30mk2 Turntable with SME Vd arm (detachable headshell which makes it easy to set for ideal crosstalk or swapping cartridges).  Cartridge Dynavector XV-1s.  Phono preamps- Dynavector PH100 current based step up and Pass Xono.  I have recently gone in and improved each units power supplies.  Analog at its best can hang with DSD512 now.


Preamp-  For years I was a top of the line CJ guy then the DIY in me built a Pass B1 preamp.  Since I helped in the speaker crossover design I had a box full of excellent parts and used these in the preamp.  I have tried many different PSU's for this pre and have just recently settled on AMP Labs Sigma 11 PSU (DIY) which has taken my sound to a new level.  I now have the best bass I have heard in a living environment.  January 2021, I added the Texas Components TX2575 resistors at the preamp output and it took another leap up the sound quality ladder.


Digital- T+A Dac8 DSD with some small mostly damping mods performed internally.  Excellent dac for DSD512 playback.  So Palpable, real and 3D the stage now extends beyond the side and rear walls.  Walk around size with excellent image location and tremendous transparency.  March 31, 2021 a Holo May L2 came in service, more comments to come but this is the best dac I have heard in my system by far.


Digital Server-  I build PC's for Audio this one is my 7th each keeps getting better as we learn more about how to extract the best sound from a PC.  Current server is Windows server 2019, Audiophile optimizer 3.0 and fidelizer pro , gigabyte AX370 gaming K7  motherboard, Ryzen 1800x CPU, 16 GB of 3000 MHz ram (OC to 3200), eVGA 1060 GPU card, a 64 GB SLC nand flash SSD for OS and music programs, 3TB surveillance HDD for music files internally mounted.  Seasonic 850W titanium PSU.  OS SSD is powered by 7v S11 psu with 2 in series LT3045 boards to get to 5V.  My next build will be better.  4/2/21 a i7-10700K server went in service now I can play all DSD256 filters except Sinc L with EC7 modulators, now the fun begins.


Digital software- Win server 2019, HQPlayer 4.xx, Roon, Audio Fidelizer pro 8.x, Audiophile optimizer 3, Tidal and Qobuz.  Love the integration of these products and the very large library access I have to music.


Digital accessories- Iso regen with AMB labs S11 PSU and 2 LT3045 boards, USPCB between dac and IR,   Wire world Silver Starlight USB cable between PC/regen and IR.


Cables- are pretty much all home made using very good quality Studio level IC(Gotham Gac 2v1 which I purchased in a 100m roll, system is SE so RCA's are all eichmann.  Can't remember were the speaker cables came from.  All digital power cables are now Gotham Gac 4/1 ultra pro directly connected to PSU's and barrel connected to devices (SSD, Iso regen, preamp) with my variable shielding scheme.




Room is so very critical for music and I am fortunate to have a room (man cave) that allows me to put the speakers 8 1/2 feet out into the room and between 4 and 6 feet from the side walls, length of room is almost 40 feet (a hallway behind my listening chair runs to a spare bedroom making 40' length) so bass is not constrained by a smaller room.  This setup allows me to have a very deep and wide soundstage and current components literally make the walls disappear.  I am so lucky.


AC- I use an isolation transformer for all stereo components front end and amps, I make my own Power cables from very high quality Beldon cable and Furtech plugs.  The PC is plugged into a older PS Audio ultimate outlet which plugs into a UPS power supply.  Not perfect but the sound currently is by far the best I ever had.


big rig

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