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System pics 2013 part I

Discussion in 'reference' started by Tony L, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I've just archived the 2012 thread into the reference room, so it's time to start a fresh one. Here's where I am at present:


    System #1 is now about as simple as I can make it!

    Vinyl: Garrard 301, SME M2-10, Ortofon 2M Black, slate plinth.

    Digital: Rega Apollo R and DAC, plus Apple Airport Express and optical or USB connection to Apple Macbook Pro (not shown).

    Amp: freshly serviced (thanks Rob!) Quad 34/306. I'm actually using the inbuilt phono stage at present as Rob tweaked it a little and set it up for my cart and it now sounds really nice (used to sound bloody awful, but that was mainly due to a hopeless capacitance mismatch with the Ortofon). I've also got an EAR 834P, but I'm not sure I'll be keeping it now.

    Speakers: 15" Tannoy Monitor Golds in slightly altered DIY York cabs, the drivers and crossovers are completely stock.

    Cables: Gotham GAC-1 interconnects and Mogami speaker leads.

    2013 to do list: Try Quad ESLs, almost certainly ESL63s.

    It's sounding really nice at present.
  2. Cereal Killer

    Cereal Killer fourhundredandthirtytwo

    No change for 2013 :)

  3. Gerard124

    Gerard124 pfm Member

    Very tidy Tony, though you must be creasing your back putting CDs in down there!

    What are your thoughts on the Rega components? have you previously posted about them?
  4. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I'm a vinyl bin-diver by trade, so floors hold no fears!

    The Rega kit is nice. I'm not a huge believer in expensive digital components as it all sounds pretty good to me these days - I just wanted to swap my elderly Sony out for something that will hopefully see me through the next decade to 15 years as the days of CD players may be numbered. I had a shortlist that required computer audio compatibility (i.e. a digital input or two), no horrible plastic wall-wart PSUs and no blue LEDs. The Rega was pretty much the only thing that ticked all the boxes, so I just bought it. It also comes from a company that I know and trust, so hopefully it should be supportable over a long service life. My only criticism is that the DAC is about an inch and a half shorter than the CD so they won't stack neatly!
  5. merlin

    merlin Avatar changed - Town names deemed offensive.

    That looks really neat Tony. Rack certainly in correct proportions to the speaker!
  6. Theo

    Theo pfm Member

    Current system & room layout:
    T/T: Trio L-07D/Esco ZU 103/Benz Ace S; SME V/Ortofon Cadenza Blue.
    Phono: Whest PS30R.
    CDPs: Esoteric UX-1; Micromega Classic Solo.
    Digital: NVA TFS (not shown).
    Amps: Exposure MCX Pre/4 x Exposure XVI Mono Power.
    Speakers: Jamo R909 on Townshend Seismic Sink stands
    RCM: Okki Nokki.





  7. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    May I suggest folk list the kit in these pics. I can identify the big Jamo open baffles and a lovely Trio L07D deck in the above, but I've not a clue what the rest is! Nice record collection too. Every room should have one.
  8. pil

    pil pfm Member


    Garrard 301/FR 54.
    Puresound 2a3
    Micromega logic
    Eminence in grf cabs
    Coral m 100 mid into le cleach
    Coral H 104 tweeters.
  9. hockman

    hockman pfm Member

    Very nice, Tony! How's the vintage Quad driving the large Tannoys? Thought some classic tubes would be better?

    And I spy some Bill Evans and Art Pepper. Great stuff, a couple of my favorite artists. BTW the box set of Art Pepper at Ronnie Scotts is quite wonderful.
  10. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Surprisingly good. I've had the 34 knocking around for a while now, plus I've got another earlier (bronze DIN) one in the other system / room with a 303 & Klipsch Heresys. It is way, way better than it's online reputation, in fact it compares pretty well to my Audio Synthesis stepped attenuator passive, only adding just a tiny bit of weight and maybe losing a tiny amount of air. I'd be hard pressed to tell them apart on anything other than a direct A/B to be honest, and even then I'd be reluctant to put money on it. I have a feeling that it's bad rep originates from the days where preamps were mainly assessed on their inbuilt phono stage, and for some reason I'll never understand Quad chose to load-up the MM stage with 220pf capacitance, which means it sounds like utter crap with a lot of carts (certainly with my 2M Black). It's easily fixable by swapping a couple of caps out (it's now set at 47pf). It's also got a LF filter on the mainboard that sucks the life out of the bass, but again that's easily fixable, and none of this impacts the line stage anyway.

    The 306 is lovely. Sounds rather like a Sugden, but with more power on tap. A real sleeper IMO. It's one of Quad's current dumpers, so will be operating in class A pretty much exclusively in the context of big efficient Tannoys etc. Sounds like it too, very clean, clear and effortless, yet with some grunt when required too. It's a different sound to my Leak Stereo 20, but I'd not say I liked it any less, they both sound great to my ears. It's also exceptionally quiet, so it's nice not to have the usual hiss and hum high-efficiency speakers seem to find in just about everything. IIRC Rob stuffs some bigger caps in the PSU, so it's probably got a bit more grip and headroom than it had originally. It certainly sounds like a powerful amp. Probably also worth acknowledging that Quad / Tannoy is a safe and known-good combo, just about every UK studio ran it throughout the 70s. It does sound like a studio rig too, just how I remember things sounding in various control rooms etc with that big, easy and unflustered thing going on.

    Will keep an eye out for the Ronnie Scotts box, do you mean the (very expensive) vinyl or is there a CD of it? Can't seem to find it on Amazon.

    Liking those horns a lot! Would it not be better with the bass cabs sideways so you could get the horns a bit lower and more on the listening axis?
  11. Theo

    Theo pfm Member

    Soz - original now amended
  12. Steven Toy

    Steven Toy L3 Toy

    John Westlake-modified Audiolab CDQ
    Tube Distictions Grounded Grid preamp with offboard PSU
    Tube Distinctions Copper amp 45 Watts of Pure Class A in push-pull
    Tannoy Turnberry SE loudspeakers

    MusicWorks ReVo 3 stand with ReSponse Minis and ReBounds
    MusicWorks ReFlex mains block rewired with Furukawa cable by Mark Grant
    Mark Grant DSP 2.5 mains leads
    Mark Grant G2000HD interconnects terminated with WBT nextgen 0110 ag plugs
    Re-terminated Sterling Black Mamba speaker cables

    Dedicated consumer unit, radial circuit and earth.




    The above system will be at Scalford Hall in room 88 on 3rd March this year along with AndrewR's valve monoblocks.
  13. pil

    pil pfm Member

    Yes will be cutting the boxes that hold the mids down a further 3 inches so they will almost be overlapping the bass.
    If i had more room i would side mount.
  14. Steven Toy

    Steven Toy L3 Toy

    Theo's system above is drool-worthy and well set-up.
  15. johnfromnorwich

    johnfromnorwich even my wife noticed the dif..

    I always loved the look of the Trio L07D. Never heard one but I'm assuming it's pretty great. There's one on ebay right now sitting at the £2K mark still with two days left to run...
  16. louballoo

    louballoo Banned

    Tony, I like the quad pre/power. Cool looking vintage gear!

  17. Gaius

    Gaius Trade: Stiletto by Tangerine

    As Tony has said the 306 in particular is a great little amp, has more gusto than you might think and is often overlooked.
  18. Cereal Killer

    Cereal Killer fourhundredandthirtytwo

    I remember my local HMV store using the same Quads to driver their store system :)
  19. Gromit

    Gromit Plasticine Dog

    Certainly tweaked my interest that's for sure - and like so much stuff which we once considered nearly worthless in sonic terms, it's great to see that folk are truly enjoying them now.

    I've even been snooping around the Net Audio website at their 33/303 mod service. Ok one could argue that these are no longer 'real' Quads but I just adore the look of the things.
  20. pil

    pil pfm Member

    I still love the ease of use,build and looks of the old quads.
    Far more so than from the 77 onwards.

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