Impulse buys for an analog stereo configuration

Posted by: oldskoolboarder

Impulse buys for an analog stereo configuration - 06/23/07 11:12 PM

Moving into a "new" house soon. It's a 35 year old Eichler, kind of a mid century modern style house. The previous owner has more of a East Coast cottage style, so the house hasn't been treated in the way it should. We will be bringing it (slowly) to it's full MCM potential.

In my desire to go retro, I was inspired to create a space in the new living room for my rarely used Sophia Baby tube amp and Project TT. Because my Axioms are used in my HT, along w/ my Pio 45TX w/ phono input, I needed a preamp and speakers. I got a good deal on an almost new Rotel RC1070 (used 10 days) and a used pair of Von Schweikert VR1's. I tried for Monitor Audio GR10's, I demo'ed and loved them before I got my M22's. But it seems that the VR1's are easier to drive.

It'll be a few weeks but I'm psyched to bring out my LPs again. Not sure of the WAF, I actually have to tell her first...
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: Impulse buys for an analog stereo configuration - 06/23/07 11:26 PM

Very cool, Cesar! Uh, good luck telling the wife
Posted by: Mojo

Re: Impulse buys for an analog stereo configuration - 06/23/07 11:33 PM

I for one wouldn't mind seeing pics of your set-up. I hope it works out for you. Tell her over a nice, candlelit dinner as you introduce her to a new diamond ring .
Posted by: oldskoolboarder

Re: Impulse buys for an analog stereo configuration - 10/01/07 04:16 PM

Finally have pix of the 2 channel. Sorry for the sad PQ. My Canon died and I'm stuck using a crappy Nikon S6.

The first pic shows what I get to see when I listen to stereo music. System consists of:

Von Schweikert VR1's
Projekt Debut TT with Ortofon OM10 (IIRC)
Sophia Baby Tube Amp (8 W)
Denon 2200 DVD player
Rotel 1070 pre amp

The speakers are stunning build quality and sound. Overall the system sounds good but not perfect. As you can tell, the room is pretty challenging (glass and hard surfaces) and there's no way I'll ever put up drapes. I think the 8W is a stretch, even for these efficient speakers. I almost bought some Dared monos w/ 20W but had to hold back. For now I'm happy, heck I can't complain about the view.

2 Channel
http://www.flickr.com/photos/9872286@N03/sets/72157602223931684/show/

For those interested, here's the whole house, including my HT. QS8's not wired yet, deciding on a carpet to hide the wires. My main rack now consists of Pio 45TX, PS3, Wii, Slingbox HD and S3 HD Tivo with 750GB.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/9872286@N03/sets/72157602213335399/show/
Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Impulse buys for an analog stereo configuratio - 10/01/07 04:22 PM

Very nice. The 2-channel system fits right in with the simple lines of the architecture. Where did you get your couch? We're looking for a smallish leather sectional for our living room and that one looks like it would work really well.
Posted by: Mojo

Re: Impulse buys for an analog stereo configuration - 10/01/07 04:34 PM

That's a nice, clean, uncluttered place you have. I love all of the natural light. You better have some spare pentodes on hand for Sophia. I bet she gets pretty hot. So the floor in the HT room will be covered with carpet? How would you compare the VR1s to the Axioms?
Posted by: oldskoolboarder

Re: Impulse buys for an analog stereo configuratio - 10/01/07 04:40 PM

We got it at a store called Space Control in Palo Alto. It's from an Italian company called Nicoletti. I've found that many modern stores actually carry the brand. We custom ordered the light blue for our old house. Now it doesn't quite match perfectly... And, now I'd prefer a couch w/ the chaise on the other side. Oh well.

I wouldn't be surprised if you found a store in the VA or DC area that carries the brand. Now I only wish it was a little less "puffy". This is a VERY comfortable couch, great for relaxing to music and TV. I recommend it, or similar, if the style fits.
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: Impulse buys for an analog stereo configuration - 10/01/07 08:01 PM

How hot does it get in the cabinet with the Sophia running? Do you keep the door ajar when it is on?

Nice looking set up, Cesar! I've said it before, and I'll say it again--I really like your house.
Posted by: oldskoolboarder

Re: Impulse buys for an analog stereo configuration - 10/01/07 08:45 PM

Thanks Sean. Gotta love that California style.

It's not too hot, I only open it to turn on the amp. I use the system w/ the doors closed. It's warm but not enough to concern me about the wooden shelves.
Posted by: oldskoolboarder

Re: Impulse buys for an analog stereo configuratio - 01/10/08 02:32 PM

UPDATE:
OK, suffice to say I'm starting to go off the deep end relative to tubes... I started to enjoy my "new" house and stereo configuration months ago. The sound quality was good but not perfect. Because the living room is so large and I'm only using monitors, it seemed like the amp wasn't powerful enough. Granted it is only a baby...

So I started looking for more power. Would've wanted to go with a Prima Luna but couldn't find one I could afford. Then I considered mono blocks. I started looking at the ASL Wave 8's but couldn't find any. Then when I did, they went for more than their original $99 each. I saw some go for more than $350, crazy! Then I found a great deal (for me) on a pair of Wave 25's. The bump from 8W to 25W was just what I needed. The VR1's didn't feel strained and were able to push out the music effortlessly. Rodrigo y Gabriela never sounded so good, even the iPod/MP3 version was great.

Interesting tube side note. A few months ago, a coworker went back home to Shanghai. I asked to him to look up Ming Da, Shanling and a few others to see if he could get better deals on site. Nope, prices hold strong (high). I've also noticed on places like Audiogon that many popular tube amps are going for original price or more. Seems like these types amps tend to hold their value. Wonder if that has to do more with the fact that you're not going to get a lot new technological advances in tube amps... It's not as if they need to use 45 nm technology like Intel CPUs.

Now that I was happy...I had to keep looking for something else to upgrade, so I started looking at tube CD players. I've always wanted the Tjoeb 4000 but could never bite the bullet. Found one last week for a good price. Set it up last nite, it requires a bit of assembly with the tubes and CD tray. The previous owner also changed the DACs from stock.

I'll start off by saying that wasn't sure if I'd really notice a difference. I hoped to, in order to justify the purchase. I was pretty sure that the change in tube amp would be a bigger delta, and in fact, it is. However, I noticed immediately the difference.

I started with a new CD I bought. It's the Jake Shimabukuro CD with My Guitar Gently Weeps. You may have seen his video on YouTube, amazing. This is also a very well recorded disc, almost dead quiet on my system, no hiss/background noise whatsoever. On my original Denon 2200, I was happy with it. Then I switched to the Tjoeb player. This player ROCKS on disc reading, 1 to 2 secs vs 8 to 10 on the Denon. I noticed that the music really opened up, much better soundstage. I listen late at nite, so my volumes are low. The soundstage improvement seemed very prevalent at these low volumes. The strings seemed to linger a bit longer, in a good way. There was a bit more warmth, though I can't tell if it's due mostly to the soundstage. Then I listed to Rodrigo y Gabriela on CD. Much more of the same. I also did an interesting A/B. I have 2 Rodrigo discs, 1 original and 1 burned from MP3s. I put each disc on each player and went back and forth. I put the original into the Tjoeb and the burned disc into the Denon. As I suspected, the Tjoeb sounded better, but I wasn't sure if that was due to the fact that it was an original disc. So I swapped discs. The Tjoeb still sounded better with the burned disc. BTW, the files were MP3's ripped at 219 kbps, 44.1 KHz with a LAME encoder.

I'm a happy camper. Hmm, do they make tube speakers?

Pix:

ASL Wave 25's.



Tube output stage of Tjoeb. Seems this player is based on the Marantz CD4000.





"New" system (Sorry, forgetting to turn off close up mode = fuzzy pic)


Posted by: pmbuko

Re: Impulse buys for an analog stereo configuratio - 01/10/08 04:29 PM

Wait a second. You're a forum member, you prefer tubes to solid state, and I like you?

\:\)

On a serious note, congrats on your recent acquisitions. I need to participate in a ss vs. tube taste test one of these days.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Impulse buys for an analog stereo configuratio - 01/10/08 04:34 PM

Preferably one where the guy hosting the test doesn't look at you like you're insane.
Posted by: St_PatGuy

Re: Impulse buys for an analog stereo configuratio - 01/10/08 08:39 PM

Cesar, it's always good when new purchases work out for the better. Glad you enjoy the new gear. Winter is the perfect time for tubes!
Posted by: chesseroo

Re: Impulse buys for an analog stereo configuratio - 01/10/08 08:57 PM

Nice place.
Lots of bush.
Posted by: davidsch

Re: Impulse buys for an analog stereo configuratio - 01/11/08 07:42 AM

Congrats on the new gear. Your house is beautiful, but I imagine the large sheets of glass are an acoustical challenge. I have been looking at tube amps a lot lately as I discovered that I like the tube sound much better than my lower level Denon. There has been quite a few tube amps on Audiogon lately, but I am still in the researching mode.
Posted by: DaveG

Re: Impulse buys for an analog stereo configuratio - 01/11/08 08:43 AM

Enjoy your new house and your new gear.
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: Impulse buys for an analog stereo configuratio - 01/13/08 01:36 PM

hello, osb. congratulations on your asl + ah! njoe tjoeb tube output cdp. I use a similar set up for one of my 2 channel set ups ... asl mg s1 15 dt integrated 5 wpc amp, njoe tjoeb w/big feet, power kord, upsampler + siemens tubes. the 5 wpc tube amp easily drives a pair of dahlquist dqm 905s (modded of course) + super tweets. most of the time I listen to jazz on 89.3 (long beach) on a scott tube tuner. sounds just great.

g'luck. my first post frm my phone. cool if it works. here goes
Posted by: 2x6spds

Re: Impulse buys for an analog stereo configuratio - 01/13/08 02:35 PM

Here goes from my desktop - beautiful home OSB! I have a friend with a similar room - a big A frame, pair of M60 like Michaura M665 towers and M22 like Michaura M55s in the back, a Merak Frankencenter we made together, and although I thought the room would be challenging acoustically, his system sounds beautiful.

I'm in Irvine. Maybe one day we can get together and do some listening to some Dahlquists, VS's, Michauras and Axioms! If we do it here, I'll throw on the steaks or veggie burgers depending on sensibilities.

Good luck in your new place.
Posted by: oldskoolboarder

Re: Impulse buys for an analog stereo configuratio - 01/14/08 02:00 AM

Thanks for the offer 2x6. I may take you up on that.

Yes, I was VERY afraid that my living room would be too lively. The speakers hit right on the front entrance which is completely glass. The only wood is on the frame to hold the glass. I was REALLY afraid that it'd require some kind of treatment, which would be out of the question. There's no way I'm blocking that great entrance. Surprisingly, the reflections are minimal. The only thing I've found is that the sound seems a bit more balanced to the right, no matter how I orient the speakers. Though it may be the amp, not sure. But moving to the Tjoeb, I haven't noticed it as much.

Now I've got some "new" vinyl to try. Check out what I found:

http://www.axiomaudio.com/boards/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=192085#Post192085