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Vic's audio system:

I use the front end as part of a home theatre set up, but wont go into detail as Iím mainly concerned with the stereo aspect of the system.

I made the hi-fi unit from kitchen worktops and a pair of IKEA units. 

Speakers are Kef 107ís updated to Mk2.

Amplifier is from Affordable Valve Company ( http://www.affordablevalvecompany.com ) which uses KT88ís in triode connection and is rated at 20W/channel. This amplifier brought the system to life in terms of sweetness, soundstage, dynamics and bass. The amp is made in China to UK specs.

Turntable is my pride and joy. A heavily tweaked Michell Gyrodec with the Pedersen http://pedersensgyro.hjem.wanadoo.dk/index_english.htm and Orbe mods.

Tonearm is a home made no frills parallel tracking air bearing arm made from carbon fiber and aluminum channeling, powered with an aquarium pump. The design was inspired by Paul Ladergaard (http://www.aiko.com/roscoe/airbearingarm.html). It works fantastically well.

Cartridge is the one and only Music Maker. A moving magnet design with moving coil sound. Brilliantly detailed, open and spacious. Works really well with the Ladergaard arm. (http://www.listen.to/thecartridgeman)

Phono Preamp is the EAR 834P with up-rated valves.

I havenít invested in cabling having yet to be shown an appreciable difference to the cheap cables Iím using at present.

Additional comments about the arm:
I love the Ladergaard arm. All I can tell you is the system sounds the best it ever has. I cant compare direct to the Rega 250 (Origin Live) I was using before because I changed to the Music Man (cartridge) at the same time. I was getting low frequency rumble with the Rega and MM combination....I think some resonance incompatibility???  So it didn't last long.  I was surprised how easy the arm (Ladergaard) was to make, and how well it worked.  It is so sensitive, and will not tolerate any level changes. They advised not use it on a suspended TT, by I went ahead anyway, and it worked! I have now stiffened the suspension anyway with the Petersen mods (which were tricky!) which really cleaned and noticeably tightened things up so I can now hear the timbre and tones within Stings bass technique. Fantastic. I got a similar improvement after doing the shelf, so now am really delighted.

shelf1.jpg (59808 bytes)  shelf2.jpg (42698 bytes)  shelf3.jpg (40847 bytes)  shelf4.jpg (37278 bytes)

Above 4 thumbnails detail the diy TT bracket.  Click to see full size image.

Vic's comments on making the turntable bracket:
 
I modified a pair of microwave brackets by adding a triangular support. The shelf supports a 4cm piece if kitchen worktop. This is sandwiched between two pieces of 3/4" MDF and foam inserts. On top of that lies a 1" slate slab. This is separated by polyurethane pipe insulation which I slices into 1cm discs. On top of this rests the Gyro!
Sounds a looks great.

 

System Strengths  are the open detail, wide soundstage, sweet highs and tight, deep controlled bass.

Weakness'   are limited wattsÖ..but I donít listen too loud, and the system is not forgiving of hard, compressed material. I have a few Police and Dire straits albums which are brilliantly recorded.

Am using a Sony DVD/ SACD player, but havenít invested heavily in this preferring the sound of vinyl. Am waiting for AVC to release their valve CD player, which seems full of promise!

Regards,

Vic