Sunday, April 19, 2015
The Monitor Audio Silver 8 speakers arrived two days ago. All I can say is...WOW! A big improvement
on the NHT's. They will need some time to break in, but they are already showing their quality. This system is really sounding
good after all the upgrades. Maybe a more powerful Tube amp is next. The Rouge Audio Magnum (90 wpc, KT-120 tubes) is a contender.
For now, I'll just enjoy playing everything I have over the new stuff. The AQ King Cobra interconnects, the Parasound Halo
P5, and the Silver 8's. I did do a controlled comparison between the Marantz Sa-8001 SACD player and the AQ Dragonfly. The
Marantz won by a small, but definite margin.
3:40 pm cdt
Saturday, April 11, 2015
I have recently started a major upgrade of my audio system. First,
I replaced all the AQ Diamondbacks with AQ King Cobra, I then put Herbie's Audio tube dampers on all eight tubes of the amp.
I finally decided to replace the Dynaco, and purchased the Parasound Halo P5. I have ordered new speakers, the Monitor Audio
Silver 8. Also, I upgraded the amp's power cord. Total cost was about $3800. The King Cobra cables made a definite difference,
especiall in the bass and impact. The dampers weren't dramatic, but a subtle improvement in smoothness. The big change was
the Parasound. The dynaco was good, especially with those NOS Mullard tubes, but the Parasound is a big leap forward.
9:24 pm cdt
Saturday, February 28, 2015
Possible new preamp
I am probably going to get the Parasound Halo 5 preamp. It is solid state,
and listed in Stereophile's current "B" list. The list price is $1095. I'm also looking at the Wharfedale Jade
3 speaker, $1499. Probably gonna get both.
12:47 pm cst
New Audio Interconnects
12:38 pm cst
Two or so weeks ago I upgraded my interconnects from the Audioquest Diamondback
to the Audioquest King Cobra. There is a difference, and it's is well worth the money I paid. I actually paid the same as
I did for the Diamondbacks five years ago, since the King Cobra is now out of production. They cost $134 each for two one
meter cables. I also changed the amp power cord to the Audioquest NRG 2. The Cobra has especially better bass, and inproved
definition across the spectrum. The high frequencies have a sparkle I was missing before. Damn good cable!
Sunday, May 5, 2013
I ordered a new mic today. It is the Marshall MXL V900. I guess I
couldn't resist the retro look.
9:08 pm cdt
Friday, February 8, 2013
The Kimber Kables arrived yesterday, and were installed this morning.
They do make a difference. There is more clarity in the mid-range, and the bass is tighter and more pronounced. I tested them
using an enhanced CD, "Luxury Liner" by Emmylou Harris. I have owned this music since 1978, when I first bought
it on LP. It sounder better than I have ever heard it. It wasn't bad before, using the Audioquest X-2 cables, but the Kimber
Kables are better. Some people say that 16 gage zip cord is all one needs, and more expensive wires are a waste. All I know
is what my ears tell me, and they tell me that these cables are the best I've ever owned. There was a difference, and
I noticed it immediately.
8:23 pm cst
Friday, February 1, 2013
Headphone amp & Speaker wires
I've upgraded the headphone amp. I replaced the stock output capacitors with
Mundorf MCap mkP, 10uf 250V. They are not broke in , but there is already a very noticeable improvement. Not that the original
caps sounded bad at all. But, the bass is tighter and musical impact is greater, The clarity has also improved, especially
in the treble. There is much more air between instruments than before. Soft notes are not smothered as much. The new caps
cost me about $13, not including shipping. So, the cost of the amp in total was $149, not including shipping. I already
had the RCA 12AU7, so I don't include that. I believe I have an amp that rivals, or surpasses, the top of the line Trends
model that sells for $265. I also purchased a Black Mamba 2 from Audioadvisor to replace the Monster Cable 850i I had to use
with the amp at first. It also made an improvement. There is just something dull and dry about Monster Cable sound. Two
days ago, I ordered some Kimber Kable 8VS speaker wire. I'm certain this will be an improvement over the Audioquest X2.
4:17 pm cst
Monday, January 21, 2013
New Headphone Amp
7:44 pm cst
The new amp arrived today. I changed the jumpers inside it for a 12AU7 tube, and found an old RCA cleartop to use. I readjusted
the bias for each channel. While doing this I found the manual to be wrong about which pot controls each channel. I though
it was goofy when I first looked at it, and it was. The initial listening tests have already convinced me that I won't regret
buying this amp. The bass is much tighter than before, and the mids are to die for. I wonder why it took me so long to do
Saturday, January 19, 2013
I've ordered myself a headphone amp. The model is a Trends PA-10. It comes
with a 6n11 Chinese tube, but I can change that to an RCA 12AU7 by setting some jumpers. The list price is $225, but
I paid $135. It should arrive Monday, the 21st. I will look at the input and output caps to the tube, and see if I should
replace them with better ones. I also wonder about the volume control pot. Oh well, the new phones sound very good, and this
should make them even better.
5:38 am cst
Saturday, January 12, 2013
10:32 pm cst
New headphones arrived yesterday. They are the Audio Technica ATH-AD700
model. They are listed on Stereophile's "B" list. The price was good so I decided to upgrade. I don't use phones
much except with my computer. These are the best sounding pair I've ever owned and also the most comfortable. The music really
opens up up and has greater impact than before. I'm very happy with them.