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Thread: System #503 (CLX Art)

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    Member GW1800's Avatar
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    Default System #503 (CLX Art) Updated 6/17

    Member Name: Michael McCarthy

    Location: WI

    ML Model(s): CLX Art in Black Cherry and 2- 212's subs

    Year Purchased: 2014

    Mods/Changes: Added 30# weight on top of CLX electronic box - better bass, added sort fut to CLX's, Subs, QB8 stand and Rack.

    Associated Electronics: Aurender Blk N10 using single AES/EBU connection / Special SE Bricasti All Blk M1 DAC with polished Still points and knobs - grounded using Acoustic Revive RGC-24 ground conditioner / Bricasti M28 all Black with polished silver feet and front buttons /Silver Tellus Entreq with Apollo ground wire & Everest / Earth ground to 8' ground rod /RPG - BAD ARC sound panels / All Nordost accessories - 7 sets of QV2's & QK1's / All components supported on TC Kones / QB8 base on a special base / 2-QX4’s / All Valhalla 2 interconnects except ODIN - speaker cables, XLR from M1 to M28's & power from QX4 to QB8 / T2 for subs & H2 network / 28 Sort Lifts /Mini 3 iPad / Furutech GTX-DNCF(R) duplex for main power in, hospital grade duplexes for QV2's and QK1's / LED lighting / NAS using Aurender AMM / Lovan rack

    Actually started in 2012 with the purchase of Summit X's. I was in the process of installing Sonos throughout my home when at a Magnolia store in Chicago I heard a setup with ML and McIntosh - it sounded so good. Eventually found a Dealer - DaVinci Media in Milwaukee that actually had the speakers to listen too and from there as they say the rest is history. Eventually added two Decent i subs. I have since moved them to another room called the media room (System #504).

    In the music room started with electronics from McIntosh MCD-500 SACD player, 402 amp and some very basic Nordost products. Got to the point that I was just sick and tired of being the manual playlist creator using my legs swapping discs. Thought that it was a good time sound quality wise to move to all digital. Went to 2015 Axpona with the mission to find a good music server and DAC. Ended up purchasing a Aurender N10 and a Bricasti M1. So far very pleased with the results. The results did not come easily however particularly with SACD metadata it was a struggle but eventually got it to display correctly in the Aurender Conductor app. I also spent a lot of time getting good hi-res album art.

    The other thing I want to mention is the importance of proper grounding. As I moved from the Summit X system to the CLX upgrade I read up on this (here is a good article http://www.theaudiobeat.com/equipment/entreq.htm) and decided to do something about it. Ended up purchasing a Entreq Silver Tellus box in addition to a separate earth ground and could not be happier with the results. Recently added the new Everest update. Most recently have been very active to upgrade all my Nordost cables. Moved from initially Blue Heaven, Heimdall 2 and Frey 2 to now mostly Valhalla 2 and some Odin. Most recent is an upgrade from AQ vodka net cable to Nordost Heimdall 2 what a nice improvement that has been when streaming Tidal. Also a self designed support for the QB8 with Sort Fut and then the QB8 supported by TC Kones. That update made a very nice improvement in the system sound. Also put Sort Fut under the CLX speakers.

    Comment on my rack - its a mostly glass plate design. I know there are better racks but with the Nordost Kones under all the electronics definitely helped and besides I like the look of the equipment floating plus the LED lights are much more noticeable. The last tweak was to fill the hollow pins with black aquarium sand and Nordost Sort Fut.

    As you can see I'm closer to the back wall than ideal(2')and since I could not really do much to increase it decided to improve the sound as much as I could (One good thing I did have going is the location of this room in a basement with a cement floor). Researched and found RPG BAD ARC and then mounted them with LED dimmable lights rope around the perimeter. The looks is great but beyond that the sonic improvement was dramatic. Shawn from Da Vinci Media, let me use a spare flat panel initially he had laying around and even without ideal placement I could hear that this type of treatment was a good idea for my situation. So went ahead and ordered them.

    Latest updates are adding Nordost Sort Fut under both speakers and rack, Everest to the Entreq box, moving from Red Dawn to Tyr2 on the power to the subs, Sort Lift under the Odin speaker cables and Frey 2 to Try2 on the CLX's. Very nice improvement again! Also just a note there is a 2nd ML 212 sub that is close to the right wall but in line with the listening positioning at 90 degrees to to the front sub. There was no room up front. Also its plenty far away from the listening position actually works out quite well. Not ideal of course but with limited space quite well.

    12/16 - Latest update to put Sort Fut under the subs and TC Kones under both QX4's. Also changed amps from Parasound JC-1's to Bricasti M28's. The Parasounds were great but the depth of the sound stage got so much deeper with the M28's. I also got demo units of the Mark Levinson 536 mono's that I could try side by side with the M28's. Liked the M28's better.
    Also changed the the lower rack shelf to accommodate the M28's - Fabricated a Aluminum 4 sided tray, black anodized and then had the out flanges polished - same similar idea used for stands for the M28's.. The M28's are just loaners until mine come in. I've ordered them to look like the M1. All black with polished feet and front buttons. For those that done't know the feet on the M1 and M28's have integral to them special still points. Also going all out with Nordost Sort Lifts a total of 28 units.

    4/17 - I had knee surgery this year and because of it could not sit on my normal small couch so moved the lazy boy type chair into the sitting position. In doing so I had to move various other pieces of furniture around so did a PBK for the subs. The bass was so much better I could not believe it. The right sub was off to the side in line with the listening position and has been there from the beginning. Even with my Summits and Descent i's the one sub was in that position. Anyway this weekend now that my knee is better I needed to rearrange the room so that all the furniture fit again but decided to move the right sub up to the front. After a PBK session the bass is really good and the room is looking better as all the furniture has its place. In moving the sub up I was able to connect it to the Nordost QB8 instead of the duplex next to it. In addition to doing all this moving I purchased two power cables a Oden 2 for the main trunk and a Valhalla 2 so now I have V2 power going to the CLX's moving up from T2's. I also demoed a Nordost O2 digital and liked it so much I placed an order for it. I know this is not for everyone but for me the cables upgrades have made a huge impact! I also had a small 2'x3' chunk of sound insulation left over and in my experimenting placed it against the back wall. I could not believe the impact this small piece made. I'm going to do some more experimenting but and discuss it with the RPG people to maybe place some panels on my rear wall. Pictures updated to the latest.

    6/17 - Updated system from the Entreq Silver Tellus connected only to the QB8 to the new Nordost QKore 6 connected to the QB8, Both Bricasti M28's amps, Aurender N10 and Bricasti M1. Did fairly extensive testing ended up supporting the Q6 with 3 TC Kones and then a black anodized pan with 4 Nordost Sort Fut. The biggest impact was in the bass. Also did end up purchasing a Nordost O2 digital and two O2 power for the M28's. In doing so I moved the existing V2's power to the CLX's and also the 212's. Also close to ordering more 2' square panels for the rear of the room. The experimenting I have been doing with some panels has been most effective. Also RPG is no longer in business so having an issue to color match what I have. Still working on this.

    7/2017 - Have now upgraded to O2 XLR's to the M28's. I find this addition to be a really big change to my system. It just across the board made a change all for the better. I have also ordered several acoustical panels. They are mainly for the back but some will be on the sides. The only thing left at some point will be the ceiling but that will be later. Also I did some testing on my one 90 degree corner making a makeshift bass trap. It worked surprising well so I ordered that also with this set. You have heard this before but acoustic panels do indeen make a big change for the better for my setup particularly the bass. Should all be here late August.

    9/13/17- Well my panels should be here later this week and I also have upgraded to the Bricasti M12 which should be here next week. The M12 pairs up really nice with the M28's http://bricasti.com/en/consumer/m28.php The M12 has a network card to stream directly to it instead of the Aurender first using Roon. Bricasti claims this is the best setup will test and find out over the next few weeks. I really like the Aurender so its going to have to be much better to switch. The M12 has a separate channel so to speak for DSD Vs PCM that is also supposed to be a nice improvement. Also a couple of weeks ago update some power cords to the DAC and Aurender with nice results.

    10/2/17 - So I got the Bricasti M12 http://bricasti.com/en/consumer/m12.php and have about 90 hours on it sounding fantastic. Can tell the difference in how DSD is being handled as its not converted to PCM like in most DAC's. I have installed all the acoustical panels and updated three power cords with great effect. The acoustical panels are mostly on the rear wall along with its adjacent wall. In the picture they seem a bit off color-wise but in person they look a lot better. I made some hooks that attach to two panels that slip over the existing large pictures. I did not want to remove the pictures yet in my testing they did have an effect on the sound because of the glass reflections. So came up with this idea to place over them when listening and when not to lift them off and remove. I'm facing forward so when listening never see behind me anyways. Also put a bass trap behind the left speaker in the only full 90 degree corner I have in this room. The power cords were updated from the QB8 to the Aurender and from the QB8 to the QX4 and then now to the M12. Also I added a grounding cable to the QKore to my router.

    11/2017 - Just got a tip from the Bricasti rep to try vibration control under my router. I put a set of TC Sort Kones underneath it and boy did that make a difference! I heard the most when streaming Tidal but even with my NAS it was better. I guess it makes sense now that I think about it.

    Also see System #504 the Media room


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    Last edited by GW1800; 11-10-2017 at 08:52 AM. Reason: Updated System 10/2/17
     
    Music Rm #503: CLX Art DC / 2-212's / Bricasti M12/28's / Aurender N10 / Nordost: O2 Loom / V2 Pwr Spk & Subs, QX4, QV2, QK1, QB8, Sort Fut, Lift & TC Kones, QKore 6, Earth Grd, Acoustical Panels Media Rm #504: 13A's Balsalt Blk /Descent i's / Vanquish / Focus / Parasound 3-A23 & 31 / 65" LG 4k OLED / Anthem AVM60 / Nordost V2/T2/H2 Pwr & IC, H2 HDMI & Net, QK1, QV2, QB8 & QX2 / Entreq SM / SBooster / Sony 4K Blu-ray

  2. #2
    Forum Administrator twich54's Avatar
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    Michael, Welcome !

    glad to hear of your good dealings with DaVinci ( forum sponsor), whom I purchased my Spires from as well !
    Dave

    System #79 - Analog is Alive and Well, if in doubt, click the link below !

    Click Here to see my System

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    MLO owner/operator TomDac's Avatar
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    Welcome aboard. CLX's and Parasound JC-1's are a match made in heaven.
    Tom D'Acquisto
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    Member GW1800's Avatar
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    TomDac - thanks for your comments. I think so also they got especially good once I upgraded to Nordost V2 power.

    Shawn at DaVinci is great to work with! I've spend a boat load with him and its been a very enjoyable experience. Low pressure and great advice.

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    MLO owner/operator TomDac's Avatar
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    Shawn is awesome and has steered me in the right direction on more than one occasion. I'm proud to have him as a sponsor of this site.. Us Wisconsin guys need to stick together. :-)
    Tom D'Acquisto
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    ick HERE to see my ML systems of the past.


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    Senior Member MPS's Avatar
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    Lovely setup.

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    Excellent looking and style, how do you found entreq products makes in your system, we used to have nordost but concern us that it tends to sound tinny and less body than our transparent reference xl cables


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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    Super User amey01's Avatar
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    Welcome. What a beautiful room.
    Marantz 8300 SACD / Squeezebox Touch --> Audiolab M-DAC --> Copland CTA-305 --> Classé CA-101 --> MartinLogan Vista / Behringer DEQ2496 --> Whise Profunder sub

    Click here to see my system

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    Member GW1800's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=patsuh;176492]Excellent looking and style, how do you found entreq products makes in your system, we used to have nordost but concern us that it tends to sound tinny and less body than our transparent reference xl cables


    Patsuh - Like I said in my write up I found the Entreq product very much improved my system. It was the darkness that was most noticeable. I think proper grounding is a much over looked component to a great system. Look at it this way we are basically listening to our incoming electricity all kinds of things are done on the incoming end with power cords, components etc. yet a good clean ground is very much ignored in audio systems. Yes components internally do what they can but as end users most completely ignore doing anything about it. In my case I could run a new clean earth ground also but in cases like apartments etc. when there is no opportunity that is were the Entreq box really shines. In my case the Nordost QB8 has a single ground point for all my electronics so it was an easy attachment point. Here is a very good article http://www.theaudiobeat.com/equipment/entreq.htm Also don't forget the Acoustic Revive RGC-24 ground conditioner that I have attached to my source which is not the Bricasti. I may of when overboard on all the grounding but all I can say it was well worth it for me and in the scheme of things one of the most inexpensive additions also.

    As far as Nordost have not heard the transparent reference XL cables but being speaker cables I find of the three cables, power, interconnects and speaker cables are the lowest on the list to replace first. Not sure where you are with power cables but before I would even listen I would start with Nordost power, interconnects and speaker cables then make a judgment. Power has such a huge influence. What I do know is that Nordost plays best when the other cables are Nordost. Since switching to V2 my system is anything but tinny with less body.

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    Member GW1800's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomDac View Post
    Shawn is awesome and has steered me in the right direction on more than one occasion. I'm proud to have him as a sponsor of this site.. Us Wisconsin guys need to stick together. :-)
    So I take it you were from WI but then moved to CA? Where in WI around the Milwaukee area?

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    Member GW1800's Avatar
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    Thought that someone would of been curious about the KordTamer or the weights for the CLX?

    Looking for opinions from CLX owners: The 30# weight is from 1/2" plate steel powder coated black with isolation dots underneath. I have heard at shows ML would often use sand bags to put weight on top of the electronic box to improve the bass response this is to simulate this but more aesthetically. Pricing is based on qty. For CLX owners looking for comments?

    For Nordost users the KordTamer was to help organize your cables. It will do nothing sonically its just a looks thing. Initially I kind of hide my cables but as I purchased more expensive ones I wanted to see them as well as hear them. This device allows this. Made our of 3/16" Alum. anodized black. Again pricing will be based on qty. So looking for comments from Nordost QB8 users comments?

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    MLO owner/operator TomDac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GW1800 View Post
    So I take it you were from WI but then moved to CA? Where in WI around the Milwaukee area?
    Madison area. Left in 1983 and have been in CA since 1985
    Tom D'Acquisto
    MartinLoganOwners.com owner/operator
    ML Owner from 1988 to 2015 (Sequels, reQuests, Summits, Cinema)
    Currently MartinLoganless
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    ick HERE to see my ML systems of the past.


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    Member GW1800's Avatar
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    I see there are a lot of lookers but not too many comments?????
    Music Rm #503: CLX Art DC / 2-212's / Bricasti M12/28's / Aurender N10 / Nordost: O2 Loom / V2 Pwr Spk & Subs, QX4, QV2, QK1, QB8, Sort Fut, Lift & TC Kones, QKore 6, Earth Grd, Acoustical Panels Media Rm #504: 13A's Balsalt Blk /Descent i's / Vanquish / Focus / Parasound 3-A23 & 31 / 65" LG 4k OLED / Anthem AVM60 / Nordost V2/T2/H2 Pwr & IC, H2 HDMI & Net, QK1, QV2, QB8 & QX2 / Entreq SM / SBooster / Sony 4K Blu-ray

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    Super User Bernard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GW1800 View Post
    I see there are a lot of lookers but not too many comments?????
    Nice equipment, but need more light to see the stuff!

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    Member stereoman's Avatar
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    Hi Michael:
    I've read a few posting from members recommending absorbing panels behind ML speakers. I see that you're also doing this. I've placed my old Echo Buster absorbing panels on a stool behind my Summit speakers and found that the midrange is more detailed and focused. Your endorsement of the Entreq is timely as my audio dealer is bringing them in and I plan to try them in my system. The photo below shows the panel and a brass weight sitting on top of the speaker panel. I have plans to purchase additional brass weights to sit on top of the woofer base.
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