Component choices, cabling help, please!

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M

Marqron

Guest
Hello all!

I am a brand new member, but long time ML fan. I am in the process of building a new two-channel system for a dedicated listening room that measures 14' wide x 16' long x 8' high. I listen to Jazz, some classical and classic rock.

Here is the equipment I currently have:

ML SL3s
ARC LS-15
ARC VTM-120 Monos
ARC CDT-1 CD transport

My room isn't finished yet, and the current placement is horrible. Higher passages resonate off the walls, etc. I plan on treating the room and positioning as soon as I assemble the system and add proper cabling.

I am still searching for the following:

DAC - Considering: Sonic Frontiers SFD2-Mk II, Wadia X64.4, Parasound D/AC 1600, Musical Fidelity Tri-Vista series. (I have never used separates for digital, so I am strictly basing my opinions on reviews..) My budget is up to 1400.00 but would like to stay lower if possible. I like the option of HDCD, but my collection is almost entirely Redbook, so not sure if this is important at the moment.

Cabling [speaker wire and interconnects] - Really confused here. I have researched this really hard and still don't have a clue. I guess I am in-between the skeptics and zealots. I understand the importance of good wire and connectors, but would rather die than purchase the fantastically expensive 'purist' brands. I have looked into DIY and can find pretty decent pricing on raw materials, but I still am not sure whether to go silver or copper and if the premium connectors are worth the high price(WBT, StereoVox, Vampire, etc.) I also have heard that ARC has a quieter floor with XLR(balanced) cabling, but I'm not sure as I have no experience in this regard.

Low-frequency amp [for driving the lows in a bi-amp configuration] - I saw these Bryston Power Pac 120 monos and really got excited. They are small enough to fit on top of the SL3's bass enclosure, and they have really great reviews.

My other ideas are a B&K 200.2 and an ARC D-130, which is lean on the highs and soft in the mids but seems to handle the lower frequencies better. I would also consider a Velodyne subwoofer and ditch the Bi-amp idea if others have experience comparing the two I would love to hear your input.

Amp stands[for VTM-120's] - I need to get these amps off of the milk crates, hehe. I'm considering making my own, but would love to find some used at a reasonable price.

Sorry for the long post. I am just very frustrated in trying to make the best choices for my money. I do not have the resources to try and compare various brands at the moment, so I would like input from others who might have travelled this journey before.

Thank You! - Marq
 

roberto

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Marqron said:
Hello all!

I am a brand new member, but long time ML fan. I am in the process of building a new two-channel system for a dedicated listening room that measures 14' wide x 16' long x 8' high. I listen to Jazz, some classical and classic rock.

Here is the equipment I currently have:

ML SL3s
ARC LS-15
ARC VTM-120 Monos
ARC CDT-1 CD transport

My room isn't finished yet, and the current placement is horrible. Higher passages resonate off the walls, etc. I plan on treating the room and positioning as soon as I assemble the system and add proper cabling.

I am still searching for the following:

DAC - Considering: Sonic Frontiers SFD2-Mk II, Wadia X64.4, Parasound D/AC 1600, Musical Fidelity Tri-Vista series. (I have never used separates for digital, so I am strictly basing my opinions on reviews..) My budget is up to 1400.00 but would like to stay lower if possible. I like the option of HDCD, but my collection is almost entirely Redbook, so not sure if this is important at the moment.

Cabling [speaker wire and interconnects] - Really confused here. I have researched this really hard and still don't have a clue. I guess I am in-between the skeptics and zealots. I understand the importance of good wire and connectors, but would rather die than purchase the fantastically expensive 'purist' brands. I have looked into DIY and can find pretty decent pricing on raw materials, but I still am not sure whether to go silver or copper and if the premium connectors are worth the high price(WBT, StereoVox, Vampire, etc.) I also have heard that ARC has a quieter floor with XLR(balanced) cabling, but I'm not sure as I have no experience in this regard.

Low-frequency amp [for driving the lows in a bi-amp configuration] - I saw these Bryston Power Pac 120 monos and really got excited. They are small enough to fit on top of the SL3's bass enclosure, and they have really great reviews.

My other ideas are a B&K 200.2 and an ARC D-130, which is lean on the highs and soft in the mids but seems to handle the lower frequencies better. I would also consider a Velodyne subwoofer and ditch the Bi-amp idea if others have experience comparing the two I would love to hear your input.

Amp stands[for VTM-120's] - I need to get these amps off of the milk crates, hehe. I'm considering making my own, but would love to find some used at a reasonable price.

Sorry for the long post. I am just very frustrated in trying to make the best choices for my money. I do not have the resources to try and compare various brands at the moment, so I would like input from others who might have travelled this journey before.

Thank You! - Marq
Hola Mark, welcome to the club. Here you will find a lot of great answers for your systmen and liking. I can see that you have done some research, and all I can say to you is: TRUST IN YOUR EARS!!!, not in specs. Choose what you like most, you are the one who is going to listen the system, and besides, it belongs to you. All the brands that you have suggested are great brands, and besides of that, very good sounding too. Everything is very important in the chain of the system, and you ML will show your weakest component, no matter their cost. You can find good sounding components at low price and expensive ones that you don't like. Do what your ears tells you to do. Everything is a matter of choice and liking, because I could like certain product and you don't or vice-versa. I think that you are in the right track. The brands and models that you have talked about are very musical and will shine with your MLs. A dedicated system takes a lot of effort and a lot of listening hours. Go step by step and then spend time with your new toys. Listen carefully and make up your mind. Keep what you liked and sell what you don't. Any ML will give you a lot of great musical experience...all I can say is: place the speakers at least 3 feet away from the back wall, and start to enjoy the musicians making the music for you. Hope this can help,
Happy listening,
Roberto.
 
M

Marqron

Guest
Hey, thanks Roberto!

Yeah, I need to relax and take my time, it has just turned into an obsession. I've waited so long for a dedicated room that I am just getting really anxious, that's all.

The cabling issue has me in fits. If I can convince myself that DIY models are acceptable, then I can put more money into my room. My wife has been very good about supporting my habit, but I don;t wan't to push it, hehe.

Good listening to all, and further opinions/suggestions valued. - Marq
 

Anthony A.

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if i were you, this is what i would use:

nordost cables
trivista dac
pass labs amp

cheers!!!
 
M

Marqron

Guest
Hello, thanks for the input!

I've always liked N. Pass gear. I remember drooling over the huge Threshold mono blocks at the high-fi shop when I was in college. I will definitely keep my eye out on the used market, as used is all I can afford these days after my daughter was born, heheh.

I decided to make my own cabling. I ordered 11 ounces of silver wire in 16 gauge (80 feet), 1 ounce of silver wire in 30 gauge(200 feet), the insulators, terminations, etc. I will post pics when I am done.

Cheers
 

SugarMedia

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Marqron said:
Hello, thanks for the input!

I've always liked N. Pass gear. I remember drooling over the huge Threshold mono blocks at the high-fi shop when I was in college. I will definitely keep my eye out on the used market, as used is all I can afford these days after my daughter was born, heheh.

I decided to make my own cabling. I ordered 11 ounces of silver wire in 16 gauge (80 feet), 1 ounce of silver wire in 30 gauge(200 feet), the insulators, terminations, etc. I will post pics when I am done.

Cheers
Low inductance and capacitance are very important factors in cables. Are you certain you'll be able to match the quality of those with better resources?
 
M

Marqron

Guest
Hello!

Yes, I have put a lot of thought and research into this. I am basing my interconnects on this design: Interconnects
which is based on a Chris VenHaus design. Feedback has been very positive.

And the Speaker wires on this one: Speaker wire
which is pretty generic and simple..

My total investment will be around $120.00 for wire, $20.00 for insulators(teflon), and between $60.00 - $100.00 for termination. Still need to purchase RCAs. Anyway, not sure how they will sound, but the invectment is only a few hundred, which is $100.00 less than the power cord a friend is trying to sell me secondhand.

I will be using Kimber spades on the speaker cables and Neutrik XLRs. Haven't decided on RCAs yet, the Eichman Silver Bullets are a top contender. Any opinions?
 

kach22i

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Nice system, try Nordost, I also have Cardas from turntable to phono preamp.
 
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