System #58 (Odyssey)

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Member name: Sasha Akhavi
Location: Raleigh, NC


Stereo Mains: Odyssey, 2004
Surrounds: Atlantic Technology 354SR, 1998


Receiver: Sunfire Ultimate Receiver, 2005
Source: Denon DVD-3910 Universal, 2005

Speaker wire: Nordost Blue Heaven 2m bi-wire, 2005

Less mentionables:
Sony KV-27V40 direct-view TV
Monster Cable optical interconnect
Pioneer CLD-D406 Laser Disc player
Onkyo TA-2700 Cassette player


Room: 11'10" (N & S walls) x 15'0" (E & W walls) x 8'0" height; hifi on S wall; couch 2' from draped window on N wall; loveseat on E wall; door to hall on W wall 4' from S corner; closet door on S wall at E corner; media cabinet on W wall just N of hallway door
Walls, floor and ceiling are soundproofed.

For Christmas get me:
ML Cinema i
Sony KV-30HS420 HD-ready TV
Reproduction Gerrit Rietveld buffet (to use as stereo cabinet / TV stand)
A couple of Red & Blue chairs (let's see how many responses I get about this - if you've sat in one, you know they really are comfortable) or tools & lumber to create same
Green Aniline dye Odyssey rails (or instructions for safely painting the originals I have)

"Simplicity is Beautiful," as Juliana Hatfield writes. I've tried with this, my first serious system, to do as much as possible with as little as possible - basically, 2 speakers, 2 boxes, and a couple of cables.

Among the rich mix of emotions that greeted my first listen to my new system earlier this year, a prominent one was relief that the Odysseys I'd bought more than a year previous from eBay worked, and worked well. With the exception of the speaker cable, all the principal ingredients of this system were gotten on the cheap, from eBay, B-stock or dealer clearance.

The Odysseys were selected before anything else, including the room, whose length was chosen with reference to Stereophile's site (the width was fixed).

I first got interested in ESL upon hearing (& seeing) my audiophile / electrical-engineer uncle's Magnepan setup. After reading enough orgasmic reviews of ML I determined that 1) I would own a pair if it was the last thing I did and 2) considering the price, it would probably be the last thing I did. Fortunately, the combined forces of eBay, an Oakland seller's market and a Raleigh buyer's market eventually ended up making it possible.

If more than half my wishlist as of now has more to do with room décor than hifi, that may be because I'm the oddball ML geek that prioritizes the visual environment (though you wouldn't know it yet from the pictures; this room's going to take a while to get right). Does me no good on the Spousal Acceptance Factor front, however; my wife's inexplicably not into the De Stijl and Italian Futurist aesthetics. ={)>
Hi sakhavi,

Congrats! Nice setup you have got there! I'm glad to see that your speakers are working fine.

By any chance, have you listened yet to Ticks and Leeches ? :D

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Beautiful set-up and a bright open looking room, I must say. Your Odyssey's look great! How many feet apart are they? How do you like your, Sunfire Ultimate A/V receiver? I am concidering SunFire too, i. e., The Sunfire Cinema Signature Grand 400~seven amplifier. Does the Ultimate Receiver double down, 4 ohms -400 watts to 2 ohms - 800 watts?

I like your choice of, Gerrit Rietveld buffet Stereo / TV cabinet, for a Christmas gift idea. You better be nice this year, in order to see that under the Christmas tree.

You have the start of a great HT, sakhavi...

Enjoy, your ML journey...

Hi Kaliar - yup, I fired that one up early on. Thought Maynard was going to reach out & throttle me through the panels. ={)> At the other extreme, I've also listened to the Barber Adagio for Strings (Deutsche Grammaphon with Bernstein & the LA Philharmonic) and had just as great an experience. Haven't found anything to dislike so far! Thanks for the wellwishes.
I have had my set of Odysseys for 6 months now and am still very, very happy with them. I listen to many types of music and am impressed by the ease each one is rendered through those fabulous speakers.

As you are discovering, they can sound powerful or delicate, with lots of detail, depending on the kind of music played. In my 2 channel system and listening room, I certainly sense no need for a subwoofer with those beauties !

I wish you many hours of listening pleasure !

Hi Robin - you know, all the literature seems to say is that 4 ohms is min. avg. impedence. I take that to mean "don't count on it" as far as doubling down goes. The only disappointment I've had so far with the Sunfire is the Sonic Holography setting, which is supposed to locate music sources more concretely but seems to confuse them further to me (maybe it's my room size or speaker placement?); the amplification is all I could ask for.

De Stijl architecture & Rietveld's furniture in particular have been favorites of mine since undergrad school. I actually have construction plans for this furniture, though the buffet might be a bit beyond my (absolute-beginner-level) skill. I'll see how the chairs go & let you know...

Give my regards to Calistoga; I and my wife miss our visits to Napa terribly. (We'll be able to get a little piece of it delivered to us regularly by rejoining the Joseph Phelps wine club, now that our esteemed Supreme Court has nixed wine laws like NC's.)
I completely agree that a sub would be superfluous, Kaliar - I doubt I'll ever need one even for movies. One of the first things I did was fire up the Two Towers opening sequence in 5.1 minus the center channel - it was enough to spook me, though of course whenever the odd line of dialogue came up it was silent.

Man, do I need a center channel! Maybe I should hang a sign around my neck, "Will work for Logans." Just as well then that I don't need a sub too - "He who has a thousand dear things has a thousand sorrows," quoth Buddha.
Hi Sakhavy,

Nice setup and great speakers !!

I also have odyssey since three weeks. They "sing" a wonderful way. Although, they need some more hours of use to give the best they can.

Aren't yours a little bit too narrow from each other ? You could maybe enlarge the space between them to get a larger scene.

I wish you great pleasure with them.

As i wrote in another post, i will soon put pictures of my system with the description of the material I have.

Welcome to the club !!

Thanks, luclorent & TomDac - glad to be here. My Odysseys are 2' out from the rear wall, about 2.5' out from the side walls, and toed in maybe 15 degrees (so that the panels are perpendicular to the sight lines from my listening position, which is about 9' away. The picture actually makes the placement look narrower than it is. I do wish I had a little more room to spread them out, but they sound pretty darn good to me as they are! It was about time I got my info together & submitted this system - thanks to Tom for your help in posting it.