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System #95 (ReQuest originally, then CLS IIz , now YG Acoustic Carmel's)

MartinLogan Owners (MLO)

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MiTT

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Member Name: Tim Bingaman

Location: Thornton, Colorado

ML Model: ReQuest (gone), then CLS IIz (gone), then KEF LS-50 (gone), finally YG Acoustics Carmel

Year Purchased: 2008 (used CLS IIz's), YG Carmel's in 2015

Mods/Changes - None, actually I stuck some pavers on the top of the transformer box's (CLS IIs's)

Associated Electronics:

Analog Front End - Zu Audio DL-103 Mk II Reserve cartridge, VPI JMW 10.5 tonearm, VPI Aries turntable, VPI SDS Motor Controller, Aesthetix Rhea phono stage, Living Voice Mystic Mat, Black Diamond Racing clamp

Digital Front End - Mac Mini feeding an AURALiC Vega DAC via either Pure Music or J River.

Pre-Amp - AURALiC Taurus PRE

Power Amps - AURALiC Merak Monoblocks

Subwoofer - REL Stadium II

Cables - Mostly Synergistic Research Designers Ref or Resolution Ref X2 with Active Shielding, some Signal Cable Silver Reference

Headphones - Audezee LCD-3's, B&W P5's (modified), Noble Audio IEM's, AURALiC Taurus Pre headphone amp at home, iPod Classic 160G, Cypher Labs Algorythm Solo -dB 24 bit DAC, ALO Audio Continental tubed headphone amp for travel

Power Filtering - 3 dedicated 20 amp lines feeding a PS Audio P600 & UPC 200

Accessories - Bright Star Audio Big Rock Aries base with 50 lbs. of sand, Bright Star Little Rock under PS Audio filter, Mixed sets of Black Diamond Racing cones and thick pucks under DAC and Pre-Amp and amps, custom stainless steel cones under Phono-stage, SolidSteel Amp Stand, IKEA bamboo platforms under most of the electronics including self made double thickness amp stands, ceramic cable elevators, Spin Clean Record cleaner (initial cleaning) and VPI 16.5 record cleaning machine (final cleaning).

Room Size Dedicated room; 11' x 19' with an 8' ceiling

Room Treatments - GIK Artpanels from one of my photographs, Auralex LENRD Bass Traps, Knauf Insulation Acoustical Smooth Board treatment behind my own paintings throughout the room (coming soon)

Lighting - mix of Phillips Hue and Cooper Lighting Wavestream HDL's. All LED on dedicated dimmers, controlled via iDevices

Comments or Stories - I had my system listed on the old website, but both it and I have been through many changes since then. My wife and I built a new house and moved in after many months. The room the system is housed in is a bit small, but at least it's a dedicated space. Eventually I will build a full blown Audio and Video room in the basement, but this works well for now. I'm enjoying the virtues of nearfield listening!

My first set of Martin Logans was a pair of used Sequel's. I'd always been enamored of planar type speakers, starting with Apogies and Magnapans, but when I had an opportunity to get the Sequel's I didn't hesitate. A few years later I picked up the ReQuests when they were first coming out and I enjoyed them for a very long time. While I enjoy the superb dynamics and bass attack of the Summits, I really felt like the midrange of my ReQuests was more magical than any of the other Logans. - although I haven't heard the Statement E2's or at that time, a properly set up set of CLS's.

In 2007 I had the opportunity to travel to Italy and Switzerland for my job, and in the process I was able to meet with one of our fellow Martin Logan owners Radu (Lugano). This meeting was magical for me on many levels. I got to visit a beautiful place, make a new friend, and finally listen to the CLS speaker in a setting that did it justice. I left Switzerland with fond memories and a burning desire to own the CLs's for myself. Almost a year later, after monitoring the 'Gon and other sites, I finally was able to lay my hands upon a minty set of CLS IIz's, and I couldn't be happier.

EDIT: In October 2014 I started construction of a dedicated room in my basement details of which are contained in posts 123-144 of this thread. Changes to many of my components are reflected here, but older equipment is still contained in many of the early posts. Prior to building the dedicated room I had done a significant amount of physical downsizing, prompting the addition of the equipment now updated here, including the small KEF LS50 speakers you'll see in many of the current pictures. I've been swapping between the CLS's and LS50's trying to decide which sound best to my ears and work best in the new room. It's a journey, who knows where we'll end up.

I listen to pretty much all kinds of music, but have an affinity for Classical, 50's & 60's era Jazz, most Rock and Alternative. I'd say about 70% of my listening is from vinyl. I worked in a record store for about 10 years part time and took my wages out in music, so I've collected about 6000 albums and 3500 CD's over time. I've also picked up about 400 SACD's over the past few years. It all sounds great through Martin Logans! So happy to finally have the vinyl in the same room as the system.

Shots of the new YG Acoustics Carmel based version of the system shown below. Legacy shots of the old ReQuest, CLS and LS-50 based systems appear throught out the thread...
 

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MiTT

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Thanks Tom and Robin....

It's good to be back after many months of "lurking". I've had way too much going on to do any posting, but finally life has settled down and I can re-join the forum as an active participant.

Here's a shot of the electronics...
 

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Kaliar

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Beautiful !

MiTT,

Your system is more than very nice ! It looks well balanced and certainly serves its purposes since you have a lot of recordings to enjoy !

Thanks for sharing and happy listening !
 

MiTT

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Another Photo

Here's a shot of the analog front end in action a few minutes ago...

Respighi - Ancient Dances and Airs; Dorati & the Philharmonia Hungarica on Mercury Living Presence.

Vinyl Rules!
 

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MiTT

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One more for now...

800 Watts of BAT power is a little overkill in this room, but it will serve well when the dedicated room downstairs is finished in a few years.
 

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SugarMedia

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6000 records and 2500 cd's.... Man I would love to hear some of that. Lucky you.
 

Joey_V

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Slick system!! Them are a lot of records/cds.... I bet you're one of the reasons why the music recording industry hasnt gone under even amidst all this downloading. Hehehe..

How's the REL?
 

SugarMedia

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MiTT said:
If you're ever in Denver I'd be happy to oblige...
I just might take you up on that someday. My brother is studying in Boulder, have good friends in Estes and occasionaly make the hike to the top of Long's Peak. I know Colorado quite well.

Joey, speaking of downloading. I had a conversation with a few colleagues at work this last week on the topic. I often download songs, but if I don't like them, they are deleted. If I like them, then I 100% go out and purchase the cd. I really don't feel I hurt the music industry or the artists. I actually buy more music this way because I get to hear more than just 30-secs of the song, which never seems to be enough since the song is just warming up.

By the way, I heard this NZ group on Jazz radio today, downloaded eight songs, and as of 5 mintues ago I bought (2) cd's from them. See, who says downloading is negative?

http://www.muzic.net.nz/artists/235.html
 
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MiTT

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Joey_V said:
Slick system!! Them are a lot of records/cds.... I bet you're one of the reasons why the music recording industry hasnt gone under even amidst all this downloading. Hehehe..

How's the REL?
Thanks for the comments Joey. Yeah, record store owners are always happy to see me coming. I swear I hear a distinct "Cha-Ching" when I walk in. ;)

The REL is a great match for the Logans. Very fast (in order to keep up with the stat panels), and has LOTS of flexibility - very easy to dial in. The way I've got it connected is off of taps on the Power Amp (as opposed to line inputs). This supposedly allows the sub to take on the same "voice" as your amp, which in the case of the BAT amp is very quick and tight. I bought it before ML started making their own subs and I'm not sure I'd prefer any of them over it. The main thing is that it's very musical.
 

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Statman

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Nice system Tim!

As far as changing your REL you've made the right choice. After I sold my Storm II I auditioned both the ML Descent and depth and the REL Stentor needless to say I am on my second (larger) REL. :D It does assume the same sonic signature as your amp it's weird how that works? Did you ever try and swap spots with your BAT amp? REL's do benefit from corner loading in most rooms? Okay and last question how did you link your system with your signature? If I'm ever stopped in Denver I'd love to hear your system!
 
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MiTT

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Statman said:
As far as changing your REL you've made the right choice. After I sold my Storm II I auditioned both the ML Descent and depth and the REL Stentor needless to say I am on my second (larger) REL. :D It does assume the same sonic signature as your amp it's weird how that works? Did you ever try and swap spots with your BAT amp? REL's do benefit from corner loading in most rooms? Okay and last question how did you link your system with your signature? If I'm ever stopped in Denver I'd love to hear your system!
Thanks for the comments Statman! I'm very happy with the REL and like you would probably only swap it out for a larger one - but not until I move the system into a larger dedicated room that I'll build downstairs one day.

On the old website I had pictures where I did in fact have the sub over on the right side of the system in a corner loaded configuration. The only reason I don't have it so now is because my cables from the pre-amp to the amp are only 6 ft. long. I'm shopping for some longer cables that will allow me to move the amp to the center position between the speakers and I will then move the sub to the corner.

Regarding the link to the system; if you go into the User CP section and edit your sig there is an icon in the toolbar above the text area. The 6th icon from the right looks like a little globe with a chain link superimposed in front of it - this is used for adding a URL (hyperlink). All I did was find my system in the forum and copy the address in the tool bar. Then I went in and edited my sig and added a line using the URL tool and pasted the address in there. It also has a menu where you can add what ever text you want insted of the actual address. Robin and Tom simply have a line that says "click here to see my system".

Seriously, if you're ever in Denver please make a point to look me up. That's a standing invitation to all of my fellow forum friends. I'd be happy to have other audio enthusiasts over to listen to some tunes. Nothing more satisfying than sharing your system with someone who can appreciate it. My wife calls us "Audiots"! :D
 
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jfm

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Nice system Tim! Could you talk about your Dodson DAC a bit -- how does it sound and what did you compare it with? Thanks.
 

MiTT

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jfm said:
Nice system Tim! Could you talk about your Dodson DAC a bit -- how does it sound and what did you compare it with? Thanks.
Sure!

I compared a few different things when I added the DAC to my system; an older Sonic Frontiers model (I can't remember which, sorry), the Levinson Model 30.6 (used), a Theta (also can't remember the model), and the Dodson. I'll be honest, of all of them I liked the Levinson the best, but at the time it was way out of my price range to the tune of something like $7K. I got the Dodson from a guy on Audiogon for $1200 a few years ago. It sounded the closest to the Levinson to my ears. It has great dynamics and a really wonderful soundstage. It throws the image more in front of the speakers than the Levinson. The Levinson actually sounded like everything was happening behind the front plane of the speakers, but it had tremendouus depth. The detail and general retrieval of information compared to the Anthem CD-1's internal DAC was a HUGE step forward. I only use the CD-1 as a transport now. One of the features I really like about the Dodson is that it has an HDCD circuit. I have a great number of HDCD disc's, particularly on the Reference Records label, so that was one of my criteria going in. Mine is an upgraded DA-217 Mk II which has a very sweet midrange; it's not at all harsh or "digital" sounding. If you get the Model II upsampling upgrade to 24/96 or if you get a new Dodson 218 or 263 (upsampling to 24/768), you loose the HDCD processor. The digital side of the system isn't as important to me as the analog side, so the 217 Mk II has certainly met all of my needs.
 

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MiTT

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Statman said:
Thanks for the info on posting a system in one's signature Tim! :D
No Problemo....

And what a sweet looking system it is. I can't wait for the day when I'll have mine moved into a larger dedicated space like you have. I've sold off all of my old A/V equipment and will replace it all when I build the room, including a nice projector and screen like yours. In the meantime I'm using an older Dennon receiver and DVD-2910 (which I like a LOT) with some Gallo Acoustic Micro's, a Velodyne sub and a Samsung 46" DLP in the family room for all of our movies. It's actually quite satisfying - but not at all as good as a nice ML based room.
 

jfm

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Thanks for the reply re your Dodson DAC, Tim. Again, congrats on a nice, balanced system, with careful attention to the accessories. Must sound great!
 

MiTT

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System Updated

I had to make a few updates to the system...

I've replaced my Sony DVP-9000ES with the mighty Esoteric DV-50S. Huge improvement is sound quality on both SACD and CD with the digital filter set on the RDOT+FIR setting for the latter. I'm still using the Anthem CD1 and Dodson Audio DA-217 II for HDCD encoded material and anytime I want to load 6 CD's and let the music run for a long time.

Also added the 60G iPod and docking station for similar reasons, and last but not least I also added the Mystic Mat to the analog rig bringing a subtle, but noticible level of clarity and increased soundstage to vinyl presentation.

New shot of the electronics...
 

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