[Note: All components in BOLD are loaned; all components in standard face are owned by me.]
The superlative Audionet STERN Reference Preamp…
…together with the monumental HEISENBERG Reference Monoblock Amps. Absolutely stunning in every way!
Our current stereo reference system, featuring PASS Labs Xs Phono Amp, Xs Preamp, and Xs 150 Monoblock Amps, feeding Evolution Acoustics MM2 Loudspeakers with EXACT External Crossovers. Our new GamuT Lobster Chair optimized for audiophile listening and maximum comfort is in the foreground to the lower right.
The GamuT Audio Zodiac Reference Loudspeaker next to one of our racks of SACDs.
The Evolution Acoustics MM2 Loudspeakers with a pair EXACT External Crossovers and the PASS Labs Xs150 Pure Class A Monoblock Amps with separate power supplies.
GamuT Audio Zodiac Reference Loudspeakers; Evolution Acoustics MM2 loudspeakers with EXACT External Crossovers.
The Audionet PRE G2 Preamp.
The PASS Labs Xs 150 Monoblock Amps and Power Supplies on Critical Mass Systems QXK Amp Stands
PASS Labs Xs Reference Phono Amp, Xs Reference Preamp, and Xs 150 Reference Monoblock Amps; Accustic Arts (components to be detailed); Audionet Pre G2 reference preamplifier, Audionet Max monoblock amplifiers, Audionet Pam G2 reference phono preamplifier with EPX power supply, Walker Audio Procession Reference Phono Amplifier (updated 2015).
The darTZeel CTH-8550 Integrated Amplifier does a brilliant job taking the feed from the new Walker Audio Procession Reference Phono Amp and piping the feed to the Evolution Acoustics MM2 Loudspeakers with EXACT external crossovers.
On the other side of the listening room, the Audionet PAM G2 Reference Phono Amplifier, powered by the Audionet EPX Reference Power Supply.
The Audionet MAX Monoblock Reference Amplifiers.
Lloyd Walker’s exceptional Walker Audio Proscenium Black Diamond Level V Turntable on its Prologue Rack, with Peter Ledermann’s Soundsmith Hyperion MI Cartridge. The Proscenium Black Diamond Level V system was upgraded (April 6-7, 2016) to the new Walker Air Supply and new Procession Reference Phono Amp. Massive step forward!
The new Walker Audio Proscenium Air Supply System…a major development (installed April 6-7, 2016).
Critical Mass Systems QXK Rack with (from top) Playback Designs Sonoma Stack (Merlot Quad DSD DAC, Oppo BDP-103 Opbox SACD Transport, Pinot Quad DSD ADC, and Syrah Quad DSD Music Server) and PASS Labs Xs Reference Preamp.
Digital: Nagra HD 2xDSD DAC with MPS Power Supply; Playback Designs Merlot Quad DSD DAC, Pinot Quad DSD ADC, and Syrah Quad DSD Music Server, with Oppo BDP-103 optical transport with Opbox optical converter for PLINK connection to Playback Designs devices; Merging Technologies NADAC 8-channel Quad DSD and PCM DAC with Power+ separate power supply (completely upgraded 03/2018); Lampizator Golden Gate 2 8x (DSD512) SET tubed DSD DAC (updated to all latest modifications, August, 2017); exaSound e38 8-channel Quad DSD/PCM DAC, exaSound PlayPoint Network Audio Player; Furutech STRATOS Quad DSD DAC; Marantz UD9004 Blu Ray/Universal Player; Korg MR-2000S Double DSD-capable digital recorder.
The Merging Technologies NADAC MC-8 Ethernet-based eight-channel Quad DSD DAC on the Stillpoints ESS Reference Rack with Grid Shelves on the Stillpoints Ultra 5 Isolation Feet. Upgraded now (02/19/18) to NADAC MC-8 POWER+ with separate power supply.
The LampizatOr Golden Gate 2 Directly-Heated Triode 8x DSD (DSD512) DAC on the Stillpoints ESS Reference Rack, resting on Stillpoints Ultra 5 Isolation Feet.
The utterly seductive MESH 45 Directly-Heated Triode Tube on the LampizatOr Golden Gate 2 Quad DSD DAC.
Analog: Walker Audio Proscenium Black Diamond Level V reference turntable system (upgraded to full Level V as of 06/02/14) with the Black Diamond Arm, Soundsmith Hyperion MI cartridge, and Silent Source Silver (as of 11/11/14) direct connection to the new Walker Audio Procession Reference Phono Amp (with the new Walker Audio Power Supply for the Procession, as of 06/02/14), and the new updated air supply and crystals for the turntable (updated 4/7/16); ATR Services Ampex ATR-102 professional open reel tape deck (15/30 IPS), Revox B-77 Mk. II 15 ips half-track reel-to-reel tape recorder, Pioneer RT-707 7.5 ips quarter track reel-to-reel tape recorder, Nakamichi Dragon reference cassette deck.
ATR Services Ampex ATR-102 RTR recorder with Reeltronix take-up reel
ATR Services Ampex ATR-102 half-track quarter-inch RTR recorder
Sonoma Acoustics Model One HPEL headphones; JPS Labs Abyss AB-1266 reference headphones; Audeze LCD-4 Revision 2 headphones with Audeze balanced and unbalanced cables, Audeze LCD-i4 and iSine 20 In-Ear Headphones; cables by Double Helix (Prion4 balanced and single-ended) and Nordost (Helmdall 2 balanced, single-ended, and 3.5mm), Oppo PM-1 headphones, Sennheiser HD800 headphones (balanced) with Cardas Clear Headphone Cable (2 meter), Cardas Sennheiser connectors, and Cardas Balanced connectors, Cardas Clear Balanced-to-1/4″ stereo jack adapter, Double Helix Cables Complement3 balanced and single-ended cables, Blue Microphones MoFi powered headphones, JH Audio JH16 Pro In-Ear Monitor System, Cardas 5813 In-Ear Monitors.
Headamp Blue Hawaii two-box reference tube (EL-34) headphone amplifier for electrostatic headphones; STAX SRM-T8000 hybrid electrostatic reference headphone amplifier; PASS Labs HPA-1 Headphone Amplifier; Ayon Audio HA-3 tube-based headphone amp; Sonoma Acoustics Model One Reference Headphones and Headphone Amp with Double DSD (by conversion to 384kHz PCM) DAC; OPPO Digital Sonica Quad DSD DAC; eXemplar audio eXception Reference Headphone Amp, upgraded edition (as of August, 2017); Astell & Kern AK-380 DSD DAC/Headphone Amp with Quad DSD playback in Native mode; Astell & Kern CD-Ripper; ALO Studio Six reference tubed headphone amplifier; Oppo Digital HA-1 headphone amplifier and Quad DSD DAC; Cembalo Labs Spring 1 Headphone Amp; ALO Audio Continental DSD DAC and headphone amp; Aurender FLOW DSD DAC and headphone amp; Ray Samuels SR-71B portable headphone amplifier (balanced and unbalanced connections).
Interconnects by Kubala-Sosna Research, TARA Labs, Skogrand Cables, Synergistic Research, Cardas, JENA Labs, Silent Source, Evolution Acoustics, Harmonic Technology, Stereovox, Black Cat, Esperanto Audio, and Linn. Speaker cables by Kubala-Sosna Research, TARA Labs, Skogrand Cables, JENA Labs, Cardas, Silent Source, and Linn. Power cables by Purist Audio, Kubala-Sosna Research, TARA Labs, Skogrand, Furutech, JENA Labs, Cardas, Evolution Acoustics, First Impression Music, and Silent Source.
The Kubala-Sosna XPander Power Distribution Unit
In its own category: The GamuT Lobster Chair for reference-grade audiophile listening and evaluations. Deep Zone Meditative Listening, for sure!
Critical Mass Systems QXK Rack System and QXK Amp Stand; Synergistic Research PowerCell 12 UEF SE Power Distribution system; Synergistic Research system enhancements, including Atmosphere XL4 with ATM, HFT’s, MiG 2.0 isolation feet with HFT, Active Ground Block SE, and Black Box; two (2) Stillpoints ESS Racks with grid shelves and Ultra 5 isolation feet, Ultra 5 speaker isolation feet; Walker Audio Prologue Rack, Walker Audio Prologue Turntable Stand, Walker Audio Prologue Amplifier Stands, Walker Audio Valid Points and Valid Points tuning kits, two Walker Audio Velocitor Mk. V Power Line Enhancers on Velocitor Stands, one Walker Audio Velocitor Mk. V Power Line Enhancer on a Velocitor Stand (line conditioning for Walker Audio Proscenium turntable system), KLaudio CD-CLN-LP 200 Ultrasonic LP Cleaner with Silencer sonic enclosure, KLAudio Automatic Record Loader for their Ultrasonic LP Cleaner, with 7″ and 10″ record adapters; Furutech Demaga LP/SACD/CD/Blu Ray/DVD/cable demagnetizer; Furutech DF-2 LP flattener, Vibraplane turntable isolation platform, Black Diamond Racing “The Shelf” and cones, Dedicated Audio Cable Tower cable supports, VPI 17F LP cleaning system with the latest Walker Prelude Record Cleaning System (11/2011 edition), Walker Audio Extreme SST Contact Enhancer (2011), Walker Audio Ultra Vivid SACD/DVD/CD enhancer (improved formulation, 06/2009), Walker Audio Talisman LP/disc De-static device, Furutech DeStat II static neutralizer, Furutech RD-2 SACD/DVD/CD demagnetizer, Stein Music DE-2 CD/SACD degausser and DE-3 LP Conditioner, Furutech DeMag LP/SACD/DVD/CD degausser, Furutech SK-II Electrostatic Brush, Audioquest Anti-Static Record Cleaning Brush, Cen-Tech Analog Sound Level Meter, KAB Speed Strobe turntable strobe measurement system, acoustical treatments by Walker Audio, ASC and NuCore, Kubala-Sosna XPander Power Distribution Unit, Walker Audio Black Diamond Room Tuning Crystals kit.
The KLAudio KD-CLN-LP200 Ultrasonic Record Cleaner with its LP Loader option, automatically cleaning up to 5 LPs at a time.
My listening room is of irregular shape, being 12.5′ wide x 13.5′ long in the right section, and 18′ long in the left (equipment) section, with a ceiling height of 8′. It is cambered left and right, with no perpendicular edge on the sidewalls to ceiling transition. Construction was done with 2″ x 6″ studs, wall-within-a-wall on the left and right sides (media storage in a room to the left, equipment storage in a room to the right). The room is on the second floor, directly over the garage—no competing sounds. The neighborhood is quiet, being located on top of a hill some 500 feet above the valley below, the listening room faces south, away from the main access road. I’ve measured the room’s noise floor using the AudioTools app with my iPhone 6+ at 30dB, a very good number for the “real world.” In other words, pretty bloody quiet.
Power to components in the listening room is fully dedicated. 10 gauge Romex was pulled directly from the panel, all from the same pole to avoid ground loops. Four 20 amplifier runs were done, and Tesla Flex and JENA Labs cryo-treated AC receptacles were installed. All lights and peripheral components are on separate circuits. Circuits have been tested for proper ground and polarity.
Robinson’s Home Theater/Surround Sound System
- Linn Kisto Controller
- Linn 5125 5.1 channel amplifiers (x 2, 5 channel bi-amped configuration)
- Linn Akurate 242 L/R front channel speakers
- Linn Akurate 225 center channel speaker
- Linn Akurate 212 L/R rear channel speakers
- Synergistic Research Atmosphere ATM, HFT’s, MiG 2.0 isolation feet with HFT, Grounding Block, and Black Box
- Sony HAP Z1ES Double DSD Music Server with Xperia Pad remote control
- Paradigm SUB 25 reference subwoofer
- All HDMI cables by Furutech
- Mitsubishi SD-HD2000U D-VHS/S-VHS digital HD VCR
- Sony XBR-65A1E 65″ OLED 4K Ultra HD TV with HDR
- Furutech Daytona 303 AC Line Filter (two units)
- Furutech 20 amplifier duplex AC receptacles (two duplex units)
- Cables by Furutech, Cardas, Linn, JENA Labs, and EMM Labs
- Oppo BDP-205 4K Ultra HD Audiophile Blu Ray Disc Player
- Oppo Digital BDP-203 4k/Blu Ray Disc Player
- exaSound e38 8-channel Quad DSD DAC with Pardo external power supply
- Xfinity X1 Cable TV Controller with DVR, 4K support, and multi-room capability
- Amazon Fire 2nd generation video/audio streaming unit, with 4K support
- Apple TV (Fourth Generation, 32 GB)
- Logitech Revue
- Walker Audio E-SST Contact Enhancer
- Walker Audio Ultra Vivid DVD/SACD/CD Enhancer (06/2009 formulation)
The home theater system is housed in our great room. The dimensions are 18′ wide by 24′ long, with a peaked and vaulted ceiling that’s 16′ high at the center of the lengthwise room line. The fireplace forces a “shift left” of the High Definition TV and the L/C/R playback, a necessary compromise that skews the sound somewhat, but still allows for a satisfying home theater/surround sound experience.
Robinson’s Reference Desktop/Computer-based/Internet-based Music System
The STAX SRM-T8000 hybrid reference electrostatic headphones amplifier
The STAX 009 reference electrostatic headphones in their box
The Headamp Blue Hawaii two-box reference electrostatic headphone amplifier (EL-34’s)
The amplifier section of the Blue Hawaii
MrSpeakers VOCE reference electrostatic headphones, which are paired with the Blue Hawaii
PASS Labs HPA-1 Headphone Amplifier
- Home Network has been upgraded to 300 mbps for maximum Internet performance via Comcast/Xfinity
- Dell Precision T7600 workstation, Windows 10, Blu Ray R/W and DVD R/W optical drive, Realtek 192kHz PCM audio, dual Intel 6-core processors, 64 GB ECC RAM, 3 TB RAID 1 hard drive array with multiple external 3, 4, and 5 TB USB 3.0 hard drives
- HP Pavilion DV8t notebook computer, Windows 10, nVidia+Altec Lansing Sound, Intel i7 processor, 8 GB RAM, 480 GB Solid-State Drive (SSD), 18.4″ 16×9 display supporting 1080p (true Blu Ray), Blu Ray R/W, DVD+/-RW, and CD-RW
- Music Server is Aurender W-20 reference MS system
- Pass Labs INT-250 integrated amplifier
- Playback Designs IPS-3 integrated amplifier with Quad DSD DAC
- Sonoma Acoustics Model One Headphone Amp with HPEL Headphones
- exaSound e32 Quad DSD DAC
- exaSound PlayPoint Network Audio Player
- Cembalo Labs River DSD DAC
- STAX SRM-T8000 Hybrid Reference Electrostatic Headphone Amplifier
- Headamp Blue Hawaii Tubed (EL-34) Reference Electrostatic Headphone Amplifier
- PASS Labs HPA-1 Pure Class A Headphone Amplifier
- Ayon Audio HA-3 AA45 SET Tubed Headphone Amplifier
- Sennheiser HD 800 reference headphones
- JPS Labs Abyss 1266 reference headphones.
- Oppo Digital PM-1 reference headphones
- Grado Limited Edition Los Angeles/Orange County Audio Society 25th Anniversary headphones (04/2018)
- MrSpeakers VOCE reference electrostatic headphones
- STAX 009 reference electrostatic headphones
- Focal Utopia reference dynamic headphones (Beryllium drivers)
- ESS 422H Heil headphones
- Audeze LCD-4 rev. 2 reference headphones
- Audeze LCDi4 reference in-ear headphones
- Audeze iSine 20 in-ear headphones
- Oppo BDP-105 Universal Player with ModWright Tube Modification with Custom MWI Reference and Truth power cable, Power Supply 9.9 with custom large tube chassis opening and Phillips 5R4GYS rectifier tube upgrade, dual Bybee Rail mods, and Audio Magic Pulse Gen ZX.
- Teac Esoteric DV-60 Universal Player (used mainly for SACD)
- Astell & Kern AK-380 Portable Quad DSD/PCM high resolution Player
- Oppo Digital Sonica Quad DSD DAC
- Evolution Acoustics MMMicro One loudspeakers with Wave Kinetics isolation feet
- Skogrand Cables SC Beethoven reference loudspeaker cables
- Skogrand Cables Beethoven reference power cables
- Skogrand Cables Beethoven reference USB cable
- Dynamic Design SW16 Neutron Power Cord with active shielding
- Furutech Daytona 303 Line Conditioner
- Furutech GTX-D 20A high-end Duplex AC Receptacle
- Furutech GTX Wall Plate
- Furutech Duplex AC Cover Plate 104-D
- Furutech Fl-20 Power Cable
- Furutech GTX-D NCF(R) Rhodium Plated 20A Duplex AC Receptacles (x2)
- Oyaide Audio Nijinko R0 Beryllium Signature Model, Non-Plating Edition AC Receptacle (x1)
- Kubala-Sosna Realization reference USB cable
- PranaWire Photon USB Cable, upgraded version
- Furutech deStat II
- Four (5) Seagate 3 TB USB 3.0 hard disk drives, two (2) Seagate 4 TB USB 3.0 hard disk drives, one (1) Seagate 5 TB USB 3.0 disk drives
- One (1) Transcend 128GB USB 3.0 solid-state hard drive
- One (1) Lexar 512GB USB 3.1 solid-state hard drive
- Dell PowerConnect 2808 Managed Gigabit Ethernet Switch
- Three (3) APC 1500 VAC Battery Backup/Line Conditioner Units