I am reaching the end of my audiophile journey starting in the mid seventies and have developed my endgame system within my means for retirement.  I know, the room and WAF wall unit is a weak  link. No comments please, However, those two aspects are not bad.  L-Shape dining room (left) and hall (right) vent standing waves so frequency response is smooth.  Speakers were chosen because they are known to not be room dependent. System shelving deficiencies are mitigated by diligent vibration reduction tools. Amplification in combination with speakers produce excellent micro and macro dynamics.  Bass is excellent to lets say 29 Hz.  Nothing at 20Hz.  Timber excellent.  Besides some depth reduction due to wall unit, imaging is dense and three dimensional, and staging excellent with air around each performer and instrument.  Power conditioning and server are weakest links in my opinion if you forget the room and WAF set-up.  Note:  Krells are driven to Orange CT ever 10 years for re-capping and calibration.  Twice so far.  VPI serviced and polished when upgraded with current bearing and platter and bearing in 2018.  

My journey:

'70s:  Pioneer SX 828 Receiver, Thorens TD 160 Turntable with Stanton 681 and Shure V-15 cartridges, Large Advent Speakers,  Advent cassette deck.

"80s:  Amber Series 70 power amp Amber Preamp, DCM Time Windows, Pyramid Sequerra T1 Ribbon Tweaters, JBL Sub-woofer (model ?), Thrones TD 160 with Dynavector Ruby Cartridge, Dynavector Phone Stage, Nakamichi ZX-7 cassette deck, NAD Tuner.  

Note:  The Pioneer and DCMs are still making music in a second home in VT.  Sound good for their vintage.  Seems like those old Pioneers are rugged and go on forever. Cleaning of volume and balance controls seems like all that is needed. The DCMs have rubber woofer surrounds and the durometer is still feels good to the calibrated finger test.

'90s:  Krell KSA 300s,  Krell KRC HR with KPE Phono-board,  Apogee Cepheus 6 Ribbon Hybrid Speakers, Sunfire True Subwoofer, VPI TNT 3.0 turntable with JM 12.5 tone arm, Benz Ruby Cartridge, Audiolab 8000T Tuner, Sonic Frontiers Processor 3 DAC and Iris Transport then traded for Linn Unidisc 1.1 player.  This system served me from 1997 to 2019.  My period of no change and two at NYU.

2019 to 2023 - Build to current retirement system.  Still the same Krells. VPIs, Benz and Audiolab.  

Room Details

Dimensions: 20’ × 12’  Medium
Ceiling: 8’

Components Toggle details

    • Audience Adept Response AR-2
    Digital Components
    • WyWires, LLC Platinum Power Cords, Interconnect Cables, and USB Cable
    • Audio Art Cable Statement Bi-wire Speaker Cable
    • Townsend Audio Co. Platforms
    • Aurender N100H Server
    • VPI Industries TNT 3.0 with updated platter/bearing
    • VPI Industries JM 12.5 Tonearm
    • Benz Micro Ruby with SoundSmith Boron Cantilever and Tip
    • Audiolab 8000T Tuner
    • Vivid Audio Giya G3 Series 1
    • Symposium Acoustics Svelte Platforms and Roller Block Jr.
    Platforms on digital components.
    Roller Block Jr. on all components.
    • Krell KSA-300s
    • Wyred 4 Sound Dac-19 10th Anniversary Edition
    Love this DAC.  Every downstream improvement I make validates how good the DAC is.
    • Krell KRC-HR with KPE Phono Board
    • Shunyata Research Hydra 6
    Power amp and preamp

Comments 5

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Nice looking system, like yourself the first system I purchased was in 1974, and I have been buying and trading in equipment ever since and like you I am retired and don't have the disposable income to keep changing and up grading equipment. What I have now is probably going to suffice from here on out. While I'm not familiar with most of your equipment I'm pretty sure it sounds great and is going to give many years of listening pleasure. Well done!


Awesome system and loved seeing your evolution JS and congrats on retirement!


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I heard the Kaya 90s at a dealership and was very impressed.  I never heard the G3s in person.  I will check them out as one of my local dealers have them.  I totally agree with your observation, and they image very well too.  The only other brand I'd consider is Kharma Exquisite line, but they are at a much higher price level.  So I probably will keep the Kaya90s for a long time.  Enjoy your system and i am looking forward to see your future upgrades.


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Thanks.  And congrats on the Kaya 90’s.  Never heard them but review say they are better than my G3s.  I find Vivid’s reproduction of micro dynamics and macro dynamics, timbre, driver integration, and image density so seductive.  I was considering Wilson but at close listing distances heard different drivers and thought dynamics exaggerated. Some like the latter and will disagree. 


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Congrats on your system! I have a pair of Kaya 90 and I love them.  In my opinion Vivid Audio is the one of the best speaker brands on the market.  And they will keep up with any upgrades in the system.


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