Well, I got bored with the current crop of postings to the Forum, and wandered over to the Marketplace, where, to my wondering eyes there appeared to be a very competitively priced speaker system that ticked most all my boxes, and then some, and they weren’t that far away from me! In fact, they resided in the same town as my new granddaughter. The rest, as they say, is history. These will be powered, at least initially, with one of my McIntosh MC252 power amps using a Schiit Freya as the preamp. But I have to re-arrange almost all of the furniture in the house that isn’t found in a bedroom or a bathroom (or a kitchen) in order to get started on the installation. But I’m excited, can you tell?

The new system will be installed in the main ‘sitting room’ of my home. The house is a split-level, so, with the speakers on southern exterior wall, behind the couch facing them 12 ft away, is the stair well which both comes up from the front door and down to the base floor (concrete pad). The stairwell is 7 ft deep, so the main seating will be about 2/3rds of the way back into the room. There is about a 3 ft landing at the top of the stairs, and a hallway extending back to the northern side of the house (front door faces East). Right next to the main sitting room is the dining room (10 ft W x 19 ft D) with a 6 ft wide opening between the 15’D x 29’D sitting room. There is a 6 ft wide picture window on the east side of sitting room. I imagine I’ll need to do significant room treatment for this space, since the wall I have chosen is the only place in the house that can accept them. Note: When I installed the XRT20s I discovered that the mirror was off-center by about 3 inches. 

Room Details

Dimensions: 19’ × 15’  Medium
Ceiling: 8’

Components Toggle details

    • McIntosh XRT-20
    I haven’t gotten them installed yet, but I got a great deal on a pristine pair of McIntosh XRT20 Isoplanar Loudspeaker System. I am the second (proud) owner. If you’ve never heard of them (I hadn’t), they are reported to be an awesome speaker. 
    As far as their condition goes, the finish was nearly flawless when I picked the up. One cabinet received minor damage on the three hour + trip home. I’ve replaced the original, tiny and rather weak, spring clip terminals with some equally cheap 5-Way binding posts that accept up to 10 AWG wire (not much room to work with). I have  also replaced the three non-polarized electrolytic caps on each of the crossover boards. I’m not sure yet exactly where the crossover points are, but I know there are three of them. One for the second 12” woofer, one for the mid-range driver, and one for the tweeters. They are equipped with warning lights and fuses. The twin tweeter towers (say that three times fast) are supposed to promote an awesomely wide sweet spot, and I don’t think I have to say much about the dual woofer setup. These were top-of-the-line in 1978 when they came out, and were still pretty hot stuff when the original owner bought them in 1992. I can’t wait to finish testing them, mount the tweeters on the wall and fire them up. Folks report that they sound ‘big’ before they sound ‘loud.’ 

    From the specifications in the Owner’s Manual:
    Woofers, two: 12" (30.5 cm) diameter;
    Mid-range, one: 8" (20.3 cm) diameter;
    Tweeters, twenty-four: 1" (2.54 cm) diameter

    Cabinet Size
    Bass Section: 39-9/16" (100.5 cm) high, 25-7/8" (65.7 cm) wide, and 12-7/8" (32.7 cm) deep.
    High Frequency Section: 77-1/8" (195.9 cm) high, 10-3/4" (27.3 cm) wide, and 11-3/16" (4.6 cm) deep.

    The cabinet is constructed of 45 pound density particle board with hardwood bracing. The exterior is genuine walnet veneer with laquer finish.
    The high frequency column is constructed of aluminum extrusions finished with genuine walnut veneer and solid wood end caps.

    System Weight
    170 lbs (77.1 kg)

    Shipping Weight
    192 lbs. (87.1 kg)

    I believe the weights given above were for a single unit: (1) base cabinet, and (1) tweeter tower. 
    • McIntosh MC252
    Power Amp, 250 Watts per channel stereo into 2, 4, or 8 Ohms (500 Watts mono into 1, 2, 4, 8, or 16 Ohms [mono can be configured as either bridged {L+R in series} or parallel] accounting for the range of impedances), Solid State, autoformers. Currently configured as Stereo into 8 Ohms, the nominal rating of the speaker.
    • Schiit Audio Freya+
    Preamp, either passive, buffered output (using FETs, I believe), or tubes on the output. I like to run in the buffered mode, but may turn on the tubes for a recording or change of pace. Two of five inputs are balanced; one of three outputs is balanced. The disk player currently occupies balanced input one.
    • Oppo BDP-105D
    BlueRay (and universal) Disk Player with Darby video optimization, capable of playing SACDs, has digital inputs and a network port. I have only just started using it for disk playback. It will output CD-ROMs digitally, but SACDs go out analog through either balanced or unbalanced connections. I’m currently using the balanced connections from the Oppo to the Freya, but that means I have to turn the HDMI off between the Oppo and the TV. The TV doesn’t seem to want to use the audio via HDMI; I suppose I could run the optical cable from the TV into the Oppo; then the signal would travel from the TV to the Oppo to either the Receiver via HDMI, or to the Freya via the balanced analog outputs from the Freya. Home Theater setup gives me a headache every time.

Comments 1

Looking forward to seeing photos of your complete system posted here.


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