The electronics for the system are contained in a hall closet located behind the speaker wall. The speaker cable runs through the front wall, into the living room, and power to the closet is supplied by the two power conditioners which are plugged into a single outlet in a spare bedroom (then ran through the wall into the closet). The room is approx. 18' x 24' x 8' (1/3 of which is the dining and kitchen area). The floors are plaster/carpet/cotten rugs and the room contains three walls of books. The rest of the wall/door space is covered with (mainly) paintings on canvas. Lots of clutter, cats, et cetera.

Components Toggle details

    • California Audio Labs Icon mkII
    18 bit, with remote
    • Thorens TD-125 mkII
    Uses an SME 3009II (non-improved) arm.
    • Ortofon F15E MkII
    MM (early 80's) older box style body.
    • Grado Prestige Silver MM
    • Musical Fidelity V-LPS
    Phono Preamp
    • Bottlehead Foreplay
    Stepped volume pots (uses two 12au7 type tubes).
    • Bottlehead Paramours
    Mono block SET amps (use 1 2A3 and 1 12AT7 per chassis). Currently have captive 14 gauge power cords.
    • Stephens Trusonic 80FR
    Vintage 8" wide-range driver - approx. 95dB @ 16 ohms.
    • Elac S517
    Vintage 8" wide-range driver - approx. 95 dB @ 16 ohms.
    • StudioTech PA-04
    Custom welded into one piece frame.
    • Neuance Custom Equipment Shelf
    Used under TT & CD player.
    • 47 Labs OTA Interconnect/Speaker Cable Kit
    Solid .4 mm copper used as interconnect & speaker cable.
    • BMI Whale Elite
    5 ft. (used on line preamplifier and CD player).
    • Absolute The Model
    • Monster HTS-2000
    Two units (digital on one unit).

Comments 8

Hi Dennis:

For now I would plug both preamps into the Monster (along with the CD player). I'm not certain that separating digital from analog makes a difference in my setup, plus when I play LP's the CD running off the line preamp's conditioner should have no effect.

Maybe try one of the online "best price" shopping services? This is how I picked up two HTS2000's for approx. $250 (shipped) a few years ago.


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dekay, basically i'm trying the same idea as yours. only my amps are plugged into an audio power conditioner and only the cdp into the monster hts2000. this seems to be the best setup but it forces my line and phono pre to go directly into the wall outlet. after hearing your tv/vcr story i'm going to buy another hts2000. thanks.


Hi Dennis:

Sorry I missed your question until now. The HTS 2000's seem to perform better w/o a bunch of stuff plugged into a single unit.

As I rarely use the CD player anymore (Chloe uses it most of the time) I now plug the little 2A3 mono blocks (only) into a single HTS-2000. Before I used a separate one for the CD player (further back for the CD player/transport and the DAC), and this was the best configuration for CD playback.

Doesn't make much sense as both of the HTS-2000's are plugged into the same line/outlet, but using two does sound better.

Some have noticed a loss of dynamics when running their power amps from an HTS-2000 (so did I when I had everything plugged into a single unit, though the loss was quite small with any of my amps which were not exactly power hungry).

When using a single unit for the power amps I only hear an improvement (much better sound -w- no loss of dynamics). "Much better sound" being due, most likely, to the shitty power supply/quality that we have to cope with in LA (your dedicated lines though better than what I am dealing with do not negate this), plus we really do require surge protection in our area (we lost the living room TV & VCR from a brown out/surge six months ago).


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Hey Dekay,

I got curious when I noticed you're running your amps on another monster 2000 separate from your sources. Do you notice a difference as opposed to plugging everything into a single 2000 or are you separating them so you can use two different circuits?


System edited: Added another pair of vintage Coral drivers/speakers (8CX-1's). They are similar to the SPT-803's.


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I just bought a Pilot 232 and 210 preamp. How do you like your 232? I haven't seen mine yet - they are going straight to the stereo doctor for restoration. Any idea where I could find a PILOT 380?


Hi Kurt: I only use two of the BMI PC's in the system (I use but one amp @ a time and switch back and forth). Currently the 240 amp is non-operable as I am working on the basics (new RCA's, hookup wire, etc.) before I figure out how to recap it (a nice gentleman @ AA mailed me a set of schematics). I would start with a single Whale (and move it about your setup) as I have read that there is a nice synergy between the two models. The sound of the Whale is accumulative and one or possibly two in key positions may be enough. Thanks for the TT link. David.


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hi dekay, refreshing to see a variety of equiptment from different eras, not all off the current market shelf. nice setup. if you can be using three whales i might have to take the plunge and cash in my eels. not sure if would apply but came across this thorens info i found interesting nice setup. kurt


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