this room and system is the result of 10 years in High End audio. my system has been stable for a couple of years (except for transport and amplifier upgrades within the same brand). the room has been in the planning stage for about 18 months and i actually moved in a little over a month ago.

my audio philosphy is to have the system get out of the way of the event. i like as pure and simple a signal path as possible and, at this point, prefer passive to active gain stages. i love all the formats and enjoy having lot's of music.....vinyl is my favorite but i listen to at least 60% digital. the new room really reveals the benefits of SACD over redbook.

the system and room truely allow the event to be recreated before me. i love the way the speakers disappear and i am transported to another place/time.

i have choosen my cables, sources, amps, speakers to have as little of their own sound as possible.

recently, i upgraded my digtial transport from the modified Philips SACD 1000 to the new emmlabs CDSD.....this was a significant step upward in performance.

i have written an article in Positive Feedback regarding my room building is a link;

Room Details

Dimensions: 29’ × 21’  X large
Ceiling: 11’

Components Toggle details

    • Evolution Acoustics MM7's
    twin towers, main tower, 82
    • darTZeel NHB-468
    Mono block Amplifiers. 

    traded in my 458 amplifiers for the new version, the 468.
    • darTZeel NHB-18NS with 2 internal phono stages.
    battery powered preamp with 2 separate phono stages. uses BNC 'zeel' cables between pre and amps.
    • Evolution Acoustics 7.5 meter 'Zeel'
    7.5 meter pair of BNC cables from preamp to amps.
    • Evolution Acoustics 'System' speaker cables--10 feet
    new version of these cables, a big step over the amazing TRSC model i have used for 10 years. fantastic performance.
    • WADAX SA Reference DAC
    Wadax Reference Dac----state of the art dac with 2 separate power supplies. the best dac i have heard by a good margin. below is a link to a thread about my Wadax experience.
    • WADAX SA Reference Server with Akasa optical interface
    ultimate state of the art music server using Roon. includes the Akasa optical interface.
    • CS Port LFT1 turntable w/arm
    air bearing platter and air bearing linear tracking arm; string drive with zero feedback dc motor, low pressure, low flow air system with zero noise air box.

    world class musical flow, nuance and delicacy, combined with authority and ease. serves the music completely.
    • Esoteric T1 Turntable
    magnetic drive/rim drive idler turntable with torque adjustment.
    • Esoteric G1X Master Clock
    Master Clock Generator for speed improvement for the T1 turntable.
    • Wave Kinetics NVS
    direct drive turntable
    • Durand ---Two Tosca tonearms.
    gimbal bearing design. the finest tonearm i have heard.

    one Tosca on the Esoteric T1 turntable

    one Tosca on the Wave Kinetics NVS turntable
    • Primary Control 12" FCL tone arm
    Field Coil Loaded uni-pivot tone arm. with power supply.

    amazing natural and very high resolution tone arm. link below.
    • Durand Tonearms 12" Telos, wood arm wand
    12" tone arm, uni pivot.
    • Experience Music/Intact Audio phono corrector + silver wound MC Trio SUT combo for three different tonearms.
    bespoke tubed phono preamplifier. silver wound, with custom dual power supplies.
    • LFD -3- Phono Cables DIN to RCA
    3 sets of very high performance phono cables. amazing performance. built by Dr. Richard Bews in the UK.

    one cable uses a DIN to RCA short Dongle + an RCA to RCA interconnect. the Dongle improves the performance of the DIN connection. details at the link below.
    • DaVa Reference cartridge
    field coil cartridge. with tube power supply.
    • two Etsuro Golds, ---a pair of Reference MC Phono Cartridges.
    duraluminim (A7075) body, 24 carat 'Kinpaku' Gold Leaf finish, diamond cantiliver. .3mv output, 4 ohms. these are both special versions of the Etsuro Gold.

    one is mounted on the CS Port linear tracker.

    one is mounted on the Primary Control FCL arm.

    finest cartridge i have heard by a significant margin. WOW!
    • Audio Technica MC-2022 60th Anniversary cartridge
    uses the unified stylus cantilever design. which results in extreme lack of distortion and linearity. maybe the best i've heard at musical truth.

    mounted on the Durand Tosca tonearm on the NVS tt.
    • Koetsu Azule Platinum Stone Body, boron cantilever
    .3 Mv output moving coil cartridge. mounted on the Durand Telos 12" wood arm wand tone arm and NVS turntable.
    • Miyajima Labs --2--Infinity mono cartridge's.
    one Infinity cartridge has 0.7mil stylus for modern narrow groove mono pressings.

    one Infinity cartridge has 1.0 mil stylus for early wide groove mono pressings.
    • DS Audio Ion 001 Vinyl Ionizer
    generates positive and negative ions to remove static charge from vinyl records. i use this with my NVS turntable.
    • CS Port Static Eliminator IME1 (two of them)
    An unprecedented accessory focusing on cartridge friction. It suppresses the effects of static electricity and makes records clearer.

    one is on the CS Port tt, one on the Esoteric T1 tt.
    • Stage III Concepts 1.5 meter XLR set of Gorgon interconnects.
    high performance interconnects. used from the Wadax Reference dac to the darTZeel preamp.
    • Ampex twin ATR-102----one 1/4" and one 1/2" reel to reel master recorder
    hot rodded by ATR Service Inc----Andrew Kosobutsky. significant upgrades over stock. each interfacing with hot rodded Ampex MR-70 preamps.
    • Kosobutsky 1.5 meter set of RCA interconnects + 8 meter set of XLR interconnects.
    1.5 meter set of RCA interconnects are used between the EMIA phono corrector and the darTZeel preamp.

    8 meter set is used between the Ampex MR 70 tape preamps and the darTZeel preamp.
    • Nordost QRT QNET network switch
    Network switch, with Nordost Qsource power supply.
    • Synology 30 Terabyte NAS (a pair = 60 TB) music file storage
    mirroring music storage for my music files.
    • Taiko Tana (5 of them) Herzan TS-150 (2) + TS-140 (3)
    active isolation under 5 separate components: (1) the NVS turntable, (2) the MSB dac, (3) the darTZeel preamp, (4 + 5) both darTZeel mono block amplifiers. custom modifications by Taiko Audio add a linear power supply plus panzerholtz top layer + Daiza platform to provide full frequency resonance attenuation to each platform.
    • Taiko Audio Daiza isolation platform--22 used in the system
    Panzerholtz Platform with spiral cutouts reducing mid and high frequency resonance while retaining life and energy and not changing tonality.

    22 Daiza platforms in the system of various sizes under every piece of the signal path.
    • Adona Zero GTX rack---3 of them--each 4 shelf.
    all three with 27" x 21" turntable top.

    solid rack for best direct floor connection.
    • Evolution Acoustics 'system' power cables
    a new version of the TRPC model i used on my darTZeel 468 mono blocks for the last 10 years. a big step up.
    • Sablon Audio King power cord
    used on the Wadax Reference Server.
    • Absolute Fidelity power interfaces
    power cords specifically designed for either motors (tt and tape decks), amplifiers, and components. 11 in the system.
    • Tripoint Audio Troy Signature
    Grounding box for chassis grounding the darTZeel 458 mono block amplifiers + grounding the passive main towers of the Evolution Acoustics MM7 speaker system.
    • Tripoint Audio Elite
    Tripoint Elite grounding box. this does chassis grounding for my sources. it uses a a pair of Tripoint Thor SE Master Reference ground cables for my dart preamp and the MSB Select II dac. there are also 4 Signature Silver ground cables to the two arm boards of the NVS tt, the power supply of the NVS tt, and the SGM server.
    • Equi=tech 10WQ
    10kva balanced Isoltion transformer and distribution panel.
    • Furutech GTX-D NCF Rhodium duplex outlets
    10 in the system. used with 10 Furutech covers and frames. uses NCF (nano crystal formula) material to reduce noise by emitting negative ions.
    • Wave Kinetics A10 U8 decoupling footers
    8 sets-of-4 in the system for individual tuning of each piece of gear.
    • Auralex T-Fusor diffusers
    i use 20 of these. 6 each on the front side walls, and 4 each front ceiling and rear ceiling.
    • Klaudio Record Cleaning System
    automatic record cleaner
    • Acoustic Revive RL-30 mKIII CD-LP demagnatizer
    for demaging any disc.
    • Furutech DF-2 LP disc flattner
    will remove warps from Lps
    • Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Anniversary Ed.
    will cook any cables
    • Winds ALM-01 Stylus Force Gauge
    easy accurate, repeatable, measurments.
    • i-Tower by Koncept LED floor lamp
    (3) are used. best audio light ever. 2 'warm', 1 'cool'.
    • Quietrock THX 545 drywall
    specialized drywall with a 1/4" metal layer. used in my front sidewalls to establish proper room boundaries.
    • view...... what i look at...
    ...while listening. Rattlesnake Ridge.
    • Barn.... is....
    ....most of the ground floor. 29' x 21' x 11'.

Comments 3384

Hello Mike , Do you might to share the 8m  XLR cable are you using ? Thanks


Mike,...the system and room as always, are beautiful. You managed to improve on perfection....yet again!

Ag insider logo xs@2xzephyr24069

Gravatar placeholder
completed the first wave of new gear listings. added the Wadax dac & server, the EMIA phono, the Esoteric T1 tt w/clock, the -2- Ampex ATR-102 1/4" and 1/2" reel to reel decks with the MR-70 preamps.

lots more detail to add, but the big stuff is listed now.


Gravatar placeholder
step 2 complete---new system pictures are posted.

next step is to add new gear listings and descriptions. and post comments on the new pictures. not sure how long this will take.


Gravatar placeholder
last system update was 3 years ago, and it's now long overdue. i'm now working on it.

step number 1 complete.

----removed departed gear descriptions and pictures. items removed includes the MSB Select II dac, Taiko Extreme server, Saskia model two turntable, Clearaudio GFS cartridge, Ortofon Anna cartridge, 3 Studer A-820 tape decks + King Cello tape repro, and CS Port phono stage.

all of those excellent pieces and they brought me many hours of exceptional musical bliss. but my quest marches forward to higher heights.

----removed system pictures with those items showing.

next is loading new system pictures, gear listings, and gear descriptions. i'll try to get it mostly done tonight. spent the last few hours taking new pictures and processing them.


Gravatar placeholder
Hello Mike,

Time to update your system pictures with the Wadax?

I suggest you try a Critical Mass Olympus Ultra rack for (all or part of) your system. It should bring a massive improvement.

I wonder what will be your new speakers after you sell the MM7s!


What a beautiful well thought-out system.
My compliments to the chef ;-)

Ag insider logo xs@2xlak

Gravatar placeholder
Hi Mike, you probably don't remember me, but you were kind enough to have me up from Whidby Island to hear your system about twenty years ago now.
I see you're still hitting it hard, and no doubt enjoying it more than ever. Same for me, but there is a vast amount of difference between what you've invested as opposed to myself.

I'd love to come down, but at my age, I don't drive much anymore, unless I really need to.

Even so, I imagine we are both enjoying ourselves immensely! Have a great summer, and be well!

Dan Thomason

Ag insider logo xs@2xislandmandan

Just wow. I just setup my Etsuro Gold on my Sota Cosmos. Got a Graham Elite Gold that Im calibrating but a so excited to try it out.
This barn man!!! holy moly. Im imagining happening upon this barn during a zombie apocalypse. Crank the generator and secure the perimeter. Im sure if you've set this up you would be a good person to hang out with during the apocalypse. Epic setup!!


Thanks for taking the time to post this, Mike! ("here are links to my final 4 main efforts i made to do the final 2015 tune on my room")

I need to get busy and creative, doing some tweaks and too mods that won't break the bank.


Gravatar placeholder

here are links to my final 4 main efforts i made to do the final 2015 tune on my room; hope that helps to understand things. these efforts were cheap cheap, a few hundred dollars, but hundreds and hundreds of hours of experimenting, listening, and experimenting.

mostly sweat equity.


Gravatar placeholder
Hi Mike, 

I know you had a Placette passive preamp for a while and I was looking for some advice.  I currently have a Placette preamp and I'm looking to upgrade my amplifier.  My plan is to upgrade to the nicest amplifier in the budget right now and keep my Placette.  The other options is to pair a new preamp with the same manufacturer as the new amp.  Obviously with the budget I would have to go down in level for the amp and preamp combo versus keeping the Placette.  

Thank you for your advice!


Gravatar placeholder
hi bimmerman2, 

thankyou for the kind words. i really do enjoy my system and space. my system pictures are about a year out of date now. my digital is different, and i have different arms and cartridges. otherwise mostly the same.

i looked at your room and set-up and it is very well done. great place to listen. nice job.

to me it's more the effort and attention to detail that i appreciate in looking at systems. your is tip top in that regard. congrats.

btw; i notice you live near the Seattle area, where i'm at. you are welcome to stop by and listen if you are in the area.




This has to be the best setup/room I've seen posted here. Truly amazing, the gear and the space. Well done.


Gravatar placeholder
Thanks mike heading to Phoenix for a little sunshine next week I will give you a shout after we return thank you look forward to the visit


Gravatar placeholder
hi Andy, 

thank you for the kind comments. nice to connect with a local audiophile. Gary Radka in Ohio, is my fellow Evolution Acoustics MM7's owner. great guy and he has a formidable system.

i would love to have you and your wife visit anytime. just let me know. 

four two five seven six six one five six one.

look forward to getting together,




Gravatar placeholder
Good morning mike beautiful system I live in bothell wa we have mutual friends in Ohio he said I should have a listen to your system my buddys friend owns the evolution mm7s also in Ohio you probably know who I’m talking about anyways would love for me and the wife to hear your system if that’s possible thanks andy


Gravatar placeholder
Thanks for the invite! will certainly stop by if I get a chance. A


Gravatar placeholder
hi Anthony,

thank you for the kind words. i do enjoy my Evolutions and darTZeel, and appreciate the help of Jonathan over the years. loving my tt's and tape decks. you would be welcome to visit any time you are in the Seattle area. hope you can do it.




Gravatar placeholder
The audio barn....this system is beyond words! I love the room, tape decks, turntables, and so much more....would love to hear it one day. I got to hear the smaller Evolution Acoustic speakers driven by darTZeel electronics in Jonathan Tinn's room at AXPONA and that was memorable. Congrats on a great system! Cheers, Anthony


Gravatar placeholder
hi Panda,

i never auditioned the JVC RS3000 4 years ago when i made the change, but jumped all the way to the RS4500 from my Sony VW1000ES. so i cannot comment on the differences. i am really happy with my RS4500 now 4 years into the ownership. perfect for my smallish room.

btw, the link that brought you here from AVS is for my separate 2 channel room. i don't have a room thread for my separate Home Theater room. in case you look around here and it does not make sense.


Gravatar placeholder
Hey Mike out of curiosity in overall picture quality is the JVC RS4500 better than the RS3000?


Gravatar placeholder
hi Ray,

thank you for the kind comment.

i saw you are building a dedicated room. sounds like you are having fun with it. enjoy the process, i know i enjoyed building mine.




amazing!  simply amazing


Gravatar placeholder
That is a beautiful, breath taking room, of pure WONDERFUL!!
WOW, I can see years of work..  Truly something of MY dreams..
No doubt, you must dream of your own, creation. Outstanding..

My hats off and on the floor, I have to dance... around the hat I go...

Highest Regards..

Ag insider logo xs@2xoldhvymec

Showing 1 - 25 of 3384 posts