UPDATE 12/13/2023
Upgraded my PC with a 4090 Founders Edition Nvidia video card. The built in cooling is so efficient I bypassed the water cooling for it and now just the RAM and processor are water cooled. I got a horizontal mount for it which looks great and upgraded the M.2 drive to an ultrafast low latency model for the gaming side and I kept the old drive for my trading side of the computer. 

UPDATE 09/01/2023
It’s taken some time to get the dspNexus up and running. I had to cut and re-solder my XLR connections because the MiniDSP used a terminal block and the dspNexus uses high quality XLR connections. Designing my system in Audio Weaver was intuitive but I had issues with the High Precision Biquad filter which wasn’t accepting my numbers and would error out. The team at Danville Signal Processing was a huge help and worked with me over a number of live sessions to troubleshoot the issues. It turns out we had to create 12 simple biquad filters in a series and everything worked. The other strange thing was that the output from Multi Sub Optimizer had to have the a1 and a2 coefficients reversed in polarity (there is no set standard on how these are represented). Anyway how does it sound? It is transcendental, the high quality DACs on each channel are velvety smooth. We are in a new apartment from when most of my profile pics were taken and only two walls are parallel, the rear wall is at a different angle than the front wall, the kitchen creates a trap, it could be the perfect room as evidenced with the room correction results. When listening you can’t help but smile. We spent the entire day playing varied music from all genres. Many were recorded very well and had an eerie realism, perfect imagery, it was/is jaw dropping. At no point was there any listener fatigue even though we had the system at a fairly loud level. I can notice how big a difference it makes using the hardware to reduce the dB of the subs rather than software which causes reduced dynamic range. I’m really impressed with the dspNexus and the team at Danville Signal Processing. This is the largest change in my system in many years and I’m blown away. 

Of note I had to use my PC I built for all of this, my little old Mac was overheating. It’s now relegated to being a music server only. It is also fun and convenient that the unit has Bluetooth which you can stream from your phone (tooling around the house) or Apple TV which is great because now my Apple remote actually works for the volume. I don’t notice any dynamic range limitation on movies. Each source volume is remembered by the unit as well which is really nice. 

UPDATE 07/16/2023  I met Al Clark at AXPONA and asked to be an early adopter of the dspNexus. It’s going to function at twice the fidelity of my MiniDSP. I can’t wait to hear the system operating at this level! Delivery is set for this week! I also heard Clarisys speakers for the first time and was blown away. 

UPDATE 04/04/2021 I drew up a design for speaker stands for the Kinergetics and Grant made them perfectly. His custom work is amazing. As fantastic as the speakers are their stands were a total afterthought with poor construction. These new stands are stable adjustable and really isolate the speakers from the floor. 

UPDATE 11/28/2021 I was able to get add an Eames Lounge Chair to the living room. They created a tall version and my life changed. I’ll have it forever, it’s the most comfortable chair ever made. 

UPDATE 11/17/20 & 07/02/2021 my wife just ordered me Mye Stands from Mye Sound for Christmas. I’ve read about them for years in the forums and they have rave reviews and can’t wait to get them into my system. I’m also planning on building custom cable risers that get them off the floor and also isolate them from each other. That’s one issue with an active set up that is hard to avoid (so many cords). I’ll be doing some surgery as well reducing the length where I know things won’t change, time to get my nice soldering iron out and pure silver solder. . . Update: The stands sound amazing, everything is tighter and more articulate. They are rock solid, the speakers used to sway and the don’t move a millimeter now. I haven’t had time to do anything else with work getting crazy. It looks like it will be some time before I can get back to the system. 

UPDATE 06/05/20: I was out of work for some time and took the opportunity to build a custom gaming PC. My daughter and her boyfriend are really into PC gaming and they have encouraged me to build one for awhile so we can talk about games and play together. She never got my audio bug, lol. It displays in 4K, HDR with Ray Tracing. I can’t believe how real these games are now. It’s like playing a movie, especially at 144” with zero lag. For those of you who are into these things it’s running 8 cores at 5Ghz with a Nvidia 2080 Ti founders card also overclocked. RAM, Video Card, and processor are all liquid cooled by my custom loop. I’ve got a 1Tb M.2 drive mounted to the motherboard, Aorus Master, which is screaming fast. No music on this puppy, that’s all run through my MAC. It’s been a fun project! 

UPDATE 04/27/19: Had read a suggestion in the forum to vertically bi-amp, I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of it before but I had my system horizontally bi-amped with identical consecutively serial numbered amps. Vertically bi-amping added a lot of punch, both my wife and I noticed it right away. After a month of critical listening it’s definitely a keeper. 

UPDATE 01/04/18: Moved and updated the room specs and a few pics. I’m in a much bigger space and was able to do room correction last weekend. All I can say is wow. What a difference the room makes. I also discovered how to input 12 biquad filters per speaker and have gotten the distortion down to 2.6%. All the subs working together in the space is a revelation. I now have a movie and a music setting because I had the subs at -20db at first which was a little bass heavy for music but boy does it make movies exciting (bone shaking.) Critical listening has the subs at -25db for perfect seamless integration. If you can get four subs to do room correction, do it ASAP in my opinion, it makes a world of difference. Just an FYI on set up the Maggies are running full range as well as the subs, I let Multi Sub Optimizer build the filters off of full range operation and optimized for my main listening position only and it is an interesting exercise to see what the slopes are and how high the subs will play to assist in the room correction. 

My system was hit by lightening and it came through the coax cable and took out the cable box, video processor and projector. I added a P15 Powerplant to protect the system from all the brownouts, dirty power, and lightening in this area. The advantage of the P15 is huge and unexpected. Initially I had the main subs only functioning upon move in and I would bury the bias needle on my Pass Amp on some movie transients and it shut down my power unit due to the 1200 watt power draw. Adding the other subs to the system they put out much more power working together, are more accurate, and barely move the power needle on my P15 which has loads of room to spare now even at maximum listening levels. The system is quieter with the P15 and has more punch due to the clean power on demand. I also just discovered the variable multiwave feature and bumped up the available pool of capacitance on demand to the equipment, what a great addition. The usability is really high as now the entire system starts and turns off in order, timed delays, soft start to ease electrical inrush, at the push of one button, what a luxury. 

The WHY:
This is the culmination of 20 years of patience. I had an old school Sansui receiver with Dynaco speakers for many years while I saved up for my dream system. I was first exposed to High Fidelity living in Europe visiting the Sony Center in Berlin. A black glass elevator with white light lit corners brought my friend and I to a black marble/glass floor with dim pure white light in the corners with a hallway ending in endless darkness. A person greeted us in an all black suit and tie and asked if we wanted to hear the ultimate musical reproduction ever produced. Before us were two large speakers with nickel sized speaker wire coming out and a huge CD player and amp. He put in a violin concerto with a weighted CD that made my hair stand up with pinpoint realism imaging and staging. I could hear the strings vibrating, the musician breathing like he was 5ft away. We listened to music for three hours and it only felt like 20 min. How much? Not for sale, custom made. . . His best guess $150k. What was the mystery CD? DVD-A (new format) Why present something that wasn't for sale? To show how good music reproduction could get. Me? Hooked. I love live music, listened to my father put on two hour concerts via grand piano as a child, sang in Madison Boys Choir, and I played bassoon in Wisconsin Youth Symphony. There is nothing like the real thing; sound actually vibrating through your body. 

After years of AXPONA visits, dealer gear listens and research I knew I wanted to have an active set up with room correction and Magnepan 20.1s as my backbone. I needed fast subwoofers to keep up with the Maggies and looked for years to acquire Kinergetics SW-800s to be driven by a Pass Labs X-250, found both and owned them four years without being able to play them until now. I have a Mac Mini maxed out with dual SSD drives driven by JRiver to optical out. I was lucky to sell my house and be able to buy my Maggies from my dealer and literally got the last new pair of 20.1s out of the factory. The Maggies are being driven by two Benchmark AHB2 amps highs/lows which are dead quiet S/N ratio better than most pre-amps, power doubling down to two ohms with amazing clarity and grip but zero harshness. I have everything running out of my Mini DSP with balanced connections (Benchmark Canare Star Quad Construction) which is processing all filters at 56bit/ 96kHz. Room correction is done by way of Room EQ Wizard, Multi-Sub Optimizer, and Earthworks M30 microphone. To take advantage of the program I've added two new super fast fully enclosed SVS SB-16 Ultra 16" subwoofers (1500W Mosfet class D amps) to make the room response flat, accurate, and help keep my neighbors from calling the cops. The result is musical bliss which is pitch perfect 16Hz to 20kHz; perfect staging, imaging, accuracy and the best sounding system I have ever heard in my humble opinion. I'm thrilled and am now starting to explore all the amazing recordings out there. 

This system is paired with a Sony 4K Projector with HDR using a Lumagen video processor. This all projects on a custom acoustically transparent screen 11ft x 5ft with velvet boarders and side panels that rise for 2.40:1 movie experience from the 16:9 TV ratio. The Lumagen has upgraded 18Ghz inputs and outputs using an iPro 2 colorimeter and iDisplay 3 spectrophotometer with Chromapure for color correction at 4913 points on screen. 

I spent 6 years with no vacations renovating a 4 story Victorian, sold it and sent our daughter to college, downsized to buy the system, travel, and enjoy life to its fullest. It's been a long journey and now we just have to enjoy all the wonderful music and movies out there! 

I welcome any questions. Love this site and have learned a lot reading about other people's systems and believe there is more than one path to enlightenment and sonic bliss. 


Room Details

Dimensions: 30’ × 20’  X large
Ceiling: 30’

Components Toggle details

    • Magnepan Model 20.1
    The last pair of 20.1's manufactured :) Cherry Trim and Black Socks
    • Kinergetics SW-800 Subwoofers
    Twin Towers of five 10" Seas Subwoofers in individual sealed enclosures.
    • Mye Sound Mye Stands
    After seeing Grant’s amazing work with the Magnepan stands I drew up plans and he custom built stands for my Kinergetics subwoofers. If you have an opportunity to get stands from Grant you’ll be one of a lucky few. 
    • SVS SB-16 Ultra Subwoofers
    Dual Subwoofers placed in room asymmetrically to utilize "Multi Sub Optimizer." Amazed by how low and controlled they can play. Connected via XLR to the Mini DSP.
    • Danville Signal dspNexus
    Digital Signal Processor replacing my Mini DSP. The dspNexus processes 8 channels and up-samples to 192K or 384K. It also performs jitter attenuation. The dspNexus executes time alignment in 5uS increments handles room correction through active crossovers. The design is modular so if better DACs come out they can be easily upgraded. The crossovers are custom designed in DSP Concepts’ Audio Weaver graphical design tool. Inputs include Asynchronous USB, S/PDIF, Bluetooth, Ethernet, WiFi and has a phantom input for microphone which can interface with a built in RPi4 to run room correction software etc.
    • Benchmark Media Systems AHB2
    Two Benchmark AHB2 Amps driving the low/highs of the Magnepan 20.1s.
    • Pass Labs X-250
    Kinergetics dedicated Sub Amp
    • Apple Mac Mini 2.6GHz i7 Quad Core 16GB RAM dual 500GB SSD
    Windows 10 and El Capitan on separate SSD drives. Optical out to Mini DSP. 

    Running server with JRiver. 
    • Benchmark Media Systems Interconnects and Speaker Cables
    Balanced Interconnects and Speaker Cables utilizing Speakon Connectors into 10 gauge bare wire (NO-OX ID electrical grease applied to keep wire from oxidizing)
    • Blue Circle Audio Yalu Bulala
    Self sacrificing surge protector that pugs into outlet / circuit of each component. (Non Current Limiting)
    • Adona Corporation AV45CS6TW
    Six tier rack with two AV45S amp stands. Upgraded marble and cherry bottomed shelves with extended solid brass cones. Fully modular construction, small rubber supports isolate each shelf from the stand, felt added to cone feet for extra dampening control.
    • Sony VPL-VW665ES 4K HDR Projector
    Amazing sharpness, blacks, color and out of focus bokeh.
    • Lumagen 4242 Radiance Pro
    4K video processor with upgraded 18Ghz inputs using an iPro 2 colorimeter and iDisplay 3 spectrophotometer Chromapure for color correction at 4913 points. The Lumagen auto scales the 4K image enabling full use of the projector's pixel area/light output.
    • HD Fury Vertex 4K60 4:4:4 600MHz
    HDMI to optical audio out extractor and 4K scaler. I needed to add it to fool my HDMI port on the projector that it is getting a 1.4 signal while sending 4k60 HDR signals through as a result of lightening burning out my primary 2.0 input.
    • Earthworks M30
    30kHz Omni Directional measurement mic. Interfaces via Focusrite Scarlett 2i2.
    • Monoprice SlimRun AV HDR High Speed Cable for HDMI-Enabled Devices, 4K@60Hz, HDR, 18Gbps, Fiber Optic, AOC, YUV 4:4:4
    Active fiber optic cables connect the projector. My Redmere active cables went out on my long 50ft run to the projector and so I had to move to fiber. They are revolutionary and amazingly small and flexible, and directional. One of very few cables capable of passing a 4K video signal with HDR with a full color chroma..
    • Seymour Screens Acoustically Transparent XD Screen
    130" wide / 141.4" diagonal anamorphic wide screen with 16x9 masking, aluminum case, motorized, black velvet boarders, 1.0 zero gain.
    • Benchmark Media Systems Canare Star Quad
    Benchmark 10AWG Canare "Star Quad" Speaker Cable - NL2 to bare wire directly inserted into Magnepans (Vertically bi-amped). 
    • Blue Jeans Cables Canare Star Quad
    Canare 4S11 "Star Quad" 10AWG Speaker Cable for the Subs with sonically welded gold plated locking banana plugs. 
    • Benchmark Media Systems STUDIO&STAGE™ XLR CABLES
    Best short run balanced interconnect cable. Featuring Canare L-4E6S 4-wire "star quad" cable to eliminate susceptibility to magnetic interference. This cable includes a high-density braided shield to eliminate radio interference. For Pass and two Benchmark Amps from Mini DSP balanced terminal block. 
    • PS Audio DirectStream P15
    Power Regenerator for perfect sine wave  power to all equipment. Start up in programmed sequence, slow start for large amps etc. I bought it to keep my system insulated from frequent brown outs and power outages in my apartment. I also had lightening strike my system and took out the cable box, video processor, and projector. It came through the coax cable and the electician said to only have one way in and no path out to protect the system. I can pull one plug and have complete safety when storms are on the way. Great sound improvements too as a side benefit. 
    • Tron Gaming PC
    Like many here I was off of work for some time and decided to build a liquid cooled gaming PC inspired by Tron (a childhood favorite).
    • Herman Miller Eames Lounge Chair
    Just got my dream chair! They came out with a tall version and it’s perfect.

Comments 4

I take it you were known as “the fun Dad” to the neighborhood kids! Very impressive equipment.  That 5’ x 11’ screen . . . You are there!  I’m with your doggie . . we know how to relax.  😴


Thank you for the nice comments! 

BarrySandy I see you have the Kinergetic subs as well, I had also considered using Pass XO, very high quality, but sided for the flexibility of the digital XO to limit physically interacting with the equipment and D/A conversions. It looks like a fun set up and great notes on all of your experimenting, thanks for sharing. 

gmorris - I also found the same settings sounded best for the main  subs in my room and integrated very seamlessly with the 20.1's. I agree that bi-amping really frees up the amps to control and deliver what the music needs and speaker load demands. 


Very nice, well thought out, system.  Cute dog too!  Maggies and the Kinergetic Subs can be a good match and REW helps dial them in as you have done. Enjoy!


Hello Hifidream. Well constructed system. Should sound awesome. I noted that you selected the 20.1s due to their biamping capability. I made the same choice. I think  properly configured biamped 20.1s produce beautiful music. I am also using stereo subwoofers. I am running the 20.1s full range and the subs at 30Hz  x-over point with 24dB/Octave slope. After much experimentation I was able to achieve excellent blending.


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