Description

Started my system in the about 1980 buying a Threshold 500 amp with my first loan. To power Acoustate 2+2... but unable to afford the speakers. Upgraded and learned audio over five decades to current system. I have love seat in listening position so one of my dogs can listen with me. She loves classical and jazz.

My current system reflects my values in sound. Specifically being warm, natural and musical. After spending about 20 years Listening to acoustical instruments when possible and attending hundreds of symphony concerts I finally figured out the difference between many systems that artificially accentuate detail and create excessive slam that compromise the integrity of the music. My system does not overly highlight the venue and mastering techniques but communicates the music and draws you in, as opposed to shouting at you.

For me, perfect.
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Room Details

Dimensions: 35’ × 25’  X large
Ceiling: N/A


Components Toggle details

    • Audio Research Reference 6SE Preamp
    • Audio Research Reference 3 Phono Stage
    • Audio Research Reference CD9se DAC / CD player
    • Audio Research Reference 160s Amp
    • Aurender WE20se Music Server
    • Sonus Faber Amati Traditional Speakers
    • Linn Audio LP12 close to Klimax
    • Transparent Ultra Gen 5 Speaker Cables and XLR Interconnects
    • Silent Running Audio Ohio ++2 Isolation platform for Linn LP 12
    • Audio Quest Hurricane
    Power cords for amp
    • Audio Research Reference 160 M
    On loan to me from a dealer friend.
    • Audio Research Reference 3SE Phono stage
    On loan from dealer friend for evaluation.

Comments 62

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Owner
Thank you for your kind comments.

ghdprentice

Owner
Thank you, for the kind comments. If you’re around Oregon, give me a holler.

@fleetowner123 Thank you. But I fooled around building my system for 45 years to get here. only over the last ten years did it come together. My systems were always ugly speakers and all different brands of components… then as I retired it came together in such a beautiful and homogeneous fashion. Which, really turned out to enhance the sound quality.

ghdprentice

Owner
Thank you Dan. I appreciate your comments. After owning great performing, ugly speakers for decades… it is amazing to own wonderful sounding and beautiful speakers. Honestly, photos do not do them justice. The finish is flawless and the top coat gold translucent flecks that catch the light. Clearly icing on the cake.

Island Man? I fell in love with French Polynesia forty years ago. Been back a couple times. The Cook Island, Fiji, The Bahamas, st. Lucia, The Grenadines, Bonaire, and the Mosquito Islands off the coast of Honduras… is that the kind of islands you refer? I love SCUBA diving.

ghdprentice

Owner
Thank you all. I appreciate your comments. I am really fortunate.

ghdprentice

Owner
Thank you. It is a great system, I am very lucky. I remember hearing my first piece of Audio Research equipment in the mid-80’s after driving up to Phoenix from Tucson. It really stuck in my mind… just lucky as the decades moved by I was able to upgrade and quite by happenstance piece by piece added ARC components. The last component, theREF CD9se… just lifted the wholesystem to a new level. I have been fortunate in my retirement… the biggest upgrade of all time I was able to accomplish over the last few years.

ghdprentice

Owner
Thank’s HA. I had Transparent based on reviews before I could use them… my system was too harsh and they revealed too much. In my current system they definitely bested Cardas, WireWorld and a couple others I tried. I moved my amp last year and now these are too long. So, I will give Silversmith a try. The Transparent are so expensive, I have been holding off getting shorter ones. Thanks.

I am very happy with this DAC. I brought over a Berkeley Alpha 3 a few months ago for a couple weeks. I was expecting to be plunking down another $5k fir it. The difference was absolutely minuscule… tiny… I was really shocked how similar they sounded… but, the Audio Research was better… ever so slightly more musical. The Berkeley was ever so slightly more detailed… absolutely minuscule.. long careful listening sessions required to detect it. I tried a set of $17K Nordst interconnect… which at first blush sounded exactly the same as the Transparent… but after a while they were adding a touch more very musical detail… more than the Berkeley! 

Btw I had a Sim Moon 650D with the outboard 820S (separate component power supply). The ARC DAC is in a completely different category. I was not looking to change DACs, and my audio guy brought one over. I felt obligated to listen to it before I said no. Within 30 seconds I set him a message to tell him to order one. Then I had to figure out where I was going to get the money. I’m retired, money doesn’t grow on trees. But there was no way the ARC was going out of my system. 

ghdprentice

Owner
Thank you for your comment. I’ll have a look. Harmonix… now that is a name I have not heard in a while. I have quite a pile of their interconnects in my storage room!

ghdprentice

Owner
Thank you both. The cartridge is a Koetsu Rosewood Signature.

Thank you Lalika. It has been a very long journey, most of the time not looking good, but sounding good in different ways, converging on this. It is particularly pleasing to have been able to make the last jump after retiring. I am now down to fiddling with power cords.

I am really happy that in this iteration streaming is as fulfilling and at the audiophile level, opening up virtually all music to explore. Although I still like playing an album every day or so.

ghdprentice

Owner
@bdp24 Yes... there are two minis. Photo 4 Lexie my audio dog and photo 9 Keira. These are our second pair. They are wonderful. Of each pair I have had one really smart and devoted one that loves listening to music with me and one each not so smart and really happy.

ghdprentice

Owner
Moving my system to the side made a big difference in center imaging. When I had ribbon speakers it did not seem to matter. But with the Sonus it Does

ghdprentice

Owner
The Aurender is streamer only... the ARC Ref 9se is DAC with a CD player. Best sounding DAC I have ever heard, although my audio guy is going to bring over a Berkeley Alpha 3 for me to try. The ARC is very complimentary with the other ARC equipment.

ghdprentice

Owner
Thank you. I am very fortunate. The system sounds a lot better than it looks. The listening area is accidentally incredible. Accidental design, I accidentally bought the house. Just lucked out.

ghdprentice