Publisher Profile

Ed Momkus

Senior Reviewer

Ideally, any serious audio system starts with the room and the power. First I will describe the room. For those interested, my article in Dagogo describing my room rebuild includes photos of how the room was constructed, as well as numerous construction details. ROOM CONSTRUCTION. I have a dedicated 2-channel listening room that is 28’ (north and south walls) x 24.7’ (east and west walls) x 8.5’ high. The north (front) wall is an exterior structural wall and has a 13.3’foot strip of 5 parallel elevated windows arranged in a row 5’10” above the floor which allow the room to get natural light. These windows are fitted with Marigo Audio window tuning dots, which do a very effective job of attenuating the minor vibrations and reflections caused by this elevated narrow strip of window glass. The south (rear) wall has an 8 foot wide opening that can be opened or closed with sliding wooden doors depending on the listening configuration desired, and/or to reduce the volume of music escaping from the room. The optimal listening configuration is with the sliding doors closed. The east and west walls have standard wooden doors leading into adjoining rooms and incorporate a modest amount of soundproofing. The north wall is framed by ASC bass traps configured as columns in the left and right corners and as a soffit along the intersection of the ceiling and north wall. Though the floor is supported by concrete strips for stability, it is raised 2 feet above a concrete foundation. The space between the underlying foundation and the floor is filled with Owens Corning fiberglass and acts as an additional large built-in under-floor bass trap. There is an 8 inch wooden grate in the floor where the floor adjoins the north wall that allows sound to filter into this built-in bass trap under the floor. This configuration in effect creates rectangular bass trapping that “frames” the area behind the speakers along the side wall corners, the ceiling, and the floor. In addition, the upper left and right corners of the south wall have built-in bass absorption, and ASC high frequency absorption is mounted on the ceiling at key reflection points. (No side wall absorption is needed because of the long distance between the main listening position and the side walls, which is in turn a consequence of the the “width-wise” room configuration described below.) The floor is carpeted wall-to-wall (except for the wooden floor grates along the north wall) with what is in effect a Persian rug. Persian rugs generally have the densest fibers of any commercially-available carpeting, and the effect is to lower the room’s noise floor by several decibels. (Below I will describe how I avoid the dead-sounding effects of too much absorption.) POWER. In addition to the typical electrical service that provides lighting and standard outlets to the room and the rest of the house, the room has 4 separate 20 amp circuits/outlets fed by a separate electrical panel dedicated to audio. The in-wall electrical cables that run from the dedicated electrical panel to each outlet are matched to the function of each outlet. Two circuits that each serve a monoblock amp employ 8 gauge wiring, and the other two circuits use audiophile 10 gauge wiring made by JPS Labs. The audio outlets are Furutech NCF, and each connection between panel, wires and outlets is secured using silver electrical paste. GENERAL EQUIPMENT AND SEATING CONFIGURATION. The room is arranged “width-wise”, with the speakers placed 4 feet away from the north wall and generally projecting music towards seats positioned several feet away from the south wall. The speakers are 9.5 feet apart and 9 feet from each side wall. The monoblocks are each situated along the north structural wall, behind and slightly between the speakers. A custom designed copper and jatoba wood equipment stand to the left of the left speaker houses the main source equipment. Additional custom dual turntable shelves are drilled into the structural studs of the north wall to the left and right of the speakers and are used for other equipment that comes in and out of the system. PRINCIPAL AUDIO EQUIPMENT. My source is the Laufer Teknik Memory Player. It is a fully-integrated server that incorporates a DAC, internet streaming, and room correction. I am currently in the process of comparing its DAC and room correction to the DAC and room correction of my beloved Legacy Audio Wavelet. If the MP’s room correction can match that of the Wavelet I will end up moving the Wavelet to a separate bookshelf and subwoofer system I have in the house, as the Wavelet also incorporates a very high quality crossover. I use Stealth Audio USB T-Select usb cable from server to the Wavelet. As mentioned above, the Wavelet has served as my DAC, preamp, and crossover for several years. Several reviews have been written about this superior component. See my own review in Dagogo. My speakers are the Vivid Audio G1 Giyas. See my review in Dagogo. Also see my comments below about Synergistic Research speaker tweaks. Amps are the Electrocompaniet Nemo monoblocks, which are getting long in the tooth, but nonetheless sound incredibly natural and tubelike to my ears. See my comments below about my experience with tweaking these amps with Synergistic Research and Kimber Kabyle products. The amps are plugged directly into the wall with Kimber Palladian power cords. After long experimentation, I believe that they sound best this way. Speaker cables are Stealth Audio Dream v16-T biwire. The source components receive power via Lessloss DFPC Reference PCs and three (yes, really three - long story) daisy-chained Lessloss Firewall power conditioners (original version). ROOM AND EQUIPMENT TWEAKS. Don’t let the term “tweaks” mislead you. The following items are important and integral to the sound of the system. I use Synergistic Research HFTs, ECTs and MIG 2.0. The MIG 2.0 footers are under source components. The HFTs are used in connection with the Synergistic Research Atmosphere and Black Box. They are placed on the room walls and on the speakers. The Atmosphere and the Black Box are located between the two speakers. The ECTs are used on/in the monoblocks, Wavelet and speaker cables. The monoblocks sit on double-mounted Walker Audio Prologue amp stands (one amp stand placed on another amp stand) and Walker Valid Points. Come and listen!

System
						Analog Front End
None
						Digital Front End
Laufer Teknik Memory Player/Server/Streamer/Room Correction Legacy Audio Wavelet DAC Qsonix Q105 modified by Empirical Audio MBL 6011F DAC Pass labs XP-30 preamp BSG technologies QOL Signal Restoration Stage Lyngdorf RP-1 digital room correction
						Amplification
Elecrocompaniet NEMO and NADA monoblocks in biamp mode Pass Laboratories XS300 monoblocks
						Cabling
Stealth Audio Cable USB T-Select Stealth Audio Cable Dream v16-T speaker cables bi-wired Kimber Kable Palladian power cords Tara Labs Zero Gold interconnect Silent Source Music Reference interconnect Silent Source Silver Signature interconnects Lessloss Tunnelbridge interconnect system Silent Source Silver Signature loudspeaker cables Isoclean Super Focus power cord LessLoss DFPC Reference power cords
						Speakers
Vivid G-1 Giyas
						Headphones
None
						Home Theater
Pioneer Pioneer Elite dv38 Sony SPD-EP9es Surround Pre Proceed HPA-3 B & W Loudspeakers SCM 1 Monitors B & W Loudspeakers Nautilus HTM-1 N H T Sub Two (2) ASC Substands (2)
						Accessories
Isoclean fuses Quantum Products Symphony Pro Walker Audio High Conductivity outlets LessLoss Firewall power conditioners (original version) x 3 (daisy-chained) Isoclean PT 3030G Isolation transformer Wattgate 381 Gold outlet Zcable Z-sleeves - Heavy, Extra Heavy (14) Walker Audio Prologue amp stands Walker Audio Valid Points Furutech NCF wall outlets Synergistic Research Atmosphere and Black Box (between speakers) Synergistic Research HFT, ECT, MIG 2.0 footers
						Room Treatment
ASC 78" Tower Traps (3) ASC 48" Tower Traps (2) ASC 16" diameter Tube Trap (1) ASC Sub Stands (2) ASC Wall Panels (18) Echobusters Quarter Round Corner Traps (2) Marigo Audio window tuning dots
Articles & Reviews
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