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  • ack's second system

    This is a rather unusual system, in the final stages of being updated. A good system for a long vacation!

    CD Player: Denon DCD-A110 (110th anniversary) - a rather STUNNING CD/SACD player that doesn't get much attention, featuring an extremely low jitter of 18 femtoseconds that I have not seen anywhere else, built like a tank, with a beefed up transport, great power supply, Class A output, and sounding exceptionally clean. You can read details at https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ..._edition_dcd_a110.html

    HDCD DAC: Heavily modified Berkeley Alpha DAC with 3.0 version of the software; really great, but the Denon is in another league

    FM Tuner: Magnum Dynalab Etude, ca 1995, heavily modified; sounds really clean

    Preamp: PS Audio 5.0, ca 1985. Will be replaced with the Spectral DMC-12 or DMC-20. Sounds fine in Straightwire mode, but harsh in Hi gain; the phono is shot

    Amplifier: Spectral DMA-90, ca 1995, a superior design and a really clean-sounding amp by Keith Johnson. Wonderful midrange, really deep bass, refined highs, great dynamics

    Speakers: Monitor Audio RS1, modified crossover; great for jazz and small ensembles

    Subwoofer: Entec SW-5, ca 1985. That and the SW-1 are legends from that era

    Cabling: MIT, Kimber, Nordost, Shunyata Venom NR power cords

    Variac for 230V to 115V conversion: Dactron STAC, ca 1980, from Japan


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    Attached Files
    Last edited by ack; 08-28-2021, 04:08 AM.
    Analog: VPI Aries 3, custom suspension + platter interface || Magnetically stabilized JMW 10.5i || Ortofon A90 || Modded & fully shielded Pass XP-25 || Last gen VPI SDS speed controller || Magnum Dynalab MD-90SE/105 Digital: Spectral 4000SV Amplification: Spectral DMC-30SV || DMA-500AR Speakers: Heavily modded MartinLogan (custom Mundorf dual xover, cabling, woofers, xformer; structural mods) || Modded REL sub Cabling: Fully shielded MIT Oracle 50ic,MA-X,90.1 || Shunyata Alpha v2 Power: Shunyata Denali 6000/S v2, Venom XC and NR cords, SR-Z1 outlets, PS10, Typhon. Tweaks: Isodamp, mumetal, 3M AB5100, Dynamat, Copper foil; Vishay diodes, resistors, Mundorf coils & capacitors

    Main System Link
    Second System Link

  • #2

    Comment


    • #3
      Let me know how you like the Denon. My disc player keeps on going but it’s almost 16 years old. Not sure when it’s going to die. I was looking at the Esoteric K-03xd and the Luxman D-10. Both are $16-14k. Nots sure I want to put that kind on money into a disc player.

      I don’t stream anything or use a stand alone dac.

      Comment


      • #4
        If you're going to spend 10K or more look at the Resolution Audio Music Center, which is DAC plus CD player. Superb.
        JLH

        Comment


        • #5
          dan31 Dan, the Denon has a long break-in period of perhaps upwards of 200 hours. I will also put on a Shunyata cord on it as well, just need to make sure it will be beneficial considering that the player has no ground prong (a plus in my mind, anyway). But in the end, as is, his is an absolutely fantastic player, packed with technology, able to compete with players 5X-10X its price. The remote control is also of very high quality (best to look at the pictures at https://www.denon.com/en-us/product/cd-players/dcd-a110) and I can't stop staring at the electronic boards and layout. I can't go crazy with digital, as you can probably tell, but this is an outstanding digital source.
          Analog: VPI Aries 3, custom suspension + platter interface || Magnetically stabilized JMW 10.5i || Ortofon A90 || Modded & fully shielded Pass XP-25 || Last gen VPI SDS speed controller || Magnum Dynalab MD-90SE/105 Digital: Spectral 4000SV Amplification: Spectral DMC-30SV || DMA-500AR Speakers: Heavily modded MartinLogan (custom Mundorf dual xover, cabling, woofers, xformer; structural mods) || Modded REL sub Cabling: Fully shielded MIT Oracle 50ic,MA-X,90.1 || Shunyata Alpha v2 Power: Shunyata Denali 6000/S v2, Venom XC and NR cords, SR-Z1 outlets, PS10, Typhon. Tweaks: Isodamp, mumetal, 3M AB5100, Dynamat, Copper foil; Vishay diodes, resistors, Mundorf coils & capacitors

          Main System Link
          Second System Link

          Comment


          • #6
            I used a PS Audio 5.0 for many years, always in straightwire mode as you discuss. I donated it to someone in need about 20 years ago, not sure where it has ended up.
            Tascam BR-20
            Technics 1506 with tape path upgrades, FM head and custom repro amp
            Modwright Oppo 205 full tube mod w/LPS
            Euphony Summus server, EtherRegen, HDPLEX LPS
            MSB Discrete DAC (dual PS, ISLPro, balanced out)
            Pass Labs INT60
            Daedalus Audio Apollo 11’s
            REL S3 (Kimber Kable connection)
            Daedalus/Wywires, Audioquest, Acoustic Zen, Sablon Audio cables
            Core Power Equi=Power 1800 Mk3
            Adona rack; Stillpoints and IsoPods, Tube Traps, GIK

            Comment


            • JCOConnell
              JCOConnell commented
              Editing a comment
              I used one of those ps audio passive/active preamps in my second system for a couple years, not bad.

          • #7
            Putting second systems together is fun, no pressure to make everything state of the art.
            Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mono) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

            Comment


            • #8
              A used, mint Spectral DMC-12 with phono has been located. Looking forward to plugging it in. Only real problem over a DMC-20 would be the lack of relay-based input selection, and the DMC-12 does suffer from a small crosstalk between inputs. Meantime, enjoy this
              Analog: VPI Aries 3, custom suspension + platter interface || Magnetically stabilized JMW 10.5i || Ortofon A90 || Modded & fully shielded Pass XP-25 || Last gen VPI SDS speed controller || Magnum Dynalab MD-90SE/105 Digital: Spectral 4000SV Amplification: Spectral DMC-30SV || DMA-500AR Speakers: Heavily modded MartinLogan (custom Mundorf dual xover, cabling, woofers, xformer; structural mods) || Modded REL sub Cabling: Fully shielded MIT Oracle 50ic,MA-X,90.1 || Shunyata Alpha v2 Power: Shunyata Denali 6000/S v2, Venom XC and NR cords, SR-Z1 outlets, PS10, Typhon. Tweaks: Isodamp, mumetal, 3M AB5100, Dynamat, Copper foil; Vishay diodes, resistors, Mundorf coils & capacitors

              Main System Link
              Second System Link

              Comment


              • #9
                Ive had both the DMA-80 and DMA-90 amps, they are wonderful with Quad 57s or 63s. Spectral is like early Naim gear, they omit the output inductor so they have specific speaker cable requirements to avert oscillation. Consequently Naim NAC A5 works well with those amps.

                Comment


                • #10
                  Yeah, that would be in the newer designs; the older compact series do have that output inductor as can be seen in my pictures and the video.
                  Analog: VPI Aries 3, custom suspension + platter interface || Magnetically stabilized JMW 10.5i || Ortofon A90 || Modded & fully shielded Pass XP-25 || Last gen VPI SDS speed controller || Magnum Dynalab MD-90SE/105 Digital: Spectral 4000SV Amplification: Spectral DMC-30SV || DMA-500AR Speakers: Heavily modded MartinLogan (custom Mundorf dual xover, cabling, woofers, xformer; structural mods) || Modded REL sub Cabling: Fully shielded MIT Oracle 50ic,MA-X,90.1 || Shunyata Alpha v2 Power: Shunyata Denali 6000/S v2, Venom XC and NR cords, SR-Z1 outlets, PS10, Typhon. Tweaks: Isodamp, mumetal, 3M AB5100, Dynamat, Copper foil; Vishay diodes, resistors, Mundorf coils & capacitors

                  Main System Link
                  Second System Link

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    What goes around comes around... Just landed a used DMC-12 with phono to pair with the DMA-90. The '12 is where I started my path with Spectral, back ca 1995. Looking forward to plugging it in


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                    Analog: VPI Aries 3, custom suspension + platter interface || Magnetically stabilized JMW 10.5i || Ortofon A90 || Modded & fully shielded Pass XP-25 || Last gen VPI SDS speed controller || Magnum Dynalab MD-90SE/105 Digital: Spectral 4000SV Amplification: Spectral DMC-30SV || DMA-500AR Speakers: Heavily modded MartinLogan (custom Mundorf dual xover, cabling, woofers, xformer; structural mods) || Modded REL sub Cabling: Fully shielded MIT Oracle 50ic,MA-X,90.1 || Shunyata Alpha v2 Power: Shunyata Denali 6000/S v2, Venom XC and NR cords, SR-Z1 outlets, PS10, Typhon. Tweaks: Isodamp, mumetal, 3M AB5100, Dynamat, Copper foil; Vishay diodes, resistors, Mundorf coils & capacitors

                    Main System Link
                    Second System Link

                    Comment


                    • PeterA
                      PeterA commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Tasos, what kind of a platform is it sitting on? That looks like a metal plate of some kind. I've always liked toggle switches and round knobs better than swiping/tapping on a piece of glass.

                  • #12
                    Yes, it's a metal table used to photograph it; these are the seller's photos. I would never use a metal shelf for audio equipment
                    Analog: VPI Aries 3, custom suspension + platter interface || Magnetically stabilized JMW 10.5i || Ortofon A90 || Modded & fully shielded Pass XP-25 || Last gen VPI SDS speed controller || Magnum Dynalab MD-90SE/105 Digital: Spectral 4000SV Amplification: Spectral DMC-30SV || DMA-500AR Speakers: Heavily modded MartinLogan (custom Mundorf dual xover, cabling, woofers, xformer; structural mods) || Modded REL sub Cabling: Fully shielded MIT Oracle 50ic,MA-X,90.1 || Shunyata Alpha v2 Power: Shunyata Denali 6000/S v2, Venom XC and NR cords, SR-Z1 outlets, PS10, Typhon. Tweaks: Isodamp, mumetal, 3M AB5100, Dynamat, Copper foil; Vishay diodes, resistors, Mundorf coils & capacitors

                    Main System Link
                    Second System Link

                    Comment

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