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  • By way of an introduction...

    Some information about me, my music and my system...
    (Feel free to skip to the hopefully interesting My System section below.)

    Me
    ----
    Long-time audiophile, walked into my first audio salon in 1972 and learned that my I could enhance my experience of recorded music to a degree I never imagined. I was lucky enough to bring home my first hi-fi components (briefly described below) not too long after, after my first experience with the financial sacrifices required. Pleasure and pain... :-)

    Dropped out of the chase for a decade or two, missing the digital disaster and rejoining when my first audio buddy, by then a hi-fi dealer, told me I might be able to enjoy a cd-Source system (again, briefly described below).

    Later, when another high school buddy chided me for not having a record collection, I got back into analog. My system today is primarily analog.

    My Music
    ------------
    Music has been important for just about as long as I can remember. Was an ametuer musician early on and had fun pulling groups to play together in my adolescence ("The Sixties"). Performance was left behind long ago but my hi-fi hobby has supplied much of that pleasure and excitement since. I do believe in Music First and am an audiophile who first selects a recording based on music and performance and then selects the best available source of that recording. I only own a few "demonstration recordings". (That turned out to be a problem recently when I was having some equipment installed and the installer wanted to play a familiar reference.)

    Started with popular rock as a child in the late Fifties, had my mind blown at the age of thirteen by the psychelic explosion of 1966 and expanded into the Jazz of Miles and Coltrane in my early teens. I also started listening in the unknown Classical world at that time and my listening now is about 80% Classical.


    My System
    --------------
    1970's - Highlights
    Speakers - Magneplaner IIIa
    Analog - Transcriptors turntable with Vestigial tonearm
    Electronics - modified Dynaco tube preamp and amps

    Yes, As a young adult just starting out, I had to eat cheaply and "defer" as much bill paying as possible, but..
    See photo of the Transcriptors. I've owned and seen some absolutely beautiful turntables (e.g. owned RedPoint Audio Model D in Red, seen DaVinci Audio Gabriel in Red) but isn't the Transcriptors the most eye catching? Didn't actually function all that well but you could space out just staring at it as it played... (or was that those "Sixties" again?)

    1999 - Return to (Digital Hi-Fi)
    CD Player - Linn CD12
    Speakers - NOLA
    Electronics - Conrad-Johnson and VAC

    I credit the CD12 as the device that persuaded me that it was worth having a system in the CD world. My introduction to state-of-the-art industrial design. I remember hearing the first CD playing while I was still in another room getting a cup of coffee. Music, again!

    Today - My Current System
    Speakers - Magico S7
    Room Treatments - RPG (40 pieces)
    Electronics - D'Agostino Momentum
    Analog - TechDas Air Force Two turntable, SAT tonearm, Lyra Etna SL cartridge

    Today I am enjoying a system that is playing records with a fidelity I've never experienced in my home before. The DAG arrived first, then the Magico and, last month, the entire analog system was installed.

    Since I had the turntable, tonearm and cartridge professionally installed all at once, i'm not sure I can distinguish with certainty which component of the record playing system deserves how much of the credit. Certainly, the AF2 sited on a sturdy rack spiked to the cement slab is providing a solid, relatively immobile and unresonant foundation upon which a wonderful vacuum hold-down platter is being rotated with great precision. The new SL version of the Etna is probable responsible for transforming those grooves with a fidelity I haven't heard before.

    However, I'm wondering if it isn't the SAT tonearm that hasn't made the biggest difference for me, at least more of a difference than tonearm changes I've experienced in my past. You can see in the picture that the massive, industrial precision appearance of the TechDas is matched by the appearance of the SAT. The engineering papers at the manufacturer's site reveal this is a very serious attempt to advance tonearm design. For example, carbon fiber of course has been used for tonearms before but not to the degree the material's potential qualities are realized in the SAT. Industry leading levels of specific stiffness resulting from multiple layers of CF in the armwand and headshell are perhaps the most important advancement of the SAT but there are a number of special features, like the huge bearings that are adjustable onsite, that all contribute to the goal of providing the most stable platform possible for a cartridge.
    However, I'm no engineer so enough guessing as to why the SAT has made such an improvement in the sound of my system. I can state without fear of contradiction that the introduction of my entire new analog rig has made a much bigger improvement in the overall sound quality of my system than any other upgrade ever has. For me, there have been no negatives, only positives to this change.

    One important note; For a number of reasons, the installation of the TechDas, SAT and Lyra was performed completely by my dealer, Maier Shadi of the Audio Salon. While I played assistant and listened and learned through the 12 hour effort, both TechDas and SAT want their dealers to perform their installations. Maier has worked extensively with SAT's Marc Gomez and that training and experience were invaluable during my installation. The system sounded fantastic with the very first record we played. This was the first time I had a dealer install equipment for me, but I'm thinking that's the way I want to go from now on.


    So, that's my story. If you've read through all that, thanks for listening!

    - Mike
    Speakers: Magico M3; Amplification: D'Agostino Momentum Integrated; Phono Preamp: Vitus Audio MP-P201; Turntable: TechDas AF2; Tonearm: SAT; Cartridge: Lyra Etna SL; Signal Cables: Synergistic Research Galileo; Power Conditioners and Cables: Shunyata Triton/Denali/Sigma; Component Platforms: Adona/HRS; Room Treatments: RPG

  • #2
    Very Fine System Indeed. Congratulations and welcome to the list.
    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 (Mpmp) , 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


    • #3
      Welcome Mike, from a fellow Air Force guy

      Comment


      • #4
        Welcome Mike! Glad to see you got the SAT! Also glad you bought the AF2 which is the best TT I´ve ever heard (AF1 included)!

        Comment


        • #5
          the yokes and the counterweight on the SAT sure look massive. what are they made of? are they solid or hollow? curious...
          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 (Mpmp) , 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


          • MikeM
            MikeM commented
            Editing a comment
            The counterweights and yokes are stainless steel. Note hollow that I know.

        • #6
          Welcome Mike!

          absolutely wonderful system you have there. congrats.
          https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/615

          Comment


          • #7
            Welcome, Mike. Maier is a great guy and I think if more people had great dealers or set up people to really fine tune their systems, they would be happy - like you. Larry
            Analog- VPIClassic3-3DArm,SoundsmithZephyrII+MiyajimaZeroMono, 2xAmpex ATR-102,Doshi3.0,Merrill Trident Master Tape Pre,Herron VTPH-2A
            Dig Rip-Pyramix,IzotopeRX3Adv,Mykerinos,PacMicroModel2
            Dig Play-mchNADAC, LampiPac, Roon, HQP, Oppo105
            Electronics-Doshi Pre,CJ MET1mchPre, Cary2A3monoamps
            Speakers-AvantgardeDuosLR,3SolosC,LR,RR
            Other-2x512Engineer/Marutani Symmetrical Power, AudioDiskVinylCleaner,AirTightRecordFlat, Scott Rust Interconnects,
            Music-15KRecs(90%classical),1.3KR2Rtapes,50TBrips

            Comment


            • #8
              Welcome aboard.. Nice gear. What phono amplification are you using now?

              Comment


              • MikeM
                MikeM commented
                Editing a comment
                Still on the fence regarding a Phono amp.
                D'Agostino will probably the choice as it ought to be of the same sonic cloth as my amp and it can be configured optimally for the Etna SL.

            • #9
              Welcome, Mike, from a fellow S7 owner! Great system you put together there!
              Kronos Sparta -> Trinity Phono -> Trinity Pre -> CH Precision A1 -> Magico S7s

              Comment


              • #10
                Welcome Mike, from a fellow turntable owner...sorry, that's all I got.
                Dynavector DV20x2L MC cartridge - Genesis G7.1f speakers - Marantz Reference PM-KI-Pearl Int. Amp. - Oracle Audio Paris MkV turntable - Various Morrow & Valab/King cables

                Comment


                • #11


                  Glad to have another dedicated audiophile aboard! Loved reading about your audio journey!
                  Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                  Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                  ________________________________________

                  -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
                  -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
                  -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                  -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
                  -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                  -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                  -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                  -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                  -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                  -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

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