My two-channel setup... - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 9 Old 06-27-13, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
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My two-channel setup...

I have been listening to music since the late 60s. Throughout the years, I have been upgrading to various systems and now have a Pioneer SC-67 AVR with a pair of Sony SS-M9 for the front speakers and HK Citation speakers for the surround.

I also have a two-channel rig. They consist of an old '76 Sony TA-8650 V-FET Integrated amplifier, a Sony PS-X7 turntable with a Supex SC600 MC cartridge, an Oppo BDP-95 Blu-ray player for a CD/SACD transport and a pair of heavily modified (complete crossover rebuild, Polk db840 subs replacing stock woofers) Polk LSi15s. The Polk LSi15 was just okay before the upgrade... After the crossover overhaul with Sonicaps and Mills resistors, the sound was more smooth and a tad more open. I got greater sonic improvements by changing out the original 8" woofers with a Polk DB840 auto subwoofer. The bass was a lot more extended and tighter compared to the boomy response from the original drivers.

I can also switch over to a pair of Magnepan 1.6QRs (they are speaker B in the system).

For an old system, the two-channel setup sounds a lot better than the Pioneer. There is better depth and imaging. The amp is moderately low-powered (80-wpc) so it really cannot get that loud. Even though the Oppo is a well regarded CD player, the sound from vinyl is magnitudes better than playing back CDs of the same recordings.

For certain music (mostly classical and jazz), I use the Magnepans. The Magnepans give a better sound presentation than the Polks. They sound a lot "quicker" at the expense of bass. But for old rock music, the Magnepans just does not sound right unless I hook up a subwoofer.

I had my amplifier overhauled by EchoWars of Audiokarma a few years ago... I still have to check the bias settings occasionally to make sure that the diodes are okay (if they fail, you get a 50-lb deadweight). It is amazing something so old can sound so good. I had my share of older vintage equipment (Phase Linear 400/c4000, Sony STR7065/STR7800/STR-V7, Yamaha C2/B2, CR2040)(Polk Monitor 10a/ RTA12c, JBL L100, ESS AMT-5, Magnepan MGII, Yamaha NS1000, AR-3a, AR-9). I cannot help but wonder how good some of the older stuff would be compared to current hi-fi stuff.

The attached pics shows my amp and the upgraded crossover... The LSi15 subwoofer pics are from someone else just to show what the differences are between stock and mods...
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Last edited by jon96789; 06-27-13 at 01:07 PM.
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post #2 of 9 Old 06-27-13, 02:01 PM
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Re: My two-channel setup...

Very nice, I would love to have a pair of Maggie 1.6's someday. Or even the 1.7, which has crazy good imaging.

That old Sony integrated is a clean amp. Would have loved to owned a pair of AR 9, too. Couldn't see myself ever selling those classics!

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post #3 of 9 Old 06-27-13, 02:37 PM
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Re: My two-channel setup...

Nice pictures. We so easily assume that newer is better, but there is a lot of fine vintage equipment out there. And you have made some nice upgrades to yours. Thanks for sharing.
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post #4 of 9 Old 06-27-13, 08:55 PM
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Re: My two-channel setup...

Nice Sony. Glen is the best. He has done several things for me. He is a true tech craftsman.

~There are many roads to nirvana, while the ultimate goal is the destination, don't forget to enjoy the ride~
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post #5 of 9 Old 07-07-13, 03:35 PM
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Re: My two-channel setup...

It's so clean your Sony amp, even inside, most of this age of amp usually at least have some rust inside.
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post #6 of 9 Old 07-08-13, 11:51 AM
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Re: My two-channel setup...

Great pictures! There really haven't been a lot of advances in analogue sound reproduction in several years, with th possible exception of speakers, but ypor Maggy 1.6s are still about as good a it gets for most music.
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post #7 of 9 Old 07-08-13, 08:04 PM
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Re: My two-channel setup...

Those Sony V-FET amplifiers are IMO some of the best gear they ever made. They give "tube like" sound with the low end and control that SS always gives. As for the Maggies, well, a new pair of MG-1s in 1976 sold me on panel type speakers. Since then either Magneplanars or some type of ESL have been the only speakers in my room.

Yeah, just about every planar speaker I've ever heard really needs one or (preferably) more sub woofers.

ARC SP9 MKIII, VPI HW19, Rega RB300, Marcof PPA1, Shure, Sumiko, Ortofon cartridges: Marantz CD63SE, Yamaha DVD-S1800,, MSB Link D2A, Emotiva XDA-2, Accuphase T101 tuner, TEAC V7010, Emotiva UMC-200: Front speakers: Acoustat Spectra 22 ESL's, DBX223sx, 2 modified Dynaco MK3's, 2 12" Transmission Line Subs, Behringer DSP1124P, 2 Crown XLS-402 Rear speakers: Acoustat Model 1 ESL, Paradigm X-30, 2 Adcom GFA-545, Acoustat SPW-1 Woofer.
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post #8 of 9 Old 07-10-13, 08:15 PM
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Re: My two-channel setup...

Nice pics and setup, Jon.

Having demo'd and sold MG-II's (and MG-I's) while at Garland Audio in San Jose during the late '70's, and having owned both MG-IIA's and 1.6QR's (the latter currently languishing in a room that needs to be cleared out), I'd say that while the II's were a bargain at their then-$695-per-pair price, the 1.6's are at least a couple of magnitudes more open and resolving.

Re your comments on the performance of the 1.6's on rock: The best I could ever get out of them in a large room with an amp rated @ 240wpc was a tad below 35Hz (but an extremely "clean" 35Hz). You're right about their quickness, but as you're aware they love as much power as you can throw at them. One thing that seemed to give them more oomph at the bottom end, primarily because of better definition, was doing what you did with your Polks--replace the capacitors (in this case with Clarity and Auricap, which also opened them up at the mid and top) and the inductor. I also replaced the input terminals and the wiring. The impact on soundstaging on classical and good jazz recordings made the effort well worth it. I still consider the 1.6's, whether in stock form or upgraded, one of the better values in audio.
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post #9 of 9 Old 07-12-13, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
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Re: My two-channel setup...

Living in Hawaii can take its toll on electronics... I have friends who live near the beaches, their equipment corrodes very quickly from the salt air. I have seen two year old amps that look like they were left out in the rain, rust all over and heavy corrosion on the terminals. Luckily I live in the center of Oahu, so my gear does not have the issue. I like to take care of my stuff, that's why my amp looks so mint for a near 40 year old piece.
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