My Hifi Year

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ClassikFan

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It has been a busy year for me. After years of no changes to the system I have made quite a few purchases whilst enjoying lots of new music.

Here are the bullet points:

Started the year upgrading my TT with Pete's Pylons and acrylic armboard from True Point

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These brought a marked enhancement as I revisited my Led Zep vinyl collection in chronological order whilst reading the excellent book I got for xmas "When Giants Walked the Earth: A Biography of Led Zeppelin by Mick Wall.

Very soon after this I dipped a toe into streaming with the purchase of a Bluesound Node 2i with the promise to Mrs Classik that I would not need to purchase any more physical music media!

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Having got the streaming bug, a few weeks later I acquired a Fidelity Audio LPSU and interface which cemented my new found world of internet music, using Tidal as my service provider.

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Now I was well and truly into the upgrade groove and the next swap was a Temple Audio Bantam One for my ageing Plinius set up.

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This little marvel provides all the power I need and runs so cool you hardly know it is on, unlike the Plinius that must have melted a whole iceberg during its lifetime!

Around this time I purchased a couple of new valves from Guy at Puresound for my P10

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And then it was summer (sort of) and after riding my bike, caravanning and doing other outdoors activities the start of winter allowed me to focus on the next piece of the upgrade puzzle. I'd been watching the classifieds for DAC's for ages but didn't know what to go for so I had a home demo/loan of a Soncoz SGd1 from Purite but when that didn't quite hit the spot I took the plunge and bought a secondhand Chord Mojo, which will be in my system for as long as it takes me to save up for a Qutest.

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I really like what this contributes to my musical life. What it does is make me want to switch my system on and listen to music, which is surely the entire purpose of this mad hobby!

Finally as I do a lot of my listening later into the evenings and due to the fact that I live in semi with a wife who has supersonic earsight but no taste in music headphones are vital so I got my self a nice pair of Oppo PM3’s off ebay.

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So, there you have it. My musical adventures for the year. During the last 12 months I have discovered early Genesis (which did result in me breaking the promise and buying two CD's, oops!), lots of new to me music from artists as diverse as Tool and Little Simz. Now for a few days off work during which I may get a chance to listen to a few tunes while I plot the next batch of upgrades - maybe a sub or dac - who knows!

At any rate it's been fun and wouldn't have been possible without the help & advice and quest for improvement that this fab forum provides. Welcome back Danny.  :rockin:

PS forgot to include the Pete's Pads upgrade in June

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Steveh

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Thoughtful thread. I thought that I had upgraditis until I viewed your changes Stuart.

Improved my digital front end by purchasing a Qutest- life changing -(not just my bank balance!)

Improved my pre-amplifier (FX audio tube to Rotel RC870BX) a bargain off ebay.

Upgraded my speakers from Tannoy to Fyne audio F501(essentially Tannoy since they were designed by ex-Tannoy guys)

The heart of my system remains and will do so until I buy another of same pedigree.(should it ever fail, which is unlikely)

 
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myles

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Speakers: I went from Audio Physic Spark to the Frugelhorn XL. I thought this would be it but something spoke to me and unfortunately it said Tannoy! Next thing I know I'm off up the road to relieve @kernow of his Turnberrys. I've got to say I'm not unhappy! Likelyhood to change: 1/10 (low being unlikely)

Digital: I started the year with the Cambridge Audio CXN V1, and as a few have done this year I bought a Mojo to carry out DAC duties. That little thing sure packs a punch! Well, as is the way....I bought the M2Tech Young DAC with the Teddy Pardo PSU. That bigger thing also sure packs a punch. I won't be changing. Oh and the CXN moved on and was replaced by a Bluesound Node 2i streamer - what a great bit of kit with an even better interface. Likelyhood to change: 3/10.

Records: I started the year with a Linn LP12 with some bits, most notably the Morch unipivot. Itch stylus ensued and I bought the Acoustic Solid Wood turntable - I've liked heavy platter turntables in the past and this is no exception. I bought an Audiomods Series 6 arm then replaced the Hana SL with the ML. I'm really happy with this setup. Likelyhood to change: 0/10.

Next year? Maybe a new rack, some new ICs? I can't see me changing the Croft 25R Phono and 7 Series Monos because I like what they do. I can see me settling down with this system.

 
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pmcuk

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2021 was the year I changed from 300b outputs to 2a3 or 6C4C outputs. The 300b had replaced my "inverted DHT" amp at the end of 2020. This was a 10Y/26 driving an EL38 or EL12, the DHT being in the first stage not the last. I was ready to finalise on the 300b when out of curiosity I tried 6C4C outputs and was quite surprised to find I preferred them. It's a £25 Russian tube so good news for the pocket. I then tried 2a3 outputs and got the same result - not so euphonic and a more neutral and balanced sound with equal amounts of detail. To drive the outputs I used my usual amorphous plate chokes (I have 3 pairs) and FT-2 coupling caps. Throughout the year I experimented with various indirectly heated driver tubes and this continues.

Chassis is modular and uses 19" rackmount parts - it's held together with horizontal rails and threaded inserts into which I can screw various top plates. I do a lot of recycling and have a collection of many top plates. For 2022 I want to build some more 2a3 amps, and also one or two DHT preamps using this system.

Apart from amps I do a lot of songwriting in Garageband on my Mac Pro. I have a whole album of 12 songs basically ready except for the vocals, which I've done myself so far with average results, and some kind of videos for each song. I'd like to put the album on YouTube in 2022 when I get all this sorted. So I guess my main New Year's resolution would be to release the album. That would give me a lot of satisfaction. I've been working on these songs since the 1980s and recording them right through the pandemic.

Let's hope 2022 is a good year for all of us!!

Andy
 

 

Amormusic

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Got the Jolida FX II DAC further modded at start of the year having bought at tail end of previous year, but not having actually used it.

Bought some ProAc Studio 115's. Then sold them.

Bought couple of headphone amps, a Musical Fidelity XCan V2 for the main rig and an Oppo portable one for on the go.

Broke my Sennheiser IE800 IEM's. Paid £100 repair cost to Sennheiser who duly provided me with a brand new set of the upgraded IE800S model. Super happy with that!!

Bought a Sugden A21a Signature in Feb. This is a long-term keeper and my amp faffing is over. I've not had the urge to listen to anything else in my living room since.

Bought IsoTek MiniSub GII power conditioner.

Bought Denon Professional 680 CD spinner. 

Bought some Townshend Isolda Speaker Cable.

Got a rack. Will be getting a different one in the new year.

Edit: forgot to include, just bought some Harbeth M30 standmount speakers.

2nd Edit: forgot to include I bought an Arcam D33 DAC.

I probably should have just written what I kept. It would have been quicker 😉.

 
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HansBertil

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Bought a license for Minimserver 2. Downgraded my Tidal subscription (but kept the quality). Hmm,… there is room for investments next year.

 

Nativebon

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My hifi is suspended in limbo right now.🤣 Too many things to mention. So far most of the changes yet to really get me where I need to be.  Seriously considering second-hand with speakers.

Currently trying an Audiostore prestige music streamer.  Must say it beats my OPPO 105EU hands dwn ( as transport/streamer) in the sound quality department. User interface not good so far. 

Also got KLH model 5 speakers at home on trial. Very musical speakers but a bit coloured. Must say the improvements I'm getting from streamers is quite substantial. I which exploit this avenue much sooner.

Got another DAC in the pipeline but that would be for nxt year along the line of R2R ladder DACs. It's so easy to convince yourself that new is better, been there before.  Taking my time this time around, and also enjoying the journey.

 
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marywhitehouse

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Started the year after a few vet bill induced changes which fortunately ended up as a positive so not much changed till after summer. Started with something nice to look at while listening:

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Then a change of circumstances needed some good portable sounds so got these:

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The Bravado's have started a hunt for more resolution in the home rig but also got me trying some over-ear headphones (HD700 & LCD-2 Classics, both great but different.

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Last for now was last week adding a second sub which has worked out really well:

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ClassikFan

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Started the year after a few vet bill induced changes which fortunately ended up as a positive so not much changed till after summer. Started with something nice to look at while listening:

View attachment 105580

Then a change of circumstances needed some good portable sounds so got these:

View attachment 105581

The Bravado's have started a hunt for more resolution in the home rig but also got me trying some over-ear headphones (HD700 & LCD-2 Classics, both great but different.

View attachment 105583

Last for now was last week adding a second sub which has worked out really well:

View attachment 105582
I’m intrigued by your back drop. 2 subs have a nice symmetry about them.

 

ClassikFan

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Thoughtful thread. I thought that I had upgraditis until I viewed your changes Stuart.

Improved my digital front end by purchasing a Qutest- life changing -(not just my bank balance!)

Improved my pre-amplifier (FX audio tube to Rotel RC870BX) a bargain off ebay.

Upgraded my speakers from Tannoy to Fyne audio F501(essentially Tannoy since they were designed by ex-Tannoy guys)

The heart of my system remains and will do so until I buy another of same pedigree.(should it ever fail, which is unlikely)
Saving that upgrade for a while, still getting over how good everything sounds atm!

 

rdale

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Last year I went Duelund cable crazy and rewired my Klipsch and Tandy speakers internally with Duelund cable along with upgrading the crossovers and binding posts.

This year I followed on with that by trying Duelund mains cable kits from HiFi Collective, first with my Miniwatt N3 and APPJ valve headphone amps. I was really surprised at the improvement in sound over the Isotek EVO3 Premiers I had been using. Then I tried the Duelund mains cables in my Glow Amp One/Klipsch RP600M system and got a large upgrade in that too. I’ve bought another three mains cable kits to try with my MCRU linear mains supplies instead of Isoteks for my streamer, DAC and phono preamp.

In my KEF LS50W/dual R400b sub woofer based system I made up cable with Duelund DCA20GA dual core and KLE Absolute Harmony RCA plugs to replace the Chord C-Sub cables I had been using. I wasn’t sure if sub woofer RCA cables would make much difference but I was quite taken aback again by how great Duelund cables are, and after they ran in for about a week there was a large jump in dynamics and transparency. I added some extra GIK bass traps to this system - GIK Scopus tuned membrane bass traps tuned to 87 Hz plus a couple of Demi Tri-Traps and the system sound quality has really gone up a level in conjunction with the sub woofer cable change.

Next year I hope to add REL TX5 subwoofers to my Klipsch system, and ship the GIK Scopus T40s I’ve already got in the UK over to Spain, assuming I don’t have some kind of Brexit import disaster. I can’t wait to see if I end up with a second system with bonkers bass like the KEF one..

 

Lurch

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Jeez, where do I start. Well for the most part 2021 has been my Annus Horriblus as far as Hifi is concerned.

TT had to go back to Germany for repair, didn't get it back for 6 months as courier mislaid it. 

Quad 989s went tits up several times. 

My IA MB845SEs went in for repair twice early in the year, and the LH one has gone down again so another trip to Henry in the new year. 

Spent £3k on a NOS Urushi Vermillion however the stylus left home after 5 seconds so had to make an insurance claim. 

Still managed plenty of upgrades, went from Conqueror 3C to a 12" Enterprise Mk4, swapped the ML for a Koetsu Black then Urushi Vermillion (see above)then another Black and then a Rosewood Signature Platinum. 

For digital swapped out my fully pimped Mk1 Jolida Glass fx for a fully pimped Black Ice DSD, acquired an Audio-GD DI-2014 Reclocker, digital is really singing now. 

Following the continued problems with the 989s I flogged them of dirt cheap and treated myself to a pair of Martin Logan Summits, wow! what a superb sound these produce. Swapped out my TQ Black II for Chord Signature, also grabbed a Rega 3 with R200 for the 2nd system as its more in keeping with the rest of the components. 

Bought waaay to many records & CDs and discovered the joys of Mofi UltraDiscs, won't be buying to many as they're a bit spend. Also thanks to Mac72 I was introduced to Valvo 6201 tubes and now have a NOS pair in my Lector CDP, they've, given a lovely lift to what is already a superb CDP. 

2022.

Possibly upgrade my BB3 to the new BBu, well I do have a BBu making a temporary appearance here next week. Apart from that it's buying music and possibly having a go at a same make diy Loom.