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22.02.2008 00:00

Journey of My Music System- Özhan Atalay

Attempt to have the simplest and purest system with as less as possible components at the signal path. Try to avoid the slogans and conditioning of marketing hypes. Power AmplifiersAudio Note Quest Silver 300B Monoblocks with KR 300BXLS Tubes 10 Watts EachLoudspeakersAvantgarde Uno II with CTRL-225 Active Subs. Upgraded by Audio Consulting StageAudio Consulting Silver Rock Passive Transformer PreSourceAccustic Arts Drive-I Transport Heavily factory modified Kora Hermes 24/192 Tube DACLoudspeaker CablesTMC Gold Label Reference Three Wire Speaker CablesInterconnectsDIY with DC Polarised Shielding diyE.htm Pls see our DIY section. TMC XLR Blue Label Digital CableAC CablesModified Van Den Hul, Shunyata SidewinderAC FiltrationPS Audio P300 MW-II, Audio Consulting Big Rock Isolation Transformers, Audio Prism Quite Line Filters, Dedicated AC and Earth Lines.Other TweaksEraudio Harmoniser of Space, Audio Quest Sorbothane feet, Vibrapods, DIY Tube Traps, RPG Flattfusors, DIY Sand Filled Stands, Nonamehifi Suspension Legs for Uno Speakers, NRABSAvantgarde Uno II loudspeakers really killed me for the last two years. I sometimes felt very desperate. I spent more money then I planned for the electronics. I had to replace three sets of power amps, three pre-amps and other stuff and most of these changes were not solely to achieve better sound but in order to get rid of the technical problems. Eventually the late result was worthwhile.Avantgarde horns are 100 dB efficient speakers and reveal the electronics much higher then others. The noise of your refrigerator, GSM phone, wireless phone, dimmer light control switches and any other electronic devices can easily be picked up by them. Just as an example I had to relocate the wireless telephone to a different location to eliminate the buzz of it's 5 watts small adaptor, can you imagine !!Audio Note's power supply section is quite good and choked by 5RG4 tube, so noise level is quite low which is perfect for Avantgardes.One advantage (and disadvantage as well) of these speakers is that "they throw % 80 of the sound directly to listener". Room reflections do not interfere the sound. It is surely a big advantage but moreover, you don't have the virtual three dimensional soundstage caused by room reflections. Achieving to real 3D is by them is big challenge. As long as you increase the quality and simplicity of electronics, you achieve better soundstage. I always felt that as long as I reduced distortions, I had more blacker, deeper and layered soundstage.There are several factors and advantages of Avantgarde horns. They do not have a crossover for midrange unit. Mid frequencies are directly transferred without any interference. Mid units are only 3,5 cm's, their acceleration and speed is so fast, and almost as close as the speed of any tweeter.100 dB enables you to run the speakers by technically the best amplifiers of today (zero feedback directly heated single ended triodes). 10 Watts enable you to come up to 110 dB in 40 m2 room which you may need 250 Watts or more to run by a 86 dB sensivity of speaker.I tested the best active line stages I can obtain that consist of Cellos, Pass Labs, Classe, Nagra, Conrad Johnson, Electrocompaniet etc and all limited the purity of sound. They all gave different tonality to the system but worse. All of them added distortion to the mid range band and to the soundstage. I ended up with Audio Consulting passive transformer preamp which was the cure to the system Preamp investigation and tests thought me that; most active preamplifiers degrade the sound and add their own sound (coloration) to original sound produced by power amplifier. For me the way is go with transformer line stage. Active preamplifiers may not stipulate such weaknesses in most systems but higher efficiency speakers reveal their problems them more.How does my system sound after all these two years of changes ! I think it is beyond a regular hi-end system and it is as close as to live performance. My own DIY interconnects pushed the sound to the back of speakers as well. To conclude, I can easily say that I'm very pleased with my system's sound for the time being. Although I'm conscious that this is an open ended process, I'm intending to enjoy my system as it is today without making any major changes.I have been listening my system for a couple of years with the same pleasure and afraid of touching to any of components for the time being.We developed Uno Crossover Upgrade Kit with Serge Schimidin from Audio Consulting which consist of pure silver wires, pre silver crossover coil for tweeter and high quality paper in oil caps. This upgrade added another dimension and richness to my system. Moreover, my invention of suspension legs allowed mid and tweeter units to run in a free space regardless of cabinet and room distortions. This upgrade made a dramatic effect to mid band and higher bass. Please look at suspension legs at DIY section.Audio Consulting's 2500 Watts 20 Kg isolation transformer works on the principle of "not using neutral (-) side of AC power." You need tri-phases of electricity at home. You connect two phases (340 Volts) to it and it provides two 180 0 diffenent phase of 220 Volts signal. No neutral line is used, both of the lines provide electricity but one has opposite phase. As a matter of fact, you don't connect neutral line of your electricity to your system and get rid of most RFI / EMI problems.