January 30, 2011

A 3 In 1 Audio And Video System.

Don't we all like 3 in 1 instant noodles and coffee, just because it's so convenient and taste rather good? How about a 3 in 1 A/V system? Rashid has been an audiophile since the days when turn tables was the music format of choice. Then the not so "Perfect Sound Forever" CD came to dominance, which Rashid had also adopted. Lately came computer audio, which once he had listened to the good Doc's system(see my posting about Doc's system titled "The Future Is Now" on the home visit tag), also quickly adopted. Well, how else can you get 3 in 1?

To complicate matters Rashid is also a movies guy, so the system must accommodate this wish too. In other words, this system does it all with discerning quality! Now where do we start?

Let's start with the dedicated AV room which measures 14 x 21ft, which is highly treated on every surface. All the room treatment was designed by Rashid himself. He is also a firm practitioner of isolation, with very precise and meticulous placement of cones and isolation racks. Rashid and his buddies are also avid cable DIY-ers, where they make all their own power cords, interconnect and speaker cables with excellent workmanship that results in factory like termination and finishing. Rashid is also big on Furutech wall sockets and ORB GG-8 high end power tap.
The view from the throne. There's a motorised roll up/down projection screen mounted on the front wall. When Rashid feels like music, the screen is rolled up, and is not visible.

The hard charging Eggleston Works Andra III.

Rashid's speaker choice is the Eggleston Works Andra 3, which has since relegated his previous Sonus Faber Concertino to center and surround roles in the AV system. He tweaks his speaker with an X-cap like tweak to smooth en the high frequency response.
The bi-wired speaker cables, with X-cap tweak for the high frequencies.

Sonus Faber Concertino speakers for AV center chanel...........


And surrounds!

The Linn Sondek LP12 turn table.

Threshold phono stage & Pioneer LX-52 Blu-ray player, tucked just beneath the turn table.

His turn table of choice is the venerable Linn Sondek LP 12, equip ed with the original Lingo power supply and an Audio Technica AT33 MC cartridge mounted on the Ittok LVII arm. A Threshold phono stage amplifies the cartridge signal.
Krell KCT pre amp and FPB 450 mono block power.

A Krell KCT pre amp takes the signal from the phono stage, CD player and out board DAC and passes them on to a pair of Krell FPB 450 mono block power amps, which runs in class A mode. It runs so..... HOT, I heard the heat sink ticking away as the heat stresses the metal.
Dedicated single phase, direct power to the room with circuit breaker box(left) and all Furutech wall sockets.

The ORB GG-8 High End Tap powers the whole AV system.

Top shelf, Theta Basic CD transport. Middle shelf, Wyred 4 Sound DAC 2. Bottom shelf, Krell Showcase AV processor.

A Theta Basic CD Transport feed digital signals to a Wyred 4 Sound DAC 2, which also receives digital signals from a Dell laptop for his latest computer audio craze. An external hard disk of 1 terabyte supplies all of Rashid's ripped CDs in native 16/44, and also 24/96 or 24/192 down loaded hi-rez files. Rashid uses J-Rivers music player software for his computer audio. An interesting feature is the Wyred 4 Sound DAC 2 also comes with a built pre amp to directly drive the pair of Krell mono blocks, which he also demonstrated.
Proceed power amps for AV center & surround chanels.

A Dell laptop running Windows 7 OS and J-Rivers music player software, with 1 terabyte external hard disk supplying a library of 16/44 rips and 24/96, 24/192 hi-rez downloads.

A 19 inch monitor mounted next to sofa for easy reference.

The main music source now are all here and it's digital!

The sound of this system is big, bold and can be beautiful, when the source allows, due to the system's highly revealing nature, it's really GIGO(Garbage In, Garbage Out) here. With well recorded music materials, such as Reference Recordings classical works, the system truly shines. It has fast transient response and dynamics scaling capabilities which few systems can match. This is not a system to pussy foot around with by playing sentimental sweet nothings. It does vocals relatively well too, if only a slightly forward high mid, a.k.a. the presence range will always put the vocals forward, should the singers on the CD's are too closely miked. Clearly, this system doesn't suffer for fools. This is one system that gets out of the way and let the music speaks for it self, for better or worse.

The sound stage is big and imaging is solid, with room filling spatial cues. That's the sound we heard from the CD source. The sound from the computer audio is a little different. While the computer audio had a similar tonal quality and sonic signature compared to his CD based system, it nevertheless had an anaemic and somewhat analytical quality to it. The music just doesn't seemed flow as freely as the CD based source. We did not get to hear Rashid's LP collection on his Linn LP12, due to time constraint. Further more Rashid says he seldom listens to LP anymore and that his turn table might be due for some up grades.
An overhead mounted JVC D-ila projector for excellent picture quality.

The system's AV capabilities are first class, with great picture quality from the AV Designs installed JVC D-ila projector, operating on standard 16:9 screen ratio with a retractable screen in front. There's a Krell Showcase AV processor as the heart of the system, with Proceed power amps powering the center and surround chanels. An interesting AV feature here is the use of two sub woofers, a Yamaha unit placed in the front and a Sonus Fabers unit placed near the sofa, a.k.a. the throne at the back of the room.
Room treatments on the back wall.

Ceramic cable lifters for routing cables.

A book shelf full of CDs, Rashid's physical library.

Ceiling treatments.

Corner traps.

When I ask Rashid what he felt can be improved in his system?

He replied that he is still looking for a better computer audio source, which I humbly pointed out the Bryston BDP-1/BDA-1 combo for his consideration.

He also feels that there's still more could be done with his room treatment. Perhaps any eagle eyed readers can make suggestions on this department here, in the comments section?

2 comments:

Capernaum Creative Solutions Inc. said...

Wow....

ROY的世界,有悲,有喜! said...

wow i am shock to c this...
sonus faber as suround n center...wow