The Show off your HiFi Thread

Discussion in 'Other Hobbies, Interests & non Photography Related' started by Hamish Gill, Dec 29, 2011.

  1. Hamish Gill

    Hamish Gill Well-Known Member

    It's been a year and a half that i have resisted doing this ...
    Some of you may or may not know, my other hobby is Hifi and of course the music to play on it ...
    There are a few of us audiophiles (audiophools?? ;)) here as some of the membership here came across from some of the hifi fora that I am a member of.

    I thought it about time we had a thread for sharing our other hobby through the medium of this hobby ... ie A hifi photo gallery or as i have called it "The Show off your HiFi Thread" :)

    So here is mine





    It has its own dedicated mains circuit with a socket for each speaker, one for the pre amp and one for the linn majik. The TV, blu-ray, wii and mini pc (hidden behind the tv) are fed by a Belkin Pure AV mains conditioner (bottom left of stand - the silver thing)
    All the mains cables are Mark Grant dsp2.5 cables apart from the bluray which is a dsp1.0

    Audio Sources
    The linn majik dsi (top right of the rack) is the hub of the system, it is connected by LAN to the mini PC (hidden behind the tv) for streaming files up to 24/192. The blu-ray player is connected into one of its digital coax inputs for playing cds as well as for the sound from dvds/blurays.
    The mini pc is also connected to it via a usb external soundcard and coax into one of its digital inputs for playing the sound from spotify etc (you can see the soundcard on top of the majik, its the white thing on the left)
    The current turntable is the Pioneer P600x with a phono pre amp made by Paul Lange (hidden behind the flower pot, sorry Paul ;)) the turntable is as standard and is currently sporting a ortofon ff10xe cart

    Video sources
    The Sony BDS550 and mini pc are both connected to the Panasonic TH37PX80 tv via HDMI
    We also have a wii

    Amps and speakers
    My Pre-amp (top left of rack) is a custom made grounded grid valve pre made by Anthony Mathews of Tube Distinctions to my specs ...
    The Speakers are fully active Adam Tensor Epsilons ie they have amps built in to them, one for each driver. they are tuned very slightly to suit my room/tastes to roll off the highs and lows very slightly ...

    All interconnects both digital and analogue are Mark Grant G1000HD's and as i said the mains cables are also Mark Grant

    The rack is a Ikea 'Lack' tv stand that cost £40 :)

    So who's else has a nice hifi... feel free to share it in this thread :)
  2. Chris Dodkin

    Chris Dodkin West Coast Correspondent

    Nicely done Hamish - very impressive looking system - I'm well into the idea of splitting the pre/power, and providing dedicated power for each speaker as well - I bet it sounds sweet :)

    So here's the guts of my hifi - as you can see I'm a Cyrus guy, a rare sight here in the US


    I have a Cyrus aCA7 Pre with PSX-r power supply, running 4 aPA7 Cyrus Monoblock amps.

    This allows me to bi-amp my ProAc Response 2.5 Speakers via some Linn K400 bi-wire cable.


    The CD source is a CD8x with PSX-r power supply - and all of this kit is UK 240v, powered via a HUGE 110-240v step-up power conditioner unit in the base of the cabinet.

    I rarely use the CD any more, as I'm well on the way to ripping all of my CDs to a raid-array HD system in Lossless format - and I use this to stream my music via a dedicated 5GHz WLAN to a DacMagic A/D unit - connected to the Cyrus Pre, and hidden away in the cabinet.

    The music library is on my main MacPro, and I can remotely control it via iPhone, iPad or Laptop from anywhere in the house - playback software is iTunes.


    The cabinet was selected jointly with SWMBO, to house everything whilst still fitting in with our decor - I had to extensively modify the back with a jigsaw, to give me enough airflow for all the kit - which is left on 24/7 to keep it warmed-up.

    No turntable for me - I gave all that up when CD appeared in the 80s! ;)

    Interconnects are mostly Van den Hul, although the CD is connected via a pair of home-soldered cables using Linn's directional silver cable and Neutrik pro RCA plugs, all done with silver solder.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011
  3. Hamish Gill

    Hamish Gill Well-Known Member

    Very nice Chris!
    I do like what i have heard of cyrus systems in the past!
    they had a great set up in audiot in worcester some years back which was nothing short of beguiling and im pretty sure that was with a pair of little proacs ... is the cyrus/proac combo a recognised synergistic match?

    with all that amplification your one step away from some sort of active system! ;)
    Is is possible with cyrus?

    Ive got 2 active systems, this one and one at work ...
    The one at the office is a diy job that uses a pair of dynaudio audience 42's with the passive crossovers removed and a pro rane active crossover before a four channel tripath amp ... bit of a botch, but im not sure how it would be beatable for anything close to what it cost me!
    read about it here if your bored Dynaudio activation project ... Constant support required :) - The Art of Sound Forum ;)

    Ive come to a conclusion that active hifi is right for me ... when i think back all but a few of the systems i have really liked have been active ... the best being an adam/linn combo using the Adam tensor Alphas and a Linn klimax ds and pre (what led me to buy the set up i now have) and a fully active Naim cd555/500 series amps and DBL speakers system that was so emotive it literally made me shiver ...
    of course both of those were c.£100,000 systems ... ... ...
  4. Chris Dodkin

    Chris Dodkin West Coast Correspondent

    Hamish - not sure if there's any formal ProAc/Cyrus match-up, but there are quite a few folks with both, and it does sound fab :)

    Don't believe there's any active crossover technology from Cyrus - I could be wrong there, but I can't remember seeing any.

    Cyrus are busy heading towards digital playback with DAC pre-amps etc, even their own digital streamer!

    What I liked about Cyrus, other than the great sound, was the modular approach - allowing me to get in with the money available, then build towards my goal system over time (8 years in my case) - but always knowing that everything was going towards an end goal.

    Going bi-amped was a big step financially, but kicked *** in the listening department - the bass extension on the big floorstanding ProAcs just went down and down and dowwwwnnnnnn... :D

    I rather like having British hifi out here in the US, as it's far less common, and rather intrigues the locals. ;)

    Plus I get to fly the flag a little - in an area where the UK still shines (IMHO)

    I think Actives are a fantastic solution - and generally overlooked for what ever reason.

    They out gun systems many times their price/size - and provide a smaller footprint option for folks going the digital streaming route. Laptop, SPIDIF, Speakers - can't get much more Zen than that!
  5. Davie Hudson

    Davie Hudson Well-Known Member

    These set up's really are things of beauty
  6. Kev Pugh

    Kev Pugh Well-Known Member

    I'll have to get the morphy richards wireless out, that'll show you hobbiests :D:D:D:D:D

    I am stunned by these setups guys you must have really god neighbours cos I would need a seriously secluded place to give these the full business, truely the dogs bollox :)
  7. Hamish Gill

    Hamish Gill Well-Known Member

    Its the lack of upgrade path ...
    I got these for a lot less than retail, for what i paid for effectively 4 amps and a pair of speakers wouldnt get you 4 amps and a pair of speakers separately that would come close to this imo ...
    Its silly really, but I think many people in the hifi hobby dont see an end goal of getting a hifi they are happy with ... its all about the search for the un-findable audio nirvana ... which plagues people so much i think often they forget to stop to enjoy what they have! I know, i was knee deep in that feeling!
    Until I got these speakers!
    the lack of upgrade path was sorta cathartic ...

    That modular approach definitely has its upsides and downsides imo ...
    I was a naimee for a while ... then realised it was fruitless, I was never going to be able to afford the real naim gear ... and all the low end stuff sounds to harsh after a time ... especially the low end cd players ... i had a cd5 for a time ... yikes ... upgraded it with a flatcap ... just made it worse ... thought about getting a hicap and realised by the time I had a cdplayer and hicap i was well into linn ds money ... so thats what i got and havent looked back ...
    too many boxes, too many options, no good for my brain!

    the majik dsi, is even better... streamer, dac (with 6 inputs,) phono stage (bit crap), pre amp, power amp... I dont need or use half of it, but its damn useful having it all there as it doesnt limit what i might want to do... All in one box, that if i want to upgrade i cant coz i cant afford the 'akurate' version :)

    I dont even really need the valve preamp... but i believe it does something quite special to the sound!

    im blabbering ...

    I thought Cyrus had a digital streamer already? or is it still in the making?
    When i joined AOS a few years back, I suppose i was an early adopter of streamed music ... i had a Majik ds, one of the early ones ... there was hardly anyone on there who was doing any sort of streaming ... Its gone mad since! Linn were one of the first i believe, outside of the squeezebox ... now you can get everything from surround av amps to bed side clocks that stream music! madness, but def the way forward!

    you going to get the cyrus one?
  8. Hamish Gill

    Hamish Gill Well-Known Member

    doesnt need to be loud to sound good ... thats the beauty of a good hifi...
    that said, the problem with my system is even when it is loud it doesnt sound loud ... you only know its loud when you go to speak and realise you cant hear your self ... I have understanding neighbours i think :)
  9. Kev Pugh

    Kev Pugh Well-Known Member

    I can appreciate that Hamish, not sure the sheep round here would though :D I haven't got the space or indeed pennies to equip my humble hovel with anything like this :(
  10. Hamish Gill

    Hamish Gill Well-Known Member

    My cats love it... the one often sits by the speaker when its playing ...
    you might get a sheep invasion if you got one! ;)
  11. Kev Pugh

    Kev Pugh Well-Known Member

    Not forgetting the cows 'n' osses :D
  12. Hamish Gill

    Hamish Gill Well-Known Member

    you might attract some of the 'shore folk too ... yeah, its not worth your trouble mate!
    Headphones is the best option for you i feel ;)
  13. Chris Dodkin

    Chris Dodkin West Coast Correspondent

    Hamish - no point buying the Cyrus streamer - as I've already got everything sorted nicely with my Mac and iTunes, and I get regular software upgrades which add new features.

    Hardware streamers are doomed to failure because - they're hardware! IMHO of course.
  14. Tim Pindar

    Tim Pindar Member

    I'll post photos when I find a moment to take some.

    My kit is (boxes then cables):

    Main source: Squeezebox Duet --> Missing Link Dark Art
    Secondary source: Cyrus CDXT2 (upgraded from CDXTSE) --> Toslink
    DAC: Bel Canto DAC1.5+LNS1 --> Coherent 3D
    Amp: Bel Canto S300i --> Chord Odyssey 2
    Speakers: B&W XT4
    Phones: Pro-ject Headbox Mk II --> Grado SR80
    Mains: Olson Sound Fantastic 8-way, Nordost Vishnu x2, Atlas Eos
  15. Tim Pindar

    Tim Pindar Member

    Only quick snaps, but here's my hifi system.

    The rack is next to the listening sofa.

    The TV shown is our second room system, the main one has a Denon AV amp, 5 B&W M-1 satellites and a Sunfire subwoofer.


  16. Hamish Gill

    Hamish Gill Well-Known Member

    Very smart!
    Is that a DAT machine on the bottom shelf??
  17. Tim Pindar

    Tim Pindar Member

    No it's a cheap Sony cassette deck I got off ebay so I could still play my old cassettes if I ever wanted to, after my big old one conked out. I had hundreds. I never do, though.

    On top of it is the Headbox and the Squeezebox receiver is next to it. All my CDs are ripped onto my PC external HDD and streamed wirelessly to the Squeezebox. The Squeezebox Duet controller is on the top shelf. I would expect hifi buffs to mention the combination of wooden floors and glass shelves as being bad news! The rack is by Quadraspire.

    The speakers sound extremely good, despite their shape. There are two small bass drivers in each. The B&W sound is one you either love or hate, but I'm a big fan.
  18. Chris Dodkin

    Chris Dodkin West Coast Correspondent

    Tim - those speakers look soooo tall! :D

    And shiny - never seen anything like them - very cool :)

    Hamish - what happened to a bunch of your responses on this thread - about hardware systems being doomed the same as CD?

    Are we entering a twilight zone where posts timeslip????
  19. Hamish Gill

    Hamish Gill Well-Known Member

  20. Hamish Gill

    Hamish Gill Well-Known Member

    I said

    I agree, long term ...But i don''t do CDs, The majik dsi is a significant step up in sound quality from any equally priced cd player (IMO of course) and it does so much more ...I have all my CDs ripped to flac, and I''ll contour to buy CDs and rip them until the time that somthing like spotify will stream that level of quality In reality the same can be said for cd - doomed to be supperceded ... Most formats are!
    You just buy what you can afford to get the best quality for the money out of your chosen medium ...You know what I mean?

Share This Page