A Discussion About What Level Of Analog To Stop At

So this is a bit of a friendly discussion, a sharing of information, and perhaps a bit of a what if thread.

As we acknowledge, the rooms our stereo’s reside in are a significant factor in how our audio systems sound. Now this discussion takes place mostly in the arena of speakers, and perhaps amplification for those speakers. I don’t believe I have read threads where it comes up in context to our source components. But I am wondering if it should?

In terms of myself, I only run one system unless you count my headphone rig. Truth is I rarely listen to that and I wonder if it is worth the money I spent there. But I am a consolidator and climber when it comes to audio gear. I also have an understanding with my patient spouse that I keep the audio gear in one room. I suspect if I tried taking over another room with audio gear, she would bury me in a shallow grave in the back yard.

So I have run of the living room within reason. Now this is the best room for audio in the house, but it is by no means perfect. it is 16’W by 20’ L with 8’ ceilings that are textured with acoustic popcorn. The flooring is short pile carpet with heavy pad. There is a dining room off the left wall, so only a half wall on that side. The right wall has a picture window in it. 6’L and 5’T. The back wall has french doors with glass panes. There is a little notch in the back left corner about 3’L by 1.5’D, its where they put a small bathroom on the other side of the wall. Equipment rack is on the side wall under the window. The speakers on the short wall on each side of a fireplace. Listen chair is 4 feet off the french doors.

Stereo consists of:

Martin Logan CLX ART speakers w dual Velodyne HGS12 subwoofers

Classe Omega monoblock amplifiers

Trinov Amethyst pre-amp (the DSP functions are a prime consideration in buying)

Cen Grand DSDac 1.0 Deluxe DAC

BPT 2.5 Signature power conditioner

Now all the analog gear is where it gets messy, and my consolidation thoughts are kicking in

Turntable #1 SOTA Cosmos Eclipse/SME V/Transfiguration Audio Porteus

Turntable #2 Scheu Analog Das Laufwerk No2 with Schroder CB-1L and Ortofon Verismo. Second arm Dynavector DV505 that gets used with an Ortofon MC2000/Ortofon MC3000 II/Kiseki Blackheart

Phono stages are a BMC MCCI Signature ULN, a standard BMC MCI Signature, and Esoteric E-03. Have an Ortofon T2000 SUT to use with the MC2000.


As a consolidator I sometimes wonder if all of this is necessary. The money is spent and this is kind of my audio kitty funds. I tend to keep those monies separate and often save and then sell pieces being upgraded to afford that next step. The reality is that often I cannot have to expensive pieces side by side and decide which I like the best. Since I also shop Audiogon and USAM for used gear it’s not possible to listen to candidates. As a consolidation I look at what is out there. For instance, when I tally things up I could possibly afford a Walker Proscenium that happens to be on Ebay at the moment. I would be down to one table, one phono stage, and two cartridges. One thing that stops me is that gold on the Walker is damned ugly, secondly, I am not sure I got room for the pump assembly. My system is a bit large for this room as it sits.

As I am writing I wonder if this room can really support a higher tier of analog gear than I got. I think some would argue that this room is limited in ways to compromise even what I have. The sound is very nice, better than I hear at many shows, and in other audiophiles’ homes I have gone to. We have a local audio group, and I haven’t heard anything I like better. In the past I have used the MC3000 II cartridge as a casual listening tool, but with the CEN GRAND DAC the sound is so nice I really don’t need to do that anymore. Still need the Dynavector arm though if I want to play the MC2000. Now all of these cartridges sound very very nice, and I could live with any of them. Truth is I like the Transfiguration the least. Or I think so till I spend about a weekend listening to it.

One thought is to choose one table and sell it all off and maximize that one. The other is to keep the Verismo and probably the Kiseki. Buy the very best table and arm I can with all the funds gathered once I sell all that stuff. The question I cannot answer for myself is ...is this worth it given what my room allows this system to do? I have a small amount of room treatment with wood diffusers, ART series acoustic panels, and the DSP function of the preamp. But I cannot turn this into a full-on treated room because of the basic limitations of it.

I have probably made posts in the past in other threads putting ideas like this forward. But I don’t know if I ever made a comprehensive post with all these thoughts. laid out. If you feel its repetitive, I do understand. However, if you have thoughts or ideas, I would surely be interested in reading them. Take the conversation wherever makes sense, as this is meant to be a wide-ranging discussion. Thanks for any of your contributions!



@tvrgeek has made it quite clear, where there is real enjoyment and memories to be made in music, and that is alongside a Crowd at a live music performance or just a meeting with a Busker in a Public Place, either can have a profound effect and create a stimulus that encourages more encounters.

I first encountered the Sisters from the Band 'First Aid Kit' on a evening Tube Train Journey near Victoria in London. There Public Display of practicing vocal harmonies was a real treat to be party to.

A few years later following the indelible experience, I encountered the Sisters once more at Glastonbury Festival and learned who they were as a Band. Today I own all of their Albums released on Vinyl.

There are over the years quite a few Busker Groups encountered, and out of these encounters, I have ended up with their CD's on offer for 'in car entertainment' purposes. 

In my case anything that is not experiencing live performances, is a secondary interest in experiencing musical encounters. 

The use of Audio Equipment is for myself not of a great importance, its usage is merely a means to experience a Bands work, as a result of recordings of their music being made available as a commercial product.

The Merchandise supplied to be used, is produced via a host of processes, where non-Band material is embedded into the recorded medium.

Embedded material put in place, is sometimes as a result of collaboration or disagreement. The embedded info is mainly a creativity of an individual with no real affiliation to the Band, the process is strictly and fundamentally a design to be a marketing strategy and generate sales.



I would get one the very best turntable that I could afford. It is so important. Then maybe two arms with two cartridges. Maybe.  Probably one set would be enough. But that's me. Some really enjoy playing different tables with various arms and cartridges.

inna makes a point. The difference between playing music and playing with music.

When I sold my LPs, I made the decision I would rather spend my time playing music.  Both completely valid and isn't it wonderful we have the choice!


FWIW, I had a Thorens I modified with a Grace arm and cartridge into a Hafler preamp I built into the base. 

Dear @neonknight  : Are you using those Velodynes as a bass support only or you are crossing the ML ( say at 90hz. ) and from here comes the Velodyne bass running let in that the ML runs with out " distress " and lower system distortions?

The Omega can play any loudspeaker and has very good design those Classé Audio, I like it.


Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,