Homage to those who are pleased with your audio rig


I am now pleased with my two audio systems. I am enjoying the music. Both are, by most measures, humble audio rigs but.... I am enjoying the music.

It’s all tubes and digital in one system and SS and digital in the other, have not gotten back into albums. Parasound Amp, Schiit Preamp, Schiit DAC, Sony CD player, Bluesound Node 2, Vandersteen speakers with Rythmik Subwoofer one rig, Line Magnetic integrated tube amp, Rega CD player, Schiit DAC, Bluesound Vault and Tekton Double Impack SE speakers in rig 2.

Please tell us all, how did you get there? Are you still working at it? Care to tell us what equipment your using? Simple rig? Are you enjoying the music?

128x128Ag insider logo xs@2x2psyop

Yes. I am enjoying the music. Finally. I was about to give up or chase the dragon of upgraditus. I determined though to be sure I got the best out of what I had before any more moolah spent. By proper speaker positioning and finally getting my subs integrated I am finally enthralled. At this point I'm not sure I need to do much more. Is it immoral in the audiophile sense to decide you're happy enough? More than likely the bug will bite but the itch has been delayed. My system is modest as well, at least to some on this site but it is a crazy amount to a lot of people "just to listen to music"! I am streaming using Bluesound Node 2i, a DH Labs coax feeding an Aqua La Voce DAC. Heaven's Gate XLRs to my Parasound Hint 6 Integrated. Straightwire Expressivo Bi Wire speaker cables to my Dali Opticon 8s and a pair of REL T7i. Maybe my inexperience hearing high end rigs puts me at a disadvantage as far as comparison, but it sure sounds sweet to me!

Congratulations. That is a good place to be. Me as well. Photos of my systems are posted as are yours.

I have gone through five to seven year periods of being really happy and just enjoying the music. Then I was financial able to afford an upgrade. Then a year or so of upgrade to a new level of performance. A few years before I retired I upgraded my systems. I expected that to be the last. But I have been fortunate in retirement an was able to do the largest upgrade I have ever done and significantly upgraded all my components and moved to all tube systems. This had an enormous impact.

My main system is Sonus Faber Amati Traditional with all Audio Research Reference components. A new nearly Klimax Linn LP12 turntable and flagship Aurender Streamer put vinyl playback, streaming, CD playing, and file playing at equal sound quality levels with the same tonal balance… exactly what I want. I also have a similar headphone system.

Being retired, my system gives me great enjoyment and is so addictive, no matter how many hours a day I listen, it is never enough. My system is the culmination of fifty years of relentless pursuit and investment and is a tremendous source of satisfaction..

I happily have a whole floor with my library, fireplace, office, audio room and systems that have made hibernating due to the pandemic a real pleasure. The forest and quiets streets affording daily dog walks and bicycling a real pleasure. So, my audio systems play a central focus, but within a broader context. 




Wow retired and all that you mentioned. That is wonderful. Not quite to the retirement age, but I think my idea of an ideal situation might be very close to yours. Although my wife and I would like to travel around for some months.... if we have the means to do so. You have a wonderful audio system. Although like I proposed, we all need to be happy with the system we have and enjoy the music a little more.



Thank you. Yes, most importantly we need to enjoy what we have! Music is such an enjoyable experience. If not retired, a great place to go and just experience the moment and forget the daily frenetic pace of life and live in the moment. You don’t need a mega system to do that. But nice to have something to dream about and look forward to.

I enjoy the heck out of my system. It fits my tastes perfectly -- a system that offers up three-dimensionality,  unforced, natural tone quality, and that doesn't have to play very loudly to get this. I truly don't need a lot of volume, anyway.. 85db peaks are all I need for a good time. True, I've had my share of components that went belly-up over the years, but I guess that's par for the course. I've had cartridges that could no longer track. Turntables that began to suffer from bearing noise and that developed wow. Tone arms that got sticky. CD players that just up & died. Last but not least, I must say that listening quality took a substantial leap when I buiilt a house with a special, dedicated stereo room.

I have to admit, that I finally scratched the itch. Even though there is still room to grow, I finally got the music in my system to a point where I am not hearing any sound that is lacking, where I think I need some other upgrade.

I can finally just sit back, relax and enjoy; instead of lean forward, inspect and investigate. :)

I absolutely love my system very analog sounding, here's what the system consists of, Sim audio p8 preamp, Sim audio w8 amp, esoteric P10 transport, Wyred 4 sound 10th anniversary dac, this thing is a giant killer one of the most analog sounding dacs that I've ever listened to, monarchy audio up sampler, digital and analog interconnects are all Harmonic technology magic gen 3, speaker cable is Harmonic technology pro 9 gen 3 bi-wired and the power cords are all Harmonic technology pro 10, all the wiring is OCC single crystal wire which has been proven now for 50 years to be the best wire for audio, and finally the speakers are monitor audio platinum 200 Gen 2 and they're sitting on my latest addition the Townshend podiums which stop all Earth and speaker vibrations from shaking the speaker the most significant upgrade I've made it sounds like I have a whole new system with the addition of the podiums far superior to the isoacoustic Gaia but they cost three times as much and well worth it, the system is worth over 60,000 Canadian and I will put it up against $200,000 systems and I know this will beat them.


When I finally reached that point of clarity that tells one that there is no such thing as audio perfection, I began chasing the important Dragon. The music. When I opened myself up to all music genres the magic really took hold. There is always something beautiful or interesting just around the corner. What a blast it is at 58 years old to find music from all over the world with just a click. My system still excites me and gives chills on rainy Oregon nights, so all in all I feel blessed. At this moment I am running Klipsch Khorns, LaScalas and Heresy speakers driven by 3 Mac MC252 amps and a Mac C50 pre. Subs are SVS SB4000, SVS SB300 and an SVS PC2000 Ultra. CD player is a Marantz SACD7S1. Cabling by Audioquest and Audio Envy. All in a large room that is a well treated living quarters that I do not share with anyone so I get on it a lot. Life is good.

Only thing left is streaming for me. In fact starting getting stuff for it this week. Other than that, my system is now completly satisfying, analog rig, digital CD and digital audio tuner rig. Simplest way to find out how I got there is to see my house of stereo system. Click on my handle then click on details and there you will find it. Congrats to those who can actually enjoy their music. I know it's all about the journey but as you get up there in age, the end result is surprisingly just as satisfying and much more relaxing 👌

I learned and changed a heck of a lot since joining Audiogon in June 2019, simply looking for ’long tonearm’ advice.

Little did I know Covid was coming within 6 months. 26 miles from NYC, we locked ourselves down! That’s a lot of on-line shopping time. Did I forget to say, retired, wide arse wider now.

My jaw hurts from saying DONE, but I am feeling it for real, now selling stuff.

Living vicariously helping friends with their systems helps.

I see a lot of systems here, and I jump all over the internet to see what equipment others are discussing. there are a lot of Speakers I would like to hear even though I am thoroughly happy with mine.


Main Music System; Small Home Theater; Office System and Garage/Shop system: all overhauled, all shown here



Just this morning, I was listening to the Bill Charlap Trio and smiling at the sound.


I rearranged my setup so I could plug the integrated into a separate outlet, and not in the power conditioner. To soon to tell, but I really like what I’m hearing. 


I am extremely pleased with my audio system and have been for years. Upgrades happen, but they're rare. I buy most equipment new and don't replace any of it casually.

I'm still using my Infinity IRS Beta speaker system. I kept my ARC SP-11 Mk. II preamp in use until I just couldn't live without a remote anymore, so I bought an ARC Ref 5SE. That gives you an idea of my system's slow evolution.

VPI TNT III/VPI SDS turntable/with SME V/ ARC Ref 2SE phono stage. Crown, Tandberg and Nakamichi tape; Bryston BDA-3 and BDP-3 digital. Dedicated AC lines/CJ, ARC and Bryston amplifiers.

I'm retired now but have been a music lover forever and an audiophile since I was a teen. It's easier to justify audio's high prices when you're in it for the long term. I keep my cars for a long time, too, but I've had a bunch since I bought my McIntosh MR-80 tuner 40 years ago. Those cars have long since been crushed, I'm sure, but the Mac still satisfies. That's value, even though the $2,000 that it cost me then would be worth more than $6,500 today.

Let’s put it this way. I am enjoying my system. I like my system when I purchased it. Since then as I learned more, tried different components and tweaks and each time, it sounded better. OK I was hooked.

My latest change was taking out a tube buffer and adding a Khozmo passive preamp. I am getting close. I have said that several times. This is fun. Checking out a Network Acoustic ENO or upgraded crossovers. But I think most of you would like this system as it sits.  Haven't found any serious audio nuts like me to give opinions. 

How did I get there? Lots of trading in and trading up when I was in my 20s. Finally, in 1983, after I turned 34, I purchased ADS 1230 speakers and never looked back. Amp is a Quad 405 and pre-amp, a Nakamichi 410, both purchased in late 1977. Still have my Thorens TD166 mk 2 table (1985), Yamaha T-70 tuner (1982, an Ebay purchase), Sumiko blue point #2, and NAD CD player(2016). 

I've heard other speakers since '83 but none that wowed me to the point where I'd sell my 1230s. Let others pursue the holy grail of audio, I'll enjoy the  music. You get older, you have other priorities, in addition to other hobbies. Mine are varied and many. One of them is cycling. Bikes have their own rabbit hole to go down. 


I love my system. I found my forever amp. SACD player is fine. The only thing I'd change is to 3 series Maggies if I thought I was never going to move again.


A fantastic system indeed. I was just curious if you had considered building absorption right into the walls and ceiling to eliminate the need for bass and first reflection traps. 





The walls and ceilings were built purely for soundproofing, which if you want to have a dead quiet room and have to deal with close neighbors, is mandatory. No sound in, no sound out. Then comes the acoustic treatment. Separate things entirely. I see where it would be neat to knock down both those things in one swoop, but I fail to see how anything in a wall or ceiling behind a double sheetrock green glue sandwich construction, a big part of soundproofing for neutralizing low frequencies, would have any chance at doing the job of absorbers and corner bass traps.


i agree that anything behind drywall wouldn’t work very well. Having a smallish room I did end up killing 2 birds with one stone. I had an acoustician design the room and I built it while the speakers were being built. I have no drywall inside the room which allowed for absorption to be built into the walls and ceiling. I do have double drywall on the outside with MLV between the layers. The ceiling joists have Rockwool in them. It turned out quite well sound proofing wise and sound quality wise. Happy listening 


Excellent, glad it's working for you. So is it like a cloth material instead of sheetrock? Like absorbers construction.

I frequently listen to music in the 60db range peaks at 70db and it is completely immersive. Sometimes I’ll listen in the 70’s with peaks around 85db.


There is rockwool in between all the studs. I have 1/4 inch pegboard screwed and glued right to the studs all sides. The two walls behind the speakers that is all there is with fabric over the pegboard. The 3 walls opposite the speakers there is a layer of 2 inch rigid fiberglass on top of the pegboard then fabric. The ceiling has 2 layers of pegboard and rigid fiberglass then fabric. It was quite the project. 

I saw the pics of your system, your description of the construction helps me better understand. It's like a high tech padded room :) Definitely unique.

I never enjoyed really, and without back thoughts, my actual system by itself alone or any other of my past audio system, at all....

But I enjoy NOW music through sound, in  my House whith this  electrical lowered noise floor/ in an  acoustically controlled room/ with this mechanically relatively isolated and  well controlled vibrating system... 😁😊

Acoustical/electrical/mechanical embeddings controls are the keys....

500 bucks 8 years ago was enough to pass the minimal S.Q./price ratio threshold of minimal acoustic satisfaction...Who say better?

I dont give a dam for upgrade....I listen music in 3D living presence  i dont want  upgrade about more micro details...

My 8 headphones are in a closet because they dont rival my speakers/room...


Listening experiments are the key, and homemade devices with low cost products, not big money....

I must admit my dedicated room is nothing near "beautiful" though, but i dont give a dam at this peanuts price...

And the smile of my children and grand children, looking at my "mad" room with over one hundred diffusers and resonators among other devices , but also their astonishment listening the music is my precious reward...


I was really sweating the room early on before the speakers were broken in. It didn’t really sound that good. It’s amazing how much better the room sounds now with the speakers settled in. 

ronboco Are those Rockports? I heard those are amazing speakers. I can't really imagine those speakers to sound anything but stellar!


853 posts


Just this morning, I was listening to the Bill Charlap Trio and smiling at the sound

Excellent choice!


Campy? Shimano? Or are you one of them SRAM guys? Is your steel real? Or is your plastic fantastic? Once upon a time I would have asked if your aluminum was zoomium. In any case, my bicycle-crazed wife has found a website that streams practically every stage race on the calendar. Among other races, we watch the Tour of the Basque Country. Yeah, another rabbit hole.


Yes they are. Avior ii  and they are spectacular. The Boulder 866 is a great match as well.  I look forward to every listening session  



"scrutiny" obsession is only the other side of acoustic ignorance...

All scrutiny ceased when a minimal acoustical quality threshold is reach after listening experiments....

We must learn how to listen, if not, our hearing dont learn how to make sense of sound.... And our scrutiny become a blind obsession...

I've always been pleased with my system. 

My first complete high end system consisted of a Logic DM-101 turntable with a Signet arm, a Monster Alpha cartridge, a DB Systems 1b/2a/4b preamp/MC headamp, a Bryston 3B, and a pair of Energy Pro 22s.  I bought it in the early 80's, a combination of new, used and demo gear.  I still own the DB Systems gear and the Logic DM-101 as backups.  This system did very well for me for over 10 years.

In the early 90s, I got the opportunity to buy a pair of Apogee Duetta IIs from a prominent reviewer for $700 and jumped on it.  My grandfather passed away in 1995 and left me some money, and as we used to enjoy music together, I took some of it and used some of it to buy a VPI TNT 4 and an ET 2.5 tonearm. Sometime around that time I picked up a used PS Audio 5.0 preamp, and built a tube preamp, and all 3 preamps saw time in the system from time to time.

Other than cartridges, that was my system up until 2019 when one of the bass panels on the Apogees was damaged during a move, and shortly thereafter my Bryston 3B died.  

I bought a set of Maggie 1.7is to replace the Apogees, and as an interim move, got a PS Audio Stellar S300.  About 6 months later, I found a used Bryston 4B SST2, along with a used, just serviced BAT VK-30SE preamp and a  new Herron VTPH-2A.

Somewhere around there my VPI PLC died, and I replace the motor system with the SOTA Total Eclipse package, built a second table from spare VPI parts and a custom plinth I built from 1.5" Acrylic for use as a mono table.  A Lyra Helikon Mono sits on that, which I bought used, and a Lyra Delos sits on the main table, also bought used.

Somewhere in there I bought a Node 2i for streaming.

I'm extremely pleased with the current state of my system.  I don't plan on changing any of the main components.  I might try and improve the streaming at some point, and maybe a new cartridge or two to add to my collection.



My favorite audio rig is my car.  It's only taken me to ~20 concerts this year - we've severely restricted our acceptable venues during the pandemic - but we've found that the amount of online live content has expanded to help fill in.

For $50 at SFJazz.org, you can stream a concert every Friday (repeated Saturday) for an entire year!  One of the best audio bargains ever (if you have the bandwidth).

Never done but pretty happy with my current rig!  Not ruling out upgrades in the future because technology marches on.  

I maintain and use four systems. By a process of mixing and listening I have a main system I am very happy with and m unlikely to ever change -  VPI TNT V, SME V, Koetsu Urushi, Vendetta SCP2-D, Conrad Johnson Premier 14, Conrad Johnson Premier 11a, Wilson Maxx 2, Inouye power conditioner, Moon 280D DAC.

But my second system, which I use mostly for acoustic music is also wonderful - Sota Cosmos, SME V, Lyra Clavis, Bryston BP17, Conrad Johnson Premier 15 phono, Classe DR3 VHC, Martin Logan CLS, Hegel HD12 DAC

An my third system is one that I also use a lot, made up of bits that began years ago in my main system - Roksan Radius 5/Nima/Goldring Eroica LX Classe DR-7, Classe DR3 VHC bridged monos + PSE V monos (bass), Classe DAC1 DAC, Vandersteen 4A, - kind of a state of the art c. 1990 set up (excpt for the turntable, a modest one added much later),

I can say I am the happiest I've ever been with my system right now.  I'm probably done upgrading most of the major pieces -- preamp, amp, speakers, turntable -- for the foreseeable future.  But knowing myself, I will never be 100% satisfied to the point where I'm not occasionally thinking about tweaking or upgrading something.  But I'm spending a lot more time getting lost in the music and a lot less time analyzing my system these days.

Good for you, 2psyop

My current system began taking shape 4 years ago and recently became complete and the sound is fabulous.  I am now re-listening to just about everything in my collection. The journey has been fulfilled!

VPI HW19 table with an Ortofon TA-110 arm & Cadenza Blue. VPI HW16.5 Cleaner. Sutherland Engineering N1 Preamp w/ a pair of EKSC Eagle 11' monoblock's on Acapella platforms.  Custom made silent HD Audio PC w/ an MAudio 24/96 audiophile sound card. Wilson Benesch Vertex loudspeakers w/ W-B Torus System for the low end.

Initial placement had the equipment rack between the loudspeakers, but everything changed with the addition of the Torus system.  The rack went along a sidewall and the Torus went between the 2 main speakers.  It really dialed in at that point with some fine adjustments.  Even my wife is listening with me again.

"Pleased with my rig", that would be me!

I'm retired now nearly a year, loving life in the new place we moved to about two years ago and the new home we had built about 18 months ago (and yes, with a dedicated listening room).  As for "we" that's me & my wife of nearly 42 years, with two grandkids just minutes away.  Lots of volunteer work to keep me busy and contributing.  A great music scene, great restaurants and great hiking in our new home.

As for the equipment:

PS Audio P15 Power Regenerator
PS Audio DirectStream DAC
PS Audio PerfectWave SACD Transport
Roon Nucleus Plus Server
Dell Laptop-WD 4TB External Disk Drive
McIntosh MC452 Power Amp
McIntosh C2500 Preamp
Focal Sopra No2 Speakers
JL Audio F113V2 Sub Woofers (2 of them)
Wireworld Cabling

No plans to change any of this!

@2psyop --

I am now pleased with my two audio systems. I am enjoying the music. Both are, by most measures, humble audio rigs but.... I am enjoying the music.

Great that you’ve gotten to that, enjoying the music - or managed to continue enjoying music on your audio journey, because that’s not always a given. Sometimes an audio journey is more about audio (or one certainly becomes more engulfed with it in these hi-fi affairs) than music per se, but the two are hardly inseparable; I find enjoying music an even bigger experience now because of how it sounds, or maybe it’s because I don’t feel ashamed about cherishing the sound of music and letting the physics of sound have its say.

The live experience of an organ concert in a church and the acoustics it offers is cemented by its sonic nature; the grand locale, the reverberation, the loftiness, the massive scale, the physicality of the organ playing - this way it becomes more than music and turns into an experience of transcendence even. Try recreating that through the stereo. Most fail miserably and the experience falls utterly flat.

Please tell us all, how did you get there? Are you still working at it? Care to tell us what equipment your using? Simple rig? Are you enjoying the music?

To me it has been about progressively realizing the importance of physics and size of sound, and how effectively miniaturizing sound mostly through speakers too small and inefficient - and believe me, most are - is diminishing the impact and nature of music-as-sound on its own terms. It’s not about SPL per se, but its uninhibited and effortless attainment at any desired or necessitated level is part of the equation, if you would. To my mind it’s become too much about "cultivation" and brands from a sonic package too wimpy and never really getting the basics right, on a broader scale at least.

I’ve gotten to where I am now with the gradual implementation of horns, large radiation area/overall size, high efficiency and active configuration (see my setup on my profile for those interested, so not to take up more written space than needed), and this involved eschewing traditional hi-fi speakers and amps and instead choosing pro (i.e.: studio and cinema mostly) segment solutions.

What I have now won’t essentially change down the road, so my current setup is pretty much the basic expression of what I seek in audio reproduction. A relief and great joy, actually, and an outset to work from that will have continuity and keep prices reasonably at bay.

Simplicity may not be what best describes my system and overall approach. I mean, main speakers + two subs, 3 stereo amps (one for each driver section) and digital cross-over - plus the rest (DAC/preamp and PC-based source). The complexity issue, at least for the uninitiated lies in setting filter values by yourself and integrating the subs properly. It’s not plug-and-play for sure, but the efforts have been very worthwhile.

I’m enjoying music immensely. No genre is left by the wayside, music just immerses with an effortless, full, present, coherent and dynamically unrestricted presentation. Frequency range extends down to 20-25Hz at full click, that is any desired SPL with ease. Very informative and alive at low levels as well. Happy dandy here.

I am pretty confident i have now reach nirvana with my setup. Approximately 2 years ago I began the quest to research and purchase the system that would take me through retirement. Going down that rabbit hole was not easy. It started with the DT 1990 Pros and Monolith 789 dac/amp combo. It sounded great but deep down i knew it was not the perfect solution for my ears. After buying and selling numerous headphones for the past 2 years I finally found the headphones that are perfect for my needs. My end game systems consist of Burson Soloist 3x Amp, Burson Composer 3x Dac, Ferrum Oor Amp + Hypsos Hybrid Power System, Gustard DAC-X26 Pro, Audeze LCD-4, Focal Utopia and Abyss 1266 Phi TC headphones. I mainly listen to Smooth Jazz and these 2 systems are perfect for that genre. I am a big fan of the Utopia's but the Abyss 1266 are simply sonically superb in comparison and my Holy Grail. Next year I retire and now I feel I am ready. Smooth Jazz has never sounded so perfect. 

Very cool to see so many satisfied audiophiles. Hey you've worked hard and deserve to have this particular pleasure. I have read about so many pieces of sensational gear, it makes my head spin. But even more surprising is that music is played and you guys are listening to it. It's like the Dobbie Brothers wrote, "Listen to the music".

@mahgister --

We can live happy at 50 hertz....

I am....

What has surprised me is how much a hard deck of 50-ish Hz actually suffices. For music you get a long way with this, and it's certainly much more important how >50Hz is reproduced than more blindly going after added extension. Indeed, hunting for an octave lower can be an expensive endeavor, in more than sense, not least of which is potentially making matters worse for how the bass above it and in very general is presented - if not properly implemented.  

But the question presses itself: should not lower than 50Hz suffice? It's a matter of how you go about it, what your goal is and the time and effort one is willing to invest. To me it's been about weighing the potential disadvantages against what could be gained going with lower extension, something's that is also tied with the specific bass principles I've pursued and their limited bandwidths, how it may affect sensitivity, structural integrity and specifics with floor construction, the impact on enclosure size (i.e.: and inevitability with horns), and so on. A close to 25Hz tune seemed a proper balance to me all things considered. 

Properly implemented an honest octave lower than 50Hz makes a difference with lots of music and not least films, I can tell you that. 

very happy with my system. https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/615

built my room in a barn back in 2004, took 10 or so years to figure out the room, but for the last 7 years it’s been acoustically stable, and a source of great joy and hours of musical pleasures every week.

i’d say my room is somewhat over the top in my quest to discover what might be possible to accomplish. and i think based on my own priorities, that i have achieved that. my approach was to assemble gear that was not performance limiting, to cover all the bases of AC power grid, noise isolation, resonance control, amplification headroom, and top level electronics, speakers and sources.

i am a music lover as well as an audiophile so also have 12,000 lps, 20 terabytes of files, and 300+ master tapes. my focus is the music.

i have upgraded sources (added Wadax digital, added 2 more tt’s) these last 7 years but at this point ready to retire and just cruise into the sunset listening. have a new cartridge arriving tomorrow, and a new tone arm in a few weeks. but those are the only additions planned.

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The great thing about small room you can hear things that a bigger room would eat up.Im content for now...Im getting some great imaging and nice timber correct imaging from i have to say occ cabling.My system isnt mega $ but it is descent quality and live with what happening.Was PM'ing a possible cable purchase this morning...sold when i got done talking to him...good!.

I am so pleased with my current kit that I believe I have reached my end-game system. I’d never thought this before, no matter how satisfied I was. This is the first time ever, regardless of how thrilled I was about my system, that I’ve stopped pursuing other gear, even casually. I’d rather spend time listening than dreaming of other gear. My current speakers are open baffle with a horn, an amplifier delivering only 4.3 watts, and it is heaven for me. I lucked out finding the speakers for sale used locally, and on a whim contacted the manufacturer of the amp fortunately to be offered a demo unit at great discount (which was all I could afford).

Consonance Opera Audio Reference 2.2 (CD player, upgraded), Mapletree Audio 2A/SE (preamp, 6SN7 NOS tubes, Black Gate caps), Whammerdyne DGA-1 (stereo amp, 2A3 NOS tubes, wider band trannys), Pure Audio Project Trio15 Horn1 (Verastarr Illusion JR Series Copper Foil cabling).

Thanks for asking!