What new gear have you just bought?

 I figured this might be an interesting topic for people of all levels of audio knowledge. For folks like me at the lower end of the spectrum, we might even learn some things from it.

 I'll start off with a couple of my recent purchases which entails a CD recorder and a CD player.

 A couple of weeks ago I purchased the Tascam CD-RW900SX CD Recorder/Player. I bought this to make a CD out of an old cassette I made way back in 1988. The tape still sounds mint but it won't forever so I wanted the digital copy before it was too late. The machine itself works pretty good. I had a tough time with some of the instructions but finally figured most of it out. The CD's came out great. It took two blank CD's because it is a 90 minute cassette. If anybody is wondering, I used Maxell blank CD's. I'll get some Verbatim blank discs now that I know what I'm doing. The cassette was done on a Maxell XLll blank tape 35 years ago.


 My other recent purchase was this week. I bought a Rotel CD11 Tribute (Black) CD player. The Rotel name seems to come up on Audiogon a lot so I figured it must be decent for it's price range. I could simply use the aforementioned recorder as a player also  but I don't want to use the transport in the recorder for simple playback so it will last longer. The Rotel  sounds pretty good to me in my system for as much as I've tried it out so far. Especially for it's price range. All I've played so far was Robert Plant Fate of Nations because it was the first thing I grabbed off the shelf. This weekend I'll check it out further with some Pink Floyd and a little classical music to boot. Specifically,Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture. I love the rendition I have of that with real cannon and musket fire!

 The Rotel CD11 Tribute is not a super expensive CD player but it will be a good stand-in until I can get my vintage Harman Kardon CD players serviced. Two of them stopped reading discs just a few weeks apart.

 Anybody else want to share some recent purchases? I'll be sure to look up more information on anything that piques my interest.  Also, if anyone has any questions on my recent acquisitions I'll do my best to answer them . Thanks.


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I haven’t done a serious change in the chain for sometime now. Either I’ve become complacent or just gave into the fact that my ears aren’t as nicely tuned as they may once have been. Occasionally, audio nervosa will get the better of me and prompt me to change a DAC or one of the preamps I like to play with (preamps are my favorite component to facilitate audible difference), however this year I’ve gone over the top (in terms of change) and I’m kind of happy I did. I recently changed up my DAC to a Schiit Yggdrasil LIM (certainly not the best DAC I’ve ever had, but really kind of magical in an inexplicable way) now followed by the amp and preamps. I had a fairly ’old’ Conrad Johnson M2300A, an absolutely lovely and powerful poweramp that really does no wrong. It adapted beautifully with whatever I put with it over the course of the last five or six years. Sometimes it shocked me how good, for instance, the bass was when adding say, the Schiit Yggdrasil LIM or a Krell HRC. Listening to 50’s and 60s Jazz that’s mostly what I listen to or some of the mostly deep track 60s/70s/80s rock albums, it never occurred to me how deep and tight the bass could go in my system. It was something like adding a subwoofer. In any event, it was a beautiful amp with a little magic and lots of headroom (400wpc into my Audio Physic Virgo 2’s) , tons of air, pretty good holography and lovely timbre. Very responsive to whatever I put in it. Now, I’ve added monoblocks, PS Audio M700 Stellar monoblocks. In terms of ’headroom’, I think I’m at 700wpc into 4ohms. I wanted to play with some class D stuff and if I’m being truthful, they’re leaner and less tight on the bottom end than the CJ. Nonetheless, I’m still going through the music and getting to know these monoblocks. Way more impressive, and seriously super satisfyingly, the Doge 8 Clarity with 1966 Siemens German ECC81’s. I was using the stock tubes just to hear what they sounded like when it first came in, it wasn’t impressive and I doubted what I did. I switched to the Siemens and this is possibly the greatest preamp I’ve ever had in my system- and I’ve had a lot of good preamps since the mid 90s. And in our world of mostly questionable audio hyperbole, this preamp is absolutely as good as all the hyperbole you’ve read about it. I love everything about the sound, with these tubes and it’s really simply incredible and I don’t say that about anything. I haven’t tried the phono section yet, which is a great bonus to the Doge 8 Clarity because my old Technics SL1800 can use a slight tune-up before I start seriously spinning vinyl again, but that gives me every reason to do a tune-up.

It’s rare that I spin CDs these days because I’ve uploaded quite a few terabytes of CD music to a hard drive (started this years ago) and that’s what I listen to, but I’m now inspired to insert a better CD transport than the Rotel changer I’ve been working with for the last 20 or so years. Bottom line, just sharing and I’m happy to report I’m enjoying my stereo immensely for the first time in a while. Enough to make me spend a little more money f’ing up ’the happy place’ I’ve stumbled upon.

isn’t that what we do?

Yesterday I got my new Legacy Audio Focus XD speakers going, now I am burning them in. I traded my old speakers in for the Legacy Wavelet II which I will get in a few weeks, then I am done for a while. Next upgrade will be a DAC most likely. But that is close to a year out.

A DNA Starlett headphone amplifier from Donald North Audio. I received my Starlett  in late July 2023 after an 18 month wait to have it custom built. Great headphone amplifier for dynamic headphones; especially the high impedance  Sennheiser HD6XO series..