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Ideal Stereo System

What combo (of currently marketed components) would represent your ideal stereo system (cost aside)?
Here is my list:
Source: dCS Verdi La Scala - CD/SACD Transport
dCS Elgar Plus - 24/192 & DSD DAC
Amplification: Hovland - HP 100 Pre-Amp
Hovland - Sapphire Power Amp
Speakers: Quad 989

Buddha
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Re: Ideal Stereo System

Well, with the disclaimer that this list is subject to random change from day to day...

Speakers: MBL 101E. I've heard it at different shows and it has sounded amazing every time.

Electronics:

Pre-amp...Maybe the Krell Evolution Two. I have an old KRC HR that I still consider reference quality, so I'd stay brand loyal.

Amp...Halcro DM 88. I hate to be a bandwagon jumper, but again, whenever I've heard these amps the entire system was sounding tasty.

Sound Source...Apologies, but analog for me today. How about a systems approach and go with the Clearaudio Master Reference with the Clearaudio Master TQ-I "arm" and a Clearaudio Insider Reference Wood. Again, I've only heard the under show conditions, but I heard a Baroque piece pressed by Harmonia Mundi on their 25th Anniversary table and it was jaw droppingly good.

Phono Pre...really hard to pick. I'd like to spend some quality time with the Manley Steelhead.

Sadly, unless Santa has been faking his non-existence these past many years, this sytem will never exist...oh, well, I dream anyway!

_________________________
_________________________

If I had to pick the key component, I'd say it would be the speakers.

Todd
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Re: Ideal Stereo System

My Dream System:

Digital Source: dCS Verdi / Elgar / Verona setup
Tuner: Magnum Dynalab MD 109
Pre-amp: Naim NAC 552
Amp: Naim NAP 500
Speakers: Dynaudio Evidence Master

bifcake
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Re: Ideal Stereo System

Source: Burmester 001 CD player

Preamp: Manley Steelhead or VTL 7.5tl

Amp: Lamm ML2

Speaker: Avantgarde Trio with horn subs

Simply divine!

300Binary
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Re: Ideal Stereo System

Source: wiggling air molecules

Destination: wiggling brain dances

MACMAN
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Re: Ideal Stereo System

MCINTOSH C2200 PRE-AMP-MCINTOSH MC252 POWER AMP-KLIPSCHORN LOUDSPEAKERS, MAGNUM DYNALAB MD-90 TUNER

Anthony Tam
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Re: Ideal Stereo System

Ideal... hmmm...

Source: MF A5CD
Control/Amplification: MF KW500
Speaker: Gallo Nucleus Reference 3

I've heard setups that did certain things better but from my experience, this is one rig that meets my sonic "preferences" better than anything I've heard thus far.

I really should attend a hi-fi show and gain more exposure to what's out there... but then, that could turn out to be detrimental to my credit score...

commsysman
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Re: Ideal Stereo System

I am surprised that no one has mentioned Audio Research preamps here; they seem to be the best-sounding I have ever heard.
The LS-16 MarkII is the heart of my current system; I am sure a "cost-no object system could be better than what I have, but at many dealers and CES shows, I have very seldom HEARD anything better (for CD or SACD).

SONY SCD777 CD/SACD
AR LS-16 Mark II Preamp
AUDIRE FORTE power amp with DYNAMICAP input coupling caps
Vandersteen 3A speakers with model 2 subwoofers
Theta Pro Basic 3 D/A converter
Harmon-Kardon T-60 turntable with Grace F9-E cartridge
Audioquest Indigo speaker cales and Viper Interconnects

I question whether this system could be surpassed for the $15,000 or so that it cost...but again, for $100,000...almost certainly!

commsysman
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Re: Ideal Stereo System

Hmm, funny how things change!

Looking back at my post of a year ago (and $12,000 later),
my system has undergone dramatic changes. It sounded very good before, but I think I am really approaching sonic perfection now (fortunately I got some nice trade-ins on some older equipment to defray the above costs a bit).

First I replaced the AR LS16 mark II with the LS-26, which was a watershed improvement, and then the AYRE C5xe came into my system and HOLY CRAP what a wonderful sound!

On the analog side I have upgraded to a Clearaudio Aurum
cartridge and am awaiting delivery of an AR PH-5 phono preamp to relaced my 10-year old PH-1. I expect some good things there.

Hearing some amazing things these days! Very sweet.

atom
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Re: Ideal Stereo System

MacIntosh MA6500 amplifier system is my top choice.

___________________
McIntosh MA6500 Integrated Amplifier - Get the MA6500 Integrated Amplifier Catalog by McIntosh Laboratory, Inc.

bifcake
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Re: Ideal Stereo System

Source:

Krell KPS-25sc

Amp: Lamm ML2.1

Speakers: Avantgarde Trios with horn subs.

Jim Tavegia
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Re: Ideal Stereo System

Ed Meitner DSD/CD player
Halcro DM10 & 88 amps
Triangle Magellans
SME 30
Manley SteelHead
Ortofon Jubilee
The Best LazyBoy they make.

Yiangos
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Re: Ideal Stereo System

Accuphase DP-78
Jeff Rowland Cocherence ii
Jeff Rowland Model 9 ti
SME Model 30.2
SME V
Koetsu Bloodstone
Zanden Model 1200
Avalon Acoustics Isis
and of course The Lazy Boy

Yiangos
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Re: Ideal Stereo System

And here is my "Dream System",cost-no-object,room-no-object
system,with components still in production.
Accuphase DP-800/DC-801 transport/d.a.c.
SME Model 30.2/V turntable
Koetsu Tiger Eye Platinum Diamond phono cartridge
Boulder 2008/2010/2050 phono stage/pre/power
Genesis 1.1 loudspeakers

Monty
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Re: Ideal Stereo System

Someday...I will have a pair of Wilson speakers in my home. I may have to steal em, but i'm gonna get em. I'll worry about the rest of the stuff after that.

Yiangos
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Re: Ideal Stereo System

I've allways wanted to listen to a pair of well setup X1-GS
or Alexandria.Need any help ? lol

bralk
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Re: Ideal Stereo System

Moon Harbor Tube CD-player feeding a pair of Stax Omega II

Lacee
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Re: Ideal Stereo System

The ideal stereo system would be the one that sounds the best in my room and only in my room.This means it will sound different in your room and in the room after that.
So never having heard any gear outside of that which is in my room,how can I pick the ideal stereo system?
Well one thing that I have learned from attending HiFi shows is that if a system can sound good under those conditions ,then it has a pretty good chance of sounding good in my room.Know anyone who listens in an anechoic chamber?Neither do I,nor would I want to listen to gear in that type of sterile environment.So why all the fuss about how so much gear measures in such an environment?The key word in the last sentence was "measures".
No measurements can guarantee that any component will reproduce those exact specs in my home .In the end it all come down to our ears.
Even many manufacturers voice their sound with other components in sound rooms that are not anechoic chambers,and use a listening panel as the final judge.Oh to be so fortunate to be on one of those panels.
So what is the ideal system?Is it all recommended A components, or what was HP's reference system? No ,not when taken at face value, all A components don't mesh together in a complimentary fashion and HP's gear only sounds the way he describes it in his room,not in any show or in my room or yours.
The ideal system is the one you put together with your own time ,effort and money,not the one you read about in some review.

RGibran
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Re: Ideal Stereo System

...would be one I could listen to hour after hour, day after day, without ever thinking about the system.

I'm getting closer, or more delusional!

RG

cyclebrain
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Re: Ideal Stereo System

The system that bypasses my aging and frequency limited analog ears. Desire a direct input to my brain. No subliminal info though.

vladoslav
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Re: Ideal Stereo System

Source:ESOTERIC X-03 or EMM Labs CDSA
Pre:BAT VK-3iX
Amp:BAT VK-55
Speakers:FOCAL 1037

commsysman
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Re: Ideal Stereo System

I've got It!

AYRE C5XE SACD PLAYER

MUSIC HALL MMF-7 TURNTABLE WITH MICRO BENZ ACE CARTRIDGE

AUDIO RESEARCH PH-5 PHONO STAGE

AUDIO RESEARCH LS-26 PREAMP

AUDIRE FORTE AMPLIFIER WITH DYNAMICAP INPUT CAPACITORS

VANDERSTEEN 3A SPEAKERS WITH 2W SUBWOOFERS

THE AYRE SOUNDS FABULOUS, BUT THE VINYL SOUNDS EVEN BETTER!!

But waaaiiiit a minute...if I quit trying to improve it, can this be a hobby...lol...maybe a new cartridge....

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