Mirage M-3si loudspeaker System Context
You've read in my past reviews about the system used in evaluating the new Mirages: at the analog source-end, I used either a VPI HW-19 Mk.IV with an upgraded Eminent Technology ET 2 tonearm/Wisa/Airtech setup, or a stock Well-Tempered Turntable. The cartridge used with both turntables is one about which I'll have more to say in an upcoming review—the Roksan Shiraz moving-coil. For my primary digital source, I used a Meridian 602 transport into a Meridian 606 processor. Other processors on hand (and listened to briefly) were the Enlightened Audio Designs DSP-7000 and the Theta Digital DS Pro Prime. From the handful of coaxial digital cables at my disposal, I selected (and preferred, after much A/B-ing) a single run of Second Opinion Audio's Music Metre Silver interconnect. The aptly named AudioQuest Diamond interconnect was used throughout the rest of the system. Speaker cable was bi-wired AudioQuest Hyperlitz Sterling.
I remain convinced of the musical virtues of the VTL Ultimate preamp and use it exclusively in my listening sessions. Power amps used were either Manley Reference 200/100 triodes, Symphonic-Line RG 4 Mk.3s, or an Ensemble Corifeo. Where practical, all source components sit clamped in a RoomTune ClampRack, the amps in AmpClamps. All electronics, including the turntable, are plugged into an Audio Power Industries Power Wedge II (a component which lessened my concern over AC "purity" at the wall socket). In order to keep the speaker/floor interface consistent, I used Arcici Super Spikes under the M-3sis (just as I had under the M-3s).—Guy Lemcoe