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ZMA with LTA ZOTL2.0 (Read 4381 times)
stone_of_tone
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ZMA with LTA ZOTL2.0
10/31/16 at 19:09:34
 
Yup, I'm at it again.

Very much enjoyed my Decware CSP3, I owned for 27 months and my Audio Research LS17 SE too (over the summer for the LS17).

I hope Ilance reads this and comments. He was auditioning the 2.0.

Back to the point. I have been enjoying my ZMA ran direct from ZDSD. I could happily live with my ZMA / ZDSD combo. However, I miss my Pre's sometimes. The ZOTL is far to interesting not to have in my Listening Room!

I called Linear Tube Audio and they are burning a ZOTL2.0 in for me for 3 to 4 days and they will then ship.

The MicroZOTL2.0 has me intrigued. If it floats my boat....then Tube rolling will happen from Uncle Kevvy with Mullard's of course for the 12AT7's/first and then a good choice on the 6SN7's. I'm avoiding the power supply upgrade for now. Let's see what she can do stock out of the Gate.

http://hometheaterreview.com/linear-tube-audio-microzotl20-preamplifierheadphone...

http://www.stereophile.com/content/linear-tube-audio-microzotl20-line-stageheadp...



ZOTL2.0 with my additional Kimber KS1030 ~ happening sometime next week!










Listening Room:


Room Treatments from Michael Green & Home Brew

Sony as Transport (DVP-NS57P)

Illuminati D-60 Digital Coax IC

Shunyata Research Ztron Alpha Digital Power Cord to ZDSD
{Extremely Significant}

Decware ZDSD DAC / Recorder ++
***************************************************************
W/Steve's Output Transformer's/kicking to the curb quite a few superb DAC'S!
***************************************************************
(@ -20 Ref Level, 0.0 Input volume and @ 16/192)


WBT-0102Ag RCA Kimber Select KS1030


Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier
~BIASED at *60* mA~
(NOS/Platinum/Mullard E188CC/7308's in my A12 an B12 Input positions Cryogenic~NOS/Platinum/Telefunken E88CC for Inverter Tubes~NOS RCA 0A3's & matched Quad/Tung-Sol KT66's)
ZMA adjusted at 20% to 30-40% max ~ from 0 Gain


***************************************************
Kimber Select KS6063 Speaker Cable 8ft WBT-0681-Ag Spades
***************************************************


Acoustic Zen Adagio - Black Pearl (Modified)
.....from 8ohm Taps.






Acoustic Zen Adagio's x-over's Modified/Full Range with Mundorf MCap Supremes-single Cap to each Tweeter/4.5k cross
(Gutted: 3kHz/18dB/Octave, Linkwitz/Riley Crossovers....with all crappy parts = gone)


XLO Pro Power Cord to ZMA
PS Audio P3 Power Plant / Pangea AC-9SE from wall to P3
(Transport and ZDSD, Regenerated/*120*~ Multiwave off...ZMA on High Current Output)

++ ZDSD DAC, kicked to the Curb: Auralic Vega, PS Audio PWT & PWD, PS Audio Direct Stream DAC, Chord Qute, NAD M51 (twice) & Schiit Yggdrasil.


~NOS Platinum Tubes from Upscale Audio/Kevin:

(Great Britain) Mullard 7308/E188CC ~  2 pair (both pair Cryogenic)
(Germany) Telefunken E88CC ~ 1 pair
(US/Great Britain) Ediswan CV2492/6922 ~ 2 pair (one pair Cryogenic)
(Hungary) Tungsram 6922/E88CC ~ 1 pair
(Hungary) Tungsram PCC88/7DJ8 ~ 1 pair.

From Cryoset:
(Russia) 6N23N/P-EB ~ 2 pair

(Russia) 6N23P's ~ 2 pair/came with ZMA.
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« Last Edit: 10/31/16 at 19:43:42 by stone_of_tone »  

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SonicSeeker
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Re: ZMA with LTA ZOTL2.0
Reply #1 - 11/01/16 at 18:51:35
 
keep us updated Tone
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stone_of_tone
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Re: ZMA with LTA ZOTL2.0
Reply #2 - 11/01/16 at 19:45:43
 
You bet SS.
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lLance
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Re: ZMA with LTA ZOTL2.0
Reply #3 - 11/02/16 at 00:59:20
 
Hi stone,

The Micro ZOTL is the best preamp I've ever heard. It was originally designed as a headphone amp. The preamp function was an after thought. Another interesting thing is that there's binding posts for speaker cables so it will power hi efficiency speakers. I tried it with my ERRx's for a while. The sound was incredible but I could eventually make it clip. Then I used the Micro as an amp with the CSP3, plenty of power and sounding very good.

Talk to Mark again, he now has a switch on the Micro to change the voltage from 6 to 12 volts so instead of 6SN7's you can now use 12SN7 tubes. The NOS 12SN7's are cheap and plentiful because nobody uses them. They are every bit as good as the NOS 6SN7's. They will soon be selling the Micro "prerolled" with NOS RCA's.

Another thing, the linear power supply does make it even better.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: ZMA with LTA ZOTL2.0
Reply #4 - 11/02/16 at 02:46:32
 
Great to read lLance. Reading about this Pre's ability to have no signature and let the color and speed of the music to jet through got my attention in the reviews and competing with the best $$$$.

Of course, this ZOTL delivers density and my reason for bringing back in a Preamp. Its
been noted to have incredible PRaT, slam with tone and timbre to die for.

I am curious to use the one watt output on my Adagio's/to hear that at appropriate SPL.

You ran your CSP3 into it without overwhelming its output/1 watt? Interesting.

I should call and see if I'm getting the 6 and 12 toggle. If I love it, I will need to get the upgraded power supply.

Can't wait to get it. They are burning it in for 3 to 4 days for me.

I will add, my ZMA is so seasoned in and playing such beautiful music with my NOS tube choices and Cabling..... I should just leave well enough alone. However, some of my favorites I miss what my CSP3 and ARC LS17 SE brought to bare.

I know I need to have ZOTL2.0 in.
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« Last Edit: 11/02/16 at 03:23:52 by stone_of_tone »  

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stone_of_tone
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Re: ZMA with LTA ZOTL2.0
Reply #5 - 11/04/16 at 18:11:14
 
lLance, I called and left a message about my 4 day burn in, the 6 & 12 volt toggle for 6 or 12SN7's tubes....and when shipping.
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« Last Edit: 11/04/16 at 18:11:36 by stone_of_tone »  

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stone_of_tone
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Re: ZMA with LTA ZOTL2.0
Reply #6 - 11/10/16 at 14:45:18
 
SonicSeeker, lLance & Matchstikman, my MicroZOTL2.0 is out for delivery!
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« Last Edit: 11/10/16 at 14:45:32 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: ZMA with LTA ZOTL2.0
Reply #7 - 11/10/16 at 15:47:48
 
I don't know why I'm excited about this delivery, but I am.  HAHAHA
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Re: ZMA with LTA ZOTL2.0
Reply #8 - 11/11/16 at 00:28:15
 
Excellent.
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Re: ZMA with LTA ZOTL2.0
Reply #9 - 11/11/16 at 14:48:56
 
Received my MZOTL2.0 and put 3 hours on it last night. It arrived perfect/very well packed, is well built and a beautiful piece. I am now into my 2nd hour of listening this morning.... .

My 2.0 was burned in for 4 days/much appreciated. By the 3rd hour and everything warmed up......like my CSP3, the 2.0 opens up the soundstage (as a very good Preamp should), delineation of images and air around the instrument images is more apparent  (example: Cymbal timbre and aire/float even more and decay is impressive/with more of it)....even more so than my CSP3. The high's/treble cleaner (no hint of fatigue) at high volumes too, when you want to push it. Dynamic's and image density are increased too, as you can imagine with/Pre.

Compared to the ARC LS17 SE, the 2.0 beats it in transparency and output gain voltage compatibility with the ZMA. Like the CSP3, but without voltage output adjustments....their is a fluidity of compatibility from the 2.0 with the ZMA. I'm able to get the most out of the ZMA's gain (adjusted higher) with the MicroZOTL2.0! This is increasing the sonic picture....... .

It is nice to have a great Preamp back in my System again. So far, loving the tube compliment it comes with and the power supply. I have an XLO Pro power cord running to the outboard power supply for the 2.0 and is receiving clean 120 from my PS Audio P3.

Having heard this in its first 5 hours of operation and counting right now, it should even get better with time/seasoning in.

CAVEAT of Reality: As good as the 2.0 is and my CSP3 was....the fluidity of the ZMA's signature driven direct by my ZDSD with Steve's transformer output stage without Pre.....has a special connection to the music that the Preamp in the chain....does not quite match. NOW I KNOW THIS sounds CONTRADICTORY ~ BUT, any PRE still brings its signature to the Party. I will still be switching in and out of Pre in the chain to enjoy what I like about a great PRE...and what I like about NOT having one in the chain/with my ZMA.

That is what I love about the ZDSD direct/with Steve's output trannies....I like it better than the PS Audio Direct Stream, Auralic Vega and NAD M51 DAC, and others of this ilk I've had in my Listening Room....because you are still using a Preamp out (in the analog domain with a volume control ~ unless you're running it in "fixed" mode) with these units. When I want a Pre in my chain for the different flavor's described above, I prefer a real PRE....CSP3 or now, my 2.0.

This is it for now.....initial observations and ramblings....I will fine tune my written pro's, as I progress through my music library and futher seasoning of my ZOTL.....and the fun of having it in and out of the chain....with tube rolling in the ZMA.
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« Last Edit: 11/11/16 at 17:11:01 by stone_of_tone »  

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Matchstikman
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Re: ZMA with LTA ZOTL2.0
Reply #10 - 11/11/16 at 14:54:41
 
Stone, I know it is still early, but is it possible to rank the ZOTL, CSP3 and AR preamps?
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Re: ZMA with LTA ZOTL2.0
Reply #11 - 11/11/16 at 14:57:39
 
To early for that yet, Match.

I forgot to add above....the lowest (subjective) noise floor ever....from a PRE....I've heard in my 40 year's of being in to Audio....is at hand/ear here! ZOTL, I suppose.
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« Last Edit: 11/11/16 at 17:09:34 by stone_of_tone »  

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will
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Re: ZMA with LTA ZOTL2.0
Reply #12 - 11/11/16 at 15:04:03
 
Stone. Would you say the ZDSD a sort of pre? With the adjustable output transformers changing the voltage, it seemed to me to act similarly to a CSP3...Simpler and "of its own" sound, but introducing great clarity with the added effects of adding or subtracted signal density and lucidity depending on settings?

I wonder if this is part of why you tend to be "on the fence" with pres, liking things about them, and not? Double signal manipulation after the source can be pretty powerful...maybe too!?!
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« Last Edit: 11/11/16 at 15:22:51 by will »  

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stone_of_tone
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Re: ZMA with LTA ZOTL2.0
Reply #13 - 11/11/16 at 17:04:22
 
Hi Will. I run the ZDSD "fixed", not variable ....so not a Preamp in any real sense in my opinion.

(@ -20 Ref Level, 0.0 Input volume and @ 16/192)

I like Pre's and without.

The ZDSD direct to ZMA is pretty special. Especially, with NOS Tubes and Kimber Select throughout. The Shunyata Alpha power cord to ZDSD, brings it up a notch......too. (Read: Even a lower noticeable noise floor/allowing so much more in Tone and Image correctness/real).
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« Last Edit: 11/11/16 at 17:12:36 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: ZMA with LTA ZOTL2.0
Reply #14 - 11/11/16 at 17:39:11
 
Okay, now I'm (even further) impressed. I just brought the ZMA up to SPL's, it could not obtain before/with the ZOTL, with no fatigue, top to bottom coherence-balance/no collapse of soundstage. I don't listen at these levels....but it is fun to go there. This explains what I'm hearing at normal and upper limit normal Listening levels.

Stone....is very happy.....what I though was Hyperbole about this Amp as a Pre.....is not bull malarkey.  I'm resisting running it direct to my Adagio's until next week. It will be interesting; what it can do before clipping....... .
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« Last Edit: 11/11/16 at 17:52:04 by stone_of_tone »  

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will
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Re: ZMA with LTA ZOTL2.0
Reply #15 - 11/11/16 at 17:52:52
 
Yes, using a CSP3 as a pre the way I do, I forget about using it for primary volume..... I use it for the particular sound qualities you can pull from it, and for gain riding. Once the CSP3 tube gains are set for the best average sound, I use a pretty narrow master volume range, the amp being my primary gain.

Then, for me, the CSP3 volume is about adjustable sound quality....to adjust tone, signal density, intensity/dynamics, and lucidity. The volume changes are incidental for me due to gain riding with the amp.

A preamp none-the-less, doing its adjustable amplification/OTL sound thing before the amp.

I thought the ZDSD sounded best @ -20 also...guessing it was likely because it was voiced at that setting by Tascam and Steve with his mods. But the output circuit at this setting added substantial signal density and clarity. And for me the CSP3 also sounds best at settings where it adds density and clarity...the two together too much for me.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: ZMA with LTA ZOTL2.0
Reply #16 - 11/11/16 at 18:18:52
 
I read you Will. I wish I could afford to keep all three of my recent Pre's (CSP3, ARC and now the 2.0). The ultimate rotation.

I think this one might turn out to be the most favorable for me. If I sell it in 27 months from now....like I did my CSP3......I'm still in bliss with the ZMA direct from ZDSD.
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will
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Re: ZMA with LTA ZOTL2.0
Reply #17 - 11/11/16 at 19:51:51
 
Sounds good. Hope it pans out once it settles in!
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Re: ZMA with LTA ZOTL2.0
Reply #18 - 11/11/16 at 21:21:51
 
Yes, I'll hear what I think of it in another few weeks for sure.
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Re: ZMA with LTA ZOTL2.0
Reply #19 - 11/15/16 at 16:41:24
 
Well, it has been nice to have three different Pre's in. CSP3 (27 months of ownership and use), ARC LS17 SE (7 weeks of ownership and continuous use this past summer) and now the MicroZOTL2.0 (came to me burned in for 4 days and I have used continuously the last 6 days). All of them/very good.

All three, minimally altered the sound, those minimal alterations....lead to pleasing ways......that sounds good.

But, to what affect and effect really?

I wanted to bring a Pre back in to see if I was missing any dynamic's, weight and density. I am not missing any my friends. The ZMA is doing all of this and more..... .  More? Personally, the ZMA's ability to take the Tube Compliments I'm rolling and bring music that is most satisfying to me....is all that matter's.  

The ZMA's direct abilities with: HARMONIC SHADING/imaging/TONE~TIMBRE/density/weight and Soundstage-if you have treated your room and the recording has somewhat of a stage to begin with.....are unparalleled, in components I've had in my possession the last 40 years (since age 13). Period. I have finally realized, putting a Pre in front of the Zen Mystery Amplifier....is a crime!

Find your ultimate muse for your music. For me it is the ZMA driven direct from ZDSD and my associated Gear. I'm OUT of the Pre business in my Listening Room. The Zen Mystery Amp is just that good.
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« Last Edit: 11/15/16 at 17:56:59 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: ZMA with LTA ZOTL2.0
Reply #20 - 11/15/16 at 18:00:44
 
The Torii Mk III is just that good too. I think only the ZTPRE would really offer improvements. I'm just not able to afford that in the configuration I would need, and to be honest I am not sure it would be a change worth the money.

With the ZBIT allowing me to use the balanced outputs of my DirectStream DAC I've got all that I need without the CSP2+ that I use to add other sources to the Torii. I tried just this week again to run the DirectStream into the CSP2+ now that I have a new Transport. . . and I still prefer the DirectStream without the CSP2+.

We have it so good with these amps.
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Re: ZMA with LTA ZOTL2.0
Reply #21 - 11/15/16 at 18:12:16
 
So true Lon, we do have it so good with these Amps. I don't feel sorry for those that are to jaded to try Decware. For my ear brain connection...the thrill is never gone.
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Re: ZMA with LTA ZOTL2.0
Reply #22 - 11/15/16 at 18:40:47
 
Interesting results, Stone.  Somewhere in the back of the head I thought you would say that the Pre is good but without the pre in the chain it is better.

Are you going to keep that pre?

Also, have you had enough time to compare the 3 pres you've used?
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Re: ZMA with LTA ZOTL2.0
Reply #23 - 11/18/16 at 15:50:50
 
Hi Match. If I had to rate them....I would go with the CSP3 and the 2.0 being a tie or close 2nd....then the ARC. IMHO. I can spout off like a Reviewer and tell this and that. However, you really need to put your skin in the game and have these Pre's in to your Listening environment.

I did return it. The only reason I did not keep it to rotate in and out for fun...........is/my musical relationship with NOS tube rolling keeps me closer to the Music for my sonic pleasure. Furthermore, the ZMA has seasoned in with my other Gear to a point that.....no Pre is now needed for me as stated......listening pleasure/NOS..... .

The ZOTL 2.0 is a very nice piece and worthy of audition.....and some would not be without it.....like the CSP3.
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Re: ZMA with LTA ZOTL2.0
Reply #24 - 11/18/16 at 23:10:07
 
Stone, did you hook it up to your speakers and try it as a high effiency power amp? It's the best I've ever heard my ERRx sound.
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Re: ZMA with LTA ZOTL2.0
Reply #25 - 11/19/16 at 16:59:53
 
Yes, pretty impressive lLance. The noise floor is like non-existent. Fun, before it runs out of steam.

First class Pre alone as I mentioned. With the modification to my Adagio's ....and rolling NOS 6922 tube types directly in my ZMA....with the rest of my gear and cables.... I'm in Heaven.








Listening Room:


Room Treatments from Michael Green & Home Brew

Sony as Transport (DVP-NS57P)

Illuminati D-60 Digital Coax IC

Shunyata Research Zitron Alpha Digital Power Cord to ZDSD
{Extremely Significant}

Decware ZDSD DAC / Recorder ++
***************************************************************
W/Steve's Output Transformer's/kicking to the curb quite a few superb DAC'S!
***************************************************************
(@ -20 Ref Level, 0.0 Input volume and @ 16/192)


WBT-0102Ag RCA Kimber Select KS1030


Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier
~BIASED at *60* mA~
(NOS/Platinum/Mullard E188CC/7308's in my A12 an B12 Input positions Cryogenic~NOS/Platinum/Telefunken E88CC for Inverter Tubes~NOS RCA 0A3's & matched Quad/Tung-Sol KT66's)
ZMA adjusted at 20% to 30-40% max ~ from 0 Gain


***************************************************
Kimber Select KS6063 Speaker Cable 8ft WBT-0681-Ag Spades
***************************************************


Acoustic Zen Adagio - Black Pearl (Modified)
.....from 8ohm Taps.






Acoustic Zen Adagio's x-over's Modified/Full Range with Mundorf MCap Supremes-single Cap to each Tweeter/4.5k cross
(Gutted: 3kHz/18dB/Octave, Linkwitz/Riley Crossovers....with all crappy parts = gone)


XLO Pro Power Cord to ZMA
PS Audio P3 Power Plant / Pangea AC-9SE from wall to P3
(Transport and ZDSD, Regenerated/*120*~ Multiwave off...ZMA on High Current Output)

++ ZDSD DAC, kicked to the Curb: Auralic Vega, PS Audio PWT & PWD, PS Audio Direct Stream DAC, Chord Qute, NAD M51 (twice) & Schiit Yggdrasil.


~NOS Platinum Tubes from Upscale Audio/Kevin:

(Great Britain) Mullard 7308/E188CC ~  2 pair (both pair Cryogenic)
(Germany) Telefunken E88CC ~ 1 pair
(US/Great Britain) Ediswan CV2492/6922 ~ 2 pair (one pair Cryogenic)
(Hungary) Tungsram 6922/E88CC ~ 1 pair
(Hungary) Tungsram PCC88/7DJ8 ~ 1 pair.

From Cryoset:
(Russia) 6N23N/P-EB ~ 2 pair

(Russia) 6N23P's ~ 2 pair/came with ZMA.

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« Last Edit: 11/19/16 at 19:40:39 by stone_of_tone »  

Sony as Transport
Illuminati D-60
Audio Alchemy DTI-Pro
Audio Magic Mystic Reference I2S
Audio Alchemy DDE 3.0
Kimber Select 1030
Zen Select #76
Kimber Select 3033
Polk Audio LS-90
Tri-config/TipToes & Vibropods underneath Speakers
360 degree Rm Treats
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