My system

This configuration came about after many years searching for my own little slice of audio nirvana. I put this together with a budget I was comfortable with and no, this is not an uber-expensive system to lust over but a high-value, high-performing, and utterly satisfying one. My favorite to date.

My listening space is a typically appointed 13′ x 18′ living room. Distance from loudspeakers to ears is about 10′.

The basics

  • Mac mini (2012, 2.6GHz i7, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, High Sierra)
  • Bel Canto mLink USB-S/PDIF converter
  • MHDT Lab Pagoda DAC
  • dB Audio Labs Tranquility USB DAC*
  • Decware Zen Triode SE84UFO Amplifier
  • Omega Super 3i Monitor
  • Omega DeepHemp 8 Subwoofer

Cables

  • AudioQuest Carbon USB
  • Black Cat Cable SilverStar! 75
  • Better Cables Silver Serpent RCA
  • MHDT Lab USB
  • OmegaConnect Speaker One
  • Blue Jeans 12 White (for subwoofer)

Component rack/speaker stands

  • Salamander Synergy
  • IsoAcoustics Aperta
  • Sanus Steel Series

Miscellaneous

  • Brick Wall PW8R15AUD

Music library

  • Oyen Digital MiniPro Thunderbolt SSD (flac – uncompressed)

Music player software

  • Amarra Luxe
  • Amarra sQ+
  • Audirvana Plus
  • HQPlayer

Music services

  • Deezer HiFi
  • Pandora
  • Spotify

 

*As an alternative to the mLink/Pagoda combination I recently added my dB Audio Labs Tranquility DAC back into the mix. The Tranquility is built around an old-school 16 bit NOS chipset (TDA1543). About 5 years ago I sent my unit back to the company for “Gold Level” modifications. The mods (there were many) added significantly more refinement to an already great sounding DAC. It’s nice to have choice.

 

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