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  Stereopal Home Visit:  Frank  from Toronto    Date:  Feb 27, 2006


             "To set up a system properly, tonal balance is my first and foremost priority."..... F.L 



(Due to the size of the room, it was difficult to take a full snapshot without a wide angle lens, the photo was stitched together from separate shots.)



If you ask me to pick out the best sounding setup I have heard on my entire website, this would definitely be it.  While those who dislike Conrad Johnson, tube gears or Magnepans may disagree with me or may even get offended by this statement, IMHO this setup simply gave the best violin and piano presentation to my ears.   From tonal balance to sound staging, NOTHING is found wanting on my scale.

F. L had spent nearly 10 years to fine tune his system.  Nothing in the room is without its purpose, from the smallest ebony wood block, to the violin hung in the middle of the room, every detail has its place in room acoustics.

My audiophile buddy Kyle and myself indulged ourselves thoroughly that evening, listening to well recorded tunes over fine wine and spirits. 


Kyle's comments:


Thx again for the trip to F.L's.  Now that I've had a bit of time to think about it and compare, I must say that this system is amazing. With his room it is the best sound I've experienced.  The soundstage is super wide and tall, and the deepest I've heard; the 3-D effect on some CD's was eery. In fact much more depth than any other I've heard. His work on the room and the overall system makes the experience second to none.



         Kyle and F.L's system.



  System Components:  
  Analog Source: Oracle Mk IV upgraded to Mark V
  Cartridge: Koetsu Rosewood Signature retipped by Van den Hul
  Tonearm: Grahm 2.2 (upgraded from 2.0 CLICK HERE for information)
  Step Up Transformer: Koetsu Step up
  Digital Source: Ensemble Dirondo CD Player
  Preamplifier: Audio Research SP-11Mk II
  Power Amplifier: Conrad Johnson Premier 8A Monobloc Amplifier
  Speaker: Magnepan 3.6R
  Speaker Cables: Cable Talk Raw Cable
  Interconnects: Mogami Microphone Cable



F.L's Comments:


"I mostly listen to classical music, so naturally my system to tuned to the sound of classical performances.   Violin and Piano are my main preference.

In my opinion, tonal balance is most important aspect of system setups.   Good results does not necessarily depend on the amount of money you spend on audio equipments.   And in order to achieve tonal balance, you must have the right combination of equipment interacting with proper speaker positioning and room acoustics.

I have spent more than 10 years in this dedicated audio room, paying attention to the most meticulous detail.   Everything from the acoustic panels on the wall, to the placement of the speaker, has an effect on the sound.     I would go so far as to say that 70% of the sound for any audio system depends on the individual's ability to set up the equipment properly.   Speaker positioning is one of the most important factors.   With the right positioning, you can even make modest equipment sing.  A lot of people say that panel speakers have loose and soggy bass, my answer is the problem lies with the individual, not the speaker.  In my opinion, Maggies can outperform a lot of speakers costing many times over.

To achieve the proper result, you need plenty of patience, dedication and commitment.    I view this as a process to be enjoyed, rather than an obstacle to overcome.   After all, my goal is to enjoy music rather than the equipment, which serves nothing more than a set of tools."




       It takes plenty of juice to drive the Maggie 3.6R, which dips to 2 ohms at times.



     Audio Research SP11 with separate power supply unit.



       The separate Power Supply unit to the SP-11 is conveniently placed at the back of the room.



       Hand built in Switzerland, the Ensemble Dirondo CD Player.  There's always a special elegance to Swiss made




       F.L's turntable is sitting on Ebony, resting on a piece of granite, further resting on a sandbox !



      Graham 2.2 Tonearm and the Koetsu Rosewood, Van den Hul tipped cartridge.






      This picture was taken in almost complete darkness except the glow of the tubes, and a small light on the

      ceiling.   The aperture remained opened for nearly 15 seconds.



       Here's the pre-touched up shot.






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