Non Naim Fantasy system

I just heard a Boulder 2110 preamp and 2160 power amp driving a Proac K8. Source was a turntable and the Boulder 508 phono stage. Well beyond my budget for space and money but very nice with a big sound and high resolution. It might have been the best phono reproduction I have ever heard. I was surprised to see the woofer moving. That never happens with the 500DR into the Proac K6.

1 Like

Shindo amps and LP source + Klipsch Khorns.


I’ve read a lot about the very highly rated Shindo Labs from Japan and would love to hear what a full Shindo system would sound like playing a Blue Note 1st press. Not everyone’s cup of tea visually but the build of this gear is exceptional.

Shindo - Garrard 301, the arm and cart are based on an Ortofon 12" EMT arm and SPU but made by Shindo the 301 has been almost completely overhauled and the plinth is made by master carpenters.

Shindo Vosnee - Romanee pre with built in phono stage.

Shindo Corton - Charlemagne EL34 mono power amps.

Latour Speakers



This is a terribly ill informed and shallow thing for me to say but… that all look like gear that sounds fabulous for really pretentious black turtleneck and horn rimmed glasses Jazz trios and absolutely crap with anything else.

Well I’ll don my black turtleneck and horned rimmed glasses if I have to I’ll even grow a whispee goatee if you like and your probably correct Motorhead would sound rubbish but this is a system I’d like to hear playing specifically Jazz as stated a Blue Note 1st press would do and I may even try and convert my self to some classical maybe something from Decca?
My first post was for a system built specifically for Reggae this one for Jazz so I may bore the pants of you some more and fantasize about a system I’d like to hear playing rock.

1 Like

I don’t get this ‘system for genre’ approach. A good system should be able to reproduce everything well. If you want it to emphasise something, why not add a tone control (in the form of DSP to be most flexible), then you can even adjust for differently balanced albums?

Wow this is great I can even get my own fantasy critiqued and fine tuned so that it then becomes someone else’s version of my fantasy.


Things I would like to hear, though wouldn’t want to in practice unless I could afford to buy and have space to accommodate if they prove to be a major step up, are as follows, all based around Dave DAC:


  • Various renderer solutions including the top Melco and Innuos models.

  • Chord MScaler


  • Tannoy Westminster Royals (I haven’t looked into amp suitability, the high sensitivity maybe wanting something particular) I heard these once in a small cramped secondhand shop in Hong Kong, and would love to hear properly.

  • Ferguson Hill FH001 (transparent acrylic straight horn with oval mouth almost 6ft high by 3ft wide), coupled with Wilson Benesch Torus (pair). (Amp consideration for FH001 similar to the Tannoy WR.) Invisible large horns!

  • PMC Fenestria (with either PMC’s own amp or Bryston 14ST3 Amps). Their new top of range slimline Fact range speaker - is it as good an improvement over F12 as it hints it is?

  • PMC BB5XBD active.

  • ATC SMC150A active

1 Like

A happily married man?

If the fantasy includes a house with large rooms, the PMC, Vertere system used at the Bristol show about three or four years ago.

A real life fantasy, that would fit in my home, LP12, Ekos SE, Transfiguration Proteus, EAR 868PL, EAR 861 (a pair, bridged), full Chord Music loom, Graham Audio mini VOTU.

A sentimental fantasy, one a dear friend started but never completed in stereo, Garrard 301, Leak Point One, Leak TL12 and Wharefdale Airedales

1 Like

I could even show you a foto:



Well, things change!

Lets take Naim for example, remember the upfront in your face sound the Olive Boxes were said to deliver. The mastering process changed and our beloved music changed and Naim Adjusted. The Dreaded Black Boxes, oh no, to laid back no fun. Then I experienced the Black Boxes coming from Linn’s Active 280 Briks!

I really lavished that thick rich sound the 250.2 brought to the table. Technology didn’t stop nor did the mastering process! In 2012 a new Dred Black Box appeared on the stage: Leaner, quicker, and help me out HH:

(Darker Inky quietness), please excuse my grammar. But we all get my point. :ok_hand:, getting long winded but the trickled down technology passed down from the Statement required Super Priced Speaker Wire!!! (SL technology)

With that being said, I agree with The Innocent Bystander! A good Speaker should be able to deliver all aspects of MUSIC. The fact is, some speakers just do certain aspects better!

Reminiscing I pulled out Blue Nile Hats, didn’t have tinsle town in the rain on CD, sold my LP 12!

Went and bought it yesterday a remastered bonus version done in 2018!!!

Wow, the Briks are Still doing what they do!

The remastering just opens it up a bit and accents certain aspects of the Music!

The reason we do this!!!

From Flat Earth to Round Earth:

Its your Ears and Your Fantasy!

1 Like

Well, I get in this ball park! T de P recommends the Grahams LS5/9s, and uses them at shows. I was VERY happily surprised by a pair of SBLs. Have you heard the VOTU?

I have not heard the 861, interesting looking amp. I use the 534 - single not bridged. I did ask the chaps at the factory last week about the 834T, solid state in place of the valves. I was going to ask if they had ever made a power amp variant …but the integrated is pretty rare. Going solid state would stop my tri-annual visits to St Neots.

A cheap FM Acoustic XS1-C system :wink:

A complete dCS Vivaldi source (not the CD player shown on the picture) and it’s dCS Network Bridge partner to replace my ND555 :smile:


Part of my reasoning, I have LS5/9s, normally using an EAR 859SE. So, breaking the rules, Graham recommend 50 watts, 13 is quite ok, normal listening with the volume at 10 o’clock, loud at 12. The 861 is related to the 859, 32 watts, bridged 60 plus so plenty enough, no doubts about headroom.
I admit, just occasionally, wishing for that bottom octave of bass, not earth shattering, floor shaking, just the presence. I had for many years a pair of home built HiFi News/Fris Dalines, compact, stand against the wall and in my room measured down to 18Hz. Some reviews likened then to LS3/5a with bass, so you can see where I’m going.
I have not heard VOTU, but very briefly System 3D. As the VOTU is described as trickle down design from the 3D, but are too large for my room, I got quite excited when the mini VOTU were announced, but there has been no further information. Bearing in mind that I am old, hearing missing above 7kHz, prefer an audio system to hifi, I found System 3D characterless, clean and would love to hear more. EAR and Graham suit me, hence the dream.
What might be interesting, my amp needs to go back, it might just be a dead valve. In the interim, based on hearing demos using Graham speakers, I am using an Astin Trew AT2 2100, it’s quite close and for those who worry about adequate power and speaker matching, I am not convinced the 90 watts a channel brings anything more than my valve powered 13.

I wonder what the Technics R1 reference series would sound like?
technics_r1-system-600px technics-se-r1-front-top-600px technics-su-r1-front-top-600px technics-SUR1-SER1-600x400


If you phone Dena at EAR you’ll find there transport costs and service rates are very affordable.

I love what the EAR amps do. The 868pl/534 is superb. I did consider the LS5/9, but I need something that will work close to the walls, and as it happens the SBLs are excellent, although they do not plumb the depths the bass is superbly transparent, informative AND musical.

The VOTU would be a tad too big for me too, and to be honest I am really happy with what I have. Ideally I would get an EAR912 and DBLs, but the former would HAVE to be at a reasonable price and the latter is too large for my room.

If all such considerations went away there is a range of equipment I like and could audition, but I am not at all sure that any of it would make me happier than I am with what I own.

For me, without any doubt, this system - CD2 - SIA2-100 - SCM40


I have always been curious on how a ‘top’ vinyl/valve system sounds like, so my fantasy system would be:

Start with what seems like a modest (in this system) Linn LP12 Klimax turntable, hooked up to an Audio Note M10 Signature pre/Gaku-On power amplification, driving a pair of Wilson Audio Alexandria speakers.