My current system is the culmination of more than 47 years of fiddling with hifi having started in my student years experimenting with Sinclair amplifier kits and the DIY Sugden BD1 turntable kit. Along the way I found myself entranced with the triode sound from a pair of Audio Innovations Second Audio 2A3 power amps, later upgraded with Border Patrol valve regulated power supplies. These powered an original pair of Spendor S100 speakers bought new in the late ‘80s and eventually I added a Digital Decoding Engine dac with optional power supply that is how my system stayed through the ‘90s and for the first ten years after the turn of the century.
Then one day I went to see one of my architectural clients who happened to have a nice Bel Canto front end going into some top of the range modern Quad electrostatic speakers and I suddenly realised that hifi and digital audio in particular has been moving forward, albeit slowly.
My first new purchase after this enlightenment was the original Chord Hugo DAC which was spectacular after my Audio Alchemy DDE V1.0. At this stage of course it was still a CD transport that I was using, an old Meridian from the 90’s which I still have.
Then came a Chord TT DAC followed by a Bricasti M1 SE and finally the Dave and Blu MkII then after that the Mscaler that I now have. The Dave has been modified to take the Sean Jacobs DC4 LPS (one of my best upgrades) and just last month that was upgraded to a prototype version of Sean’s latest ARC6 upgrade.
Along the way my 2A3 amps were replaced by pair of 845 triode push pull mono blocs to drive my new Spendor SP200 speakers which had replaced the Spendor S100 speakers. Then more recently I decided that a pair of Pass Labs XA60.8 monos could give me everything that I liked about the triode valve/tube sound but also with tight and deep bass to go with it.
To follow (hopefully tomorrow). The journey to finding a digital sound to match the quality of CDs on the Chord Blu MkII.