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Nick's Quatro CTs


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Ayre Acoustics AX-7e Integrated Amplifier, First-order crossover (-3dB at 100Hz referenced to 1kHz) installed by Ayre.

Ayre Acoustics CX-7e MP CD Player

Ayre Acoustics P-5xe Phono Stage

Ayre Acoustics L-5xe Power Conditioner

Vandersteen Quatro Wood CT Speakers

Teres Audio 245 Turntable w/ Verus Motor

Origin Live Enterprise mk3 Tonearm

Soundsmith Aida Ebony Cartridge

Nakamichi Dragon Cassette Deck

TASCAM DA-P1 DAT Deck

Pangea Audio AC 14se mkII Power Cable

  • 1m AC 14se mkII between Ayre L-5xe and wall socket
  • 1m AC 14se mkII between Ayre L-5xe and Ayre AX-7e
  • 1m AC 14se mkII between Ayre L-5xe and Ayre CX-7e MP
  • 1m AC 14se mkII between Ayre L-5xe and Ayre P-5xe
  • 1m AC 14se mkII between Ayre L-5xe and Teres 245 w/ Verus Motor

Pangea Audio AC 9se mkII Power Cable

  • 1.5m AC 9se mkII between left Vandersteen Quatro CT and wall socket
  • 1.5m AC 9se mkII between right Vandersteen Quatro CT and wall socket

AudioQuest Colorado XLR Interconnect Cable

  • 1m AudioQuest Colorado XLR between Ayre CX-7e MP and Ayre AX-7e
  • 1m AudioQuest Colorado XLR between Ayre P-5xe and Ayre AX-7e

AudioQuest CV-8 Speaker Cable

  • 8 ft. AudioQuest CV-8 connected between Ayre AX-7e and Vandersteen Quatro CT (true shotgun bi-wire).

AudioQuest Columbia RCA Interconnect Cable

  • 1m AudioQuest Columbia RCA between Nakamichi Dragon (Play) and Ayre AX-7e
  • 1m AudioQuest Columbia RCA between Nakamichi Dragon (Rec) and Ayre AX-7e

AudioQuest LeoPard Tonearm Cable (DIN to RCA)

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Steve,

Honestly, I can’t really say one way or another. I bought them primarily as an aesthetic upgrade. I’ve never done an obsessive A/B test. Since I’m using an Ayre L-5xe and 3 iFi AC iPurifiers, I’m telling myself my power cords have a minimal impact (again, completely untested and unsubstantiated). Yeah, I know we’re not supposed to say such things, but that’s the truth. 

Edited by nrenter
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Hi Nick,

I completely understand and appreciate your candor.  The human brain is an interesting device.  While aesthetics produce no impact on any component's performance, they certainly can influence one's perception.  Those big, black snakes coming out of your walls sure LOOK cool (and, dare I say, quite masculine)  :classic_rolleyes:

The good news is, if I decide to try the Pangeas, the online shops that carry them offer 30 - 60 day trial periods. 

Play on

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Thanks Nic.  I know the best upgrade path here, lol..Ha...  I am using all AQ's newest cable adn cords (Fire interconnect, Dragon cord into the Niagara 3000 and Hurricanes for everything else from Quatro's to the amps.  I have a Basis into teh Music Server (which is finally up and running and sounding amazing).  Sam, from TMP just installed my own new line of top end power cord to TMP.  It's thick as heck and has steel braiding as the jacket.  I will let it all burn in and then eventually put the extra hurricane back in, if it's not sold by then.  I only need a 1m not the 2M Hurricane or Basis. I'll see how that works out.  I do love teh system Nic

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'll lead with this...the Ayre AX-7e w/ internal first-over crossover is no slouch. If I would have heard the AX-5/20 in a similar system in passing, I probably could have happily lived with the AX-7e. Now that I've spent time with the  AX-5/20, I could never go back.

There's 3 things that stand out to me about the AX-5/20: 1) the precision of imaging increased significantly, 2) transients are much sharper, and 3) the control of the low-end is apparent (even with the first-order roll-off and the contribution of the Quatro's integrated subs). The improvement (not just difference) is quite fascinating.

I'm working through a potential issue (or, perhaps non-issue..not sure yet) with the tape outputs. The AX-5/20 is not happy that, by default, Cardas routes Pin 3 to Pin 1 through a 10 Ohm resistor within their XLR to RCA adaptors (I still want to use my Nakamichi Dragon, and the Dragon is single-ended). The issue could be the circuit design, or it could be the way Cardas configures their adapters (and I just need to get custom XLR to RCA adaptors that ground Pin 1 and float Pin 3). I'm working with Ryan / Ariel on this.

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So glad you love the AX5/20 as much as I have.  It's a KILLER integrated.  Many don't give it it's due as some don't take Ayre as seriously as many of us do.  It's just well designed and they use good components in a logical layout to minimize noise.  Their best pieces to me are the KXR pre, AX5/20, QX5/20 and their 8 series gear (for the price) and Codex (for the price).

The KXR never gets it's due.  I have heard it in many different systems and it is just amazing. I wish I could afford one, lol.  Codex as the time should have sold for 5k.  It was designed to be a 5k player, but they cut some of the costs as they wanted to start a new line of affordable high end gear.  Codex was going to be the front end of that and they thought they could sell it everywhere and priced it to make money on a scale basis (very very low mark up on their end).  That never panned out, but the player is a killer deal and even had a decent digital volume control (one of the best desktop products out there).  The AX5/20 to my ears (and many others) is better than the 5 series separates.  The pre is a dumbed down version of the KXR and is crazy good.  you don't get the micro and macro detail that it gives you in most of the under 20k integrated amps and there are many to be had.  Most of them are outstanding, but the Ayre is neither SS nor tube sounding, which I appreciate.  

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On 4/23/2021 at 3:06 PM, nrenter said:

I'm working through a potential issue (or, perhaps non-issue..not sure yet) with the tape outputs. The AX-5/20 is not happy that, by default, Cardas routes Pin 3 to Pin 1 through a 10 Ohm resistor within their XLR to RCA adaptors (I still want to use my Nakamichi Dragon, and the Dragon is single-ended). The issue could be the circuit design, or it could be the way Cardas configures their adapters (and I just need to get custom XLR to RCA adaptors that ground Pin 1 and float Pin 3). I'm working with Ryan / Ariel on this.

Just to close the loop on this…from my understanding, when Cardas first designed these female XLR to female RCA (output) adapters, they grounded Pin 3. After the Cardas team had conversations with Ariel and Jim (White of Aesthetix) the design was changed to leave Pin 3 floating. Since I figured a Cardas adapter is a Cardas adapter (particularly when sold through a “Cardas authorized seller”, albeit on Amazon), I clicky-clicked and received what I presume is old-stock of the old design. Cardas is going to swap my set. 

Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming. 

Edited by nrenter
‘Cuz I wanted to. Got a problem with that?
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That's pretty funny stuff.  I bought LED spot lights to shine on the front of my speakers (Using a different circuit of course) as they are a highly metallic paint job (strongly recommended to all).  I didnt' think it did anything to the soundstage's hight, depth or width, but I never listened for the imaging, lol.... time to go back to do that someday.........

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I have a hypothesis that backlighting speakers improves the perception of imaging.   

I think you're on to something.  Regardless, it sure makes for nice ambiance, which contributes (in my world) to higher LOR  (level of reception).  Sipping a single malt doesn't hurt either  :)

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3 hours ago, Drew769 said:

Can you tell us about your turntable?  I don’t think I’ve ever seen one of those before (Teres Audio).  Looks cool!

That’s a story with a long, rich history, we’ll documented at http://www.teresaudio.com/project/index.html.

Here’s the (very) abbreviated version: About 20 years ago, a handful of DIY types looked at a well respected kit turntable and thought they could do even better. Not only were many very interesting homegrown tables produced through this effort, a few commercial endeavors were seeded by the basic design (including Galibier Design, Redpoint, and Teres Audio). 

The table you see is actually my 2nd Teres (the first sold during what is known as “The Dark Days” - the combination of grad school, unemployment, and the stress of Baby #2). It’s a bit of a Franken-table, as is has Teres’ most advanced motor, and best-sounding “200 series” base, but their most basic platter (more advanced offering included lead-loaded acrylic, solid Delrin, and epoxy-saturated Cocobolo wood). I’d like to find a machinist to make me a Delrin platter I could lead-load. 

It’s a piece of art in and of itself. I’d like to think it will be a cherished heirloom but you’ll probably find it at Goodwill for $20 after I’m gone (along with all my records). 

Edited by nrenter
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  • 3 weeks later...

Just got my adapters back from Cardas. Once again, all is right in the world*.

 

* Except for the pandemic, middle-east unrest, inflation and global monetary policy, the passing of Eddie Van Halen, the limited number of Oreo I can shove in my mouth at one time, and a host of others things. 

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  • 3 months later...

Hello nrenter, we have chatted before on another forum.  We are neighbors.  I am in Denton Co. also.  I'm about 4 years into ownership of a pair of Quatro Wood CTs.  Any interest in meeting up for a listening session? Or just to share our experiences and observations as Quatro owners?

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