Audiophiles UK. Hi-Fi and Music is one of our favourite Facebook groups and held a photographic competition for members to highlight their systems and their photography skills. Here are the winners.

WINNER – Ryan Horton

So here is my system, I have been into hifis from around the ages of 16, Now 36 ah!

In this time I have had lots of stuff from Cambridge Audio to Linn systems.

My current system consists of, Monitor audio gold 300 5G speakers, Tellurium silver 2 speaker cables.

Amps are Nord One INT-TVC NC500 MKII Super Integrated. It’s a monoblock style amplifier, I actually had not heard of Nord before, and it was only when they were getting a lot of attention on some Facebook groups I started looking into them and I’m so glad I did!

This amp its truly amazing and by far the best I have ever had, so clean and detailed. Before this, I had Exposure xm9 and xm5 amps and this truly blows them out of the water, and the customer service is literally the best I have ever had period.

 

RUNNER UP 1 – John Noakes

My hifi journey started back in 1982 when I bought my first LP12 turntable with a Basik arm and cartridge coupled with a A&R Cambridge AR60 amp and Heybrook speakers. It was a great sound and it didn’t take me long to get the upgrade bug (which is still alive and kicking today!) when I upgraded the LP12 arm to a Ittok LVII in 1982 which I still have today (along with the LP12). My amplification journey then with to Audiolab 8000 and Roksan Caspian and eventually ending up with Naim which I only discovered in 2018! Since then I have moved to today’s system starting with 202/200 to 282/250DR/SCDR/HCDR/Headline 2. The HCDR powers the Headline for my Focal Clear headphones. My LP12 is like Trigger’s Broom with very little of the 1982 original still in place. It now has Kore, Ittok, sKale, Tranquility, Cirkus, Karmen top plate, Dynavector XX-2 Mk2 cart, Collaro mat. I am shortly to upgrade the bearing to Karousel.

My speaker journey started with Heybrook then Linn Kan then Linn Ninka then PMC Twenty 23 then PMC Twentyfive 23 and now PMC Twentyfive.26.

CD – started with Linn CD player (can’t remember which one), then moved to Roksan Caspian until dispensing with CD 3 years ago and moving to Naim NDX streamer. Ripped CD collection to FLAC format using dbpoweramp and stored on Synology NAS drive and connect wirelessly to NDX. Streaming occupies <10% of my listening time with vinyl my first love. The NDX is mainly used for digital radio, party playlists and listening to new albums on Tidal before deciding to buy them on vinyl.

Phono stage is Cyrus Phono Signature with Cyrus PSXR2 power supply. Upgraded to that from previous Linn Linto which was an upgrade from a Graham Slee stage years ago (can’t remember which one). Cyrus is the best phono stage I’ve heard.

Invested in Naim Fraim equipment racking about 10 years ago – most shelves have been bought 2nd hand/ex demo due to astronomical pricing of new which I refuse to pay. Recently split system to 2 x Fraims in “brains v brawn” configuration.

Record cleaning machine is Okki Nokki and I use “The Right One” cleaning fluid.

LP collection is about 500 vinyls these days. Preferred genre is blues rock.

System components:

Naim Fraim

Naim NDX

Naim 282

Naim Headline 2 & Cyrus Phono Signature

Linn LP12

Naim 250DR

Naim Supercap DR

Naim HiCap DR & Cyrus PSX-R2 power supply

Linn Radikal power supply

RUNNER UP 2 – Paul Knipe

Having been interested in music all of my life but a health scare in 2014 really hit it home to me how important music actually was. I had a prolonged period of recovery after a serious operation and music literally was part of my recovery medication.

I’ve historically been a box swapper but after owning a pair of Shahinian Obelisk Mk2 for a few years I decided I wanted to return to more traditional direct sounding speakers. The search lasted for over 12 months during which time I owned some lovely speakers including: Spendor D7, Boenicke W8, Avalon Idea, Sonus Faber Olympica iii, Wilson Watt puppy 6 and finally a stunning pair of Boenicke W11se… I had 3 pairs of speakers in the living room one point!

They all had their positives but none of them really worked in my room as although my living room/listening room is a decent 18x18ft with 3m ceilings I do struggle to have the speakers pulled out far enough for them to work properly. Even the Boenickes which were my favourite of those listed above sounded great they still needed more room behind them than I could give. I was very close on accepting this issue and pulling them out into place for critical listening until I happened to read about a new active speaker by a small Netherlands based company called Dutch & Dutch. I had never considered actives  as my lovely Vitus SIA-025 was without doubt an end goal amp for me but hearing about how these new breed of speakers address room challenges like mine I decided to speak with Lee at Strictly Stereo to find out more about the Dutch & Dutch 8C.

Lee kindly organised for his demo pair of 8C’s to be installed which turns out is quite a involved process requiring Lee to measure my room using REW then programme the speakers parametric EQ filters to best work in my space. It was a steep learning curve for me with new words to understand like cardiod, waveguide, parametric, etc, etc…

The set up Lee left me with was that the speakers sat just 20cm from my front wall which was exactly what I had been looking for. Although they were sat really close to the front wall they produced 20hz bass @ 85db that was without doubt the best I had ever heard with zero bloat/overhang….I had found my new speakers!

The speakers have lots of really cool technology in them including two 8” subs that fire backwards and bounce off the front wall, some clever maths done inside the brains of the speakers then delays the cardioid Midrange & high frequencies so that everything is perfectly time aligned when it reaches you. When we found a set of DSP filters that suited my ear I had to have them!

My system was suddenly stripped back to just a pair speakers & a Auralic aries G1 streamer…simplicity & room friendly! No need for loads of fancy cables, no need for anxieties about system matching, no need for multiple remotes just a sublime sound. Out went my 6 space rack and replaced with a matching Hifi cabinet that I designed and built with design nods to the speakers, this even includes a really cool prototype levitating shelf for my streamer that I’d been developing. A pair of solid oak matching speaker stands followed that I designed to complement the speakers… leaving one happy audiophile.

My system story SHOULD have ended there as I have always been a digital guy with a record collection that could be picked up in one hand…. But it hasn’t ended there.

I work with wood for a living making bespoke hifi furniture (solid-sounds.co.uk), and as many of my customers are turntable users I thought it only right to get one to better understand what they need and what all the fuss is about (that’s how I justified it anyway). I purchased a very sad looking black plinthed vintage LP12 and set about bringing it up to date. The development of this turntable has been really good fun learning how to dismantle, fettle and rebuild this iconic deck. I have replaced pretty much everything including building a stunning cocobolo hardwood plinth & casting my own unique holographic arm board. Since installing a Roksan Nima arm & a very sexy Hana ML MC cartridge I can honestly say that I now have an appreciation for what all the analogue fuss is about. It sounds sublime and subsequently the record collection has very rapidly started to grow.

I now have a system that consists of a digital front end & speakers that works peerlessly and turntable that is not only sounds brilliant but is uniquely mine and a complete one of a kind.

The system as it stands today:

Dutch & Dutch 8c DSP active cardioid speakers

DIY Belden power cables

Bespoke solid-sounds speaker stands

Auralic aries G1 streamer (Qobuz & roon)

NUC i7 PC running roon & 2TB SSD holding 1600 ripped CDs

Linn LP12, Mose Hercules PSU, Roksan Nima arm, TP Skale, HD cable, Stack audio sub chassis, Cirkus bearing, Hana ML cartridge & my cocobolo plinth

Whest two phono stage

All housed in my own designed and built cabinet & isolation products.

You can join the Audiophiles UK. Hi-Fi and Music Facebook group here. 

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