Systems

My Dedicated Listening Space, a Two-channel Audio System by Housteau

(Untitled)
Room Size
21.5' x 25' x 12' cathedral peak
System Overview
I firmly believe that the listening room should be considered as the first major component in any system. I am set-up along the short wall, but with my room size that still allows plenty of space which eliminates those side reflections and really allows the illusion of a wide presentation to come through. I have always been a fan of dipoles. The room was originally built for my RS1bs, which I kept for 17 years before moving on to what I have found to be more than just a suitable replacement, the VMPS RM-V60 Reference System. It is a four piece system, but being so new, the bass columns came later and so some of the photo albums in the gallery show just the loaner sub from VMPS. I believe that the complete system rivals the older Infinity Reference Standard V and Genesis I systems. My electronics tend to stay pretty consistent and I am not one to always be switching over to the latest and greatest whatever. That is partially due to me being a cheap bastard, but also to the fact that just because something is older doesn't mean that it has lost it's magic.
Music Preferences
I listen to a lot of different things, mostly rock and jazz, and enjoy a lot of the new recordings assuming that the mastering engineers have not overly compressed them. But, I have to admit that I still keep going back to my early progressive rock favorites quite often. I guess about 30% of my listening is LP with the rest taken up by various digital forms. More and more I have been able to enjoy my own recordings since I have gotten into location recording.
Room Description
I had my Listening room built as a stand alone free structure behind my home about 20 years ago as part of a detatched garage. Just about two years ago I had my original room expanded from a 21.5' x 15' x 12' space to 21.5' x 25' 12'. It has its own central AC system designed for low noise operation. The dimensions and style were originally taken from a friends room that I found to highlight the best from his Infinity RS1b system. Most of the walls are of double sheetrock and the new dimensions chosen to also minimize bass standing wave issues. The audio circuit is on dedicated receptacles that are supplied by an industrial 220/110 isolation transformer.
Acoustic Treatment
This goes along with my belief that the room is the first major component in any system. Good dimensions are a good start, but that is only the beginning. I have treated most of my room corners for broadband bass absorption, while being reflective of the higher frequencies. The vertical room corners are filled solid with Owens Corning 703 fiberglass and covered with stretched fabric screens. The cathedral peak is treated with panels of 4" thick 703 for both bass and higher frequency absorption. Reflection points are treated with panels of 703 and old tube traps I just happen to have and wanted to make use of. I also use tall artificial plants to help break-up, diffract and diffuse the sound behind and between the speakers. Dipoles like this sort of thing and my treatments are designed to get the best out of dipoles.
Listening Impressions
So far, so good. I really like what I am hearing right now. All is well within my world.
Media Storage
I have made my own storage for both LP and CD. The cases match the trim in the room and are designed to mix with and match with each other in a variety of placement options.
Components
Digital Source
Benchmark Dac1 / Pre, Proceed cdd as transport, Bryston BDP-1
Analog Source
VPI Scoutmaster, Southerland 20/20, Lyra
Other Sources
Mac Mini & Amarra
Signal Processors
Xilica used as a crossover and for room correction
Preamp
Benchmark Dac1 / Pre
Power Amp
Primaluna Prologue 7 monos, Odyssey Extreme Mono SEs, Ampzilla 2000 Monos, Dayton SA1000W Monos
Speakers
The VMPS RM-V60 / VLA Four Piece Reference System
Subwoofer
VMPS VLA (very large array) Bass Towers
Speaker Cable
Audio Quest, Analysis Plus, Blue Jeans Cable
Interconnects
Various configurations in and out
Racking
Self Designed LP and CD Storage, CWD Equipment Rack, Sanus racks
Power Cond
220/110 isolation transformer feeds the audio circuit, Dedicated Power Lines into the Room, Monarchy AC Regenerator for source components
Tuning and Tweaks
Never Ending
Other Components
various recording gear, Korg, Tascam, etc.