Jim...Yes the HRX version of Symphonic Dances is blow your pants off good now.
Sorry that I haven't posted earlier regarding the subs, but I cught one heck of a cold/flu the day the subs got here and have had to give the system time to break in and time for my head to clear, which it has.
As many of you know, the system includes a high pass filter at 55Hz and at 6db per octave slope built by Wayne at Bolder. I beleive the XO uses a V Cap cap and the first thing I set about doing was playing the HP XO a lot. It has about 400 hours on it now and is close to breaking in, if it isn't totally broken in at this point. This is critical as the cap greatly effects the overall sound and needs to be played a lot. After about 350 hours it begins to flesh out a bit. It is a little lean until then and makes it hard to settle on the sound. Even after break in, is not a "warm it up" kind of product.
I am using a low pass Marchand XO at 55Hz and a 24 db per octave slope. Wayne at Bolder modded the Marchand for me and I have no clue what the mod has done to improve the Marchand, but it certainly didn't hurt and was reasonable in cost.
Associated equipment includes Rogue Apollo mono amps, run in triode mode with the KT90 tubes that came with the amps driving Ulysses, which in my case, have been fitted with the AP option. I have changed the input and other small signal tubes on the amps with JJ ECC803S and ECC802S GP tubes. I have also used a variety of EL34/6CA7 tubes and have decided to stick with the KT90's. Sound is as good as any of the other tubes, but they have more output power. These tubes have been described as great big, powerful, EL34's and I agree with this assessment. All of the tubes gave a slightly different sound, but in this system, in my room and with my taste in sound, I liked the KT90's the best.
I am driving the subs with a pair of Herron M1 amplifiers. These are great sounding SS amps and do not break a sweat driving the subs at as high a level as I can take.
Front end is a Well Tempered Labs Amadeus GTA with a Dynavector Te Kaitora Rua cartridge. Phono preamp is a Herron VTPH-2 and the preamp is a Herron VTSP-3A. Digital is PS Audio PerfectWave Transport and DAC.
The cables are a mixture of Herron SE IC's, Dynamic Design Lotus Power Cables, IC and speaker cables driving the subs and Dimarzio speaker cables driving Ulysses. Everything is plugged into a Furman IT Ref 20i, which has its own dedicated 20 amp circuit.
Stands are Zoethecus with shelves made from solid maple, for the most part. I have lots of various absortion and diffusing products in the room, which was designed and built to not support standing waves..
As is often the case, finding the best position for subs was the first priority. What I was looking for was an absence of room modes in the bass and a coherent and stable soundstage where the radiation from the main speakers wasn't effected by the presence of the subs, which are very large. I started out with them side by side and eventaully have settled on a position where the front face of the two boxes are about 10" from one another, with the subs next to Ulysses. The picture Lou posted of my room is accurate, except that the subs are now a bit further back.
I have settled on connecting the subs out of phase with this placement and use the Marchand to dial in the volume of the subs. The Marchand has a cool featrure which lets you sum the bass, which has a stable effect on imaging and increases the dynamic impact of the bass, but without any overhang. Using the Marchand this way, the volume of the bass increases, which can then be controlled with the gain controls on the Marchand. I've got the Marchand gain set at a low level this way.
What to say about the sound except to say that as good as the Ulysses speakers are on their own, the addition of the subs in my system has given me the most pleasure I've experienced from a home entertainment system.
Awesome is a great word to use when describing the bass articulation and impact, but the effect of the subs goes beyind this to improving imaging, soundstaging, transparency and a clarity that is very relaxing and unforced. Tone and dynamics are also improved, especially dynamics. With the HP filter, which again, does require a lot of patience to break in, Ulysses does not work as hard and plays with lower distortion, which is audible. Of course, the parts are only the trees in the forest and not the forest. The forest, which is this system for me, is full of life and as real sounding as any system I have ever heard. The speakers have disappeared to an even greater extent than what I am used to, with images totally detached from the speakers and defying the boundry set by the walls in the room.
My reason for the subs was to better pressurize the room to given me more of a real feeling when I listen to music, which I do loudly. My room is a pretty big room with a concrete floor and concrete walls and challenging this way. The subs have done just this. The forest, which is the listening experience, is now thrilling to listen through and I feel very lucky that Lou built them for me. I know they were difficult for him to produce and I do not think he will be offering the dual 12's as a stock product, but I do hope that he offers even the single 12's as a Daedalus product. Althought it can get expensive once you figure in addtional amps and cables, it is one of the greatest investments I have made in audio.