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Home > Gaudi > Gaudi in 2012-13 2012/12/21 created
2014/12/29 updated

Gaudi in 2012-13

I have been building Audio System Gaudi since 1974. Now it is almost completed. It is nearly what I planned in 1974 (block diagram). I replaced the midrange unit (Fostex 6N-FE88ES) with a horn-loaded midrange driver (Fostex D1405+H400) in November 2012. Only difference between the current system and my goal is the midrange amplifier. I currently use a product of Flying Mole (DAD-M100pro) as the midrange amp. I have to design and build a new midrange power amp to achieve my goal.
(block diagram)

Gaudi 2012-13

This upgrade surely improved the system overall quality of sound by one rank or even two ranks. I feel that beauty and extremely high fidelity has been added to the features of the Gaudi sound, of which most attractive features have been dynamism and vividness. Now Gaudi can reproduce sound of any kind of musical instrument very precisely. A musical performance reproduced by Gaudi is so realistic that it sometimes startles the listener (for further details, see 'Rev.A: Upgrade of the midrange unit' in the page of SS-309).

Needless to say, the loudspeaker is the most influential component in an audio system to the system's sound quality. Particularly, the midrange unit contributes more to the overall sound quality than other LS units. It is my personal opinion since my youth, "the midrange unit determines the sound quality, and the tweeter determines the tone." This upgrade proved the opinion of mine.

It has been my dream since I was a junior high school student to design and build a high-end audio system for myself. Now the dream is coming true. Once Gaudi starts to play music, it quickly turns the living room, which is a room for daily living in a normal situation, into a mini concert hall, and the listener feels as if he/she is listening to a real musical performance. A daily ordinary time is changed to the happiest one. I think the quality of Gaudi sound, which has such magical power, is already very close to that of a high-end audio system.

Every time I had (a) guest(s), I have him/her/them listened to Gaudi sound. In many case, I received his/her/their praise even before this upgrade, but I suspected the half of the praises were flattery.
However, this upgrade improved Gaudi sound so good that it is truly praised. I know that not by words of the guests but by their facial expression. When a musical performance starts, most of them look startled. Then, some are listening absent-mindedly with his/her mouth open. Some lean forward and concentrate on the music with their shining eyes. Some are swinging without knowing. At the end of the performance, some applaud clapping hands. Some are moved to tears. Some say, "I felt as if I was listening to a real live performance."
Anyway, it seems that vividness of Gaudi sound gives listeners not a little shock.

The plan of an ideal audio system the 17-year-old boy made up 39 years ago is now becoming reality. It can safely be said that the boy's idea is being proved right. Even now, I believe that a tri-amplified system using horn-loaded loudspeakers and large woofers is the best solution to achieve hi-end sound quality, if the system is homebuilt.

This upgrade revealed one big problem: a class-D amplifier does not fit a horn-loaded speaker. It generates audible noises.
The current midrange amplifier in Gaudi is Flying Mole DAD-M100Pro, which is a class-D amplifier. Fortunately, the level of the noises is not so high that I plan to use it as it is for the time being. Anyway, DAD-M100Pro should be replaced with a linear amplifier as soon as possible. I gave a top priority to the design and building the linear amplifier (for further details, see "Rev. A: Upgrading the midrange unit" in the page of SS-309).

Equipment

Category Model Features  Description Link
Analog
player
PS-104
NOBODY PS-104 
*Turntable:
SONY TTS-8000
*Tone arm:
GRACE G-1040
* Cartridge:
ORTOFON 2M RED
I've been using it w/o major modification since 1982. I changed the cartridge from GRACE F-14MR to ORTOFON 2M Red in 2012. I'll continue to use it as long as it works. Details
Digital
player  
SONY SCD-555ES SACD/CD player First generation SACD player. Also excellent as CD player having useful features such as a digital filter selector.
I bought it in 2001.
 
Lenovo ThinkPad X121e Digital audio player Laptop PC w/128GB SSD. The combination of this PC and DS-DAC-10 functions as digital audio player. It also functions as measurement instrument w/PicoScope.  
KORG DS-DAC-10 
+ Aurorasound
BusPower-Pro
USB DAC. The combination of this device and ThinkPad functions as digital audio player. The highest resolution is PCM 192kHz/24bit and DSD 5.6MHz.  
Tuner SONY ST-S333ESJ Highly functional FM/AM tuner Although it has various features, I use only basic ones. The sound quality is not so good because the FM radio waves, supplied from a cable TV station, are not strong enough.  
Tape deck AIWA EXCELIA XK-007 One-way, three-head cassette tape deck with stabilizer Not so famous but excellent for its very high fidelity sound and high reliability. There has been no trouble except one belt replacement since it was purchased in April, 1989.
It is now used as a tape player because the preamp PA-210 doesn't have REC OUT.
Details
Amp     PA-210 Simplicity
NOBODY PA-210 Simplicity
Tube preamplifier
All stages are SRPP
CR-type phono equalizer
Non-NFB flat stage
Separate power supply
A tube preamp made in 2001-2003. Featured by out-and-out simplicity and low noise. Details
CD-211A
NOBODY CD-211A A-NET 
Solid state
Three-way channel divider (network)
The first NOBODY-branded model that uses OP amps. Made in 2004. Revised in 2012.
Crossover frequencies:
800Hz(18dB/oct), 7200Hz(18dB/oct)
Details
MA-208
NOBODY MA-208 
Tube power amplifier
6BQ5 UL PP
Designed for horn-loaded tweeters.
Made in 1999.
Split load phase splitter; rectifying tube.
Output power: 13W+13W
Details
Flying Mole
DAD-M100pro HT
Monaural digital power amplifier Power amp for midrange.
Its sound is warm like a tube amp.
Output power: 100W (8ohm)
 
MA-201C
NOBODY MA-201C
Tube power amplifier
6CA7 UL PP 
The first NOBODY-branded equipment, made in 1974.
Used for woofers.
The current revision: C
Output power: 30W+30W
Details
Loud-
speaker
SS-309A
NOBODY SS-309A 
Three-way speaker system
*Tweeter:
Fostex T925
*Midrange:
Fostex D1405+H400
*Woofer:
Fostex FW305 
12" woofer-based three-way loudspeaker, made in 2001.
It doesn't include network and attenuator since it's designed for the multi-amplifier system.
Vented box for woofer.
The midrange unit was changed from full-range direct radiator to horn-loaded midrange in 2012 (Rev. A).
Details
TV Victor LT-37H905  37" LCD flat TV Used as a display of ThinkPad. The interface is HDMI.  
Cable         PS-104 -> PA-210  GRACE genuine cable  Low capacitance cable using 6N copper.
It looks like the original cable attached to the tone arm. Its sound quality is better than the original.
 
SCD-555ES -> PA-210 Handmade cable
*Wire: BELDEN 8412
*Plug: Teflon RCA plug
Handmade cable made of balanced type shield wire. Though the RCA plug is a generic one, the insulator material is teflon.
The plug's metal cover is not attached. Shrink tube is applied instead.
Details
PA-210 -> CD-211A Handmade cable
*Wire: BELDEN 8412
*Plug: Teflon RCA plug
Handmade cable composed of balanced type shield wires. One end of the cable is soldered in CD-211A. Details
CD-211A -> MA-208 Handmade cable
*Wire: BELDEN 8412
*Plug: part of Mogami 7551
Handmade cable composed of balanced type shield wires. One end of the cable is soldered in CD-211A.
The wires were Audio Technica AT6A48 when CD-211 was built (2004). They were replaced with BELDEN 8412 in 2008. BELDEN is unquestionably superior.
The metallic cover of the plug was replaced with a thermal shrink tube.
Details
CD-211A -> DAD-M100pro Handmade cable
*Wire: BELDEN 8412
*Plug: Teflon RCA plug
Handmade cable composed of balanced type shield wires. One end of the cable is soldered in CD-211A. Details
CD-211A -> MA-201C Handmade cable
*Wire: BELDEN 8412
*Plug: Teflon RCA plug
Handmade cable composed of balanced type shield wires. One end of the cable is soldered in CD-211A. Details
MA-208 -> SS-309A tweeter Handmade cable
*Wire: 47 Laboratory STRATOS
*Plug: none
Handmade cable made of 0.4mm copper single wires twisted at 30cm pitch. One end of the cable is soldered to the output terminal of MA-208. The other end is plated w/ silver loaded solder. Details
DAD-M100pro -> SS-309A midrange Handmade cable
*Wire: 47 Laboratory STRATOS
*Plug: banana plug for instruments
Handmade cable made of 0.4mm copper single wires twisted at 30cm pitch. Banana plugs for measurement instruments are attached to one end. The other end has no connector. Details
MA-201C -> SS-309A woofer Handmade cable
*Wire: 47 Laboratory STRATOS
*Plug: none
Handmade cable made of 0.6mm copper single wires twisted at 30cm pitch. One end of the cable is soldered to the output terminal of MA-201C. The other end is directly soldered to the terminal of woofer. Details
Room   25m2 living room
Fairly soundproofed.
Slightly live at mid and high frequencies and slightly dead at low frequencies. Almost no standing waves thanks to the slant ceiling.
Equipped with outlets for audio equipment; both 100V and 200V. The sockets are for medical use.
Details




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