My Stereo Setup (As of 21st June 2016)
This is a short video of my Marantz setup playing “Eternal” from a Japanese group called Rin’ (Album: Jikū 時空 Track #11).
My listening room is tiny - almost a cube at 2.4 m (W) x 2.6 m (L) by 2.4 m (H). The speaker placement can be best described as an equilateral triangle - speakers on two points and the sweet spot making up the three points of a triangle. The speakers are only slighly toed in, so while the distances between the speakers and myself are equidistant, if you draw a line from the tweeters projecting towards the sweetspot, the two lines will only converge behind the sweet spot.
The reason for the gentle toe in is to give the illusion of an expanded front stage, i.e. sounds that you perceive are coming from the extreme left of the left speaker, and extreme right of the right speaker.
The computer is running stock version of 0.1.4 of the Snakeoil OS, the only changes I’ve made is to restrict the output to no more than 96 kHz (maximum the KillerDAC can handle), and custom priority levels for certain processes (e.g. USB 2.0, network, squeezelite and so on). Music is streamed from a NAS (FreeNAS running on HP MicroServer Gen8).
This setup is far from being what is commonly known as a “high end” system in audiophile circles. Every equipment selected for this system is reasonably priced. The room while small and claustrophobic for some has a very big sound. The speakers completely disappear and any sound from the recording just pops up in freespace and is localisable (i.e. your brain is telling you there is a person standing at this spot, or there is a violinst at that point and so on). Done right this can send your brains into a frenzy as your ears are telling you something is there but your eyes are contradicting it. This state of confusion can often give you a high, and this high can be very intoxicating.
So what’s the best feature of this setup? It allows me to enjoy the music hidden in highly compressed music (99.9% of most modern music).