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  1. Hi fellow members, I own the MKI i66 speakers and looking for some reviews on the new MKIII and SE versions . Great that VAF is offering these upgrades making much easier to have the latest improved version . I live in Brisbane so not so easy to drop in for a listen . My pre and power amp is ME24 and High Cap ME850 ... Thanks, Gavin ...
  2. I have been looking for my interpretation of DIY audio perfection since the1950’s when I was a teenager and thought it was simply a matter of good components. But good NOT necessarily expensive components are only the beginning. Over the past 5 years I have built a couple of high performance DIY valve amps/preamps which helped me understand that incremental tweaks and upgrades can only be experienced on good equipment. A $10 (opshop bought) Thorens TD160 with a $150 Rega RB250 arm, Cambridge 640P preamp and Rega Apollo R CD player with decent fat interconnects sounded pretty awesome through my VAF DC-X Gen 4 floor standers. However, like everyone in this forum, I wanted to improve on what I perceived as perfection but I feared tweaks might make it sound worse. A SUPERBLY DESIGNED $990 DIY POWER AMP KIT FROM TASMANIA I sold my very large, high performance 15 valve amp because of space shortage. Having read a handful of excellent reviews, I built a 150 watt amp kit from Anthony of Holton Precision Audio. Anthony hand builds and tests all his modules and they are works of art. As a valve fanatic for many years I expected to be disappointed but I wasn’t. Actually, I was overwhelmed with the authority of this amp which is smooth, transparent and dynamic. Can I really live without valves? Surprisingly, YES! I ordered the complete kit that includes a strong steel case and connectors. I had to supply my own 500VA toroidal transformer and hookup wire. A $20 BUTCHERS BLOCK FOR THE LOUNGE ROOM A $20 bamboo butchers block from IKEA for my Thorens turntable completely removed all traces of feedback with heavy bass and the LP’s became much more open with a more punch. A $120 PHONO PREAMP My Thorens was running through a Cambridge 640P preamp, which has a cult following, but I found it overly bright and lacking the punchy rock ’n roll bass I remembered from the old days. I found the sound boring compared with CDs and considered dumping my LPs. After reading reviews about bass enhancement in the Rod Elliot Phono Preamp I took the punt and built one for $120 including his power supply board. The modules are small enough to be mounted below the chassis of my Thorens. The improvement was a revelation. There were instruments, voices and subtle nuances I had never heard before, coming from LPs I knew like the back of my hand. Suddenly bass was solid and tight and I just had to listen to every track instead of my favourites. A $150 PREAMP WHICH SOUNDS LIKE A PASSIVE PREAMP It took years for me to realise my CD player and record player were outputting 1 to 2 volts and I didn’t actually need a preamp so I dumped my valve preamp and knocked up a ‘passive’ preamp with an ALPS pot. The background was totally silent. Zero, zilch like starry a night in the outback. The music was pure, vibrant and exciting but bass was a bit subtle. My answer? Go back to Rod Elliot’s website and order a Preamp Kit and Power supply. Cost about $150 including a cast aluminium case which is now black crackle. The sound was similar to the ‘passive’ preamp with heaps of gain and sublime bass. There was a slight hiss at high volumes with no signal but I didn’t detect the addition of any colouration to the signal as I did through my other preamps. A $440 DAC PLAYER THAT CONVERTED ME TO HIGH RES FILES I was looking for a low cost player that would reproduce high res audio files and found the FiiO X5. My growing collection of CDs has provided me with great pleasure through my Rega Apollo R CD player and I was quite happy. BUT I became curious when I started reading about DACs. Would a CD sound better when converted to a lossless audio file? The amount of musical information and excitement I had been missing when listening to the original CD was startling. A few tracks on my Pink Floyd CDs were unrecognisable when they started playing because there was so much extra information in the music. I am not going to question why because I don’t care any more. WHY DO THIN DIY INTERCONNECTS SOUND BETTER ON MY SYSTEM? I bought a good quality mini phono/rca interconnect for my DAC Player and it sounded wonderfully rich and musical but a bit too heavy. Because the jack wouldn’t fit the player with its case on, I temporarily hooked of some $5 interconnects from Solly’s. They sounded MUCH cleaner than the audiophile leads…how come? I always assumed a nice FAT interconnect cable would give the best reproduction until I read an article where an audio engineer said the best interconnect is NO interconnect made me think. After more research, I read where someone had made a high performance interconnect using very, very thin 30WSG silver/copper Wrap Wire from Jaycar. He used three unshielded plaited strands. Two strands were paired for the signal path and the earth return used one strand. That became my project so I plaited the strands and soldered them directly to some good quality interconnects. WOW! The bass is much faster and tighter and the highs floated in space. Music that sounded great became exciting and involving but they snapped off the RCA plugs. My project cost me $15 for wire for 3 sets of interconnects and one mini phono/rca connector. Fibreglass sheath from Jaycar was used for casings because of it’s flexibility and shrink wrap helped secure the sheaths. Gentle handling is required but they seem to be strong enough. The hardest part was stripping the Teflon from the fine wires because they do break if you are too rough. It took me a couple of hours making each pair. I’m not a micro surgeon so I was quite slow. When I ask friends who have absolutely no interest in sound to have a listen, they literally stop in their tracks. They just stand there enjoying the music and won’t move. Not because it is loud or spectacular but because it is so believable and involving. I think I am at the end of my tweaking….for now? I guess I’ll sit down and just listen to the music from my DAC first. That should only take about 10 years.
  3. Further information: VAF I-66 speakers in Black Oak. They are fantastic speakers and imo the pick of the VAF range. I have owned these speakers for just over 7 years. Selling because we are downsizing and large floorstanders are not a good fit in my new home. Speakers are in good condition. Unfortunately I do not have the grilles Local pickup only. They weigh a ton and are too much hassle for me to ship interstate. Located in Sydney. Inner west. Photos:
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