My Bucket List Sound System Is Not What I Expected---It is more of an experience than a sound system!


Well-Known Member
May 25, 2010
Jersey Shore- waterside
My Bucket List Sound System Is Not What I Expected---It is more of an experience than a sound system!

This is my first time writing about my system since the end of September when it was finally working, at least making sound, after 58 years of dreaming and two years of planning and assembling. The fluctuations from one day to another as the many pieces broke in were at first annoying, but then they became like a young baby and started growing and developing personality (not always good BTW).

I wanted to write about it, but it was anti-climatic on days it did not sound that good. There are several of my earlier posts ay , that are more idealistic, whereas what I am writing now is the more realistic, powerful and I believe important. It is so important to know that if I am hurting badly, that I have a device that will make me feel much better in seconds and happens to play music. Of course, it is even better when I am doing well (fortunately most of time) and sounds amazing and yet sucks me into a better place in seconds, much as if I am at the venue when the recording was created.

A pair of piano black Von Schweikert Audio Ultra 9’s, VAC Statement 450 Stereo Amp, VAC Master Preamp, VAC Renanissance Deluxe Phono Preamp, a Bergmann Odin/Galder air bearing turntable with a ZYX Premium Optimum cartridge, MSB Reference DAC, initially Innuos Zenith SE, now awaiting replacement by a Taiko Audio Extreme in a month because the Innuos did not work with the MB USB. All of this equipment is connected with MasterBuilt Ultra IC’s with Bocchino connectors, biamped speaker wire, power cords and the all important USB cable. I initially had a Niagara 7000 power conditioner and now have a Furmin Reference 20IT that works better with some 60 cycle hum due to proximity of the phono and preamp.

I also have a full compliment of Center Stage footers throughout because they make that much difference, a Vibraplane and a 700 pound granite pedestal for the Bergmann.

I remember the moment I first thought about my bucket list system. I was 10 and at a San Francisco Audio Show with my dad. I met Frank McIntosh, Gordon Gow and Saul Marantz within 30 minutes of each other and listened to their best equipment in the best systems they could put together, and I was in love. As I am writing this, the feeling I felt that Saturday in SF decades ago listening to their systems is actually what I am experiencing and feeling as I am working the kinks out of my current system-the system experience.
In my Bucket List dream, all this stuff just plugged together and worked?????, although the reality was and is quite different.

What I have found is that it is not the sound as much as the experience of listening to the system that is getting me at this point, rather than the nature and accuracy of the sound that I thought would be what moved me. The experience is constantly changing as I make my little and not so little changes, not to mention just learning to adjust to so much new equipment (every piece and all cabling) breaking in and becoming part of a progressively cohesive system.

Oh yeah, this is my fourth system in its current location and the idea of listening to music from my system, is not remotely relatable to any of the previous systems and thus my new feeling of listening to music in my living room, dining room, kitchen and halls totally changes how I react to being in the first floor of my house.

There are days my system sounds amazing, beyond amazing, and yet there are days that I know something needs addressing. However, the one thing I started to realize after about 3-4 weeks of becoming a “system” is that I loved the system more than the sound of the music because it was the system that sucked me in and made me forget about the amazingly stressful things that are going on in my life currently and for the past 1 ½ years.

Let me say that again---this system is so damn enveloping (more than I have ever heard anywhere) that it helps my mental health by virtually instantaneously seducing my “being” away from thoughts of the problems of the day to being in synch with whatever type of music that I have on. Bottom line ---my system makes me feel better within seconds because it is so convincing that it overwhelms my thoughts and calms me down.

Once I am sucked in and lifted out of my agony of the day, the system is my friend, one of my best friends, because within seconds it is able to get me out of the ugly place between my ears and help me remember that there is so much that is beautiful about music, even if the sound is not perfect. When the sound is approaching the systems capabilities, I am in Nirvana.

I will have much more specific comments about each piece and the system as a whole, but want to wait till Leif Swanson comes in a week for 5 days and we truly tweak the system.

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
Beverly Hills, CA
I am glad you have accomplished something really wonderful for yourself!


Well-Known Member
Jun 7, 2010

I love it when a plan comes together! I am happy that you are in a good place with your system.:p
Can't wait for your impressions after Leif visits.


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