Steve Lefkowicz's moderately priced system

I've had the LP12 with an Ittok arm since 1984. Regular maintenance has kept it running beautifully all these years. I've avoided the constant upgrading many LP12 owners go through though I did replace the Valhalla power supply with the Mose/Hercules2 several years ago and love it. I currently use a low output version of the Dynavector 10x5MK.II cartridge.
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I've had the Sound Organization wall shelf for it since 1997. Prior to that it sat on a single shelf Sound Organization floor stand.
Here is my review of the Mose/Hercules 2 from 2015:
Here is my review of the Dynavector:
Here is my review of the newer iFi iPhono3, which I probably should have bought to replace the iPhono2 I currently use.

Here is my humble digital setup. The NUC based Geekom mini PC on the left is about 2 years old. It runs Win 11 Pro, and has an 8-core i5, 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD. No music is stored on it, just the OS, JRiver Media Center and the Qobuz Desktop app. I also have Beyond Compare for synchronizing all my networked PCs' data. Stored files are on a 3TB USB drive and surprisingly, backed up to DVD disks. I still have all my CDs in case I ever need to reload everything or decide to get my Marantz SA-8001 SACD player out of storage.
digital setup.jpg
The signal path currently is:
USB out of the PC into:
Audioquest Jitterbug FMJ
Straightwire USB Link
iFi iUSB3 (USB power supply)
iFi Gemini twin Head Cable
iFi iPurifier2
I find the use of the iUSB3 power supply to prevent electrical noise from the PC from making it to the DAC very effective. I've used the original iUSB, the Schiit Audio Wyrd and the iUSB3, with five different PCs and about a dozen DACs and consider it essential.
Here is a link to my review of the Neo iDSD

Next in the signal path is the most recent addition to the system, the Kozmo Acoustic Passive Preamp. After years of searching for the right piece to fill this position in my system, the Kozmo simply does everything I wanted.
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Here is my review from the current issue of Positive Feedback:

When using any speaker that can mate with low powered tube amps, my go to amp since 2001 has been a low cost Hong Kong built Antique Sound Labs MG-SI15DT-S that uses a single KT88 per channel for about 5 watts in triode mode or 15 watts in pentode mode. It was recommended to me by the late great Harvey Rosenburg when we both wrote for Listener magazine. Though sold as an integrated amp, I felt it always sounded better used as a power amp and the volume control left all the way up. This was confirmed with the designer of the amp when we discussed it at CES in 2002. I can't explain why this inexpensive ($699 when new) simple amp sounds so damn good. A full servicing (new tube sockets, caps and new tubes) this past year has it working better than ever.


Regarding cables to connect everything, I tend to prefer using a single brand or line throughout the system, rather than trying to tune the system by trading off the character of one cable in one part of the system with another in another part of the system. To that end, depending on what gear I am using or what product is in for review, I tend to mostly use either Morrow Audio (MA1 interconnect and SP4 speakers cable) or Vermouth Audio Black Pearl ICs and Red Velvet speaker cable.
Here is my review of the Morrow Audio:
And here is my review of the Vermouth which is in the system right now:

The speakers are the Tekton Design Perfect SET 15. They are very efficient (98dB) and optimized for amps as little as one watt, though still have 300 watt power handing capability. For those not familiar with Tekton's speakers, the seven tweeter array uses the six outer tweeters in a ring as a midrange driver with crossover points picked specifically to avoid combing and other deleterious effects of using multiple tweeters. Only the center tweeter is used in the higher frequencies as a conventional tweeter. It basically acts as a concentric driver with exceptional coherency. The 15 inch woofer offers enough bass for me and I feel no need for a subwoofer.
Here is the complete system:

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I have a variety of other gear to swap in and out as needed or as my mood leads me. Other speakers include Maggie .7 (my wife's favorite), GoldenEar BRX, Tekton Double impact, Tekton Lore, Sound Dynamics 300ti, ELAC F5 and B6.2 and a vintage pair of Linn Kans. Amps include a Burson Timekeeper Virtuoso, Schiit Vidar, Jolida JP1000 and a few others.
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Nice system write-up and welcome Steve!

- a fellow DV 10X LOW user
In the under $1000 price range, depending on your preferences, it would seem the Dyna 10x5MKII Low, the AT OC-9XSL or the Hana SL would be the go to choices. They sound different enough that one of them should fit into someone's preferred sound profile. I've just always like Dynavector cartridges, ever since I heard the first model of the 10x when it first came out in 1978.
Lovely and well thought out.

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