Ho Say's System

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Ho Say
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Post by Ho Say » Tue Jun 06, 2006 8:06 pm

I first became aware of Blue Circle in the fall of 1996 when I saw them at a stereo show in Toronto. I thought the equipment sounded good and was unique. At the time I was researching to purchase a good combined 2 channel/home theater setup, but kept them in the back of my mind. I ended up purchasing a Krell/Aerial Acoustics system as my main system.

Then in the summer of 1997, I saw a dealer had a Blue Circle BC3/BC2 demo system for sale, and decided that I would buy it and setup a second "tube" system. I ended up buying another pair of BC2's and upgraded the pre-amp by adding the upgraded power supply and eventually upgraded to a BC3000. I upgraded both pairs of BC2's to BC2.1's. I bought a pair of huge Soundlab electrostats and had Gilbert do some custom work so that I could bridge my BC2.1's into push-pull monoblocks to drive these speakers. This included a special custom pre-amp.

For 2 channel listening, I really preferred listening to my Blue Circle system over the Krell. I would still listen to the Krell alot because I liked watching sports on TV with it muted playing 2 channel music through the system. I told Gilbert this and he mentioned he was coming out with some new amps (AG8000) that would work real well in a home theater system.

I then got the idea to rework my systems so that I would have one combined 2 channel/home theater system based on Blue Circle equipment. It is still evolving, but I will discuss it below.


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Ho Say
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Post by Ho Say » Tue Jun 06, 2006 8:26 pm

In the front, I have a pair of Martin Logan Prodigy speakers and the Theater i for the center channel. They are driven by some custom AG8200 amps (these are more powerful versions of the AG8000, and are 250 watts I believe). Each amp has a large cherry wood box built into the power cords that has ground and polarity switches, as well as 12v triggers. Each amp and speaker is plugged into a BC84 power pillow. I use Blue Circle balanced interconnects and XLO Type 5 Reference speaker cables. The whole system is run balanced. The TV is temporary, and I will discuss the new video system later. On each side of the TV in the shadows are a pair of Genesis 900 500W powered subwoofers. The Prodigies use a pair of BC68 power cords. I have some home brew tube traps in the corners. When the pre-amp is turned on, the L/R main channels are turned on via 12v trigger. When the surround processer is turned on, the center and surround channels are turned on via 12v trigger. <hr>Image

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Ho Say
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Post by Ho Say » Tue Jun 06, 2006 8:50 pm

On the side of the room I have the source components. In the middle is my custom pre-amp that I had Gilbert build. I asked him to build me the best pre-amp he could with a sizeable budget. He would have to explain everything that it has. I do know it has a special 48 step Shallco volume control, that combined with the switch inside the unit, gives me 96 possible volume combinations for very fine control. It has the home theater pass-thru switches on the front. Overall, I really like this pre-amp. For CD's, I have an Altis Centauri Transport and Reference DAC. The DAC was modified by Audio Logic, and both units had the power supply upgrade done by Gilbert (I had a separate post on this).
For LP's, I have a Walker Prosceniun Gold Signature turntable used with Gilbert's "Bad Donut" balanced MDF phono stage. It is on loan as I am having him build a custom phonostage that will be similar to my pre-amp. I have an 800 and 1200 Music ring and a BC85 power pillow. For video and surround, I have a Krell A/V Standard, Sony 7700 DVD player and a Sony SAT-300 HD Directv receiver.

I am going to upgrade my surround processor and DVD player at some point. I am leaning toward the Halcro processor with its universal player.

Once I get all my equipment, I plan on building some custom racks as all my equipment will be unusual in size. <hr>Image

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Ho Say
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Post by Ho Say » Tue Jun 06, 2006 8:55 pm

In the back is the surround equipment. I have a pair of Blue Circle AG8000's driving a pair of Martin Logan Ascent i's. You can see the BC84's and the cherry box on the power cords. I have 3 home brew tube traps across the back. <hr>Image

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Ho Say
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Post by Ho Say » Tue Jun 06, 2006 9:03 pm

My new video system will be projector based. I purchased a good condition, low hours Sony G90 9" CRT projector. This is considered by many as the best CRT projector and it can do all HD formats in native resolution. Notice how big it is with the CD leaning against it. I bought a Runco 4404 Ultra video processor so that I can convert everything to 1080P. I bought some good video cables, and only need to purchase a screen. I'm still researching that. <hr>Image

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Ho Say
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Post by Ho Say » Tue Jun 06, 2006 9:15 pm

And finally, once I get everything setup, the final thing will be to organize my cables with the Blue Circle "Cable Pillows". These are really cool and came out around 1998 (the days when Al was a hippie).

I pulled out a couple to take a picture. They are spring loaded and pivot 360 degrees.

And don't even think of trying to snag one. They are guarded by the Rabbit. He is a relative of the rabbit from the Holy Grail movie and he can be quite vicious. <hr>Image

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bish
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Post by bish » Wed Jun 07, 2006 8:30 pm

Ho Say --

A most impressive system (your past & current setup for that matter).

Out of curiosity -- how many circuits are you using to drive the system?

No ill will towards Al's fine retro cable lifts --- but a few strategically placed 'Caerbannog Rabbits' could make a mighty fine replacement. Scratch that... mixing a dark AV room with a basket of possessed rabbits might not bode well..... :P :blink: :lol: :)

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Ho Say
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Post by Ho Say » Thu Jun 08, 2006 5:20 pm

Thanks Bish.

Right now my entire room is one 15A circuit. I've thought about adding some dedicated lines, but haven't yet. I bought my house new, and shortly after moving in I upgraded my 100A service to 200A. At the same time I had the guy add extra ground rods that are all connected together. When I had my satellite dish installed, I made sure the ground was hooked into the house ground. So far I have had clean electricity I guess because I have no noise or buzzing from my system. At a house I was renting before this, I did have noise problems.

It will be interesting to see what happens once I hook up the projector. Its supposed to be a power hog.

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Kevin Allen
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Post by Kevin Allen » Tue Jun 03, 2008 7:43 pm

Ho Say,

I still have nightmares of tripping on all the various AGs laying here, there, and everywhere. Contrasting that is the dream I have of watching the Fifth Element on that system... crazy good.

Kevin
[FONT=Arial]Harmonia Audio<br><br>www.harmonia-audio.com<br><br>Authorized Blue Circle Dealer[/FONT]

Bob Neill
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Ho Say's basement room

Post by Bob Neill » Wed Mar 17, 2010 7:57 pm

Man, you need a custom Mapleshade Samson equipment shelf!

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