Barn News: System(s) Update(s)


It has been some time since I last spoke about my stuff, my ‘reference’ gear, and what better time than today as some things have recently Ch-ch-ch-ch-changed.

The most dramatic, on a visual basis, is my new rack that lives on the Barn’s B-Side—a Box Furniture Modular Double Wide rack in (lovely) walnut. This replaced a Box Furniture Modular 4-shelf Single Wide rack in (lovely) maple which was lovely but I wanted a) more shelf space and b) walnut.

Even though the double wide only offers 2 additional rack spaces, one big advantage of having that extra space is my new (to me) vintage 1970s Technics SP-15 Direct Drive Turntable with an Audio Technica AT-1503 MK2 tonearm and Ortofon SPU Mono CG 65 Di MkII can live there permanently along with the (lovely) Aurorasound EQ-100 Variable Equalization Monaural Phono Amplifier all set up and set for playing 78s.

To my mind and eye, the Box Double Wide in walnut better fits the B-Side’s other furnishings and feel, things I consider along with audiophile concerns.

Over on the A-Side, the Barn’s analog rig now includes the Aurorasound VIDA MK.II Phono Stage as permanent resident to do its thing fed from the (lovely) Michell Gyro SE turntable. If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been very impressed, as in very impressed, with every piece of Aurorasound gear I’ve heard including their less expensive VIDA Prima Phono Stage (review) and HFSA-01 Vacuum Tube Integrated Amplifier (review) and I could easily with all of them. Looks, feel, and sound that all suite my tastes to a T at prices that strike me as more than reasonable, all things considered.

I also bought the Sorane SA1.2 Tonearm to live on the Michell ‘table, which is essentially the same arm reviewed by none other than Art Dudley in his Listening column for Stereophile about which he wrote:

“…the Abis SA-1.2 tonearm deserves my strongest recommendation. For LP enthusiasts who prize tone, touch, and timing above all else, I’d put the combination of Abis SA-1.2 and Denon DL-103 up against all but their priciest competitors; and for delivering the most of those performance characteristics for the least amount of money, it has few competitors.”

I was reminded of this lovely arm by Robin Wyatt of Robyatt Audio when he showed this same setup at Capital Audiofest 2023 and I have to say the Sorane is a thing of beauty to set up, use, and listen along with.

I also bought a Zu Audio Zu/DL-103 Mk.II cartridge as the Denon 103 is a long time favorite and I’ve heard nothing but better things, from people like Art Dudley, about Zu’s version.

Everything, on both sides, is wired with wire from AudioQuest. You can get all the nitty gritty gear details on our About page.

complete sets of Art Dudley’s Listener and Joe Robert’s Sound Practices

To highlight a theme weaving its way through all of my choices in gear that also includes the DeVore Fidelity O/96, Leben CS600x integrated amp, totaldac d1-unity, and a custom Box Furniture ‘Fallen A’ rack designed by yours truly along with Anthony Abbate of Box, is I like to buy gear that I enjoy in every way—looks, feel, fit ‘n finish, and performance. I also tend to buy things from companies and people I respect and all of these things play a part in my purchase decisions.

That’s the gist of the Barn updates. . .for now (hint).