Bob Fairbairn

My: ”New Headphones” turned into a stereo,…

In the fall of 2016 year I started thinking more about music I wanted to upgrade my headphones. But what I really needed was to bring the family back to listening! With a little help and a PUSH from a good friend I started re-discovering my passion for music listening out loud. So this is the start of the story.

I brought home a pair of used B&W Matrix 805 speakers and the beginnings of a replacement home listening system.

The first order of business was to assemble the B&W speaker stands which requires filling them with sand. So with flurries in the air, off to the grandkids sandbox for some spare sand. Yes I replaced it in the spring for the grand kids.

Then a little blue-tack on the stands to keep the speakers safely stuck to the stands so the people and the cats do not knock them off!

Next there is the matter of the jumpers on the back of the speakers. B&W ships them with these metal straps that do not sound as good as stranded copper wire jumpers. So a quick change to remove the straps…

While looking for a specific preamp and power amp to put on my system we started listening to a borrowed Bluesound Powernode 2. There is a lot of flexibility of music sources with the Powernode 2 but it really did not take the sound to where I wanted it to be. The family did have our first taste of real listening in several years.

Audio Consultants found a used Rotel RC-1070 Pre-amp and RB-1582 power amp for me. I installed them in the system and then things started to get real interesting.

I also setup a MacMini as a music player/server in the system and used my Chord MOJO as the DAC. With ROON software and an iPad as a controller we had digital music. The Phillips GA-212 urntable got a little tune-up and we have Analog! The family can now sit down and listen to streaming music and more!

Taking stock; MacMini was using our wireless network and my Chord MOJO was in the system using a generic USB cable.…. I had the digital music source working. Now what can I do to improve it?

— RJF