Sonographe SC25/SA250 Bedroom System

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Jim Treanor
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Sonographe SC25/SA250 Bedroom System

Post by Jim Treanor » Sat Oct 27, 2012 3:08 pm

Cramped, furniture-stuffed, and somewhat asymmetrical as my 11'x13' bedroom is, I still manage to elicit a fairly decent sonic presentation from a system consisting of:

McIntosh MR-77 FM tuner tethered to cheap Home Depot-sourced rabbit ears
Motorola DCH 3200 cable box (for cable music classical, jazz, and film score channels)
c-j Sonographe SC25 preamp w/ installed phono stage
c-j Sonographe SA250 amp
Paradigm SE-1 speakers mounted on DIY sand-filled stands
Kimber Select K1020 IC's
Tara Space and Time speaker cable left over from the early 1990's
Adcom ACE-515 PLC
PS Audio Ultimate Outlet (for the amp's fixed power cord)
A few ASC Tube Traps

The electronics reside in a DIY solid red oak cabinet which looks like this:

Image

Tube Trap placement is far from ideal (unavoidable given the environment), but it suffices to tame some reflection nasties:

Image

And, yes, my listening chair is the bed.

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Re: Sonographe SC25/SA250 Bedroom System

Post by eagle6014 » Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:54 am

I like it! That Mc tuner is most righteous. Now I'm going to see if I can find one within reason. :D I'm a former owner of a Sonographe SC26 & SA250 before I moved up into tubes so I know how they can sound. I luv how you did that system with affordable quality gear. Good show guy!

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Re: Sonographe SC25/SA250 Bedroom System

Post by admin » Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:24 pm

Really cool. Very nice setup in itself, but for a "bedroom" that's super great! I notice that you have traps setup. How large are they? Was there a problem with too much bass, or perhaps echoing since the room is not that large? I think having the carpeting in there probably helps the sound as well as the large bed which essentially is a large sound trap as well.

Once again, great setup! Congrats!
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Re: Sonographe SC25/SA250 Bedroom System

Post by Jim Treanor » Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:08 pm

The traps atop the lowboy dresser, atop the nightstand, and alongside the closet are four-foot-tall 9-inchers. The floor-mounted corner trap is a six-foot-tall 11-incher. In each case, the diffuser side of the trap is pointed outward into the room. Even with bedding and carpet there's still a large area of reflective surface with the walls and wood furniture present, so trapping is necessary to both absorb and randomize face-on reflections.

You probably noted that records and an RCM are indicated in the diagram. LP's are stored in the bedroom but actually get played in the main system--when I get around to shooting some photos, I'll post those here as well.

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Re: Sonographe SC25/SA250 Bedroom System

Post by Jim Treanor » Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:16 pm

There's also a Mc MR77 in the main (living room) system and an MR74 to be installed in the home office system (when I get around to building a decent equipment cabinet for the tuner, Counterpoint line stage, and SA250 that reside or are slated to live there). All the tuners as well as the Sonographes are eBay acquisitions. Since we have listener-supported high-quality jazz and classical stations within range and a roof-mounted Yagi, the moderate investment in FM has turned out to be more than worth it.

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Re: Sonographe SC25/SA250 Bedroom System

Post by admin » Fri Nov 02, 2012 3:04 pm

Sounds cool. Look forward to seeing the other setups as well.

I have tried to listen to music over the radio but in all honesty the sound quality did not impress me. I have read that the standard FM radio signal is the equivalent of a 128 kb/sec mp3. Also, most radio stations use dynamic range compression as they are broadcasting for car listeners where there is significant ambient noise. I don't know how accurate this is as I have no way of measuring this directly. Any secrets to making FM sound "audiophile" quality?
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Re: Sonographe SC25/SA250 Bedroom System

Post by Jim Treanor » Sat Nov 03, 2012 1:36 pm

I don't know any "secrets" offhand, but on FM the classical station I frequent (KWAX in Eugene, OR)--particularly on recorded-live broadcasts of symphony orchestra (e.g., the San Francisco SO and Amsterdam's Concertgebouw)--sounds noticeably more dynamic in its presentation than the output of the pop stations in the area and kwax.com's Internet MP3 128K feed that's available (along with higher-resolution feeds) on my home-office system, which also uses an SA250 and Paradigm SE-1's for playback. The non-commercial programming of the jazz station (KMHD in Gresham, OR, about 70 air-miles away) is such that it, too, makes--along with their own inherent qualities--the investment in the tuners (about $1100 for all three of them) worth it to my ears.

I'm looking at the possibility of moving the SC25 from the bedroom to the home office system and replacing it with a Classic SE or other newer c-j tubed line stage. We'll see.

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Re: Sonographe SC25/SA250 Bedroom System

Post by admin » Sat Nov 03, 2012 5:43 pm

I may have to give the radio thing another try. It sounds like the particular station/program has a lot to do with the quality. If I can recall correctly, the last time I tried listening to the radio on my system it was a popular rock station. No doubt they have the dynamic range compression on max to make it sound "loud". I have to find some alternative radio programs that focus more on the quality and not just on amplitude.
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Re: Sonographe SC25/SA250 Bedroom System

Post by friedbanana » Fri Oct 10, 2014 6:33 pm

Can you tell me a bit about the phono section of the Sonographe SC25? Specifically, is MM only, or can it handle MC cartridges?
Thanks!

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