Sunday evening, technology edition

Watching the SpaceX/NASA launch of a four-man four-person crew to the International Space Station today was…wonderful. Inspirational. A bit of joy and triumph in this damnable year 2020. Bless our nation’s crazy Elon Musk for creating SpaceX and getting us back to the point where we’re exploring space.

On a more personal technology note, I ordered a whole new home audio suite today. Used gear, but new for me. My current system is:

  • A Furman 15i power conditioner
  • A Marantz 6006 single-disk CD player (just installed this month)
  • A Marantz SR5009 AV receiver, acquired from my brother Mark last year
  • An Elac Discovery music server with 2TB external SSD and a lifetime subscription to Tidal (my favorite high-quality audio streaming service)
  • My fantastic Spatial Audio M3 Turbo-S speakers
  • Anticable interconnects and speaker wire

The components I’ve just purchased will replace the SR5009. It was never really the right amp for the M3s. The 5009 is a state-of-the-art home theater system, and that’s where I’ll move it – into the TV room, replacing a Denon that’s about eight years old. The 5009 has a ton of audio decoding, wireless and streaming features that the Denon doesn’t have and that I don’t need in the main stereo system. The new (used) components are:

The Marantz receiver drove about 140 watts/channel into the M3s. The Wyred Class D monoblocs will drive about 430 watts/channel (!) into the M3s at their nominal four ohm impedance. I’ll never drive them at max rating, but the headroom should give the M3s plenty of power to shine.

I’m really looking forward to the Dared, combining the warm sound of a tube front end with the responsiveness of digital Class D amplification. That combo has always made sense to me, and now I get to try it. Buying these on the used market makes trying things out reasonable – when new, these units would have been quite expensive, by my standards. (I should note that some audiophiles think nothing of spending $20K on a preamp-amp combination, and another $20K on speakers. I’m an enthusiast, but not crazy.)

And the Dared is a classic. An old design, proven, hand assembled and a real beauty (see photo above). Some people dig classic cars; I’m a sucker for classic audio gear. Dared USA is no longer in business, and a Chinese company in Shenzen has taken over the brand. So you’ve got to go back a decade or so for the MC-7P to be considered audiophile gear.

The new system should be in place within 7-10 days. Countdown has begun…

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