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Audio Visits
 
Jeremy's System:
Speaker B&W Nautilus 802
Power Amp McIntosh MC-500
Pre-Amp Audio Research Reference 2 Mk2
Digital Sonic Frontier T3P3
Cables Cardas Golden Reference, etc.

B&W Nautilus series does not only look good, but its neutrality is capable of truly demonstrate individual component's strength and weakness.  When I was invited to audition at Jeremy's system, I was happier than honored; not only it is one of my favorite speaker, but I am very curious to find out how it sounds with his dream-team setup. 

Jeremy, in my opinion, is a die-hard audiophile.  He has a home theater setup, a bed room system, and on top of all, a reference main stereo system. 

I was deeply attracted by the beauty of the blue light on McIntosh, and the tube warmth in Audio Research and Sonic Frontier when I entered his listen room; "Woow!, what a beautiful setup", I said.  Jeremy has turned everything on for hours prior my arrival.  His listening room is about 18 x 15 feet; a very good size for B&W Nautilus 802.  Although his setup is not in the center of the room, the visual complexion is very simple and relaxing.  Everything is neatly placed and organized, including all his cables. 

Jeremy pays attention to every single details.  He carefully separate each and every cable apart, so that they do not touch nor cross each other, leaving the possible interference to nil.  He explained that he borrowed these cabling technique from his aerial engineering background.   

To begin with our listening session, I picked a CD that I know the best - Jheena Lodwick Vol. 1 (All My Loving).  This is a very well recorded album from MusicLabs; the vocal is very focus as they have done with close-up mic, yet with every bits of sweetness in the air.  To my very surprise, the soundstage is HUGE on Jeremy's system.  Jheena's vocal stands out, and the shape of her mouth is very revealing, while the rest of the band is convincingly wider than where his speakers are.  I have heard every individual piece of his system, and was fairly confident what B&W Nautilus sounds like.  However, I must say at this point, I have never heard this sound quality from B&W Nautilus before, and I couldn't help it but to interrupt Jeremy with our listening session.

Jeremy with a smirk on his face, showed me his secret weapons in his setup. 

First of all, he has special order a set of these titanium midrange bullets from B&W.  At a cost of $200 a pair, he confirmed these solid metal bullet (vs. plastic bullet from factory) made a big improvement on its already strong B&W Kevlar mid-range.

Having found the weakness at its factory cross-over and its power hungry bass of Nautilus 802, Jeremy by-passed its cross-over, and has bi-wired the speakers with McIntosh MC-500; a monstrous 500 Watts per channel.

Jeremy also sent his Sonic Frontier to Chris Johnson for upgrade and modification.  The high acclaimed Processor 3 was upgraded and modified to the latest spec, with improved output stage and power supply.  At a cost of $1200, his Sonic Frontier is now one of a kind, and a MK2, as it is called.

While Jeremy swapping some of the tubes he owns, he demonstrates and carefully explains their sonic advantages and disadvantages to me on to his Sonic Frontier T3P3.  Although my choice of tubes may be different than what Jeremy chooses, because of the difference in our personal preference; but I was able to discern every bit of sonic difference when he changes tubes on his system. 

I noticed some other spare tubes he owns; out of my curiosity, I asked them what they are for.  "They are for Audio Research Reference 2 mk2", he said.

In the heart of the Audio Research Reference2 mk2, he has changed all 6 stock 6H30 tubes to very rare Russian military 6H30 tubes.  He also swap the 5AR4 tube to a vintage 1970 NOS Mullard tube; "it sounds the best", Jeremy says.

To conclude my pleasant day at Jeremy's, I have heard many pairs of B&W Nautilus, including ones of my own; this is by far the BEST sounding B&W Nautilus I have ever heard.   I have listened to many albums that day and absolutely loved his system.  When I asked Jeremy how does he likes his system, he

said "it sounds at its finest now, and I am about done."  Because Jeremy often likes to experience with different setups, tubes, and all require a re-position of his speaker; therefore he hasn't setup them on spikes, nor have his audio on racks yet. 

We often say good equipments are at the mercy of its owner.  Sometimes, you see a top-notch setup, but it sounds terrible.   Jeremy's perfectionism, detailed personality, vast audio knowledge has not only earned him a Reference system he's owned, but also made him a master of the beautiful sound.


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