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  1. #1

    Adventures in Downsizing

    Just wanted to share a bit about how my recent move shook up my audio setup. Earlier this year, we shifted to a smaller place, which meant my audio system had to shrink too.

    Back in the day, we had a dedicated space for music and movies. But in our new place, that wasn't going to fly. So, I had to split the music and cinema setups.

    The music zone is now in our living area. As for the cinema... well, it's not really a 'cinema room' anymore.

    The biggest shake-up was with the movie gear. I had to say goodbye to the projector, the massive 11-foot screen, two Magnepan surround speakers, the B&W center speaker, a DVD player, one of my three subs, and a trio of mono amps. They've all been swapped out for a 85" TV and Sonos center/surround/sub speakers. Not as epic as before, but hey, it does the trick. I'm more into streaming flicks on my iPad these days anyway.

    The music setup's changes weren't as drastic, but still notable. I parted ways with the Nak tape deck and swapped the big Bryston SP3 digital preamp for a more compact Topping. Said goodbye to the acoustic treatment panels and the P10 Powerplant. Roon's still my go-to for digital tunes, but I let go of HQP too. The turntable’s sticking around, though. I’m still mulling over downsizing to a smaller computer for the Roon server and maybe keeping just one subwoofer instead of two.

    Funny thing is, even with this downsized gear, the sound in the new room is somehow better (it is the room acoustics I'm sure). Guess it goes to show, sometimes less really is more!

  2. #2

    Re: Adventures in Downsizing

    I'm glad your downsizing wasn't too painful. When I retired in 2017and bought a house in TN, before I moved the first question people seem to ask is "Are you downsizing your home?"

    My answer was no. If you downsize your home, you upsize your wife. I ended up with a bigger dedicated stereo room than my dedicated stereo room in IN.
    Micro Seiki SX-8000 air bearing table, SME 312s arm, SME 3012R arn, Dynavector XV-1s cartridge, Lyra Etna SL cartridge, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 2 track R2R, Ampex 350 tape repros, Roon Nucleus Plus music server, HiFi Rose 150B DAC, ARC Ref 6, ARC Ref 75 with KT-150s, Parasound JC5 amp , JBL 4345 speakers, Viero Equilibro Level 3 speaker cables, and Definitive Technology Ref subs.

    Reviewer for Positive Feedback

  3. #3
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    Re: Adventures in Downsizing

    so you did not want to upsize your wife?

    @nicoff, thx for the report. glad it worked out well for you.
    i did downsize myself this year and sold the monos...it didnt work well in my case, stopped listening music.

  4. #4

    Re: Adventures in Downsizing

    Quote Originally Posted by u-sound View Post
    so you did not want to upsize your wife?

    @nicoff, thx for the report. glad it worked out well for you.
    i did downsize myself this year and sold the monos...it didnt work well in my case, stopped listening music.
    That's exactly why you don't want to downsize your house if possible.

    IMO, men need to carve out a space in their home so they have a space to call their own. For some, that means a garage and/or basement. Failure to do so often results in your wife taking over every room in the house. Thankfully that's not an issue for me.
    Micro Seiki SX-8000 air bearing table, SME 312s arm, SME 3012R arn, Dynavector XV-1s cartridge, Lyra Etna SL cartridge, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 2 track R2R, Ampex 350 tape repros, Roon Nucleus Plus music server, HiFi Rose 150B DAC, ARC Ref 6, ARC Ref 75 with KT-150s, Parasound JC5 amp , JBL 4345 speakers, Viero Equilibro Level 3 speaker cables, and Definitive Technology Ref subs.

    Reviewer for Positive Feedback

  5. #5
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    Re: Adventures in Downsizing

    lonely in the garage/basement..and i thought it will end up in a skylounge-pornosuite

  6. #6
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    Re: Adventures in Downsizing

    Quote Originally Posted by nicoff View Post
    Just wanted to share a bit about how my recent move shook up my audio setup. Earlier this year, we shifted to a smaller place, which meant my audio system had to shrink too.

    Back in the day, we had a dedicated space for music and movies. But in our new place, that wasn't going to fly. So, I had to split the music and cinema setups.

    The music zone is now in our living area. As for the cinema... well, it's not really a 'cinema room' anymore.

    The biggest shake-up was with the movie gear. I had to say goodbye to the projector, the massive 11-foot screen, two Magnepan surround speakers, the B&W center speaker, a DVD player, one of my three subs, and a trio of mono amps. They've all been swapped out for a 85" TV and Sonos center/surround/sub speakers. Not as epic as before, but hey, it does the trick. I'm more into streaming flicks on my iPad these days anyway.

    The music setup's changes weren't as drastic, but still notable. I parted ways with the Nak tape deck and swapped the big Bryston SP3 digital preamp for a more compact Topping. Said goodbye to the acoustic treatment panels and the P10 Powerplant. Roon's still my go-to for digital tunes, but I let go of HQP too. The turntable’s sticking around, though. I’m still mulling over downsizing to a smaller computer for the Roon server and maybe keeping just one subwoofer instead of two.

    Funny thing is, even with this downsized gear, the sound in the new room is somehow better (it is the room acoustics I'm sure). Guess it goes to show, sometimes less really is more!

    I totally know what your talking about.
    2chl : Pass Xa-30.5, W4S STP-SE Stage 2, Kef 201/2, KEF 140, Vapor Breeze, Lumin, VPI Classic, Manley Chinook, Cadenza Bronze, Bryston CD, BHA-1, Quicksilver Headamp, HD650, HD800s, HD820's, Dan Clark 1.1, Focal Stellia, OPPO 203, 105.

  7. #7

    Re: Adventures in Downsizing

    One pleasant discovery: the Topping preamp is outstanding. It is a tenth of the size of the SP3, but the incredibly low noise floor improves the dynamic range. Great to hear new stuff in recordings that I have been listening to for years.

  8. #8
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    Re: Adventures in Downsizing

    Quote Originally Posted by mep View Post
    I'm glad your downsizing wasn't too painful. When I retired in 2017and bought a house in TN, before I moved the first question people seem to ask is "Are you downsizing your home?"

    My answer was no. If you downsize your home, you upsize your wife. I ended up with a bigger dedicated stereo room than my dedicated stereo room in IN.
    Maybe in your world, all depends on where you live, the ages, the risk involved, the insurance you pay and possible health reasons. Our downsize was a smart move, we sold our home at the beach for a cash deal, and moved inland to a gated golf community to a 1900 sq ft home with a pool from a almost 3000 sqft home. The move occurred after Hurricane Ian tore our dunes apart and Hurricane Nicole put 3 ft of water on our road. I decided I'm getting to old to construct 85+ sand bags around doors, or pay over $8K a year on homeowners insurance and over $1400 for flood, and the cost keep rising. Sure I lost a HT room and a dedicated office 2 chl room, but we gained a huge piece of mind and a positive hit in our wallets. But these days since my health scare in 2020 and the limitations of what I can do or can't, like my VPI turntable and Pass amp still remain in their boxes as I can't lift the weight anymore. Without my wife by my side I would have never made it through 2020, so this new home we are now in, is well more for her than me since should something happen to me, this home is easier and safer to manage for her.. Sometimes the big picture is more important than audio.
    2chl : Pass Xa-30.5, W4S STP-SE Stage 2, Kef 201/2, KEF 140, Vapor Breeze, Lumin, VPI Classic, Manley Chinook, Cadenza Bronze, Bryston CD, BHA-1, Quicksilver Headamp, HD650, HD800s, HD820's, Dan Clark 1.1, Focal Stellia, OPPO 203, 105.

  9. #9
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    Re: Adventures in Downsizing

    I am dreading it but know it is in my future. I don't have huge gear but I have more than I will take to the next house as it will most likely be smaller. I won't be needing 4 systems plus an HT setup. Heck, don't need it all now and keep thinking about selling a few pcs but it's hard to let it go.

    Glad it worked out great for you, nicoff
    -----------------
    Brian

    Main System -
    Rotel RCD-1572 / Rega P3 > Luxman 505UX Mark II > Fyne Audio F502SPs > Synergistic Cables

    Secondary - OPPO 93 > VAC CLA 1 MKII Pre > Odyssey Stratos > Dynaudio Audience 82s > Tara Labs Cables


  10. #10

    Re: Adventures in Downsizing

    Quote Originally Posted by CPP View Post
    Maybe in your world, all depends on where you live, the ages, the risk involved, the insurance you pay and possible health reasons. Our downsize was a smart move, we sold our home at the beach for a cash deal, and moved inland to a gated golf community to a 1900 sq ft home with a pool from a almost 3000 sqft home. The move occurred after Hurricane Ian tore our dunes apart and Hurricane Nicole put 3 ft of water on our road. I decided I'm getting to old to construct 85+ sand bags around doors, or pay over $8K a year on homeowners insurance and over $1400 for flood, and the cost keep rising. Sure I lost a HT room and a dedicated office 2 chl room, but we gained a huge piece of mind and a positive hit in our wallets. But these days since my health scare in 2020 and the limitations of what I can do or can't, like my VPI turntable and Pass amp still remain in their boxes as I can't lift the weight anymore. Without my wife by my side I would have never made it through 2020, so this new home we are now in, is well more for her than me since should something happen to me, this home is easier and safer to manage for her.. Sometimes the big picture is more important than audio.
    I understand completely Chris. You were in a much different situation than me and my wife. We never lived in a state where we had to deal with hurricanes as a threat and all that entails. TN was a good move for us on several levels. No state income tax is a big thing and northeast TN is beautiful. I am also fortunate that I can still shlep heavy gear up the stairs into my stereo room.
    Micro Seiki SX-8000 air bearing table, SME 312s arm, SME 3012R arn, Dynavector XV-1s cartridge, Lyra Etna SL cartridge, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 2 track R2R, Ampex 350 tape repros, Roon Nucleus Plus music server, HiFi Rose 150B DAC, ARC Ref 6, ARC Ref 75 with KT-150s, Parasound JC5 amp , JBL 4345 speakers, Viero Equilibro Level 3 speaker cables, and Definitive Technology Ref subs.

    Reviewer for Positive Feedback

  11. #11
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    Re: Adventures in Downsizing

    Quote Originally Posted by mep View Post
    I understand completely Chris. You were in a much different situation than me and my wife. We never lived in a state where we had to deal with hurricanes as a threat and all that entails. TN was a good move for us on several levels. No state income tax is a big thing and northeast TN is beautiful. I am also fortunate that I can still shlep heavy gear up the stairs into my stereo room.
    I love TN, just couldn't the wife to move there especially to Crossville. We have a lot of friends there, just to cold for her.
    2chl : Pass Xa-30.5, W4S STP-SE Stage 2, Kef 201/2, KEF 140, Vapor Breeze, Lumin, VPI Classic, Manley Chinook, Cadenza Bronze, Bryston CD, BHA-1, Quicksilver Headamp, HD650, HD800s, HD820's, Dan Clark 1.1, Focal Stellia, OPPO 203, 105.

  12. #12
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    Re: Adventures in Downsizing

    Since Chris and I are the same age I too am beginning to think of 'the change' that lies ahead. Our house is small(2100 sq ft) but my 1 1/2 acres eventually will get to me, right now I still enjoy all my yard work.

    Nicoff's audio downsizing is good to hear for if done correctly he proves good musical enjoyment will continue !
    Cheers ! …. Dave

  13. #13

    Re: Adventures in Downsizing

    Quote Originally Posted by CPP View Post
    I love TN, just couldn't the wife to move there especially to Crossville. We have a lot of friends there, just to cold for her.
    It does get cold in NE TN, but the winters are short and the average temperature here in the winter is in the 40s.
    Micro Seiki SX-8000 air bearing table, SME 312s arm, SME 3012R arn, Dynavector XV-1s cartridge, Lyra Etna SL cartridge, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 2 track R2R, Ampex 350 tape repros, Roon Nucleus Plus music server, HiFi Rose 150B DAC, ARC Ref 6, ARC Ref 75 with KT-150s, Parasound JC5 amp , JBL 4345 speakers, Viero Equilibro Level 3 speaker cables, and Definitive Technology Ref subs.

    Reviewer for Positive Feedback

  14. #14

    Re: Adventures in Downsizing

    Thanks guys!
    Just to give you an idea, this picture shows the two preamps side-by-side. The big one weights 22 pounds. The little one weights 5 pounds. The big one did not fit in an enclosure where I plan to have all my audio equipment so it HAD to go.
    I still have two huge and heavy mono amps that may be replaced by smaller amps. Time will tell.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  15. #15
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    Re: Adventures in Downsizing

    OK nicoff, someone is going to be a smart ass with this question so, it might as well be me.
    Are you moving into a space 1/12th the size of your previous home?

    I have never heard the Toppings. Glad to hear it sounds that good.

    Brad

    Northeastern Tennessee is beautiful.
    Synology 1019D+ - SGC Sonictransporter I9 w Roon/HQ Player- UltraRendu- PBD Stream IF to Playback Designs MPS5 via fiber optic - ARC 40th Anniversary Pre - ARC 610 T's - Martin Logan CLX's - 4 Martin Logan Depth i Subs - Shunyata Hydra, DIY PCOCC interconnects, speaker cables and power cords with Furutech terminations. Blue Jeans CAT 6's. Acoustically treated room with one permanent chair.

  16. #16

    Re: Adventures in Downsizing

    Quote Originally Posted by brad225 View Post
    OK nicoff, someone is going to be a smart ass with this question so, it might as well be me.
    Are you moving into a space 1/12th the size of your previous home?

    I have never heard the Toppings. Glad to hear it sounds that good.

    Brad

    Northeastern Tennessee is beautiful.
    LOL,Brad! Nah, it is not that small. What is happening is that I have to combine the "music" room with our main living room. The aesthetics are important (have no desire to get a divorce after so many years). So the huge equipment rack and wires all over the place are no longer an option.

    The room has a built-in wooden cabinet where I could fit my stereo equipment as long as I downsize both in the number and dimensions of the devices. The big preamp with all the cables connecting in the rear would not fit in that cabinet and the small preamp frees up space for other components. Also, being smaller means less heat which I have to be mindful of.

    My goal is to have all electronics hidden from view. Only the speakers (and the mono amps that sit next to them) will be exposed. I am exploring the replacement of the big mono amps with much smaller ones; the new ones might be about 1/12 the size... (kidding!)

    And yes, I am very happy with the Topping preamp. I bought it just to try it out, but it has been a revelation. Not to mention that I can now sell the old preamp and end up with money in my pocket!

  17. #17

    Re: Adventures in Downsizing

    In the process of moving I let go of my entire cassette collection (about 200 tapes). I had used Roon to "Tag" the digital version of those tapes some time back. So last night, I decided to listen to my "My Cassettes" collection with a twist: no wasting time finding the tape, or wind/rewind to find a track. A different way of listening to "cassettes".

  18. #18

    Re: Adventures in Downsizing

    In the process of investigating what preamp to purchase, I learned that many folks are not using preamps anymore. Instead, they are using their DACs or other component with a volume control. One less component to mess with; that fits the less is more motto.

  19. #19
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    Re: Adventures in Downsizing

    Quote Originally Posted by nicoff View Post
    In the process of investigating what preamp to purchase, I learned that many folks are not using preamps anymore. Instead, they are using their DACs or other component with a volume control. One less component to mess with; that fits the less is more motto.

    though you just got the Topping pre, you now looking to upsize that
    2chl : Pass Xa-30.5, W4S STP-SE Stage 2, Kef 201/2, KEF 140, Vapor Breeze, Lumin, VPI Classic, Manley Chinook, Cadenza Bronze, Bryston CD, BHA-1, Quicksilver Headamp, HD650, HD800s, HD820's, Dan Clark 1.1, Focal Stellia, OPPO 203, 105.

  20. #20

    Re: Adventures in Downsizing

    Quote Originally Posted by CPP View Post
    though you just got the Topping pre, you now looking to upsize that
    Sorry, I did not mean to give that impression. I am really enjoying the Topping preamp and have no desire to look further.
    What I meant to say is that while investigating what preamp to purchase, I noticed that many people were NOT using a dedicated preamp. In my case, my DAC does not have analog inputs and I needed them for my turntable, that's why I got the preamp.

  21. #21
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    Re: Adventures in Downsizing

    Wow! I don’t think I could ever give up my dedicated listening room. Glad it’s working out for you.
    George
    -----------------------

    Aurender ACS10 Music Server > Holo Audio May KTE R2R Ladder DAC > Pass Labs XP-30 Preamp > Pass Labs XA160.5 Class A Mono Blocks > Martin Logan Renaissance ELS 15A Speakers

    Powered By 2X BPT 3.5 Signature Plus Ultra Isolator | Shunyata Research Hydra Triton + Typhon | Shunyata Hydra 2 Power Conditioner

  22. #22

    Re: Adventures in Downsizing

    The adventure continues.

    I have a PC running Roon core. The PC was connected my DAC.

    I decided to move the PC to another location (utility room) and, instead, connect my DAC to a Raspberry Pi.

    The RPi is now my Roon endpoint. The DAC has not changed.

    The pictures below show the size difference between the PC and the RPi. I am also showing the two devices that are being replaced (Preamp) or relocated (PC).

    Next up: I will be exploring a smaller DAC.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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Adventures in Downsizing

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