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Howard’s TEAC-TACT-BOULDER-TANNOY System Enhancements

(The Missing Link Interconnects used exclusively)

 

  1. This is a survey of my current (15/03/2006) HiFi system which has advanced and improved quite considerably since an article about it was published in the December 2005 issue of HiFi News magazine. I believe the system to be fairly unique in the application of the TACT RCS 2.2X digital room correction pre-amplifier to enable the massive TANNOY WESTMINSTER ROYAL HE loudspeakers to work flawlessly in a modest sized domestic lounge (17 feet by 13 feet approximately).

 

  1. My main lounge has been dedicated purely to sound reproduction and it’s associated enjoyment (pass the Shiraz!) It has been configured purely for 2-channel stereo replay of compact discs and FM radio. Brief system description. From source to ear: TEAC P-70 CD transport feeding TACT RCS 2.2X room correction pre-amplifier (heavily modified). BOULDER 1060 power amplifier driving TANNOY WESTMINSTER ROYAL HE loudspeakers c/w ST-100 super-tweeters. Speaker crossovers personally modified using Mundorf Silver/Oil capacitors in the High Frequency section (treble), Mills resistors throughout and a Mundorf Supreme capacitor in the Low Frequency (LF) section (Bass). REVOX B-260 FM tuner fed with 8 element yagi antenna. All equipment used with BASE isolation platforms. Missing Link Interconnects and Nordost Valhalla mains cables. Two separate 63 amp 18 mm˛ mains spurs, one to the source components and one to the power amplifier. No external mains filters of any type are used!

 

  1. Since the HiFi News review I have carried out the following major improvements:

 

A.                 I upgraded the main 1 mH Inductor in the TANNOY WESTMINSTER ROYAL HE LF crossover network to an Alpha-Core (GOERTZ) copper foil component. I removed a sound degrading 3 dB notch filter (unnecessary with TACT) from the LF crossover (the large 4 mH inductor in series with the Bass driver is no longer needed!)

 

B.                 I had the TACT RCS2.2X pre-amplifier completely upgraded by Aberdeen Components USA. These modifications included fitting an even better power supply unit, improved very high accuracy clocks, superior internal wiring, full RF/EMI screening of noise emitting components, better ADC and DAC cards etc. etc. (this is known on the web as the full Enchilada).

 

C.                I replaced all interconnects throughout the system with custom made The Missing Link Reference Cryo cabling. The Nordost Valhalla Balanced digital cable connecting the TEAC P-70 to the TACT was replaced by a balanced Binary Star. The long pair of ATLAS ELEKTRA balanced cables which fed the BOULDER 1060 power amplifier were replaced by two 7 metre pairs of custom The Missing Link LCR cable. The ATLAS ICHOR speaker cables were replaced with two complete sets of The Missing Link LCR cables (one with a custom feed spur to connect my Tannoy ST-100 super tweeters). The Nordost Valkyrja connecting my recently acquired REVOX B-260 tuner was replaced by 1 metre of LCR.

 

D.                AC Mains related upgrades. I replaced all mains sockets for the system with The Missing Link silver plated items. I replaced the mains plugs of my Nordost Valhalla mains cables with The Missing Link silver plated plugs. I had the two 63 amp mains spurs upgraded with silver plated NH fuses in fuse-switch disconnectors, additional silver plating by The Missing Link including 160 amp neutral bus bar links.

 

E.                 The room was re-decorated and rear internal doors were replaced with double glazed types.

 

  1. The following three photographs show the system after recent upgrades and re-decoration:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. General comments on how the sound has improved since the HiFi News article was published:

 

A.                 The Alpha-Core foil inductor and removal of the large 4 mH inductor has tightened up the Bass considerably and made the speaker interface with the room even easier to handle by the TACT room correction process, giving an increase in dynamic range.

 

B.                 The TACT pre-amp has moved up a level giving stunningly “real” presentation of instruments. Noise floor is even lower. Other improvements too numerous to mention.

 

C.                Replacing all of my interconnects with The Missing Link products has proven to be a great upgrade and here’s why: The Binary Star came first and replaced the top of the line Nordost Valhalla balanced. I can use 44.1 or 88.2 sampling rates between the TACT P-70 and the TACT pre-amp. With the Valhalla, 44.1 was OK but when you switched to the 88.2 R-DOT up-sampling mode the sound got worse. I originally put this down to TEAC / TACT compatibility issues. With the Binary Star in place, 88.2 not only worked but was far better than 44.1 and gave the best sound I have ever heard from CDs! The other cables followed. The long balanced LCR interconnect is better than the Atlas ELEKTRA which I considered to be extremely good and widely believed to be on a par with Nordost Valhalla. The LCR speaker cables have proved to be superior to the Atlas ICHOR and the total effect of these cables changes is greater than the individual parts (synergy rules). The construction, attention to detail, finish and presentation of all these cables is second to none.

 

D.                Mains cables and upgrades are considered to be controversial by many. All I will say is this – in the context of a high resolution system like mine, changing a single standard 63 amp fuse plus ordinary switch feeding both spurs for two separate Bussman NH silver plated fuses in separate fuse-switch disconnectors, made an absolutely colossal difference for the better! This last upgrade using silver plated components supplied by the The Missing Link has improved Bass quality, improved transient delivery, reduced inter instrument noise floor and reduced the actual noise to the TANNOY tweeters coming from the TACT. This noise was already very low considering the 99 db / Watt sensitivity and a 300 Watt amplifier! – it is now lower still – an amazing achievement.

 

E.                 My wife is extremely pleased with the re-decorating! Seriously she loves the sound which this system produces and continues to be amazed by each new improvement.

 

  1. I would like to thank Mark and Jan of the The Missing Link for most excellent service, support and technical advice during the ongoing improvements to my system.

 

 

Howard

16th March 2006