A new HiFi setup!


Ever since the beginning of the hobby, I have been busy setting up the devices as interesting as possible. But had to make do with the furniture that was available. Because of this, the line-up has changed a lot over the past few years.

That's how furniture has come and gone. In recent years I had stacked the devices like a tower, the wooden rack I used for this was never actually built for so many heavy devices.

Now the collection has become so large that the furniture is no longer sufficient. They begin to collapse under the weight of the 'blocks of metal' leaning on them. Some are 10Kg or more!

It's time to look for a new piece of furniture to fully display the collection. One that can handle the weight but above all matches the appearance of the machines.

A piece of furniture that I should be able to use for the next ten years!

one of the many setups
one of the many setups

But before we get to that, let's take a look back:

My first setup comes from 2011. A record player, amplifier and a set of sturdy speakers (for those interested, brand ITT, 3-way speakers of German manufacture from the 1970s). For the small speakers on top I had the amplifier under the table. Actually one meant for the computer but who cares, it worked. I never connected the subwoofer on the right because of the neighbors... Moreover, the speakers themselves already delivered a solid bass.

In the period 2013 - 2015 the line-up has grown considerably. This photo was taken in the fall of 2015. A TV cabinet combined with a pantry from the kitchen, my desk with computer has never been far from the setup. I used the fixed computer to record music with it.

Everything is powered by the one cord that disappears behind the scenes. Ironic actually that as an electrician I allowed this myself, there was a switch on it in case I didn't use it.

I moved in 2016, the pantry still came in handy. I exchanged the TV cabinet for a sturdy wooden storage cabinet. I was able to properly dispose of the collection of tapes and records, the collection also grew steadily. Striking here is the illogical placement of the black subwoofer on the left. But again this was to prevent inconvenience...

About the background, this comes from my brother, he used to live in this room and made a complete mural by hand with markers. He worked on it for a long time because it was a big attic wall, the end result was definitely there! It was what they call 'contemporary art'. The mural had to be painted over when we moved out of the house...

 In the photo below there was still storage space, something I can no longer imagine with this cabinet. The planks were already starting to weigh down.

In 2017. The line-up has hardly changed, but the background has.

Storage space was still there but it is more filled.

In the same year I reinforced the pantry, it started to lean and not far from here heavy freight trains regularly pass by, the vibrations can be felt.

From this point on things went really fast. No more complete photos but several stacks of audio equipment.

In 2019 there was nothing to recognize from the old setup. Almost everything has been replaced, I passed most of the old appliances on to a good acquaintance or returned them to the thrift shop, after all, many appliances came from there.

In 2020 the setup has changed again, nowadays I record via a separate computer (shown on the right). Purchased so that the fixed computer no longer has to be next to the audio tower.

The weight has also increased considerably. The shelf of the storage cabinet at the bottom has sagged and the legs of the pantry are beginning to split. Thanks to the modification I made earlier, this tower has been able to last for a long time, but it is time to look for something new. 

The day I went to assemble my new furniture, I emptied the storage cupboard. As you can see, it was well packed, this will also not fit in my new storage cabinet, so I have to figure this out again, many worn 7" tires can go.

After a few hours of work, the new cabinet was assembled. I didn't have time to set everything up, but a first impression is there!

The next weekend I completely immersed myself in it, all devices fit on it, but with so much on the shelf it is not easy to connect everything. Electrically I now also use two sockets to divide the load over the extension boxes (they are still on the same group). It will only rarely happen that many devices are on at the same time.

My vinyl collection can now be displayed normally. Everything neatly on the shelf.
I had started an index for this. The metal wires that I stretched divide the shelf over 9 segments. The idea was to make the search easier, but in the end I gave up and removed the wires again.

In addition to this shelf, there is even more storage space, this is where I stored my tape media.

To get the sound connections right, I had to make a schematic.

Because I don't have enough connections on my amplifier, I have to use a switch box (HQ Switchbox).

On top of the amplifier I placed the switch box, it adds four new connection options which I all need.

For recording music I use the same kind of switch box, but in the opposite direction. This is where sound is sent from the computer to the media.

With so many switch boxes and connections, it's not a bad idea to print some stickers with information.

The switch boxes have a nice surface to stick a sticker on.

The sticker with information about the amplifier is stuck on a piece of cardboard, I'm not going to put stickers on the amplifier itself...

The past few days I have mainly been busy checking everything, for example there were problems with playing the 8-track recorders and the sound on the tape recorder was also not okay.

But after replacing and swapping some cables, this problem was solved.

Here the result. Almost all machines connected and working! In the background I used 18 audio cables for now to connect everything. That way I can get back to it. With the current setup I no longer have to swap devices and I don't have to swap the connections anymore when I want to record something.

Under the amplifier I keep the sheet with the connections (V1.1), this will probably come in handy.

The only thing that needs to be addressed is the mess of cables that has arisen.
For now I have connected everything quickly, with time I have to do this again neatly.

Anyone who has paid close attention will see that the setup is not yet finished, some devices are not yet connected or are even missing in the setup. This will change with time but for now I'm happy to be able to use most devices.

March 1, 2020