Robert Vaeth's
Date of "Visit":
22 April 2001

the system

right view

SAE electronics

left view

VPI turntable

DIY Sub towers


e-mail to:
Robert Vaeth


I am 45 years old and live in Connecticut, U.S.A.. I am married and we have nurtured one Airedale. My system started many years ago when I was an impressionable teenager. I would go to the local stereo shops and look around, scaring away all of the real customers. After turning up the volume way too high the salesman would hand me a brochure and send me on my way.   Of course the brochure said SAE on the front...and I was happy. 

It was 1978 when I finally could afford my first piece of SAE equipment after attending college. I purchased an amp and pre-amp and FM tuner that were demo models (so I could afford them), I have never used anything else! These are still in my current system! I had a cheap but cheerful turntable and speakers to mate them to and I was really happy!  Of course I went through a succession of turntables and speakers but always staying with my faithful SAE electronics.  I was also intrigued with tangential tone arms and bought a Revox B795. In 1984 I purchased a pair of Acoustat 3's and fell in love with electrostatic speakers. As things were evolving slowly on the audiophile side I bought many LPs and developed my musical interests. I had a friend who was selling a pair of Acoustat 6s and I knew I just had to have them, they are after all double 3's. A VPI with a Souther arm came along and the Revox was sold. That arm was amazing as you could pound on the turntable itself and you could not get it to deflect! But, alas, an Eminent Technologies ET2 arm came along and the Souther went south. I was a bit dismayed at the ET2's sensitivity to vibration but if you sat still enough...............or isolate it enough- it is magic. 

 My wife and I moved into our circa 1745 New England farm house with a BARN almost five years ago and fell in love with Katie (our Airedale) .. No more thoughts of the dreaded WAF, or the dreaded MILF (mother in law factor) what are those THINGS?? She never saw Acoustat 6's before??? What is that motorcycle doing in the living room? After the motorcycle, the stereo is not too hard to accept! In my case  we come to the present time and a 16'x 26' room with a 14' ceiling in the loft of the barn that I converted into my listening room. 

The SAE system has grown to power my Acoustat 3's as time delay speakers through the SAE 4100 ambient time delay. After several unsuccessful attempts with commercial sub woofers I built a pair of sub woofers consisting of 16 eight inch Eminence drivers per side (8 forward and 8 rearward facing) in a sealed enclosure, they are a line source matching the Acoustats at eight feet in height. The VPI HW 19 was sold as a TNT2 was acquired, this now sits on a VPI stand and 1500 pounds of concrete to the ground below. So as my system has evolved I could hardly be accused of keeping audio manufactures in business, preferring to tweak, buy LP's and enjoy my youth fantasy of a rack of SAE.  I listen to 50% progressive rock / electronic / avant-garde, 30% jazz and 20% classical. I have over 2500 LP's. 

These are a sampling of the records I like to listen to (at this time): (also used for testing) 

  • Cecil Taylor "Solo - Garden" - Hat Hut Records 
  • Talking Heads "Speaking in Tongues" - Sire Records 
  • Fred Frith and Henry Kaiser "With Friends Like These" - Metalanguage Records 
  • Bill Evans Trio "Portrait in Jazz" - Riverside Records 
  • Frank Zappa "Guitar" - Barking Pumpkins Records 
  • Sharon Isbin "Classical Guitar" - Sound Environment Recording Corp. 
  • Air "Air Time" - Nessa Records 
  • Faust & Carmen - at the Royal Opera House - RCA Records 
  • Ramsey Lewis Trio "An Hour with" - Cadet Records LP 645 
  • Gentle Giant "Playing the Fool" (Live) - Capitol Records 
  • Ilhan Mimaroglu "Wings of the Delirious Demon" - Finadar Records 

System's Components
Turntable: VPI TNT2 with a Eminent Technologies ET2 tone arm carrying a Monster Cable Genesis 2000 cartridge
Phono Preamp: Lehmann Black Cube
CD Player: None
Preamp: SAE 2100L 
Power Amps: 1) SAE 2600 for Acoustat 6's 
2) Two SAE 2400L's for sub woofers 
3) SAE 2400 for Acoustat 3's with time delay 
Crossover: Marchand XM6 
EQ: SAE 2800 parametric and Marchand Bassis
Speakers: Acoustat 6's for main speakers and Acoustat 3's for rear time delay + DIY sub woofers consisting of 16 eight inch Eminence drivers per side (8 forward and 8 rearward facing) 
Cables and Interconnects: DIY projects

Robert's comments about his System:

AA: "Robert, how would you describe your system's sound?"

RV: "I would say compelling and fun with a wide and deep sound stage. It is well-founded with fast and life-like bass.  The instruments are large and clearly defined. " 

AA: "Do you think there is room for improvement?"

RV: "Yes, I think it is slightly lacking in the upper mid-range sweetness." 

AA: "Have you got plans for upgrading?"

RV: "Yes. More LP's - probably the best addition anyone can make to their system is more music!  Plus -- an upgrade on the VPI TNT 2 to a 3. "