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Scott Faller

TNT Audio - USA

[Italian version]

[The Beast]
The Beast

Well, it's been a couple of years since I updated my bio. I've had loads of system and room changes since then. Probably the first and biggest upgrade I made was to my room. I converted a big chuck of our basement into a dedicated listening room. It's almost forty feet long and fourteen feet wide. At one end I have The Beast, my big solid state rig and on the other end I have the Beauty, my SET and PP tube gear.
Both ends have some DIY sound treatments. Nothing too elaborate, I just wanted to knock down some of the primary reflections. As part of the construction of the room, I installed a lay in acoustic ceiling. The ceiling helped more than you can imagine in damping some of the buildups and primary reflections. Plus it really helps isolate me and my systems from the rest of the house. I can occasionally get a little carried away with the volume controls :-)

When it comes to the type of system I favor, well….I'd say I favor them all :-) I'd hate to categorize myself as a tube guy or a solid state guy because both systems can sound great. As long as it is a good design, transparent and open sounding, it's all good. Though, I must say I do favor solid state warmed up a bit either with a tubed preamp or a tubed CD player.

Over the years, I've become completely disillusioned with the Ultra Fi scene. Most all of the print magazines, and even some of the E-zines seem to have this competition going with each other on who can review the most expensive gear. Well folks, I'm here to tell you, high end is not all about high dollars. A good sounding piece of gear doesn't have to be extremely expensive. And lets face the simple fact, all gear is a compromise. I don't care how much it costs, none of it is perfect. That's not to say the mega-buck gear sounds bad, it's that most of it falls into the diminishing returns category.

My attitude lends itself perfectly to my adventures in electrocution. I love finding decent used gear, bringing it home and experimenting on it. Sometimes it works, sometimes I end up with a pile of spare parts and a smoke detector going off. The way I see it, it's the cost of admission into this lunacy Lucio describes as Audiophilia Nervosa. It's not all bad news when it comes to the DIY corner. Occasionally I get lucky and create a masterpiece.

My Latest Project

I must say, the absolute best way to get closer to the "Audio Truth", if there is such a thing, is to go the DIY route. There is no better way to understand why something sounds the way it does, than to experiment. Build it or tweak it yourself. You end up with a wonderful education in audio design. I learn more every time I experiment on gear. Don't leave your Audio destiny to the "guru's" of the audio world. Pick up some tools and get dirty. Get some soldering iron burns, get shocked once or twice (not too bad though, we still want you as a reader :-), smoke an amp or two, and in the process, you'll learn volumes. Don't let all of the information on the web scare you off either. Don't over analyze things to death, pick a tweak or a project and just do it. It will make you a far wiser connoisseur of the Audio Arts.

Speakers are my favorite DIY projects. I love working with wood. I have more pairs of DIY designs than my wife would care to admit. God love her, she's a patient and understanding woman and I love her to death for it. But like I tell her all the time, this hobby keeps me out of trouble. If you want to know where I am, just open your ears and follow the music.

I can say with absolute conviction that I am a vinyl junkie. I haven't got a clue to how many pieces I have now but it's well into the thousands. I go out almost every week to find more. Don't get me wrong, I like CD's too. I've got tons of them too, I just prefer the sound of vinyl when you compare it to CD's. CD's have come a long way in recent years. Engineers have finally figured out how to record on the medium and they are beginning to sound pretty darned decent.

My tastes in music are all over the board. I'm just as happy listening to Francis Albert (Sinatra) as Frank Zappa, Brahms or the Beta Band. Though I do have strong leanings towards Jazz, Blues and Rock. They seem to stir the most emotion for me. No matter what the genre, again, it's all good. I really don't have a set of "reference music" that I use each time I audition gear. It really depends on my mood at the time.


When it comes to building a system, like 99% of the people in the audio world, I want the biggest bang for the buck that I can get. That's the primary reason I've turned into a die hard DIYer and cronic tweaker. If you look at my systems, this heavily reflects my stance on audio. I assembled an unlikely teaming of affordable new and vintage gear, then tweaked it to death until I created these systems that will rival some of the best that money can buy. High end does not always equate to high dollars.

I am fortunate enough to have several different systems that I use as point of reference. As I mentioned before, my small system is what I have named "Beauty". It's a vintage tubed system with dual concentric speakers. The sound is lush yet detailed, wonderful, and extremely inviting. My second system I have aptly named "The Beast". It's big and powerful. It has more watts than anyone could ever use (unless you are in a pro venue :-) With the Beast details abound, so much so, I'd swear that you can hear a bug fart in the 3rd row. But it's not analytical in the least. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Beauty makes music like few others. Both of the systems have their compromises but they both make beautiful music and that's all that counts in my book. Both of these systems are in a constant state of metamorphosis, but this is what they look like right now:


  • CD Player - Arcam Alpha 8se, HDCD
  • Integrated, Tubed Amplifier
    - HH Scott 299a, EL84's, Heavily Modified and Tweaked within an Inch of it's Life
  • SET Amplifier
    - Midwest Audio Deluxe Classic 2A3 SET
  • Speakers, Full Range Horns
    - Lafayette Goodmans SK-111's, 15" Dual Concentric in bass reflex cabinets
  • Interconnects and Cables
    - DIY, silver plated copper with teflon insulation
The Beast

  • Turntable – Systemdek 2x2, Rega RB 250, Expressimo Mods, Rega Super Elys
  • CD Player – Njoe Tjoeb 4000
  • Pre-Amp – Korato KVP10 with the Phono Stage, Tubed with Mullards
  • Amplification - Tri-Amped
    - Tweeter Amp – Spectro Acoustics 200sr, 100 wpc @ 8ohm, (heavily modded)
    - Mid Range Amp – Rotel RB-981, 130 wpc @ 8ohm, (tweaked)
    - Woofer Amp – Spectro Acoustics 500r, 250 wpc @ 8 ohm, (heavily modded)
  • Active Crossover – Sony 4300 (discrete)
  • Speakers, My Design
    - Tweeter - 30" Carver Ribbons,
    - Mid-Bass - Focal 5K4211,
    - Woofer - Shiva.
  • Interconnects and Cables,
    - DIY, silver plated copper with teflon insulation

I also have plenty of other amps, pre-amps, cables and the like, that I can roll in and out of the systems to insure that any piece of gear that I may be reviewing has the best chance of making it here at the old homestead.

Hopefully, you'll find my reviews helpful and even entertaining at times. I'll try to focus on affordable gear that is within the normal persons budget, but that's not to say that I won't slip in the occasional piece of Ultra Fi. That stuff is just a lot of fun to review.


© Copyright 2002 Scott Faller - http://www.tnt-audio.com
rev. 11-02

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