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Since I began building my Phantom Reactor-based audio rig autumn of 2019, I've posted a couple of times on its progress. Dare say I may have reached the end of the journey, at least for the next long while. A few here and on other forums have written to me asking about the system, so I thought I'd write this little post to answer questions and provide some interesting background info. Sorry if some info is redundant for those that know the Phantom line, but for those that don't you may find it useful.

But first, a couple of pics!

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I first was introduced to the Phantom line several years ago at a dealer. At the time, wireless speakers really weren't a thing (I personally hard wire the Reactor), and they were being marketed by the dealer as the loudest wireless speaker, ever. It was silly marketing, and completely did a dis-service to them. I was at the dealer's researching another piece, but gave them a listen out of curiosity. I quickly dismissed them because I thought they were ugly as sin, and the listening space was too noisy to really appreciate them anyway.

A few years later Devialet released the Phantom Reactor, and it caught my attention. Devialet had since moved on to better marketing, and the Phantoms were now being marketed as a high end, DSP active speaker which happened to also be wireless. Of course they can be hard wired, but the wireless option is there for those that want it.

Pictures of the Reactor are deceiving because it's tough to capture just how small they are, which is totally out of line for the sound they produce. They weigh less than 10 lbs each. The low end hits 18Hz. That is astonishing. You have to hear and feel it to believe it. The Reactor 900, which for some reason has now been rebranded as the Phantom II, is rated at 400 watts RMS. Obviously the sound is much more than just the low end, but suffice to say I no longer need separate sub-woofers. They're a full range set-up. As with all speakers, to help obtain the best sound from them placement in your listening space is important. My system is 100% digital so in addition to physical room correction I incorporate digital room correction (Dirac Live via the miniDSP SHD-Studio), and paid attention to jitter (hence the addition of the Mutec USB+). I can't overstate how important this is to bringing the sound to the next level. The soundstage and dynamics are fantastic.

Prior to the Phantoms, I had racks of gear and reams of cabling which I enjoyed for years. For 17 years I ran passive JBL SVA tower loudspeakers with Paradigm subwoofers. The SVA's were a forgiving speaker line, and pretty much everything sounded great through them. I ran a variety of preamps, amps and cabling over the years. My motivation for switching up was two-fold. I wanted to design a minimalist 2-channel system. I also wanted to go active as the benefits are proven.

I've come to appreciate the Phantom's cosmetics. I find people either love or hate their look. I acquired them for their performance, features and size. I didn't audition them beforehand because I put this system together during the pandemic, and I still had my memories of when I auditioned the earlier Phantoms. I did my research, spoke with manufacturers directly, and ordered everything from them in France, Asia and the USA. The only component I ordered via a distributor was the MUTEC piece, but not before communicating with Mutec (Germany) beforehand.

Hope you find this little write-up interesting. Cheers.
What a great setup. I just discovered the miniDSP and looking forward to add this to my setup also. Really really good to hear that Dirac works great in combo with the Reactors. Missing my stereo pair of Reactor 600 every day and now on the rebound either purchasing the new Phantom 1s 103db or Reactor 900s. Wil decide this week 👍
Don't forget the Mutec in your search. It makes a profound difference in such a system and also provides the optical output needed for Phantoms. None of the SHD units have optical out.
Have been reading 2 days now about re-clockers Wink A whole new level Audiophile just got unlocked and blew me away. Thanks.
I just want to post my listening experience in times of Corona. Kind of my home is my castle... watching talkshows about the pandemic and listening to the sound of Schiller in the night, while waiting for  the sun rise.
Here's my current connection chain to help you out:

Internet -> Silent Angel Bonn N8 Switch -> MacMini M1 Music Server / Roon Core -> Uptone USB Regen -> miniDSP SHD-Studio (Coaxial SPDIF out) -> Mutec MC-3+ USB (Toslink out) -> Devialet Reactor 900
(22-Feb-2021, 02:53)supaDean Wrote: [ -> ]Here's my current connection chain to help you out:

Internet -> Silent Angel Bonn N8 Switch -> MacMini M1 Music Server / Roon Core -> Uptone USB Regen -> miniDSP SHD-Studio (Coaxial SPDIF out) -> Mutec MC-3+ USB (Toslink out) -> Devialet Reactor 900

Hi supaDean - love, love your system.   I have one question though, do you have a single Toslink out of the Mutec feeding one of the Reactors that's stereo paired?  Or are you using direct mode and have the Mutec feeding a splitter with a separate Toslink going to each Reactor?

I have been eyeing that Mutec for a while now so was very curious how you're applying it!
I think he feeds one reactor with toslink.....and the reactor's themselves are connected via ethernet cable

Sent from my HD1903 using Tapatalk
(03-Mar-2021, 06:13)Scooboo81 Wrote: [ -> ]I think he feeds one reactor with toslink.....and the reactor's themselves are connected via ethernet cable

Sent from my HD1903 using Tapatalk

Yes, that's correct. I'm a bit old-school and prefer hard wiring whenever reasonably possible as there are never stability issues.

(Sorry for this late reply; I haven't visited the forum in a while.)
Well, the pandemic has really made us all stay at home and appreciate what we have. It's a good time to really enjoy our systems and tweak. Maybe a month or so ago, I wrote about my rig, and received a few private messages asking for more details.

I took the time today to write some more, which is timely as I had just taken a pic with a new wide angle lens that allowed me to capture the gear AND more of the room in the same shot.  It gives a much better impression of the listening experience as well as the benefits and challenges a listening space presents in sound playback. I previously didn't have a good wide angle lens to capture such a photo without a ton of distortion.

Anyway, here goes:

[Image: img%5D]

My listening space is rather small, so to give you a good idea of the room's setup I removed the coffee-table that sits between the system and the couch for the photo. You can see the toe-in of the Devialet Phantom Reactors as well as the orange pucks I've used to change the height / angle of how they project sound. The front of the Reactors is about 9 feet straight ahead to the couch. The Reactors are 7 feet apart. I've sometimes wondered what level of fidelity I would obtain with the larger Phantoms such as the Classic or Golds as they have separate midrange and tweeters, but their size and power output would simply be overkill for my space. And, of course, they'd cost more.

Anyway, to the right of the room is the raised area which has a plug-in fireplace. It came with the house, and is actually rather pleasant when I decide to use it. To the left is a full kitchen and dining area. So, you can see it's a less-than-ideal listening space compared to a traditional rectangular shaped listening room.

So, duo Devialet Phantom Reactor 900 were the beginning of this journey which started back in October-November 2019, just when the pandemic began to reach my part of the world. I had just moved from a big city to a small town where there are no quality audio retailers or manufacturers. The entire rig was bought online. A first for me.

When it came to music server duties, I already had an older model Apple MacPro tower running Audirvana, which was later replaced with a current model MacMini M1 and Roon. The sound from the Reactors was really very good. I was pretty giddy about the setup and how minimalistic it was, but I knew it could sound better.

Next came the miniDSP SHD-Studio for digital room correction (Dirac Live) and preamplifier duties. Game changer. The space already had decent dampening with the carpeting, couches and pillows. The SHD-Studio's implementation of Dirac Live corrects the sound curve and timing of the listening space. The resulting curve can be tweaked to one's content. There's the option to create multiple curves as well. The result is a much more open, non-fatiguing listening experience.

The next most dramatic sound improvement is the addition of the Mutec MC3+ USB. I wasn't planning to invest more money in the rig, but I came across several online discussions and reviews of the MC3+ USB, and so it caught my attention. Before committing to its purchase, I had an email conversation with Mutec in Germany as well as their distributor in my part of Canada. They were very open to chatting, provided technical details and advised on how to best insert the Mutec MC3+ USB into my system. And, the result is a remarkable subtleness. I've never had such a black noise floor. Music with poor recordings that have muddy passages are cleared up. The sound stage is wider and deeper; I can hear where performers are on the stage. On well-recorded music, the sound is so much more "present". The clarity is clean, with a lot of air between instruments. It's not at all analytical. Rather it has a feeling of all the good things about high-end analogue or tubes.

If you're still reading you may be interested in the connection chain of components:

Internet (ethernet) -> Silent Angel Bonn N8 Switch (ethernet) -> MacMini M1 Music Server / Roon Core (USB) -> Uptone USB Regen (USB) -> miniDSP SHD-Studio (Coaxial SPDIF out) -> Mutec MC-3+ USB (Toslink out) -> Devialet Phantom Reactor 900 (the two Phantom's are connected to each other via ethernet).

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