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01/03


Karl,

I was read your review of the Harmonic Technology Fantasy 10 A.C. Power Cord Price: Six feet length $399. And I find it hard to believe that a six foot power cord alone can make any difference in the sound. Due to the fact some line noise and off-phase harmonic distortion is in all AC power grids. Outside of building your own power plant to extreme high-end standards you get what the power company sends you. With that said all you can do is supply your A/V system with an high grade fuse and holder, isolated shield line (run inside metal conduit) from the electric meter also an isolated ground stake using 4 gage or bigger cables for ample power. In my opinion it would be better to spend $399 upgrading the house wiring not a 6 foot power cord.

Thanks,

Paul Hines

 

Dear Mr. Hines: 

Until a few years ago I did not believe power cords would or should make a difference. Now I know that they do and so does my wife! It is true at the moment I have in my possession three different brands that sound almost identical, including the HT Fantasy 10. Most cords sound brighter or harsher. For some background information consult the current issue Vol. 21 #2 of Audio Ideas Guide with a precision test and results plus listening tests. This magazine is published by Audio Ideas Ink Limited, 12860 Dufferin Street, King City, Ontario, Canada L7B 1K5. Phone (905) 833-7l77, Fax 833-7178.

I had been under the impression that extreme shielding was a major factor but recent conversation with Ray Kimber revealed that the superb top of the line Kimber has no shielding. Hope you will find the above article of interest. It seems like in audio everything makes a difference if you care to look for it.

Sincerely,

Karl Lozier

 

01/03

Steven,

Why should anyone buy Sony SACD or DVD Audio if we can't listen to it anywhere else but our living room??? At work I listen to CD's and MP3's on my computer, in the car I listen to CD's. At home I watch movies more than
simply listen to music by itself.

Russell Cudmore

 

Russell,

Good question! Soon we will be seeing car audio that supports DVD-Audio and we already have computers that support the format today. Sometimes new technology for (mainly) music takes more time to saturate the marketplace over video products.

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin

 

01/03

Steven,

Hi, saw your review of the sun audio 2A3. I am glad I read it. How do you explain Sam Telligs class A review in Stereophile? Also, what would be you best bet for a SET in the $2000 range, thank you. Your review was very thorough.

Mark

 

Mark,

Thanks for your e-mail and glad you enjoyed my review. As for Sam's "Class A" rating, i do not receive that magazine and can not make any conclusions accordingly. As you know, a music reproduction system is just that,
a system. Maybe Sam's system liked it better than mine (though i did try different pieces to find the best sound i could)? Maybe the design of the unit was tweaked after my review quite a while ago? Of course we each have personal preferences as well to factor in. In the end what really matters is that you...

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin

 

01/03

Hi Colin,

I read your review of Omega TS 1`s. You mentioned using a mid bass and deep woofer. Could you kindly tell me what these woofers are and approximate price? Also did you mention that these speakers mate well with ASL Waves? Thank you.

Arthur Ezzo

 

Arthur, 

The subwoofers are the ones covered in my reviewer’s Bio. Since I liked the sound of the Pearlescent Arctic Blue TS1’s so much (October, 2002), I took the time to carefully match my subs to work with them. While I like the midbass punch of Klipsch’s reference series subs, and others like them, I also really like the amazingly deep bass reach of SVS’s large but economical tubes. 

I am trying to get the Wave 8s together with the TS1s and the other loudspeakers I have to review, but this has not happened yet. (Don’t you think that when a reviewer writes a glowing review, all of the manufacturers should joyously donate their equipment for additional comparisons? Sadly, this is not what happens.) 

I have kept Louis Chochos' TS1s an extra long time in order to review them with the hefty nOrh SE9 integrated tube amplifier (only $400), but I have not mated them with the Wave 8s. Depending on your other equipment, music tastes and room considerations, the TS1s are worth investing in better tube equipment. Todd Warnke’s excellent review of the Blue Circle CS Integrated Amplifier, at about $1K, for example, caught my eye. 

My guess is that the charming and punchy colors of the $99 Wave monoblocks would be a enjoyable and exuberant, if not subtle or refined, pairing. Go for it. You can always send them back. Yours in listening, 

Colin

 

01/03

Rick,

Thanks, Rick, for your most informative and thorough review of the Grand Prix Audio Monaco Modular System. It has really helped in my decision making process. I am in the market for a new rack for my gear and I wanted to buy a rack that was both aesthetically attractive & functional. One which would take the sound of my gear to the next level. It is just really difficult, at times, to muscle through the myriad of claims that seem to accompany most new products. And harder still to find out which claims are actually true in real world environments. I simply want my gear to create for me the same emotional response that I'd get from a live performance. So, I've invested in - at least what I think - gear that can do just that. Here's the list:

My Gear -

- Meridian 561 pre/pro
- Meridian 596 dvd/cd player
- Richard Gray Power Company 1200S
- Bryston 14B-ST amp (2 channels w/ 600w into 8 ohms)
- Revel Ultima Salons (Piano Gloss Black w/ Aluminum Sides)
- Synergistic Research Resolution Reference X-Series
w/ active shielding - Interconnects
- Synergistic Research Resolution Reference X-Series
w/ active shielding - Speaker Cables
- PS Audio Ultimate Lab Cable (w/ 20A IEC for Bryston 14B-ST)
- PS Audio Lab Cable II (w/ 20A plug for RGPC 1200S)
- PS Audio Mini Lab Cable (2 cables; each Meridian)
- Kimber Illuminations D-60 digital cable
- Kimber SC-VU s-video cable (2 pr; from 596 to 561 then to TV)

 

Future upgrades:

- 42" - 60" Plasma HDTV
- Revel Voice Center Channel Speaker
- Revel Embrace Surround Speakers
- Revel Subwoofer
- Bryston 6B-ST amp (3 channels w/ 300w into 8 ohms)
- Two - 3 Shelf Grand Prix Audio Monaco Modular Racks
- Synergistic Research Master Control Center

Although I am endeavoring to build a complete 5.1 home theater system, my first inclination is to do so based on an exceptionally uncompromising two channel foundation. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. If it is okay with you, I have some questions:

1. After your review, did you purchase a Monaco?

2. If so, would you consider buying the F1 shelves later on? (Will there be a review on the F1 upgrade?)

3. The stainless steel columns are hollow - does one simply add sand or lead shot to the hollow tube or is there an insert?

4. Did you fill the columns w/ sand or lead shot?

5. Which of the two (sand/lead shot) perform better?

6. How much more performance did the Monaco render once filled with sand/lead shot?

7. Since money is always and issue for me, does the Le Mans perform equally as well as the Monaco?

8. Have you any experience with GPA's cable management system?

If there is anything that you'd like to add, pls do so. Your help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Ray

 

Ray,

Thanks for the note. You've got a very fine system, with lots of attention to the ancillary elements (e. g. power source) that can really affect the sound. I'll try to answer your questions as well as I can.

1. Yes. In the interest of full disclosure I should tell you I do get an industry price, but in this case - and that is not always so -- I would've bought it at retail (or retail less at least 10% or so). As I had noted, I couldn't not have it.

2. I haven't yet but would like to. GPA offered me the F1 shelf for a review. I haven't asked for it yet, as I have not had the time, but would likely buy just based on what they have done so far. Still, they are not cheap, and that's a factor -- I am not independently wealthy.

3. The tube opens up enough to do it; there's no insert per se on my units.

4. I put sand in the amp stand. It helped a bit. I still have no ballast in the main Monaco unit, which is good, because I moved it around the room a few times with new equipment coming in.

5. I don't know which of the two performs better, as I did not get the chance to compare. I don't remember Alvin Lloyd making much distinction between them, but you could try contacting him directly; he and his staff are very helpful. On weight alone, I guess the lead shot might have a leg up.

6. See comment in 4 above; maybe 10% additional

7. I haven't tried the LeMans so can't comment there. Sorry.8. Same here. If you were in my room, you would see that the cables are not managed. I fiddle with them, but aesthetics is not a big issue.

It's hard to tell someone to plunk down so much for a passive component. You have a lot invested already, and so it might be worth looking into it. GPA do have an in-home trial program where you are liable only for the shipping to and from; that may reduce the risk for you. I stand by my review comments; in my system, this was a night-and-day change the likes of which I had not heard for 20 years, so that may make it worth risking shipping costs.

BTW, the home theatre version of the stand (the Monza) is pretty nice-looking with a plasma screen atop. Sounds as though your HT setup will be very fine (mine is very modest and totally separate from the music system).

Good luck,

Rick Jensen

 

01/03

Jeff,

The ideal of "accurately reproducing the musical event" is bogus. Go to a rock concert and what do you hear? The band's stereo (PA) system, which typically does mega power but stinks tonally. Go to a jazz club and what do you hear? Often, the club's PA system, which usually stinks too. Like it or not, most serious home audio is far superior to the PA systems found in real concerts.

Second, do you really want to reproduce the conditions of a live rock concert, or even a jazz club? Your neighbors would complain. Probably you'd lose your hearing if you listened to rock at concert levels every day, just like Pete Townshend.

Now classical is a different animal, since most classical music is unamplified. However, many classical halls do not sound all that great by audiophile standards or anyone's standards (Avery Fischer hall). In the cheap seats like I can afford, the reverberant sound is extreme, the highs are excessively rolled off due to the natural effect of air and distance, and the levels are often low -- especially for opera, which was intended for the intimate halls of 18th century Italy, not the mammoth Lincoln Centers of today. Sorry, no singer can fill Lincoln Center without amplification. Won't happen. I do like live classical music, however, and live jazz.

Audio should be a moving and emotionally satisfying musical experience, which comes through technical detail, just as an Ansel Adams photo can be emotionally moving due to its technical and artistic achievement, and be realistic and at the same time wholly unlike reality. In all seriousness it is impossible to reproduce the effects of live music in the home anyway. For example, a real drum kit can reportedly produce transients of 60db above average music levels. And yet, for some reason, I can drive my speakers with a 1 watt amplifier and say: yes, sounds like real cymbals!

Nathan Lewis

 

Hi Nathan,

I think we are having a violent agreement. 

I don't believe in the possibility of accurately achieving the musical (or acoustical) event either. I didn't mean to suggest I did.

I do, however, admire those who strive for it even if they can't achieve it. The systems may be failures (on those terms) but they are great failures.

What I was trying to profile was a particular route that a particularly interesting fellow had taken to it. And the sound was glorious.

Anyway, I have a grinding migraine. But I would like to take you up on this some more tomorrow. Thanks for writing!

Jeff Rabin

 

 

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