Enjoy the Music.com

Letters To Us

 

February 2005

Hi Rick,

I enjoyed your review on the Dynaudio C2 very much. I'm in the market to purchase a pair of speakers to replace my B&W 804N. My only interest is Home Theater. My budget is somewhere in the $8K area. I have an option of purchasing two different speakers from a demo show room. The first is the C2 and the other is the Wilson Watt puppy 5.1. The latter is actually second hand while the C2 is new. Both will fit my budget seeing that they are not brand new. I wonder if you recommend the C2 for HT applications?

I'm using the Lexicon MC8 and a Lexicon amplifier the CX 7 (140 watt x 7). The new pair will be paired with a new Velodyne sub the 12" DD. My main problem with the 804N is playing constantly with the volume. I feel that at low volumes, or moderate volumes (2 year old girl in the house) it sounds rather dull. I value your thoughts.

Thanks very much,

Ran Moyal

 

Ran,

I didn't audition the C2s for HT, so cannot comment from direct experience. In response to the specifics of your situation, I can make the following comments:

The amp should drive the C2s without any problem. They are not power-hungry, and assuming that you are not using them in a ballroom, it should work well. Moreover, with the Veoldyne, the demand on your amp will be even lower. At the same time, one of the great strengths of the C2s that I noted is that they are very consistent in their character no matter what the volume level. At low volumes, they had the same 'life' and pretty much the same dynamics as at high volume.

I am unable to comment on the 5.1s in the same vein. While I have heard them many times, and while I think that they are terrific speakers, I haven't had them in my home. A colleague at Enjoy the Music.com™, whose tastes I know and whose opinion I value a great deal, loves the 5.1s. Further, they are known to be efficient and to sound very good at low volumes as well. Either system would clearly be at the high end for a HT application. My own HT speakers are great, but much more modest (Vienna Acoustics Mozarts) and are very satisfying. The C2s are in another league, as are the Watt/Puppys. I would comment on two other things:

1. You would need to have a large room if you plan to have four of either of these for HT. And if you do not plan to have four, I wonder what you might have for the rear channels that would complement them (in particular, the Wilsons).

2. Getting either of these systems in mint or new condition for $8K in your country is a good deal. You seem to indicate that the C2s are new (and then imply that they are a demo pair). Since the price new is half again as high here in the US, $8K is a relative "steal". I know I haven't completely answered your question but I hope that these comments help.

Best wishes,

Rick Jensen

 

February 2005

Hello Steven,

Love the website!  You really tell it like it is (ok anuff butt kissing) please help with some free info,just bought a set of 1977 Klipsch LA Scalas and want to dampen my two horns (tweeter and midrange ) what would you recommend ,I am handy with my hands ( at least that's what my wife say's )so if it gets complicated its ok, thanks for any help.

Lee White

 

Lee,

Thanks for your e-mail and always glad to help. There are various ways to dampen (reduce vibration) the horns. There is clay, there is Dynamat, and other techniques. Dynamat is a good start as it is available in many thicknesses and can be removed if needed. Always glad to help :)

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin

 

February 2005

Hi Rick,

I saw your review of the Stereovox HDXV, and I wondered by chance, would you like to sell your Sony X77ES CD player? I'm in the process of putting together a nice-sounding system, and for the price-level, heard great thing about the Sony. I understand this will seem like a weird letter resulting from one of your reviews, but I thought I would take the chance; see if something newer had caught your ear?

Thanks for your time,

R. Smith

 

Hi,

Thanks for the inquiry. I use the Sony as a transport only, it's DAC being long outdated. If you're looking for a complete CD player, then there are lots of much better ones out there for reasonable money. In fact, if you check out my reviews of such things as the Stillpoints and ERS paper in the archives of enjoythemusic, you will see there are ways to discover incredible music in quite outdated equipment.

Just last night, in fact, I opened up my Muse DAC and added pieces of ERS paper to the top of the DAC chips, the CS8412 chip used for re-clocking the incoming digital signal, and the digital filter chip. (I also have large sheets of ERS covering [but not touching] the re-clocking board and the entire analog section, which I had been using for a couple of years now). he music went from merely great to World Class, which is the long way around to say no, I'm not interested in selling the Sony CD player right now.

The $100 Stereovox HDXV, btw, was used in the Stereovox room at CES in a digital playback system that cost $156K. It is the only digital cable they now make, and for good reason. On the horizon, keep an eye out for my upcoming review of the Boston Audio Design Tuneblocks.

Best of luck,

Rick Becker

 

February 2005

Hi,

Recently, I purchased Robert Harley's The Complete Guide To High-End Audio. In it, he wrote "Many excellent CD players are available for under $1000, including some legitimate 'high end' machines that sell for as little as $300." Could you name some excellent CD players for under $1000?

Thank you. I would greatly appreciate it,

Paul

 

Paul,

Thanks for your e-mail. Each year new and quite impressive units are available for under $1000. The list of specific units would be quite long and the best bet would be to see our Archives section by clicking here. We have reviewed many CD players and from the reviews you should be able to find the unit that best suits your needs. Always glad to be of service and in the end what really matters to us is that you...

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin

 

February 2005

Dear Steve,

Thank you for your excellent reviews! Because I dont have the chance of listening the Audio Note AN-E Lexus Signature speakers, I would like to know if you ever heard the SF Cremona and how they perform versus the Audio note E Lexus Signature? Main differences and witch one would you recommend? Keeping the SF?

Thanks for your help,

Joao

 

Joao,

Thank you for your e-mail. You have a truly wonderful system. As for the Sonus Faber Cremona, have only heard them at shows and they sound very nice. The Audio Note E Lexus Signature should be very impressive in your system, but am not sure of the exact differences. It is like choosing between a Ferrari Enzo and a Porsche GT. Both are great cars.

Wish i could help you more my friend, but i simply have not heard both in the same system to know of a definitive outcome.

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin

 

February 2005

Hello Dick,

My compliments on a very enjoyable article and thank you for sharing all that information both on the theory and function as well as bill of materials etc..

I'm now tempted to build this. There is one piece of info missing... with all the suggested parts (circuit board, transformers, chassis etc.) what would be the approximate cost of this amp for do-it-yourselfer?

Thanks,

Paul Baptista

 

Dear Mr. Baptista,

Thank you for the kind feedback. The parts cost (exclusive of tubes) will depend to some extent on choice of output transformers (the Lundahls are much more affordable), but as a rough estimate plan on spending in the range of $1,200 to $1,600. Also note that I do not recommend anyone attempt build this amplifier without access to at least PC boards. Please check with Audio Oasis in Toronto about the availability of a partial kit in the near future.

Enjoy the music,

Dick Olsher

 

February 2005

Hi Dick,

I want to say "thanks" for the deHavilland UltraVerve review. Due to your excellent review of the deHavilland UltraVerve preamp, I decided to take them up on their 30 day trial. I'm sure glad I did! It is perhaps one of the finest preamps that has graced my system, and made it really come alive. It is very synergistic with the rest of my system.

It only took a couple of days to decide to replace a Joule LA-150. I've also had the following preamps in my system, and the UV has bested them all: BAT VK-51SE, Belles 21A, Audible Illusions L2, Sonic Euphoria passive, and the Joule LA-150. I did try the UV with the RCA VT-231s per your recommendation, however, as good as it was, I think I prefer the black-glassed Brimar CV1988.

Anyways, a quick question for you... I understand you're looking at the Mercury preamp now. Can you give me a quick summary on the differences between the two preamps, which is better in your opinion, and is the Mercury worth another $1k above and beyond the UV? I ask because I still have a week or so under the 30 day trial, so before I commit, what would I gain with the Mercury?

Thanks much!

Mark Rodziewicz

BTW, the rest of my system:
Merlin VSM-Ms
Joule VZN-100 OTL monoblocks
Audio Aero DAC (using Denon DVD-2200 as cheapo transport, to good effect  though) Cardas Golden Reference ICs and Speaker Cable Audience PowerChords / Michael Wolff Source power cords

 

Dear Mark,

Thank you for your informative feedback. Your experience reinforces my long-standing impression that an exceptional preamplifier is hard to fine. I think that most are just too complex for their own good. The deHavilland Mercury should be arriving for a review shortly, so as of now I can't comment on its performance relative to that of the UltraVerve.

Happy listening!

Dick Olsher

 

February 2005

Wayne,

I recently traded my Von Schweikert VR1s for VR2s and your description of the differences was completely dead on. Now that you have my trust, I would like your opinion: would it be worth it to trade up to the old Meadowlark Blue Herons you reviewed in 2002 or are the VR2s more "evolved"? There are a number of used pairs of Blue Herons around that seem attractively priced at $4000 to 4500. My related equipment is the CD/Pre-24 and Rogue monoblocks. There are no Meadowlark dealers in Chicago where I can listen. Thanks for your help...

Love your informative reviews,

Scott Hargadon

 

Hi Scott,

Thanks very much for your kind words on my work. You've lobbed me a softball with this question. The VR-2 is an overachiever at its price, but the Blue Heron is in a completely different category, and if you find that the cost of trading up suits your budget, I would enthusiastically endorse making the change. You'll hear much finer resolution top to bottom, and I can't imagine that you will be disappointed.

Best wishes,

Wayne

 

February 2005

Wayne,

I am looking for a copy of Peter and the Wolf and The Carnival of the Animals which is on one CD and is narrated by Hermione Gingold. I think it is on the Duetch Gramaphone label but when I went to look for it I could not find it. Could you please email me with some information on this.

Maria Alley

 

Maria,

That recording is on the DGG label, with the Vienna Philharmonic conducted by Karl Bohm. It is not officially released in the U.S., but there are a number of used and new copies available on Amazon.com.

Wayne Donnelly 
Classical Music Editor

 

February 2005

Hi,

Here is a cheap tweak: Have a slab of granite 1" thick cut to size. Should cost less than $100 depending on the type of granite. Purchase 4 hand balls. Cut 4 rings about 1/2" in height from 2 1/2" diameter PVC pipe and glue them to the corners of the slab. Place it on your rack ring side down and put a hand ball in each ring. Voila! Works like the $350 Lucite version.

Robert Woolley 

 

February 2005

Hello,

I recently inherited a rather substantial collection of LPs from a great uncle of mine -- which explains why I purchased a Music Hall MMF-5 turntable. My question is this: many of the LPs are mono recordings -- is it safe to play them on a stereo turntable? Or do I need a mono cartridge? Any assistance would be much appreciated.

Thanks,

Jeffrey Keller

 

Jeffrey,

Thanks for your e-mail. Playing monophonic 33.3/45rpm LPs on a stereo system will not case any damage. You may want to look into a record cleaner like those offered from Nitty Gritty or the like. Also, if you clean them you may want to use new poly lined sleeves to keep them away from the old, dirty, and possible moldy old sleeves. Always glad to be of service and glad you are...

Enjoy(ing) the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin

 

February 2005

Hello Todd,

I liked your review of the new Cabasse. My question is I have been in this field for over 30 years and the recently upgraded Jean Marie Reynaud Offrande and sibling the Trente are out standing to get a beautiful looking loudspeaker to start is a blessing. The Offrandes are wonderful to look at in the beech cabinets and stands. For a loudspeaker this small to do 30Hz (+-2dB) is incredible. Break in is over 300 hrs this is the single biggest drawback. These loudspeaker have what cannot be measured balance, timber and pace. they have a natural warmth, without sacrificing detail, this is extremely rare. Soundstaging and imaging are outstanding. I now find it hard to leave the listening area, also biwire with JMR cables are almost automatic, they are wired with these, and Audience au-24 is also a low inductance capacitance interconnect for a premium match. Please let me know if you have heard the new ones, if not it would make a great review, for the Cabasse.

Is more money and does nothing as well, I truly would like to hear from you, I admire your easy well balanced style of writing.

Best regards,

Paul

 

Hi Paul,

Thank you so much for the comments. You bring up a very interesting point -- how does a reviewer assign an absolute score to a product? The answer is, we don't. All we can do is assign a score/rating/etc. based on our experience. I have spent a huge number of hours listening to speakers in the $3000 to $8000 USD range and have a pretty good feel for what can be done in this range. The Cabasse more than holds its own, and in many ways is at the forefront of what can be done for these dollars. Still, I have yet to have the privilege of listening the JMR products at anything other than a show. I'll be sure to add them to my CES list to see if I can arrange a review as your comments are certainly intriguing. Again, thanks for reading and, most especially, for your kind words.

Peace,

Todd

 

February 2005

Hi Steven,

I have been reading Enjoy the Music.com™ for a while and I find it pretty helpful. I am an audio enthusiast and love music since I was in school, when I got my first stereo (an old integrated console with a turntable, tube receiver and a pair of speakers). Now that I am a professional (not in audio) I always seeking for affordable High End audio; you see, I think that, even if an amplifier costs ten times more than another one, it doesn't mean that it sounds ten times better; it would be an audible difference between a $1000 amp and a $10.000 one but this difference is not as dramatic as one can believe, specially with the affordable High End that is in the actual market. If you are a Donald Trump or Bill Gates kind of millionaire maybe you can spend $89.000 on an Ongaku hand made SET amplifier with a pair or $75,000 JM Grand Utopia speakers, but this is not the case with me as with many other music lovers, just because there are many other much important things in this life like your family or your health; can you really enjoy the music without good health? I doubt it. Anyway I read your review about the Jolida 202A integrated amplifier last year and it was until a couple of months that I decided to buy it from Audio Pro in Costa Rica...Marvelous! I am rediscovering my entire classical and jazz music since then. The model I got is an original new 2004 Jolida's model, and the company said to me that it becomes with some modifications from the prior 2003 model like better transformers; even the letters from the logo are different (they also removed the "A" from it) and the on/off light is blue instead of green. After this modifications I think it could be interestig doing a follow-up review on the new Jolida 202 version.

Thanks!

Manuel Acevedo

 

Manuel,

Many thanks for your e-mail and agree there is usually a 'law of diminishing returns' between a $1,000 unit and a $10,000. As for the updated Jolida, we will look into it. Enjoy a wonderful 2005 and as always...

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin

 

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