Enjoy the Music.com

Letters To Us

March 2008

Steven,

I will have to modify my web browser's censorship to prevent me from surfing these lusty images... "Lead me not into temptation..."

Pr. R. Don Wright

 

Don,

For the record of those reading this, he is referring to our audiophile lust pages (seen here). There are photos of turntables, tube amplifiers and loudspeakers. Have a wonderful weekend Don and glad you enjoy the images.

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin

March 2008

Dear Dr. Gaw,

I have never replied to online audio reviews but wanted you to know that I have enjoyed several articles you have written I realize you are a dedicated to horn speakers, I have owned Altec Valentia horns and I think they are great, but prefer di-pole speakers Maggies, I would substantially agree with 95% of your opinions and I encourage you continue to keep involved to promote audio. I am currently struggling with additions to my system, and room acoustics and find your opinion helpful.

Craig Mattice

 

Craig,

Thank you for the kind words. I sometimes wonder if anybody is getting any value out of my diatribes as I'm not a professional reviewer, but this is my main avocation and I put all of my energy and spare time into gaining and distributing knowledge on it.

Bill

March 2008

Hi Bill,

I just finished reading your review on the APC s15 unit and i have a couple questions i would like to ask. I own the APC h15 and my questions are regarding the high current outlets. One is labeled subwoofer the other amp. Now does it matter which one i put my sub or amp on? Is there additional filtering on the amp vs the sub high current outlets?

The components i am using are a Denon 5803 receiver and a paradigm servo 15v2 subwoofer. When i plug my receiver in the amp specific outlet it seems more laidback with a darker background. The top end seems to be slightly veiled. The subwoofer in the sub outlet seems fairly tight and focused.

When i reverse the situation and receiver goes into sub outlet it is more lively and much brighter sounds the same as when plugged directly in the wall. The sub in the amp outlet is much louder and dynamics increase as well but not by much but it is there. Could it be my sub is more powerful than my receiver and it needs the amp outlet? I guess my question is is it ok the way i have it or is the high current outlets labeled to work specifically with what is written on them? I really thank you for any help you can provide.

George

 

George,

The two high current sections have less filtering to allow greater current surges. They are exactly the same. If you have two amps and no subwoofer, it is better to use one amp on each section. If you use Class A low wattage amps, such as single ended 300 B's, it would be better to use one of the high isolation areas for those as there is better filtering and they don't need the faster current pass-through.

In your system, your receiver is actually rated as an amplifier, and as most receivers are Class AB with mediocre power supplies with little storage that rely on quick wall current, it would be quite possible that it would sound better on the amp or subwoofer circuit. The most important thing is to try to isolate as much of the digital equipment from the analog as possible as the digital circuit is made to dump as much digital noise as possible to ground.

Bill

March 2008

Hi, 

I start to enjoy the good music these days. And I drop by your website. It's kind of great to me. Since I'm not that good for electric terminology, I have some not that smart question. I have Cowon D2 (MP3 Player) with UE Super.fi 3 earphone combination. D2 have 76mW@16 Ohms as Max output and 50 level of volume control Super.fi 3 has 115dB/mW as input sensitivity. I want to calculate how much dB will increase when I increase volume of 1 (I know it cannot be very correct but just number), if it is assumed that D2 output (mW) will increase linearly according to increase of volume level (0-50).

Based on provided information, can it be calculate? Then please let me know how to calculate.

Thanks for your help,

Ju Seok Lee

 

Dear Mr. Lee,

Thank you for your interest in our website. Headphone manufacturers typically specify a sensitivity rating, which is referenced to 1 milliwatt ( 1mW). 1 milliwatt of input power is applied to the headphones and the sound pressure level is measured at the earpiece (using a dummy head with built-in microphones). Sensitivity is then stated as the number of dB of sound pressure level (SPL) for 1 mW of input. The specification stated for the Super.fi 3 is 115dB/mW, which is rather incredibly high. If that's true, 1 mW of input power will lead to such high SPLs as to damage your hearing. A setting of 1 on your MP3 player, if the scale is linear, would result in about 1 mW output and very loud playback levels. Hopefully, the volume control is logarithmic, which means that a setting of one would deliver much less than 1 mW.

I hope this helps.

Best regards,

Dick Olsher

March 2008

Hi,

Really do enjoy all the reviews and the prompt responses to emailed questions about Hi-Fi options. Hoping to "Enjoy the Music" for long as I can.

Kind Regards,

Clarence Brownlee

March 2008

Hey Steven,

I must commend you on your never-ending efforts to wave the flag for the less well capitalized and hence less mainstream companies in high end audio. However, there are times when it's probably a good idea to pay a bit more attention to the big guys. As I am sure you are aware, one of the pillars of modern high end, Audio Research was last week acquired by an Italian firm. I believe this to be huge industry news yet I have been unable to find a mention of it on Enjoy the Music.com. Am I incorrect? Isn't ARC being bought out major news to your readership?

Continuing on that line, I have been perusing the site since the CES Show and have noticed some omissions with regard to what I think may be other high end audio news. Vienna Acoustics showed a speaker with the first round, flat coaxial mid/tweeter driver of which I am aware in their new $25K flagship speaker Die Musik, named for the famous Klimpt painting. The driver maintains the necessary rigidity and low mass without having to resort to a conical profile, completely eliminating the potential horn loading coloration that the moving cone shape would cause. Peter Gansterer is on to something big and from the first listen, it appears to work beautifully. The seamless integration and cut from one tonal cloth purity of the two drivers is breathtaking for an old Quad fan like me. Whether or not it works as well as I believe its potential indicates will be decided upon by reviewers and consumers going forward. Again I ask, is this news for your readers? I believe it is but then I work for Sumiko. You know your readers far better than I.

Now if I'm just getting old and haven't been able to find these two items on the site, I apologize. But the fact is I get better info from your site than the others that are out there. What I'd love to see is a little bit more of the old guard represented. They still make news too.

Hope all is well Steven. Keep up all your good work.

Best,

Bill Peugh

 

Bill,

many thanks for your compliments and you are right, we have not covered those news items yet. If you only knew the sheer amount of news items, new products, events, etc that pass through my cyberdesk each day. One person's important news is another person's noise. Add to that, some news get reported in so many places elsewhere that it becomes 'old news' in Internet terms so I seek out new News to report on.

Fully appreciate your help and wish there were more hours in the day to report on news, everything, every product, every show, every event… yet some things do slip through the cracks or, perhaps, become old news via Internet standards.

As for ARC, many companies are being bought out, as the USD is getting more and more worth-less each day. Note to those reading this that my February midmonth editorial that appeared after i received this e-mail did cover ARC and other news (seen here).

As for Vienna, the first truly flat coax I believe was the Sony APM drivers, of which I have a few sets of these speakers. If I am right, then what Vienna considers is new is actually about 20 years old technology. Perhaps Vienna has a new take on the flat driver technology by making it a round with other changes instead of a square driver as Sony implemented. If they can make it work well, that would be great news for audiophiles worldwide.

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin

March 2008

Hi Dick,

I just read your review of the Visaton noBox BB Loudspeaker Kit from May 2006. (Better late than never.) I had a quick comment. Towards the end of the article, you said:

"Even after a reasonable break-in period, harmonic textures retained a grainy quality. I became suspicious that, to a significant extent, this was due to the impact of the 47 uF electrolytic capacitor in the high-pass crossover network, in series with the B-200. I decided to replace it with a Black Gate 47 uF speaker cap, which I just happened to have on hand; it is hard to find these days, so you may want to experiment with your favorite brand. The cap substitution alleviated much of the grain, though I would still decline to describe the mids as velvety in texture. Long-term listening also highlighted deficiencies in transient speed and detail resolution."

FWIW, I've perceived this same quality with other full-range drivers, most specifically with some old FE208Sigmas I've been using for years. Despite measurements showing good treble extension, the treble was very much as you described above.

When I crossed in a "super" tweeter, in this case some Audax PR120i's, the grain literally vanished. To my ears, anyway. Not only that, but the effect seemed to extend further down into the midrange than the crossover point would indicate. Try tacking whatever you've got lying around that matches the Visaton sensitivity. I'd be curious to know what you think.

Best regards,

John Levreault

 

Hi John,

Thank you for the feedback. I agree with your experience to the effect that, although not considered a purist approach, matching a full range driver with a supertweeter can significantly improve the smoothness of harmonic textures and treble quality. Though, the integration issues are not trivial, I have in the past several years enhanced my own BassZilla loudspeaker designs with the addition of ribbon super tweeters. See for example see this link.

Best regards,

Dick Olsher

March 2008

Colin,

I just finish reading the review of the Behringer digital equalizer, DEQ2496, in Enjoy the Music (July 2005). In there, reviewer [sorry, I could not contact him directly, his email seems to have been discontinued] indicate that unit should be connected in the tape monitor loop of preamp or receiver, or between the preamp and power amp. That makes sense if you are using an analog source. However, if your source is digital (CD or perhaps also DVD-Audio/SACD, if Transport is up to it), I gather, the DEQ2496 can take directly the digital signal from the digital Transport's digital output (or CD player's digital output, if there is one), equalize it without stepping out of the digital domain, and then convert equalized digital signal to analog using the DEQ's internal digital-to-analog converter. In this way an intermediate analog-to-digital and the subsequent second digital-to-analog conversions would be eliminated. Don't you agree?

Best,

Carlos E. Plazas

 

Carlos,

i do indeed. The Behringer DEQ2496 is a powerful device, which has amazing affect on any home music and movie reproduction system. It does make sense to connect it directly to the music source. The more direct the sound, the better. The fewer parts in the signal path, the better the music sounds. I did connect the DEq2496 directly to my aging CD player. But I did not notice any appreciable differences between that connection and using the equalizer inputs on my Dynaco Pas 3 pre-amplifier.

Yours in listening,

A. Colin Flood 

March 2008

Scott,

I was wondering if you could elaborate on your BassZilla design. I have been using the crossover in a Medallion cabinet with a DX4 for a few years using the notch filter and a Fostex T90-EX. I want to go open baffle, but the size of current Basszillas is somewhat imposing. I see on AudioCircle that your Lowther Triconals are mounted on a smaller top baffle. I was wondering if your pleased with this, and if you did any tweaking otherwise with the wood or circuits.

I am considering a small subwoofer box into a larger, but not 6ft tall open baffle. I was wondering how you felt about the Fostex, and if you tried the Aurum or Foundek drivers.

Regarding a basement room, I assume you either have a dry basement (which most are not) or you dehumidify in the summer. I have considered this, would allow for larger speakers for sure, but don't want mold to ever invade my cones.

Namaste'

Mike Thomas

 

Hola Michael,

You're right about the BassZillas being big. I've got a suggestion that might help slim down their looks for you. How about using clear Plexiglas or acrylic for the upper baffle and the wings? That will definitely help them disappear in the room. I'm considering doing the same thing on my final build. I still have some more tweaks to do first though.

I haven't tried the Fostex, Aurum or Foundek drivers in an open baffle. I know the Fostex line fairly well as some of the local guys use them in quarter waves or back loaded horns. The one tweak they've done that really helps the upper end is adding a phase plug. It helps to minimize the amount of notch you need with those drivers.

When it comes to the DX4, have you tried the foam and cotton tweaks rather than using a notch filter? I did a combination of the two (5 pieces of foam tucked under the lip of the whizzer and 4 pcs of cotton tucked tightly all the way down between whizzer and the driver. I had really good luck with it. No notch needed at all. Now it dampen the sound a bit but not as much as the losses in using the notch.

If you can spring for them, the Lowther PM6A drivers sound almost as good as the PM2As for significantly less money. I listened to them in an open baffle and really, really liked them. Just like my PM2's, no notch filter needed at all. And yes, mine are down in my (dry) basement. I don't worry about the humidity during the summer months. It creeps up a bit but I've never had a mold issue.

Be careful when trying to mate a small, long excursion sub to a Lowther. They tend to sound a bit slow in comparison. In stead, think about a high-efficiency 15" with a shorter excursion. Something like the Usher 15 Parts Express is closing out right now for under $100. They have nice sensitivity and decent TS parameters. I haven't played with them yet but they look pretty interesting.

Good luck on the journey. Be sure to let me know the final configuration you settle on.

Regards,

Scott

 

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