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Letters To Us


May 2006


I greatly enjoyed your article on the Behringer DEQ2496. So many audiophiles seem to think an EQ defiles a system because it introduces the aspect of allowing the listener to change the sound; ironically, choice of tubes is perfectly acceptable to them and results in hours of discussion on the merits of each model. So thank you for taking the high road to write such an informative piece.

The reason for me writing today is in the hopes of obtaining a bit of How-To. The section on Connections has me confused. Do you happen to have a graphic or can you provide more information on how to make the connection work for an unbalanced system? You mention connecting pin one to pin three but don't include any details as to how that is accomplished: materials, where the connection happens, how it is made, etc. There are XLR to RCA cables on the market but it sounds from the article that these cables do not work without the modification. The next sentence goes on to mention that pin two connects to the RCA plug and the pin one-three combo to the shell; however, what is the shell? In a way the paragraph reads like I am cutting into the cable to make connections. Any illumination is greatly appreciated and I hope no trouble.


Leonard Cross


Thank you, Leonard,

I certainly did not think I needed sterling morals to point-out what the Behringer 2496 can do for a home movie and music reproduction system, but letters like yours keep coming, even a year later. There is no interconnect modification required for the unit. Although not as common as typical stereo interconnects, stock XLR to RCS interconnects on the market do the job. That is why I mention RCA-to-XLR adapters from The Cable Company in the article. Don’t mess with the interconnects. Just plug them in to your DEQ 2496 unit (even inexpensive professional XLR connectors make a good, solid connection) and then to your system.

Yours in Listening,



May 2006

Dear Mr. Flood,

I read you article on the Axiom M80ti's. Thank you for your insight and opinion. In your opinion how does the Axiom's to the Paradigm Studio 100 v3's? Your view would be greatly appreciated.


Dan Ronn


Dear Mr. Ronn,

Gee, comparisons at that price range sure are tough! They both look good. I have not heard the Paradigm Studio 100 v3s, so I can’t actually say which is the better apple or orange. The Studio 100s have a very flat frequency response, which might explain their raves – many from respected reviewers, who make a point of auditioning loudspeakers the rest of us can afford. Seems like the Axiom M80tis go a little deeper, but their impedance is also 4-ohms. They might need a higher quality amplifier with strong control over bass frequencies, depending on your use and listening room. I say “play stereo” with your buddies. Max the credit cards. Get both. Select some test tracks for bass, vocals, treble, hard rock, classical, jazz, movies or whatever. Listen, then swap. Listen and swap. That’s it boys! Work those ears. Exercise those loudspeakers! Then choose.

Yours in Listening,



May 2006

Hello Rick,

I understand that you are a "fan" of Sonus Faber products. Have you had the chance to hear these Anniversario's yet? If so, any comments? Any perceptible difference from the Amati Homage?? I understand that they were powered by Ayre gear at FSI 2006. I'm considering pairing these with Ayre's upcoming 300W MX-R monoblocks-time will tell on that one...

Thanks for any comments,

M. Tan


M. Tan,

Yes, I heard the SF with the Ayre at the show and I liked the room a lot. Although I am indeed a big fan of SF, I didn't spend a lot of time in the room. It is impossible to cover the show in as much detail as I do and spend really significant time in very many rooms. I've not had the pleasure of formally reviewing any SF speakers, and one would really have to compare the original Amati with the Anniveresario with intimate experience in the same system to answer your question. That said, it is extremely unlikely that the Anniversario is not an improvement on the original. SF is too experienced and too highly esteemed to make an error like that.

Ayre, too, is a very competent company that has obviously come a long way in recent years. My personal preference is for tube gear, and I would love to hear the SF driven that way. But I also understand that many people prefer the security and bullet-proof nature of solid state. Tubes from reputable companies are not all that fussy, but I understand that they are in the minds of many people. The massive power of 300 watt monoblocks will certainly offer performance in some dimensions that a more modestly powered tube amp cannot approach, but most of the music we listen to is handled by the first few watts of any amplifier.

Getting back to the SF, they are among the most beautifully finished loudspeakers in the world and they should give you immense personal satisfaction of ownership, as well as elicit compliments from people who visit your home and share the experience of your music. Place them in the proper position in your room and they will bring tears to your eyes.

Best of luck,

Rick Becker


May 2006

Hello Scott,

Thank you for the wonderful review of these Mhdt DACs. I was wondering how they sound compared to the Audio Note 2.1x you reviewed recently?




Hi Vince,

Honestly, I liked the Mhdt better than the AN 2.1 signature. I felt the Mhdt had a more extended and cleaner top end. Keep in mind there is a major design difference between the two. The AN uses a true tubed output gain stage (plus its tube regulated) where the Mhdt uses an opamp based output with a tube buffer. Not sure if that makes any difference in your audio philosophy but I thought I'd mention it.


Scott Faller


May 2006

Hello Scott,

Scott Reeder here and I've got a few questions about some tube amps. I have a Croft Tube Pre-amp running into a Sonic Frontiers SFS-50 tube amp. I just got the thing and noticed that it was full of Chinese tubes. I removed the 6550's and placed in some Mullard XF-2 EL-34's. What a difference, not the same bass extension, but very SMOOTH and musical. I've ordered some Buggle boy 6992, Holland made, 1964 small halo getter tubes. Have you heard these 6992's tubes. I got about 5 different tube amps lying around the house, but none of them have the 6992 tubes installed.

Another thing, I've ordered some Tung-Sol 6550 gray plate no holes tubes. What is your "impression" of these tubes compared to the Mullard EL-34's. I've never heard the 6550 in a system. I live in the middle of the Outback of Australia. I got into hi-fi and I think I'm the only person within 1000 miles with a "good" system. Most everyone else shops at K-Mart...

Scott Reeder


Hi Scott,

Unfortunately I've not heard the Mullard EL-34's so I won't be much help there. I do have a pair of the Tung-Sol 6550's that I occasionally listen to in my vintage mono system (Stromberg Carlson AR-425 driving an Altec 624 Iconic). I swap between them and a pair of JAN Sylvania 6L6's (another very cool sounding tube). Not having compared the Tung-Sols to much, I have to say that I like them a lot.

I have listened to the Bugle Boy's before. They are a really nice sounding tube for the money, especially in that price range. You'll like them. Depending on your systems resolution and if you've got the itch to try some more, you may want to try the Siemens 7308's. They're my favorite. Unbelievably expensive (think Telefunkin prices) but they are extremely good. The Ediswan CV292's are a darned nice sounding tube too (again, expensive).

Have fun tube rolling!

Scott Faller


May 2006

Hi Jeff,

I purchased a Dared mp5 from the distributor a month or so ago. I love the little thing but I have a niggling thought that will not go away. When you use the USB connection what happens is that your computer thinks you are installing USB speakers, not a DAC or additional soundcard. I also have an M-Audio Audiophile USB external soundcard and the experience between the two is startling. The M-Audio is in a constant battle for supremacy with the soundcard on my computer. The existing soundcard is not threatened by the mp5. In essence what the mp5 gives you is a nice digital connection and tube amplification, not a DAC. That's why it is so easy.

Gary Gessler


Hi Gary,

I bought a Dared MP-5 too and I am glad I did. Indeed, I am listening to it right now. I am not quite sure I understand what you mean about it being USB speakers and not a DAC. It’s an amplifier with a built in DAC with USB input. I have used the MP-5 in two ways: through its analog inputs in a separate hi fi and on my computer desk. As a standalone amp, I thought it did a rather decent job attached to a pair of high efficiency speakers though I would not use it as my primary amp for serious music listening.

On my computer for casual listening, music, internet radio and some very basic audio editing, I find it an absolute joy. My suspicion is that the MP-5 was designed for casual listening in a second system, or with a pc or even a headphone amp and fulfills these tasks with aplomb.

All the best,

Jeff Rabin


May 2006

Hi Scott,

I'am an Italian reader of your interesting article on Medallion. I'm on the way to build them with a PM6A driver. I wish to ask you some info, please. Where you get the suggestion of stuffing by wool the front panel, compression chamber and horn mouth? Form the Medallion's engineers? In the forums on the net, usually people talk for compression chamber only. I don't have clear why you put stuff in the horn mouth. I have a 5 mm merino's wool felt (used for wood floor isolation), do you think he work for the cabinet?

Lastly, do you think I can get any advantage to round shaped the horn bend (I can get a smoothness bend by using several 40 mm pieces, one against other, like a wood rolling-shutter). Why I want to do this mods? Because an article of Dr. Bruce Edgar (Show Horn or Monolith Horn, I don't remember which one, an old issue of Speakers Builder), where he say that the bend is better accomplished by a diagonal panel (in front of sound wave front in a 90° bend), because with a different (smallest than diagonal) panel (like Medaillon) can create a partial reflection of the soundwave against those from throat to the mouth, and reduce this way the efficiency of the system (I hope to has been clear enough:-). Do you think the extra work worth the final result?

Many Thanks,

Enrico Pastori


Hi Enrico,

The suggestions of the wool felt came from Jon VerHalen at www.Lowther-America.com. Jon is the US distributor of Lowthers. The concept of the wool felt is to absorb a minor amount of the high frequencies from either the front baffle or the back horn. The suggested wool felt seems to work as intended. Your 5mm felt might be a bit thick and may absorb too much of the high frequencies. That being said, I would suggest using your 5mm wool felt in the compression chamber. It will definitely help absorb some of the back wave that reflects back through the drivers cone.

In regards to rounding the corners of the horn, I have not heard one that has been built in this manner. I have seen frequency response graphs with the corners rounded. The frequency response through the upper bass, mid-bass to lower midrange region gets smoother. Not significantly, but it does get smoother. If you don't mind spending the extra time rounding the corners, I would recommend doing it. The reason I say that is because if you don't, you will always look back and wonder if it would make the Medallions sound better.

I hope that helped and with regards,

Scott Faller


May 2006

Love reading your articles, they are fun and informative.


Ivan Wong


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