Enjoy the Music.com

Your Letters To Us


June 2004


I noticed that you had quite some experience with Avantgarde horn speakers and wondered if you still used them or preferred them. I ask, because a recent experience I had at a live acoustic jazz concert reminded me of how much music's soul is dynamics. Sadly my speakers don't excel at this aspect of music. In fact the more I thought of it the more I realized I didn't know if there were any that did?

However, horns seem like good candidates for this. And yet, most folks seem quite opposed to going that option. If you be so kind, would you please share with me what your overall bottom-line experience has been in regards to these kinds of speakers? It would be refreshing to hear from a genuine reviewer with lots of experience rather than from a dealer with a "sales pitch".





i fully understand the desire for great dynamics and some horns do not "sound" right to my ears. The AG hornspeakers, to my ears, get it right. They do not have that "megaphone sound" to my ears. Have a listen to them and make your own decision accordingly. Always glad to help.

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin


June 2004

Dr. Bill Gaw,

Thanks. Nice article. Since I was politely prodding you to do one you forgot that important part... photos. Remember, each one speaks a thousand words! Clark Johnsen had a wager with me that there would be no "photos" of your rig due to the nature of the room... must be an inside joke and I can only guess that it is, well, quite messy to be polite!

Guess I've lost the bet (yet another) to Dr. Johnsen.





Well, my June article was partly about my room, and I did leave out the pictures. That's because I'm doing my annual cleaning where I take everything apart and try to figure how to get it back together again. Will try to get some pictures out for a future article.



June 2004


I just downloaded a protractor adobe file from you. it was nice to know my cartridge was aligned well! id never had it checked.

Thanks again,




We are always glad to be of service. Others reading this can get their free turntable cartridge protractor alignment tool by clicking here. Of course in the end what really matters is that you...

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin


June 2004


Love your e-zine. Great, great, great. Keep up the great reviews. I hope someday soon you can do a review of the PROAC...Tab ref sig loudspeaker. A fab little guy I have been looking at. Thanks for all the great reviews.

Marshall Spencer



<Blushing> Many thanks and hopefully the ProAc folks contact to review their loudspeakers. Of course in the end what REALLY matters is that we all...

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin


June 2004

Hello Steven,

I am building a new pair of 300B amps with WE 417A driver tube, Hørning OPT and Border Patrol PTX, IT and chokes. I think it will be a real killer amplifier! But my Audio Physic Virgo 1 speakers were not that tube friendly, so I just sold them. At the moment I have two speakers on my shortlist – a used pair of Audio Note AN/E copper version and a used pair of Galante Rhapsody.

I don’t know if this is a kind of question you like to receive, but I give it a try. I have no way of listen to the Galante before I buy them, and to be honest – it was your review that made me interested in them. Are they as good as the Audio Note AN-E? I listen mostly to jazz, classical and pop music like Rickie Lee Jones.

Best Regards from Norway,

Tomas T. Lorentzen



Personally, i find the smoothness of the AN loudspeaker more "all day listenable" but remember that horns are very dynamic. Alas, there is no "best", only what compromises you can live with... or without. Hope this helps and as always...

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin


June 2004


Enjoy your reviews and am in process of buying a Furman IT-Reference Discrete Symmetrical AC Power Source AC line conditioner. I was wondering what a good ac power cord would be for the unit. Somewhere in $300 range?

Thanks in advance for your comments,

Frank Smith



Thanks for the kind comments. You want to get a power cord that is the best you can afford that will allow the amps to flow as freely as possible while blocking out as much noise as possible. The only one I know that may be in your price range is made by Silent Source and sold by Walker Audio. I reviewed them in Chapter 45, and still use them from the wall to my Velociter units. Go for their 50 amp model which is just a few dollars more, but passes much more current, is dead silent, and has great shielding. The Elrod EPS-3 would be another great choice but significantly more expensive.



June 2004


What loudspeakers would you recommend for the Almarro A318A amp? Is this a far east built amp? Is it built in Japan? I’M CHOOSING between this amp and a Audiomat arpege (used one) have you heard the arpege? Compared to the two what are the superior sonic qualities one has over the other? Thanks, 




Alas, never heard the Audiomat arpege, though many people have been sending me e-mail saying the Almarro is an excellent unit. Wish i knew more my friend.

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin


June 2004

Dear Mr. Glackin,

How are you. I have been away from the audio market for a long time and started to get back in as a newly empty nester. Did you audition the BEL 1001 after the 2001 CES? Have you published the review and how can I obtain a copy of the review? If not, would you be kindly give me your opinions on this amplifier? Thanks for your time and advice.

Best regards,

Alfred Huang


Dear Alfred,

Thanks for your inquiry. I did indeed audition the BEL in my system, purely for my own interest (I was looking for an amp to drive my low-efficiency planar-magnetic speakers and found it, but that's another story). The BEL has a crystalline purity that I don't think I've heard with any other solid state amp. It's very probably the best s.s. amp I've ever heard (and I've heard a lot over the last 25 years). It just didn't make my speakers come alive (a single BEL is 50 Wpc, if memory serves, and I would have had to have used two in bridged mode to have a hope of making my 86 dB efficient speakers sit up and take notice... I think they run about 150 W each when bridged, again if memory serves). If you need an amp with this power level and want s.s., I cannot recommend the BEL too highly. I know the manufacturer (Dick Brown), and he is a genuine, smart, and honest man IMHO ... I've had dinner with him and a kindred group at CES a couple of times. His amps are hard to get, as the demand is greater than the supply, but they're worth waiting for. I know an EXCELLENT dealer to purchase from... Brooks Berdan Ltd in Monrovia CA.

BTW, who was the founder of Fluor? I used to know some people there, long ago.

Best wishes,


P.S. I wanted tube amps, and ended up with a pair of VTL Deluxe 300s. A killer combo with my Eminent Technology Model 8's.


June 2004

Hi Steven,

I enjoy reading your reviews at Enjoy the Music.com and also visit a discussion board daily, where I occasionally post in the Music and Speaker Forums. I think we might have communicated in the past, as I own some (too many!) very nice speaker systems. Anyway, I am remodeling a home on Nantucket and want to have the best possible sound system. Courtesy of my wife, however, floor-standing and stand-mounted speakers are out of the question! I have never been fond of satellite/subwoofer systems. So that leaves me with bookshelf speakers, and I'm wondering if those de Capo speakers would be ok (I think they are rear-ported) or would the front-ported Harbeth (7es or Monitor 30) be better? I'd appreciate any comments!

Many Thanks,


BTW, I listen mostly to hard bop jazz and my own singer-songwriter undiscovered hits.



Thanks for your e-mail. As we both know your confines are limiting and not optimal. As long as there is space for the air to flow out of the vent freely, the De Capo should be fine. Obviously you will get some bass enhancement due to close wall proximity, but this will be true with any speaker set in such confines. Let me know how it goes and, as always, in the end what really matters is that you...

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin


June 2004

Dear Steve,

My system consists of a Rotel RB-1080 power amp, Rotel RCD-1072 CD player, Rotel RC-1070 pre-amp, and JBL 38II speakers. I have always planned on updating the speakers, but there are so many choices. Moreover, I have to make my money count, as I won't be able to spend this much for a very long time. I listen to instrumental classical and jazz music. I would like to hear your recommendations for a pair of floor standing 3-way speakers in the $3,000 - $4,000 price range. I have considered B&W 703's, B & W nautilus 804's, Monitor Gold reference 60's, Opera Quinta's, and Vienna Acoustic Beethoven's. I am not sure about the price of the Beethoven's. If you would recommend any of these, or if you have totally different recommendations, I would love to hear them.

Thank You,

John H. Walker



If there is one component that truly varies not just between units, but in also ho they sound within YOUR room it is loudspeakers. Best bet it to find a store and listen to them. If they allow it, take them home for a week as the way a loudspeakers mates to your room is also important. Anyone who tells your differently needs to re-educate themselves accordingly.

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin


June 2004


  Your thoughts on the D-2.2 and Tango 2.5 versus the Vecteur L-4.2.



Dear Nicola,

I think the D-2.2 drive and the Tango 2.5 would definitely make a better unit than the Vecteur L-4.2. I have the L-4.2 and like it very much, but think that the combination you mention would give you more refinement, more musicality, more presence than would the integrated player. However, you should get an excellent digital cable to connect the two. The best I know of is the Kimber Cable D-60.

I have not reviewed or listened critically to the Tango, but I have listened to the Tempo 2.5 and it blew me away with its depth and presence. I know that others find the Tango to be excellent as well, although without quite the charm of the Tempo.

Good luck with your search. With the D-2.2, the Tango 2.5 and the Prélude Référence, you are about to have a revelation as you hear the music you have been missing. You are making great choices.

Please write to tell me what your final system is and what you think of it.

All the best,

Neil Walker


June 2004

Hi Wayne,

I read your review of the jolida jd100 and was impressed by how capable you said it was against high-end gear, especially as I've seen it for only $400 plus shipping/taxes. Consequently I'm thinking of selling my Marantz pm7200/cd6000 and getting it and the jd1501 hybrid amp. My question is how do hybrid amps sound? My Marantz seems to be either detailed and exciting music but annoyingly bright/harsh, or dull and lifeless noise. Would the jd1501 combined with the jd100 cure these problems as well as being more powerful/punchy than a tube amp with 'normal' speakers? I'm still new to audiophile hi-fi, but hybrids sound like a great idea.

Thanks in advance for your reply.


Dear Anonymous, 

I don't think there's an identifiable generic hybrid sound. The basic concept is a blending of the warmth than harmonic richness of tubes -- especially in the input stage -- and the typical strength of good solid state in terms of drive and bass power. I haven't heard the hybrid Jolida amplifier, but based on your description of the sound of your Marantz gear, I suspect that the Jolida combination is likely to be an improvement. 


Wayne Donnelly


June 2004

Hi Wayne,

I just purchased a pair of Meadowlark Blue Herons. All I can say is WOW!!! Thanks for the previous advice. These are much more dynamic and detailed than my Hot Rod Kestrels. I took your advice and am beginning to upgrade the front end. I started with getting the Tri-Vista 21 DAC. Right now my amp is a Pioneer Elite 45 VSX which I suspect is not doing either the DAC or speakers any justice. I am looking a getting a Bryston BP 25 pre and a 3BSSt amp. Do you think this would be a good combination? and would there be a significant sonic improvement? I am also looking at the Blue Circle BC 28 amp. Since you have some experience with the Blue Herons your feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for your time and with warm regards,



Hi Eric, 

Although I haven't lived with either Bryson or Blue Circle recently, I am confident that either would Matched up very well to the Blue Herons, and would represent a significant sonic improvement over your Pioneer integrated amplifier. 

Best wishes,



June 2004


Wow... The last of six guesses at your e-mail (and the simplest guess of them all) and I got it! 

First I want to say a big thanks to you as the editor and all the other writers at Enjoy the Music.com™. Your website is invaluable for people like me trying to get into the world of audio. I'm learning a lot. I'm sure it is also valuable for people who have been there for a long time. The passion shown for audio is contagious.

Literally a minute ago I found out there is a dealer of Almarro in Indiana, which is where I'm from, so I hopefully can just go see it and answer my question myself... My question was about the temp of the tubes, it might be a really dumb concern but I've never had a tube amplifier... Does the temp of the tubes affect the temp of the room you are sitting in? I'm almost embarrassed to ask such a question.

Anyway, a big thanks again to the work you are doing.




The tubes in the Almarro do indeed run hotter than, say, a 300B. The tubes are safe and fun and would not worry about a fire, though do not touch them when on as they are hot. Like anything that generates heat, it will be like having a small space heater, as it were. No worries, just turn up the AC or open a window.

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin


June 2004


I read your review of the noise canceling earphones, but it was done quite some time ago. Did you do an update? I was wondering if the Bose quite comfort 2 were any better?


Paul Beechen


Hi Paul,

Thanks for the note. I have not listened to the new version of the Bose. Sorry. I have listened to the newer Etymotics (ER-6) and these were actually quite good for a lot less than the 4Ps - around $140 I think.

Good luck!




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