Due to your review in Nearfiled #7 in July 2005 I purchased the Sonic Impact amplifier for use with my Stax SR30. The result is PHENOMENAL. I am so pleased that I can now use my Stax with DVD/CD Player and Computer directly. So thanks for the review otherwise I would never have thought that such a cheap amp could give me the results that I wanted!
Here is a great cheap tweak. If your power amp is heavy, put four tennis balls underneath helps resonance.
Enjoy the Music,
Steven R. Rochlin
Forgive me if I come to the party a little late... but I have just ready your review on the new 300B valve. What really caught my eye (ear!) was your comment about the spectral/tonal balance of modern hi fi equipment. I have been some sort of 'audiophile' for nearly 40 years and over that time the sound of equipment and recordings has got brighter and brighter...to the point where it has little real connection with actual music. I am afraid that a considerable part of that process has been led by hi fi magazine reviewers who were , and still are, relentlessly hostile to anything which had the slightest tint of 'romance' while wholly tolerant of excessively lean and bright sound (''so transparent'). I find it hard to find equipment which is not tainted with this brightness, a brightness which you rightly point-out has little to do with the real sound of musical instruments. Most hi fi, no matter how costly, now sounds pretty lousy. Some, well reviewed, could be used to strip wallpaper, so coarse and bright is the sound. Sadly, I fear you are fighting a losing battle but keep up the good work...we urgently need reviewers who recognize what has happened and are prepared to fight against the industry norms. so, thanks!
Peter Skinner (from the UK)
nb: I always enjoyed your tube rolling experiments in Stereophile... more of that sort of thing too.
Thank you very much for your feedback. Neville Thiele in a recent interview (Voice Coil, January 2005) quotes old guidance from the Radio Designer's Handbook from some 50 years ago to the effect that the product of the top and bottom cutoff frequencies should be 500kHz. That means that if the bass cutoff is 25Hz, the top should be 20kHz. However, raise the bass cutoff to 50Hz, and the top end should not exceed 10kHz. Although I find such guidance too simplistic, it highlights the importance of the perceived tonal balance in reproduced music.
Many years ago I reviewed a particularly bright sounding minimonitor for Stereophile, whose rising frequency response resembled the shape of a ski slope. As you can imagine, I did not much care for its tonal character - sufficiently bright to singe my eyebrows at three meters. The manufacturer (based in Spain) argued in his defense that tonal balance preferences are influenced by cultural differences, implying that Spaniards inherently prefer a brighter balance. In my experience, the audiophile penchant for "excessively lean and bright sound" knows no cultural boundaries. Rest assured that I will keep fighting for musical fidelity in reproduced music.
Enjoy the music,
Please could you give me some info on the why/what/how of the mods to your Korato KVP10 pre-amp. (I'm looking at getting an A/N DAC2x and I want to make sure the pre can cope OK!!)
Basically what I did was replace the coupling caps with the VenHaus V-Caps (Teflon and foil) and I replaced output coupling caps with the VenHaus IOMP caps. I kept the same values. The transformation was nothing short of amazing. Hope that helps.
PS - if you go for the Teflon V-Caps, plan on over 400 hours of run in time. Seems like a lot of time but it is well worth the wait.
I've just read your review of the DEQ2496, and would like to suggest that you write a more detailed essay about using the DEQ. A kind of step by step introduction on using the DEQ and its different facilities. I must say that I have one, and find it a little bit complicated to use and don't have much help from the manual. For instance, I would like to use it only for subwoofer equalization, but didn't manage to get great results out of it.
Thank you and Best regards,
We would both like step-by-step introductions as the DEQ 2496 is indeed a little bit complicated to use. Even after a year, I find myself picking up the manual to refresh the steps required to experiment with this or that setting. Yet I think the slim unit makes above average improvement in many of EnjoyTheMusic.com categories, earning it five blue notes for Value. I might have given it 5 blue notes for my own category, Enjoyment, if the manual was not so vexing. Though it is not that the manual is poorly written, it is just that the DEQ packs so many professional features that need tweaking audiophiles need longer, clearer, more patient explanations. Tell Behringer to hire me ;)
Yours in Listening,
What amp were you using for the 300b review? Very important! I think it would have been best to have tried several.
Thanks for asking. You bring up an excellent point. It is always a good idea to evaluate any tube in at least two contexts to assess the effect of variations in circuit operating conditions on the sound. In the case of the KR Audio 300B tube, I used two amplifiers: the T-Rex DIY design and Pacific Creek Audio's Separo 300B. I wish I had an infinite supply of good sounding SET amps to pick from, but alas that's all I have access to at the moment.
Enjoy the Music,
I enjoyed reading your article on the "Ultimate Portable CD Players and Phones." I will soon be in the market for a "State-of-the-Art", "Price-No-Object" portable CD player and was curious to know if Sony will be coming out with a SACD Portable CD Player any time soon. Up until now, the Shure E5c "In-Ear" Phones are the best sounding portable ear-phones available, correct? (notice I didn't refer to them as headphones). Any advice in this matter would be greatly appreciated.
Thanx again Steve,
Thanks for your e-mail and it appears SACD is basically at a near stillborn rate so do not expect to see a portable unit anytime soon... or even one for the car like we do DVD-Audio. As for in ear monitors, still love the Shures :) Just make sure you play around with different sized ear fitting pieces. Of course in the end what really matters is that you...
Enjoy the Music,
Steven R. Rochlin
Went to ACI's web-site and read your review. I'm more than a little intrigued and the price is within reach. Sounds like just the solution for my situation. Could you (would you) assist me in melting this product into my stereo system??? T'would be most appreciated.
Dave (AKA Oscars ear)
Not much melting to be done. Split the output signal from your pre-amplifier or receiver (ACI provides adapter cables from speaker binding posts to their RCA inputs). I find a test CD and Radio Shack SPL meter provide information about tweaking audiophiles’ beloved systems, but you don’t have to have them for proper melding of a new sub.
Over the years, I find that if I stand near the sub, while playing a favorite piece of bass music - then dial the sub up to the levels to where I can barely hear it add to the depth, but not overwhelm the big ole horns - I will be close to the same accurate level for music that measuring and testing eventually finds. For movies, simply give a generous ¼ to ½ turn more boost!
Yours in Listening,
That's a pretty accurate description(s) of the Bolero. What strikes me about your review is that my original SR17 has the same characteristics - dynamic, full-bodied and some sweetness (occasional) to the midrange. On CDs they don't show that much of that Silverline signature, but on LPs, they really bring out so much more of the music that I can't remember if I ever heard other speakers doing the same thing. They're so extended from top to bottom that I thought it was the last speaker I would own. And now, on its current Mark III incarnation, I ask: How much better could they get? Well, I've just sent them back to California for the upgrade. I just wonder...
I have a fairly current version of the SR-17s in house right now and agree that they display very much the same characteristics as the Boleros. And they are striking in that you are easily fooled into thinking that there is a large, full-range (and very accurate) speaker in front of you. I didn't find the SR-17s any less musical with CDs than I find any other speaker. I consistently prefer the sound of LPs and the SR-17s are no different in that regard. I hope that your upgrade is satisfying. I doubt that you will be disappointed, because Silverline do not change models for the sake of marketing or fashion and there is a consistently musical sound to all the models I have heard.
Best of luck,
Dear Mr. Flood,
I enjoyed your review -- I think it was from last December--of a Transcendental Audio amplifier [or a JoLida(?)], in which you mentioned Scott refurbished amplifiers. I'm writing now to ask if you've heard any of the Maple Shade-modified Scotts, and, if so, what do you think of them? I'm intrigued by Mr. Sprey's insistence on the greater bass definition and clarity of "small-tube" designs (22-Watt/channel), but have not seen any reviews or opinions other than the modifier's. I'd be grateful for your thoughts. Thank you.
I have not heard Maple Shade-modified Scott integrated tube amplifiers, but I believe refurbished vintage low power tube amplifiers represent one of the best values in sound quality; compared to what the same dollars buy you in feature-rich, but poor sounding, modern receivers, and especially when used with very sensitive loudspeakers, like big ole horns.
Yours in Listening,
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