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Letters To Us


August 2006


Your help please. I recently purchased a Mhdt Lab Paradisea DAC and I am very impressed with this DAC (my first DAC purchase). I have sent an email back to Mhdt asking for 2 things:

1. Advice on changing the tube (this is my first anything that has a tube in it, so I am a complete tube novice) as I cannot move the existing tube and wish to try Western Electric 396 A I have purchased. Gentle persuasion has not worked so I am currently at a loss what to do next.

2. A copy of the parts list in English so that if the DAC becomes faulty, I at least have a fighting chance a getting it repaired. There is a copy on their web site but page 2 does not print and therefore the parts list starts on page 3 and is incomplete.

I have sent two emails back to Mhdt but have not received a response from them to date. I would really appreciate your assistance and advice.

Keep up the good work, I enjoy the music and the reviews.

Rob Bebrouth


Hi Rob,

Congratulations on purchasing the Paradisea! I am still amazed at just how good this little DAC sounds. When it comes to changing the tube, gently 'roll' the tube in its socket (in a circular motion) while you pull at the same time. As you pull, you should see the tube slowly coming out until it finally releases. To insert the WE396, just mate the pins to the holes in the socket and push it in (no rolling is required).

It appears that MHDT has updated the PDF file that contains the board layout and parts list. I just downloaded one for myself and its all there. Hope that helped and thanks for the kind words about the article!

Kind regards,

Scott Faller


August 2006

Phil Gold,

Just wanted to let you know how useful I found your review / shoot-out between the Shure E4c's and the Ultimate Ears super.fi 5 Pro's - on the strength of which I have ordered the latter.


Steve Roberts


August 2006

Hi Max,

Thanks for the Schubert/Rattle review. I bought Rattles Heldenleben due to the Grammophone review (I think.) and after reading your review I realize I have only played that one once. I think you hit the nail on the head describing rattles approach regarding his way of treating the score. Now I know why I didn't like the Heldenleben record and I don't have to buy the Scubert.


Robert Reinlund


Hi Robert,

I've always admired (if not envied) the writing style and musical breadth of "Gramophone" reviewers, but they have a definite blindspot when it comes to judging native talent, Sir Rattle being only the most recent example. Rattle's "Heldenleben" is the very reason God in His/Her wisdom invented used cd stores. My advice is to trade it in, and use that sum (plus the pretty penny you saved by NOT buying Rattle's Shubert Ninth) to purchase the Reiner/Chicago Symphony version. It's everything Rattle is not, has much better sound, and comes with the substantial bonus of a great "Also sprach Zarasthustra." You might even have enough left over to pick up a Schubert Ninth: there's a great Schubert Ninth for every budget! Very good to hear from and happy listening.


Max Westler


August 2006


How about a comparison between the Wavelength Cosecant DAC, $3,500, (hooked up to a computer with Apple lossless downloads) and CD players for $3,500 or more. So many people are downloading these days. Many of us would like to know how using such a DAC with our computers might sound compared with a top notch CD player.


Richard Lewis



Excellent suggestion. Perhaps we can get back a review sample and do some listening :)

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin


August 2006


Thanks for being there when I needed a stylus protractor! :)    Okay, so somewhere in the mass of garage & attic junk is a mirrored Shure protractor and balance... Some-damn-where! So, thanks for being there when I needed you! :)

John Conner



Thanks for the very kind contribution to our cause. Like you, i have stuff that is needed (rarely) to setup various components, yet sometimes they get misplaced. They are here, somewhere, i remember seeing it a few weeks back, but can not find it now...  Was it in this box, nope... maybe that box over there... nope again. Am glad we could provide our free protractor when you needed it and thanks for your kind financial support. We truly appreciate it!

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin


August 2006

Hi Todd,

I've just read a couple of your reviews (the AudioPhysic Scorpio, and the Modwright preamp.) In both you mention your "reference" Devore Gibbon Super 8 speakers. Have you written a review of the DeVores anywhere? If not, could you bang out a paragraph or two for my benefit? These speakers have gotten a lot of good buzz. I'm just wondering how they stack up, for example, to those Scorpios or other speakers with which you are familiar.

My room is 14'3" by 21', with an 8' ceiling. I'm looking for a full range sound, with clarity and dynamics - and without the floor bounce suckout that makes most speakers sound a bit thin compared to the real thing. Oh yeah - I'll take a winning lottery ticket with that...

Jim Levitt


Hi Jim,

No review yet, hence no public comments on them. But the review of the DeVores should be in the September issue. I'm just putting the final touches on it now, or I would be if not for all this bloody email. ;-) As for a sneak peak, sorry, I can't. But, in my best Deep Throat voice I will say , "follow the buzz."


Todd Warnke


August 2006

Dear Steven,

Need your advice on this. I recently chanced upon a pair of 10 year old Mirage M-1si speakers. They are being sold for US $1600. Is it worth picking them up? Question is, at this price point, are there better speakers available today (for example, The Dali Ikon 6). Also in 10 years’ time do the drivers wear out & will they need to be replaced (this may prove difficult as the model has long been discontinued). The Mirage is also not shielded – will that pose a problem since the speakers will also be connected to my DVD player? 
Please help.

Warm regards,

Arunh Krishnan


Hi Arunh,

Alas, not familiar with the Mirage M-1si and do not know how they sound or their price. You may want to ask the folks on the rec.audio.high-end newsgroup. There are so very many models of speakers in the marketplace today that it would be hard to single out just one of them. Loudspeaker drivers are generally good for decades with proper care. As for shielding, it has to do with placing speakers near a glass tube (not plasma/LCD) TV as the magnets cause color distortions with glass tubes CRT. Best bet is to listen various speakers and decide which one works best for you in your system. There are many, many models of speakers and without knowing much else about your system or preferences or room.

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin


August 2006

Greetings Bill,

I am a member of a new audio forum called the crooked path and one of our members sent a link to your article about the nanotech systems wire. I found your review interesting to say the least. I'm a Audio/Home theater Retailer in Castle Rock Colorado. I recently had a couple of suitcases of sample cables from a well known high end cable manufacturer. I couldn't hear much difference. Now I'm only a little younger than you are and know my hearing isn't what it used to be. So I built a simple op amp difference amplifier. It has 2 inputs, one that is inverting and one output.

If a person were to take a y adaptor and put cable A on one side and Cable B on the other, what comes out of the op amp is the difference between the two channels. You seem capable enough from your bio and you can get the difference amp schematic on the net. This is the circuit I used with 100K ohm resistors. I'm curious to know what you think about this and if you are willing to do it. I spent less than $10 to build it. Radio Shack has all the parts you need. I power mine with two 9 volt batteries.

I used a o'scope to look at the differences but if you built a pair of them, you could take your old wire, the new wire and feed them into the diff amp and plug the output into another system and listen to the difference between the cables, you could do frequency analysis on the difference etc.

You could revolutionize cable reviews. Hope you don't mind my email


Neal Van Berg
Sound Science Custom Audio & Theatre



Thank you for the information. Actually, about 15 to 20 years ago, a company, the name of which my semi-Alzheimer's riddled brain can no longer remember, came up with a similar circuit for wire testing. Objectivists labeled it as the greatest find in high end audio, but it fell into disfavor as it showed differences but did not explain why, which went against their scientific reasoning that everything that needs to be known or can be known has been found. They claim that all one needs to know are the electrical characteristics of the cable to determine if there are any differences, and anybody claiming differently should be labeled a charlatan. Of course, similar things were said of many of the great thinkers of the past, who made possible leaps in our understanding of the sciences. Unhappily for them, the human ear, when properly trained, can pick up subtle differences that even the best instruments cannot.

While there are as many charlatans out there in the high end wire business as there are in the naturopathic so-called medical field, there are differences in wires that cannot be explained by modern day science. One need only keep an open mind, do the experimentation and draw proper conclusions. Unhappily those individuals with the proper equipment to possibly do this are the first to state that since the theory is impossible, it would be a waste of time to experiment. They are usually the same people who fell that all CD players must sound the same because the storage of and translation of digital to analog should be perfect every time. So I do encourage you to build the unit, grab some different speaker wires or interconnect and experiment. I'll be glad to publish any of your findings at this web site.

Bill Gaw


August 2006

Hi Bill,

I just finished your article on the electrical gremlins. And thanks for the review of the EP2050. I whole-heartedly agree with your assessment. Sadly, power conditioning still takes a distant back seat in most audiophiles component priorities.

Even in my own system: newer home, live in the burbs, undergroundutilities, transformer in front of my home and shared with only 3 other homes, dedicated line, Isoclean outlet. I still had significant sonic benefit from the use of PLCs- the Running Springs Duke2/Haley2 .

We just built a new home in Melbourne Beach, FL and will be moving there in the next month. I think I may have the EP2050 installed to clean up the power to the remainder of the electrical appliances.


Mike Masztal



Thanks for the kind comments and agreement about power pollution. You may want to review my August article before making any further power conditioner buys. The APC S15 is a winner.

Bill Gaw


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