Enjoy the Music.com

Letters To Us

August 2008

Hello,

I read with interest your review of the Predator. I have found that it requires much more than 300 hours of forming the cap, due to the low current that the amp uses. At 300 hours I wasn't very impressed. At 600 hours I was starting to enjoy the Predator and after 1000 hours it finally settled in. This has been confirmed by a number of other users. I first got my Predator last December. I have a detailed log on HeadFi, that follows the progression of sound. I truly feel you have not heard the potential of the Predator and will not for hundreds of hours.

Right now I am listening to "The Essential Leonard Cohen", with my my Ultrasone Ed. 9's being driven by the Predator. I am enjoying the spatial quality and deep well controlled bass. The imaging took many hours to settle, some where after 800 hours. Sure my modified Woo 6 with my pseudo dual power supply has a bit more "there quality", but I find nothing lets me down from the Predator on pure listening enjoyment. I hope you are able to again listen to the Predator after 800 to 1000 hours of on time. 

Best regards,

John Amato

 

John,

Thanks for your note and I probably had more like 400 or 500 hours now that I actually ran the math. Completely agree it takes hundreds of hours to sound its best. Perhaps I should revisit the unit after another 500 hours and do a follow-up. Thanks again and we need to get the word out that it takes a long time for the Predator to sound its best. As always...

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin

July 2008

Hello Mr. Gaw,

I have been following some of your Audio articles from time to time. It also happens that I have in my possession the pair of Paraglows that you built for an article on Enjoy the Music.com (the wooden-box ones). A friend of mine had them in his basement for some time an let me try them out. It did have some considerable voltage issues (the KR tubes didn't survive very long), but a few resistors on the Power supply did put things back to close to optimal.

My question is the following. I have been on a quest for some direct-coupled amps for a while (hence the Paraglows). I have been looking at the DRD 2A3s for a while as well. I was kind of wondering how superior the DRDs are to the Paraglows and if you have heard of other affordable designs that have this kind of signature.

Also, did you sell the stereo 2a3 amp that Mr. Aliano had sent you? I do have a very limited budget, so I can't fork out the cost for the ORD (Electra-fidelity of Welborne). Would you have other suggestions, or  should I just have the Paraglows rebuilt (WAF).

Thanks and keep up the good work!

Daniel Laurin

 

Daniel,

It's nice to hear that the amps are still functional. Actually I wish I hadn't sold them as I could use them now in my system for my tweeters. I believe the kit was originally from Wellborne Labs, and I thought the power supply resistors were a little small for their function. You may want to make your friend an offer on them and maybe replace the power supply resistors and make sure the voltages are correct.

Otherwise, your best bet would be to go to Jack Eliano's web site at Electraprint Audio who developed the DRD circuit and builds the transformers for both the Paraglow and DRD amps. Also, on his web site at he has circuit diagrams for these amps for those who wish to build them. Most of the parts can be obtained from the Parts Connexion of Canada.
But wait a month, please as he's building a set for me and I don't want him
disturbed:-)

Bill Gaw

July 2008

Hi Steven, 

Your site, with all its articles and topics must be a monster to maintain.... Keep up the good work.

Dan Muzquiz

July 2008

Great website...

Gary Burke

July 2008

Steven,

(We met at RMAF 07 in the Consonance room though you probably don't recall me.) I just thought I'd drop you a line about the Hyperion 938/Cyber 211 combo - I'm listening to it now. I had previously owned the 938s with Cyber 845s! I sold the 938s 18 months ago, have had many speakers since, and found myself coming full-circle - I'm glad I picked up another pair! They're really stupendous! I've had speakers nearing $20K retail and prefer them for how smooth and easy to listen to they are.

And the 211s are an even better match than the 845s. You were right about this combo. You wouldn't think it enough power but it is. I believe you sold your 938s and was curious if you still had the Cyber 211s, and what speakers you're listening to these days.

Best,

Paul Folbrech

 

Paul,

Thanks for your e-mail and I do indeed remember our conversation! Am glad you got the new model and tried the 211 tube. While I have not heard the new model, the Consonance 211 worked its magic with the old Hyperions. Yes, I did sell the Hyperions and also the Consonance, as am now using my old fave the Audio Note ANJ-SPx with Wavelength Audio Cardinal X-1 monoblock 300B amplifiers. This is another magic setup that is extremely natural and all-day listenable, like the Hyperions and Consonance 211. As always, in the end what really matters is that you...


Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin

 

Steven,

Wow - you've had those Cardinals for ages IIRC. Good for you - it's encouraging to see any audiophile, especially a reviewer, who holds onto gear for long periods. I really love Gordon's DACs especially. I have had a Cosecant, was sorry I sold it, and may buy another. I am not surprised you are an A-N speaker guy. They're a lot like the Hyps - a little rounded, always erring on the side of politeness, never edgy. Great long-term speakers. I have almost ordered new AN/ Es a couple times, but the price of the silver models has scared me away.

Enjoy the music! :)

Paul Folbrech

 

Paul,

You have me blushing. Yes, I am not one to fall into the 'reviewer flavor piece of equipment of the month' club. While nothing is perfect, and gosh do I wish there was, we each have priorities of what we can live with and live without in the compromise. As such, the Cardinal X-1 are truly amazing on the Audio Note ANJ-SPx loudspeakers, the Avantgarde Duos I had, and many other highly sensitive loudspeakers. Yes, I have had the Audio Note loudspeakers for well over 14 years. They are so very endearing, get so very much right including timing, harmonics, and tonality plus imaging... and simply make beautiful music that sounds so very real. Ok, so they are visually ugly ducklings. Well, you can't have it all I guess. You see, what matters to me is not that a system sounds great for that first hour, it needs to captivate me for 10+ hours EACH DAY as I truly do LIVE with my audio system since I work at home.

Thanks again for your e-mail and may one day you find yourself enjoying your very own pair of ANJ-SPx or better loudspeakers. In the end what REALLY matters is that YOU...

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin

July 2008

Hi Dr. Bill Gaw,

I am emailing you from down in Oz where I concur with your views on ' dirty ' AC power. I was wondering if you still feel that the EP 2050 Home Protection device is the best way to go to try to clean up the AC. I note their view on their website that 90% of the grunge is generated within the home itself - is the EP 2050 still the way to go here?

I have four dedicated 20A lines installed with Oyaide R1 duplexes - I am reluctant to use power conditioners etc due to possible trade offs. I have considered items such as Enacoms and the Hi Fi Tuning Noise Destroyer but remain unsure about these. I am currently checking with EP if their devices are o.k. with the 240V AC power in Australia. Still the best way to go?

Thank you,

Gedas

 

Gedas,

It really depends on how much you want to spend and the problems you are having. Each listening room seems to have its own type of electrical gremlins, be they from the outside or inside the home, and what works in one may actually do harm in another. I'm still using the EP2050 for my video equipment and their whole house protector at the junction box. Two of the APC S-15 are used for my projector, home theater computer and low voltage audio source equipment to allow them to continue functioning in brownouts and power loss to prevent damage. In addition, there is an Audience Adept Response a12 power conditioner between the source equipment and the APC S-15.

The high amperage amplifiers are feeding off of the Torus Power Isolation units. This combination has suppressed most of the gremlins without adding much in the way of problems. It is nearly impossible for any one person to get all of the available products out there to experiment with and I have yet to find anybody in the US who specializes in this field, and most supposed installation specialists really have no interest in it other than to suppress surges that might damage equipment.

So unhappily the short answer to your question is "I don't know what would be best for your circumstances "down under"", but I would suggest starting off with a couple of the EP 2050's or APC H-15 power conditioners which can be bought in the US for as little as $350 each, and have the same circuitry as the S-15 minus the battery backup,or possibly a couple of the Adept Response aR1 units and experiment. By the way, a question; When you flush toilets down there, does the water really rotate counterclockwise? :-)

Bill

July 2008

Hi Steven,

It is very kind of you to let me know that my message did not get through... thanks so much for letting me know... I deeply appreciate it!!!! I have been advised to purchase an NOS Sony D25s (this one comes in a silver metal case) for my SET Open Baffle system.
It is selling for $275 new in the box. I read your July 2003 Review and wonder if you still feel as strongly as you did then about the D25 Portable CD player?

I built my own Open Baffle speakers using a Visaton B200 8" wide range driver and an Eminence Alpha-15 woofer on a simple flat baffle. I also use a Jeff Korneff SET 45 tube amp... and Red Wine's 70.2 monoblocks with a Lloyd Peppard (Maple Tree Audio Design) Magic 5 (triode) tube preamp (I don't know if that information is relevant at all but just in case you might want to factor it in I included it). If you feel the D25s portable CD player has been "bested" for the money ($275)... what would you now recommend?

I love reading your reviews, Steven, and just as importantly, I trust your feedback. I hope you are well and enjoying Spring. Thanks in advance for your invaluable help in this... the CD/DAC is the last piece of the puzzle for me.

With Warmest Regards,

Richard Waxberg

 

Richard,

Thanks for resending and yes, the D-25 is still my pic for the best portable CD player. The other choice you have is to get a Microsoft Zune (the original 30GB model) and burn CD's lossless, but 30GB means only 400 CDs in lossless mode. Of course if you insist on CD, then most definitely the D-25 would be my choice. Always glad to help and in the end what really matters is that you...

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin

 

Hi Steven,

I am deeply grateful to you for your kindness and help in answering my audio question... I deeply appreciate it... THANKS SO MUCH!!!! OK... I will go ahead and purchase
it... I like the smallish size... and you are right about enjoying the "retro" aspect of the Sony Portable CD Player. It is strange, Steven, but I remember some years back reading on an audio forum several people who compared the original Zune to the iPod and hands-down preferred the Zune to the iPod... I was quite intrigued at that time... but somehow the Zune disappeared from "view" and the iPod took over center stage.

I work on a Macintosh (Apple) computer and I don't know if the software that operates the Zune will be compatible to my system. What is the best CD player or DAC that you think brings CD's into the same penetrating warmth as the best analogue sound... or does that not exist being a very different technology?

Thanks again, Steven... you are a great guy and so extraordinarily helpful to us music lovers that go into "hi-fi" just because we are really in love with music... not merely for the love of components... although it is fun to "collect" things that are well designed and well intentioned musically speaking.

I hope your day unfolds beautifully, Steven. With Warmest Regards

Richard Waxberg

 

Richard,

'The Best' is elusive, as technology always marches forward and eventually goes from $$$$ to $$ like computers because, other than the analog circuitry it IS a computer! The newest generation of computer sound cards are very impressive compared to those offered just 4 years ago. New DAC chipsets, better CODECS... As for vintage gear, if we can call a mere 20 year old portable CD player vintage, is truly remarkable how these old units truly hold their own compared to 'modern technology.' So we have a Ying and a Yang as it were, newer IS, but then again might NOT be better. Call it a paradox!

As for the Zune, it truly is better than the old and new iPods, as I have tried them. Just felt there was another option you might consider and used Zune 30 are about $100.

Lastly, a most humble thanks for your compliment. Yes it is Saturday night and here I am very glad to be of service. Enjoy a wonderful weekend and now it is time my wife and I enjoy a movie in our new home cinema room (with 9ft diag screen :) ).

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin

July 2008

Hello Mr. Nagle,

I am writing to you in response to a June 2006 article you wrote for Enjoy The Music.com in which you mentioned Eva Cassidy. I am the chief moderator of the Eva Cassidy Discussion Group (members 1100+) on Yahoo Groups. For years I have been writing about Eva and her music. Currently I am working on an essay regarding the "audiophile qualities" of Eva's work.

I am intrigued that you wrote of having heard the SONGBIRD recording half a dozen times at audiophile gatherings. I would like to be able to explain to my discussion group why Eva's recordings in particular have become a gold standard in the audiophile world and would enjoy any further explanation you can provide. Along with a budget upgrade to my own home system needed to appreciate this subject, I am in the process of acquiring all of the audiophile recordings released for Eva. As you may know, that list is quite varied. I would be most appreciative of any comments you can offer on the real life benefits of these recordings:

XRCD from Premium Records (Best Audiophile Voices)
SACD (Super Audio CD)
Hq 180 Vinyl LP (from Steve Hoffman's company)
CD Master (from the Hong Kong based ABC Records) 

As you may surmise the activities I undertake for the discussion group are simply as a fan of Eva's music, with no desire or intention to receive any financial benefit. For your information I have enclosed some links to websites and articles I have written about Eva.
Thanks very much for your time,

Scott Peterkin

 

Dear Scott,

Things move fast in the world of high-end audio. In the past it was a recording of Jennifer Warrens singing songs from the album titled Famous Blue Raincoat. And each year at an Audiophile show there would be yet another demo disc highlighted and released that same year. I believe your question is what or why was Eva Cassidy so popular that year. Speaking for myself I was touched by the loss of such a talented performer. The story came back to me from the audiophiles who carried her recording in their pockets and asked for it to be played on the systems the in each and every room they visited. Some reference recordings are chosen because of their large scale big production dynamic impact. An example would be Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd. But in Eva's case it is rare that a relatively simple accompaniment like her rendition of Fields of Gold carries such impact on an audience. It is an almost indefinable quality of human warmth and emotion that she conveys in her voice that has such a haunting effect on our memories and it lingers long after the music ends....

Ron Nagle

July 2008

Hi Steven,

Concerning the quantity of award Enjoy the Music.com gives out each year, very few, IMHO. Sure, when something really pushes the Art & Science of Sound Reproduction forward then give it a special award (like a Nobel prize). But otherwise these things just seem like rather pretentious "best buy" lists .. you know the sort of thing e.g. which loudspeaker under USD 2000 got this years (Insert Name Of Magazine) top award?

Call this Brand X so the next question is "how to I Google or eBay" for the cheapest one?

Surely this is not what it is about?

People should go and listen -- not read lists. And how are those lists made up? Usually of favorable reviews by a small number of reviewers (as few as one?). It is said (by me, if no one else) that a good reviewer is a reviewer with whose opinions I agree ;>)

So what worth is it to me to read a review by a reviewer with whose opinions I'm unfamiliar and whose opinions I haven't correlated with my own? Sum up: awards are generally pretentious, of little significance and based on a précis of the original review(s).

I don't need shopping lists.

Cordially,

Paul Rutherford

 

Paul,

Well said! Seems we think alike my friend. Before the whole single-ended tube thing was a gleam in the major magazine's eyes I went full out and it was great. Back then the mainstream sheeple thought I was crazy… until they came to my home to hear the system! Ah yes, as the Queensrÿche lyrics say, "Think for yourself and feel the walls become sand beneath your feet."

As always, in the end what really matters is that you…

Enjoy the Music (see lyrics to the song at the bottom of my article),

Steven R. Rochlin

 

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