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Letters To Us


October 2005

Hi Steve,

How do we calculate wattage at different ohms for speaker selection. For example if a receiver is rated for 75 W at 8 ohms then what wattage speakers should I select in case they are 4 ohm speakers? Is there a frequency change as well. If the receiver is rated 8 ohms, 20Hz to 20 kHz, and I select speakers of 4 ohms then does the 20Hz  to 20kHz rating holds good?

Best Regards,

Nilesh Joshi



You ask a great questions. With a solid-state amplifier there are variables, while tube amplifiers usually have a 4 ohm 'tap' on the output transformer. I have a feeling you have a solid-state amplifier so...

Q. If a receiver is rated for 75 W at 8 ohms then what wattage speakers should I select in case they are 4 ohm speakers?

A. The 75 watt rating at 8 ohms probably means the solid-state amplifier outputs approximately 125 watts at 4 ohms. One could argue that better amplifiers provide twice the output at half the ohms (150 watt total), but in the real world a normal solid-state unit probably outputs 125 watts or so. So your answer is choosing a speaker that can handle 150 watts top be on the safe side but... That is maximum wattage if you turn the volume of the music all the way up. Odds are during normal listening with the average loudspeaker you will use only 50 watts or so. I could make it more complicated by discussing loudspeaker sensitivity, but am simply providing an average overview.


Q. Is there a frequency change as well. If the receiver is rated 8 ohms, 20Hz to 20 kHz, and I select speakers of 4 ohms then does the 20Hz to 20kHz rating holds good?

A. The frequency should be the same.

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin


October 2005


I have read your article about the F1 amp, please let me know if there are any small size non-DIY speaker in the market can match with the F1.

Best Regards,

Allan Lee


Hi Allan,

There are two keys to matching the First Watt F1 with a commercial loudspeaker. First, the speaker's impedance magnitude should be nearly flat with frequency. That will ensure that the F1 will not modify the inherent tonal balance of the speaker. Some planar speakers such as the Magneplanars certainly qualify on this score. Second, the speaker's sensitivity should be compatible with what is nominally a 10 wpc amplifier. Unfortunately, I don't know of any small commercial speakers that qualifies on this score. The ideal minimum sensitivity is about 96dB/W/m, while the average small speaker performs around 86dB/W/m.

Best regards,

Dick Olsher


October 2005


I would like to buy new speakers and am looking at B&W in wall 800, Meadowlark Nighthawks and Oskar Heil Kaitriana. Can you please give me your thoughts on these or is there something better? I can obtain the Nighthawks brand new for around $3250 and the Oskar Heilís for around $3000. I also have a old pair of Monitor Audio Ma 700. The receiver I am considering is a B&K 507 (New $ 2500.00)
I am looking at a Jolida CD player JD 100 and Jolida JD1000A, with a Music Hall MMF-9 turntable 9. Please give me your thoughts on the speakers that would best pair up with this system for natural sounding music. I also may use same speakers for Movie play back Ė surround sound.


William B. Airey



Wow, that is a lot of different equipment and, alas, I am not familiar with more of it. It all appears to be made by some impressive manufacturers so it seems you are doing well. We did review the Heil and they were well received. Music Hall makes a wonderful turntable and an alternative might be a used Linn LP12. That is about all I can think of at this time and if your local dealer is suggesting these then he surely knows what works best together. A system is just that and each part mates with another. Congratulations and as always...

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin


October 2005

Dear Steve,

I hope you can answer a question that I can't seem to get answered by Sony or anyone for that matter, seemingly this would be an easy question, however, it must not be. Hope you can have some input. Here is my question, I have wanted to put my entire "The Beatles" collection on a disc, either an MP3 encoded CD-R, which I don't think is very high fidelity. I remember reading that MP3 compression is really for the kids to copy CDs, it's not 16 bit reproduction, good for listening on the computer, or a car stereo, but absolutely NOT CD quality. I wish I could place these records on SACD, however, we know that won't happen. I fully realize I am limited by the source, however these are Mobile Sound Fidelity Original Master Recordings, so they are about as good as anything we have out in the market at this point in time, as Apple won't release their collection on SACD.

Now, here is the question, DVD-R and DVD+R, do these formats yield a better quality recording than the old CD-R discs everyone is used to?????? I have Sony's best DVD-R recorder, which will record music without a picture, I just wonder if it is a higher quality end result than the old CD-R? To tell you the truth, I'm not sure what type of system or compression is used with a DVD-R?

Which format will yield the best recording of these original master recordings of the Beatles??

Thanks for any input you are willing to offer!

Bob Hoshall

PS: Your site is wonderful!!



Thank you for the wonderful compliment on our website. We work quite hard, all of us, to provide the best resource on the Internet. As for your Beatles question, i like to keep things simple. Basically all a disc is a digital 1's and 0's. So there is NO difference between DVD-R, DVD+R, or CD-R. The only difference is that recordable DVD holds more data (approx 4.7GB) versus recordable CD (700MB). As for compression, you want to use a lossless versions, meaning there is no data lost. MP3 is generally considered a lossy scheme so data is lost and naturally so is sound quality. Microsoft Windows offers for free lossless scheme as does Apple with their iPod.

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin


October 2005


Thank you for your review of the Behringer DEQ2496. You are a brave (or reckless) audiophile to suggest that an equalizer (even a digital one) could actually make things better. I had been eyeing the DEQ2496 for some time (as well as an Alesis digital EQ) when I happened to be in a local Guitar Center to pick up a pair of headphones when I casually asked a salesman whether they carried it. Remarkably (I thought) they had a demo unit that was in like new condition and the salesman offered it at a good price and, so, I walked out of the store with my brand new (for me) digital equalizer.

I can say that the DEQ2496 is everything I expected it to be and then some (and I had high expectations). For one thing, I generally refuse to use the tone control circuitry in my stereo amplifier unless the recording is virtually unlistenable without it. Bass problems (too much or too little) I would resort to adjusting the controls on my subwoofer. With the DEQ2496 I can make the adjustments digitally and seamlessly before the signal ever reaches the amplifier and before any digital to analog conversion. The result is a remarkably clean and "true" sound. Add a touch of brightness here, a dab of low bass there. Trim the high treble and quiet the insufferable booming bass there. Since much of what I listen to are re-released remastered recordings from the 60s, 70s, 80's (and 90's), I am more often than not disappointed by the sound of the recordings in one way or another. When analog was king and vinyl was the medium of choice, there were (by today's standards) severe limitations for the audio engineers and producers to work with, especially in the range of the signal possible with a vinyl platter and a needle. If the volume went up, the bass had to come down (or vice versa).

Add to that the effect of voice-overs and over-dubs in the recording studio and the result could sound like mush. With the DEQ2496 I can overcome many of the problems from these recordings (really any pre-2000 recordings and the widespread adoption of all digital recording technologies). Favorite but totally lifeless (recent) digitally remastered recordings come alive, really alive!!! Late 90's recordings with muffled vocal tracks can be made to sound solid and clear and tinny, scratchy sounding recordings (also 90's) can be brought to heel. (I am not naming names.) Indeed, I have not come across a recording problem yet that I could not either "fix" or, at the very least, greatly improve. In the digital realm, if the "notes" are there, they can be brought to the fore or recessed below as need be. Because the DEQ2496 works directly on the digital signal, all of the murky, sullen, smearing and other negative effects of analog tone control circuitry are avoided entirely (at least to my ears with my setup).

So, for me it is not the room acoustics that are the big thing (excluding bass "modes, resonance, etc.), it is the recording itself. Of course, a perfect recording does not need any EQ. And there is the temptation to fiddle too much (something that I think will fade with time).

With the advent of computer-based DSPs, there is nothing unusual about digital EQ. However, with the Behringer, the processing is integrated readily into one's own stereo system. Count me brave or count me a fool, with the DEQ2496 I can say I am really Enjoying the Music.

Yours truly,

David Layland



I will return the compliment: you are a brave audiophile to dismiss such powerful and useful toys like digital equalizers so casually! Since I do not use the black 12-inch analogue discs anymore, I found your insightful comments very informative. Thank you for the detailed description. Would that I could, I would review each piece of equipment in much larger combinations of equipment. Fiddling with DEQ 2496ís bank of controls does diminish with time, but I donít think it ever goes away Ė actually, part of the joy of the unit. Tweaking it integrates into the enjoyment of the system and the source. I count you in good company.

Yours in Listening,



October 2005

Hi Jeff,

I was reading your mono rave the other day. I have lots of mono systems too, (notable a Qaud Esl with a 6V6 tube amp, also Goodmans axioms and Fostex/Tandy clones)I even use them for listening to stereo too. Why?

1. It seems to me that one rarely gets to listen to much in stereo. so that running two channels of an amp and two speakers is just a waste of time unless you are sitting in the middle of it all

2. With one speaker you just listen to the music, not the imaging.


Steve Roper

PS some mono fans: Vinnie columnist from late lamented sinlge-ended magazine out of Washington State (can't remember it's name- but you probably know it, it's the one that became the Joenet) Blackcat audio in great Britain


Hi Steve,

Couldnít agree moreÖ I really do think Van Gogh was on to something.


PS: Wouldnít be Vacuum Tube Valley would it? (Editors note: yup, it is VTV).


October 2005

Dear Mr. Donnelly,

I have the pleasure of owning a ModWright (MW to me for simplicity's sake) 9.0 SE and also had the pleasure of purchasing the preamp directly from Dan Wright himself. I loved the review, and could not agree more with the findings. I am writing to you in regards to one comment you made in the review.

You mentioned that this preamp does not lend itself to the nasty habit (my words) of tube rolling as the stock tubes sound fine. They do sound fine, but I'll pass this along to you. As you kept/bought the review piece, try to locate a pair of TungSol 5687 tubes, circa 1951. These tubes have flat plates similar in appearance to a 12AU7 tube, plus the getter is located on top but off to the side of the tube, and there should be some copper posts visible on top of the tube/plates. Though these tubes are slightly microphonic (Herbie's Halos help) I believe you would be surprised at the added level of performance you will get from the 9.0 with these tubes installed in place of the stock tubes.

If you already know this, then my apologies for taking up your time. If not, try to locate some and try them and see what you think. My thanks for a nice review of an excellent preamp, and also for your time.


Bob Johns


Hello Bob,

Thanks for writing, and for the tip on the Tung Sols. I didn't mean my comment on tube-rolling to be definitive; I just didn't want people to think they need to do it in order to get her excellent performance from the preamp. I do plan to try a few other tubes, and your recommendation is going on the list.

Best wishes,

Wayne Donnelly


October 2005


I enjoyed your review of the 'silver rock' transformer based potentiometer. The description of the sound was familiar to me, because I have been using a similar device, manufactured here in the United Kingdom, for the last two years. It is produced by a firm called ''Music First Audio'', essentially an offshute of Billington Transformers. The sound is wonderfully transparent, and dynamic, whether you chose the copper or silver wired versions...wiring supplied by Audionote. Where it differs from the 'silver rock' is in having a plus 6db switch fitted as standard, so you can have unity or 6db gain, in the same unit. Those extra 6db can be most useful with some phonostages ...It also offers four single ended inputs and balanced inputs and outputs; All in an elegant aluminum box. Prices in the Uk are about 2,800 dollars for the copper version, about 4,500 dollars for silver. Believe me, if you have a power amp with good sensitivity it comfortably takes on active units at four times the price. I know, I've heard it see off some of the most highly regarded linestages in the world. These transformer based units really are something special...as long as they use first class transformers, designed by real experts for the task in hand. Well worth hunting out....and by the way, the latest MFA units are specifically tailored to role off the ultra high frequency band...ideal for filtering the noise in SACD! 

NB: I have been reading up on the history of Los Alamos...sounds as if it might have been a lot more fun twenty years ago, when scientists ran the place

Peter Skinner


Hi Peter,

Greetings from New Mexico! Thank you for the kind feedback and the tip regarding the MFA products. It's not often that something truly innovative comes along; most audio products tend to recycle the same old tired circuitry under the guise of new marketing. In contrast, transformer potentiometers have expanded the sonic envelope. I have always been of the opinion that the sound of a moderately priced system, properly tuned for compatibility, can exceed the sonics of much more expensive systems assembled at random from published recommended components listings. Stereophile Magazine's Recommended Components comes to mind as a prime example. However, it sounds like you've discovered sonic heaven with the MFA at the head of the amplification chain.

Keep on enjoying the music...

Dick Olsher


October 2005


I just came across your 2003 review of the Sony D-25. Years ago, when the Sony D-25 came out, I bought a brand new Sony D-15 and packed it away and haven't used it in all those years. After your review I looked for it and found it! I have the BP-200 large battery under it, and will try to charge it and see if it still good. In any event, you mentioned that batteries were still available in 2003. Now it is 2005 and I wonder if they are still available in 2005. Would you please let me know where I should look for the BP-200. There is also a small area for some small batteries. I don't have a manual, but I assume that is for some small batteries. After your write up I will listen to the Sony D-25 again and see if this basic unit is still as good as you describe in your article.

Thanks for your support in this matter,

Peter Mueller



Thanks for your e-mail and the best resource to see if the battery is still available would be asking the great folks at www.head-fi.org . Always glad to help and as always...

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin


October 2005

Scott Rabin what happened? You used to be my boy. You know, we used to hang in the same hood. Now you went and spent 4 G's on a table. I guess hangin' with those big wallet boys done gone an' went to yo' head. Man an' I thought you wuz one of us. Who's gonna hang in my hood now? You was the last one. Well at least I get some comfort knowin' you're now your wifes new bitch. I hope she works you hard. Work his ass off honey. You go girl! If you ever want to condescend enough to visit the hood again I guess you will be welcome. At least it will be fun to see you walkin' around with a collar around your neck and your wife by your side with a whip. Give it to him honey.


Allen Robertson


The Hippity Hop Response (from a waay too white guy)

Sup G?

Ay yo trip on dis, just cuz I dropped lotsa jiggy on some bling, donít mean I left tha hood for tha 310. Yo, I thought about doin a 2-1-1 on da table, but 5-0 would get me so I had to 86 dat. No doubt NAT woulda dropped a dime on my ass. I figga the Jakes at 5-0 woulda had me in county blues, doin 3 to 5.

Bag up.

Peep dis homey, I been clockin tables for a while now. This one here's on tha up dog, tha LP5 is P-H-A-T. I ainít gunna OJ nobody bout dis thang so you know Iím straight trippiní and dats tha point blank G. Boo-Yaa Beyotch!!!

Heres the Cronkite on tha cave biatch. I tried to score tha 1200 on tha down low but tha bizzo bagged me up. Tha bizzo wanted to Rodney King me but bust this, I started cipherin on her ass and scored her some dunky and got her drinkin crissy and she ainít gaffled me since. I canít scrap a lick til I see the free world but Iím still a player. No worries G, Iím gamin on da beyotch.

Like I sez cuz, ainít no flamboasting goin on here G. Iím still a homey. Thatís fo shizzle, gizzle. Iím Casper, 




October 2005

Hello Steve,

I thought I might send you an email in regards to your excellent Max Rochlin's Memorial digital & video cable. First I would like to thank you for the recipe as I think it is an excellent cable, I use on my current system, which brings me to my next question. I am also using it as an analogue cable to connect my CD to my receiver/amp and I seem to get a very good sound, according to my equipment and ears anyway. However I was convinced it was not the correct cable for the job so off I went to my local dealer to ask if I could improve the sound of my equipment should I buy the correct cable.

I consider my dealer to be an honest sort and I have bough many items off him, he always lets me take the equipment home to trail before I buy. He has given me two cables he says will blow the digital cable away and I should not use the digital cable for an analogue connection. He has given me a Kimber PBJ cable to try and a DIY made cable that he makes himself from local quality materials (Bullet Plugs and Amber studio Cable) not sure if you have heard of them, they are made in here in Australia.

Anyway I have tested these cables for hours and to be honest I canít tell much difference at all, well maybe a slight difference in the definition of instruments with the Kimber cable, but not $200 worth of difference. Could this be true or am going deaf, could your cable be as good as some of the cables in this price range for an analogue connection too? Any help or advice would be a big help for me.

Just for the record I donít have the best equipment in the world as this is a new hobby and I have started at the shallow end of the market. I have an NAD T753 Receiver/AMP, NAD C542 CD player, NAD T533 DVD Player, a pair of Monitor Audio B4 front speakers and a pair of Monitor Audio B1 rears. In addition to this I have an Amber Sub too. I do realize this is not the top shelf stuff but it cost me nearly $6000AU which is a far as my budget stretches at this stage.

Thanks for you time and hope you reply,

Michael Smedley



Thanks for your e-mail and glad you enjoy the Max Rochlin Memorial Cable. Quite a few people such as yourself have found it to make a great analog cable as well! Kimber and other DIY cables can be very good, though cables can be system/equipment dependant and, of course, personal preference. By the way, you can use the Bullet Plugs on the Max Rochlin Memorial Cable if you wish. Your system is better than probably 98% of those around the world and $6,000 AU is quite a lot of money. If you find the Max Rochlin Memorial Cable to your liking over other cables that is fine. One day you may change equipment and try other cables and find they are better suited to your system. Of course in the end what really matters is that you...

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin


October 2005

Hi, Colin,

Thanks for your thoughts on my problem with the Meadowlark Swift loudspeakers from last month. Since I dunno if any of these amplifiers under consideration put out more power at 4 Ohms (at least they don't publish this information), I wonder what you think of the differences between KT88 amplifiers and EL34-based units. There is a 50 Watt KT88 Antique Audio model (it weighs 50 lbs) which is available at a higher price (may be outta my range), and it also affords 28 Watts in triode form.

Should I save my pennies for this model, do you reckon? The trouble is, you haven't reviewed this item, nor has anyone else, I fear, even though it's been available for some time now. But generally speaking, what do you think of the KT88-EL34 differences?--aside from sheer power, that is. I will greatly appreciate any advice you might offer.


JJ Gregory



Tens of thousands of Dynaco tube amplifiers sold in the seventies and still circulating today, making the classic EL34 tube the very definition of ďthe tube sound.Ē Indeed, it has few shortcomings and even modest amplifier designs do quite well with it. In truth, I have never seriously auditioned, in my own home, with my own equipment, for EnjoyTheMusic.com, any KT88 amplifiers back-to-back with other tube amplifiers. I do know that KT88s do have a reputation for delicacy and detail, but they may not be what you are seeking with your Maggies.

Yours in Listening,



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