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Letters To Us


October 2006

Hi there Phil,

You people seem to have a high level of knowledge in the Pro-Ject department. I'm looking for a decent replacement tonearm for my PJ 2.9. What would you recommend me and even more, witch webshops to purchase one ?

Many thanks and best regards!

Jos Freson


Hi Jos,

The Pro-Ject tone arms that can be used on this turntable are the Pro-Ject 9 (this is the tone arm that is originally installed on it from the factory), the Pro-Ject 9c (the same tone arm with carbon-fibre armtube) and the new Pro-Ject 9cc (see RPM 9.1 turntable : carbon-fibre armtube with integrated carbon-fibre headshell). More information on these tone arms is available on the Pro-Ject website at Project Audio.

I don't know where you live, but if you are in the US you should contact Sumiko in Berkeley, CA for further follow-up and dealer addresses. If you are in Canada there are no authorized online dealers (webshops) for Pro-Ject. The products are available only through authorized storefront dealers. You should contact the Canadian distributor at essentialaudio@sympatico.ca for dealer details.

My experience with the carbon fibre tonearms from Pro-Ject has been very good, and they represent excellent value for money. Outside the Pro-Ject family, you should take a look at the Rega RB 300 or RB 700. There are many others but the Rega's are hard to beat in their price range. There are several webshops who will be happy to help you, such as NeedleDoctor.com or www.Music Direct.

Enjoy The Music,



October 2006

Hi Steven,

I enjoyed your report from the Milan Top A/V show. I was particularly amused by the piece on the large Chario speaker. According to them "live music can reach upwards of 140dB". Assuming that the speaker is on the higher side of sensitivity for a direct radiator, say 90dB, then all it takes to achieve this peak sound level is an amp of around 130kW per channel. We've all got one of those I know ( my one is tube - boy does it warm the apartment)!

As SPLs of 140dB are also well into the noise weapon category this must then explain the high death rates at live music concerts.


Pete Rogers



Thanks and fully agree with you. This is precisely why i felt the need to report on their literature. At 140dB for any sustained time a human would probably suffer permanent hearing loss! Not to worry as i am sure this type of manufacturer hyperbole will continue until the end of time. Heck, you should see some of the staggering claims in press releases! Thanks goodness for editorial filtering.

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin


October 2006

Dear Mr. Gold,

I truly enjoyed reading your review of the Cary Concept Series CAI 1 integrated amplifier and the CDP 1 Upsampling CD player. However, I do not recall reading anything about "burn-in" time for either unit. I understand that Cary says that the integrated amplifier requires 100 hours of burn-in time and that is equally the case for the CD player.

I would appreciate it if you could let me know if all of your auditioning of these two units took place within that 100 hours burn- in period, and how much occurred after the burn-in period. I thank you in advance for your response.

Yours sincerely,

Joel Green


Hi Joel,

I'm so glad you enjoyed the review. I never listen seriously to any component before at least 200 hours of burn in. So the answer is that all the listening was well past the 100 hour point.

Enjoy the Music,



October 2006

Hey Wayne,

Just read your review of the Jolida / JD100A. Very nice essay; and you've done well to connect with those of use who are not into "gear" but, rather, are into music. That is to say, my component purchases, rare they are, are a function of what my ears tell me -- not what some analytical testing deposits on a spec sheet.

I just had my dad's Scott 340(A) refurbished...and, yes, I do think the sonic world, on the whole, was better off in the straight-ahead, uncluttered days of 1950s glorious mono.

Best regards,

James Oterreau


Hello James,

Thanks for taking the time to write. I always enjoy hearing from mavericks who resist the idea of upgrading stereos as almost an end in itself. I wish you continued enjoyment of your vintage equipment and all the glorious music it brings you.

Best wishes,



October 2006

Good Afternoon,

I came across your e-zine a few months ago and greatly enjoy reading articles from real people with real financial resources that are just simply trying to fond the most accurate sounding equipment they can. I have been looking at Granite Audio equipment after hearing it at a friend’s home but have had no luck coming across reviews. Have you all considered a review of one of their amps? What would it take to make that happen?

Thanks for the good reading.

Mike Spruill



Thanks for your e-mail and they do seem to make very impressive gear. Alas, not all manufacturers desire reviews or have the means to 'fee up' a unit for 3 months for such things. Add to that we never guarantee a good review, so they send in a product and take their chances (as it should be). Feel free to e-mail than and suggest to them we should review their gear. We generally prefer manufacturers contacting us, though must admit we get a staggering amount of inquiries from manufacturers as it is to review gear. Wish we had time to review every product available by all manufacturers, but of course this is an impossibility :(

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin


October 2006

Hi Dick,

I'm interested in buying an excellent DAC and I'm wondering if you have compared the Altmann attraction DAC to the Mdht DACs that Scott Faller reviewed? If you have, which one do you prefer? Do you still think the Altmann DAC is one of the best you've heard?


Jerry Tureck


Hi Jerry,

Out of curiosity I purchased an Mhdt Dialogue II DAC just to see what it was all about. While it's pleasant sounding (I.e., no digital brightness), it is also a low-resolution device and should not be seen in the same room with the Altmann Attraction DAC.  For the record, the Altmann DAC still the best I've heard to date.

Enjoy the Music,

Dick Olsher


October 2006

Dear Mr. Gaw,

I read with interest your recent review of the APC S15. I have been looking for a power conditioner for the last year. I tried the APS unit but thought it was a bit too pricey and I frankly didn't hear a significant improvement. I was considering a lower priced Chang Lightspeed in conjunction with a Richard Grey S600. I already own the S600.

I've asked the local APC dealer for a loaner S15, but all he can manage is a S10. This would likely mean my power amp would not go through the conditioner; however all the other components would. I would have the S10 for less than a week. So I would not have time to break it in. Is the APC's improvement immediately noticeable? If not I might be wasting the dealers time (and my time). Your review gave the impression, that the improvement in sound quality is obvious.

Any further information, assurance/warnings would be greatly appreciated.


Barry Rubin



Whether the unit will work for you will depend on the problems your electricity is giving you. All of the electrical tweaks are very system and AC dependant. What works on my system may do nothing for yours or actually make things worse. For instance, the Richard Gray equipment did little for my system.

The only difference between the S-15 and S-10 is its continuous wattage rating. The S-10's is about 650 and the s-15's is 900. On the other hand, it will allow short term increases to double that. The units need very little break in to show how they will affect your system, but will improve on their effect with time. I'm surprised you find the units to be expensive. I've seen the S-15 advertised for less than $1000, significantly cheaper than the units you mention.

You may want to try their H-15 units as they are significantly less expensive at $600 list, and work almost as well, being different only in their ability to hold voltage and amperage, and allowing you to run on batteries for short periods of time.



October 2006


I read your article with considerable interest...The "high-end" isn't dead; it's moved to eBay (and occasionally Audiogon)... Now, many of your writers would not consider eBay items Hi-end, but I spent 20 years with Quad,Accuphase, Linn, LUX tubes, etc. and all I wound up with was constant tweaking, always looking for something "better", and considerable expense...

My entire system is now 80s to mid 90s Japanese and current Chinese, primarily purchased thru eBay... Two exceptions: Chinese speakers locally and a CD player Audiogon... And I have lot's of company...This equipment is doing a booming business; even old turntables are selling briskly...

The problem with Hi-end is not lack of interest, it's lack of affordable pricing...Even the so called budget brands are too expensive...On eBay we're talking a few hundred dollars per item at most, rarely more than two hundred, and often less than a hundred if you know what to look for and are patient...

My conclusion: Yes, high-end is dying at current prices...There are very few individuals who have the resources and INTEREST to buy Hi-end audio equipment...Home Theater is another story...The same people that buy Mercedes, Lexus and BMW are buying very expensive HT equipment...Definitely a status symbol...


Jason Frick



Thanks for your e-mail and agree in many ways with your conclusion, and also in some ways have a differing opinion. The pre-owned market is indeed at out fingertips via various Internet resources. There is a great many excellent products available in the used marketplace for only a few hundred dollars. Concerning new products at value for the dollar with impressive performance yet still under $1,000, we have NAD, Rotel, Creek and the like plus quite a few relative newcomers from Asia. These are interesting times and while some do indeed buy 'status symbol' audio at the over $10,000 level, they do help to finance the research and development that can trickle down to more vale-priced products in the future. These are indeed interesting times on many levels of the spectrum.

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin


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