Enjoy the Music.com

Letters To Us


November 2005

Dear Colin,

I am writing from Malaysia. My current system is Unison Research Simply 4, Sonus Faber Signum with my old Harman / Kardon 7500 CD players which sits in my 14' x 11' x 9' room. Given the room size, I have nothing much to complaint. However, I need to give up my music room soon. My system will be sitting in the living room where size is 35' x 18' x 20'. Yes, the ceiling is 20' high, tilting from highest point of 28' to 20'. I can tell by now my system will be completely lost, like a fishing boat in Pacific Ocean. I read your review for the ACI titan last week that excites me. I am interested to know will getting this beast help? or should I look for a floorstander? Please suggest, thanks a million.





Sounds like a great listening room. Once the loudspeakers are away from the close reflections of the smaller room, I think they will sound better. Depending on your music/movie choices and loudness preferences though, they may not fill the space as much as you would like. Although the Sonus Faber Signum bookshelf loud speaker claims a respectable bottom of 40Hz, it is also rated at a typical audiophile inefficiency of 86dB/W/m. This means that even in its 24-watt pentode operation, your integrated stereo tube stereo amplifier may not have the oomph to make an emotional impact at loud volumes in the large room. A powerful sub, like the ACI Titan, with steep crossovers, integrates easily with full-range loudspeakers; if what you seek is for a flat frequency response (usually for music). It will certainly add some oomph to the bottom.

Playing with various stereo set-ups and music in your new location will identify audible areas for improvement. After that, I would invest in a cheap SPL meter and a Test CD, to nail done exactly what bumps and dips in the frequency response need EQ and acoustic treatment. Thank you for writing. Let us know how it goes.

Yours in Listening,

Colin Flood


November 2005

Hello Mr. Gaw,

i just read your web page about the audio cables and found it very interesting. I have some questions for you.

1. However you mention that one should use the finest/slimmest/highest 
AWG silver cables out there. How about 41 awg?

2. Is there a point where the wire isn't thick enough to carry the 
electron load between amp and speaker?

3. Is this silver foil that is used/mentioned in the cable 
cookbook only available from this Germany contact? Haven't been able to find anything else like it anywhere.

Wondering what your thoughts are,




Thank you for your interest. In answer to your questions:

1. There are two limiting factors for the wire size. First is the tensile strength. Once the wire gets to a certain thinness, it becomes very easily broken. Beyond a certain point, even its own mass would break it. Second is the resistance (impedance) and capacitance of the wire. As it becomes thinner, it would also have to become wider to have the same impedance, thus producing foil from round wire, but that would affect its capacitance. One could of course use multiple runs of the 41 gauge wire ala Litz, but that brings on its own problems.

2. Again, this would be based on the impedance of the wire, which would be the deciding factor.

3. Alan Wright. of Vacuum State Electronics has had his silver foil especially made for audio applications to what he considers to be the optimal thickness width and purity for various audio applications. If one wishes to experiment, one can obtain high purity silver bezel from any large supplier of jewelry, but that made in the USA is much thicker than Alan's. One could obtain a jeweler's press for making the bezel or any silver wire into foil. This could also be done with 24 K gold wire, which can be compressed to micrometer thicknesses, but I have not experimented with this. This is an open field for experimentation and I would welcome and publish any replies to me on this subject.

Bill Gaw


November 2005

Good afternoon Mr. Jeff Rabin,

I have just read your review of the AN kit1, very enjoyable with good critic of the unit. A few years back a colleague of yours Thorsten Loesch reviewed a other unit that I am considering The DIY Hi-fi Supply "Billie" 300B by Thorsten Loesch. Can you give me your opinion between the two units? I cannot find anyone who could compare them and I really do not know what to purchase. I intend to feed the signal to AN speaker Kit 03. I currently do not have a pre-amp, I intend to have a TT Thorenz MK II with SME arm and a CD player as input devices. Am on a limited budget and have no real experience with DIY.I would really appreciate your any advice.

Thanking you in advance,

Alain Pascal Routhier


Dear Alain,

People have told me time and time again that the synergy to be had with Audio Note amplification and Audio Note speakers is well nigh magical. So if you already have the Audio Note speakers or intend to build them and want a DIY 300B amp to go along with them, the answer would I think be Audio Note. That said, Mr. Loesch knows quite a bit about valve based Hi Fi and if Mr. Loesch liked the Billie, it must be very good indeed. Alas, Thorsten lives in England and I live in Canada and I have not had the pleasure of hearing Thorstenís Billie. One difference between myself and Mr. Loesch that might bear importance is that while Mr. Loesch has a great deal of technical skill and knowledge, I donít, and yet I was able to build the Kit with hardly a misstep. Thorsten could probably put together a Kit 1 without consulting the manual.

What I can do is recommend the Audio Note Kit 1 to anyone who has compatible speakers and a wish to try their hand at DIY and Single Ended amplification as you seem to want to do. Truly, I think, you probably couldnít go wrong with either amp, but I can only speak of the Audio Note.

All the best,

Jeff Rabin

PS: You should probably write Thorsten. I wouldnít be surprised if he hasnít heard and used the Audio Note at length.


November 2005

Hi Steven,

I read and reread your review of the Hyperion 938. You also have bestowed it with the Decade Award. I wonder if you have heard the equally regarded Von Schweikert VR 4 Jr. which is in the same price range category. I am upgrading and I have these two speakers in the top of my list. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.


Nelson Borje



Thanks for your e-mail and have only heard the Von Schweikert VR 4 jr. at shows. Must admit the VS have impressed me at shows so it would almost be more a choice of personalities as both seem very impressive. I would GUESS, as I have reviewed the Hyperions but only heard the VRs at shows, that the Hyperion is a touch smoother in the highs and MIGHT (note italics) have slightly deeper bass. Without having both sets here it would really be impossible to say for sure which would win out, and we also have system synergy to consider. Your short list comprises two excellent loudspeakers. It is like choosing between a new Lamborghini or Ferrari. Both cars are indeed winners.

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin


November 2005


I have enjoyed reading your articles since I first stumbled across Enjoy The Music.comô about two years ago. I also frequent AVSforum and have read many of your posts. I would like to suggest that you conduct a review of the the new X-Fi Elite Pro soundcard by Creative Labs. Jim White just got one to replace his M-Audio FireWire 410 and he seems to really like it. This card seems like a great solution for an HTPC. Following are some items that I think would be helpful in a review:

* Can it be connected with RCA jacks or do you have to use 3.5
mini's to RCA?

* What features do you like about the drivers? How do the drivers
compare to the Delta 1010's?

* What are the feature/benefits of its bass management?

* How is the sound from the DAC's using analog outs? How does it
compare to the Delta 1010?

* What effect does Sample Rate Conversion have on the music?

* How does their CMSS 3D compare to Dolby Prologic II or DTS NEO:6 for 5.1 and 7.5 surround matrixing? Does it provide a proper soundstage and ambiance?

* How does CMSS 3D in 7.1 sound with Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS 5.1
encoded sources? Can one leave it in 7.1 mode and listen to all sources without having to make any changes?

* What digital effects does the X-Fi offer that you think are of

* Creative says that the "X-Fi 24-bit Crystalizer enhances MP3s & Movies to sound better than they do on their original CD or DVD." Does it really do that? :)

Enjoy the music,

Michael Boeker



Thank you for the kind comments. I sometimes wonder whether anybody gets anything of value from my scribblings. Unhappily, I became disenchanted with my HTPC a couple of months ago as there didn't seem to be any fix for the inability of most cards to play back DVD-A at full resolution, with the only card able to do this being of low quality. Thus its been removed from the media room. This card looks interesting, and if of super high quality, may finally fit the bill for high end audio-video applications. Its ability to do 24-bit/196kHz stereo decoding, ASIO playback and its various tools for A/D and D/A conversion seem impressive. Several things bother me though:

First it uses the 2 channel mini-phono jacks for 7.1 output, which have to degrade the sound compared to RCA's and not be able to accept any decent interconnects.

Second, it appears that the A/D and D/A chips are on the computer board where they are in the RFI environment. On the other hand this does allow for shorter digital connections compared to an external box for the conversions. Third, there is no mention as to whether it will decode 24-bit/96kHz DVD-Audio recordings at full resolution, instead of the downsampling that occurs with the majority of computer cards. As it is being produced by Creative, a company which certainly has not been up to high end standards in the past, I wonder if they've turned over a new leaf. But, I will certainly look into it. Thank you for the information.

Bill Gaw


November 2005


I have not contacted you in about a year and a half when I was considering getting a pair of Parasound JC-1 amps. At the time, I was by-amping with a pair of VTL 300 amps upgraded by VTL and a pair of VTL MB 250s on the top. I got the JC-1s as I told you and I am still enjoying them. Recently I added a Heron Audio VSTP-2 tube pre which sounds wonderful.

My question is this, I would like to maybe upgrade my cartridge and since I do not listen to vinyl much now, I want to start back since I have about 1800 classical records. I currently have a Koetsu Rosewood Signature vintage 1985 that I have played a lot. It is a little warm for my taste. Also I have a Van den Hul MC10 ,also 1987vintage with about 200 hours on it. I have a Joule Electra phono stage that I keep updated since Jud Barber and I started Joule in the early 90s.I am considering going to a Sumiko Blackbird or a Shelter 501 Mk2. Would I gain anything with either one over the Van den Hul MC10 since it has so few hours on it. My turntable is a VPI Scout. I enjoy your reviews in Enjoy the Music.comô very much.

Thank you for your response.

Carter Asbill


Hello Carter,

Nice to hear from you again. Of the two new cartridges you mention, I have heard and very much enjoyed the Shelter. I have not personally auditioned the Sumiko, but have heard good things about it. I am quite familiar with both of your older cartridges. Obviously I have not done any comparisons between the older and newer options, but I am fairly confident that the new ones will represent a clear improvement over the MC-10, which when I owned one briefly about 20 years ago seemed to me a good but not great cartridge. Whatever you wind up with, congratulations on your reawakened interest in vinyl!

Best wishes,

Wayne Donnelly


November 2005

Dear Dr. Gaw,

I'm in the market for a power conditioner and I've read all your reviews of the Sound Applications products. The power in my area is terrible (like yours) but I have not been able to find a solution that I can live with. I've tried many of the expensive transformer-based units, including the Isoclean system and the Equi-Tech. I've also tried one passive AC enhancer, the Harmonix Reimyo ASL-777.

There are three products that I am now considering: the Sound Application XE-12S; the Walker Velocitor S Plus; and the Audio Magic Eclipse II. I haven't heard any of them and I am not likely to hear any of them anytime soon since none of them are available here in Canada. I'm hesitant with the Walker because it uses Quantum technology like the Reimyo (which I couldn't live with). I have no hesitation with regard to the Sound Application products except for the fact that they are the priciest of the bunch. I still require a pair of interconnects and a great preamp to finish my system after I get my AC sorted out.

I have been offered a very good price on the Audio Magic Eclipse II which makes it, by far, the cheapest of the lot. I'm just wondering if you have heard any of the Audio Magic products and if you could tell me how they compare to the Sound Application line?

Thanks and best regards,

Dave Hagelaar



Sorry I didn't answer sooner. I have not heard the effects of the Audio Magix unit so I cannot comment on it. Which of the units you should use is very system and AC dependant. Unhappily, what works well for one system, may cause problems for another. Thus, experimentation is the only way of determining the optimal cure for your particular problem. Find a good dealer with several different units and ask to try them all. The best time to experiment is during the day or early evening when the electricity is the noisiest. Worst is the middle of the night.

Several of the industrial producers of these units have slowly learning about the home entertainment fields, such as APC, Tripp-Lite, and Environmental Potentials, all selling equipment much below the normal high end prices, and these may also be something you may wish to look at. I will be receiving a couple of these units for review in the near future. At present, I am using several of the Velocitors, which I have found to work exceptionally well in my system.

Bill Gaw


November 2005

Dear Dick,

I have read the review on the ES103 Super Tweeter made by Murata written by Dick Olsher (dated October 2004). Congratulations to that beautiful report! Did you ever try with bi-wiring or bi-amplifying? I have a Cyrus Pre Xvs preamplifier and four Cyrus Mono X amplifiers (average 150 W, peak 1500 W) at disposition. Would you recommend me to run each of the two ES103 by two connected Mono X (one Mono X for +, plus; one Mono X for -, minus) in bi-wiring or bi-amping mode? That means two interconnected Mono X amplifier for one ES103?

Thank you very much for your reply. Yours sincerely,

Maurice B. Grosjean


Dear Mr. Grosjean

Thank you for your kind feedback. Please note that the Murata ES103 super tweeter is intended to be used as an add-on device and incorporates the required high-pass filter. Therefore, bi-amping strikes me as an un-necessary complication and I would not recommend it. However, bi-wiring is possible and is a perfectly fine idea.

My best regards,

Dick Olsher


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