Enjoy the Music.com

Letters To Us

 

December 2005

Steven,

I’ve been reading Enjoy the Music.com® on-line for about three years, ever since I jumped on the hi-fi bandwagon and purchased what I’ll describe as my first quality stereo rig. Needless to say, it’s been through a few changes in that time and may continue to evolve, although my better-half has warned of unspecified consequences if any changes occur in the near term (yikes!). I always look forward to enjoying another issue of Enjoy the Music.com®.

Keep up the good work!

Max Hollins

 

December 2005

Aloha from Hawaii Scott,

While reading your glowing review of the Oddysey Audio Epiphony speakers, something seemed strange. You state in this review "The Epiphony's have the vocals and instruments placed about a foot above the speakers. The ambience extended a solid five feet above the speakers." Being a musician and recording engineer, I find this statement interesting. For example, I know that microphones cannot hear or record "height". A microphone condenses three dimensions into one: distance. So, it puzzles me how this speaker can reproduce images 5' above the speaker when no microphone can record that image 5' above the speakers. I believe what you were hearing were crossover induced phase irregularities. I also find it interesting your claim of this speaker being "coherent" while using a non coherent crossover. This speaker uses a 4th order to the tweeter and a second order to the woofer. The slope of the 4th order filter would induce 360 degree's of phase shift, or one full cycle between the woofer and tweeter meaning while the two drivers may start together, they don't stop at the same time, but one full cycle apart. A simple sine wave test would prove this, providing you could see the beginning and end of the input and output from both drivers. Merely sloping the front baffle does not make a time coherent design in itself. I'm sure a step response test would reveal that this speaker is far from coherent. Did you happen to perform one? I would love to see that data on this speaker. Not trying to upset you, just don't understand some of your comments on this speaker system.

Have a nice day,

Dale Boylen

 

Hiya,

Over the years, I've listened to a slew of speakers. Each project the sonic soundstage differently. Some have a tight narrow focus, centered directly between the speakers, some have a huge expansive sound that extends beyond the outer edges of the speaker. And yes, speakers do project height. I've found that those with that sharp narrow focus also don't have much height to the image. In turn, the Epiphony's projected height as I described. The height concept may be a bit difficult for you to grasp if you've not rolled (literally) dozens of speakers in and out of your system. After a while, you pick up on these sonic signatures. Screwy sounding concept? Yep. Does it exist? Absolutely. If in doubt, ask any other reviewer that has done back to back to back to back comparisons of speakers and he'll verify what I'm talking about.

When it comes to coherency, I'm not sure what to tell you. I fully understand the 4th to 2nd order issue you bring up but until you physically hear the speaker and then directly compare it to the models that I did, you'll never know exactly what I'm talking about. Was what I heard some sort of phase issue? Maybe, maybe not. I can't say for sure because I didn't measure the speakers. I just like the way they sound. 

I usually ignore what people say doesn't work or may be bad and I let my ears decide what sounds good or bad. I guess that's why I enjoy single ended triodes and single drivers so much. Give me high, even order distortion in copious amounts, crossoverless speakers and the sound of a good vinyl rig and I'm one happy camper.

In the end, don't let your brain get in the way of your ears. Listen first. If you don't like the way something sounds then try to figure out what about that product design doesn't set well with you. That way you can narrow down the endless choices we have in audio and you'll hopefully find a piece of gear that will make you happy for a long, long time.

I know I didn't answer a single one of your questions but I don't hold much faith in measurements when it comes to audio. I trust my ears.

Enjoy!

Scott Faller

 

December 2005

Hi Collin,

I just read your review of the Titan subwoofer and agree that it is very beautiful. I'd like to know if you have any listening experience with the Outlaw LFM-1 subwoofer. I can order a pair for $999 over the internet and a couple of reviews rate them very highly. I think I can get a more even sound with two subwoofers and would like to go this route. I am interested in your comments and thank you for your time.

John Gage

 

John,

Known for the value of their receivers, Internet equipment provider Outlaw certainly seems on track to continue their reputation with their subwoofers. Designed by Dr. Poh Ser Hsu, also renowned for the value and performance of his own subwoofers, the Outlaw sub seems like a good value for a modest priced sub. I think the higher priced ACI Titan is notch above. Harmon Kardon’s white papers prove that dual subwoofers can be more balanced, compared to a single one. This concept however, applies “where there is not a single listening location, but rather a listening area.”

Yours in Listening,

Colin Flood

 

December 2005

Steven,

I have read quite a number of reviews from your intelligent and seemingly well-informed reviewers... Keep your reviews honest and well-informed and your success is assured... this is a very interesting hobby...  and perhaps your reviews will help to grow it among the folks who are interested but perhaps a bit uncomfortable walking into a snooty audio shop with their airs and often bullying attitudes.

Warm Regards,

Richard Waxberg

 

Richard,

Thanks for the comments, we do indeed work very hard to insure correct and thorough appraisals of equipment and music. And yes, we hope to help grow this hobby by informing others about the joys of music :)

You have successfully been added to the Enjoy the Music.com Mailing List. As an active member of our Mailing List you will receive special information twice a month via e-mail and are entered into all our Mailing List contests. Welcome aboard and as always, what really matters to us is that you...

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin

 

December 2005

Steven,

Welcome to Jules Coleman! His reviewing was some of the freshest and most cogent at "The Other Publication"! Enjoy the Music.com® is fortunate to have him aboard.

Best Regards,

Grant Johnson

 

Grant,

Many thanks and we are very glad to have him aboard!

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin

 

December 2005

Hi Dick,

I'm hoping you can offer some insight and/or advice based on your October 2002 review of the Manley Shrimp, which I've recently added to my audio menagerie, with excellent results. Your review played a role in my decision, and my experience with the amp confirms that your observations were right on target. As EveAnna says, the Shrimp is "sooooo much better" than an entry-level product; she could have added a few more o's without exaggerating.

My query concerns volume level. To quote from your review: "You might also wonder why with so many triodes on hand, the voltage gain is only a factor of about four (11.8dB). Let me first state categorically that I consider a voltage gain of about four to five to be ideal for a line pre-amplifier. Many line stages out there offer a factor of 10 or more in gain, making it difficult to advance the volume control beyond 9:00 O'clock." ...Any guidance you can offer on this subject would be much appreciated.

With thanks,

Phil Koslow

 

Hi Phil,

Rest assured that it's not the Manley Shrimp's fault. It seems that a 2V output level has become the industry standard for CD players. And since some amplifiers feature an input sensitivity of 1V or less for full output, you can see that significant attenuation is required to obtain a reasonable volume level at the listening seat. I have run into a similar scenario with several CD players and DACs. I don't think that there is anything wrong in setting the volume control at 8:00 or 9:00 O'clock. Actually, because the preamplifier's input impedance is dependent on the volume control setting, being higher at low settings, the sound may actually be better down there.

So my advice is not to worry and Enjoy the Music...

Best regards,

Dick Olsher

 

December 2005

Love your site!

Lawrence Samoyloff

 

December 2005

Colin,

Just read your review on the Behringer Ultracurve 2496. I have a pair of Magnepan 1.6s I use in a home theater room (12x15) really too small, but made possible by the equalizer built into my Yamaha receiver. You are the only audiophile that I have seen that uses an equalizer.

Richard Behling

 

Richard,

The effect that the typical size home listening room has on the ideally flat frequency response of movie and music reproduction systems is enormous. It creates nodes and nulls that overwhelm even the best efforts of wonderful loudspeakers and amplifiers.

Yet, once a snobbish audiophile has researched and decided to invest their hard-earned dollars in the next best thing to improve their system, they defend that decision with all of the vigor of the Minutemen at Lexington. It is far too easy to apply too much compensation to wobbly frequency response with inexpensive and in-exact mechanical graphic equalizers. Given the quality and the disastrous affect, it is little wonder that superstition about older EQ pervades audiophile clubs. That attitude is about to change.

As more uneducated tin ears walk into their local audio store and blindly pick–up modest receivers with auto-EQ built-in (which surprisingly enough, do a pretty good job of smoothing out the bumps, if not the valleys, of frequency response), tweaking audiophiles will come to appreciate the discoveries of the masses and follow with their own, more powerful and effective versions. The Behringer DEQ2496 is just such an item. Far too difficult to master for the mere masses, it is nonetheless an excellent value for tweaking audiophiles brave enough to consider an alternative approach.

Yours in Listening,

Colin Flood

 

 

December 2005

Hey Steven,

What do you think of Zingali loudspeakers from Italy? These are horn loaded speakers. Also what do you think of Bang & Olufsen Beolab 5 speakers?

Thanks,

Kenneth McFadden

 

Kenneth,

Both speakers are interesting, though my choice after reviewing would be the Duevel Bella Luna or larger unit from the same company. They use true audiophile-grade parts and drivers throughout. My review suns it up nicely as can be seen at this link. This way you have horn-type loading and full 360 degree dispersion with high sensitivity and an easy load for your amplifier to drive.

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin

 

December 2005

Hi Todd,

I enjoyed your review of the Carissa. After hearing it at this year's show, I picked up a Carissa Signature with the KR Audio 845s. So far, I'm loving it. With the Signature version, I must confess that I don't notice any bass or treble lifts (but I use a REL sub 'n Sonus Faber sats crossed over very low, so that might explain it). One thing you didn't mention in your review was whether you experimented with different power cords and interconnects, and what your preference (if any) ended up being in this regard. If you did find some that made a material difference and sounded best, could you tell me which ones they were?

Also, I would be very interested in your impression of the Carissa into your Merlins. Sorry to bug you.

Craig McDougall

 

Hi Craig,

Thanks very much for the comments, I appreciate it. I'm glad you landed on the Carissa, I would have liked to try the Signature version with the KRs, perhaps in a follow up sometime I will. My overall impressions of the Carissa was formed while listening through the Merlins as they are my long-term reference. The combo was as close to perfect as I've heard in my room - great detail, resolution and dynamics with expressive harmonics and a real live feel. I think your setup (REL and Sonus Faber) would likewise be a killer combo. As for cabling, Shunyata and Acoustic Zen were the power cords I kept returning to over the course of the review and Cardas Neutral Reference were the ICs I found most often in the system with the Carissa. Hope this helps and thanks for writing.

Peace,

Todd Warnke

 

December 2005

Todd,

Nice review of the Art Audio Carissa. You really hit it for me when you talk about the emotional side of the music experience rather than just the technical. In your system description you mention the Merlin VSM's, but you don't specifically refer to them during the review. I'm wondering if you found the VSM's and Carissa to be a synergistic match? My listening room is fairly small (14 x 16) and I listen to mostly small/acoustic music (folk, chamber, etc). Do you think the Carissa would be a good match for my VSM's?

Thank you,

Steve Lefley

 

Hi Steve,

First, thanks for the comments, I appreciate it very much - the emotional response of a component is at least as important as its frequency response though we seldom talk about it. As for the Merlins, they saw considerable time with the Carissa and were the basis of my overall comments, so, yes, they are a very synergistic match. And in your room, with your musical tastes, I think they would be absolutely lovely. Good luck!

Peace,

Todd Warnke

 

December 2005

Hi,

I am from Holland and read your online magazine monthly.
Thumps UP!!

Regards,

Chen

 

December 2005

Hi,

I love your magazine. Great help on my journey to audio nirvana.

Thanks,

Malcolm

 

December 2005

Jeff,

Was reading your review of the NAD HTR L53, and decided to jump into the world of hi-fi and get one. Since I only have cheap 3 way speakers (from my previous system old system). Now I'm wondering if there are any decent speaker you would recommend for the L53? I use the system for CD, FM radio and Movies. I'm just looking for some speaker that will match with the NAD L53 and don't want to spend a fortune.

Thanks in advance,

René

 

Hello René,

I am glad you enjoyed the review of the NAD HTR L53. I rather enjoyed writing it. The L53 really is a very good piece of equipment at a very fair price. As to what speakers to use with it, I understand that the amplifier was designed with speakers by PSB and KEF in mind and I have heard that the amplifier mates well with Totems. I have not tried any of these combinations.

That said, I found the amplifier to sound very good with whatever I hooked it up to. I used Tannoys, Mirages, Axioms and even an odd ball pair of Tapered Quarter Wave Pipes. All sounded just fine. Unlike some amplifiers, the L53’s performance will not be greatly affected by what speakers you use with it because the output stage is all discrete and it has a very stiff power supply.

But as speakers vary greatly in sound and quality (not always the same thing!) much more than, say, DVD players I would suggest that you try to listen in the store to any speakers that take your fancy and meet your budget and buy what you think sounds best. There’s an old rule of hi fi thumb that suggests your speakers ought to cost around the same amount as your amplifier. While this seems about right, the better the speakers you use with the L53 the better it will sound. For a time, I used the L53 with speakers worth almost 5 times as much. The L53 was not embarrassed.

Jeff Rabin

PS: You should also check with your significant other. Partners seem to be more sensitive to the look of speakers than of any other component I know.

 

December 2005

Colin,

In one of your articles you said that you damped your Cornwall horns with rope calk. How do you use the rope calk and where do you get it?

Pat Smith

 

Pat,

A few years back I wrapped the metal mid-range and tweeter horns of the classic Klipsch Cornwall loudspeakers with the soft window putty called rope caulk, found in large retail hardware stores where they wear orange aprons, to dampen the horns’ ringing effect. To learn all of the details, search the Klipsch forum using “caulk | Colin” at this link.

Yours in Listening,

Colin Flood

 

December 2005

Steven,

I've just stumbled upon the archives for Listener magazine! From what I can can gleam from the still-active "Intro" sections in addition to an excerpt from Art Dudley's Your First Second Amp, Listener was probably one hell of a magazine. Thank you for keeping vestiges of Listener magazine available for the "newbies."

Dave Spinley 

 

Dave,

Thanks for your e-mail and yes indeed Listener was an awesome magazine. In this month's edition i choose to 'Flashback" my interview with Art Dudley. It saddens me to know it is no longer available. A loss for our industry and music lovers worldwide :(

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin

 

December 2005

Hi Bill,

My name is Andy Claps. I'm a regular reader of Enjoy the Music.com®, and I noticed with interest your review of George Louis' RealityCheck CD duplicator. Like you, I've had excellent results and have found that the unit's stellar performance can be improved upon even further by several tweaks, including his solutions, an upgraded power cord, decent isolation, and a good disc demagnetizer. One thing struck me, though. I noticed that you used the Audio Desk System lathe with George's CD-Rs. I own the lathe as well, and generally it works very well with my CDs and SACDs. But for some reason, it doesn't work with the CD-Rs. In fact, I've tried it on a number of CD-Rs, most recently a burned copy of Dire Straits' self-titled debut, a truly excellent pop/rock recording, and I heard a tad more inner detail and openness from the untrimmed disc. In addition, on every CD-R I've tried it on, it's left scratches and a circular impression on the outside of the black side that are clearly visible under direct light -- and this is when I fasten the clamp as lightly as I can. These marks did not come off, no matter how much buffing and compressed air I used. I have noticed that George's discs are truer and smoother than almost every regular CD I've bought. Perhaps that is why I haven't had any luck with trimming his CD-Rs; his discs essentially do the same thing as the AD: reduce light scatter.

Combine that fact with the AD's tendency to mar the play side of the CD-Rs, and I've stopped using it on George's discs. Your experience is obviously different, but I just wanted to make you aware of my experience. At least one other RC owner I chat with has had the same luck.

Sincerely,

Andy Claps

 

Andy,

Thanks for the information Andrew. I also noticed the scuffing of the discs but it was due to not applying enough pressure with the screw, not too little. Lower pressure allows the disc to scrape when the blade is applied to the edge. Loyd Walker of Walker Audio has found that cleaning the edge of the trued disc with his Vivid improves the sound of the disc., and I would think that using George's product after the System lathing would also do the same. Try it and let me know.

Bill Gaw

 

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