Enjoy the Music.com

Letters To Us

December 2007

Bill,

I noticed your comments about the Audience Neutrik powercon. Over some 30 years, I have found a huge variation among M/F IECs. Many Fs are not deep enough or the tolerances too loose. This makes for a poor male IEC connection, that can be disastrous. I had one wiggle loose under the strain of a stiff power cord and blow an amp up. My PS Audio GCP preamp and optional power supply are connected via Neutriks -- no way they're coming loose! IMHO, Neutriks should be the connectors choice for hi-end components.

Robert Hart

 

Robert,

I agree with you on all points. I've also had several mishaps with IEC's including almost starting a fire with a Walker Audio Velocitor with the connector burning the wood on the unit. The Neutrik AC connector is significantly better than the IEC and even the standard American 15 amp AC plug is better than the IEC. It's too bad that it wasn't used as the Gold Standard for audio-video equipment. The obvious problem for tweakers is that it significantly narrows the number of power cords one can use with the Audience equipment.

Bill

December 2007

Hi Phil,

I need some help here so I appreciate some of your time reading this email and giving me some advice. I'm in the market for a good pair of used monitors, no brand in particular, and found your review of the Sound fusion's speakers. Looking in Audiogon, found a pair of the Luna's in excellent condition and decide to buy them.

Even knowing that the company is not in business anymore (I'm correct with this right?). There are two reasons for this decision: first, your great and detailed review about how the brand handles their designs and the quality involved is this speakers, and second, because they looks incredible, like no other speaker in the market. This combination is what I was looking for.

My idea is use them with a subwoofer; so what subwoofer do you consider would be the perfect match for them?, I have a revel 30 that I'm using with my Wilson cubs II but don't know if this is the correct match or it is way too much. Of course, if you have something else to mention I'll be very grateful if you could share your ideas with me, will help me a lot for sure.

Thanks in advance for your comments,

Jorge S.

 

Hi Jorge,

The Luna is a smaller and passive version of the active Hyperion that I reviewed so enthusiastically last year. Coupled with the right amplifier you'll have a high resolution component with lightening reflexes that doesn't reach the deepest bass. You are considering a woofer and are wondering if the Revel is overkill. First, I would listen to the Luna without a subwoofer. You may find placement closer to a room boundary will give you all the bass reinforcement you need.

If not, then you need to match the Luna with a subwoofer that majors on speed or you will be degrading the sound. Most subwoofers will blunt the sound of the SoundFusions. The Revels may be ideal, and I would also look at REL who know a thing or two about subwoofers and should prove an excellent match.

Please let me know your own findings.

Enjoy The Music,

Phil

December 2007

Love Enjoy the Music.com!

Judith Van Volkenburg

December 2007

G

Francois Blanck

December 2007

Hi Steven,

I enjoy Enjoy the Music.com quite a bit. I know you've reviewed both AudioEngine products, but there wasn't really a comparison between the two. In terms of costs, they're both quite cheap, but of course, I'd rather have something even more compact if it's all (almost) the same. I realize the 5s have a few more options (plugging in a airport express is nifty), but small is a virtue.

Mind if I ask how you view the differences?

Kindly,

David Millman

BTW: your racing is very cool. I like it when my audiophile brethren have broader, more far-reaching interests...

 

David,

You are not the first to ask and perhaps I need to revisit them both and do a comparo. Basically, the 5's are more accurate ONLY due to more extended highs and deeper bass. They designed the 2's with a upper frequency rolloff on purpose, according to one of the chief designers, as they envisioned the main users would be using less than high-quality input that usually means rough/strident highs. Therefore the rolloff would help reduce this less than high quality input. I love the 2's for their compactness and the highs being rolled off is a sin of omission I can live with versus a sin of commission (overly bright highs as an example).

Am glad you enjoy my www.EnjoyTheTrack.com site as it is my other 'hobby.' I put that in quotes as driving a Formula car is truly fun, provides immense joy and learning experience, yet is *very serious* business that includes signing your life away on contracts that include terms like "death, dismemberment, etc." For me, it is not just the driving aspect, but also the engineering side of the Formula car hobby I find so educational. It is amazing that a few extremely minute changes to the mechanical or aero of the car for tuning to the track can mean in lowering lap times. Like audio, sometimes you get it right, sometimes you get it wrong. The good part is, you can always go back and try again.

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin

December 2007

Hi Steven,

Have read your reviews of the Audioengine 5 & 2. You seemed to wax more ecstatic, and even bought, the smaller 2s. Of course, the 5 is also meager in price for the seeming quality and am wondering which to try. I will be bringing a pair to my small house in Spain when I go to spend a year there in April. I will likely connect to them by either a Grace 901 or a tweaked out Headroom Desktop. I'd be using a pair of AKG 701s for critical listening and to evaluate stereo recordings on my Sound Devices 744T. I was toying with the idea of shipping my Spendor S 3/5s and modified ST70 over, but for just some casual listening the Audioengines may just fit the bill. As of now, I listen to my original KLH 21 FM radio over there and find it quite satisfying. Given brownouts and poor old house wiring, the Audioengines might well serve to pipe out my DVD/CD/computer audio for general listening. So which would you think I should use for Spain, the 2s or the 5s?

I enjoy your site and have used some recommendations to good benefit. 
Thanks for your courtesy in this matter.

Joel Knispel

 

Joel,

Thanks for your e-mail and I'd opt for the 5's if you are using them as you 'main' speakers versus headphones. The small extra price is well worth the added performance. The A2 are good for a 'secondary' type system given your situation.

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin

December 2007

Dear editor,

Your edition on music servers was terrific, but despite the extremely attractive sound improvement and convenience possibilities, it convinced me that Im still not ready to let go of my CDs for a hard drive based system. I will be there in an instant when you review a music server where:

The base unit fits into my existing theater/music equipment stack like any other component,

The thumbnail-graphic cover art is displayed on my existing hi-def TV via HDMI,

The unit connects via wi-fi to the internet with a nice browser interface for music downloads, cover art, and ancillary information,

The user interface is compatible with my existing universal remote for daily usage, while also providing a nifty alternative blue-tooth based keyboard/mouse,

There is no computer-like software downloading (except for upgrades); no program integrating, card plugging, cover removing, or endless head-scratching required, 

A great manual is included,

A terabyte is standard, at least,

The sound is indeed better than my existing CD players,

The download speeds are reasonable, and the lossless compression algorithms do not degrade the sound, 

A backup hard drive is available and easy to use,

The reliability is far better than a Windows based computer system, 

And the entire one-box package comes in at less than $1000.

Given the low cost of todays similarly equipped laptops, Im certain the technology is there to do this in a cost effective way. Until then Ill keep on cherishing and cleaning my hundreds of vinyl records and CDs, and reading your incredibly hi-end magazine each month in search of my next generation of equipment. Thank you for the great reading! 

Jeff Sturm

December 2007

Dear Steven,

While looking on the net for a review of Linn Katan/Sizmik combination, yours came up ,I have read it over and over ,I purchased these a year ago ,last week I got a Denon DCD 1500AE SACD player, its so much better than my old CD player. My problem is that I can never be happy with the settings for the sub, The manual doesnt really tell of methods to start with to set up easily, do you have a formula that you go on to set this beast up? The pre amp is the Naim ,NAP225 with a NAC 125, Naim cables. I used to have the LP12,ekos,troika,Valhalla, Saras and my trusty Naim. So they were easier to set up ,more just the LP12 to play with, I was better with that but I just cant get these right. So I beg your advice.

Thank you,

Kevin Stuart

 

Kevin,

Thanks for your e-mail and have you tried reversing the phase. Also, i find that if i physically move the subwoofer it makes a DRAMATIC difference. If you have any dance/synth music with fast/tight bass, use that to help tune the woofer. i find that by listening to the TIMING CUES of the initial bass impact allows me to better place the subwoofer so the bass timing is correct with the monitors. THEN go and tune the subwoofer for even frequency response.

A correct system needs to have loudspeakers that have correct/precise phase and timing. Always glad to be of service and in the end what really matters is that you...

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin

December 2007

Dear Mr. Stone,

I have read your review of the Bel Canto S300. I bought a S300iu (newer model with usb input that I plan to use). Im deciding which speaker cables to pair with it. I find the alpha-core all silver cables very interesting and technically superior to any other cable in the same price range.

Although you used the copper version, I would like your opinion about pairing my S300iu with the Veracity AG2 or even Center stage AG1, considering the low length and my intention to do bi-wiring. I would kindly like your opinion.

Thanks in advance and best regards,

Guido De Palma

 

Hello Guido,

Ive learned after almost 30 years of reviewing not to comment on what I have not heard. I have found the Alpha Core cables that I have been using work very well in my desktop nearfield system. I also know that the shorter the speaker cable run the less chance of interaction problems as well as large variations between cables. You havent mentioned what speakers you are using and that is a critical part of the equation as some speakers have easier impedance loads that are far less cable-dependent and variable than others.

As always the final decision is best made by you in an A/B situation where you can spend some time listening to determine which cable is best.

Sincerely,

Steven Stone

December 2007

Bill,

It is clear that you are very impressed with all of the Audience power conditioners. Can you comment on the magnitude of difference between the one outlet unit and the multi-outlet units you tested? I did note the larger units measured about 1 db quieter in your test.

Thanks,

Bob Wilcox

 

Bob,

There's not a significant difference except for the number of outlets and price per outlet.. I've been using both the aR12 and aR1 units for four months now, which is probably a record in my room for not picking up any major negatives on a piece of equipment. Whether you go with several of the single outlet or one of the 12's or two of the 6's should really depend on the physical layout of your system.

Bill

December 2007

Hola Scott,

This is Jose Garcia from Puerto Rico , one of your readers 
and member of many online discussion boards. Your previous article on the MHDT units help me decide for a Constantine unit, which I love ( just paid $200 for it). Recently, I read a post from a discussion board who changed the coupling caps on his MHDT Paradisea with the OIMP V-Caps you reviewed. He was as impressed as you with these caps. I wonder if I can get the same results with them on my Constantine and if it just takes to replace the stock caps with them without further modifications or alterations...?

Thanks for your always enjoyable readings!

Regards,

Jose Garcia

PS: I use to make simple tweaks, just for fun and to do  something... lately, I made a set of the Diffraction-be-gone things with Wal-Mart felt pads. Although Jim ( the designer) says they are worthless my experience has being positive. Another tweak that eliminated the mentioned "veil sound" from my DAC was using (3) 3/4" metal bearing balls attached with FunTack or HandyTack (Wal-Mart too) under my Constantine. You should give this a try....

Vaya con Dios!

 

Hola Jose,

Yes, simply replacing the output caps with the V-Caps will get you a nice upgrade in the sound of the Constantine. In fact, I'm getting ready to do the same thing to mine :-)

Enjoy!

Scott

December 2007

Scott,

I need you help. I'm considering purchasing Jolida 102b to replace a Sansui 5000X receiver, which has some issues. I hesitate to have it repaired because of it's age. I really like the sound of it, as it beats the pants off of current solid state units in my opinion. I live in an area where I cannot readily audition a 102b although I have heard a 202a. I don't know if you are familiar with the Sansui 5000X but to my ears it is smooth and clean, not unlike the Marantz products of it's era. I have been very impressed by the reviews of the 102b and think it will fit me needs. I would value your opinion.

Thanks,

John Simpson

 

Hi John,

Honestly, your Sansui is a keeper. As much as I like the sound of the JoLida 102b, the Sansui gives you so much more in one package. You have a killer tuner and phono stage. There are several guys that specialize in rebuilding them. Now, I must tell you up front, I've not dealt with any of these guys but from what I've read, each of them do quality restoration work. I'd suggest you do some research before you commit to any of them.

http://www.nosvalves.com/
http://www.hotglassaudio.com/

If you decide to restore and you still have the original tubes, I'd like to suggest you remove them and keep them before shipping. The Fisher branded tubes are actually Telefunkens. Trust me, you don't want to loose those. They are WAY too expensive to replace assuming they still test strong.

Hope that helped.

Scott Faller

December 2007

Hi Scott,

I was wondering if you could offer a comparison review or recommendation. I am ready to make my speaker purchase for my modest entry level/budget home theater. I have been reading an awful lot of good things about the Aperion 633 series (your review as well) but I am also considering the B&W 683 series. Have you auditioned the B&Ws and if so how would you say they compare with the Aperions?

I am a complete audio neophyte and have no real 'listening' experience which may make my decision easier due to the 'sounds good to me' scenario but I'd like to get a pro's opinion (not to mention one who is not trying to sell me something). Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Peter

 

Hi Peter,

Unfortunately I have not heard the B&W 683 line so I won't be of much help. About the only thing I can add is that with Aperion, they have a 30 in-home audition policy. If you don't like the sound, just pack them up and ship them back for a full refund. You may also try the Aperion forum. Someone on there might live close enough to you that you could go by and give them a listen.

Good luck in your adventure!

Scott Faller

December 2007

Hello Scott,

My name is Michael and I live in Poland. Couple of days ago I bought second-hand Altec 19. I read your review on Jolida 300B very carefully and - as I understood - you found Jolida/Altec a good partners. Do you think it's a good road to go? Or - maybe you have some other recommendations for me :) (+/- the same budget). In Poland there is no reviews/opinions on old US loudspeakers. So, any help is perfect for me.

Regards,

Michal

 

Hi Michal,

Yes, the JoLida 300B and the Altec 19's made for a nice pairing. Tell you what though, If you don't mind going to a push pull design, the Factory Modified 102B (an EL84 design) is quite good and far less money. You do give up the remote control but what you gain in lower end control and overall clarity is well worth the compromise.

If you want a true SET, Consonance will be coming out with several new SET integrated's that will have on board USB connections and DAC's early next year. This allows you to use your computer as a music server ripping your CD's to your hard drive in WAV/FLAC (free audio lossless compression) format. They should be very affordable in the $1500 to $2000 US range. I just finished listening to one and it was a very nice performer.

Hope that helped and regards,

Scott Faller

December 2007

Hi Steven,

I think it's very kind of you to respond to letters. Your response would be greatly appreciated. I'm torn between several options and would like to get your opinion. Obviously in the cases of the first two questions, cost is a factor to be considered but it is not for me a disqualifying consideration:

1. JM lab micro utopias vs. Usher 718 bes. The micros seem more transparent and a bit more exciting. The Usher's seem more balanced. 
2. Rogue mono blocks vs. Cayin 100 t. 
3. Arcam 36 vs. Rega Saturn. 
4. REL Brittania line vs. their line below that goes for about $1500 -$2,000

Is the jump up in price worth it in my points 1, 2 and 3? Or would you recommend one but not all of the more expensive choices. I have a 12 by 20 foot room with an 8 and one half foot ceiling.

Thanks so much for your attention to my email,

Charles Klein

 

Charles,

Always glad to help, though always remember your personal preference and mine may differ.

1. JM lab micro utopias vs. Usher 718 bes. The micros seem more transparent and a bit more exciting. The Usher's seem more balanced. Id go for balanced as 'exciting' usually means a slightly tiled upper midrange. If so, that can get fatiguing (for me) within an hour.

2. Rogue mono blocks vs. Cayin 100 t. 
Never heard/auditioned either, so color me clueless.

3. Arcam 36 vs. Rega Saturn. 
Never heard/auditioned either, so color me clueless.

4. REL Brittania line vs. their line below that goes for about $1500 -$2,000.
Never heard/auditioned either, so color me clueless.

Is the jump up in price worth it in my points 1, 2 and 3? Or would you recommend one but not all of the more expensive choices.

To me, it is not always price. The key is finding system synergy, which can beat out price time and again in my book. Hope he above helps and wish I knew more. Perhaps the dealer will allow an in home audition as this can help greatly so you can figure out what combination(s) work synergistically.

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin

December 2007

Hi Steven,

Seeking clarification on using XLR / RCA interconnects. The situation: 
I'm interested in a CDP that a reviewer says using the XLR Outputs were 
clearly better than using the RCA Outputs. However, he was using a tube 
pre and the SS preamp I'm interested in only has RCA Inputs. But, this 
preamp has both RCA and XLR Outputs and the reviewer of this preamp 
preferred the XLR outputs which was feeding a SS amplifier. The Amp I 
am interested in has RCA inputs (but can be ordered with XLR inputs if 
desired). So it would seem that I have a choice of interconnects 
(adapters) with female XLR to Male RCA for both the cdp to pre and the 
pre to amp. Does this make any sense? Since nothing is balanced all the 
way through, would I get the same results by just using all RCA to RCA?

Thanks for any reply,

Ken Flint

 

Ken,

IMO truly balanced all the way is best of course. Benefit over RCA even when not fully balanced is that the XLR is a much better contact design than RCA and perhaps some advantage of noise rejection as the way XLR sends the signal. If it was me, Id go XLR.

Enjoy the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin

December 2007

Bill,

I've become a big fan of Doug Joseph at EPNA ever since I had him send me a whole house (install at mains) Ep 2750 (ground isolator) and EP 2050 (waveform correction absorber). My room has become much quieter and doesn't hum at all when presented dimmers, regfrig cycling, etc.

I've been giving though to the EP 2450's you reviewed awhile ago. Currently own a pair of PS Audio P300 power plants, but think they may simply "Multiwave" my system into a different sound, not necessarily better. Now I see you like the Audience stuff. Can you compare? I have a rather large dedicated HT that doubles as a 2 channel dedicated room (and 5.1 hi-rez music surround too). I need 10+ outlets, if you include the main amps, then probably another 2450 or similar Audience product for the back of my room that houses the surround amps, etc. Any opinions about these two would be helpful.

Thx,

Ted Brady

P.S. Here's my room, prior to the arrival of my 5 new identical SP Tech Revelation speakers. My 5.1 surround setup is a mess right now, with RSA Sasons as mains and older VMPS 626r's as center and surrounds. I have separate movie sides and rears.

 

Ted,

I agree that his equipment works as described. I still use three of his products, the 2750 at the junction box and two of the home theater pieces on my secondary system and computers. While I haven't had any of the PS Audio equipment in my system, the Audience conditioners are the best so far for my electrical conditions. Unhappily, each household has different AC problems and thus what works on my system may not be the best for you. Also unhappily, there is no way of determining what's best for you except through experimentation and that can get very costly.

I also have a surround system and video system in my room, and have set it up isolating the video from the audio and the front from the surround channels using an Audience aR12p for the front channels, and APC S-15's for the video and surrounds. The aR6P probably would have been a better choice for the surrounds but I couldn't afford it at the time. I have yet to find anything better for the video than the APC units. Remember that the Audience units will only do 15 amps and that can be overcome very quickly with a surround system with subwoofers.

Good luck in your experimentation,

Bill

December 2007

Hello Steven,

The show and coverage was very good except for and many others would agree with me on this one the New Gershman Sonogram loudspeaker it is a absolute killer at $3600 No competition it does everything in it's frequency band exceedingly well and will even do a solid high 20hz range , not like several loudspeaker company's that claim to go low that tons of resonance follow. I have compared this with several $5k loudspeakers and not 1 can better it for overall balance ..Am I buying it you bet .I have owned every conceivable type of loudspeaker out there I feel the MBL Radialstraler is the best on the planet if I had to choose but I work for a living and quality and value come to mind .Keep up the good works and possible yourself 
check out this wonderful loudspeaker.

Best regards,

Paul Letteri

 

Paul,

Thanks for your e-mail and agree that Gershman does indeed make some very impressive loudspeakers. Am always glad to hear that one of our readers are, well...

Enjoy(ing) the Music,

Steven R. Rochlin

 

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