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For published correspondence December 2007 thru May 2008, click here.
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By repeat inquiry, here is the owner's manual of the Garrard 301 vintage turntable [856KB PDF] whose rebuild Jeff Day described in his series of articles.
Happy new year Srajan.

Just received the FirstWatt F5 this morning - very good amp, super quiet. Nelson did a very good job.

All the best,
Franck Tchang
Hi Srajan,

I have not written directly to you in some time but I needed to congratulate and thank you for the treasure that 6moons is. Your latest tour in Italy was a joy to read and the photographs are tantalizing. Then Paul Candy's 2008 highlights featured more astonishing views of Italy. Great to see that his family is so important to him. The twists, turns, styles and insights of the words chosen by you and several of the writers are often as much fun to read as learning from the equipment review itself. Without question, I always come away with at least one more recording to consider or purchase. A few of the writers have been particularly helpful and friendly in responding directly to me regarding questions; what a welcome additional benefit.

As with all paths in our lives, some days bring about poignant sadness. I was especially struck by learning of John Potis's passing. A photo of his family (on Positive Feedback, I think) shows a happy family. Those young girls and beautiful wife are missing a loving father and spouse at this time of year that so many are busily celebrating. Indeed, he will be missed. If you learn of a memorial fund or other type of project to help his family, please let me know.

So, thank you, for providing a service to music- and audio-philes that includes artistic photographs, excellent writing, travelogues, music recommendations, thought-provoking statements and challenges, and yes, equipment reviews, too.

I wish you, Ivette, and the 6moons team a very prosperous, happy and safe 2009, full of delightful challenges and achievements.

Douglas & Peggy Klein
Aloha,

I've just found out about the passing of John Potis. My condolences. Though I'd only met John through correspondence, I found him a cheery and informative fellow, about audio and about cuisine. We wrote back and forth about Canary amps, shrimp in coconut milk with chilis, and Sancerre wines. I'm so saddened that he's gone. It was a delight to read his reviews whenever they appeared.

Malama pono,
Garrett Hongo
Hi Ken:

I noted your very positive review of the Ayon CD-1 player. The build quality looks quite good and I read that this is assembled in Austria by Ayon but also read that it might be Chinese assembled?

My question is you made a comment that the player is front row center. Does that mean in your face with no depth or does it also have some holographic soundstaging capability? I have horn speakers and am looking for a player with good resolution combined with some warmth and musicality but dislike the in-your-face aspect.

Could you elaborate?

Thanks,
Gary Walters

Gary:

It has been a while since that player was in my place but by in your face I meant that is was more front row than back of the hall in terms of soundstaging. It ain't vinyl after all! But thinking back I am sure that is what I meant, that it tended to place instruments more in the first few rows of the orchestra than in the back.

Ken

Ken:

It seems to me that your audition/review was pretty spot on. I own the Audio Aero Prestige SACD player and was trying a AA Capitole Mkll when I got this player in. I read your review over again after I had some time to break this in and get acquainted with it. The Ayon soundstage seems to be a lot like the AA Capitole, just maybe slightly more forward and wide but in my system not by much. The Ayon is built like a tank and very impressive that way except I hated the top lid and would rather see a sliding drawer. Overall it appears to me that the player is very musical and still has some warmth if your tastes are respective of the soundstage presence. For me it seems to work just fine since I listen from 12 feet back from my horn speakers. I can see nearfield this player might be too close?

The player does seem to have great extension and I still hear the tube magic but just less of it. Someone told me a change of Reflector 6H30 tubes move the player up a notch. This makes me curious what there CD-3 is like? They say it is a higher resolution machine with greater soundstage. I also heard they are coming with a CD-2 with volume control. Ayon seems very impressive for sure so I agree with your review.

Gary

Is Zu selling out? The Essence sounds really good. Discontinue the Druid? I own Druid', Libtecs and Geddes. Have owned Tones, St. Julian' and a custom made Zu sub. I have talked to Adam at Zu many times. Hey Adam, is the Essence the "Super Druid" you told me about a while ago You said you would take my Druids as a trade in. Is your dealer network gonna take my discontinued Druids as a trade in? Remember the Jonny Cash add? Yuck foo I think he was saying with his middle finger.

I still love Zu. I guess I am just pissed because I can't afford the new Essence. USA economy is kicking me in the ass.... He Adam, you "Zu Boys" hiring?

I need rehab...

Don
Dear Srajan,

This is sad news indeed about John Potis. Meeting John had been on my to-do-someday list.

I always enjoyed his no nonsense straightforward reviews. The audio community is diminished without him. And we will miss him.

Regards,
Jim Smith
Dear Srajan and 6moons staff,

I was saddened to read about the passing of John Potis. I always enjoyed his writings and missed his demise from this site. Condolences to his friends and family.

Merry Christmas, and hopefully the New Year will bring happiness and audio bliss to all. And on that note I recently finished Jim Smith's book "Get Better Sound"...a must read for those with the dedication to obtaining best results from their personal listenening environment.

All the Best In The New Year...
Ed King

Hello Srajan,

I just wanted to tell you about my very pleasant email conversations I have been having for the past few days with David. Because of David's excellent and raving review of the KingRex gear back in Sept '07, I decided to purchase the KingRex PreAmp to replace an all-tube preamp that I was borrowing from one of my brothers. At any rate, I just received the PreAmp a few days ago and it absolutely blows the tube preamp out of the water! Anyway, I had a few basic questions about it. Since no one in the forums I belong to knows anything about it, I decided to contact David. All I can say is that David and his drive to want to help put 6moons to an all new level in my book! He answered my questions very promptly and completely, not to mention he even went to the lengths of contacting James of KingRex to answer a question about the volume control. I couldn't possibly imagine better service from anyone!

If the rest of you guys/gals are anything like David Kan, then us readers are in great hands!

Thank you very much and Happy Holidays!
Charles Tidwell
Re: Slinkylinks Ltd., an audio speaker and interconnect cable maker of Wellington, New Zealand

Dear 6 Moons staff.
Influenced largely by your June 2007 of Slinkylinks speaker cables, I bought a pair direct from the New Zealander maker, a Mr David Irvine, who promised to refund my purchase if the cables did not satisfy me. They did not, and Mr Irvine subsequently reneged on his written promise to refund my purchase. I note that Slinkylinks was struck off the Companies Register of the New Zealand Companies Office in October of this year.

Further, the telephone numbers for Mr Irvine that appeared as a footer to his emails (P - +64-4-801-7501 M - +64-21-754-659) were disconnected on 22 November, according to NZ Telecom. According to the former accountant of Slinkylinks, Bds Chartered Accountants (Lvl 3a, 17 Albert St., Auckland), no accountants act for this company now.

I believe that Slinkylinks no longer operates as a business. I was very disappointed that a businessman such as Mr Irvine is operating in New Zealand where, as elsewhere, our interests coexist in a small audiophile world whose axis is integrity and trust. Mr Irvine is now untraceable, at least by telephone and email.

Incidentally, I compared the Slinkylinks cables with DNM cables and, though of course I am not an expert and much judgment at this level is subjective, the DNM cables won hands down. Though I ran the Slinkylinks cables in for some 400 hours, using a Class A Sugden A21a Series Two amplifier and JM Reynaud "Euterpe" speakers (a combination made in heaven if ever there was on), they never lost their "glassiness" and lacked intra-note dynamics or bloom, especially in vocal and bass reproduction.

Sincerely
Bruce Roscoe
Hi Frederic,

I agree with you that Ella and Louis don't sound completely comfortable together on this recording. Louis especially sounds a bit false or forced to my ear ("Sing it, Ella!"). If you want to hear him sounding at his very best with the same rhythm section, try Louis Armstrong meets Oscar Peterson, also on Verve (the CD is 825713-2)—the best of both men as well as the rest of the rhythm section, I think, and pretty fine sonics as well.

Joyeux Noël,
Marshall
Srajan,

My dear Uncle, who professed things such as avid masturbation to quell lurking temptation (for the ladies of the night that so proliferated our area of the Quarter) could also hit nearer the mark on occasion, in the same way that a stopped clock is right twice a day.

One of the repeatable platitudes went something along the lines of, it's not how often you win or lose, but how often you get up after you've been knocked down. After all, integrity learns it' value when it lacks comfort...(I've gone on a platitude run-one of the things we can still afford here.) You've kept a good thing going this year. You've kept a good thing going when I imagine you've had easier years.

Congratulations and thanks to you and yours. And remember, 'the world is mudlicious and puddle wonderful.' See you in After-Tube.

Frederick Crane
From an NZ customer to his dealer: Hi Chris,

I just have to tell you how impressed I am with the ASI Liveline interconnects I recently purchased from you. As you know I have quite a high resolution system and these interconnects have now replaced and bettered by a considerable margin my previous reference cables which were Stereovox SEI 2, Stealth PGS and Harmonix HP101GP all very good cables in their own right and all much more expensive than the Liveline. I have also heard the Livelines in my friend's system and they bettered his very expensive Audio Note Sogons which are mega bucks cost wise in comparison.

From my experience with these new cables everything that was said in the 6moons reviews is true and they do indeed present a live sound that covers the entire sonic spectrum with natural tones and timbre. So a well done to Mr Chang for designing them and a big thanks to yourself for putting me onto them.

Regards
Barry Pinder
Hello Srajan,

I just finished your stunning coverage of the Guangzhou AV Fair and had to write to congratulate you. I was exhilarated and exhausted just reading it - the planning and effort that must have gone into the preparation for it must have been boggling. The photos really gave an excelleent feel for the event as well.

Congratulations are no less in order for the coverage of your visit to Melody. With the number and quality of the photos it was a little like being there.

You are still showing the way for internet journalism and it seems the quality of 6moons just keeps improving. Bravo!

Russell Dawkins
Srajan,

Thought it might please you to know that your assessment of the Paeonia turned out to be factually correct. Initially we attributed the symptoms you experienced with brightness and lack of bass to the review unit not being fully burned in. However your comments spurred us on to wire a Paeonia using Silver Gold foil conductors which are 2 microns thicker and have much higher mechanical strength. We noted immediately that there was more heft to vocals and instruments and way more bottom end extension - even compared to a burned-in lab unit. The imaginary tone control was also now sitting squarely in the 12 O'clock position.

The changes were so significant that we have now decided to make a new revision of Paeonia ( Rev. 2.3 ) which will be silver gold wired like the Bosangwha. o I guess thanks are in order for your part in turning our clean n' lean Paeonia into the diva that it has now become ! (I can't imagine why we didn't do this before).

Best regards,
Malcolm
Once again, David, another fine review of the Elekit. Your reviews are remininiscent of those found in the New York review of books: they 'box the compass', they place the piece under review in a context of comparable pieces and last but certainly not least, they are well written ( iterate, with no wasted words). I look forward to your John Blue AudioArt CD mat review.

Thanks again for staying the course at 6moons.

John

Hi David,

First, iI much enjoy your extensive (and exceedingly well written) reviews of real-priced chip amps and John Blue speakers. Okay: do you foresee any meaningful difference between the T Rex with integrated DAC and USB input versus purchasing them as separates? What, if anything, have your heard about the Cambridge Audio Magic DAC? Any sense of whether it is worthwhile to pair it with the T-Rex Amp and add the T-Rex preamp? Yes, no easy answers, but you seem to deal well with multiple variables :).

Thanks for your thoughts.
John from Boston

Hi John,

Thank you for your kind words.As you said, no easy answer, particularly I haven't auditioned the T-Rex (I supposed you're referring to the Mardis mod KingRex). Probably the best person to answer is yourself. Why do you want a DAC in the first place? In the early days, separate DACs were designed to smoothen out the so-called digital sound. Later when CD players improved on musicality, the 24/96 and 24/192 DACs were introduced to enhance resolution. Of course I'm generalizing but I just want you to tell yourself whether the reason for picking a DAC is because you want more musicality or better resolution. You mentioned the Cambridge Audio Magic DAC so I could rightfully assume that you were looking for musicality. In such case, the built-in DAC (Burr-Brown chip) of the KingRex T20U is close to the early DACs (in specs and sonic characteristics) and very musical. Plus, you can roll chips! However, to enjoy the built-in DAC, you have to connect through USB but Cambridge on the other hand is not a USB device. The second question you have to answer for yourself is: what is the format of your input source - a computer or a CD transport/player?

Best,
David

Hi Srajan,

Just a quick note to say thank you for featuring the Acoustic System Liveline Interconnects on your site. I have just bought an RCA 1 metre pair, dealing with Franck directly and the whole experience, not to mention the sound has been very pleasurable. They definitely do something different, certainly not in the obvious traditional way of most cables. Having only just got them, it's early days yet, but they do seem to get straight to the emotional core of the music. Please pass on my thanks to Marja and Henk too as their reports, along with yours were what enlightened me in the first place.

Long overdue congratulations on the site as well, always informative, intelligent and nicely designed.

Kind regards
Simon Granger
Srajan,

Frank was not the only guy tuning rooms in an unconventional way. For years people have been using Shun Mook in their rooms. Also there was Mr. van Evers and his wood sticks. I have had some of the diamond resonators under my CD player and have listened in rooms treated with multiple ebony pucks, maple sticks etc. and have been amazed at the improvements. It would be very interesting to see an article with contributions from all who are experimenting with this technology.

Thanks
Everard Williams
Hello Srajan,

Thank you for the excellent quality of work on your site which I visit often as much for the reading enjoyment as the actual reviews.

I did get some discomfort from your "combing the fringes" segment, where I hear an echo of the "forget scientific observations or rational explanation" and follow your feelings and "perceptions" (which can be manipulated by clever marketing as we know from the placebo effect), that are rampant with sometimes dreadful effects in my field (psychiatry). Of course listening to music is all about perceptions so perhaps my comment is irrelevant, although I do prefer to remain as much as possible master of my perceptions and all that affects them...

I much appreciated your "With feeling" feature which brought me to the memory of my father (an enthusiastic amateur musician of harpsichord, piano, organ and choir singing) reading with the delight of discovery music pages of some new Gibbons or Bull collection that he had bought (he can also program in raw machine language as part of his day job, a tribute to his ability to decipher the abstract), before struggling with the task of bringing what he was presumably hearing in his head to reality on the instrument itself; perhaps a parallel to how much more engrossing the reading of a book can be compared to viewing a film that is derived from it. I also see though another parallel between the fastidiousness of a musician with his instrument in order to attain the peak of his art, and that of the listener at home who struggles with his equipment to get every last ounce of what the musician is attempting to convey (because he knows its there and feels he owes it to the genius and effort involved).

One thing that helps me appreciate music all the more is to learn as much as I can about the music, the composers, the artists, the times and mood in which it was written and performed. It's like setting the table beautifully for a wonderful dinner.

Thank you again for helping us enhance our appreciation of music

Olivier Farmer, MD
Dear Srajan,

The economy is in the shitter.

My beautiful Shanling player stopped playing. My 300wpc Adcom amplifier I was using to drive the low end of my B&W 802s developed peculiar syndrome to instantaneously blow the circuit breakers every time it’s turned on. This is one durable piece of equipment: dedicated circuit, 15 amps, 20 amps, no matter where it is plugged in, it flawlessly pops the breaker every time. Its own fuse – intact.

I am not the “Audiophile”. I do not A/B the equipment. I just like to listen to the music. I just like to constantly strive for the better sound. I like to think that one day I will have the best equipment to reproduce the sound of the music.

I want to become the Audiophile at one point. I want to belong to this mysterious group of people that everybody is so envious of. I want to understand the meaning of the “third order harmonics”, to experience the difference in width of the soundstage, to catch the glimpse of the “leading edge” of the cymbals. I want to see the infamous blackness projected from my speakers when they are on.

So, I did it, I bought myself the Sony Playstation-1. Yes, the correct one, the one that would finally make me the Audiophile. I suppose the experience can be analogous to being married to Sarah Palin and deciding to screw the fat Eskimo chick just for the kicks. The $40 of crap that sounds like $100 of crap. No disrespect to the fat Eskimo chick is intended. Suffice to say, I did not make it in to the Audiophile.

As an architect, the advancement in the carrier is somewhat challenging now a days, given the fact that the real estate market is like my Shanling and stopped playing. Most of the deals are like my Adcom, short-circuited no matter what bank you are talking to.

Understandably, I have a lot of time on my hands. It is the time for the belt tightening. No more dreaming of foolish (my wife’s term, not mine) upgrades. No more bi-amplification. No more blue light bathing my CDs while switching between the glass or silicon output from the Shanling. Back to the basics. Time to dust off the Sony 999ES and feed my 40wpc Cayin amplifier to the hungry B&W 802s.

I can not wait for the Joe-the-Plumber to fix the world. I am dying here! Help! Anybody? I don’t need no sound, I just need my music!

The installation manual for the Esoteric MG-20 speakers recommends the positioning of the speakers at extreme angles, almost having them looking at each other. So ironic, spending millions for the research and development of the sound and the aesthetics and then requiring them to be placed in the most unattractive position. Its' like being with Sarah Palin and always looking at her from behind. I mean from the side. No, wait, from the top. Well, you know what I mean.

So, perhaps Esoteric is on to something. My 802s are gorgeous from any angle,and guess what, it’s not like I have to go to the office to do something. Remember, the economy is in the shitter. Let the experimentation begin!

Two weeks later. Wow! What a difference. Now I can adjust not just the width of the stage but the depth and the height. It took some time, perhaps too much time. I even forgot to pay my mortgage on time. Who cares, did not I just give them 700 billion dollars? Just deduct my monthly payment from it.

Thank you, Mr. President. If it was not for your economical aspirations, I would be wasting my money on some illusive concept of the perpetual upgrading. Never having enough time to see if what I have is what I need. By taking away the opportunities to create and earn, you gave me so much more instead. You provided me with the time to do nothing. The time can I spend on becoming the Audiophile.

Next stop is the “leading edge”. I have this beautiful rug in the room. I will play with the positioning of it on the floor in relationship to the speakers. I have a distinct suspicion that given enough time, lots and lots of time, it can make the difference in sound.

Wait! Is it Persian? Was it made by terrorists? Let me check.

No, it is ok. It is good old trustworthy Chinese.

Thanks,
Vladimir Avidon
Hi Srajan,

I enjoy your website very much. It manages to blend the technical aspects of Hi-Fi reviewing with an audiophile's enthusiasm for the poetry and enchantment of good music (although the recent Kondo piece suffered from a bit too much mystical expressionism if I may be allowed one minor nit pick). Anyway, it was your highlighting of the brilliant Yamamoto A-08S that convinced me to purchase one (plus the Yamamoto CA-04 preamp) and I have spent many a blissful hour listening to them on my Altec 604s.

However, recently, your reviewing tour of duty include a batch of 300B amps (Trafomatic, Woo Audio and Yamamoto) which has turned you from a 300B sceptic into a fully fledged, card carrying, flag waving 300B zealot. Okay, I thought (always dangerous for an audiophile!), maybe there is something to this tube and its current implementation (I was a bit of a non-believer as well . Although none of the amps you reviewed was available to me, I did manange to get a loaner of an Allnic T1500 300B stereo integrated. Holy single-ended circuit Batman!, what a revelation. This thing is a music-making miracle. I swear you could flatten a beer can and throw it on your CD player and the Allnic would contrive to produce an entirely listenable performance.

Anyway, the upshot is that the Yamamoto sits mournfully to one side while the Allnic claims pride of place. But, unfortunately, I've also been presented with a dilemma. In order to buy the Allnic, I'm afraid, I'll have to sell the Yammie and, I don't know about you but I've developed a deep emotional bond ( Freud was pre-audio, wasn't he!) to this beautiful piece of equipment and I'm not sure I can part with it. Dammit !, I blame you. In the future, could you please not try to satisfy your curiosity with reviews of any other tube types you might have second thoughts about. Trust me, 2A3s, 211s, 845s all sound terrible no matter what you do with them. Arrgh! what am I going to do. Perhaps I can sell my Rega Saturn CD player instead of the Yamamoto. Hey, that might work... I wonder how my little OPPO DVD player might do. After all, it does play SACDs.

Best regards,
Peter ( Sydney, Australia)
Dear Marja and Henk,

Srajan's recent response to Jacob George's letter re: coverage of the RMAF just reminded me that I looked for you at the show this year hoping to say hello, since I know you made it last year (though I can't imagine making that trip more than once in a blue 6moon, given how long and expensive it is, just for a 2.5 day show). Anyway, if I HAD met you there and had had a chance to say hello, I would have said how much I enjoy your writing and reviews over the last few years. I also would have said that we apparently have some common ground between us, other than audio-fools blood, in that I'm currently an IT director for a large east coast museum [-] , but my former life was in English and American literature, before I entered the museum world full-time and eventually ended up in computers many, many years ago.

Well, enough of that personal history stuff. My other reason for writing is to comment on a couple of audio-related items that struck me at this recent RMAF. One was the newly configured Quantum boxes that Nordost has put out--specifically the QX2 and QX4 configurations of the old Quantum Symphony and Symph Pro (I think they were called, before Nordost bought them out). Anyway, Nordost was pushing them pretty heavily, in fact, they were the centerpiece of their traditional cable dog-and-pony demos this year; plus Roy Gregory highlighted the QX boxes, among other pieces of equipment, in his own demos at the show that focused on making changes to "ancillaries" to make significant improvements in your system--setup, vibration control, coherent plan and approach to system tuning, etc., rather than dropping big bucks on another amp upgrade. Nicely done demo, by the way.

Anyway, bottom line is that I felt these newer implementations of QRS technology seem to make a fairly significant improvement in one's system--so much so that I forked over big $$s for a QX4, which I just got and plugged in at home 2 nights ago. I have to say, it's one of the few "tweaks" that seems to work as well in my own system as it does in a prepared demo at a show. So I guess I'm asking/wondering if this product is something you and Srajan would consider putting into the review pipeline (though, I suppose, Nordost might not be the easiest company to deal with re: review samples, though Gregory doesn't seem to have any trouble getting their product for review). Can't say I'm crazy about Nordost's whole attitude towards selling--I never had to sign a 3-page contract/document before to buy an audio product from an "authorized" dealer, as I did in this case for the QX4--but I am impressed with what it does in my system.

Second comment/request: the Nordost demo man (Lars??) went on at some length about their apparently recent determination that power chord length makes a big difference in sound quality--with "4 meters being optimal"! And he demoed a 2m intro-level Nordost power chord (from wall to Quantum unit, then Quantum to Thor distribution block, I think) vs a 4m chord of same vs a 4m chord of their top-of-the-line. Well, I have to admit, the 4m vs 2m difference was pretty significant, and for the better. The 4m entry-level to top-end was noticeable but, much to my surprise, far less significant, imo.

Well, not to beat on this too much, but it seemed right up your alley, to me: with your objective viewpoint and experience, perhaps some experimentation in chord lengths someday to see what you came up with. Many unanswered variables in the Nordost demo, of course--is longer always better or is there an optimal length; is 2m before and 2m after a distribution box equivalent to a single 4m run; is it only power chords or all cables; etc., etc. For years I've read about signal reflections perhaps being an argument for 2m over 1m (or less) in ICs and especially digital cables, but this thing about "4m being optimal" for power chord is a whole other thing--new to me, but by golly I sure heard something when he swapped them out.

BTW, I've experimented with and use a number of the devices that you've recommended and reviewed in the past and am currently using Hallographs, some Acoustic Resonators (most certainly NOT optimized in terms of location, since I did it myself and do NOT have golden ears, if there is such a thing, other than "golden" in the sense of aging ears), and assorted other "tweaks"--and I have to say that I've been more impressed with this one QX4 (sitting between a very good Equitech whole-room balanced transformer in the basement and a PS Audio Power Plant Premier feeding my main audio components) than most any other device, in-line or environmental in nature, that I've retrofitted to my setup.

I'll stop now--I can get quite verbose on this topic, as you can see. Basically I just wanted to say thanks for the interesting and informative reviews and I hope I do get a chance to say hello personally some day, whether over here or perhaps at a European show some time. I'm always looking for a good excuse to return to Europe, where I've spent a couple years of my younger life.

With kind regards,

Jerry Powell

Hi Jerry, (and Jacob),

thank you for your reply and looking out for us -- though in vain -- in Denver. After attending three RMAFs in a row, we thought it was time to skip. Many other publications make real extensive pictographical reports which cost a lot of time to edit and compile. Because to our minds just a dose of pictures won't tell the story, editorials need to be added as well. That means background information scouting and that is really time-consuming too. And time is our most precious asset. Don't forget traveling around to audio shows is paid out of our own pockets. We don't get any penny/cent from anyone for reporting - it's pure and 100% hobby. In our day job we are paid by the hour so spending 17 hours in transit alone adds up nicely to the ticket price, hotel fare, the necessary F&B and what not.

That in itself is no problem as we can combine some traveling with some none-audio business. However, attending a far away show should be rewarding on a diferent level as well. We are in the lucky position to have auditioned quite some equipment and have a general idea what to expect from it. Now at the last audio shows we attended, we encountered a form of easy repetition. This means you can predict in which room of the hotel which distributor or manufacturer has set up the same -- or roughly -- the same stuff as last year. On top of that, he/she plays the same music as last year and the year before. Of course there are exceptions and new additions but in general, the shows are a replay of the previous one(s). It seems like the industry is tired or has given up for some reason. Look at most rooms. Not even a 50-cent potted plant is added, with equipment just plonked on the floor, smelly food in corners, we can go on. Only a very few exhibitors get the notion right that if we present our wares whith respect to the attendees, we get that respect and more right back. And as the few suffer from the many...

The last show we attended was the one in Paris organized by the Haute Fidelite magazine. Next to the fact that during the same weekend two other shows were begging for attention -- mindlessly competing shows happen all over Vegas, Brussels and now Paris -- and exhibitors had to make choices, attendees voted with their feet. You could have thrown a (sonic) bomb without hurting much. On the positive side, we could have extensive talks with some manufacturers and distributors. A few nice contacts will be followed up by reviews here on the 'moons in due time.

Regarding your remarks on cables lengths, we have a hunch from where the perceived effect comes and we will definitely look into this matter.

/M&H

Dear Henk and Marja,

the moment you even think you need animal 'parts' to improve your f*ing cable, you deserve corporal punishment with a stick in my view and not just a few. What does it matter that your hifi is going to sound a bit better if you know that an innocent being had to die for that, a being that besides - oh irony - not even has ears? Of course, the shark will sure be caught for other reasons than for its liver oil as a hifi application, but that does not change the fact that there's blood on this cable and that is reason enough to boycot the Nanotec company.

Otto Flemminks

Otto,

thanks for your reply. First we have to correct the misconception of sharks having no ears as sharks have excellent ears and can hear the low pulsing sounds made by animals swimming, splashing and struggling. These sounds are too low for humans to hear, however sharks can hear them from many miles away. Sharks do not have external ear flaps but instead have ears inside their heads on both sides of the brain case. Besides this lack of biology 101, you have a point. The cables treated with the colloidial liquid are not for strict vegetarians as we already mentioned in a previous review. However, to use this as a reason to boycot a company is a long shot. When you want to boycot all products that can be linked to animal blood -- including human -- the list is endless. Google for today's slave's blood and you will be astonished. Wine clarifiers (sturgeon bladder e.g.), cheese rennet, your vitamin pill's gelatin coating and the vitamins A, B12 and D they contain and least we forget, 99.9% of all packaged foods contain some animal product. As 'pecto vegetarians' (no meat/poultry but accasionally fish) for almost 30 years, we know how hard it is to avoid animal products and how hard it is to interpret product labels with all their techniques for hiding the facts. Be glad Nanotec is open with their recipe so you can look elsewhere for your hifi improvement.

M&H
Dear Marja, dear Srajan,

I hope you are both fine. Thanks to you guys (and to 6moons too of course), I met up with Franck Tchang yesterday. Had to be in Paris for my job and asked him if I could come by to have a listen to the cables and Tangos. Which was fine with him.

Quite an experience! He played 2 of the CDs he demoed to Hank & Marja too: Larry Carlton & Michel Jonasz. Sounded absolutely great. He even played some guitar along with "Live in Tokyo"! After he swapped his cables for some Shunyata ones, it became apparently clear how good his cables really are. Or how great they match with the Tangos. Which look stunning by the way.

Have a great weekend in both Holland and Switzerland.

Patrick - Ostend - Belgium
Hello Srajan,

How are you guys doing? Finally settled in? I guess you can say it's "done" when Franck's visited you and performed his magic....

RMAF was OK. However, taking place as it did on the weekend of the great Wall Street meltdown, I cannot say that there was a mood of great optimism pervading the show. Lots of cancellations, we feel, as the traffic was not too heavy. And one thing I was asked to talk to you about, sir, was - the rather conspicuous absence of 6moons from the show. Heard several people talking about it. 6moons is a very important player in high-end audio today and it is important that the RMAF has your magazine's support.

All the best,
Jacob George

RMAF has no shortage of press coverage at all, what with Stereophile, SoundStage, Positive Feedback, StereoTimes, Stereomojo, Audio Federation and others attending and reporting. And we did cover the event when it first launched and other publications adopted a wait'n'see position. I see no reason to double up now that press attendance for this event has grown as it has. In the English-speaking press, Munich, Milan and GuangZhou/China see rather less coverage however. Simply because I now live in Europe, I have decided to focus on this part of the world and those shows. After all, one magazine can't do it all, neither from a time nor money perspective. So we shall leave American events to US-based publications and pay what attention we can to goings-on over here. If people choose to construe this as a lack of support, so be it. Neither readers nor the industry are served by excess coverage. It's smarter to allocate one's resources such as to report on things the other guys cannot so that international readers, between the various publications, can learn about a broader range of such events.

Srajan
Dear Edward,

Beautifully written review - one that precisely highlight what Kondo audio is all about! Are you using NOS (pre reissue) WE300Bs? Also, the 5687 have to be good old Tungsols - these are valves I believe Kondo San used when he designed the Gakuoh. One small note - I belive Sun Tzu is Chinese and not Japanese though :-)

Best regards,
Victor
Aural Designs
"Gone are the days when using a computer implied automatic inferiority to quality digital hifi components. Nowadays the PC -- or Mac in this case -- can come out ahead." - Isabella review, Oct 08

For this, many thanks! I was beginning to wonder if it was my aging ears, having reached the same conclusion a while back! Sitting in solo glory, one begins to wonder if one is getting adjusted to whatever sounds are about the house. We can't all switch between CD players etc to make valid comparisons. But, for a while now, I've been running my iTunes (iMac) Lossless, into an MHDT Lab D/A convertor, into the Leben and Duos; and being very content with the result. But, past conditioning starts to kick in. Surely it must be less than my filterless Consonance CD player?. But my ears seem content. And (shades of post LP playing here!), I don't have to jump up and change CDs every so often! Just be content to have my collection on 'Shuffle-play' and get constant surprises (iMacs don't have a remote control.)

I can free up an entire wall of CDs! (Eventually! It's hard to part with the physical feelings of holding the cases, inserts, etc! Like LP covers.......?) Put CDs on iTunes on outboard hard-drive with back-up. Utilise the Audio-Technica W-1000 phones (yes; me too!) at night via iPod into the Glow One amp. Ah, the simple life! (Maybe?) Now to get upgraded to 160GB from 80GB. Thanks for the moral support! Mariza sounding great as I type!

Chris Skelton in Shirehampton.

Hi Srajan,

Greetings from the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. I thought you might be tickled to see our banner. That's Gary and Steve. :)

Carolyn Koh
Dear Sir,

I work for German Physiks and would like to put a link from our News page to page 6 of the Milan report and also quote some text on this page regarding our speakers. Is this permissable? I thought the pictures you got were pretty good and in some cases very good. I have just attended the Internation Audio Show in Tokyo and took pictures for a report in Hi Fi World using a small Canon compact and some products were impossible to shoot due to flash reflections or the difficlty of focussing in poor light. Check in luggage weigh restrictions make it difficult to travel with more capable equipment. Congratulations on a well presented and informative report.

Best regards,
Robert Kelly
What happened to the review of the Peachtree Audio decco integrated amp? I read the Preview, and clicked on to 6moons daily waiting for the promised review. Nothing, nada! What's up with that?

With regards,
Jerry Michales

To date, I've not gotten the unit I'd ordered for personal use. The delay and utter communications breakdown on their part had me cancel the review. Perhaps they're not yet set up for international orders. Perhaps the Cherry finish I wanted was permanently backordered. Perhaps... well, the reasons could be numerous but when folks drop the ball on communicating status, my interest is gone. Plus, it raises general question to suggest a review in an international publication at this time would be premature.

Srajan

Hi Srajan and M&H,

Just got hold of a set of ASI Livelines cables. Wow, what can I say, now my system plays music and not hifi, with so much energy, bringing the music to Life and making it so real. The Liveline is better than all the cables I have which are 2-3 times the price and puts them to shame hands down.

So thank you all at 6moons for all your good reviews on ASI products and putting me in touch with the Master Franck Tchang.

Many thanks,
Simon Smith
Hi Srajan,

Is there another reviewer that can give the Accustic Arts CD Player Mk3 a second go as it's quite apparent that Frederick is quite biased against this player because of its price and look, its inability to play SACD and lack of digital inputs? In the US, it may cost more, but that does not certainly apply to the rest of the world. I have heard the AA CD Player Mk2 and Mk3 against the Esoteric X01 D2 (higher than the the X03) and it's certainly not as stated below.

"Warm and robust sound with slightly rolled-off top, fully developed upper and mid bass but not quite as transparent as the best efforts by Cary, Esoteric or Marantz. In the balance between extracting all information and sweet musicality, the Accustic Arts sits clearly in the second camp"

In fact my friends who heard the comparison also preferred Accustic Arts CD Player against the less thin and resolute sound of the Esoteric even when playing SACD. In addition, I hope that a reviewer with a better ear like yourself (who previously reviewed Accustic Arts and even owned their transport) would review the stellar combination of Accustic Arts Refererence Drive2 and Reference Tube DAC2. This combination can be held against any system like the dCS combo,Esoteric, Burmester, MBL and other digital combos costing much higher than Accustic Arts. In fact, many of us on Audiogon that have heard this Accustic Arts Reference Tube DAC2 think that it's a bargain system amongst the the best DACs in its class. Not so many have heard the Accustic Arts Reference Drive2 yet, as it's only just released to production, but I already owned one (serial #18), and I can tell you that its performance totally wipes out the previous Accustic Arts Drive1 Mk2 which I used (think you used to own the Drive1 Mk1, if I am correct).

It's not the first time that Frederick's review is treated with suspicion, his recent one on McCormick preamp also prompted a comment from Teajay (who incidentally owns the Accustic Arts Ref Tube DAC2 and various other AA setups before, and it was his numerous reviews on Audiogon that prompted me to give AA a go). Check here.

In conclusion, I hope that fair treatment can be given to the Accustic Art brand by having a 2nd look/hearing by an alternate reviewer. I sincerely do not think it is as bad as that review is. After all both you and David Kan did give the Nuforce Icon each your own thoughts ;-)

Best Regards,
Fong

PS: Fyi Teajay's review of the Accustic Art Tube Ref DAC2

None of my writers pursues anything he/she has no personal interest in so the only kind of a priori bias you could accuse them of is a positive one. It's funny. If a guy writes a rave, he's a shill. If he is fairly critical, biased and unfair. Perhaps that's why the golden ears on AudiogoN prefer to critique other critics rather than becoming formal reviewers themselves? As far as 'good ears' go, it's easy to confuse those with agreement. If someone's findings don't agree with yours, it doesn't automatically make them bad listeners. And to return to bias, listening to music is an intensely subjective affair. It's absolutely impossible not to have preferences. The moment a human nervous system is involved, you've got bias, personality, experience, filters. To recognize your own as much as you can and to communicate them to the readers is all you can do. Anyone who claims otherwise is a soulless machine. We prefer human writers, with all the imperfection that implies. As far as this review goes, I have no plans whatsoever to issue a followup. Frederic called it as he saw and heard it and that's all I ask and expect from any of my contributors.

Srajan

Sir, I rep NuForce for Argentina, I follow your articles since I consider you as one of the best around. Whenever you have time listen to the iCon-1 with the 42w PSU, this little amp really sings with this power supply. Thanks.

Rgds
Edward Collins
Marja and Henk,
Read both yours and Srajan's promising reviews of the Liveline interconnect. I understand a follow-up review is coming but I would greatlly appreciate some additional thoughts and findings regarding the cable. I was all set to purchase a Tara Labs 0.8 interconnect and decided to hold off. I live in Los Angeles and this cable is in short supply so I am unable to demo them.

Thanks,
Matt

Hi Matt,
we can be brief about our findings so far that will be discussed in an upcoming sequel to the review. We used the Skipjack by Manley Labs to A/B/X the Liveline to cables we have access to like Crystal Cable and Stealth Indra, i.e. cables up to a couple of 1000 dollars a pair. For us, the ASI interconnect beat all of them as they are the most time and phase coherent. The result is a musical image in the room/house that is as close to a live performance as we ever met. An orchestral setting in a tutti is really a tutti. The conductor managed to get all musicians\ attention and have them hit the right note all at once. This experience we never had with any other cable - that is, we never even missed it as we were used to some sort of HiFi that has no direct correlation to live music.

The price asked for the cable is very competitive to say the least and Franck is constructing them one by one by hand. We only can say to keep on 'pestering' Avatar Systems in Florida.

/M&H

Hi Srajan,

We corresponded back in 2003 regarding Apex footers for Avantgarde Duo loudspeakers. I subsequently replaced my Duos with Audio Note E/Lexus Signature speakers with external crossovers. I've thoroughly enjoyed the Audio Note speakers for the past three years but I found that I was hankering for that special something that horns can bring to the listening experience.

To cut a long story short, over the past few weeks I have been twice to visit Bert Doppenberg (BD-Design) and listens to his Oris Swing loudspeakers. I have also listened to Avantgarde Trio speakers. Frankly, I was less impressed with them than what I recall about the Duos, but that may have been due to the listening circumstances.

When I was at Bert's place yesterday I agreed with him that I will purchase a set of Swings. They are an eminently enjoyable speaker to listen to and, for me, they seem to combine most of the nice things that I heard from the Duos with the nice things from the Audio Notes. Involvement, excitement, emotion, 'rightness' and long-term listenability. Of course, I am bound to be enthusiastic having just made the decision to purchase the Swings but I really do think they are something rather special.

Gerner Christensen has sent me the link to your 'preview' about Gerner, Bert and the Swing speakers. I understand that you will be visiting Gerner and will hopefully be able to review the Swings on your website. I think you will be in for a treat.

With best wishes,
Jeremy Bacon

I'm indeed scheduled to listen to Gerner's system in Belgrade. I have, however, taken down said preview after some subsequent confusion on the exact extent of Gerner's contributions to the Swing. After all, this was designed as a tour of Serbian manufacturers. BD-Design is Dutch. That makes it inappropriate to highlight Bert in the original fashion. I will instead report on my visit at Gerner's in a more casual fashion when the time comes. Until now, there have been no talks of a formal review outside the planned and casual on-site comments however.

Srajan

Ken,

Thank you very much for your contributions to 6moons. In your review of the Ayon CD-1, you mentioned three other players: Esoteric, Oracle and Wadia. During my research of reviews for many single box players, I found the Oracle 1500 to be my top choice of the three. Unfortunately, it isn't in my price range even pre-owned. So, I'm looking at some Wadia units (Esoteric is even further out of my reach), but there are many and conflicting reviews for the models.

I'm hoping you would take a minute to mention models that you recall that you enjoyed. Currently I have an Audio Aero Prima MKII that I enjoy, but I want to improve my digitial source. My tube monoblock amps, ASL Hurricanes, are being replaced by a pair of Audio Alchemy OM-901.A mononblocks. These run pure class A with no sliding bias for 90 watts. My preamp is a four-chasis Canary Audio CA-905 (separate L/R units with their own power supplies). I own Conicident Super Eclipse III speakers (upgraded Cardas wiring).

All of my stereo equipment was purchased significantly discounted. So, either I find a "giant killer" such as the Doge 6 or I wait for a trusted and well-known brand such as Wadia, Oracle, Esoteric to be on a fire sale. Your suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Mark

Mark,
I own the Raysonic 168 and am very happy with it: tubed player, RCA and XLR outs, great sound, volume remote. I somehow can't see spending mucho dinero on CD, at least for my own wallet. But that said, it seems you either have to spend big bucks such as for the units you mentioned that I've reviewed, or you go for something like this 168 which lists for $2,800. Tube rolling with Mullards has made a huge difference and with the volume remote, I never have to leave the chair!

Best,
Ken Micallef

I want to thank you for your extensive insight in your reviews. I have taken your advice on some audio gear you have reviewed and have to say I have a system that I really enjoy.

Thanks again, Mike Phalan

  • Red Wine Audio 30.2
  • Audio Aero Capitole 2 Signature
  • Omega mikro ebony innerconects
  • van den Hul soon to be changed as well to Omega mikro speaker cables
    Zalytron custom focal drivers and hovland cap passive xover
  • custom maple speaker and audio stands
Hi Srajan,

I hope you aren't drowning in boxes! I see that you have received Vinnie's new stuff, which should be interesting. I hold the same question re: whether the value equation holds up at the higher price level.

One quick one - I'm enjoying the hell out of Dan Wright's Transporter (and done a bit of tube rolling, which by the way puts it into the stratosphere ('59 NOS Mullard GZ 34 for the power, and two 6H30 DRs also NOS), and Franck's cable. I never realized how fun the different internet radio stations would be, and all the music services attached. They aren't the resolution of an uncompressed CD but with the tube rolling and cabling, they pass very certainly for enjoyment and an unlimited range of music. I even listened in on a Cyprus radio station.

One question - I see that there is not any reviews on the site, but I'm wondering if the name "Ampzilla" conjures any happy or other thoughts. As I think I might buy the 2-box ModWright 36.5 from Underwood, he suggested a pair of monoblocs from "Ampzilla" as a great match for the next question which is the amplification. So outside of any listening on a specific product, I'm just wondering if you have a general feeling on reputation. I hear that James, the designer is uite the pioneer, but happy to hear anything (if anything comes to mind).

I look forward to resuming my reading of your site when you guys get all settled!

Jim Schneck

I'm familiar only with the Bongiorno legend, not the actual product. However, Dick Olsher who certainly has been around has some very nice things to say about his latest products, both the amps and matching preamp. Srajan

Dear Mr. Kan,

On the strength of your well-written, impressive review of the Kingrex Tripath T20 amp/PSU I bought two of them & the Klipsch Synergy speakers! I am however a bit mystified as to how I hook them in a monoblock configuration to the Klipsches. Do I go y-out from the source splitting the signal, i.e. left channel into one Kingrex and out biwired into the left speaker for example. Any help at all would be much appreciated! Thanks in advance for your time.

Best regards,
Bob Renstrom

Dear Mr. Renstrom,

Thank you for your kind words and vote of confidence. Your guess is correct, except I'd go y-in to the T20 to save one pair of interconnects and that's vertical bi-amp all the same. Just to make things clear, I have attached a diagram that might interests other readers.

Cheers,
David

Hi Ken.

Your report on the Ayon Audio CD-1 really intrigued me. It sounds amazing and very fit to my tastes. I had 2 questions. You mentioned the dynamics were fantastic. I wanted to ask more specifically about one area of dynamics - the punch and thump. Does this unit have punch, thump and crisp transients?

Second question i s- does the CDP work as well through the balanced outs as the RCAs?

Thanks,
Steven Rubin

Hi Steven,

Punch and thump are two of my favorite terms and sonic necessities! And one of things that makes the Ayon so great is that it possesses these qualities in spades. As a former drummer, I must have gear that has drive and kick. Such as my new ProAc D 2s, which though not as revealing nor as detailed as some other speakers, simply kick much harder -- the D2s drive the music like real life. As does the Ayon. Re balanced connectors, I didn't use those as my Shindo preamp doesn't have XLR inputs.

Ken

Hi Srajan -

long time no write,though I continue to read 6moons daily. While I remain ensconced in boring Boston, you remain peripatetic. Martin Mertens has yet to be listed as a reviewer, nevertheless his review is most welcome. His review (with translation?) of the NAD C315BEE and Onkyo A-9355 was a model of conciseness: clear writing -- no fuss, no muss -- with no valorization of the alice in wonderland school of audio review (wherein words only mean what I want them to mean); one mixed metaphor piled up against the next, willy-nilly, in which the reader is left shaking his head at the conclusion wondering if what is being reviewed is the newest vintage wine or audio equipment. Yes, I own my biases - lololol at myself.

Martin compared both pieces of equipment in meaningful and useful terms. No ambiguity. He actually took a clear position on each piece. I was quickly able to read the article and make a determination on my own next steps. Bravo to martin mertens. Let's see more of his work again, it was a real pleasure to read his 'meat and potatoes' useful review.

I do hope you and yours are now resettled in your new 'digs'.
Best,
bostonjohn

Martin is a new reviewer for fairaudio.de and I'm told there's another one joining for a total of four regular contributors. They'll keep me busy translating, I'm sure. I agree, Martin kicked off his new gig well.

Srajan

Dear Mr. Kan,

I have a set of Klipsch KLF-30 speakers that I kept all these years anticipating the purchase of some valve amplifiers. Of course the Klipsch are very efficient at 102db. However, the rest of my system is decidedly mid-fi and what I am attempting to do is maximize the sound while deciding on what tube components and cables will give me the best synergy.

I am an avid fan of the 6moons site and was most interested in your July 2007 article on the OCOS cables/adapters and the Enacom speaker filter networks. I noticed in the pictures that accompany your article that you installed the Enacom product in two different ways. One way had the Enacom wires under the speaker cable spades and the other used banana plugs which, I guess one could say, didn't come in direct contact with the spades of the speaker wires. I was wondering if you noticed which method gave the best result. I have quizzed Enacom about this but I never get a return email response ;0(. Now, common sense would say that I should try connecting the Enacom's both ways but I'm not sure my system is resolving enough to show the effects each way. So I thought that since you have an audiophile system AND younger ears you might have noticed which attachment scheme gives the best result.

I have talked with Klipsch several times about the 'ringing' problem which is exactly as described in your article. I have been unable to get an impedance curve from them for the model KLF-30. Lastly, have any of your friends and colleagues had experience with the KLF-30 speakers. If so, would they have any direction to offer as to cabling or amplification that would meld very nicely with the speakers? I attempted to consult a high-end audiophile dealer in Ann Arbor, Michigan and they told me to come back when I had better speakers. Oh, well, that was not helpful.

So, in conclusion, what is your take on how to maximize the use of the Enacom speaker filters. Any advise or direction on other similar products would be most appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
Richard Horton

Dear Mr. Horton,

Sorry to get back to you so late. First of all, let me tackle the easy question. I have three pairs of Enacoms and they are all terminated differently: spades, banana plugs and original naked wires with thin layer of WBT solder to prevent fraying. The reason is to partner different speaker cables. When cables terminated with spades are attached, I have to use Enacom with banana plugs, so they can both share the same pair of binding posts. And vice versa. I doubt if one way is sonically superior than the other. Honestly, I have never compared.

I do not know anyone that has KLF-30. I've come across La Scala, Synergy F3 and F2 and RF-52. They seldom ring. As a matter of fact, they all sound very smooth in the high FR, wonderfully musical with tube amps. The best tube amps that I have heard so far on my F2 is the Italian Synthesis 2A3 monoblocks 'The Dream'. I couldn't afford that so I satisfied myself with Dared MP-2A3C.

Some very old (20 years) La Scalas might have dried up caps and other over-matured parts in the crossover that make them sound coarse in the HF. Re-building the entire crossover is the best solution. I know Dignity Audio in Hong Kong and Excel Stereo in Toronto are experts in doing that. I have heard both La Scalas and they are absolutely amazing. But your KLF-30 is at the most 12 years old and I wonder if the crossover needs work. Anyway, if you know someone who can do that, it might worth investigating.

Another idea to control the HF is bi-amp (horizontally) and choose a smoother sounding amp for the Hi/Mid.

Now the Enacom. I trust that it's a Zobel network like the OCOS adapter. You can save yourself some money if you can DIY. The Enacom is tightly sealed and cannot be opened. But I have details of the OCOS adapter in my review, which you can follow. Another interesting review on Enacom is here. Sometimes, it pays to do something about the woofer even if we are experiencing too much HF. The reason is the crossover network might not be filtering enough HF signals feeding the woofer. Here's one interesting article telling people to add a Zobel network onto the woofer!

Cheers,
David

Hello Srajan,

I have corresponded with you via email in the past so I hope you don't mind the direct email. I have been contemplating trying an F4 amp in my system. Did you ever try the F4 in combination with the Almarro A318B? If you have tried it I would love to know the results.

I am in the process of building a pair of open baffle Hawthorne Audio Sterling Silver Iris speakers with Augies for low end. I have been using the A318B for the past few months with a pair of ASi modified Silverline Audio Preludes (upgraded crossovers, resistors, caps etc from www.asi-tek.com) and I love the amp. I found your A318B review very enlightening and it also helped provide the push I needed to pick one up. It is one of the best audio purchases I have made and that includes many as my Audiogon feedback is over 300 and I am a hobbyist and not a dealer.

Keep up the great work on your magazine. I used to subscribe to TAS & Stereophile. I find your ezine and other online websites like audiocircle, hawthorne audio, diyaudio to keep me informed of the audio news that means something to me.If you are ever in Southeast Michigan please let me know as I would love to meet you and play some tunes.

Best Regards
Nick Goode

I have not tried the A318B/F4 combo since, on my speakers, the Almarro didn't suggest any need for assistance. What will happen as you lower the output impedance and increase the current is a change in the tube sound. Depending on your speakers and tastes, these changes could be heaven-sent or take something away you cherished. I'd be more inclined to strap the F4 to 45s, 2A3s and 300Bs than 6C33Cs since the latter are already more robust and endowed with more audible "drive" than the former. Plus, if you love the Almarro as you say, why mess with success? If you were to biamp with the F4, however, running it off your Almarro to the woofers - now that'd be a guaranteed ticket to bliss. That I could endorse blind purely on concept.

Srajan

After reading the reviews which mentioned the Patio Cord from Walmart, I ran out and bought some, wired it up for speakers and was duly impressed! Thanks! But a huge warning for others: Walmart also sells a 20-foot Patio Cord for 40 cents or so less (7.40 vrs 7.80 for the 40 ft.). I grabbed one over the weekend because they were out of the 40 -oot versions. After lobbing the plug off, I found that the cable is not the same. I repeat, it is not the same—in spite of all labeling being exactly the same as the 40-foot length.

I haven't seen a 40-foot length for about three weeks. You can be sure I will be grabbing what I can find when I do see it. Let's hope that the 40s haven't been changed...

Bill Dodd
Hi Jeff,

I just read all your reviews on the Leben stuff (and Acoustic Revive) and wondered if you ever used the 28CX with the integrated CS600? Since you own them all I thought...? Is that better than the CS600 alone? Since I listen to the Leben CS600, I much more enjoy listening to all kind of music. At this time I listen to it with my new Audio Note AN/E speakers (a kit build by Peter van Willenswaard, also waiting for his DAC) but it performed even extraordinary well with the Gallo 3.1s. That surprised me.

Now I am also thinking of buying the 28CX and 660P. Not that I need more power or that I am not happy enough with the CS600 but somehow I just want to buy them. Recently I sold my BC Ref1000', Graaf GM200 OTL and ARC CD7 and Reimyo CDP777. The ARC Ref3 pre is still for sale. But the Leben CS600 gives me so much in return that I will not miss any of it. There's much more pleasure for me now with my old Marantz CD11 LE and the Leben and the AN/Es.

Well, thank you for your nice reviews and best regards,
Wim Rodenburg

BTW: did you also try the MHDT Laboratory Havana Dac?

Hi Wim,

I understand completely your desire to buy the CS660P and 28CX - the exact same thing happened to me too. I could easily see myself with the entire Leben line if I'm not careful. :-)

The CS600 is one of the finest audio products I have come across at any price and it always gets across the musical message in a very accessible fashion. The CS660P and 28CX combo is very very good too and their ultimate performance is probably a bit higher than the CS600 but not by a lot. Their primary advantage is the extra power of the 660P and the phono stage of the 28CX. I plan on keeping them forever (!) but they are not nearly the extraordinary value that the CS600 is, which is one of those rare wondrous products that seems to transcend what is normally possible in an audio device at a given price.

The CS600 works fine with the 28CX although I think the CS660P is a bit of a better match, which it should be as they were designed to work well together. Leben just released a dedicated phono stage designed to work with the CS600, so that could be worth checking into for you as well. I haven't tried the Mhdt Havana DAC but the Mhdt Paradisea+ is really something special.

Thank you for writing, I enjoyed hearing from you very much.
Kind regards,
Jeff
Hi Srajan,

Cheapskate that I am, I was a bit flummoxed after reading this tidbit on theNuForce site. I suppose the cheapskate brigade are meant to pay top dollar for the tech, one way or another. My oldest is neat and a hard worker and I feel certain I can get a good price for him on the black market and have my used Nuforce upgraded to primo status...50% above the standard fee would be 70-80% of a new item...which means to upgrade and break even one would need to purchase the used piece at 70-80% off of retail, unless my coffee fails me this morning.

From the NuForce site: "Most NuForce products are upgradeable. Upgrade fees range from 20% to 30% of the unit's original MSRP. Please note: These upgrade fees apply only to original owners. Customers who purchase used NuForce products will be obliged to pay 50% above our standard upgrade fee."

Fred Crane

Naturally, I can't speak for NuForce. But it's obvious how the Internet classifieds from eBay to AudiogoN and elsewhere have put a serious dent into many manufacturers' profitability. Used sales across international borders compete with sales of sealed new stuff. Perhaps in an attempt to discourage short-term ownership and the mad rush of equipment changes many audiophiles engage in now that second-hand buying and selling on a global scale is so easy and varied, you see things like non-transferrable warranties which apply only to the original owner. And, your above quote seems to fit the same thinking. It's the old conflict between the makers of things trying to stay in the business of selling their (new) stuff at the necessary profit for survival; and self-proclaimed bargain hunters attempting to get rock-bottom pricing. The Internet has given the latter a potent new tool and you can't blame the "other side" for experimenting with various ways to protect their interests -:)

Srajan

Hi Srajan,

Congratulations and good luck with the move! I look forward to your return (I understand there will be other reviewers moving forward while you're busy moving). In the meantime, I await Franck's interconnect cable to attach to my Modwright Transporter (perhaps attaching it to an Isabella). You can see you've had no impact on selections :).

At least for the first one (the Modwright TP), I'm extremely happy. By the way, the other guy that I've read more than others in your pages has been John Potis. I noticed he's not there anymore. Is he done reviewing or can he be found elsewhere? Sorry if this was already covered in some sort of Q&A or announcement, I just didn't see it (and I'm not angry like the guy that was missing Jeff Day :)...

Jim Schneck

I think you'll be quite impressed by Franck's cable. Check out the first informal review on Audio Exotics in HongKong. The writer, like most the clients of AE, ran the Danish Argento cables before. Rather more expensive. A lot more. John Potis can be found over at Positive Feedback Online now where a number of his latest contributions have already published.

Srajan

Srajan,

I have received my Musical Affairs Grand Crescendo SAG speakers and now have finally put enough time on them to get some idea of what they are capable of. They are capable of a lot. Once I got my New Audio Frontiers 845 SE Special Edition 845 amp, I am able to really hear the quality of sound they can produce. Everything you said about the PHY-HP KM30SAG driver is true! They are almost electrostatic in their sound qualities. Images are real, not exaggerated, and they are effortless. I can't wait until they finish breaking in (apparently quite a long process.)

The New Audio Frontiers 845 integrated amp is a find. There really is something to the mystique of the directly heated SET amp. It has plenty of power and is as close to plug and play as any tube amp of which I am aware. It simply sounds awesome! Clear, detailed without being etched and wonderful at the extremes. An ideal amp for 16 ohm alnico magnet speakers.

Once again I want to thank you for your report on PHY. I would have never known about these amazing speakers had it not been for your heads up.

Regards,
Louis D Berkman

Well, you're ahead of me there. Samuel has built my pair of Ocellia Grand Calliope Silver Signatures for review but I told him to wait until we're settled into our new digs in Switzerland so it'll be a bit longer before I get to listen to a PHY driver in my own four walls. Congrats, I'm glad the gamble of trusting a reviewer with such an unconventional speaker paid off for you. I'm certainly very much looking forward to my PHY moment of truth (and my wallet is trembling in fear).

Srajan

Hi Edward,

I made contact with you a while ago regarding the Dr. Feickert Analogue Twin, I subsequently bought one in April 08. I totally agree with your review, it is an excellent TT. I currently use mine with an Audiocraft AC3000 Ltd tone arm and a MySonic cartridge. This TT deserves to do well, I have in the past owned Nottingham Dais and Redpoint Model A TTs but the Twin beats these quite well. It is definitely a keeper. I have placed the TT onto a heavy piece of granite which is a good improvement.

Take care,
Andy
Hi Srajan

I have to confess my faith in you ;)
I read 6moons, enjoythe music.com, TNT, stereotimes,Positive FB, $$audio, stereo mojo and Tonepublications almost on a daily basis. they are on my bookmarks toolbar. I bought however Taboo and RW30.2 on your recommendations. I am building an active 3way system OB with the RW30.2 for mid/midbass, the TABOO for high and GR-research servoamps and 4 servo bass drivers 12 inch. My preamp is the DEQX HD so I don't have to think too much about Xovers.

My office speakers are Silverline Menuet which I listen to as long as my main speakers are not ready yet. I power them with the RW30.2 with a heavy modified SB3 ( Wayne) and PWS byPaul Hynes. All electronics have hundreds hours of play behind them or more.

Then just for fun I replaced the 30.2 with the Taboo and was shocked how much better the sound became. I had the impression the 30.2 was a world class amp and did not anticipate such a difference. Much more air in between the instruments, more palpable gestalts, more transparency. I have a newer Taboo than you reviewed ( not a rat's nest inside anymore) with NOS Mullard tubes and Russian Teflon cap inside. Of course I lost loudness, 6 watts or 30 watts is a difference.

I just wanted you to know. I hope you to be a happy and lucky guy living in a warm EU Mediterranean environment with all the expensive manufacturer's knocking at your door and makin a living with writing about your hobby.

Wish you good luck and prosperity.

Kyrill
It's a pity Jeff Day is no longer listed as a writer on your staff. I will now stop reading your reviews. Jeff was unique, funny and brought fun and affordable ideas to the masses of us who cannot afford 99% of the products you review. Have a nice life, I am sure I will find Jeff Day's reviews elsewhere.

Best, Nigel Marsh, Toronto

Jeff can indeed be found in the pages of Positive Feedback Online now but, as before, I'm sure he'll also review higher-priced gear like the Leben and Harbeth products for example. And I rather think you could afford something like the $249 NuForce Icon or S-1 speakers quite readily which I have reviewed (or am about to). Painting with too broad a brush tends to overlook things. But it's certainly true that we don't specialize or focus on just affordable stuff. For that, you might go to Affordable Audio or GoodSound.com.

Srajan

On the audio front, I have just installed (in Bergen in April) the first new "Finale" speaker system with our "Conductor" and "End Game" electronics. See attached photos and (if you can read Norwegian) here is a link to the Norwegian audio society forum which is buzzing with news of the new Finale system! The launch party was great fun and some of the Audio society guys were still playing their music at 3.00am! There are a few other audio goodies in the wings so I will update my website soon.

Cheers
Derek and Petra, Overkill Audio.

Initially inspired by an article on 6moons site featuring a cheap but good sounding system for $339.44, I investigated, then bought the units from Dave Merrill (probably near-last ones before he retired; thanks Dave!) I too have just retired and finally, after a few idle months, got it together to begin building the Zigmahornets. At first I bought the wood, but, having no tools to speak of, and being quoted £120 ($250!) to put a few joints on the wood....I let the wood sit a while . Maybe I'll just 'butt-joint" that one, later.

A series of events inspired a sideways look at this project. An interest in light-walled, low resonance, single/wide-range units (Ocellia a favourite, but Harbeths, etc) plus a visit to Tom Evans' factory where his bathroom was stacked up with small polystyrene speaker boxes, plus old memory of Wharfedale once making a plastic-cased, polystyrene filled box made me wonder. Checking local suppliers, I found and utilised a polystyrene maker to cut the pieces (of 2-inch mid density) polystyrene for the boxes.

I had no idea just how it would work but it was worth a week of fiddling (and minor aggravation!). Only tools? Mainly a big fine-toothed wood saw! Plus Stanley knife or trusty chef's knife! Japanese Shakuhachi flutes are plain looking bamboo flutes. But the inside is carefully lacquered with multiple layers to achieve the perfect tone. To attempt to stop some of the sound escaping through the box (polystyrene is 96% air!), I layered it with coats of PVA inside and out (added strengthening side effect) and then lined it with gold metal-backed wrapping paper. (Yes, Ali, that paper!)

Finally stuck it all together with 'No nails' glue, using silicone in less-smooth gaps, or PVA. So. Sound? (Which means 'good' or 'I agree", in Liverpudlian- "yeah-... sound!") Well, it sounds better than my expectations. I feared the worst, given the transparency of the box. But, given the forerunners in Harbeth, Ocellia plus (thanks again to Dave Merrill) the efficacy of the single wide-spectrum unit, it sounds pretty good. The wideband, non-crossover unit making a lovely coherent whole. I'm guessing my attempts to channel some of the sound down the 'pipe' by lining it are producing some bass; amazing from a 3-inch unit. The detail is excellent, the dynamics good (Ethiopian brass playing as I type). And obviously, there's a good 'out of the box' result! The box certainly doesn't add any character! But also doesn't hold any energy back either. A bit of omni-directional side effect?

Imagery is fine and stage detail and depth. I think perhaps, given the appearance, they should be called Sevilla, or Penitents, after the hooded penitents who line the streets at Easter in Sevilla? Rumour has it that they 'break in' over a period. I look forward to that! Using polystyrene means that they want to fall flat on their 'face' with the weight of the speaker unit, so the base needs to be heavier than current poly to counteract this tendency! Certainly on either side of my Apple Imac table, running from Kingrex USB and Itunes, they are fantastic as uber-headphones!

Thanks are owing to Dave Merrill for having the enthusiasm and knowledge to design and instigate manufacture of these lovely little speaker units. To Jeff Day for the spark via his article on 6moons site. To V.Esa for the hint of not diluting PVA. To Tom Evans' loo collection for reminding me.(and Steve Blackmore, designer in waiting...) To Harry Zweben for picking up the baton (Merrill unit supplier now). To CS Manufacturing for the polystyrene cutting. To my lovely partner Carole for patience and more patience!

Christopher Skelton
You know, I'm here toiling away in our audiophile home...and you're out there on the beach soaking up rays with some other audiophile...not thinking about circuits or OPTs...probably having a summer read while some fellow, who's almost like family after one day, brings you a drink with an umbrella in it.

I'm buying a Rat Shack receiver and pairing them with some 6x9 speakers from my old VW.

In all seriousness, enjoy the good times.

FC
Hi Srajan:

Stephaen's 12/06 Altec Dream Speaker article motivated me to try building my own. Using the Great Plains Audio 604H-II drivers, I designed my speakers and had them built by a local cabinet maker. They look and sound great! Total cost for everything was about $3650.00.

Thanks,
Mike Masztal
Hi Srajan,

First time I send a message to a reviewer. I have read hundreds of audio reviews in my life, and this is the best. I wished most of the other reviewers had half of your talent. And I read it several times, something I don't usully do. It takes a lot of talent to express clearly what an audio product that has no particular trait per se can do in a system.

I read your review after I ordered a set of Furutech Reference III Be-Wire cables (replacing VDH The Breeze and to match Vecteur L4.2 and I 6.2 and Totem Forest) to try to cure my audiophile insecurity.

So thanks again for the good time and sorry for my french.

François Caron
Hello Srajan,

Seeing you favorably reviewed Red Wine audio gear, I wanted to share with you a letter I just sent to Vinnie Rossi:

Hello Vinnie,
I know you get a lot of (deserved) compliments about your product, but I wanted to also say how refreshing it is to have all the "other" details done right. I think many manufacturers underestimate the experience a buyer has when they purchase something...how the item is packed, how the box arrives at your door, how the instruction manual reads, how billing and shipping paperwork is handled...in short, everything other than the sound of the equipment. While those details would not be enough to persuade someone to buy an inferior product, it can make a big difference among products of comparable quality. It certainly does with me.

In my experience, attention to these details is the difference between having what you receive feel like a nice product or a precious jewel. The only two people I've dealt with who've understood that truth are you and EveAnna Manley. Not coincidently, I own products from both of you (the Shrimp is a wonderful mate for the Sig 30.2, BTW)...

Any way, a long-winded way of saying thank you for "getting it." If you listen closely, you can hear Benny Carter playing in the next room...sublime...

Matthew DeMaio
Hi Srajan,

I am Jacques Lacôme from the south of France. I am going to make it short... :-)

First of all, congratulations for the overall quality of your site, no usual stupid talking there like on most of the audio stereotypical world, you go straight to the heart of things, pictures are awesome, description of tested stuff is honest and pretty well documented. I recently discovered among your tests Trafomatic Experience One review, so, after maybe more than 35 years of " Graal pursuit " to the perfect for my brain and ears piece of audio that would not keep me searching after something else and elsewhere and again and again ( which I kept doing for I don't know how long ), I got it.

This amp is great ! I am not talking about ridiculous intellectual audio masturbation, it does not make hifi, it makes music and nothing else. I got it yesterday, after a whole month of waiting, according to a supposingly "fast German package delivery" called DPD but that's an other story I could write a book about all that transportation ...I switched it to my Lyngdorf CD-1 player and recently purchased Zu Druid, and then music arrived in my room in the most natural way than ever.

My previous system was working with the Melody Astro Black 50 (KT 88) and a pair of Jean Marie Reynaud Offrande Signature, extremly good speakers, but......the Melody despite of its power is definitly killed by the natural definition of the "The " how you nicknamed it, bass range is incredible of power and definition, never boomy, straight and tight, with an amazing sense of modulation, voices are "human" , the upper range fabulous of natural, no agressivity like with the Melody, silky and smooth but extremely sharp at the same time.

I keep talking with Sasa on the Internet, to my point of view this guy is honest in the best sense of the term, I am going to try to do something to help him to hit the French market which needs " fresh air ", that's going to be tough, but who knows....

Hope to talk to you soon,
all the best,
Jacques
Hi,

It's going back a bit since Wayne Zufall's review of this amp but I thought you may like to know how to squeeze a fair bit more from this value for money design. It's well documented that the Dussun is receptive to jumper lead and power cord upgrades. I changed the jumpers to some made by Normy 1019 for sale on E-Bay. These are based on Kimber AGSS silver wire and are more detailed and sweeter than the supplied links. The power cord was then upgraded to a TM3 Connections reference item, again using silver cable which delivered further gains in transparency throughout the range. Note: the presence of silver cabling isn't an issue in my system as I own 'warm-sounding' speakers.

Despite the improvements, the bass was not as deep as it could have been and seemed rather bloated. To try and sort this out I contacted Steve at Herbie's Audio Lab and fitted three Iso-Cup feet with acrylic balls. Initial impressions were disappointing -- there was more detail but no real bass weight -- but gradually the sound just got better and better. Treble and mid cleared up and bass became more articulate and extended - it seems the Dussun's stock feet weren't doing an awfully good job at isolating the amp from the environment. If anybody does fit Herbie's Iso-Cups to their hifi, be patient - they do seem to need time to bed in. Finally, the icing on the cake - a set of RS Duet Palladium interconnects opened things up further bringing inner details and refinement to the overall picture.

The end result is a far more natural and detailed sound than obtained with the stock V8i. Timing is better and the bass is far more controlled and convincing.

Thanks for the website and the opportunity to let people know what can be done for relatively little hard-earned cash!

Regards
Paul Hammond
Hello Mr. Day,

I love to read your reviews , it was the motivation to listen to the Leben 600cs which I purchased. In my opinion you're absolutely correct to concentrate on musicality over high-end terms. I'm a semi pro musician (double bass, bass, guitar ) with 30 years experience in making/hearing music (blues, jazz, both acoustic/electric). That's why I think I can easily distinguish components which sound right from components that create effects. Enough of self compliments, what I wanted to say is try out some vintage EL34 Telefunken with double getter and the Leben goes IMHO another step up into musicality.

Greetings from a big fan from Germany,
Bernd Kluemper

Ken,
You have a great way of describing the strengths and shortcomings of the pieces that you are reviewing. I get a real feel for them. Could you compare the Ayon Audio CD-1 and the Audiomeca Mephisto IIx. One has tubes and the other doesn't so I understand that but if one has tubes in the CD player and then use a tube preamp and or tube amp, there is the risk of too much of a good thing.

Does the Audiomeca have the air, note decay and the emotion that the Ayon has and if not, is it close? Thanks and look forward to your next review.

John Rago

John,
Thanks for your email and kind words. To be honest, that Audiomecca review was quite a long while ago, and though I owned the player briefly, I am hard pressed to remember all of its sonic characteristics. Particularly as I have owned and reviewed a few players since then.

Oddly enough, just as I am writing this a friend called who also owned the AM when I did, and he recalls that while it had great dimensionality and soundstaging, ultimately it lacked drive and was rather soft sounding. I also recall that it had a lot of trouble reading some discs and I had to get it repaired. I think I went from the AM to a McIntosh CD player, which drank its milkshake...if you catch my meaning. !

The Ayon is everything I said it was in the review and unlike the AM, which I believe is no longer made or at the least lacks support from the manufacturer (I believe), the Ayon is a going concern. I will soon be reviewing their integrated amp.

And as far as the use of tubes possibly being too much of a good thing, I disagree. I use a tubed CD player (Raysonic CD168) and tubed pre and power amps (Shindo) and all is right in my world. There is no syrupy tube gloss or overwrought harmonic flavors here! :)

Best
Ken

Hi Jeff.
I bought an Acoustic Revive ground conditioner after your review and treated it like a whimsical indulgence..my version of a weekend in Vegas! I kept my expectations modest. I haven't used any form of power conditioner save the modest Blue Circle noisehound and an assortment of decent power cords (JPS Labs digital and Zu Mother). The AR unit is making a huge difference! Bigger than the happy inclusion of a good standalone DAC and much bigger than experimenting with some excellent and pretty darn expensive ICs and speaker cables.

My Gallo 3.1s don't have a huge bass and it hasn'tbothered me. I never did have any interest in the extra Gallo sub amp and my perception was that its use might be fussy to implement. Suddenly I have bass. I can feel air moving in my room. Along with this is additional ease with the remarkable Gallo tweeter...it's not diminished, yet somehow it doesn't call attention to itself as it has. Soundstage has widened and deepened...the cliche of more analogue sound appears...pace and rythm(now aided by bass) in the Cuban music I've been listening to lately...(Gonzalo Rubalcabo and Roberto Fonseca) come full into play..a favourite guitar/banjo/mohan veena artist...Harry Manx, has more wood in the body of his instuments..more harmonics and more natural decay with his notes..

M Bel Canto Ref 1000s seem as great as before but do seem to have taken on a personality of most slamming tube amp that of course they're not. All this from a mysterious hockey puck of a stereo component? Yup, and thanks so much for making this reader aware of them..

Regards.
Al Luke

Hi Stephæn:

I just enjoyed reading your "SR Revisited" article where you mentioned my> AA posts (MMasztal) and would like to make a couple comments. I, too, had a similar response to the Earthcalm device, but read on.

I started having some health problems following a surgery with complications (severe hemorrhage) about a year ago. Simply put, I was feeling like crap. Several tests which showed nothing and I'm not the type given to hypochondria or somatization. My MDs had no answers.

Upon further thought, environmental factors became a possibility. I recalled my malaise also starting around the time we WiFi'd our home and, trying to be eco-conscious, installed compact flourescent lighting (CFL) throughout our house. After considerable reading (see below) on EMFs and human health, I thought that EMFs might be the culprit.

After removing the CFLs and Wi-Fi, I began to feel better after a week with improved stamina and ability to focus. The reason for my problem became evident. Simply put, EMFs are bad for humans. Most adults' immune systems can handle this ubiquitous EMF/magnetic/microwave stress, however, some adults' systems become decompensated and physical manifestations start to show up. In my case the hemorrhage likely weakened my immune system resulting in my becoming susceptible to the deleterious effects of omnipresent EMFs.

My curiosity piqued, I picked up a Graham-Stetzer Microsurge meter which measures noise in the home's electrical system. Down to some experimentation. Using the G-S Microsurge meter, I plugged it into the wall. I got a reading of 38 (sorry, the device doesn't have the units). On the same duplex, I had a lamp with a CFL bulb plugged in. When I turned> on the lamp, the G-S meter jumped to 162. Multiply that by 10 for overhead lighting and other lighting uses. According to G-S, the readings should be 25 or lower. This number was determined by a study in Russia where a good bit of reasearch has been done.

We subsequently added G-S filters throughout our home. Our home is fairly large which required 34 G-S filters to be installed. Our house now seems "quieter". Not from an acoustic sense, but more from a inner calmness. (Sorry for the New Age analogy, but it's the best I could do).

The research on this is not scant. If you're interested in learning more about this, I'd recommend a few books. They were all in our local library system and are written from a scientific perspective - not "New Age" drivel. Numerous scientific reports are cited in each book.
  • "The Body Electric:Electromagnetism and the Foundation of Life"
  • "Cross Currents" by Robert Becker, MD, orthopedic surgeon and researcher who pioneered the application of electric fields to bone healing. He has also done several studies on electrical pollution. Lots of research citations in his books.
  • "Energy medicine : The Scientific Basis" by James L. Oschman, PhD. More technical, but with good explanations.
  • "The EMF book: What you should know about electromagnetic fields, electromagnetic radiation, and your health Mark A. Pinsky. Escellent, written for the lay-person.
  • http://www.stetzerelectric.com/filters/research Several studies done on EMFs and the effects on humans and cattle.

In summary. I'd opine that reducing the sources of EMF would allow one's immune system to recover/improve. Neurological functions, which operate on microcurrents, would also improve, ie, our hearing will improve. This is why one will likely not immediately hear/feel when the SR device is removed. Over time however, the tolls of EMF stress will again take their toll. Whether the SR devices are affecting the electric system or our hearing ability is anyone's guess. I'd opt for the human factor.

Regards,
Mike

Hi Mike,

Thank you for writing. It was my hope that the article would generate meaningful discussion, as well as more data points. I appreciate the references you provided and your willingness to share what you've learned, both here and at AudioAsylum.com.

æ

Hi Srajan,

I just read your report on Schuman resonance. Here is a website you may be interested in: www.slimsuniverse.com

I have been using his tools, especially the environmental harmonizer, that has a 15 mile radius.The harmonizers have been tested by 4 high tech labs and 2 US Air Force bases and have been proven to work in clearing geopathic stress, EMF and EMR, air and water pollution, 30% increased crop production and decrease of agric. pests, increase of Paramagnetism (much more than the pyramids at Giza) and mental and spiritual blockages. As a side benefit, my stereo system sounds better as well.

Thanks for your great reviews,
Greg Calise

Thank you, Greg. I have also forwarded your note to
Stephæn, the actual reviewer of this assignment.

Srajan

NuForce Icon. Received mine today. It's blue. I hooked it up (with the new 2m cables) to my Quad ESL-57s. Your write-up is 100% correct. You hit it on the nose. This sounds really incredible.

Have you ever hear original Quads overwhelm you with detailed bass? Ha!

Need to see if the optional power supply exists.

Wow!

Regards,
Gary Krakow

It'll take more of us saying this or people will think it's a bad joke or massive hype that couldn't possibly be factual. Well, those of us who already have listened to this thing know it's a $249 atomic bomb.

Srajan

Dear Srajan,

Very nice site! It is so good to find a site not influenced by advertising! Is there any chance of reviewing the Cayin iDAC-1? I have found precious little about it except for general info and specs.

Thanks,
Rich W.

Nobody from Cayin has contacted us so nothing is presently planned. I often tell readers with specific requests to contact the manufacturers of whose products they would like to see reviews in particular publications. More than once, it's gotten the ball rolling.

Srajan

Hello,
I've just achieve my High end DIY project. You can take a look here: http://www.iut-geii.org/emeric.shtml. I began the system with the loudspeakers and then all electronics: amplifier, préamplifier and the CD Player (using a CDPRO2 mechanism). Project 2005 - 2008, released on my own, designed by me.

Emeric Vissault
Hi Srajan,

I wrote you some months ago and asked about the synergy of the RWA 30.2 and the Avantgarde Uno Nanos. You gave me an answer and furthermore I acquired the RWA thing.. the rest is history.
That RWA machine has since then given me countless hours of deeply satisfying, musically envolving moments with my favourite music. It really has touched me in a way no audio purchase ever. I strongly believe it is becoming an audio classic. Well done - both Vinnie and you too, Srajan! :)

My kind regards,
Jouni Seppänen

PS. I use Auditorium 23 speaker cable and interconnects (new product from the wizard name Keith Aschenbrenner :), competes favourably to much more costly Shindo ic) in my system and in my opinion, you can't go wrong with these reasonably priced cables.
Dear Marja (and Henk),

Your Munich coverage was absolutely brilliant in every sense of the word. You essentially transported me to the hifi show. All other reviewers pale in comparison with their show reports. I especially like the links you always provide, the no BS insights and fantastic high rez photography. Take a bow, you are the shit - to use some of your cool US vernacular!

Rick Brown
Dear Srajan,

We met briefly in Munich, and I thanked you for introducing me to Juan Carmona's music. I now thank you for the recommendations of Todd Garfinkle's m.a. recordings. I find the music refreshing and the recordings are wonderfully open, airy and relaxing. In other words, like real music in real spaces.

One question, if I may. Have you had a chance to hear Bo Bengtsson's latest speakers from Transmission Audio? I remember you reviewed the RRM R1 while still with Soundstage and wondered how the products have progressed. I have remained in contact with Bo (I used to import RRM while they still had Bo and Vic Tiscareno on board) but have not had a chance to listen to the new products.

Thanks again for your interesting taste in music, and your very good web magazine.

Kind regards
Andy Stuart

I lost track of Bo after he first launched Transmission Audio and never had a chance to actually hear a production model either. I'm pleased to hear however that his venture has in fact gone commercial so I'll inquire about future review ops to perhaps report on status in Sweden.

Srajan

Dear Mr. Srajan Ebaen,

Let me introduce myself briefly. I am a young Polish music lover and regular 6moons.com reader. Reading many 6moons reviews I wondered why these interesting products are not available for Polish audiophiles. That is why I have decided to start audio distribution business in Poland and bring a couple of interesting brands to our country. The brands represented by me include some of the 6moons 'discoveries' like Mark&Daniel, ModWright Instruments, Red Wine Audio and Zu Audio.

I am currently setting up a website for online presentation of the brands and their products with links to 6moons reviews included, which I hope you approve of. I have one specific question to you concerning my website - I have found a piece of graphic in the RWA Signature 30.2 review that I would like to use on my website as an 'icon' for RWA (that is the rectangular piece of graphic to the right of the attached header gif). As the copyrights to the graphic belong to you, please let me know if you agree for using it on my website.

Best regards and many thanks for 6moons,
Maciej Chodorowski
SoundClub Sp. z o.o.
Warsaw, Poland


This e-mail is reproduded here simply to show that while common perception has high-end audio in the toilet, there's another side to it that continues on unabated, cheerful yet fully cognizant of the challenges. We can either focus on the negatives or the positives. Our vote is on the latter and Maciej's note clearly belongs.

Srajan

Hello Srajan.

I am still enjoying my Yamamoto A08S with the Loth-x Polaris speakers. Recently I added a FirstWatt F3 for the fun of it, providing better bass control and a little higher resolution in the expense of dynamics of the glass alternative.

Although I can hear and measure around 40 Hz bass from the system, I would like to augment the bottom end with something more solid, so here I am looking for a subwoofer.

I would love to hear your experience and suggestions on this. One alternative I think would be the Method of Zu. Anything else? I tried the REL Stadium III without any luck.

Happy listenning,
Kunter

I'm no expert on this particular issue. That said, my favorite sub is the WLM Duo 12 - dual 12"s, vertically opposed inside a sealed octagonal enclosure, fully passive, stereo inputs, requires stereo amp and active crossover. Nelson is coming out with a 2-way adjustable active crossover for FirstWatt which would be ideal to split signal for a sub/monitor system. You'd then have to provide a yeoman bass amp. This 3-box solution won't be cheap (I'm using WLM's outboard crossover and my AudioSector Patek SEs) but the active network approach, outboard bass amp and WLM passive sub combo is superb to go woofing.

Srajan

Hello Mr. Kan,

I have been reading the 6moons site for a couple of months. I am at the point of just turning 50 and my wife wanted to buy me something to celebrate. I was not into a Rolex but have wanted for years to buy/upgrade my 25+ year old system. I have had other priorities for a number of years but recently feel able to invest 5-10K in new equipment. I live in Hawaii so there arent many choices for High end shops...just one. I currently have Ohm c2 and Walsh speakers, SAE pre and power amps, a Mcintosh 5100 and a simple Teac changer. This was decent stuff 25+ years ago but not today. I have heard Gallo Ref 3s and really liked them. I spent a couple hours in the one shop last week and heard some new equipment...Avalon speakers...monitors that were great but at 7k maybe a bit too much. There was a Rega Planet cd player I liked a lot. I also listened to a Audio Source tube integrated from China. SOunded good but I am not real familiar with tubes, what they need to be functional in HI etc.

Anyway, I was curious if you had any recommendations for assembling a system. I have been going thru the site and been somewhat overwhelmed. I want stuff that is pretty reliable. If I can stay in the 5-7k range that would be good. I was thinking in terms of an integrated amp, tower speakers and a good single player. I still have vinyl too so if the unit can address that I would call that an advantage. I will keep the cd changer for when my wife listens as she is partial to that mode. I listen to lots of traditional and contemporary jazz, mostly guitar, piano, trumpet, and sax (non-smooth, more Miles, Wynton, Joe Pass, Bill Evans, Coltrane,), electric and acoustic blues, acoustic music (like Laurence Juber, hawaiian slack key guitar), vocal jazz, singer songwriters from the 70s and classical piano, violin, baroque and impressionist era...kind of eclectic. I have been thinking about some of the British stuff but understand that much of it is somewhat dry.

I figure I will do 50/50 focused listening and casual, i.e while doing other stuff. I may be able to buy a broader range of stuff when I go to Las Vegas for a nephews wedding in August. So even if I have a list of stuff to listen to then it can help in working out a buy list. Otherwise I may have to go without hearing stuff...not the best approach unless it is stocked by the one local shop. I have read about some of the interesting lower cost equipment listed on the site and above all I care about the sound. So if something seems like a good listen and a good deal that is fine. Any suggestions are appreciated.

Best,
Wade Souza

Hi Mr. Souza,

Happy 50! You are a lucky man. When I turned 50 my wife didn't buy me a new hi-fi system. I feel flattered that you are asking me for recommendation for such an important occasion, even though there are more qualified writers on 6moons that you could have contacted. You see, I'm probably the one with the least exposure to different gear and I focus more on music than equipment, making me a less demanding listener. The next shortcoming in me is that I like cheap stuff (but high quality though) and might not be able to help your wife to spend the full 5K.

Bearing in mind you don't want tube amps, my recommendation would be KingRex Preamp and two T20s, to bi-amp Klipsch Synergy F2 or RF35, and Marantz DV7001 as source. If you prefer the sound to be musical, go with F2 for room size of about 200 s.f. (or F3 for larger than 300 s.f.) Looking at your music repertoire, I think you might prefer more kicks and punches, so you might go for the RF35 (200 s.f.) or RF45 (300 s.f.+). The reason I'm suggesting the Marantz universal player is because I am a multi-channel SACD advocate and that's the best value machine. In case you want to pursue that route, you can extend the F2/F3 or the RF35/RF45 to multi-channel. The KingRex would add up to slightly under 1K, the Klipsch 1K (or less during sale) and the Marantz another 1K, totaling 3K.

If you want to spend the full 10K budget, my recommendation would be Mark & Daniel Sapphire and NuForce P-9/Ref 9 V2. The Sapphire is not floor standing but it sounds more impressive than most floorstanders. The factory compound marble stands cost about USD700 a pair.

If this is not good enough help, please feel free to approach other more knowledgeable writers on 6moons.

Regards,
David