TNT-Audio Readers' Corner
Monthly section devoted to your letters, positive and negative feedback about everything related to Audio and HiFi.

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April 2004

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Hey I love your site and have signed up for the forum but I have a problem that maybe one of your compadres can help with. Here it goes...
I have 2 beautiful Dynakit stereo 70 amps and a PAT 3 (in the box I'll have to check!) preamp. So here's the deal. I now live in Spain and brought my babies with me. So I'm getting ready for the big day of hooking up the goodies. I pull out one of the guys, put it into one of those 1500 watt stepdown transformers and voila it works! For about 3 minutes.
Then the fuse pops and I realize that it won't be as easy as I thought to use them here. So it seems that these guys are popular in Italy, but what do they do about the voltage? Is there a 220 tap on the transformer? Bigger fuse?!!! If you have any suggestons please let me know. Hey it's a great site. I went to get the parts for the Flexy table and yow at the hardware store I went just the hardware was like 90 euros! So I'm going to try to find a cheaper place.
I sent this to the the author of the reviews of the Dynaco but it got bounced back. Anything you could do to help would be much appreciated.
Robin Willis - E-mail: robin.willis (at)

Dear Robin,
you need a good, conveniently sized 220 --> 110 Volts voltage transformer to get those babies going. Be sure that everything is hooked up right, with proper grounding etc. Perhaps the transformer you used was faulty or under-rated (some claim 1500 watts when it's just 15 :-)). Or, perhaps, the units got damaged while in transit. Be sure to double check them before connecting to the mains.
Another possibility (as I don't like 220 --> 110 transformers) is to search for a similar power supply transformer, spec'd for 220 volts operating Dynaco's. It shouldn't be impossible to locate these in Europe (hint: try second-hand UK stores or E-bay).
When all else fails, ask a trained technician to have a look at the units (amps and voltage transformer).
Lucio Cadeddu

Pathos New Classic One review
I have owned the New Classic One for 5 months now. I agree with you that the bass was a bit "shy" the first 5-600 hours. Then it opened up, and became more dynamic and fuller. I think this amplifier need a long period to break in, espesially in the bass region.
I use Quad esl 63, and found the standard tubes (Sovtek) was thin sounding. I replaced them with NOS Siemens E88CC. The sound is much more "correct" on my Quads now, in fact it's a wery good combination.
Thank you for a very good site!
Trygve - E-mail: tbentsen (at)

Dear Trygve,
the New Classic One has been used in my system for several months so I'm pretty sure it played for much more than 500 hours. Perhaps, the effect you heard has been caused by your built-in automatic brain-equalization system. The ears (and the brain) get used to a particular tonal balance and hence "equalize" the frequency response, adding bass where it's lacking :-) (or viceversa)
The cure for this "natural" effect is to listen to several components at the same time, so the brain can't get used to a peculiar balance (of course you need a reference, somehow).
I haven't tried different tubes on the New Classic One, since I believe a unit should be tested "as is", otherwise the review can be misleading.
Thanks for the useful feedback!
Lucio Cadeddu

Re: Room acoustics and UPS
regarding the UPS I can tell you that this will probably not work well. First of all you will need a so called "On Line" or "double-conversion" UPS, that will allways feed the equipment from battery. Expensive. The problem here is, that a real sine wave from battery is very costly so many UPSes have modified square wave or stepped wave outputs. Another problem is distortion.
I use very high quality (and also very expensive) products here to protect my servers, the On-Line UPSes here come from Victron (now GE), the Netpro 2000VA and an APC Smart UPS 5000VA. Of course I tested both (and others! I get such devices to test from equipment dealers and distributors here from time to time) with my audio equipment, and they all produce an unacceptable hum.
And we are talking about multiple thousand dollar equipment. I cannot tell you if the hum is distortion or a not perfect sine wave artefact, but I guess that all these devices designed to work well with computers will not be good for a high end audio system.
Thomas Michael Wanka - E-mail: thomas (at)

Dear Thomas,
thanks for seconding my opinion on UPS's and for sharing your direct experience on this topic.
Lucio Cadeddu

TNT TripleT DIY cable
Hi Scott,
I wrote you a couple of weeks ago asking advices in making Triple T: well, I've done it. It sounds warm and detailed since the first listening.... the second is the matter.
Every time I listen to music, (after 5 minutes of listening) a strange noise shows up, while music is playing. It's like an alarm sound lasting about 3 seconds (fading in and out) repeated every 10 seconds, regularly. What's going on? Even if I stop my cd player, the noise keeps on. There's something like a capacitor somewhere (in the cable)?
Maybe the cable acts like a RLC and I've got into resonance frequency?
Maybe my HK-680 can't bear this cable (why)? Could you please tell me what's wrong.
Thanks in advance and sorry for my bad English,
Marco - E-mail: eraserhead_tv (at)

Hi Marco,
Sounds like the Triple T cables combined with your speakers may be presenting a bit too much of a load for your HK. You may want to try a Zobel network at the outputs of your amplifier.You will need to find out the frequency at which your impedence peaks for your speakers. Your manufacturer should be able to help you out. Then take that info and plug it into one of these two online Zobel calculators. The Zobel will help stablize the load seen by your speakers and cable combination.
Not to worry, your English is just fine. Hope that helps.
Scott Faller

Headphone cables
I'm trying to find a site that a step by step guide to making your own speaker wire. I've never done this before but I love to learn and I want to do this. I currently have some Sennheiser HD580s and I'm having a problem with the right driver going in and out and it happens each time I move my head and I think it's possible that it is the wire, and so I want to make some wire that will replace it and actually I'd like to make something that would make them sound better if possible. it's definitley a project I want to do.
Please let me know if you have any information.
Thanks for your time,
David - E-mail: versuviusx (at)

Hi David,
Can't say that I know of any site that deals specifically with headphone leads but you may want to try the Headroom site. They have links to a couple of discussion forums. No doubt there are some guys on those forums that have replaced their leads with a DIY solution.
Hope that helps.
Scott Faller

The Blue Nile
Hi Lucio,
I've just read your review of the classic album"Hats" by The Blue Nile, I totally agree with you, this album is both an excellent pressing (on vinyl anyway!) and a unique pop album in its own right. I just love the "sultry nature" (to me, that is) of this album,and the way it relaxes and draws you in.
I bought my album in 1991 on Linn Records (LKH2) but I've yet to see it since. I hope they will remaster it soon, my copy's wearing a bit thin!
All the best,
P. S. Great site by-the-way (please keep-up the good work, the hi-fi industry needs to be taken by the tail!!!) Dean Rose - E-mail: dean.rose1 (at)

Dear Dean,
yours is one of the dozens of e-mails I've received about my recent review of this album. I'd like to thank everyone who dropped me an e-mail and for the kind words about my humble article. Your letter confirms the album was originally released also on vinyl and it's a pity Linn Records do no longer keeps this album on their online catalogue. Eventually I'll drop 'em a note.
Thanks for the precious feedback and kind words!
Lucio Cadeddu

Room acoustics and UPS
Dear Lucio,
I wrote to Mr.Thorsten about this subject before but could not get an answer so I am writing to you again. I am moving to a new apartment in 2 months and the only wall that I can put my system is not enough for side wall distance. Normally there must be at least 80cm (factory suggestion) between my speaker (tannoy saturn S8) and the wall. If I have to place them closer what treatment should I do? Do wall panels work? Although there is enough space to the rear wall can you offer me a site that suggests room treatment? I believe that I can do this by myself.
Another subject is: I want to connect a UPS to my amplifier and CD player to get exact 220V supply. An UPS converts AC to DC charges the batteries and again DC to AC so that the source is clean. Does this have a negative effect on my system?
Normally I know that cheap line conditioners/regulators have negative effect on the amps.
Looking forward to your reply,
Sincerely yours,
Koray Pars - E-mail: kpars (at)

Dear Koray,
there's no way you can control the early reflections of the sound on the (close) wall behind your loudspeakers. Yes, you can try with some sound absorbing panels but don't expect miracles. Do search the Internet with "DIY room correction", "DIY tube traps" or something similar.
As for UPS's and their use in HiFi...normally these devices are a no-no. First of all, they do absolutely NOTHING to the power supply, when this is active and functional, they just some RFI filtering. An AC-DC-AC converter (more or less like the PS Audio Powerplants) is an extremely expensive device...if it's can't be good :-)
I'd suggest some serious mains filter, for example like the BlackNoise we reviewed a couple of months ago. Leave the computer stuff to...computers :-)
Hope this helped,
Lucio Cadeddu

Montreal hi-fi expo report
I recently visited the Montreal hi-fi expo and have done a report with some photos. Perhaps your readers will find it interesting:
Gunnar Van Vliet - E-mail: info (at)

Hiya Gunnar,
thanks for letting us know.
Lucio Cadeddu

Siri Svale records availability!!!
Dear Lucio,
I picked up your address through an Italian collector searching for Siri's Svale Band discs. We are the producers of their records, and Arcade Music Company no longer exist. You may know this great band have another outstanding record called "Blackbird", SONCD 2001, a milestone in modern melodic jazz. Superb sound for HI-FI enthusiasts, as well as great music for the jazz lover. We now export all over the world directly from here. Our e-mail adress is:
Trygve Hernęs - E-mail: sonoras (at)

Dear Trygve,
thanks for the precious information! After my rave review of the album Necessarily so... this was becoming a VERY frequently asked question. Now audiophiles worldwide know where they can order these two outstanding jazz recordings (and yes, I own "Blackbird" as well).
Lucio Cadeddu

Rega Super Elys
Dear Scott,
Enjoyed your review regarding the Rega Super Elys, but since you used the Elys in the past, have a question for you. I own the P3, and have just installed the Elys on the table. Sound is WONDERFUL, soul shaking & such, however, as the arm moves closer towards the center, the distortion on some records is really really bad. Did you have this problem with the Elys as well?

I originally had purchased the Super Bias when I bought the P3, same problem, then upgraded to the Shure V15 - distortion was gone, but went back to the Rega, cause I just like that exciting sound.
Any help from you Scott would be MUCH MUCH appreciated!
Mike Maples - E-mail: mikemaples (at)

Hi Mike,
When my Elys was getting all the spin time, I didn't have any noticable inner groove distortion (that I remember). Then again, I was pretty anal about my cartridge setup. I used the Rega cartridge setup template to initially set the proper distance and cartridge angle. Then I used the HiFi News and Review setup record to fine tune the anti skating.
Just a pure guess, I think the inner groove distortions you are hearing may be do to cartridge setup. You might want to track down one of the many setup records still availible. I think The Needle Doctor still sells the HFNR record and I believe the Cardas record is still available too.
Hope that helped a bit.
Best regards,
Scott Faller

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