TNT-Audio Readers' Corner
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April 2009

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Hi Mark,
Thanks for the reply. I attach a document which should explain why I'm looking for a Rivelin - its just one of the gaps! Bearing in mind Nottingham isn't so far away (from Rivelin) perhaps we may be in luck. I hope ultimately to be able to open a museum, if not then it will have to be a virtual one via my other website
I have no connection with the hifisound magazine, but I did chose my company name because of it when setting up 5 years ago. You can see some pics of where we are at

I really appreciate you getting back to me.
Simon - E-mail: hifisound (at)

Hi Simon
That is some collection. I would be happy to help you try to locate Chris Orchard to fill one of the gaps in your collection. It would be really good to have a 'real' museum where visitors could perhaps hear back-to-back comparisons of turntables they're unlikely to have compared in any other context (given the inevitable limitations of any retailers' stock, quite apart from the politics of distributors).

Speaking of which, Mine are probably one of the few pairs of ears around (the others being Malcolm Steward, Graham Nalty and Chris Orchard himself) who actually compared the Rivelin Eclipse to an up-to-date Linn Sondek LP12. I managed this comparison in my own active system and to a Townsend Rock in another familiar system. Chris's principal obsession was pitch stability, hence his rejection of floating subchasses as needing too much faffing to keep remotely in tune. Pitch stability and an attempt at true closed-loop rigidity also led to his unusual choice of sophisticated ball race main bearing. Pitch stability also led to his choice of an oversized platter for greater flywheel effect for the same mass. The gold coloured cardboard mat was chosen purely for sound quality, despite the poor aesthetics of cardboard, after many alternatives and I can confirm its superiority over a Linn felt mat, a sticky Oracle type Le Mat, and a vinyl mat.

You must equip your Eclipse, when you get one, with a SME309 as Chris tried many alternatives before finding that synergy we all seek from vinyl front ends. I will keep asking around for contact details for Chris.

Perhaps one of the TNT scribes could do a feature on your collection?

Kind regards
Mark Wheeler

How-to: record cleaning devices and fluids
I had a quick question about your article How-to: record cleaning devices and fluids. Don Roderick's recipe calls for 4 parts distilled water, 1 part isopropyl alcohol and 7-8 drops of dishwashing detergent without additives. Can you explain what "additives" are? I am trying to figure out if my detergent does actually have them or not.
Thank you for the wonderful article!
Philip - E-mail: pshu4 (at)

Dear Philip,
nowadays dishwashing detergents are plenty of addictives: it is almost impossible to find one without them. Try finding some 100% biodegradable one (just use Google with keyword "100% biodegradable dishwashing detergents") and you'll be almost sure to get something that doesn't damage vinyls. If still in doubt, buy some commercial vinyl-cleaning fluid instead.
Hope this helped,
Lucio Cadeddu

Trends Audio PA-10 tube preamp
Hello Nick!
I'm Max From Italy , I try writing to U to have some tricks, if u please...
I've bought the Trends PA-10 recently U've reviewed on TNT, but I got some questions...

The questions are (if U please to answer):
  1. Is it normal this high temperature of the device? did U experience the same?
  2. Do U have to suggest some tube to try that can make this little puppy sound better?
  3. and hacks on components that, in your wisdom, do really make differences (in better I hope.. hi hi :-) )
Thank U so much , even if U read 'till here
Massimiliano - E-mail: max.colarusso (at)

Hi Massimiliano,
To answer your questions in order:

  1. No the PA-10 review sample does not get hot, warm yes but hot no. If yours is getting that hot I suggest that it has a fault and should be returned to the supplier.
  2. I am not experienced enough with different valves to suggest an upgrade. I would suggest asking on one of the hi-fi forums that has a valve section.
  3. And I didn't have time to look at the circuit with regards to component upgrades. There isn't much in a valve circuit to upgrade but capacitors in the signal path are always a good place to start.
You also mentioned some hum and as you will see at the end of my review, there is a reference to that. If you are not happy with the level of hum, then I suggest that you return the PA-10 for a refund or replacement.
Nick Whetstone

Rivelin Eclipse
Hi Mark,
Forgive the intrusion...
This may seem like an odd request, but any idea where I might buy one of the above? Does the designer have lots of them stored in a South Yorkshire garage somewhere?!
Its an item I've know about for ages, but never thought of googling before and up popped your references...
Simon - E-mail: hifisound (at)

Hi Simon
Audio enquiries are no intrusion to TNT authors! I see your email address is hifisound; were you connected with either the '70s magazine or its Haymarket press objectivist 'New' '80s incarnation?
The Rivelin Eclipse was designed by Chris Orchard, for whom I lack current contact details. There is a Chris Orchard who runs LP CLASSICS LTD in Mapperly, Nottingham (where I was today by bizzarre coincidence), but whose telephone number is no longer connected, and whose website appears to be an eclectic directory of unconnected services. I have copied him in to this mail so that he can confirm or deny to TNT-audio readers whether he is the Rivelin Eclipse Chris Orchard and regardless of that, whether he is a vinyl record dealer who we should know about!
I will check mutual acquaitances from those days to find if anyone else has any information.
Now, my curiosity is piqued! Why the sudden desire to locate a Rivelin Eclipse? I did a head-to head comparison of the Rivelin Eclipse (with SME309) against a then current spec Linn Sondek LP12 plus Ittok. The Rivelin had better pitch stability (yes, it beat the Linn at its own game), tighter bass (no Linn bloom centred at 100Hz) and great dynamics. Its own particular colourations were higher up the spectrum than the Linn's (could be the arms) and the Eclipse/SME combo had sweeter cleaner high treble than the LP12/Ittok. Malcom Steward gave it a good review in either The Flat Response or HiFi Review, I forget which.
The Eclipse was a stainless steel and sorbothane behemoth, sized more like a full Gyrodek and weighing more like a 401+plinth!
Please keep me up to date with your searches and I will keep you informed of my progress.
Happy hunting
Mark Wheeler

Trends Audio USB DAC UD-10 and Exposure 2010S
Dear Nick,
I want to buy a USB/DAC converter like the Trends Audio USB DAC UD-10. I will connect it to a Exposure 2010S Integrated Amplifier. I know that my Amplifier haa a passive pre-amp section and some internet review said that I have to take care about the power (or impedance?) of the signal in input to my amplifier.
I have read that the Trends UD-10 has a low output signal. Unfortunately I want to buy this on internet, so I can't try the DAC with my amplifier. I want to spend less than 200 $.
Do you think that Trends UD-10 can be a right choice? Have you a better alternative? (e.g. KingRex UD01 USB DAC, Styleaudio Carat-HD1V Hi-Fi USB Audio DAC, Styleaudio Carat-Peridot Hi-Fi USB Audio DAC, Styleaudio Carat-UD1 Hi-Fi USB Audio DAC).
Thank you
Best Regards,
Teo - E-mail: matteo.fattore (at)

Hi Matteo,
TNT will shortly publish a review of the KingRex UD-01 USB DAC that I liked quite a lot. But I don't think that it will come in under your $200 budget. When you feed any source into a passive pre stage, you are less likely to get satisfactory results than with an actively buffered stage. However, that is not to say that it will be a complete failure. I appreciate that you are buying off the Internet but it is difficult to say that a product will work or won't work in your system. If I was using a passive pre, I would go for the KingRex as being more likely to work than the other DACs that you mentioned.
If you commit yourself to one of the USB DACs and it doesn't work well, you will have to consider adding an active pre to the system so choosing one of the lower priced USB DAC's may be your best option. However, the more expensive KingRex does sound better than those cheaper alternatives.
Nick Whetstone

Upgrading an Audio Note DAC
Dear Geoff,
I always read TNT-Audio, I usually write to Lucio, but this time - after I read your articles about hi fi - and especially your sistem, I've decided to write directly to you. Yes I have something in common with you: an Audio Note cd zero e dac 1, AN Soro se integrated, and a pair of Totem Forest. Recently I bought a fantastic Thorens TD126 mkII. I'm happy to listen music from vinyl, with the Black Cube phono preamp. Now I'm not really unhappy with the sistem, sometimes I think I wish to buy the AN conqueror, so fantastic, but for economic reasons I always try to avoid...though we never know...
Anyway I know some technician who makes dacs with 24/96 chips. I was thinking to upgrade my Dac An, but I'm not really sure, thats why I would like to ask you for some suggestion.
I own another cd player from Onkyo, and if i don't want to touch the AN, I was thinking maybe I could make the upgrade of the Onkyo, or do nothing at all!
Giulio - E-mail: giuliogiaiotti (at)

Hi Giulio,
Thanks for the mail and the kind words. You have spent a lot of money on a fine system and yet I get the impression that there is something missing and you not really that happy with it. Looking at your list of equipment one component jumps out at me as a possible missmatch and that is the speakers you use. At 87 dbl they are right at the limit of what a 20 watt valve amp can drive and though I don't know the speakers, what I have read is that they have quite a strong character which tends to the dry detailed sound. Also of all components it is always the speakers which are the most critical when matching your listening room is concerned.
My advice would be to try and borrow another pair of speakers - preferably something considerably more efficient with 90 dbl as an absolute minimum (twice as efficient as the Totems), ideally 93 dbl+ and which have an easy drive characteristic. A pair of AudioNote Speakers or Snells or similar would be a good starting point.
If you find that that doesn't improve things then you can look alsewhere in the system, but until the speakers are eliminated as the culprit you may well spend a lot more money to no effect.
Geoff Husband

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