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 2014

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Hello Mark
I have just come across your article "An interview with Michael Gammon of Transcriptors Limited".
At one time I owned a Skeleton and gave away as gifts a couple of Roundtables. The brochures of these I have posted at
You are welcome to click on the thumbnails and take a copy of the pages to re-post.
Kind regards
Gerald - E-mail: gfg (at)

Hi Gerald
Thank you for getting in touch. We will post the link on our letters page so that others can see them. I suspect Michael Gammon's other activities have overtaken him at present as he doesn't respond to many emails.
I am fascinated to hear that you had the Transcriptors Skeleton in the past. What arm did you have on it and what did you think of it? What have you now?
The Transcriptors Round Table were so inexpensive and so original that they would make great gifts. Indeed they would have been the perfect device to lure people back from CD in the early days.
Thank you for sharing these memories and images.
Happy Listening,
Mark, The Old Scribe

Scythe amps
Good day,
Sorry to bother you with what may be a trivial question. If you find time to reply, I will be grateful. I just read your review (from 2009) for the Scythe SDA-1000 amp, and am intrigued by what you said. It seems that these units are now out of production, and the only available amps based on this Yamaha chipset (apart from exorbitantly priced units on eBay and such) are small DIY boards.
Is there a source for these in the United States, or have they stopped production entirely? My google searches have yielded nothing promising.
Thank you,
Jeff - E-mail: mauser (at)

Dear Jeff,
as far as I know Scythe have replaced their entry-level amp with another one which uses a different chipset (MAXIM Max 98400A IC). I've not listened to it yet but a couple of TNT-Audio readers did and found it slightly better than the old version, with some extra watt of output power, too. It seems, from what I can gather from their official website, that the old Yamaha chip (and mainboard, mainly) is still used inside their 2000 Rev B model. I've found this on Amazon (for example) for something around 70€. It offers multiple inputs, VU meters and even tone controls! Its heart is the same of the SDA1100 I reviewed.
Hope this helped somehow,

Bantam vs Virtue
Hello Nick,
Quick question for you, how does the Bantam Gold stand up against the Virtue Audio Sensation M451? Looking at sound quality not features.
Many Thanks,
Tom - E-mail: tom (at)

Hi Tom,
If you don't want the 'bells and whistles', I can tell you that you will be losing nothing in sound quality with the Bantam Gold.
Nick Whetstone

Mutec MC-3+ (at) TNT-Audio
Hi Andy,
I was a bit surprised to read your experience of just subtle changes with an MC-3+ inserted. In my system, it's crystal clear whether the MC-3+ is in or not. Most improvement is reached with a bad source like my sat receiver, btw. May be, the KingRex UC192 converter doesn't generate much jitter ?... I'ld be surprised... Choosing xlr input at the MC-3+ was a good choice according to my experience. But, using an optical cable between MC-3+ and DAC is like driven with hand brake. Toslink is known for adding some jitter in almost all the cases. Jitter removeal by the MC-3+ plus jitter by a toslink cable = ???.
Just in case you still have the MC-3+ and you have access to a good 10 MHz clock - this makes a real difference.
Ulli - E-mail: modmix (at)

Hi Ulli,
I'm glad you are having a good experience with the Mutec. I felt it had more potential than I was able to squeeze from it in my system but I won't talk something up unless I'm certain. I suspect the UC192 does reduce the jitter as the type of improvement that introduced (compared to using a USB input on the DAC) was similar in kind to that I got from the Mutec. I was also aware of (and mentioned in the review) the shortcomings in my test set up. Unfortunately that was the only way I could find to wire it up and make it switchable. It's certainly an area that I'll look into further.
Andy Norman

Preamp issue
Hello Mr. Whetstone,
I've decided to write you because I'm stuck in an attempt to get my trusty old preamp fixed but I'm almost out of options and hope that you can provide any help. My Musical Fidelity NuVista Pre amp (which sound I love to bits!) has developed a nagging problem over the years. The motorized source-selector switch has developed some 'play' between the channels so when I change sources using the remote most of the time only one channel gets to play. After some fiddling with the control knob I can get both channels to play properly but that obviously makes the remote quite useless.
I've checked with the dutch importer (Viertron) and they've contacted the servicedepartment of Musical Fidelity directly. The message was that the sourceselector can't be replaced, because ALPS stopped making them about 15 year ago and they don't carry a spare stock... Their advice was to have the switch cleaned so I brought it to TentLabs who are trying to fix it, but it doesn't look too good. My question to you is whether you could help me to source a suitable replacement (NOS perhaps?) or connect me to a specialist who can help me with this.
Thanks a lot in advance for your help, advice and response.
Kind regards,
Heroen - E-mail: Heroen.Hartjes (at)

Hi Heroen,
It's hard enough to find those hi-fi components that we truly love, and therefore a worry that one day they may not work for us. Hopefully, when something does go wrong, the item is repairable, and spares can be found. That's usually the case when it comes to replacing capacitors, sockets, etc but some of the more complex parts can be much harder to source as you have found.
I don't know of a source for your source selector switch but as it is the sound of the NuVista that you like, how about adding a separate source selector? It's not the most elegant solution but it would work, and would allow you to keep using your preamp. Something like this would appear to do the job, and be a very cheap solution to your problem.
Nick Whetstone

High Resolution Digital DownLoads: value for money?
HI Mike,
You stated "Some music dates back to times when recording beyond 20kHz was difficult so will benefit little from the additional bandwidth." Why do I have that strange feeling that You think 24/96 means that it include audio frequencies beyond 20KHz?
Miroslav - E-mail: turcinovic (at)

Dear Miroslav,
I'm sure Mike didn't mean what it seems in that phrase. The point is that 24/96 or 24/192 reissues of old master tapes can make sense if digitalization is executed carefully but is a complete non-sense if we're talking of 16/44 digital masters. Many audiophieles are persuaded that higher resolution equals higher quality and that's not always the case! If your master tape is a 16/44 kHz recording there' no way to improve it, even when re-sampling at 24/192. When the information is lost, it's lost forever. Higher sampling rates allow for less steep filtering (and less phase rotations) but that's all.
Thanks for your feedback!
Lucio Cadeddu

Beefier PSU
I've already tought buying an adjustable psu, but they seem of very low quality, with cheap components. I'm a beginner in DIY electronics, and I have some more question, regarding the power supply. My system consists of an Asus Xonar U7 dac, Dayton DTA-100a amp, Wharfedale Opus2-M2 speakers. I listen music from my PC, flac files. For my needs this system is quite ok, but sometimes the psu seems to be a weak link, this is why I plan to replace it.
  1. My first question: for this amp what psu should I buy? Switching or linear? It would be an audible difference if I buy a linear psu? I have read some comparisons, and I understand that the linear is somehow better for audio applications, but it is more sensible to voltage fluctuations. I constantly monitor the voltage in our area, and it varies between 220-240v, during the daytime.
  2. The original psu for this amp has 24V / 5A. If I replace with a 30V, what is the recommended amperage?
  3. Clipping occurs because of the weak psu, or because of the amp? A more powerful psu will deliver more watts/channel, or just reduces distortion / clipping?
Greetings for the whole TNT-Audio team. Good day to You!
Wanek - E-mail: mgbiker3 (at)

Dear Wanek,
the general consensus is that linear PSU's are better for audio applications but there are brilliant examples of switching PSU equipped amps that sound incredibly good (e.g. Nuforce). Switching PSU's are smaller, more efficient and cheaper. As for amperage, the higher the better! Your Dayton will sound a little bit more powerful with a 30 volts PSU (have a look at the Tripath chipset datasheet for voltage limits). Generally, a better PSU will give you a more dynamic and lively sound. It won't avoid clipping as that is a natural consequence of the physical limits of the amplifier. Perhaps the extra watts available will make the amp clip later (i.e. at higher listening levels).
Hope this helped,
Lucio Cadeddu

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