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Readers' Corner - February 2001

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TNT DIY cables
Dear Mr. Monteferri!
I would like to express to you and TNT my thanks for your TNT triple T speaker cable. I have made it and put it into my system. It sounds great, really great, it remained in my system, changing a Van Den Hul CS122 Hybrid cable. The interconnect presently is the VDH 102 MKIII Hybrid. I intend to make a TNT X 3.0 interconnect cable too and to try it.
Many Thanks
Kubitsch Gyorgy - E-mail: kgy@wallitrade.hu

Dear Kubitsch,
thank you very much for your appreciation! Let me suggest you to try our new DIY design for interconnect cables: the TNT Piano 6, a very interesting cable.
Please, let me know the results, ciao!
Stefano Monteferri

Expressimo Audio Heavyweight question
Hi Nels,
I find it nice to read this report on TNT. funny you also noticed the OL stuff could rust. It is pricey for sure!!
My guess is the arm has been weakened by Rega, as they already had the Rb300. Must have been surprising to see how well the new arm worked. BUT this is not the X-files :-)
Here comes the question- seriously, deeply serious: did you screw the original Weight on when reviewing the Rear stub alone?
this I ask you because Hartmut Quaschik here in Munich (another mad "dog") told me it doesn't make a big difference. Maybe he hasn't tried it consciously I plan to do my mods with an allen bolt through the original weight.
Thank you for your precious time (that it is!), I appreciate your comment, with the best wishes
Philipp Gussmann - E-mail: philipp.gussmann@stud.uni-muenchen.de

Hi Philipp,
And a GOOD question it is.......
No, I did not screw the original counterweight onto the new end stub. Actually, it never occured to me.
However, that said, I still defend the Heavy Weight mod as worthy. First, as you noted, the Rega counterweight doesn't have a provision for the allen bolt.
Even if it did, the other benefit of the Heavy Weight, improved tracking ability due to the lowered center of gravity, would not be realized. And the Heavy Weight mod can be completely undone if the user isn't happy with the results.
Doing it your way, you end up with a counterweight with a hole in it. (Not a factory hole, mind you).
I would be interested to hear if there is any improvement with the Rega arm by just tightening the counterweight to the (new) end stub. Remember, the factory stub (at least on the RB-250) is made of cheap plastic.
Thank you for your interest.
Nels Ferré

Klipsch RF-3
Dear Lucio Cadeddu,
I want to thank you for the excellent website, TNT-Audio in general, and specifically for your recent review of the Klipsch RF-3 speakers which I have owned for around 4 months now.
I had already figured out the importance of toe-in, but after reading the review I moved the speakers another 30 cm away from the walls and really noticed a difference in the clean-ness of the sound of percussion instruments.
I bought my new stereo system piece by piece over the internet (I live in a small town without a high end stereo shop) and while I really liked the speakers, wondered if I had done as good as I could for the money.
Given that I got mine for $539, I think I did! My system is the Decware Zen amp version c (TNT reviewed version B last november), the Klipsch speakers, and the Ah! Tjoeb 99 CD player for the front end. I replaced the stock tubes in the CD player with a pair of NOS Siemens ecc88 tubes from the 1960s and it really increased the detail in the music along with giving extra clarity to the upper registers and to triangles, cymbals, etc.
The Zen will drive the RF-3's really loud without a loss in quality of sound. I have a picture of my stereo up on my website along with info about tube components and links to some reviews from TNT-Audio.
Thanks again!!
Kevin Grier - E-mail: angus@ou.edu

Dear Kevin, thanks for your kind appreciation and comments. It's good to receive positive feedback from audiophiles worldwide. Sharing knowledge is what the Internet should be all about.
As for toe-in: try tilting the speakers a bit upwards, to increase the height of the soundstage and let me know your findings.
Lucio Cadeddu

Loudspeakers choice
I don't know if your willing to help me but here's my dilemma... Right now I have Onkyo's 656 with the M504 amp and using Polk RT55's speakers and I'm looking to upgrade.. I have been looking at PSB's Bronzes, Paradigm 9's and I'm going to look at Definitives today. Are the Klipsch RF-3's a better speaker than these I'm looking at for under $1000?
Dan Burns - E-mail: BUDMAN369@aol.com

Dear Dan,
I've never listened to the speakers you've mentioned, mostly because they're not imported in Italy (except the PSB's) so I can't comment on their sound or quality/price ratio. The Klipsch RF-3 I've recently (positively) reviewed are a real bargain though, if one likes the non-smooth sound they deliver (also see the letter above from an enthusiastic owner).
All I can suggest is: go out and let your ears judge for you. Perhaps, if you like the Polk Audio sound (considering you own a pair of these speakers) you may want to test listen to the RT 1000i or RT 2000i models (top of the line). The RT2000i are a bit out of your budget, certainly the RT1000 are closer. I have a pair of RT2000i at home for reviewing purposes... and let me tell you they sound quite impressive for the price!
Lucio Cadeddu

Hi Lucio,
After reading your article on PRODIGY - The Fat of The Land - album, I decided to try it, not for the music but for the sound first. As I am really not a fan of techno music I put the disc in the CD player with some reserve.
I was immediately impressed by this album. It really shake it up. I can't stop to listen to it. This is not the "techno music" that I knew before. PRODIGY is not only sample loops and nothing else than sample loops. Prodigy get real music composition with their own sounds and not just computer loops.
Thanks, to make me discover this really good album.

PS. I read your article on the Klipsch RF3 speakers. You complait a little about the finish of these speakers. But beacause of the price you admit that those speakers are really good, giving their best on the sound (and that is the reason why we buy a speaker anyway). If you ever listen to the AUDIO MONITOR Silver 5I, same price range, beautiful finish, I would like to have you impression on those speakers.
Gilles Gallant - E-mail: gilles_gallant@videotron.ca

Dear Gilles,
I'm happy you've discovered that band thanks to TNT-Audio...yes, it is a great album and a killer recording. Now, take your Notepad and start writing: Massive Attack "Mezzanine", Tricky "Maxyinquaye", Morcheeba "Who can you trust", FatBoy Slim "You've come a long way, baby". If you like Prodigy, you can't miss these albums. Not necessarily similar (less techno, more of the "trip-hop" kind) these are excellent recordings of very cool Music. In particular, any good loudspeaker with extended bass response should be able to play the first track of the album Mezzanine by Massive Attack without trouble. And I've heard many hi-$$$ loudspeakers having trouble to follow the deep and articulated bass that has been recorded on that track (the B&W 801 Nautilus, for example, weren't happy at all).

Finally, I'd love to have those Monitor Audio speakers at home for testing. If someone from Monitor Audio is reading this, please contact us.
Thanks for the input
Lucio Cadeddu

CD63mkII KIS as a transport?
Hi Lucio,
I have been following your article (and Thorsten's) on tweaking CD63mkII i.e. master clock tweak by adding a Tricord Clock or LClock XO by LC Audio. It is very nice. However, I would like to ask you a basic question whether: it is better to install the LClock XO (and its accessories) and modify the analog stage with LM6172. (I know without changing the analogue stage LClock XO won't perform its best) OR use CD63mkII KIS as a transport and add a separate DAC i.e. P-3A perpetual tech. or similar device?
Comment please. What are the pluses and minuses using a CD player as a transport? Have you tested LClock XO (I like to try this product)?
Hari Santoso - E-mail: santoso@paradise.net.nz

Dear Hari,
I've never tried the LC clock so I can't comment any further. Anyway, before I bought my Wadia transport I've been using a CD player as transport for my DAC and the results were quite convincing, provided a good quality digital cable was used.
No, the transport of your Marantz won't sound like a Wadia...but, trust me, the main differences are due to the DAC and, most of all, to the output stage. The transport does influence the overall performance...but the DAC and the output stage are far more important. Yes, you can tweak the output stage of your Marantz, but it should be better to build a new one and feed it separately. I'm currently testing an Atoll CD 100 player (into the 1200$ league) and it is, more or less, a Technics SL-PG 490 with just a NEW output stage and a toroidal. Well, the difference with the standard Technics is simply STUNNING.
Now, this leads to one conclusion: either you build a brand new output stage with dedicated power supply OR you'd better spend your money on a separate DAC. IMHO, obviously.
Lucio Cadeddu

Sex & HiFi
Dear Geoff,
as I wrote you in a former email I totally share the view that you expressed in your excellent article "Sex and Hi-Fi" (that I happened to translate for the italian pages of TNT) on the male-dominated hi-fi world as well as on how hi-fi industry is doing its best to turn women away from audiophile listening.
However, I am not that sure this is enough to explain the little attention that women usually devote to hi-fi. Recent studies have suggested, and in some cases demonstrated, that behavioral differences among individuals and sexes are much more genetically based than it was initially suspected, although culture and environment play of course an important role.
Citing from a very interesting book on the last discoveries in the field of genetics (Matt Ridley's "Genome"): " ... Boys and girls have sistematically different interests from the very beginning of autonomous behavior. Boys are more competitive, more interested in machines, weapons, and deeds. Girls are more interested in people, clothes, and words.
To put it more boldly, it is no thanks only to upbringing that men like maps and women like novels". Generalizations are obviously too simplistic (hey, I like novels!) but I think that nobody will deny that males, together with the interest in music, often share an interest in the objects that reproduce music (sometimes, and rather disappointingly, the latter prevales), while women, on average, are more into the emotional and spiritual aspects of music. I don't see anything wrong in this. It's part of our nature and we have to accept it.
To put it with Oscar Wilde's words, "All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That is his." (The Importance of Being Ernest).
I am curious to hear some women's opinion on this issue. Kind regards,
Aldo Polettini - APoletti@intra.nida.nih.gov

Hi Aldo,
With three children under 9, one girl, two boys, I have no doubt that we are looking at different species...
Geoff Husband

The Twisted Twins strike again!
Just wanted to say thanks for such a great project. Made 'em & love 'em. Originally I followed the links from a discussion forum on Nordost Solar Wind on the Hi Fi Choice site, below is a copy of the text of a reply I've just sent to the forum to let them know how I got on making your Twisted Twin cable.

Well it took a while as first Maplins were out of stock of CAT5 & then with the aid of a calculator, I managed to order too little (must have had one of my blonde moments). Anyway I think STARKIE7 said something like "they should walk all over your QED in transparency, weight, clarity etc". I thought "Hah, Oh Yeah? I Bet", not that I'm extolling the virtuousness of QED Silver Anniversary or anything but come on I thought after all we are talking about a bit of wire here, & a cheap bit at that. In fact STARKIE7 would have been in his rights claiming this CAT5 stuff as being able to walk & stamp all over, then get it's size 10 boots in an articulated road roller & drive backwards & forwards for several minutes all over my QED stuff.
HEEEZASS! This cable is absolutely blinding, had it connected up about a week so far & I'm still dumb founded as to what a dramatic difference it has made. I thought my little couple of notches above entry level Hi Fi set up was sounding fairly good, now it positively sings. Loads of crystal clear glassy textured HF, some upper middle frequencies I didn't even know I never previously had, a tighter bottom end & a massive (& I mean massive) sound stage.
My musical tastes range from Bowie - Bruckner, Mahler - Madonna & Zelenka - umm Zelenka? Before on the classical front I'd have said that 80% of complex orchestral compositions were either on or just about on the wrong side of too complex for my system, now in my collection & post CAT5, it seems I have just a handful of badly recorded classical CDs. Strings sound sweeter, woodwind more definition while brass has more bite & attack. In general my system is now doing more than a plausible impression of an entry level High Ender.
To say I'm pleased is putting things mildly but don't take my word for it, both my ex-wife & girlfriend both agree my system sounds way better. Lets face it if an ex-wife & girlfriend agree on anything it'll be a blooming miracle! Incidentally neither of them believe I spent less than fifty quid & who can blame them? Sounds like I've dished out a monkey at least. Once again many thanks to STARKIE7 & SLR001 for the advice. Nice one guys!

Once again my sincere gratitude,
Justin - E-mail: Jj.B@btinternet.com

I'm very pleased to hear you are happy with my DIY design. Good listening and Ciao from the Italian TNT-Audio crew! :-)
Stefano Monteferri

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