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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February 2013

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Re: nuforce DDA-100
Thank you Andy,
it seems I'll have to check that out at the shop the sells it in Milano... despite a buy-exchange is not my favourite policy, I'll ask if they allow for it.
If I'll go forward, I'll let you know if the usb port works and under what conditions.
Thanks for the link to the w4s, which I didn't know about.
Andrea - E-mail: coordinator (at)

Thanks. I've been thinking again. Does the USB from the Project box work into the Trends DAC? If it does then it probably will work with the DDA-100. I'd assumed it wouldn't because it's basically intended to provide a stream to allow for recording vinyl to digital and the Pro-Ject web site talks about it interfacing with recording software on a computer. But if it is just an audio data stream then presumably a DAC would be able to process it. If it works with one DAC, then it should work with any. It would still be preferable to keep the signal from the record deck in the analogue domain.
Best regards,
Andy Norman

Yamamoto Soundcraft tuning products
Hi Mark,
I have been reading your reviews with a lot of enthusiasm because the sonic traits that I value most in my setup is very similar to yours. I regard tone and PRAT to be the most important character to get right in a system, which I see being referred to in your reviews as well.

Not many reviewers or audiophiles seem to understand these aspects very well, I dont know why.
Anyway, going by your reviews I purchased the Yamamoto PB-4-2, PB-18 and PB-20/21 to try in my system. I am very happy with all these products. The PB-4-2 is being used under my TT isolation board (a simple MDF board actually). I would like to replace the MDF board with a solid wood platform and so I was considering the Yamamoto B-60 asada cherrywood base. Could you please share your views about the Yamamoto "cherrywood" products ? Do they preserve the PRAT and tone like the African Black wood products ? There is another similar product from a company called "Acoustic Revive", they make a solid Hickory wood board called the RHB-20. I am somewhat confused between the two and both of them do not have any reviews on the internet. Would be very grateful if you share your views on this.
Abhijit - E-mail: dr.basss (at)

Hi Abhijt,
Thank you for your kind words. I do try to privilege the musical abilities before the audiophile qualities of audio equipment. I own audio to try to experience music that I have been unable to hear live (often because the artists are dead) or to remind myself of live music I have enjoyed. On Friday night I heard Lee 'Scratch' Perry live at the wonderful Holmfirth Picturedrome and have trawled my old vinyl since. I suspect your dr.basss email would imply you would share my reggae enthusiasm.

I am pleased you like the Yamamoto footers. I have not tried any of the platforms that you ask about. Yamamoto san did not offer them for review. Sadly the ERaudio SpaceHarmonisers seem to have disappeared from the market along with their violins. Something Solid shelves do work on other supports than their own racks, but they're not pretty and they do include mdf as well as end grain balsa wood.

My experience has been that mdf platforms sap the life from music even more than chipboard. I have found that, even with isolating feet, the character of the shelf has a profound impact. Where wood footers are employed, it is good to balance the character of the shelf with the equipment components being supported and the materials of the feet above & below the shelf itself. For maximum joie de vivre, denser hardwoods seem to work, but can be too much. Under my Michell Orbe SE, I use 12mm laminated glass (NOT toughened glass, which rings like a cracked bell) in preference to woods (including the 'Ultra' shelf on my Origin Live support frame). Nick dipped his toes into the world of Vertex AQ and I have been impressed with the products of BrightStar. Their Isonodes were unbelievably cost effective and I was especially impressed by the effects of things placed on top of components but did not try their shelves. Perhaps a review should be in order.

Whatever you try, please let us know at TNT-audio so that we can share your experiences. Your question and my answer will intertest many readers.
Happy Listening,
Mark, The Old Scribe

nuforce DDA100
Hi just wondered if you could see any advantage of using two dda100s to bi-amp speakers, connect them optically and feeding the input of one?
Jeff - E-mail: Jeff.Moore (at)

There are a number of considerations. I guess it would have the effect of increasing the total current delivery to the loudspeakers. This might help if the amplifiers were being strained by the demands of the speakers.
Theoretically you might get better left/right separation if you used one amp for each side. I don't know if daisy chaining in this way would introduce any delay or signal degradation. In theory it would but most likely beneath the level of audibililty.
The guys at Nuforce would probably be happy to discuss it with you if you were seriously considering it. I'd imagine though that you'd be better off spending the money to address any systems issues more directly (if the issue is current delivery, trade up to a more powerful amp or more sensitive loudspeakers).
Hope that helps,
Andy Norman

nuforce DDA-100 - II
Hello Andy, I've read your review of the nuforce DDA-100 and need some advice if you don't mind.
I've been listening to a little trends audio for quite a few years now, but I now have a weird setup that I want to slim down: the oppo goes into a behringer dac 2496 and from there into the trends, then to a couple of Piega P4L (some low sensitivity loudspeakers on 4Ohm).
The same path is followed by the sat receiver, and the apple tv. A "plug- unplug-replug-etc" path is reserved to the technics sl-1200 and its pro-ject phonobox.
This only works thanks to the behringer being pro-equipment: is has a very high output level and the TA makes it to drive the Piega to a good listening volume.
Poor performance with the turntable, on the other side. Today my life is getting more and more digital, and I need to simplify since everithing is hidden in a cabinet and manually switching the input again and again makes listening time a pain. The nuforce could simplify and since I had a listening session with the nad c390dd which impressed me (can't afford it) I stick with the direct digital philosophy.
My questions are:

  1. would the nuforce drive my speakers fine? (I don't have the possibility to test myself, unfortunately)
  2. would a pro-ject phobox USB / nad pp3i play?? I read they needs a pc/mac, but would it play if plugged in the nuforce usb input?
  3. I'd add a rel T5 for video purposes but I read that speaker out plugs are unconforable. Would the Rel's Neutrik speakon high level inputs fit?
Thank you in advance for your kind response.
Andrea - E-mail: coordinator (at)

As much as I like the DDA-100 I don't think it would be a great choice for you. It is probably powerful enough to drive the speakers but a more powerful amp would be likely to be better. And I don't think it will accept a USB input from your phono preamp. You don't mention headphones, but another issue is that there is no headphone out. My feeling was that it was a great amp for a system just needing one or two digital inputs and with reasonably sensitive speakers. I suspect you'll do better to look for a powerful conventional transistor amp, or else have a look at something like the Wyred4Sound range that has DAC/amps with a more powerful output and an analogue input. The amplifier is the heart of the system so you don't want to restrict yourself any more than you have to.
Whatever you do, if can manage it, find a retailer who will let you try the equipment and return it (even if just for exchange) if it doesn't work well in your set up.
Good luck in your search!
Best regards,
Andy Norman

Against Real Stereo
I regret to note that you are so blinkered and backward that you do not accept that 5.1 SACD or BD sound is considerably superior to only Stereo that can not achieve a realistic Concert Hall experience.
IMO most so-called High End Stereo Components are a ll hype and a total rip-off.
Gerald - E-mail: sgb111 (at)

Dear Gerald,
if multichannel sound is so entertaining and relaxing I wonder why you seem so angry and nervous :-)
We "Real Stereo guys" are so happy with our blinkered and backward approach that we can even enjoy the music we love. It is not that we don't accept multichannel, the point is that we have just two ears...hence two speakers :-)
More seriously, placing two speakers in a reasonable way is already difficult, installing five or six of these is a nightmare. Anyway, if you're happy with multichannel, we're happy for you. Relax and enjoy your music, as much as we do, even if totally blinkered.
Thanks for the feedback!
Lucio Cadeddu

Cables improvements
After reading your review on Transparent's Musiclink Plus, I thought it was time to give it a try and I did. And as you would expect, since that day I have been wondering as to what I had been listening to for all those 7 years. This testifies that cables are the culprit in a good system and one should keep a healthy amount aside for cables while building the system.
My current setup is Squeezebox Touch (SBT) connected to power amp of C352 (pre-amp skipped another culprit in my system). The speakers are from Tekton Design connected by Supra Ply 3.4 S.
Such an improvement with interconnects keeps me wondering if I should look at upgrading my speaker cables too?? I need your help here in choosing one. After buying the Musiclink Plus, I took a look at your review of JPS Lab Ultraconductor interconnects. I just wanted to know your favorite among these two because when I go for another pair, will go for whichever you suggest.
Finally, as always, thank you for having such reviews that are so true when one experiences it.
GopalJee - E-mail: gopaljee.nigam (at) Nigam

Dear GopalJee,
your Supra Ply 3.4S are very good speaker cables, and fit nicely inside your HiFi system. I wouldn't spend any extra cash on new cables, rather I'd try to build something taken from our DIY recipes.
Keep us updated!
Lucio Cadeddu

Duevel Enterprise
Dear Lucio,
thank you for your nice review on the Duevel Enterprise! They might soon replace my Planets. I was wondering whether those speakers would also benefit from an additional subwoofer to get an even fuller sound experience. Maybe from a MartinLogan Dynamo 700w ( in down-firing configuration...
What do you think about it? I know that it depends very much on ones listening environment - so just in general, if you would like to share your opinion.
Thank you,
Balduin - E-mail: detlev24 (at)

Dear Balduin,
glad you enjoyed my recent review of the Duevel Enterprise. No, I don't think they need a subwoofer: the bass range is already deep and full! Matching a subwoofer to a floorstander is a tough task, I'd rather save that money for different kinds of upgrades.
BTW, now that review has been updated with comments from Markus Duevel himself.
Hope this helped!
Lucio Cadeddu

Canor TP 106
Dear Mark,

Many thanks and congratulations for your smart work with TNT-audio. The more I read it, the more I appreciate the important "mission" you and the staff are carrying forward.
Some weeks ago I've bought a Canor VP 106 and I've got some questions to ask about stand-by and ventilation.

  1. Is it advisable to switch off (using the main switch) the amplifier when not in use for a few days? I listen to music mainly in the weekend so I wish I could turn off the Canor during the week to avoid wasting electricity.
  2. If not, how much electricity does the Canor absorb in stand-by mode?
  3. I placed the amplifier on the lower shelf of my rack, 6 cm below the shelf above, but I think it is too little distance (the shelf above, in fact, becomes uncomfortably warm to the touch, when the Canor is working).
    Considering that shelves are made of wood and the space around is 20 cm in every direction, do you think that 10-12 cm of space above could be optimal?
Many thanks for your help.
Best regards
Francesco - E-mail: lvrfnc (at)

Hi Francesco,
Thank you for the kind words about We do our best to provide information and opinions that are independent, honest and truthful, which is why we often write about lesser known brands who do not buy advertising in the comics or the web pages that carry advertising.

I find the Canor TP106 VR+ warms up so quickly from standby to 'good enough' (20 minutes) that I never leave it on. More surprising is that it warms up so quickly from zero to standby, that it is worth switching off completely for safety and ecological reasons.

Ventilation is a very useful question for owners of this, and other enclosed integrated valve (tube) amplifiers. You describe your amplifier as VP106, whereas the one I tested is TP106 VR+. Canor do make a TP106 VR (without the +) which uses 6L6G output valves in place of the 6550 output valves. That model develops slightly less power than the + model, so ventilation and power consumption might be different. The Canor TP106 VR+ here is currently sitting on a small wooden shelf (36cm deep x 43cm) in the excellent ERaudio SpaceHarmoniser shelf (28cm deep x 48cm). The Canor runs cooler and sounds better with the steel cover removed (not to be tried if you have children, pets or anyone who might insert their fingers and get burned or electrocuted). This also allows the air convection to be distributed more widely than through the perforated areas of the top cover. The valves (tubes) here have all been fitted with Pearl valve dampers/coolers. In this arrangement, the ERaudio wooden shelf above the Canor TP 106 VR+ is just 3.5cm above where the Canor top cover would have been, or 3cm above the top of the front panel. Because the ERaudio shelf is so shallow, there is no shelf directly above the front panel or the back panel of the amplifier, allowing free convection at the front and back above the amplifier.

The underside of the ERaudio shelf above the amplifier is warm to the touch, but not so hot it would catch fire. I cannot comment about the situation on another rack with other shelves, with the amplifier cover on or without the valve coolers.

If you listen to vinyl you will find the matching Canor TP306 VR+ phono pre-amplifier is even more exceptional than the integrated amplifier. For a lower budget, the Haden Boardman 33.3 photo pre-amplifier is a bargain at less than 550Euro (YMMV), and a review of this will appear soon.
Happy listening,
Mark Wheeler

Dayton DTA-100 problems
I was interested that one of your other readers had problems with a year-old DTA-100a. I, too, came to this fine sounding amp as a result of your review; I'd been using a Trends, also because of your well-merited recommendation, but the space demands of a growing daughter were putting ever more pressure on me to abandon the best speaker match I'd found, "vintage" floor-standing DCM TimeFrame 600s, in favor of something that could go on shelves.
Under the circumstances, the Dayton was the answer to a prayer, as it readily gave me the Class-T sound with a pair of even older KLH Model Six speakers whose power demands ruled the Trends out of court. All was sweetness and light until just before Christmas, when one morning I turned on the Dayton and heard not the strains of Christopher Rouse's "Karoljou" (incidentally, a lovely modern contribution to the world of "classical" Christmas music), but "beep-beep-beep-beep-beeeeep" and then--silence. The Dayton was dead. Since then I've confirmed that by that point it was just about a month out of its one-year warranty period.

After failing to turn up any "bookshelf" speakers with decent bass specs that would be sufficiently sensitive to partner with the Trends, I went ahead and bought another Dayton. The new one came with a prominent sticker not present on its predecessor warning "6 or 8 ohm speakers only--4 ohm speakers may damage your amplifier and void your warranty." Could that be the other reader's problem? For my part, I'm wondering if I damaged mine by using it a fair amount with an old pair of Stax SR-30 electret earspeakers. They do feed from the speaker taps, not the headphone jack, and for all I know they could be effectively a 4 ohm load. If anyone in TNT-land can shed light on that question, I'd be most grateful, as my own somewhat cursory online research hasn't turned up an answer.
David - E-mail: drhoehl (at)

Dear David,
sorry to hear about your DTA-100...Yes, the low impedance might be the reason for the failure. This is NOT a problem of the Dayton amp, but of the Tripath TK2050 chipset it uses. The Tripath datasheet reports power output measurements up to 6 Ohm while the 4 Ohm data are referred to a paralleled output scheme (mono applications). So, while many TK2050's survive even driving low impedances some others don't. This is caused by the fact that loudspeakers nominal impedance is a rather elusive parameter. Even speakers that can go down to 2 Ohm are sometimes declared as 4 Ohm nominal, meaning this is a kind of average impedance.
For this reason, staying above 6 Ohm should be safe enough. I'll eventually add this recommendation to my article.
With respect to your question about the Stax SR-30 impedance I'm sorry I can't give you any useful info.
Keep us updated!
Lucio Cadeddu

Duevel Enterprise, a letter from a reviewer
Greetings Lucio, from one reviewer to another.
I just wanted to drop you a line to say that although I typically enjoy your direct and non-bullshit style, was puzzled by your conclusions on the Enterprise.
Granted, the style will divide folks but comparing cost of material to assess value is something that I don't quite get, at least not when it comes to innovative companies that go through a retailer distribution channel.

What you are saying is that price should be directly proportional to cost, and that the only reason it is not in this case is marketing. You may very well be right, but unless you have access to information I don't have, it is hard for me to agree with this logic.

First and foremost, it completely ignores the fact that speakers like the Enterprise take time to develop. If we were just looking at a bigger brother to the Planet I would agree with you but neither of us know the time it took to develop the new diffusor. As far as I know, Duevel is the only company working in that area and if they innovate (aesthetics aside for a second), they should be rewarded for it. I don't know enough to say it was a 5min job or whether it took them 6 months of trial and error to get there. You admit yourself you don't know what the diffusor contributes to the sound improvement you heard - maybe nothing, but discarding it because we don't know is not quite intellectually right.

Second, you are comparing the Enterprise to the Planet and not to other speakers in the 2500 euro range - so what you are saying is, it does no matter, this may be the best speaker at this price, it still should be cheaper... again, fundamentally defendable but not exactly an incentive for people to innovate and improve. I am more a believer that a better mouse trap deserves a better price based on the level at which it competes, not based on how it performs relatives to others in the manufacturer's line.

And finally, your logic overlooks the fact that even if what Duevel charges for its speakers all followed a direct linear relationship between cost and price (which no industry except fully generic ones does), the distribution channel which is paid a percentage based off the "retailer price" would make it automatically a non linear relationship anyway.

Just sharing some thoughts, not looking to pick a fight, as said, I like your style and direct approach - on this one I just disagreed with the thought process.
Cheers and keep it up!
Frederic - E-mail: Frederic (at)

Dear Frederic,
first and foremost, thanks for you insightful comments! You are right on the nonlinear relationship between manufacturer costs and retailer price but, even so, it is impossible that manufacturing (and then selling) a pair of Enterprise's costs more than twice the price of the Planets. Let's discuss research costs, for example. The time spent on research could have been way higher for the Planets, since this was the first product released with this new approach. Indeed, they are a complete departure from the previous Duevel models. So I assume the designers spent a lot of time in research, designing the Planets. Putting a bigger woofer in a larger cabinet after the hardest part of the work had been already done was no big deal, I guess.
And this hidden secret, i.e. the cost of the research, is the best excuse HiFi designers use to try to justify the steep and irrational costs of the gear they design. Moreover, designing a good sounding inexpensive loudspeaker is much harder than building something good with no cost limitation, I'm sure you'll agree.
It is hard to get something right using budget components (drivers etc.), while it is easy to get good sound when you don't have to ponder costs.
And you are right when you say I've not compared the Enterprise's to other floorstanders in the same price range. At least, I wrote nothing about that. This wasn't the point, actually. The point I was trying to make clear was: is it worth spending more than twice for a bigger woofer? This is what a Planets customer would like to know. Of course there are many other 2,5k€ floorstanders out there but none of these are omnidirectional.
As you can see, we are both right and wrong at the same time. Only the Duevel guys could shed some light on this topic but I'm not 100% sure they will.
Thanks for the feedback!
Lucio Cadeddu

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