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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January 2009

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Cleaning vinyl
Hello Lucio,
I have seen your articles on cleaning vinyl and would like to ask your advice on what to do. My entire vinyl collection about 400 albums were flooded in hurricane Katrina, they were under water and some mud for days and have been sitting in my garage ever since. I have decided to try to salvage and clean what I can, would you please advise on the best way to restore and clean..........
Thank You,
Mike - E-mail: mt52 (at)

Dear Mike,
distilled water alone isn't enough, I'm afraid. Try using one of the DIY recipes we have published here on TNT-Audio or try some good commercial product like the Disc Doctor Miracle Record Cleaner we reviewed a couple of years ago. Now they are also making a kind of "No Rinse" record cleaner called "Quick Wash". It sounds a good and practical idea, though we haven't tested it yet.
Hope this helped!
Lucio Cadeddu

Trends UD10 with Linux music server question
Hi Nick. I read you're review of the Trends UD10.1 Lite, and am very interested in buying one. I plan on using it with the Linux audio server I am building, into a Monarchy DIP upsampler (possibly) then a Paradisea tube DAC. You are the only one online that mentions using this device with Linux, I plan to use either Fedora with MythTV or Kubuntu with LinuxMCE. Is the Trends unit compatible with these distributions, and if so is there anything I know know about that setup before I buy one? I just recently started using Ubuntu on my main computer and I love it, I even deleted Windows entirely, however I am still a Linux newbie and not capable of anything too complex without guidance.
Thanks so much in advance for your help.
Tom - E-mail: tjrhodes (at)

Hi Tom,
if the OS has a suitable application for outputting music to the USB DAC, then it will work with that USB DAC.
I use Banshee with Ubuntu, you could check if it works with Kubuntu etc but there are other music players that work with Linux too. I don't think you will have any problems using any USB DAC to pass the signal from a Linux PC to your DAC.
Nick Whetstone

Genevasound review
Hi Lucio,
In this review, you said *"**The L model costs 1400 €, everything included. For the very same money you can buy a quite good traditional HiFi system, if you search for second-hand gear. Otherwise, purchasing new components might be tricky"*... Well, no.
For 1000€ you can get (european street store, not some ubiquitous import) this:

[Shanling Music Centre]
Gorgeous design, great sound (if it's remotely as good as their tube amps... it's very good), ipod dock included as you can see, and also made in China as the "Geneva" box. Add some 400€ good speakers (tons of choices), and to be honest, who could still want the overpriced black cube ? If you like more traditonal hifi separates, there are some options with NAD (the C720 BEE is a great receiver at 500€) or other well know brands.
So, it's a bit disappointing to read, especially from TNT, that it's not possible to buy a nice brand new hifi system for 1400€. That is simply not true. TNT is probaly one of the few places where a young enthousiast could look for some advices on what he could spend his hard earned cash and could hope not to be directed towards overpriced, non modular, pseudo design thingies, presented as they were the only option.
Rémy - E-mail: remy.velazquez (at)

Dear Remy,
you completely missed the point. First of all I can't understand the reason for the harsh tone of your letter. If you are disappointed by what I wrote, then I should be disappointed twice by your words. Have you read CAREFULLY what I wrote? Clearly NOT! And CLEARLY you don't know the Shanling marvel very well. Hence, let me explain a few basic things about it. The Shanling Music Center has NO iPod docking station, just an input to connect any external MP3 player. A docking station is a whole different concept.
Secondly, you might be surprised to know that the Shanling puts out just 3 watts (READ CAREFULLY: three watts) per channel. This is 1/3 of the power of a T-Amp!!! I'd love to know which are the 400 € speakers you can use with it. A pair of very worn-out Klipschorns maybe? ;-)
Summarizing: no docking station, an embarassingly low power output and then you still have to add speakers, speaker cables (another 100 € maybe?) and a real docking station (€???). All this giant effort to get the same sound pressure you can get from your PC speakers. And still you have two speakers hanging around into your living room. Definitely a wise choice, uh?
What's worse is that you didn't read carefully what I wrote. I stated clearly that a non-conventional system (with a TA 10.1 and a pair of sensitive speakers, plus a decent CD player and tuner, for example) might cost the same as the Genevasound L and sound better than it (still without docking station!). But how many audiophiles (let's say: music lovers) are ready to fill their living room with so many - normally ugly - components? How many music lovers can properly install their speakers without risking to divorce?
The answers to these questions lead automatically to search for something simpler, self-contained, cool to use and possibly good sounding. And the Genevasound systems _might_ represent a wise choice. Not for die-hard audiophiles, that's for sure (as I wrote) but please remember TNT-Audio is not "for audio buffs only".
Next time, before hitting your keyboard yelling I'm disappointed...count to ten and then think again :-)
Thanks for your comments (and relax, audio is supposed to be fun :-))
Lucio Cadeddu

Excessive bass
Dear Lucio!
Recently I bought an amp, the Atoll in80SE. Before that, I read every tests and reviews regarding that amp I could find in internet and your review in TNT was very helpful. Listening session assured me that the IN80 is a step forward compared to my old Marantz PM7001. Now I want to change my old loudspeakers (floorstanders with Seas KT25F and Vifa TC18 - now they produce too much bass). My room is rather small: 16m2 and a bit too acoustic. So I decided to buy monitors. What do you think of Dynaudio 42? Do they suit Atoll in80 + in future CD80. Any other suggestions up to 500, 600 €? Music: jazz, pop, classical. Yours sincerely,
Chris - E-mail: jamromi (at)

Dear Chris,
the Dynaudio Audience 42 would be a good choice but I'm not 100% sure this will cure the excess of bass frequencies which might be caused by poor room acoustics and/or speakers placement. For example, if these are too close to the rear wall, the bass will be boosted a lot, no matter how "monitor" a speaker can be :-)
Hence, before purchasing new speakers, trying installing them differently or try addind some bass control device (DIY Tube Traps and the like).
Hope this helped,
Lucio Cadeddu

Garrard Zero 100
Hello Lucio,
sorry to bother you with this mail. In English, alas my Italian is limited to trying to decipher opera libretto's :-)
I just got myself a Garrard Zero 100 SB TT. I found the review on the TNT site and i have 2 questions regarding the old beast.

1st impressions are not bad, see my site:
[Garrard Zero 100]
Greetings from Holland,
Freek - E-mail: fmunniksma (at)

Dear Freek,
in my opinion the wheel in the pic has to be used to fine adjust the way the turntable works in automatic mode, when playing a stack of records. Consider that for automatic replay of a stack of records one needed to put a kind of plastic pillar close to the adjusting wheel you mention. The original owner's manual I have doesn't mention it either. Hence, use the Zero in manual mode only and don't bother :-)
As for overhang, try using a protractor (as the HFNRR one or even ours), though the "zero error geometry" of the arm SHOULD make this operation useless.
Hope this helped,
Lucio Cadeddu

Posting on TNT
Hi David,
I hope you don't mind me emailing you directly but I've tried a couple of other avenues and have come to a dead end. Two things:

  1. I read Thorsten's article on sourcing parts for DIY Audio projects and attempted to email a contribution to the list (there didn't seem to be any other way to add to it). Anyway the email bounced, but I don't know where to send it. Source for CAT5 cables: Ebay listing.
  2. I posted an item on the forum about a replacement driver for a Mission 710, plus a couple of other audio forums. So far no feed back. Thing is I'm getting desperate! I sold up all my gear to move from Australia and am sick of listening to music on a laptop. I've found a possible replacement but I don't know enough about the Thiele Smalls to be sure. (specs attached, item 902.426). Are you able to give me any pointers please? Being fairly new to the country I'm kind of grasping at straws...
Steven - by e-mail

Hi Steven,
Sorry for my delay; I've been away. I see from your query on DIYAudio that you have priced an item at Wilmslow Audio. You need to ask them for advice about suitability really. Or, you could join our TNT audioaddicts forum which is a friendly place with some knowledgeable participants.
To be honest, if you want an inexpensive replacement, I would just look out for another pair, or similar. Used speakers are not expensive here in the UK. Steve's hifi in Hastings offers reasonably priced stuff I see, though I do not know him.
Or post a want ad here: The for sale section there might offer something else suitable. You might also check out local classifieds such as Loot
Hope this helps.
David Holgate

Standard of writing
TNT is one of my favourite check-ins in the audio webosphere. I like the tone and I like the intent. So please take my comments in good spirit.
I think the article on The Resurrector lets your standards down. Maybe a senior editor needs to look the articles over before publication, and ensure that the authors explain concepts clearly and don't take things for granted.
I may or may not agree that devices you review do what they claim, but that is not my issue with this article. In fact I don't appreciate the working principle of The Resurrector, but I feel the same way about some of your cable, capacitor, anti-vibration and other accessory reviews, yet I was never moved to write.
Let's look at the article:

  1. It mentions "the back-EMF problem" without any description of what this is. Given that the device only exists to solve this 'problem', that's a fairly serious omission! (I won't even mention the complete lack of analysis of the problem: is it real? Not according to electronics experts).
  2. The author doesn't seem to know what EMF is. Does he know it is voltage? I quote, "In a nutshell, the function of the Resurrector is to reduce the amount of EMF that is sent to the drivers thus reducing the current inside driver coils of the speaker drivers. What is EMF? Well rather than re-invent the wheel, I'll point you to this link for a description." Does he realise how silly the text is if we replace the phrase 'amount of EMF' with the word 'voltage'? Let me see, "...the function of the Resurrector is to reduce the voltage that is sent to the drivers thus reducing the current inside driver coils of the speaker drivers. What is voltage? Well rather than re-invent the wheel, I'll point you to this link for a description." Well, thank you. The usual way to reduce the voltage sent to the driver is to turn the volume down!
    Elsewhere there is reference to "the battle against EMF" .... A term that I would like to understand better!
  3. It says "This amplifier had no nasty noises when powered up or down and was totally silent when not playing music. In other words, the Resurrector has no negative effect." Perhaps the reviewer has no idea of the many types of 'negative effect' that are possible when hooking the inputs and outputs of a power amp to a black box?? Surely some basic questions have to be answered by testing for stability, output and input impedance, distortion, frequency response, gain and linearity, given the potential for this black box to turn an amp into something completely different. I would also like to see a measurement of the signal across the phantom speaker, so I have some idea what audible output it produces. What is the impedance of the circuit driving the phantom speaker? One hopes it is not high....
    How about giving us the faintest evidence that 'back-EMF' is lower with the unit connected than with a standard amplifier? At least that would give us confidence that the unit performs its sole function. For all I know, and the reviewer too, it could be a tone control using a speaker driver for a frequency-dependent filter.
  4. The reviewer seems to think that when the phantom speaker is switched out, the Resurrector is switched out. Nothing could be further from the truth. Throwing the switch simply changes the load that wire 10 drives. The reviewer then proceeds to compare the sonics with the Resurrector 'in' and 'out' by throwing the above switch. This misleads the readers.
  5. The reviewer actually connected the unit to a digital equaliser and EQ'd the in-room bass. This tells me the unit changes the bass response, and the reviewer saw how much change, and doesn't tell us!? Thanks very much. There could have been treble FR changes too, but don't tell me, I'm only the audience.
  6. "I constantly noticed tracks continuing for a few seconds after I thought they usually ended". Excuse me!?!? Where's the editor? I know that the subjective listening section is traditionally 'anything goes', but really....
I will be interested to see if you defend the journalistic standards of this article....
T N Args - E-mail: tnargs (at)

Hi T N Args,
Thank you for your interest in the article about the Resurrector.
First may I re-iterate what I said in that article, i.e. the inventor speaks no English, and I speak no Polish. Translation was done for us by his daughter, herself a full-time mother who has no interest in hi-fi or electronics. I hope that you can understand that doesn't make for the best of communications. Apart from the language barrier, is it surprising that the inventor does not wish to reveal his secret? That makes the reviewer's job even more difficult! I suspect that the lack of real information about the Resurrector in some part accounts for your obvious frustration with the review but I can't tell you what I don't know myself.
It was my assumption that the Resurrector in some way dealt with back-EMF. As it turns out, Marek, the inventor, has told me since, that is not the case. This I reported on the Resurrector thread on the diyAudio forums.
I think that you misunderstood about the DEQ2496. This was only used in one system. The first system that I tried the Resurrector in doesn't use the DEQ (and, as reported in the review actually showed more of an improvement than the system using the DEQ). I only use the DEQ to correct the bass up to 300 hz, and always do a new correction whenever I change amplifiers. To imply that the DEQ2496 was in some way accounting for the improvement when using the Resurrector is not really fair. And what would it have told you if I had published the 'before and after' DEQ settings when swapping the class-T amplifier that I was using before putting the 'Resurrectored' chip amp into the system?
I fully understand that some of the hi-fi fraternity lean heavily toward measurement and 'evidence' of a concept, rather than subjective listening experience. I have no issue with that at all, and, if I had the training, the equipment, and the time, I would love to supply such information to supplement my listening tests. But I don't. You see all of us at TNT are amateur. Amateur in the sense that we are not paid to do this, not even expenses, this is not our 40-hour per week job, and we have other demands on our time. You may retort that we should not then write reviews, but if we didn't, TNT simply wouldn't exist and thousands of people who enjoy what TNT offers would be disappointed. Neither has Lucio the time to go over every article and make corrections.
I reported (accurately) what I heard when using the Resurrector with a chip amp. I've more than enough experience of using chip amps to judge what the Resurrector does, if not the technical knowledge to know how it does it. I am also experienced enough to tell if using the Resurrector in a chip amp is likely to result in any problem caused by the amplifier becoming unstable. That's what I meant when I said that there weren't any "nasties". I wouldn't even hazard a guess at the number of happy chip amp builders who have no idea how they work, but that doesn't stop them enjoying listening to them.
As regards, the 'end of tracks' statement, I did forget to add that I was talking about tracks that fade out. What I meant was that I could hear further into the fade when using the Resurrector.
My writing style was developed writing for Decibel Dungeon, ie I write for the person relatively new to hi-fi, the non-technical types who need a hand getting to understand this technical hobby. Many have appreciated that attempt to help them but it is difficult, if not impossible to please all of the people, all of the time. If I review something that doesn't work for me, I say so. Conversely if I find something that does, I say so too. So, I won't apologise for any of my reviews, although I am sympathetic if you (or others) require more technical information. Sadly, I would assume that those who are qualified to do such reviews, and have the necessary equipment, might not be in a position to offer that sort of service for free!
And please remember, TNT-Audio is free to subscribe to. We don't charge anything for reading our reviews, and we don't make it compulsory for the reader to act on our opinions. Hopefully our reviews are seen as no more than a guide, something to encourage or discourage the reader to or from finding out more about a particular product or service. In the case of the Resurrector, that's what I wanted to achieve, no more and no less.
Perhaps one day we will be lucky enough to have somebody who can do the more technical reviews, offering his (or her) services to TNT!
Nick Whetstone

Dear Arg (is that your name?),
I have few things to add to Nick's reply. This is not the first time (and not the last, for sure!) we review weird accessories that claim to do something magic, without giving precise technical explainations. See, for example, this week's review of the Shakti Stones and OnLine Stabilizers.
Though we don't like this approach, there's no reason to refuse to review them. If they work, according to our ears, we write they work (like the Shakti stuff), otherwise we write they don't (and this happened more than once!!!). We sometimes try to support our views and opinions with technical measurements, but that depends on the reviewer. Most of all we give our opinions on the sound of a component and this is what TNT readers expect from us.
Anything can be bettered, of course, for this reason we are always waiting for skilled audiophiles (better if with a solid technical background and proper HTML knowledge) to join us. It's a hard unpaid job, but someone has to do it :-)
Thanks for your comments (and relax, audio is supposed to be fun :-))
Lucio Cadeddu

TNT Sonus Flatter
TNT Sonus Flatter DIY speaker cable.
I would strongly recommend that you do not connect every other conductor to + and - respectively. Instead, group them in sets of 8 or so. So for a 16 conductor cable, connect 1-8 to plus, 9-16 to minus. That will dramatically reduce the capacitance issues.
Egil - E-mail: egil (at)

Dear Egil,
thanks for pointing this out. We're aware this will reduce capacitance of that design but the cable will also sound different (as that was the original configuration of the old Music Ribbon speakers cable). We prefer to let DIYers test both possibilities and decide which one suits better their needs.
Thanks for the feedback!
Lucio Cadeddu

Playstations anyone?
As a writer for Affordable$$Audio, I have heard a few players over the past few years. While looking through your letters section I came across the post from Brian Conely. He was asking about an inexpensive cd player and you had suggested the Oppo DV980. Your recommendation is a very "sound" one--- BUT, a very inexpensive cd player can be had for (almost) free, if you know where to look. The Sony Playstation model numbers # SCHP 1001/1002/1003 (depends where in the world you are) can make an excellent player, almost right out of the box (or closet if you, your kids or a co-worker has one in a closet).
As there is an "underground" following of the original greystations, prices via the Internet have risen. If you have to buy one expect to pay USD $20+. Without any modifications, and using the "AV" cable output, you can have yourself one very enjoyable sounding cd player. The only "downside" is the player interface. You need a screen to see what you are doing. Playstation 2 dvd remotes work, as do the game controllers for audio playback, although not intuitive or convenient.
In Stereophile a few months ago (July 2008) Art Dudley actually reviewed a Playstation 1 and gave his impressions. And with just a tiny bit of work, these things can easily be improved. The end result sounds pretty amazing. Some time ago 6moons had a review by Jeff Day, "The $267.44 Music Lovers System". The comments made in the review as a system speak for themselves. An acquaintance of mine compared a bone stock greystation to a big $$$ Wadia player. Obviously the Wadia was better, but not by an order of magnitude, and certainly way too close for comfort when the costs are considered. There is a large thread on the diyAudio forum titled "Playstation as cd player" or similar where many proponents have posted their ideas and results.
Stew - E-mail: stewnelless (at)

Dear Stew,
thanks for the insightful suggestion and links. Yes, I'm well aware PS's can be used as decent CD players or as pure transports (via the optical out in the PS3, for example) and, guess what?, I'm currently testing a PS1 in my home system. I hope prices of these items won't go ballistic after the audiophile crowd discovers their audio virtues.
Thanks for the feedback!
Lucio Cadeddu

Dear Lucio,
Recently I bought a Kingrex T20U that is used to drive B&W 685 (88 db sensitivity). Although sonically I am very satisfied the thing is that the speakers are under-powered. In order to improve the situation I plan to undergo the following routes:

  1. buy also the Kingrex preamp to improve compatibility with the speakers.
  2. buy the Kingrex preamp and Audiolab 8000S. In this case the Kingrex pre will be used to drive the power amp section of 8000S. Following the second route there is also another posibility:
  3. horizontal biamping 685 using the Kingrex pre and Kingrex T20U for high frequencies and Audiolab 8000S for the low frequencies.
  4. add the money for the Kingrex pre and 8000S and buy a better amplifier.
What combination you would suggest?
Kind regards,
Theodore - E-mail: tsimos (at)

Dear Theodore,
keep things as simple as possible, instead: buy an integrated amp with a higher power output. The Audiolab would be fine or even a second-hand NuForce IA7 integrated amp. Adding a preamp won't increase power output (who said this?) and biamping can be complicated, while power output increase would be modest.
Hope this helped,
Lucio Cadeddu

DIY cables
Last night I discovered your web site while looking for some DIY. I found it much different from most web sites. The good thing is, that it is fairly honest, and above all, daring to say that cables do matter :) Thanks for providing such a good resource. I am definitely going to make some cables.
I am a newbie in the world of audio. I do not have a large budget, and here in India everything is sold at twice the cost, as compared to the MSRP in the US/ UK/ Europe. Comparing street prices some times is like 3-4 times. This has something to do with high taxes (~30%) India has on imports, plus shipping, and a lot to do with price fixing/ greed of vendors, low sales volume.
Low sales volume can in turn be associated to affordability. Not many in India can afford an amp close to their 2 months' salary - I am talking about the decent middle class and not the poor below poverty line people. See to get an idea of pricing.
So basically, coming back to the point, I liked your site and info on how to make things for cheap. I will definitely try to build some stuff myself. Did I mention that I do not have any woodworking skills, or tools, or a basement where I can work on them - but I can find some woodworkers that are not way too expensive. I am working on learning the basics.
Also, there should be a lot of people in India who would think like me, and have access to the internet. Maybe you can try reaching them.
Anant - E-mail: disposableforanant-hifi (at)

Dear Anant,
DIY is a good route to follow, if one has time to learn and practice. Otherwise one can buy second-hand gear, it is not difficult to purchase abroad at extremely low prices (UK stuff in UK, USA stuff in the USA and so on).
You can start building some easy DIY cable, the ones which don't neeed soldering, just a pair of scissors and some patience :-)
Buy a Trends Audio TA 10.1 amp (purchase it online for 200$ or so) and build yourself a pair of high sensitivity speakers like our T-Speakers. An Oppo multiplayer (less than 200 €) will complete a sub-500 € system that will certainly impress you.
As for contacting other audiophiles in India, I can't see how we can do something more than we already do! Our website is available worldwide and our online forum has already several subscribers from your lovely Country. Maybe you should try and join it!
Hope this helped,
Lucio Cadeddu

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