TNT-Audio Readers' Corner
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March 2013

Please take a moment to review the How to use the Readers' Corner manual - send then your enquiries to editor (at) tnt-audio.com or to the appropriate reviewer.

Dynavoice DM5 review
Hello Lucio,
you mentioned that this pair is not suited for aggressive music where rhythm and impact are required. Can You please give me an example in this price range that is better suited for this type of music?
Over here in Germany lots of people are talking about the Dali Zensor 1 which I now have bought for my brother. Because the lack of bass below 80 Hz they are a problem for me. I generally prefer linear/neutral speakers that resolve a lot of detail. I am not a fan of speakers with that "old" warm sound that forgives old records because I feel live music records loose their atmosphere.
I have had a pair of Klipsch RF52 II which was a bit too aggressive in the highs (slightly too more hiss).
But now I am looking for rather small bookshelf speakers. As an amp I will be using maybe an AMC 306d (30watt 8 ohm and 45 (at) 4 ohm) which is around 350$
Kind regards,
Alex - E-mail: radojski (at) gmail.com

LC
[Pure ACoustics PRO838]
Dear Alex,
apart from Klipsch, whch you have found to be too aggressive, I'd suggest auditioning Triangle, Cabasse and Focal. Depending on your budget, there are several models that can suit your needs. If your budget is tight, consider a pair of Pure Acoustics PRO838. Once they were available in Germany under a different brand name (US Blaster). These bookshelf loudspeakers, with the 20 cm woofer, produce a lively, dynamic and punchy sound, while the tweeter sounds detailed without being fatiguing.
Do not forget the final result depends not only on the speakers or on the rest of the system (amplifier, source etc.) but also on room acoustics! If you've found the Klipsch to be too aggressive, perhaps the sound of your room is bright because the room is empty or lacks curtains, floor mats etc.
Hope this helped somehow,
Lucio Cadeddu

Supporting Real Stereo
Just a note to add my name to the Real Stereo supporters list. I have been involved in manufacturing and enjoying Audio equipment both as a professional Musician and Technician for over 50 years and have a particular hate of bad recordings - I have a particularly effective way of demonstrating the difference which I once showed to the head of a well-known recording Studio - he simply could not understand what I was getting at..... and worse, he believed that having mono signals panned around the two channels gave Real Stereo!!
I would look forward to any forum, discussion or event where these views could be of value to others and where I could share other idea's in the same vein.
Best regards,
Steve - E-mail: steve.green741 (at) btinternet.com

LC
Dear Steve, thanks for supporting our RS campaign! We do have a discussion forum that you might consider to join and a Facebook page also. Sound engineers ignorance is sometimes puzzling, I admit, but - quite often - they simply obey to producer's needs. And if a producer (or an artist) asks for a certain result there's nothing a sound engineer can do. The result, during the last 20 years, has been a proliferation of highly compressed recordings. When will they understand that loud can be too loud? People don't like loudness (a recent research proves that) so...what's the point in compressing music dynamics?
Thanks for the feedback!
Lucio Cadeddu

Previous weeks letters

Auna Av2 CD508
Dear Lucio,
I have bought the Auna AV2 CD508 amp after your nice review and recommendation on this Chinese amp on dec 2012. I asked from my cousin who live in Germany to buy it for me on Amazon.de and bring it to me in Israel when he comes.
Well..the amp is horrible!!! After hearing it on my very efficient diy speakers (based on Fostex FE167e in a 15 liters box) I almost chocked!
The amp is so weak. 50watts? Maybe in someone's dream. There is absolutely lake of upper/mid bass! The sound is so thin! I hooked up my old but trusty nad 3020 series 20, and boy, what a difference! The music came to life again (by the way, they cost the same).
Sorry Lucio, but the amp doesn't worth even half its price. Maybe in a forth system in the kitchen for hearing radio while cooking or as an amp for an indiscriminant listener, as a desktop computer amp. Maybe.
Sorry for the harsh words, but this is a really bad amp. I am very surprised with your conclusion after comparing it to the NAD 3120. How can they even be in the same sentence together? After all this has been said, I must say that I love your web site, which helped me a lot over the years.
Best regards from sunny Israel,
Shmuel - E-mail: shmuelsf (at) bezeqint.net

LC
Dear Shmuel,
it's sad to hear you didn't like the Auna amplifier. Certainly something strange must have happened, since the amp I tested at home was worth every €cent and even much more than that! Not only it could be put side by side with the NAD 3120 but in certain areas it sounded even better. It seems we've listened to completely different amplifiers! Two possibilities come to my mind: either your unit was damaged or the high impedance of your Fostex drivers severely limited its power output. For example, the impedance is above 16 Ohm in the bass range between 30 and 80 Hz (more or less, see graph, taken directly from the Fostex official datasheet) and then again over 16 Ohm above 9 kHz.

[Fostex FE167E frequency reponse]
I haven't used such a load with the Auna so I'm just guessing here. At home, the amp was able to drive even sub-8 Ohm loads with ease. At very high listening levels. Unfortunately I don't have it here anymore otherwise I could make a video to show you its performance with different loudspeakers. Even our reviewer Mattia Bellinzona, who visited me during the tests, was highly surprised by the (powerful) sound of this very inexpensive ampifier.
I tend to believe your unit is damaged somehow. Sorry about that, I just listen to products and report what I hear.
Glad to hear you can find a NAD 3020 for just 100€ in Israel. Certainly you won't find one here in Europe for such a diminutive price. Not in good working conditions, at least. Then you have to add the cost of new caps, resistors etc. And you don't have a remote and a full two-years warranty :-)
Eventually, contact the seller and ask for a new unit.
Lucio Cadeddu

MHDT Stockholm
Hi Nick,
I read your review on Stockholm with full enthusiastic but somehow unsure why Stockholm is not recommended to match with solid state electronics? How does Stockholm compare with Havana? Have you compared these DACs against the other TDA 1543, TDA 1545 or TDA1541A alike? Does Stockholm suffer the highs roll off?
Regards
Lim - E-mail: limcheeheong (at) yahoo.com

NW
Hi Lim,
I preferred the Stockholm with my valve amplifier, feeling that it offered something that I wasn't getting with the solid state amp. This of course is my personal taste, and we all have different tastes. Hence I always say to people read reviews as a guide, not as a bible.
The Stockholm is similar to the Havana, the main difference being (as stated in the review): details on the MHDT site state that the analogue circuit is the same as in the Havana. On the digital side, the receiver has changed from a CS8414 to a CS8416 to achieve "higher capacity of incoming S/PDIF format". I don't tend to do direct comparisons between DAC's preferring instead to review each one on its own merits. As regards "highs roll off" I didn't notice any. Although I am now in my 60's, a recent hearing test indicted that my perception of high frequencies was still very good.
Regards,
Nick Whetstone

DIY turntable
Hello Lucio,
Geoff's article on the DIY turntable kit prompted me to send you a link to pictures of my Nottingham Analog Dais with home-made chassis and plinth.
You'll see the progression through various materials to the latest tankwood/panzerholz incarnation. I thought you might be interested.
Thanks for the TNT website!
Kind regards
Peter - E-mail: peter-ward (at) sunriseconsulting.co.uk

LC
Dear Peter,
thanks for the feedback and the nice pics! Don't forget to put I like for our just released official TNT-Audio Facebook page!
Happy listening!
Lucio Cadeddu

Bristol Hi-fi Show 2013
Dear Lucio,
Thought you might be interested.....
The Bristol Hi-fi Show 2013.
A little bit of background first I'm nearly 65, regularly attend live music, have had an interest in hi-fi since the early 1970's. I've built my own interconnects, a turntable, which sounded better than my Garrard Zero 100, designed and built a 2 way speaker, modded CD players and am working on building a hi-fi computer (with the proviso that it is cheap).
But to the matter in hand, listening to quality Hi-fi in an empty hotel room is difficult, but when you are standing/sitting with another 16 people, almost impossible. Then there are two choices available for the listener:

  1. loud rock or
  2. an employee expounding their company's ethos.
I'm not averse to any sort of music or the spoken word, but I do object to having my eardrums battered as though I was sitting in the front row of an AC/DC concert regardless of the musical content. A solo female singer in an acoustic performance played at a volume level commensurate with the aforementioned concert. What would have been wrong with realistic or even real levels? I must admit to not sitting through every demo in every room but I heard only one piece of classical music throughout the day (courtesy of Naim).
Quality speakers let down by bad placement with no discernable soundstage, width or depth of performance! Demonstrators more interested in their Ipad controllers than the customers. Admittedly my visit was on Sunday, the last day, so it was reasonable for members of one company mingling with others rather than the public. Cross fertilisation of ideas and techniques or avenues of investigation spring from such meetings, so they are not to be discouraged. But the public were paying to be there!
Having said that did I enjoy the show? Definitely YES! Best demo came from Dan (I'm sorry - didn't get his surname) in the Rega room, he asked the customers what they wanted to hear from his stacks of Vinyl. Hearing a familiar piece of music gives a better comparison. Others may have done so but he was the only one who asked me!
Perhaps one of your regular contributors will give a real review of the Show.
Regards
Dave - E-mail: mrssharonwillis (at) aol.com

LC
Dear Dave,
thanks for the nice report! Actually, HiFi Shows can become quite depressing: few rooms sound reasonable and, generally, few demonstrators seem to enjoy what they're doing there. You complain about high listening levels. Well, it isn't always the case. I've found demonstrators who were afraid of playing loud rock tracks, for example, possibly because their demoed systems were uncapable of playing something more difficult than a jazz trio or a strings quartet.
As for the lack of classical music...that seems logical to me: first of all, symphonic music is hard to reproduce and, secondly, there's an interest in capturing young potential customers who, most of the times, don't listen to classical. Nothing wrong with this attitude, our small world needs new addicts.
Kudos to the Rega guy who asked the customers what they wanted to hear! That's the way it should always be!
Thanks for the feedback!
Lucio Cadeddu

B&W DM6
Hi,
I'm making my first steps in the world of HIFI because of a gift of my uncle. He past away some months ago and left me a pair of B&W DM6 (they are in excellent condition). The only problem is that I've no proper amplifier to drive these speakers. (I did some testing with the old pioneer amplifier of my dad. I can hardly believe the difference between this set up and my previous logitec surround... but that's only until next weekend).
I've been browsing some forums and mostly I find the advice to get an amplifier with +100W and a decent/stable power supply. Some advice to search for a classy vintage model, others suggest a more up to date amplifier. To be honest, I'm on a tight budget, (cap around a 300 euros) so sadly I've to be careful what to buy.
Is it really nescesary to have that much power (f.e. yamaha a-s500) , or can a lighter amplifier do the job as well (f.e. atoll in 50, I read your review with much care :)
Kind regards and looking forward to your response.
Sye - E-mail: syenamhb (at) hotmail.com

LC
Dear Sye,
any decent modern integrated amplifier will be able to drive your speakers. Gone are the days when sub-4 ohm loads were a problem for budget amplifiers!
Forget those 100 watts monsters unless your listening room is very large and/or you listen to your music at very high SPL's! Any 40 watt integrated amp from NAD, Rotel, Cambridge, Harman Kardon etc. will get the job done. Even the Atoll you mention could be a nice choice if you can find it in decent conditions (second-hand).
Forget old vintage amplifiers: you're a novice and I assume you're not willing to struggle with old caps, rusted selectors, noisy volume pots etc. If possible, buy something NEW (for 300 € NAD and Rotel should have something to offer) so that you can exploit a full 2 years warranty period as well.
Leave vintage amps to seasoned audiophiles!
Hope this helped somehow!
Lucio Cadeddu

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