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 2006

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Garrard Zero 100 turntable
I just read your article on the Zero 100. I have just recently acquired one of these classics and the arm for the speed control is no longer connected to the motor. It seems to be bent. I was wondering if you had any suggestions on how to fix this problem.
Frank - E-mail: fgarrett (at)

Dear Frank,
I'm not 100% I'm getting you right. Is it the FORK that moves the belt up and down on the motor pulley to be bent? If so you can do like many other analogue lovers do: remove the platter and gently slip the belt on the right groove of the motor pulley, according to the desired speed. Then put the platter back in place again. The procedure might be easier with the Zero 100 platter and perhaps you can perform the trick without even removing the platter. Indeed, this has "windows" (large enough) from where your fingers can reach the belt and the motor pulley.
Hope this helped somehow,
Lucio Cadeddu

Phono cables
thanks for the veeeeeeeeeeeery good page. There are a loooooot diy cable projects on your site categorized into cable for mains, interconnects and speakers.
Which is the perfect diy phonocable, I mean, which can be used to build a connection from turntable (tonearm cable) to the outer preamp phonostage or to a inner turntable cinchsocket when I want to use separate outer cables?
Or do I need to buy special expensive phono cables?
Thanks a lot for the answer and best regards from Germany.
Alex - E-mail: gedankenkraft (at)

Dear Alex,
virtually any DIY interconnect can be successfully used as phono cable, provided it satisfies three criteria: low capacity (measured in pF/m), great flexibility and good shielding. To make things even simpler you can buy a non-terminated cable and add just the connectors you need (tonearm plug at one end, RCA's at the preamp's end, eventually). A very good cable that meets the three criteria above is, for example, the Supra EFF-I that can be found for peanuts (almost!) if bought unterminated (28 €/meter, here in Italy, it could be less expensive elsewhere).
Hope this helped somehow,
Lucio Cadeddu

Centered soundstage?
Hi Geoff,
I have been following TNT for a while and I am delighted with your reviews. Please help, I have a problem that has been driving me crazy for a long time. Playing my vinyl I get a shift (small) of the sound stage on the left, and no matter what I do I cannot get rid of it. I have completely changed my turntable system, I swapped the amps and speakers around (one at the time), modify the TT settings endless times, but the problem is still there.
The system is a Micro Seiki RX1500VG with a SME 5, a Van Den Hul Frog, Lehmans black Cube pre pre, Klimo Kent Gold amps and Merlino preamp, and Bousendorfer VC2 speakers. Now the only thing that remain from the old system is the Lehman black cube and the cartridge, which I did change with a VDH Colibri to try out and still got the image shift.
The question is: what do you think can be the problem? With the CD version of the vinyls I get a stable and centered image (but that maybe does not count). Could it be the Lehmann? Is the only thing I can think of, even though I hate to think is its fault (I think is great!!)
Thank you for your help and suggestions.
Salvatore - E-mail: salvatore.carra (at)

Hi Salvatore,
Thanks for the mail and the kind words, I have exactly the same problem here and it's caused by a room reflection which I've yet to pin down. If I sit in my normal position on the sofa I get a shift to the right. If I move a foot forward it centres again. Vinyl is more effected because it's just better...
To check if it's the Lehmann just swap cables, if the stronger channel changes too then that's the problem. First swap the arm cable into into the Lehmann (which will eliminate the cartridge) and then the output of the phono stage (which will eliminate that). It may also be your hearing try listening from different positions and if possible in another room.
I know how irritating it is!
Geoff Husband

SME tweaks
Dear Geoff,
Thank you for your DIY on the baseplate of the SME. I had a few hours and experimented with this idea on my SME M2-9 WOW!!!! Unbelievable.
I now am trying rubber bands under it and the change is incredible. Please try this rather than blue tac which is only half as good. Keep up the good work,
I love your site with TNT
Andrew - E-mail: awsmone (at)

Hi Andrew,
Thanks for the invaluable feedback and yes the difference is quite amazing. As for rubber bands I have a rather unusual solution... There are thick rubber washers used to castrate lambs - go to a vet or your local agricultural suppliers and get some - just don't tell them what they are for.
They can be used to sandwich not only the Orbe armboard, but also circuit boards, casings etc - try it :-)
Geoff Husband

A suggestion
Dear Lucio,
I apologise in advance for asking a question which might sound simple (silly) to you but it is most difficult part of completing my current stereo setup. Firstly, let me thank TNT-Audio for its genuine reviews based on which I bought NAD's C352 and C542.
Now, the problem is to select a good pair of speakers; the more I listen, the more confused I become.
To explain in simple sentence about my taste, I like to hear what has been recorded; no exaggerations. I have auditioned the following speakers and need your help to select one of them for me as I liked all of them more or less.

Please help me to select one for me. I know it is very subjective but still would obliged to have your opinion. Just to help you, my room size is 15' x 12'. Also, let me know what cable AWG must be used for connecting these speakers. 10, 12 or 16.
Thanking you in advance.
Hope hear from you soon.
GopalJee - E-mail: Gopaljee_Nigam (at)

Dear GopalJee,
my personal preference goes to the Tannoy Sensys DC2 because of its use of a Dual Concentric unit. Place them carefully into your listening room (experiment different positions :-)) and perform some "break-in" before any critical listening (at least 20 hours, I'd suggest).
As for is NOT a matter of gauge! Sometimes thinner cables sound better than thicker ones. Rather, it is a matter of materials and geometry. If DIY doesn't suit you (otherwise check our DIY cables section) focus your attention on neutrally-balanced cables as Supra, for example. I'm pretty sure the Ply 3.4S will give you all the neutrality you are looking for.
Hope this helped somehow,
Lucio Cadeddu

Sure on Shure
Dear Sir,
I read your wonderful article on the Shure V15. May I ask if it would be appropriate for use on a Thorens TC 160 turntable plugged into a Marantz 2345 Receiver. I presently have a Grado cartridge that was professionally installed. It sounds pretty good but hums quite a bit and it distorts the sound on the extreme inner grooves.
Thank you,
Robert - E-mail: robertweber (at)

Hi Robert,
Should that read TD160? If it's using the standard arm then though the V15 will work you'd probably be better off spending the money (300?) on upgrading the arm or indeed the turntable. You ought to get say 100 (150e+) for the Thorens, leaving a budget of 400 for a turntable and arm. That would get you a decent LP12/Ittok + a cartridge. If the cartridge is OK then you're fine, but the LP12 + a 20 cartridge like an AT 95 or Goldring Elan will sound better than the Thorens with a V15. Also look out for Elite Rocks, Gyrodecs, SOTA's etc. The other advantage over the V15 route is that this is a permenent upgrade with further upgrades available, wheras the V15 will eventually wear out and there's no real upgrade path for the Thorens beyond the usual tweeks.
There is a mod for the Thorens to reduce hum (search for 'Thorens TD160 manual'). As for inner groove distortion any misalignment will cause this as will stylus wear, dirty stylus, dust obstructing the hole the cantilever passes through - blow several times down the line of the stylus as hard as you can (or use canned air, NOT recommended for fragile MC's!).
Let me know how you get on,
Geoff Husband

System choice under 1500$
First of all I ask pardon to disturb a very senior person like you, I am doing this because of the trust I have with TNT-Audio. Please forgive me if you find this annoying.
I am an audiophile just entering hi-fi. I prefer smooth, lush and not tiring kind of sound. I've made a list of such equipments which I believe delivers to my demand. As I am living in India where there are few hi-fi shops from I could check, I request you to suggest one combination from this list which you think of my taste. One more thing, I like a bit laid back kind of sound which tempt you to increase the sound, though I listen mainly at low volumes.
Amps: Marantz-pm7200, Nad 320bee, Cambridge-540/640a
Cd players: Cambridge-640c/640h, Marantz-cd7300, Nad 521bee
Speakers: Aegis evo one, Wharfedale Diamond 9.1, B&W dm 303, Epos els 3
Please recommend a combination from this list, if you think that this list doesn't contain the right equipment kindly add which you think is perfect. My budget is little over USD 1500.
Swathy - E-mail: swathyd (at)

Hi Swathy
Thanks for writing--it is always good to hear from people looking to enjoy music more!
I wish I could help you decide from this list, but I can only give a SUGGESTION. Please don't take this as anything more. I would advise the NAD 320bee and either the NAD 521bee or Cambridge 640c CD player. Cambridge gear is well thought of at this price, so you might also look at the Cambridge amp, if the price is better than the NAD. For speakers--this is very personal! First, I would say look for some used quality speakers if you can. You will get more for your money. If this is not possible, then I would try and test your amp and cd player with the B&W DM 303 to start with.
I hope this helps you.
David Holgate

A suggestion
Dear Mr. Cadeddu,
Firstly, I wish to bid you a very Happy New Year. Secondly, I wish to ask you if you have come accross M.P.N. Audio of Milan as I have recently bought a georgeuos pair of Senator loudspeakers but cannot retrieve information or reviews from the internet and have not been very successful with magazines. All I know is that they use Dynaudio components in their "creations". Are you familiar with them? If so, what can you tell me about them? Are they that good as so my dealer tells me? He stated that they are Sonus Fabers me, personally speaking, the M.P.N. truly excell in all aspects, especially finish/construction wise as I have seen the Sonus Fabers at a store near home, although I very much like the Cremona's...
Also, I'm on the lookout for new moderatly priced interconnect cables and loudspeaker cables but a little confused from what the market offers so far. At the moment, the Senators are not bi-wired. I have been thinking about Kimber Kable and van den Hul but which ones? On both manufacturers I am able to obtain very good discount prices (legally!!!).
With this, I only wish to obtain a few guidelines from you on what is worth listening to and what is worth not bothering for. I would gratefully appreciate a reply as soon as possible.
Thank you,
Mr. Zarafa - E-mail: zarafa (at)

Dear Mr. Zarafa,
believe it or not, MPN Audio is not widely diffused or popular here in Italy. It is a small Company based near Milan which makes very nice looking loudspeakers using mainly Dynaudio drivers. The comparison with Sonus Faber isn't fair, though, as these two Companies are very different, in "size", first of all! I'm not familiar with the sound of MPN loudspeakers, so I can't comment any further. I hope you'll enjoy them for years to come!
As for cables choice, I'd choose something in the Kimber catalogue, Silver Streak (interconnects) and 8TC being two very wise choices.
Hope this helped somehow,
Lucio Cadeddu

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