[ TNT | Who we are | Readers' corner | Listening tests | HiFi Shows | Factory tours | Tweakings | Inter.Views ]

Readers' Corner - May 2001

You are here > Home > Readers' Corner > Letters of the month

Please take a moment to review the How to use the Readers' Corner manual

Noise on Dali 808
Dear Lucio Cadeddu,
in February 2000 you answered my letter about which speakers I should buy. It is the first letter shown from that month, headline: New Speakers.
I bought the Dali 808 front speakers. They have two 8" bass units, one 1" tweater unit and one 2,5" unit (I do not know the name of, but it's for sound between treble and bass, what ever).
I am using Cable Talk cables, which have won many tests in England for instance, so they ought to be good, but maybe they aren't because I can here a little noise in the tweeter unit.
It is always there even if my cd-player or tv is off. I have also tried to flip the connector in the wall-socket 180 degrees, but it did not help. Even if the signal cables are taken out of the amp, the noise is still there.
What can I do about it? It feels like the noise is getting louder and louder because I notice it more and more.
Unfortunately we do not in Denmark have ground wires in our wall-sockets so I can't use your excellent Merlino Mains Cable.
I would be glad to get an informal answer, Mads

ps. The Speakers are fine, not considering the tweeter noise.

pps. I am also about to build a TNT Flexy Table, but I think I will try to come up with a solution to hide the screw nuts. If I do, are you interested in the solution?
Mads Vinding - E-mail: MadVin@e-mail.dk

Dear Mads,
it seems your speaker cables are receiving some airborne interference (perhaps a radio station or something similar). Try the following: put a couple of ferrite rings along the cables (like in computer cables), this would help minimizing the problem.
If it won't work, perhaps your amplifier is the cause. Does it still "buzz" with NO signal cables connected to it? If yes, you may want to have the amp checked by an expert technician. Please beware that a slight buzz from the tweeters is sometimes normal, unless this is clearly audible from your listening position.
I mean: if the buzz is audible ONLY putting your ear on the tweeter, then it is quite normal...otherwise there's some problem somewhere, in my opinion it is a fault in the amp.
Please let me know,
Lucio Cadeddu

Crosby Stills and Nash
Thank you for your review of the Crosby, Stills and Nash First Album, which I just ran across on the TNT site. You asked for reactions so here are mine :-)

I agree with your review in part. The Atlantic reissue is good and I enjoy listening to it. The original is flawed in many respects. However, my wife and I enjoy listening to both. We have a copy of the original in pretty good condition. It certainly has some rough edges, but seems to be more vibrant than the reissue, which seems to have blended the harmonies to an excessive degree.
Dan Kelley - E-mail: adk@hainc.com

Hi Dan,
You know, I do agree with you but (there's always a but isn't there), when it comes to how a piece of music sounds, it is completely dependant on the system you are listening to. More than anything your speakers.
Take the original CSN release from Atlantic. I too have a very clean original copy. I probably haven't played it a dozen times since pealing the plastic wrap from it because (I thought) it sounded horrible.

Keeping that in mind, I tend to like "bright" sounding speakers. In turn my systems and speakers reflect that. That original CSN release was mixed treble heavy and bass light (IMO), thats why it sounds overbearing on my system.
The Classic Records re-issue hit the sweet spot of my speakers and systems, good treble balance, firming of the bass, and generally an overall evening of the original mix.
I listened to it through both my big reference system and my simpler amp and mini monitor set up. The results were the same, and yes, my mini monitors are a bit bright also.
If your speakers tend to roll off the highs prematurely, the Classic Records re-issue may well seem midrange (vocal harmonies) heavy. Another item to consider might be that your speakers (or amp) are a bit forward in the midrange. That could explain it also.

Thanks for your input and as always, trust your own ears. What sounds good to me may well sound horrible to you.
Best Regards,
Scott Faller

Hang 'em high :-)
Dear Lucio,
I read a lot about isolators in TNT-Audio, some of them really expensive. I have always been fascinated with those microphones isolated by a string from the environment. Maybe we should all try to hang our gear like for example what this guy did http://www.infomaniak.ch/~bonavolt/images/oracle.jpg.
I personally did hang my CD player. I used fishermen's nylon string which is thin and strong, it's almost invisible. The only drawback is that I have to be somewhat delicate with its buttons. But I think it's worth it. Now we can all start a debate as to which wire is best here :-)
Great site!
Eytan - E-mail: kesher@hotmail.com

Dear Eytan,
the idea is not all that crazy but there are (IMVHO) a couple of drawbacks:

  1. The HiFi component becomes a pendulum, hence it oscillates when it gets hit by the sound waves coming from the speakers. Even if not visible, this oscillation is there and it may cause several problems to the CD player. The frequency of the oscillation may even be calculated easily :-)
  2. The vibrations internally generated by the HiFi components (CD transport, power supplies etc.) normally need to be either "damped" or "coupled" to the floor. This way (hanging the components like you did) these vibrations stay INTO the chassis. Not good.
All the best,
Lucio Cadeddu

Cyrus II w/PSX - I'm looking for speakers
I have just found your website by accident while searching around for information on Totem Acoustics. Maybe you can help narrow my search.
I have a Cambridge Audio CD4SE with a Cyrus II w/ PSX running through and older set of B&W DM110's. I have been considering Cambridge's new D/A platform but have (I think) decided I would probably benefit more from new speakers.

I have listened to an older set of PSB Stratus Gold Special Editions (too big for my 14 x 12 room), Castle Howards and yesterday I heard the Totem Model 1 (which sounded fantastic with Krell). Today I will listen to an older set of model 5's from the company that makes the 3a MM Da Capo.

The problem I am having is that although I am listening to very nice sounds I am listening to equipment that is completely different from what I have at home. Also, the rooms are different. How much of what I am listening to is actually speaker and how can I translate that into what I will hear at home without actually hauling 4 or 5 speakers home with me.

I am looking for someone with a decent knowledge of what is available and what might work well with my other equipment to make some suggestions.

Nothing would make me happier than to hear an acoustic bass, saxophone and female voice sound like they really should.
Thanks if you can help narrow the search.
Tim Jensen - E-mail: tjensen@canadawide.com

Dear Tim,
your decision to upgrade your speakers instead of adding a separate DAC makes a lot of sense to me. Actually, the quality of the speakers you're in the market for is WAY higher than the rest of your system so, sooner or late, you'll have to update CD player and amp, too.
My personal (I mean, personal) preference goes to the Totem Model 1, then to the Castle Howards. It is almost IMPOSSIBLE to me to GUESS how the whole system will sound into YOUR listening room. I have NO paranormal powers, yet, sorry :-))))
So, the best thing you can do is: listen to 4-5 pairs of speakers, choose two of these and bring 'em into your listening room. You can't go wrong.
Let me know,
Lucio Cadeddu

my name is Runar Braten and I am from Norway. I wonder if now anything about the manufacturer Audia Flight from Italy, has any of you listen to it or any information you can give me would be very good.
Do you have any plans for a test this products on TNT
Thank you for your time
Best regards
Runar Braten - E-mail: runar.braten@tm.telia.no

Dear Runar,
Audia promised a test sample, say, 1 year ago. They've phoned me a couple of times in the meanwhile, begging our pardon for the delay, then silence. I've noticed they have finally put online their web site at http://www.audia.it/pages/e/index.html so you may want to ask them directly WOOOZZUP (what's up :-)))).
Eventually, tell 'em there's a letter on the TNT International Readers' Corner...waiting for an answer ;-)
Lucio Cadeddu

Speaker reviews
Do you know of any reviews of MBQUART QLS series speakers? I personally have never come across a review but was told that these are some of the best kept secrets in the high end audio business.
If this is true, why has there not been some rave review to expose these so called treasures? It seems like some brands get reviewed way too much. Only my opinion!
Thanks for listening,
Thomas de Boer

Dear Tom,
I've never heard these speakers are considered "Hi-End best-kept secrets". Actually, in my opinion, there's NO "best kept secret" into the HiFi market: if a unit sounds good, sooner or later it will get rave reviews. The reason why MB Quart receives little coverage is perhaps independent from the magazines. You see, magazines review what they receive to test, that's all. Some magazines do ask for advertising, in return. TNT does not :-)
Well, if someone at MB Quart is reading this page, please drop us an e-mail and send a test sample, we'll be happy to listen to your products and unveil this "best-kept secret" to the audiophile community worldwide.
Other Companies receive many reviews because they WANT to be reviewed. It's THAT simple.
Lucio Cadeddu

Upgrade needed
Dear Sir,
your site contains very helpful information especially about some components which I also have. So I would like to ask you to refresh some of your experiences about them.

My Tannoy R2 speakers are single wired by Kimber 4PR to NAD 314. The sound lacks ambiance and low level details are masked by heavier sounds. It seems to me that the amplifier is capable but maybe too polite for R2. At least NAD sounds OK to me via Sennheiser HD580 headphones - detailed and balanced.
Of course, Tannoy R2 will never sound like Sennheiser's, but it's very interesting to find out that "harmonizing" link. So could you suggest clear/lively speaker cables for this mild/natural sounding trio? There were some brands mentioned in your pages: DNM/Reson, Silver Sonic, Supra, JPS Labs...

Also I am looking for wise-priced interconnects to match ProJect Pespective/BenzMicro Glider/Lehmann BlackCube setup. There was the review for Supra EFF-I cable on TNT. Wouldn't it too severe to use it as a phono cable (I'm afraid for harshness)? Or is there more special solution?

Thank you in advance. I really appreciate your time.
Best regards,
Giedrius Oginskas - E-mail: giedrius.oginskas@saforas.lt

Dear Giedrius,
before spending money on new cables I'd have a look at your listening room acoustics. Chances are the poorly detailed sound is caused by early reflections firing from the walls near the speakers and interacting with them, for example. I'd try adding a thick floor carpet and some small wall carpet also. Then try moving the speakers into your listening room, try toe-in/toe-out, spikes etc.
When all's been said and done, I'd give the Supra EFF-I interconnects a try. I've never tried it as a phono cable - I mean: from arm to phono stage - but I guess it could work well, thanks to its good electrical parameters (low capacity, for example).
I'm trying to test specifically-designed phono cables but this may take several months.
Try contacting Origin live also, I'm sure they make good arm-phono preamp interconnects (see the review of Origin Live interconnects here on TNT-Audio.
Hope this helps,
Lucio Cadeddu

Record Cleaning?
after completing your fabulous (and stunning) TNT-flexy rack (I'll send you a picture later) I had a feeling that something wasn't complete...
I had the top shelf left and some (new) records I've never played before. That's when I decided to buy a record-player.
Since I didn't want to spend the big bucks on something I didn't know I would like I decided to shop around in the budget TT area.
That's how I came across the Pro-Ject Debut MkII at my HiFi dealer. I immediately fell for this lovely little deck and now it's sitting proudly on top of the rack. I know it probably isn't the best TT support, but it will do for now.

I unpacked (still in cellophane !!) the first record (David Bowie, Heroes) and started playing the thing. I was immediately pleasantly surprised by the low noise level, the warm sound andthe absence of everyting I associated with a turntablesound (noise, ticks, cracks...).
I sat back and couldn't believe I was listening to this "old-fashioned" way of sound reproduction....
Since I'm a very big REM fan I've collected loads of stuff in the past years. I also own a few "audiophile" records of theearly REM albums.
So it took my 180 grams virgin vinyl remastered edition of "Document" out of it's (until then) unopened sleeve and started to play it.
I couldn't believe my ears! I know all off the details of the CD-version by heart, but this was a totally new experience to me! It was as if I was listening to a diffirent album, so much more emotion, ambiance, rhythm and emotion!

I'm sorry about this long story, but 'm just very enthousiatic about it... Now, for my question: how do I keep my new records in a near to new state?
How can I best handle, treat, store and clean my records (without buying som expensive stuff ;-) ? I really hope you can help me on this!
Thanks in advance and keep on the good work!
Heroen Hartjes - E-mail: Heroen.Hartjes@Interbrew.com

Dear Heroen,
glad to hear you've discovered the joys of being an analogue-addict! For record cleaning I'd recommend you to buy a cleaning machine like the ones we've reviewed here on TNT-Audio.
Alternatively, if your records collection is small, I'd suggest you to read my article on DIY record cleaning recipes.
For preserving your records from wear (mine are still excellent after 25 years or so) please install your cartridge carefully, for example using a ProTractor. Also, verify the VTA (Vertical Tracking Angle): the arm, while playing, should be parallel to the disc surface.
Finally, of course, DO NOT touch the records' surface with your fingers. One finger on the label and one on the outer circumference is all you need to firmly handle an LP.
Welcome to the LP Club!
Lucio Cadeddu

Various tweaks
Let me first congratulate you on your very interesting web site.
I have found the link to your web site in one of Stereophile tune up columns, it was the tune up about the those stones that remove hard skin from your feet. Anyway, I went straight to one of the drug stores here and saw a variety of such stones - most of them coming from Germany. All kinds of colours too. On one it was written - "pure mineral", so it's maybe not plastic (?). well whatever it is, its under my AR turntable now.

I read about wires too, interconnects and speaker wires. Funny as it was, 1 day later I found in a garbage bin at my work place (www.md.huji.ac.il) a few meters of a wire, tossed away by the computer installation guys.
There was a printing on it and I found it to be http://www.teldor.com/cgi-bin/catalogs/spec.pl?dir=comp&catalog=Computer-and-LAN-Cables-Catalog&file=8371204129.
After a few sleepless nights, in which I thought whether I should use the screen if it or not, I made speaker cables from it without using the screen. I think its great.
Thanks again and keep up the great job
Eytan Marva - E-mail: kesher@hotmail.com

Dear Eytan,
thanks for the precious feedback! I suggest you to join the DIY fun at our discussion group.
Lucio Cadeddu

Sub-woofer feet
Dear Lucio
I am reading about the TNT Stoneblocks, and was wondering which feet would be suitable for a sub-woofer. Mine has rubber feet screwed directly under the box. What characteristics would be required for a subwoofer feet and whether you know of any relevant articles?
I'd very much appreciate your help. Thank you.
Agus Winarno - E-mail: Agus.Winarno@kpc.co.id

Dear Agus,
in my experience soft feet are the best choice for subwoofers, since they can prevent the box bouncing while playing :-) Once I put a subwoofer on spikes (the woofer was facing down, towards the floor) and it started bouncing and hitting the floor hard (no kidding! :-)). Switching to soft feet (soft doorstoppers work just fine) cured the "dancing" problem.
You may want to try something like the SD feet, also.
Lucio Cadeddu

BoB Interconnects - DIY design from Russia
Hello there.
I just wanted to share my own design of interconnect cable I found pretty interesting for my low-end system. It is nothing special, it is build of Belden Cat 5 wires but I just liked how it sounds comparing to other different DIY cables I tried to make having Cat 5 UTP wires.

I have not tried other designs you suggest because both satellite coax and good wire wrap are hard to get here (Novosibirsk, Russia).

Ok, back to my design. I called it BoB - Braid of Braids. For each cable I got 9 wires (like three orange, three orange-white, three green for right channel and three blue, three blue-white and three brown for left channel), I made three braids each of three wires and than braided them again. So I got a braid made of braids.

Then I put cables to heatshrinks, shrinked them (cable became pretty tight) and than put them to another heatshrinks without shrinking (just to make them look better :-)

I used Monster Cable plugs and AudioNote solder for termination. For now I tried only symmetric terminations so cables are not directional. I soldered one braid to center and two braids to outer soldering contacts of plugs.
My cheap system (SONY CDP XE530, SONY receiver and SONY speakers) now sounds much better, more open. Bass became more detailed. My previous cables were made from the best 75 Ohm coaxials I found locally.
Unfortunately I had no chance to compare this design with Monster InterLink 400 mkII which seems to be the best for cheap components.
Please forgive me if this is far from being new I just wanted to share this.
Michael Rodionov - E-mail: marod@eoffice.ru

Dear Michael,
thanks for the interesting DIY design! I suggest you joining our lively DIY discussion forum in order to share your experiences with hundreds of other DIYers.
And no, the Monster Cable InterLink 400 mkII isn't the best budget interconnect available :-) There are so many interesting designs it is becoming hard to pick up one above the rest.
Lucio Cadeddu

Sonus Faber Concertino
Dear sir,
in the review, it was mentioned that the SF speakers were placed 50cm apart from the rear wall. I would like to know whether this measurement is from (a) the back of the speakers or (b) from the front of the speakers (top or the bottom front as the speaker front is slanted). Please help clarify this for me.
And how far apart do you recommend placing these speakers (speaker to speaker distance); how much to toe-in them and whether the tweeters should be on the inside or outside.
Your view is greatly appreciated.
Thank you.
Zakri - E-mail: zakri@fima.po.my

Dear Zakri,
before I start, one small advice: DO NOT take the reviewers' words as gospel, just try experimenting with your own set of OEM ears.
To be more specific, it doesn't really matter whether the reviewer says 50 cms or 70 or 85.55, as this number highly depends on the room where he made the listening test. So, try experimenting on your own (and eventually let us know).
Normally, when one says "XX cms from the rear wall" he means the distance measured from the back panel of the speakers till the wall itself.
Speaker to speaker distance mainly depends on how much "space" is available into your listening room. Normally, you should set the speakers as apart as you can, till a "hole" in the image (at the center, between the speakers) is clearly "visible" (errr, audible :-)).
BUT!!!! You should take into account a minimum distance from the side walls, also. The same applies to toe-in: it is a matter of personal taste: experiment on your own and decide. it's THAT simple.
Lucio Cadeddu

Wharfedale Speakers
Hello. I came across your page and review on the Wharfedale Diamond Series speaker (v 7) and read about its origins.
I recently purchased a "Diamond Plus" speaker of the same size but is a powered (amplified) speaker. I have been searching in the internet about it but seem not to still get the information I am looking for.
Specifically, I would like to know, if you happened to have the information, on these speakers.
Thanks for your time.
Karissa Villa - E-mail: kvilla@mindgate.net

Dear Karissa,
the Wharfedale "Active Diamond" is nothing else than a Diamond with a built-in amplifier. You can directly connect it to a CD player in order to build a minimalist and good sounding budget system. I used to own a pair of these (actually, they were the GoodMans MaxAmp's, very similar) and I used them on a "moving" system while I was away for work. Just a portable CD player and a small bag et voilà... my favourite Music was following me everywhere.
More or less, the Wharfedale Active Diamond internal amp delivers 25 watts of power, enough for small-to-mid listening rooms.
If you have further questions, let me know.
Lucio Cadeddu

[ 01/2000 | 02/2000 | 03/2000 | 04/2000 | 05/2000 | 06/2000 | 08/2000 | 09/2000 | 10/2000 | 11/2000 | 12/2000 | 01/2001 | 02/2001 | 03/2001 | 04/2001 ]

[ TNT | Who we are | Readers' corner | Listening tests | HiFi Shows | Factory tours | Tweakings | Inter.Views ]