TNT-Audio Readers' Corner
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May 2003

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Listening to records
Dear Sir,
I read your site every week. Thanks for doing such interesting work. I decided I wanted to listen to some records after about 15 years of CDs. So I went to the attic and hooked up the Optimus Lab 1000 Belt Drive record player I got from Radio Shack. My Jolida 1501RC amp doesn't have a phono section so I ran it through my old JVC R-S11 out the tape output and into the AUX on the Jolida. I have Totem Staaf speakers. First thing I listened to was "Slow Train Coming." It sounds great, but very weak.
What is the limiting factor in this system? How could I get the biggest bang for my bucks? And why is it so weak? I have to turn the volume to one or two o'clock, which would be way too loud if I were playing a CD.
Thanks so much,
Chris Garrison - E-mail:

Dear Chris,
if you're serious about vinyl, get a decent turntable and phono preamp first. No need to spend big bucks, just have a look at the second-hand market for ProJect and Rega turntables, for example. As for phono preamps, have a look at the ProJect PhonoBox and the NAD PP-1.
Vinyl is damn good but you need a decent playback system to fully enjoy it.
Lucio Cadeddu

TNT SandBlaster
Your TNT SandBlaster is a very good idea, thank You. I have them since 1 year underneath all my equipment.
2 weeks ago I thought: the MDF shelf on top will destroy much of the sand's good effects So I took the MDF away, filled with sand almost to the top, took a thin, soft cloth over it and put brass plates, 6 cm in diameter and 5 mm thick, DIRECTLY into the sand.
I tell You: try this----You won't believe Your ears-it's dramatically better!!!!-especially beyond CD-transport and turntable the sound becomes much more natural, the timing is much better.
I say it a second time: try this!!!
Greetings from Austria
Dr.Oskar Reibenschuh - E-mail:

Dear Oskar,
as usual thanks for the tip!
Lucio Cadeddu

Help needed for an upgrade
I need your sound advice over there at TNT...My current setup is as follows:

The system sounds great for female vocals, classical, and blues, but it lacks weight and richness when it comes to pop, dance, or rock music. I know the subwoofer is a weak link, but can you suggest where I should begin upgrading to improve my sound?
Scott Bernstein - E-mail:

Dear Scott,
I'd try upgrading the receiver first. Either you get a better receiver or (best bet) buy an integrated amplifier. I don't know which kind of "budget" are you thinking of, but I'd try to evaluate some of the best receivers in the market (even second-hand) or integrated amps. We reviewed some very good integrated amplifier in the past months (Rotel, Classé...) so have a look at the Amplifiers reviews for some hint.
Also, if you're serious about rock (bass slam, weight and impact) do not forget to evaluate a second-hand Krell KAV300i. That amplifier rocks!
Keep me updated,
Lucio Cadeddu

From HT to Stereo is an emotional move
Dear Lucio,
I perfectly know that home theater is not to be discussed here but... when it is for the good of pure stereo, I think it's worth an exception. I became an audio (stereo) enthusiast because of TNT, you can not refuse to help me now... ;-)

I catched the "hi-fi" virus when I acquired my first Home Theater rig some years ago (that happens !). After the big bang effect faded out (that lasted for some months), I discovered that the system I had assembled sounded far better than all I had earlier when listening to stereo music. The ratio between HT and stereo listening moved from 80/20 to 20/80 in some months. My music collection also evolved a lot since I was now able to enjoy much more details, "finesse" and liveliness. But a psycological barrier was still there.
Then I discovered your side. I discovered that the effort to assemble a pure stereo system in those days when multichannel is THE hipe is more than worth the effort. I then entered a long period of tweaking tremendously inspired by the advices found on TNT (thank you TNT !).
Thanks to those advices and a lot of trials (some successful, some less), my system continuously improved. There is a slouch in that process. The more I tweak my system the more I enjoy it... but the more I feel the need for a more fundamental change.

My system (used for music listening) is currently made of:

My intention is to move to a stereo only oriented system but I'm not ready yet to break the bank and assemble a full system at once. I'd like to evolve and split the systems gradually. From many listening, I isolated some gear that I really consider buying because of the emotion I felt when listening to them. I made the first steps into audio enthusiasm with quite cheap steps. I feel the next one will be much more expensive. I'm not quite sure which way to go to not be disappointed by the cost/improvement ratio.
Many thanks in advance,
Olivier Latte - E-mail:

Dear Oliver,
glad to read you're leaving HT in favour of a pure, simple stereo system. More Music, less dinosaurs! :-) You're a wise guy. Many of our readers are doing the same wise move.

The first thing to upgrade is your amplifier. The recently reviewed Rotel RA 1070 is a good choice, indeed, and it will make your still worthwhile Tannoys sing like they never did before.
Second upgrade....the source. Between Rotel RCD 1070 and Atoll Cd 100 I'd prefer the former. If your budget allows the extra effort, consider (even second hand!) a Cairn Fog + Soft (soon on these pages), a really outstanding 24/192 CD player.
After these changes I wonder whether you will feel the need for better speakers :-)
Anyway, B&W 603's are not among my faves. Moreover, I do not know the P.E. Leon you cited. So, it's up to you to choose (why not a better pair of Tannoys instead?).
In the meanwhile, plan to build some of our DIY interconnects and speaker'll be amazed (hope so...) by the improvement they will bring to your set-up.
Keep me updated!
Lucio Cadeddu

Customizing the Flexy
I just wanted to send in a comment on the TNT Flexy shelf that you may find interesting. I built one for my audio system about a month ago, and then applied the design to my speaker stands. I did make one significant change that really reduced all vibrations and feedback in the shelving.
Rather than using rubber washers on each shelf, I used cymbal felts. If you go to any store that carries musical instruments you can find packs of these for about $5 US for ten. I used these on the speaker stands and was amazed at their affectiveness. Just thought you might want to investigate this further.
Thanks for your great site! I can't wait to build some of the other projects you have, and contribute some of my own.
Thank you!
Ryan Mills - E-mail:

Dear Ryan,
as usual, thanks for the feedback! The idea of cymbals felts sounds intriguing, indeed.
Lucio Cadeddu

Dear Lucio,
I recently bought a used Kenwood DP-990SG CD player. It is clean and in very good condition, but I hesitated laying down the 6000 Yen/52 Euro due to advice in the press that buying players of an earlier generation is a mistake. By some opinion, more recent players have benefited from successive technical advances.
Therefore, I have assumed that even mid-fi budget gems such as examples from Marantz, NAD, Rotel and Arcam are benefiting from a trickle down effect from hi-fi proper. For some time, enthusiasts and professionals alike have reported that specific models bearing these names can come daringly close to very much more expensive contemporary units. So, I am surprised that this Kenwood, which is apparently about 15 years old, has fared so well in my system that it has replaced my Marantz CD-6000 OSE (which is soon to nudge out my NAD 502 on our secondary system).
Without going into detail, I will only say that while it does not trounce either of my newer models, it does expand on the entire listening experience. Going under the hood was a thrill; for the price of a good lunch and a decent bottle of wine, I found electronics and transport mechanics which we never see in even the best of budget gear - and some that isn't these days.
So any comments from either you or our readers about this machine would be welcome indeed. As yet, I have been unable to find out very much about it. Also, any opinions in regards to older versus newer players would be interesting for me, as I hope it will be for others. And, is there any information is regards to modifications of this unit - say substitute op amps or specific electrolytic cap replacements in the signal path etc.?
Thanks and best regards,
Lorne Spry - E-mail:

Dear Lorne,
unfortunately I do not know that CD player, hopefully someone reading this will lend you a hand with comments and tweaks.
That said, it is not surprising to find good sounding digital gear from the early days. As I wrote in a recent editorial, CD transports were better made (think at that beautiful and sturdy Philips CDM-1 transport, for example!) and even old DACs are highly praised nowadays (TDA 1541, for one). So, don't be too surprised, strange things happen.
For example, in MY opinion, the older Marantz players CD 63 and CD 67 sounded better than the newer 6000 and 6000 OSE. For sure, having perfomed the comparison head to head, the OLD Rega Planet 1 trashes the new Marantz CD 6000 OSE in every aspect: coherence, timing, soundstage, dynamics, overall musicality. ...and we're talking of an early '90s machine against a "selected" version of a new CD player from one of the most respected HiFi firms.
Hope this clarifies things a bit (pun intended),
Lucio Cadeddu

TNT Stubby stands
Thanks for the great instructions on how to build the stands. I just finished building a pair myself and they are great! I did modify them slightly. First, I used 30" long PVC to raise my bookshelves a bit higher than the usual 24". Second, I used a scroll saw on the top piece to make it the same shape an Axiom speaker (kind of trapezoidal), which looks killer since it looks as if the speaker is attatched to the pole and not sitting on anything (I did a good job of matching finishes as well, though if I would have bought black speakers, finishing would have been much easier :) ).

Due to the lack of a good lumber store where I live, I had to settle for 3/4" pine (ugh). I also miscalculated the lenght needed for the threaded rod, and cut it about 1/2" too short for a good secure hold. For an extra bit of stability, I cut out 4 3" diameter MDF "pucks", drilled a hole down the center, and fastened these at both ends of the stand so that way all the strain of holding the stand together isn't on the edges of the hole which the TR runs through. I also didn't caulk, as the pucks were pretty good at holding the sand in place.

Anyway, these things are sturdy as hell, look great, do their job, and I have people saying "woah, where'd you get the stands from?". Even my girlfriend thinks they are great (and she is hard to please with anything audio related! heh). You don't even know that the riser is PVC also, which is great. Most people see the flat black finish and assume it's steel.

A question though. I'm putting these stands on a mid-pile carpet. Would it be a good idea to spike them? I know in the article you didn't spike the speakers you made, but then your stands are being placed on hardwood floors.
Thanks for the killer recipe,
Ryan -

Hiya Ryan,
Thanks for the email. I'm glad you like the Stubby's :-) They're an easy project and the best part is they sound really good too boot.
When it comes to spiking the stands for carpeting, go by Wallyworld (AKA Walmart), go to the sporting goods department and ask the guy behind the counter for some Points for arrows. Points are the tips of an arrow (as in bow and arrow, indians, hunting, you get the idea). Wallyworld has screw in replacement points for metal arrows. They sell for about $6 or so.
Flip the stubby's upside down, drill three holes (in a triangle for a three point stance) slightly larger than the size of the shaft of the point. Then epoxy the points in place and let them dry.
The reason I say to do it this way is because you (probably) don't have a hardware store that has the threaded female inserts so you can screw these in rather than epoxying them in.
If you can find the inserts, by all means, use them. Now, if the shaft of the point is longer than the base is thick, just shim the shaft with fender washers (use a tiny bit of epoxy between each washer to keep them from rattling). It may not be a bad idea to add at least one fender washer just for horizontal stability since you used a softer wood for the base. That should work well for spikes for the Stubby's. Keep your eye out next fall for a killer equipment rack to go with your new Stubby's.
Best Regards,
Scott Faller

Active multi-amping
I ran across your page and was wondering what crossover point you used on your Speakers, I have a pair of 30" Carver ribbon and was thinking of building a two way system with a crossover around 375hz does that make sense...
Tri-Amped using:

Peter J Hamilton - E-mail:

Hi Peter,
The 375hz crossover points for your Carver ribbons will work just fine, just make sure you use a really steep crossover slope (ie; 18-24 dB per octave minimum). You don't want to smoke your Carvers, they are way too expensive to have rebuilt :-)
Better yet, go active ! Invest in a decent two way active crossover (Behringer and loads of other comapnies sells them for around $100), invest in a used amp to drive your subs (an Adcom or Rotel will do just fine). You will be amazed at the clarity, coherance and detail that you will gain by going active.
Best regards,
Scott Faller

3020 Review
Just wanted to ask a quick question / piece of advice...
I am putting together a second system (very, very budget) and was considering an NAD 3020. Unfortunately, they are increasingly hard to find and the price is a little higher then it once was. My question is whether a 1020 pre with a decent amp (rotel rb-980 or such) would be similar.
I know the whole idea behind the 3020 was it was THE budget integrated at the time. I guess, in simpler terms, is the per-amp section (the 1020) what makes it good or is it the intergrated aspect (whole package).
The system that I am creating will include...

Thanks for any advice you can provide,
Brooks Harris -

Dear Brooks,
the 1020 was - more or less - the preamp section of the 3020. Hence, it does share the same EXCELLENT phono preamp section that, in my opinion, outperforms the later NAD PP-1 outboard phono preamp. The Rotel 980 (or similar) is a very good power amp for the money (it should be easy to find it cheap nowadays). Thus, the whole package SOUNDS interesting, though a bit bizarre :-)
You may even consider a second-hand Naim Nait 1 or 2, both have a MUCH better inboard phono stage and driving abilities hard to find on similarly priced gear.
Keep me updated,
Lucio Cadeddu

Arrowhead spikes
Hello, Mr. Cadeddu;
I recently found your site and am about to begin building a FlexY Rack and the "Idiot Proof" speaker stands. I may not be the first to suggest this, but a source of cheap and durable spikes for speakers is your local sporting goods/hunting equipment store.
No, these are not the TNT Bullet Spikes! Archery target points (arrowheads) are made of steel and come in various lengths and taper designs. They are designed to screw into aluminum threaded inserts that fit into aluminum arrow shafts.
The thread pitch and length of the inserts is standardized. The inserts can be easily epoxied or even friction-fit into suitable holes drilled into MDF, etc. I just paid a total of less than USD $8 for twelve points and inserts. I plan to use them for my speaker stands.
The only caveat is that the inserts are a bit long at 13/16" (22mm). If used in the typical 3/4" (18mm) MDF you'll need to add some thickness to the material, perhaps by gluing a thin section of material where the hole is to be drilled.
Bruce Coppola -

Dear Bruce,
thanks for the precious tip. Arrows have been extensively "exploited" in designing HiFi gear. It seems the Naim Aro unipivot tonearm idea came from an...arrow (hence the name :-)).
Lucio Cadeddu

Need advice on S/H McIntosh 6100
Dear LC,
Hi again, this is a follow-up (sort of, I guess) of my February e-mail to you. First of all, let me say loud and clear, to those who abuse the TNT honour system by profitting from ideas developed in TNT forum. "Shame on you!" for whatever it's worth.
Now, after clearing up my lungs, allow me to offer practical "tweaks" for my fellow vinyl enthusiasts, on how to keep away airborne poluttants settling in our favorite LP groove, while playing our LP "topless" without dust-cover on.
What I do is to suspend an anion/ozone generator about 50 cm above my Garrard Zero-100. The generator has no moving part, hence no vibration, but it continously suck on dust, cigar smoke, etc. All I have to do is change the paper filter every month or so. The amazing thing is, other than keeping the vinyl clean, it seemed, at least to me, also good in attracting and trapping the dust and dirt still left on the LP after non-vacuum cleaning, that is after a brush of demin water, alcohol and amonia mixture.
Here in Indonesia the anion generator is sold at better hardware stores, or house keeping section of big dept. store for around US$50 -100; I learn to open my eyes and scout around for audio tweaks from TNT :-)
Dear LC, in closing this letter, I wanted to report that I found an S/H McIntosh MA6100 for US$230, and brought it home to replace my Kenwood. I follow your suggestion and changed the Shure 155e to a Grado Blue. Ohh how sweet it is. My house guests and I compare same title new CD reissues with the used but well maintained vinyl editions of Joe Pass, Herbie Mann, Cal Tjader, Julie London, Nancy Wilson, Count Bassie, Tom Jobim, and Earl Klugh, and the CDs don't even come close.
The only process in CD format "close enough" are XRCD and SACD/Hybrid, though I did not hear it on same title basis (as it is not available yet). Unfortunately, from time to time, also in the middle of a tune, the Mac emitted a pop loud enough to get me worried about the well being of my Mission M74, please your advise on controlling this horror. (Also the light on the 6100 glass faceplate is green, isn't supposed to be blue?) In the mean time, I took off the Mac from my system, and bought an S/H Marantz MA1060 for US$80, to replace it. And wait and worry about my Mac.
Thank you,
Asoka - E-mail:

Dear Asoka,
considering how friendly the McIntosh service is, I'd suggest contacting them, explaining your troubles and fears. I'm sure they'll give you all the help you may need. McIntosh is known to make excellent rebuild works on S/H gear. Perhaps they can "rebuild" your amp and make it like it was new. Worth trying.
Thanks for the tip and glad to hear my suggestions brought more Music to your ears,
Lucio Cadeddu

Jolida JD100 and Cambridge Audio D500SE
I have been listening to both players for about a week and they both sound the same to me. Are the differences in sound quality that slight? The Jolida has the stock tubes and I realize that better tubes would make a difference. Would different tubes make the Jolida that much better than the Cambridge?
My system includes:

I enjoyed your reviews on these units and have found the TNT site very informative. Thank you in advance for any insight you can provide.
I was prepared to purchase the Jolida but now I am confused and it is difficult to justify the cost. Rafusec - E-mail:

Thanks for your letter. To my ears, the JoLida JD100A is far superior to the Cambridge Audio CD-500SE. A few thoughts come to mind: If you are listening to the JD100A with stock tubes, you haven't heard the true capabilities of the player. As a comparison, you won't get the full driving experience of a Porsche if you are driving on K-Mart tires.
If possible, listen to both units side by side. The human brain has an extremely short auditory memory. This suggestion is meant to help you, not insult you. Could it be possible that you have a build up of ear wax inside your ear canal? Ear wax is the body's natural way of protecting your ear drums and nerves from loud sounds. Over time, wax can gradually build up, which will muffle sound coming into the ear.
Everyone's hearing is different due in part, I believe, to the differing shapes of the outer ear. It is possible that you may not hear the differences in the two players. If this is the case, by all means, I can't recommend you spend double the money for the JoLida.
I hope I have been of assistance.
Nels Ferré

Amplified speakers
Ciao Direttore!!!
I'm looking for a web site that would teach me how to build amplified speakers. Can you please help me in finding such a site.
Thanks very much
Francois Brunet - E-mail:

Dear Francois,
unfortunately I'm not aware of DIY designs related to active loudspeakers. Taking a DIY amp and matching it to a DIY speaker is a no-go, since you will modify the internal volume of the speaker. On the other hand, I'm not a big fan of active loudspeakers since these strongly limit the upgradeability of a system. Try searching for something second-hand. Meridian made great active loudspeakers in the past.
Hope this helped,
Lucio Cadeddu

SPL meter article
Your article was very neat, thanks. I just wanted to mention that Radio Shack seems to have dropped the price on the digital meter to $49.99. Just thought you might want to update the site.
Also, they don't seem to carry anything better than the digital one you mentioned.
Aaron Talbot - E-mail:

Dear Aaron,
thanks for your appreciation and for the useful info. At 50$ that SPL meter is definitely a must-have!
Lucio Cadeddu

Yet another opinion
IN MY OPINION.............
Many inexpensive solid state amplifiers use a large amount of global negative feedback, and they usually have a second feedback loop which rolls off the open loop gain at higher frequencies.
The roll off in open loop gain from this second feedback circuit is necessary to keep the amplifier stable, and it is nearly always accomplished with one or two simple feedback capacitors (Cdom) located in the voltage amplification stage (VAS). The VAS section of the circuit drives the output stage transistors. Often, the output stage transistors constitute a voltage-sensitive capacitive shunt from Cdom to the power rails of the amplifier.
Since the power rails are bypassed to ground, the feedback which the Cdom capacitors provide is modulated by the variable base-to-collector capacitance of the output transistors. In some amplifiers the VAS stage is buffered, so that Cdom is shunted by a only relatively small transistor, and therefore a relatively benign capacitance. But in other amplifiers, Cdom is shunted by the parallel capacitances of several large power transistors, and the modulation effect is more pronounced.
I have begun to test my hypothesis that part of the "transistor" sound of many solid state amplifiers is due to a non-linear capacitive shunt which affects the operation of Cdom, rather than being simply an effect of global feedback. My current test method is relatively crude. I simply remove Cdom, and instead use a small inductor in the emitter circuit of the VAS stage.
The inductor is a small shielded unit usually costing USD $2.00 or less, and it provides frequency-dependent degenerative feedback at the VAS stage. Significantly, the roll-off slope provided by the inductor is isolated, and hence not dependent on the variable capacitance of the output transistors. Based on my results to date with a few samples, this change could be a worthwhile upgrade for several popular amplifiers. So far the improvements have been noticeable but not profound. What do you expect for $4.00 in components?
Probably by now a little voice in your head is screaming something like, never use an inductor because they are large, expensive, generate interfering magnetic fields, and have high amounts of distortion. Well, I do agree that the substitution of a $2.00 inductor for a $0.20 capacitor in theory causes a rise in harmonic distortion. But actually, using an emitter inductor instead of Cdom in the VAS places less of a load on the input stage because the VAS has a higher input impedance. So the distortion from the input stage may be reduced. It depends. And it is better if the VAS stage works into a constant current, so that the current swings in the inductor are not so large.
But I hypothesize that eliminating Cdom with the emitter inductor often eliminates a significant source of phase modulation. That is because I think that normally the transit time through the VAS is modulated by the varying capacitance at the base or gate of the output stage. As for the inductor, you don't have to use a shielded model for a quick trial if you can place it away from strong magnetic fields. Choosing the correct value can be tricky, but you can start by installing a 1 mH emitter inductor, and just reducing the value of Cdom by twenty percent.
Those with SPICE or other analytic skills may wish to try a more elegant approach, but they must keep in mind that the result can only be as good as their models. And in some cases, the self-resonant frequency of an inexpensive inductor could be too low to provide stability. It is wise to remember that if an amplifier oscillates under any condition, expensive damage can easily occur. So this approach requires an experienced hand, a bit of luck, and an oscilloscope. Maybe someday a specialist company will offer a line of audiophile grade emitter inductors with silver windings and mumetal shields, but so far the $2.00 variety have seemed adequate.
.A related factor to keep in mind is that the percentage variation in base-to-collector capacitance of the output transistors is a smaller percentage when the output voltage swing is smaller. Also, the absolute value of the capacitance is smaller when the supply voltages are higher. So I still think the emitter inductor idea may have possibility for several moderately-priced amplifiers.
All of the above are my own UNPROVEN IDEAS, and by the above disclosure I imply absolutely no responsibility what so ever, to anyone whom ever, for anything what ever. Cheers,
Charlie Miller - E-mail:

Dear Charlie,
thanks for the insightful thoughts. Perhaps you can sort out a kind of experiment and then let us know about your findings.
Thanks for the precious feedback,
Lucio Cadeddu

Upgrade options
Dear Lucio,
glad to be in your TNT Forum, like many other malaysians find your website the most informative on Hi-Fi.
I am a vinyl-crazy man and I'd be very grateful if you could share your views re: replacing my Clearaudio basic phonostage. My tt is the Linn Sondek Basic/Lingo/Bluenote U-3tonearm./ Micro Benz Ref. Kindly provide your views and suggestions of few brands which I will audition and consider. I hear the Trichord Dino is a good value unit. Sometimes the low priced phonostages are better sounding to the more expensive models.
Noel Sabaratnam - E-mail:

Dear Noel,
for sure the Trichord Dino is an excellent phono stage as is the Clearaudio Symphono. Do not forget the Lehmann Silver Cube, too. Considering you have a Linn front-end, also try to audition the Linto MC preamp.
Hope this helped,
Lucio Cadeddu

Mains and CD tweaks
Dear Editor,
Here another trick upon my sleeve (or is it in my sleeve). Anyway.
Here and there I have tubes in my system. All these tubes may sound somewhat lazy and lacklustre. A friend said that the "mains distribution plug, which I use to put all my ac-cords to power the system, was a cheapish "thing" with spike protection (with a red light on it). He took it apart and was apalled seeing how cheapish this "distribution plug" was designed and built.. He said in any case this "thing" with the cheap spike protection had to go.
Elswhere in the house I had a distribution plug without spike protection. We put this in the system. Great difference for the better. Better bass, more clarity, more definition, more "spritely" sound.
Bottom line is: many of us are using cheap "things" with spike protection. Somehow this kills the sound. One without spike-protection but plain and simple sounds better.
Now I wonder what a Audioplan G-star will do for my system. No ac-conditioning, no spike-protection, but a plain and simple mains plug of good quality.

Hi Lucio,
Here another tweak from those crazy Dutch who gave the world compact-cassette, compact-disc, laser-disc, Sacd-disc (and the Japanese who run away with it and made the profits).
The antistatic foam-clean which is used to clean computers proves also to be useful in other arriers, like cleaning cyrogenic-treated cables (in your own fridge that is, saves you hundreds of dollars).
Take a normal CD. Clean the label-side with a little bit of the foam-clean stuff. Put the cd in the cd-player and push the play-button. Hear things you have never heard before. Like someone taking the phone of the hook (CLICK !). And harshness vanishing.
Why this is so (at least in my set-up?). How should I know? I am just a simple Simon, but my Carver Amazing Loudspeakers Platinum Edition are ruthlessly revealing, and I hear a change for the positive.
By the way, what did the Italians give to the world? Among others this very sympathetic TNT-site and STYLE!!
Kees (Holland) - E-mail:

Dear Kees,
you're right, spike protection devices can degrade the sound. Have a look at our TNT Hydra, a DIY mains distribution plug.
As for CDs, I have no explaination of the phenomenon...but it seems everything you apply to the CD surface does something to sound (and not always for better). Sometimes the reduction of electrostatic charges on the surface seems to give an audible difference (for better).
Hope this helped,
Lucio Cadeddu

Freeware tone generator
Hey, I just ran across your page (was looking for info on the Radio Shack SPL meter 33-2055). Some good discussion on your page, but you don't have any info on tone generators - only test cd's.. Anyways, I found a shareware tone generator that works pretty good - just have to get your computer close enough to connect your computer to the stereo/amp/whatever else to patch the two together.
Anyway, here's the link:
Have a good.
Mark Stuart - E-mail:

Dear Mark,
thanks for the link!
Lucio Cadeddu

Turntable tricks
I read your article on cork mats and applying acrylic to the turntable arm.
I applied these tricks to my old Pioneer pl-1000a tangential tracking turntable (marketed in USA as Phase Linear -8000) and I can't hardly believe the difference! It's nothing short of mind boggling. It had an overly brite sound eventho I am using a Grado Z series 3 cartridge, but the sound now is open, rich, with sonic details more orientated in more lifelike state.
Thank you very much!
Daniel Walter - E-mail:

Dear Daniel,
glad to read my humble tweaks worked for your deck :-)
Lucio Cadeddu

OCC copper
Hi - from a long-time and devoted subscriber to TNT - thanks for what you do and keep doing it!

I've been happily living with my braided Cat 5 speaker cables for a few months now, the performance of which suggests that geometry and conductor size may be more significant than metal purity. However, I must say that a set of solid-core silver interconnects I knocked up (sort of XLO geometry) really gave me a glimpse of what I might be missing.
Silver is way out of my price range for speaker cable, but I've found a reasonably cheap source of thin solid-core OCC copper on the net, and wonder if multiple runs of this may strip yet another of the proverbial veils off the sound? Anyone had any experience with OCC?
Tim Hancock - E-mail:

Dear Tim,
I have no direct experience with DIY OCC cables. You may try this on your own and update us about the results. If you wish, you could post the question to our Discussion Forum as well.
All the best,
Lucio Cadeddu

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