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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May 2017

Magnepan MG IIa
I was wondering what would be a good amp, integrated amp or maybe even a receiver vintage or new that could drive these speakers that can be purchased at a reasonable price? $1000 or much less would be my idea.
Thank you for any help.
John - E-mail: sowersjohn13 (at)

Dear John,
your loudspeakers are an easy load for almost any amplifier, considering their rather linear impedance (6 Ohm). For this reason it should be easy to choose an integrated amp that can drive these speakers with ease. I'd rather stay with a modern integrated amplifier, among others you can have a look at the NAD, Rotel, Cambridge Audio and Rega catalogues. Considering your budget I'm sure it will be easy to choose the right amplifier that will suit your taste.
It should be better - if possible - to take your speakers with you, so that you can decide which model satisfies your expectations. With planar speakers like yours even a class D amplifier could be a wise choice. For example, a Nuforce integrated amp like the IA-7 should be an excellent partner. I'd steer away from vintage receivers, your speakers certainly deserve something better.
Hope this helped somehow,
Lucio Cadeddu

Recommending UBYTE-2 speaker cable
Dear TNT team,
To me your website is an asylum of precious advise and audiophile related information. In times where commercialization seeps into practically all handy informative websites, your no-nonsense open-source audiophile-community approach is a 'delicious landing' and a weekly joy reading. So please continue with this great work.
For the last four years I have been using the TNT Star configured loudspeaker cable to my satisfaction. They offer a wide stereo image, good detail and, above all, a deep punching base. However, out of sheer curiosity, I decided to buy a length of solid copper core and copper-foil coaxial cable, which, by the way, wasn't the easiest to find. So I ended with rather stiff cable intended for utility internet connection (connecting houses from a central distribution point) which has the disadvantage that the outer isolation consists of a very strong and unworkable PVC like material.
Therefore I skipped Thorsten Loesch's recipe to strip the whole length of the cable in order to peel of the copper braid which is directly on top of the foil. Instead, I soldered the flexible connects directly on the copper-foil. Both pairs of coax were each bound together with several lengths of shrink-socket and tie-wraps. A few hours work and off I was. A final (safety) check on the DC resistance learned that even the longest of the two pairs (9m.) was under 0.1 Ohm. So I had no doubts about loosing damping of my TL-speakers.
I was simply astonished by the sound these cables were capable of, already from the first moment on, the sound was wide, open, sparkling, and full of fine detail. The only thing I had to get used to is the complete difference in musical foundation. Where 'The TNT Star' seemed to drag all LF-energy from my modest EL34 based 30 Watt push-pull amp, the TNT UBYTE-2 seemed more the conveyor of musical energy and transients. Once you understand the value of this difference, you realize how tuneful bass is reproduced with this cable. And it's not just that area where the UBYTE-2 excels. Mid-range is dramatically improved in detail and separation. Music you know for years appears to be enriched with all sorts of delicious and enjoyable little bits of musical detail. For example, the first notes of Steve Miller Band's “Space Intro” on their 1977 Fly like an eagle album starts with a bit of tremolo instead of the vague background humm I was used to, something I never heard before in the many (40) years that I own this record. My conclusion is that the UBYTE-2 is a very revealing cable and an absolute and objective improvement over any loudspeaker cable I used before.
Given the very - very ! modest cost of production, the audiophileQ-cost ratio can hardly be beaten in my opinion. Highly recommended. Many thanks for your article Thorsten!
Stephan - E-mail: sprocee (at)

Dear Stephan,
thanks for your kind words of appreciation and your precious feedback on our DIY designs! We are glad these brought you so much musical enjoyment. Thorsten's contributions to our DIY cables section (and listening tests directories) were outstanding and it has been sad to see him go (now he works as designer for a well-known HiFi Company).
Anyway, our DIY factory has never stopped production, you'll be amazed by our upcoming DIY designs (new cables, speakers and turntable mat!).
Stay tuned!!!
Lucio Cadeddu

Yaqin MS-12B
Hi Mark,
I read your excellent review on the Yaqin MS-12B pre amp and I have a couple of questions I wonder If you can help me with:
I use it as a phono stage for an integrated amp (cayin a50t) but it plays very low at 0.25v. Should I switch to 0,7v? The manual says to use 0,25v if connected to an integrated amp.
My second question is if it is compatible with MC cartridge. I use Sumiko blue point which is high output moving coil cartridge (2.5mV)?
Alex - E-mail: alexandrosbrickman (at)

Hi Alex,
Thank you for the kind words about the review of the AAAVT SM-12B a.k.a. Yaqin MS-12B phono pre-amplifier.
In my review I do mention that the unit sounds better on the 0.7v output regardless of level matching, mainly because it bypasses a series 56k? resistor after the cathode follower output stage on the 0.25v outputs. The only reason the manufacturer suggest using the lower output into an integrated amplifier is probably to prevent overload. Most integrated amplifiers feed line-level inputs straight to the volume potentiometer so this should be no problem for the pre-amplifier. Having said that, there is a danger that you might be feeding the output of the pre-amplifier into a short-circuit if you have the volume turned to zero on the integrated amplifier. Check if this is the case. If the input sockets are never presented with a short-circuit, there is no problem using the 0.7v output with impunity.

If a short-circuit is possible, there are four possible solutions.

  1. Never turn the volume down on the integrated amplifier, to a point where there is less than 10k? at the phono input
  2. Use a lower value of resistor than the 56k?, but nothing lower than 10k? (and do not leave it running into the amplifier when the volume is turned down)
  3. Modify the input of integrated amplifier if it can present a short circuit
  4. modify an interconnect to include 10k? series load, without affecting grounding/earthing arrangements

More radical still would be to bypass the line stage of the Yaqin MS-12B completely, running it straight into your integrated amplifier. The line section of the MS-12B was its weakness and the transistor final device in the phono stage should have a low enough output impedence to drive cables, with the same caveats about avoiding short circuits. I did try to hot rod the sample i tested, modifying the circuit and changing some components, but then the lid would not go back so i did not write up the mods.

I used to use a Sumiko Blue Point Special for the very reason that it meant I could use a valve pre-amplifier without and extra matching transformer. The Sumiko was a lovely sounding cartridge which matched a Linn Ittok very well.

I hope I have answered your questions satisfactorily.
Happy Listening,
Mark Wheeler

La Voce del Padrone
Hi David,
another funny and damn interesting article from you! Thanks again, for this column on TNT-Audio. I always thought this picture was only a pure work of fiction and not a real story of a real dog and its master. I would only let you know the "Italian side" of this story, which concern the Italian branch of the British "his master's voice" company. As you surely know this branch was called "La voce del padrone", which is the translation of the name from English, even if not the exact translation, since in English should be "The master's voice" rather than "His master's voice". Despite being a little company, in a relatively little country, this branch was able to remain in Italian's collective imagination and was frequently referred in movies, books and (strange but true) even records since then - I can recall a Franco Battiato's Album called "La voce del padrone." This branch became so famous to the point where my fellow citizens in Italy believe it was born here, as an Italian brand tout-court.
Anyway La Voce Del Padrone as a brand survived until 1967, when became part of the Italian EMI.
But maybe there is a similar story in each country where His master's voice branches were created. So long David! Thanks again. Stefano - E-mail: sminiero (at)

Hi Stefano,
Thanks for the kind words and for giving us a little more from your part of the world. Some "La voce del padrone" 78s actually did make it to the United States, I guess imported by our RCA Victor or maybe brought back by American GIs after WW II, and many that I've seen bear a little sticker or stamp reading "Depositato a norma di legge - Anno 1943." For the longest time, I thought that must mean they had some connection to the famous record producer Walter Legge--only to discover that just means they were produced in accordance with a law (a copyright exemption, I think) passed in 1943. Oops!
Anyhow, little Nipper certainly did get around, and I enjoyed hearing about his Italian adventures. Just recently, I actually had an opportunity to buy one of Barraud's copies, this one made for the French affiliate ("La Voix de son Maitre"), but with the price set at more than $3,000 I decided I'd rather spend the money on lots of little reproductions--printed on record labels!
Thanks again for writing, and happy listening!
David Hoehl

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