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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October 2007

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Real Stereo
Hi Mr Lucio,
This is Raghav from Chennai, India. I have been an avid reader of your website for almost a year since I stumbled upon it while reading reviews for Mission bookshelf speakers (which I ultimately bought). I appreciate the great work you are doing. Your reviews and articles are extremely objective and candid. They reflect the true passion and relentless search for quality music listening experience which in my opinion has no parallels.
I truly endorse and support your 'Real Stereo' campaign. It is an irony that more and more people with money to invest in quality equipments are being swayed towards substandard and crappy surround systems. As you have rightly pointed out this practice makes Audiophile equipment esoteric (I agree it's always been that way) and pushing the few manufacturers who make worthy equipments shut shops or increase prices to stratospheric heights, so as make their equipment out of reach of a newbie audiophile.
This unhealthy trend is even more common in countries like India where the common man is more easily swayed by what the media and brand ambassadors say.
I wish to join your campaign and represent you from this part of the world. I feel joining your site is the best way I can contribute and repay to the world of HiFi some of the most pleasurable moments it has given me. Do let me know the ways in which I could be of help to you. Looking forward to your response.
Keep up the great work you are doing,
Thanks and Regards
Raghav - E-mail: rrangarajan (at)

Dear Raghav,
thanks for your kind letter of support! We are trying to publish more and more reviews of "affordable" HiFi components, despite the fact many Manufacturers are trying to make huge profits on products that have really NOTHING new nor innovative. For this reason we are paying attention to the Class D amplifiers generation, hoping they won't become overpriced when their use will become more and more accepted by the market.
As for supporting Real is simple: if one manages a personal website/blog/forum etc. displaying one of our Real Stereo logos is sufficient to join our campaign. Literally hundreds of websites worldwide have already done so (see this week update for many new entries).
All the best,
Lucio Cadeddu

Naim CD5 X review
Hi Maarten - Hope this gets to you! I was interested in your review of the Naim player as I myself have just listened to this player at the local dealers in comparison with the Rega Saturn. The rest of the system was a dynavector amp and a pair of Shahinian Arc speakers. I note you said you found the Naim player to be very good - does this mean you preferred it to your own Micromega player with all the mods you have added?
I own a Njoe Tjoeb 4000 player with upsampler and similar mods to your player ie modern diodes, Paul Hynes regs for key digital components and a seperate power supply for the clock (not replaced). These mods improve the player no end!
When I was listening to the Naim and the Rega players I came down in favour of the Rega player. Good as the Naim was I thought the Rega went further in keeping all the music together with all the musicians playing together but very well resolved. The Naim sounded a little veiled to me in comparison with the Rega.
You seem to be suggesting the Naim was preferable to your own player. It would be interesting to learn if you have heard the Rega player and if so, you feel the Naim was superior?
Mike - E-mail: mikebooth (at)

Dear Mike,
There's no competition, and that's why I don't mention the Micromega anymore. The Naim has shown me that my own player is outdated and needs to be replaced. If only I could afford a CD5x with a Flatcap!
In the end modifications can only get you so far. You will run into the limitations of the design and chipset used.
I do realise that the Naim isn't the most energetic player, and many other CD players will have more 'spark', but with longer exposure it does satisfy very much and causes no listening fatique at all, which cannot always be said of the more lively competition.
It does need the Flatcap 2x, though. I have come to consider them as a whole by now, and think of it as a single player that can be purchased in two parts.
However, the total price is high and there could be players out there that deliver more music for the same money. Good it is, a bargain it ain't!
I haven't heard the Rega players yet: I tried, but they didn't have a review sample available for me anymore. One of these days I'll have to try again.
Maarten van Casteren

Call to arms
Dear Mark Wheeler,
I've been reading your articles for a long time. I own a Michell Gyrodec MKV with NC PSU and Incognito RB300. My Cartridge is a Dynavector 17d2, which I'd love to see reviewed at TNT.

Do you think the Technoarm is a worthwile upgrade from the Incognito RB300 with smaller tugsten weight ? Have you compared Incognito RB300 or Technoarm with SME IV and V? can you shed some light on the differences?

Have you compared the IV and the V? Are the very different? How so? I've compared mine Incognito RB300 only with the first version of SME 309 (no titanium armtube) in my table and didn't feel it was much better than mine a bit more image stable but less dynamic...

Another great article would be one about the upgrades avaiable for Gyros: Clamp, Platter, Psu and their sonic benefits. This is an area where the reviews are very important due to the dificulties of trying before buying...
And one comparing the Gyro with the Odyssey and the Orbe...

I ask about Odyssey because I've thinking of something that I told to John Michell by phone before his sad passing but unfortonately could not talk about again...

If you have a tacho that tries to correct a platter drift in speed, it only does it after it has happened. So it's a bit like a cat chasing its tail isn't it because the moment you correct you are not shure if it stays the same so you might get more speed instability... It seems more logical the NC Psu aproach, to keep the motor away from mains fluctuaction and rely on its mass to keep the rotation stable.

There is another thing that worries me about the Orbe platter without the Tacho control: once it has no groove for the belt how can you gaurantee that the belt is levelled? Probably in the Orbes the tacho can correct this but not in a Gyro with a Orbe platter. So I'm let to imagine that a perfect turntable with Michell parts would be a Odissey with a Orbe clamp, but not the platter. I.e. A double chassis, VC powered Orbe clamped Gyro...

What do you think?
Continue your great work!
Best regards from Portugal,
António - E-mail: antonio.s.neves (at)

Hi Antonio,
Thanks for the kind words about TNT-audio, I believe our independence from advertising and commercial pressures is what separates us from most other HiFi magazines and sites.

The Tecnoarm is a really great derivative of the RB arms, but probably not so big an improvement over your Incognito to justify the expense of replacing your present arm on your present turntable. However you are talking about other analogue front-end upgrades at the same time, so the case is altered.

When the Orbe was first announced I heard one with a SME V at the Chesterfield HiFi show, and compared it with a Gyro. John Mitchell told me that the platter made 1/3 of the difference, the double plinth made 1/3 of the difference and the glop on the subchassis made 1/3 of the difference too. Obviously this assumes that both decks are using identical power supplies. It is interesting that John regarded the subchassis glob as equally important to the platter or double subchassis.

I had a Gyro SE with one of the first DC motors. I also had an early top-hat DC psu (serial number 7) that I believe was superior to one I heard on a later Gyro bought by a friend.

You already have the NC psu, so the only real theoretical Orbe benefits are the tacho, the subchassis glop, the platter and the double plinth. I am firmly convinced the whole Odyssey project was inspired by the number of potential Orbe owners who could not bear to part with the glorious spinning weights of their Gyrodecs!

My understanding of the tacho is that it is not like the first-order feedback circuits that plagued some of the early direct drive turntables, and furthermore it only operates on motor speed, so the inertia effect of the heavy platter and the elasticity of the belt combine to make a simple mechanical filter (Hooke's law) that will iron out rapid fluctuations of motor speed (which would cause flutter if they affected platter rotation). Longer period fluctuations (wow or speed-drift) would be prevented by the tacho itself. My own experience of my current specification Orbe SE is that it is very pitch stable and speed stable (better even than my old Valhalla Linn LP12) provided the suspension is properly set up. OH YES, I am sorry to say that the latest Orbes are so capable of pitch perfection that they have now become more revealing of suspension set up. I have requested a set of the Pedersen modifications to try to improve this behaviour, but none have been forthcoming yet.

No belt groove is better because the belt finds its own level with least tension fluctuation, whereas if it is constrained by a groove it will always be working against the suspension, no matter how microscopically. Microscopic forces are important in turntables because of the tiny groove wiggles the stylus is trying to follow. The Orbe screw-down clamp is much easier to use without upsetting the suspension than the Gyro spindle-gripper.

The Orbe is a significant improvement on the Gyro and would be a better place to spend money than the arm if you have to choose one or the other. An Orbe with a Tecnoarm would comfortably outperform a Gyro with a SME V. I have compared RB250, RB300, SME IV, SME V and Hadcock GH242SE on full Gyrodecs and Gyro SE's and I have compared the Tecnoarm and the GH242SE on my Orbe SE, I have compared RB300 with SME IV and SME 309 on Rivelin Eclipse. The SME 309 has an aluminium armtube that gives it a more forgiving character and some say greater musicality; the Eclipse designer Chris Orchard preferred it on his turntable and I agreed at the time. The SME IV and SME V have more bombast and wider bandwidth than the other arms listed, but the Tecnoarm is so close the extra money would be better spent on a lot of discs. On a Gyro there would be little difference between SME IV and undamped SME V if both had SME V wiring.

I prefer the Gyro SE to the full Gyrodec, the differences are obvious, but I was sufficiently impressed by the Orbe SE to buy one and as a former Linn owner I am a stickler for good pitch and rhythm, which the Orbe now equals. The pace and Rhythm of the Hadcock unipivot is way ahead of all the gimbal arms which is why it became my preferred wand, and probably explains why Naim's Aro is so similar to achieve similar ends.

I was promised a Dynavector 17d2 for review but somehow it never happened. I should chase them up. I used an original Dynavector Karat Diamond way back and loved its Decca-like speed, until I changed to a Linn Karma when I had an all Linn front end like everybody else in the 80s.

You obviously like the basics of the Mitchell sound, so if you have the money, sell the Gyro complete and buy an Orbe SE with a Tecnoarm or Hadcock. You'll be rewarded with more energy and drive, deeper more powerful bass, less coloured midband (but still a Mitchell weakness), better timing and a deeper soundstage (the Gyro and Orbe are probably as wide as any get). Less tangible is the much lower noisefloor that somehow opens up the sound and I would say it lets more of the musical nuances through, but I can't say that because I would begin to sound like one of those pretentious wine-speak writers that write for some of our rivals!

If rhythm's your thing, get a Hadcock GH242SE, but if spectacular bass lights your candle get the Tecnoarm.
Happy listening,
Mark Wheeler

Re: CD treatments
Dear Lucio,
Thank you for the reply in the Readers' Corner last weekend.
My system consists of the Accuphase DP55V CD player, Accuphase E-212 integrated amplifier and Elac FS 207.2 loudspeakers - a fairly revealing system which I believe would show the effect of any upgrade.
I tried the anti-static spray on the label side of some CDs, I noticed that the mids and highs became clearer and the soundstage went a little wider. EXCELLENT!!
I was happy with the result and went a bit ambitious to clean the MUSIC SIDE of the CDs with the same spray, hoping that a cleaner CD surface would make reading easier by the CD laser lens which should produce better sound.
However, after they had been played in the CD player, the surface (music side) of the CDs attracted quite a lot of dust, probably due to the static electricity produced during playing. In order not to damage the surface, I now have to use facial cotton balls wetted with tap water to clean off the spray.
Kind regards,
Rikki - E-mail: rikki.cheung (at)

Dear Rikki,
if the spray you're using is really anti-static the CD surface shouldn't attract any dust at all!!!! Anyway, the best results I've had with a CD treatment came from the Auric Illuminator. This is a really noticeable upgrade, well worth a try.
Keep us updated on your findings,
Lucio Cadeddu

Cable break-in
Does this mean that the electrons need to be introduced into the cable?
Or you can explain to me please break in process in physical terms.
Kind regards,
Elkor Plaza - E-mail: hifi.plaza (at)

Dear friend,
some cable changes its sound after use. My best bet is that the dielectric gets somehow polarized while conducting electricity. I suggest you to read an insightful interview with Tommy Jenving of Supra Cables (dates back to 1997, the early days of TNT-Audio!) where the manufacturer tries to explain cable break-in (he doesn't seem to be a break-in believer, anyway).
I suggest you to experiment on your own: take two identical cables, use one of these for, say, 50 hours, then substitute it with the "new" unused one. If you hear differences...that's cable break-in! If is better to concentrate on Music listening. After all, HiFi is supposed to be fun :-)
Keep us updated on your findings,
Lucio Cadeddu

Just thanks
Hi Lucio
My name is Choong and I am from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I like to thank you for this fantabulous site. It is informative and entertaining.
Choong - E-mail: pmchoong (at)

Dear Choong,
many heartfelt thanks for taking the time to let us know how much you appreciate TNT-Audio. It''s our only reward!
Happy reading!
Lucio Cadeddu

SL 1200
Just letting you know I hooked up a Technics 1200 with tone arm damper (KAB) & LP gear mat, Audio technical 440 cart, Cambridge Azure 640p and wow - you are so right - it kicks goals. Once you put the DD prejudice behind you I fail to see how any one couldn't be happy with the sound.
Thanks for that, buy you a beer if you ever get to Sydney.
Andrew - E-mail: tricka (at)

glad to hear you have found the articles to be helpful, I think I might just have to make that trek down under and take you up on that beer. The offer extends likewise if you are every stateside.
Ironic how one's own mindsets are often what prevents one from attaining what may actually be better.
BTW, if you ever get a chance to try the Goldring Elite...I found it to be an excellent cartridge.
Arvind Kohli

Previous weeks letters

Ikea stuff again
Hello Mark,
You have published some tests of a piece of Ikea furniture. In the current (2008) catalog I have found two new furniture items that can maybe be used in HiFi. I include two pictures.

As can see in them, one of them is a piece of furniture for TV that seems a rack of two bookcases, has a price of 12.95 euros in Spain, the reference is: 201.147.55

The other one, if removed the boxes, it seems a rack of three bookcases, with a price of 29 euros, the reference is: 401.048.59.

Both have a structure in steel, and I suppose that they are slight, but I don't know the rigidity of the structure. In the region in the one that I live is not any Ikea (I have downloaded the catalog) so I have not been able to test them, if you find them interesting perhaps you can test them, they can be T-amp of racks!

Receive a cordial greeting,
Raúl - E-mail: coutodominguez (at)

Hello Raúl
Thank you for drawing attention to these. I have not noticed either of them at the Nottingham store, but whatever Ikea's quality/price ratio, their stores are a nightmare worthy of a Kafka novel, so they just might have been lurking among the thousands of other products packed into that giant warehouse. I only go there when I know exactly what I want.

[Ikea Lack][Ikea Estante][Ikea Mesa]

From the pictures the Mesa table looks most promising. I have found that bolt-together flat-pack furniture is not rigid enough for electromechanical source components, but you could weld each joint or use 2-pack epoxy adhesive. The Estante might need more radical surgery, perhaps a diagonal brace front-back.

The Ikea Lack side table was briefly in vogue in the UK scene as a turntable or cd player support and cost less (UK£7.99) than a set of phono plugs. I tried the Lack table under a Linn Sondek (which are notioriously sensitive to their support) and a Mitchell Gyrodec where it Lacked dynamics compared to UK audiophile competitors (e.g. Origin Live, Sound Organisation, Appollo, Target) and added a bloom of lower midrange colouration, especially to the Linn. Under a Rotel cd player it was OK, but consumed too mauch floorspace given that it was not as good as sitting on a two-shelf wall support.

I do think the 2 racks you have noticed have great potential. The 3 shelf Estante might especially suitable for pre and power amplifiers, active-crosovers, power supplies even if it is not very strong and rigid.
Happy listening,
Mark Wheeler

CD treatments
Dear Mr Cadeddu,
I have always been a great fan of TNT-Audio and tried many of your recommended cheap but valuable upgrades. However, I am a bit confused with the following two CD TREATMENT SPRAYS and would appreciate your help:

Kind regards,
Rikki - E-mail: rikki.cheung (at)

Dear Rikki,
I reviewed the two treatments in different years. When I reviewed the first one, the antistatic version wasn't available yet. Hence I do recommend using the antistatic version only, as using both would be useless.
Keep us updated on your findings,
Lucio Cadeddu

New CD player under 500 €
I'm looking for a new CD player( 400-sub500 euro category). I know that the sound of CD is far from analog, and in this price category I cannot expect much (sorry, I can't buy a REGA PLANET, APOLLO or tube CD player), but I hope I can find a smooth (but with a fine amount of detail and dynamics) sounding player without digital harshness and irritating top end.
My amp is a NAD C320BEE, and I prefer classical music and jazz. I want to replace my old and noisy DENON DCD 685 cd player. Can you suggest me a (few) model (of CD player(s)), that I can buy here in Europe?, and will be suitable for my taste (analogish sound).
Thank you for your advice!!
Lorand - E-mail: drklorand (at)

Dear Lorand,
if you consider even second-ghand gear the choice is very wide: fronm Linn Mimik to Rega Planet and Audio Analogue Paganini, just to name a few that certainly have the sound you're after. But if you insist in buying a new unit, focus your attention on NAD C521, for example, which is reasonably smooth and should be a natural partner for your C320 integrated amplifier. Perhaps a little bit brighter, in the same price range, there's the Rotel RCD 06...worth a try anyway.
Hope this helped,
Lucio Cadeddu

New Class D amps
Hi Lucio,
I've been a longtime patron of your web site and thanks to you guys have been using a modified T-amp via 12AU7 tube pre-amp. This simple set-up has let me enjoy music in a totally different way.
I was wondering if another round of comparing Class D amps, namely Trends 10.1 and the new Charlize2 be in the offering? I'm sure these two are a lot better than the T-amp, but it would be nice to know which of the two is better.
For us audio freaks on a budget, Class D amps are a welcome discovery and it is only thru publications like yours that we get to know about them. Hope we can see your evaluations soon.
Warm regards,
Tony - E-mail: tony_cano (at)

Dear Tony,
so many things, so little time. It is hard to keep up with all the new things coming out these days. I've been asked to review other "promising" Class D amps...I hope I can find the time to do everything. Consider I received the new NuForce REF9 SE V.2 almost two months ago and I haven't found the time to connect them to my system yet!!! (go figure)
That's life...keep the faith and stay tuned! :-)
Lucio Cadeddu

K701 headphones
I read your fine "shootout" comparison of several top headphones. Did you get a chance later to compare the AKG K701 phones to the others, as you alluded to in your review?
Best regards,
Michael - E-mail: opera101 (at)

Hello Michael,
Thanks much for the compliment. I am glad you found the piece helpful. As it often happens in this industry, some manufacturers/distributors are not particularly well run businesses. I was promised a pair of the 701s by the manufacturer, but I never saw them.
Initally, they were having trouble keeping up with demand (following some raves) and then I never heard back from them. I suspect, if I had kept following up with them, I eventually would have received a pair to review.
But I have more than what I can handle in terms of material to review, and if a supplier cannot be organized enough to avail themselves of free publicity then I move on to other opportunities.
Also, sometimes manufacturers get a few good reviews and then avoid further reviews, because they feel one bad review could ruin the edge they had previously gained. In other cases, I have been denied samples beacuse we do not have an established "relationship" with the manufacturer or some "company policy" against online reviews or other polite excuse is quoted.
I would not be surprised if the truth is that since they do not advertise with us they feel they have no means of ensuring a favourable outcome. But in most cases, manufacturers seem like they really do want to submit a sample, but get overwhelmed by their own disorganization and never get around to sending a sample unless you follow up often.
Then there are the few that are organized and savvy. They touch base frequently, follow up on issues and deliver on their commitments. PS Audio, Adcom, Vmax Services (formerly Triangle), ACI, KAB, Signalpath (Musical Fidelity) are some such who come to mind.
I know it is more than what you asked for, but I also needed to get that off my chest ;-)
Arvind Kohli

Tannoy spares
Dear Editor,
I stumbled across your website during an exhaustive internet search and was hoping that you might be able to help me. I have a pair of Tannoy Mercury MX3 speakers which I have become rather attached to. They are a few years old but still deliver fantastic sound.
The problem I face is that during a recent building project someone stole one of the woofers out of the case! I am now left with one working and one ½ working speaker. Tannoy no longer make spare parts for them and I was hoping to either a) find a replacement or b) use your forum to communicate my problem and hopefully someone out there may have an old set with a working woofer. I know this is a long shot, but I am not having much luck. If this is not the purpose of your site, then I apologise and would understand if you delete this message.
Neil - E-mail: bluedoor (at)

Dear Neil,
are you 100% sure Tannoy has no spares for these speakers? It sounds strange to me. Try using the contacts listed on their webpage:

For spares and service in NORTH AMERICA only:
Contact Email: Wdietrich (at)
For spares and service in the UK only:
Service Centre,
Tannoy Ltd,
ML5 4TF.
+44 (0)1236 420199
Contact e-mail: enquiries (at)
Only if you find that you have difficulty contacting your nearest distributor as listed in the contacts section please contact:
+44 (0)1236 420199
In any case, keep an eye on Ebay, I'm pretty sure a pair of Mercury MX3's will appear sooner or later (there are two pairs right now on You could buy a second pair and use it for spares. Perhaps it would be less expensive than buying a new spare woofer!!!
Hope this helped,
Lucio Cadeddu

Naim Nait question
Hi Lucio,
I just found your review of the Nait and thought you were the person to contact about a speaker issue. I bought my Nait in 1985 (one of the earlier red LED units) and it has been a much loved component of my stereo system ever since.
It is now hooked up to a Nakamichi CD player and a pair of Heybrook 2 way speakers. I have just been offered a pair of 35 year old floorstanding Celestion Ditton 25 speakers (60W at 4-8 Ohm with 12 inch woofers, 12 inch passive radiators, 2 midranges and 1 tweeter). Do you think that the Nait will drive them adequately, or is this wishful thinking?
Mike - E-mail: mdorev (at)

Dear Mike,
the real question isn't whether (or not) the Nait will drive those oldish Ditton's but....will you like them? They are pretty different from your Heybrook 2's, indeed. An accurate listening test is mandatory, considering the age of the speakers. In any case yes, the Nait will drive them, provided you don't expect disco-like sound pressure levels (old speakers were quite inefficient).
Hope this helped,
Lucio Cadeddu

SET amplifiers
Hi Lucio
I read your 2004 article on the Opera audio consanance 8.8 pp versus the J500. Here is the problem I have with SET amps...most of the reference speakers such as magnapan or quad or martin logan or soundlab or B&W are just not going to run with 9 watts.
So my question is how can anyone rate transparency because a higher power PP amp can power a reference speaker which a 8 or 9 watt unit cannot? There aren't any real reference speakers I know of that recommends a 9 watt amp to drive them.
Mike - E-mail: merccougar89 (at)>

Dear Mike,
there are many good speakers that are fairly efficient, enough to be driven with sub-10 watt amplifiers. The first names that come to mind are Klipsch, Triangle, Audio Note and a legion of high-end horns like Avantgarde, Loth-X etc.
Moreover, you don't need high listening levels to evaluate the amount of details an amplifier can reproduce (hence its "transparency"). Quite the opposite, micro-details can be accurately evaluated at low listening levels.
Hope this clarified things a bit,
Lucio Cadeddu

Into separates!
Hi Mark,
I just found your website whilst hunting around on the internet to find a good, solid, up-to date guide on buying an amplifier and speaker set-up. So glad I found you, I read your guide on amplifiers, this has cleared up a few things but I'm still such a newbie about all of this.
I'm moving into a new apartment and have just sold all my existing speakers, I'm wondering if you could spare a little time to help me make some good decisions on what sort of set-up to go for within a budget, I have no problem buying second hand and it will be a good learning curve to hear the information straight from an enthusiast like yourself.
Now, before I start, you may frown upon my idea of a set-up but I currently run all my music through my computer. I'm looking to get a seperate Amplifier, CD player and Speakers to play ball with my computer, xbox 360 and obviously the CD player that I intend to buy. The xbox 360 has an optical output but I've not found anything to suggest this is a good thing, I can't find a single amplifier that will take an optical input. Everything is phono, I have phono connectors as well so it's not a big deal to use these. At first I could get just the amp and the speakers to work with my computer and xbox 360 then at a later stage buy the CD seperate. My budget for the first "round" is about £150 - £200. Can I get anything decent with that?
Let me know if you can help, I know you're probably very busy but I'd appreciate a helping hand.
Maxwell - E-mail: meridimus (at)

Hi Maxwell,
It is OK to stream music from your computer providing your files are at high resolution and uncompressed. Why bother buying a cd player when you can rip cds to your hard disc and playback from there?
Buying used gear is the best way to explore the options as you can always resell with less financial cost. There were plenty of shops selling used audio around Birmingham when I lived there, and they're more likely to let you play with their trade-ins than their new stuff.
If you're in an apartment you should avoid big-bass floorstanding speakers unless you really do want a bad relationship with your neighbours. Build your own stands from our DIY pages, unless someone you buy speakers from offers to throw them into the deal. Small (15-20 litres) speakers on stands will give you better sound and the stands will decouple impact noise from the structure of your building.
Do not buy trendy or cult items because the free-market makes them poor value. Look up old reviews on our site, or go to the public library to trawl back issues of the paper comics for reviews at the time. Birmingham public library has a really good journal section where I used to research loudspeaker design papers when I first started out. It's worth knowing that HiFi News & Record Review (as it used to be known) had an annual index in every January issue, covering the previous 12 months, until last year. HiFi Choice index in every issue all the currently available gear they've ever reviewed. So this is what you do:

  1. Read the small ads in the back of all the magazines in WH Smith & write down anything that interests you or look in the shops (there used to be a least 3 within walking distance of Five Ways)
  2. Go round to the library & look up the reviews in the comics & online and decide if it's what you want
  3. Ring up and arrange an audition
  4. Take cash as a lower offer is often acceptable if it's cash on the day
  5. Always be ready to walk away smiling if the gear isn't quite what you want
Doing this process a few times will build up a massive database in your head of which reviewers liked what gear, and whether you share that reviewer's prejudices. In no time at all your friends will begin to see you as the fount of all audio knowledge; they will tell you when they see things for sale; gorgeous women will approach you at parties and invite you home to adjust their tweeters (OK I lied about the last bit). Your friends will also buy your old gear when you upgrade because they know you'd only own good stuff.
For £200 (about 330 Euro) you should be able to get a decent used amp and speakers. Alternatively you could even get a T amp, a Maplin power supply for it, and some high sensitivity full-range drivers (e.g. Fostex) and build your own unique cabinets from a published design. Or perhaps stick a full range driver on the end of a rigid carpet tube (cut to length to suit the driver t/s parameters) filled with long-fibre wool for a funky looking tuned quarter wave pipe design...
Happy hunting, gathering or building...
Mark Wheeler

Flexy table question
Hello David, I'm not sure where to direct this question but you seemed a possible helper as I searched the site.
I can get 12mm threaded rod easily from my local store but nothing bigger. Will 12 do do you think. In total it will need to support my Ekco (v old) radio/turntable, Beocord 2200 tape deck (v.old), Leak Delta amp, and a modern lightweight CD player. Could I sensibly give it a try.
Arnold - E-mail: a.senior638-2 (at)

Hi Arnold
In fact, I have faced the same question myself! What I did is buy the 12mm threaded rods because I think they are thick enough. But I haven't built the table yet. My guess is it will work. If you go on and try it, please tell me how it works out.
[Ed.'s note: 12 mm threaded rods will work just fine, provided one doesn't overload the table. This doesn't seem to be the case - Lucio]
Hope this helped,
David Holgate

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