for preamp tubes
with keeping interconnects and speaker cables under the same family umbrella, what about
preamp tubes? I know amplifier power tubes should all be the same brand -- and matched, in
the case of my amp -- but what about tubes in the preamp? I need two rectifier tubes, two
12AX7s and two 12AU7s. Is keeping them all in the same family critical?
might well be impossible to get all of your tubes from the same manufacturer, but
companies that make tube electronics will often pick the best tubes for their products, in
which case I suppose they are all approved by that company, if not made by one
manufacturer. On the other hand, tube rolling is a well-established audiophile practice,
and it will undoubtedly lead to a different sound -- and perhaps one that's far more to
guess my answer would be that there are two routes you can take: use the tubes the
manufacturer recommends, which is easier, or experiment yourself, which you may find to be
either tedious or enlightening, depending on your interest in the journey. -Marc
have taken all of your advice with great success. I've upgraded from Revel Salons to
Wilson WATT/Puppy 8s, then to Sasha W/Ps. I've moved from Levinson No.33H monos to an
interim pair of phenomenal Sierra Denali monos to a set of the renowned Lamm M1.2
Reference monos. Silent Running Audio VR-series isoBases protect the amps from floor-borne
vibrations -- all of which as a result of your guidance. I've even sold my Grand Prix
Audio Monaco rack in preparation for a Silent Running Audio Scuttle rack. I thank you, for
you were right every time. I'm indebted.
front-end is the Purcell-and-Delius combo, compliments of dCS, which are being fed by a
ReQuest Audio media server (that is inconveniently down at the moment). I am currently
running Analysis Plus Silver Oval Balanced interconnects from the Purcell/Delius combo to
the Lamm amps. And I have Anti-Cables (temporarily) from the amps to the speakers. I'm
happy with the sound, but, as is customary with this hobby of ours, I'm looking for more
from my system. With not much else to replace, cabling is now on the table for
examination. With all the misinformation that exists within the world of cabling, I'm so
confused as to which direction to take. I've been considering Analysis Plus Big Silver
Oval speaker cables, along with the usual suspects from Transparent, MIT and Shunyata
know you've had experience with Shunyata products, which are your current reference, I
believe, and Transparent, which you wrote a review on. Is Transparent worth the amount of
money they're asking? I was considering maybe the Reference model. Your review of the
Reference XL line was impressive. Why don't you use Transparent? Please help.
right -- cabling is a world unto itself. My first recommendation is to read over TAB's Tech
InSite, "Cabling Your System," for a useful primer on audio cabling. After
you've digested that, there are a few "cable looms" that I can recommend, one of
which you've hit upon already: Shunyata's new "Zi-Tron" cables, which are very
impressive and inexpensive compared to their competition. I would also recommend Nordost,
especially the new Norse 2 lines, for your consideration as well, along with AudioQuest
WEL Signature if it's in your price range.
mention Transparent, whose products I reviewed almost eleven years ago. I've not heard any
of Transparent's cables since, so I can't help you there, except to say that I thought
very highly of the Reference XL interconnects and speaker cables I heard all those years
ago. I've written more recently (only nine years ago) about MIT Oracle v2.1, which is the
other prominent cable brand that uses inline networks. Again, I liked them a great deal
sense, however, is that the current crop of cables I mentioned at the beginning of my
response -- from Shunyata, Nordost and AudioQuest -- will significantly outperform the
networked cables in terms of overall transparency, which translates to across-the-board
improvement. From my earlier experience, those networked cables had tremendously powerful
bass, and I think again the newer cables will equal or better it, at least in terms of
speed and definition. Of course, I'm comparing memory to reality here, but that's all I
can do so many years after hearing the Transparent and MIT cables.
is also the matter of cost, especially with the Shunyata "Zi-Tron" cables, which
really do perform far above their cost. I'm finishing a review of the Cobra line now, and
I can also say that they work very, very well with Wilson speakers and Lamm electronics.
am interested in your recommendation to have a separate ground for my audio system. Should
the system then be disconnected from the main ground for the rest of the house?
There are two parts to consider here: ground and
power. Ideally, you will install a separate ground rod for your system alone. This would
then be connected to dedicated outlets for your audio system and thus the entire
power-delivery system would be separate from that for the rest of your house. -Marc
am an avid reader of The Audio Beat, and Marc suggested that I contact you
regarding my questions on what are the best Beethoven symphonic cycles to own. I have the
Eliot Gardiner/Orchestre Revolutionnaire on Archiv and Claudio Abbado/Berlin Philharmonic
on DG, both as CDs.
was wondering whether there is a great multichannel SACD set worth owning or a great LP
set, assuming that any lover of Beethoven should own an LP cycle. How good is the new
Paavo Järvi/Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, which, I believe, is available in
both formats? There are SACDs of Karajan/Berlin Philharmonic, but I do not know whether
they are the classic '60s performances.
don't mind selling my sets if I can upgrade in both sound and performance. I suppose it is
worth owning a few, if they represent different interpretations and different
presentations in sound, such as multichannel and analog.
would appreciate any advice and recommendations.
Beethoven symphonies must be amongst the most-recorded classical works of all time,
meaning that virtually every conductor of note has had a go at them at least once, some
with more success than others. That makes the range of styles and interpretations vast,
and that's before you get to questions of recording quality. That makes firm
recommendations almost impossible, as personal taste will always rule the final choice --
and one set will rarely cover all the musical bases. However, there are a few points I can
pressings are not too hard to come by as so many were sold, but consider the playback
requirements before plopping down your hard-earned cash. The first Karajan cycle for DGG
(recorded between December 1961 and November 1962 -- he also recorded a mono cycle for EMI
in the early '50s) is pretty much a "must have" in terms of correctness. It is
an almost prosaic reading that gives you the score and nothing but the score and stands in
stark contrast to later, lusher, more romantic performances. It is fashionable to knock
the lack of lyricism, especially in the 6th Symphony, but for me that's the whole point of
classical music and the different perspectives it offers the listener. The Karajan set,
shorn of artifice and extravagance/self indulgence, stands as the departure point for all
serious Beethoven journeys. It might not be your final destination, but you can't get
there without starting from here, and you might just find yourself running full circle.
problem is that sonically the set is cursed with DGG's signature sound: bright and hashy
up top, slow and turgid down below. That is not down to pressing quality or the recording,
but the fact that the pressings were all cut using CCIR EQ, rather than RIAA. So, unless
you have an adjustable-EQ phono stage, the sonics will disappoint. Replayed with correct
EQ, the records sound focussed and spacious, with excellent tonality, while the
performances become far more directed, effective and intense -- more emotive, less
teutonic. You can begin to understand why HvK enjoys the reputation he does! But fear not
-- Speakers Corner released the '62 DGG cycle on 180-gram vinyl in a beautifully and
faithfully reproduced box, and these were cut RIAA, so if your phono stage lacks the
necessary variable EQ facility, this is the set to go for.
out of Germany, the Analogue Audio Association released a set originally recorded by Reader's
Digest in 1961. Appearing on their Edition Phoenix label, it features the RPO
conducted by Rene Leibowitz in a cycle captured by Charles Gerhardt of RCA Living Stereo
fame (although I don't know if the engineer was his long-time collaborator Lewis Layton).
Sonically this is warmer and more obviously dimensional, although the readings lack the
sheer purpose and unadorned focus of HvK. It came out in 1993, but you might still find
copies out there. If so, it's well worth a listen if the price isn't too steep.
original vinyl: Klemperer is easy to find, but the cycle is distinctly uneven; Bernstein
and the VPO are a good example of the later, more romantic style, although again, as a DGG
pressing, EQ issues need to be considered; Solti and the Chicago are worth a look, but
again the more romantic styling tends to obscure the structural elegance of the works --
although he does play every repeat; finally, HvK's 1977 set shows a fuller and
arguably more powerful set of symphonies, but for me it lacks the sense of purpose heard
in the 1962 set.
The Karajan versions on SACD are the '62 cycle, so if that is your preferred
medium, then jump right in, although I've only heard the set on vinyl.
only SACD sets that I have heard are the Rudolf Kempe set reissued by Esoteric (now sadly
discontinued) and the LSO Live recordings with Bernard Haitink, the latter in multichannel
and something of a bargain -- currently £21.17 from Amazon, at which price you can't
really go wrong.
the SACD essential has to be the Carlos Kleiber/VPO readings of the 5th and 7th Symphonies
on DGG. Storming performances that shouldn't be missed (Linn offered the 5th Symphony on
its Re-Kut label, way back in the day), this disc is well worth hunting out. It lists at
around £15 in the UK and should be readily available. Whatever complete cycle you get,
you need this too!
hope these necessarily personal views are of some help and interest. Good hunting. There
are certainly harder paths to tread, and what's not to like about exploring Beethoven?
moderately priced Blu-ray player"
your review of
Ayre DX-5, I had a correspondence with you in order to improve the sound of my Oppo
BDP-83 player (connected digitally to a Wadia S7i). Since no improvement was possible with
that gear, I finally acquired an Electrocompaniet EMP 2 universal player. This $4000
player transformed Blu-ray sound to a new dimension. Although it still needs a lot to
reach the Wadia sound, the improvement is huge in every sonic aspect (and also in
picture). My enjoyment from Blu-ray music has increased dramatically. I never heard the
Ayre and can't compare it to the EMP 2, but $4000 is not $14,000 (for the Wadia) or
$10,000 (for the Ayre).
can think of two kinds of people who need such a player:
People who want very good sound from all discs (audio and video) from one
reasonably priced player.
People like me who have excellent audio player and want to enjoy the sound from
Blu-ray without adding another very expensive player.
think that you can do a very good favor to your readers by reviewing such a moderately
price Blu-ray player.
The EMP 2 does look intriguing,
as it, like the DX-5, plays everything and is made by a company that cares deeply about
sound. I've also heard very good things about Exemplar Audio's modified Oppo player.
Perhaps, once my reviewing queue clears out, I can review one of these. -Marc
fond memories of audio adventures long passed"
the blog, "We
Didn't Know How Good We Had It: Thoughts on Maggie Dealer-Direct and the Mini Maggie
System"]: Ah, yes, the fond memories of audio adventures long passed.
to audio havens that are no longer there, like the Stereo Emporium, to listen to Maggie
Typanis and ARC tube amps, then a jaunt down the road and around the corner over to
Transcendental Stereo to chat with Dan D'Agostino and see more audio to lust over.
home across the Peace Bridge we had a few local shops, one that sold the original Acoustat
Monitor X (which I now own), and there were even more as you ventured closer to Toronto.
there's only a couple of stores that sell serious hi-fi products, and they are more than
an hour's drive away.
whenever I do venture out to those remaining stalwarts of days gone by, I get that old
twinge of excitement that I got 40 years ago. Then again, it just might be arthritis.
the journey for me isn't over. I'm off today to buy another high-priced power cord, the
last one I need for my setup, or so I told the wife.
her -- she's heard that one before.
you and the audio industry for many years of happy listening,
me to your reader list"
be grateful if you could add me to your reader list -- though I do check in regularly to
see if anything new has been published. Yours is a great site -- keep up the good work!
regularly works, but the reader list is infinitely better. To join and be the first to
hear about new articles on the site, send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.