Letters • February 2011

"...a review of the Amadeus GTA on The Audio Beat"?

February 24, 2011


I just finished your review of the Well Tempered Simplex. I really enjoyed reading it. I myself am using a Well Tempered Amadeus GTA with a Dynavector DV XX2 Mk II cartridge. All I can say is that it works like a dream. If you give it good material, you will be rewarded. Even older records, as long as they are clean, sound very good. (I have learned how important clean records are.) I really don’t see upgrading this 'table anytime in future. I know for a fact that many Amadeus GTA owners have used cartridges that are multiples of the turntable's cost. It is a keeper for me.

So I just wanted to say that I enjoyed your review. Even though it has been reviewed other places, it would be fun to see a review of the Amadeus GTA on The Audio Beat.

Mike Doukas

I'm happy you enjoyed the review. I must say after spending time with the Simplex, I'm quite interested in having a listen to the Amadeus GTA myself. If I can get my hands on one, I'll post my impressions on The Audio Beat. -Ken Choi

SRA Virginia Class

February 22, 2011


In your past review of the CAT SL1 Legend preamp, I noticed that you used a pair of SRA Virginia Class platforms. Today I saw a picture of these behemoths on www.audioexotics.hk. Are these platforms something special, also compared to the other SRA units?

David Rudolph

Yes, I had a pair of SRA Virginia Class platforms for the Lamm ML3 Signature amps I was using at the time. I can't compare them to the SRA Ohio Class XL+ platforms, because I only had pairs of those for other amps (as I'm sure you know, each SRA platform is built to the specifications of the electronics it will hold). According to SRA, each Virginia Class platform takes twice as long to build as its Ohio Class equivalent. I do recall that the Virginia Class platforms were thicker and much heavier than the Ohio Class, and there were recesses in the top for the component's feet. "The latest Virginia Class devices are tanks. Build materials top to bottom are our latest and greatest, and performance and measurements surpass anything we (or anyone else) have designed to date," says Kevin Tellekamp, head of SRA. -Marc Mickelson

"Unsolicited input": Eric Bibb, YG Acoustics

February 17, 2011


I send messages like this pretty close to never, but I recently discovered Eric Bibb’s music and fell in love with it. My personal favorite is An Evening with Eric Bibb. That CD is absolutely wonderful, and if you haven’t heard it, I can’t recommend it more highly. Then, because the god’s of music chose to reward me, I actually bumped into Eric Bibb at O’Hare Airport just a few weeks ago. He was obviously in a hurry but was nice enough to talk to me for a couple of minutes.

Finally, as long as I’m on a roll, while I know you have auditioned YG Acoustics speakers, I am the first owner of the Anat Professional III (versus Series II). What is significant about this product is that the drivers are milled (not stamped) out of blocks of solid aluminum. They start as 16-pound blocks and end up as one-ounce cones. No one has ever done this before, and I can tell you the clarity of this product is nothing short of remarkable.

Okay, I’m done offering all of my unsolicited input. Thanks for putting out a very good publication.

Joel Alperson

The missing Sam Rivers

February 15, 2011


Sam Rivers released three Blue Note albums, and actually recorded four. Fuchsia Swing Song (1964), Contours (1965), and A New Conception (1966) would be the three released during his time with the label. Dimensions and Extensions, recorded in 1967, wasn't released until 1977, as part of a two-fer with Andrew Hill -- and it later got its own release.

Robert Milo Shepherdson

Yes, of course you are correct about Sam Rivers' recordings. I had completely forgotten about A New Conception when I made my statement regarding his pre-Impulse! Blue Note releases. I've made the correction in my review, and I appreciate your pointing out the error. -Marc Mickelson

Sophia 3 -- when?

February 10, 2011


Looking at the "Associated Equipment" in your past reviews, I see that sometime between 9th and 30th of November you parted company with the Wilson MAXX 3s and acquired a pair of Sophia 3s. When are you going to share your thoughts with us, or are you enjoying the speakers too much to put pen to paper?

Dominic Bexon

I am actually working on my review of the Wilson Sophia 3s, and it should appear in a few weeks (there are a couple of products ahead in my queue). You'll soon get to read my thoughts on the speakers, so stay tuned. -Marc Mickelson

Reader list

February 8, 2011


Please add me to your reader list. I very much appreciate your publication and the high-quality reviews. We also have shared likes, including the Wilson MAXX 3 speakers and VPI Classic turntable.

If you ever decide to go with a subscription model, you can count me in as a future (and happy) paid subscriber.

Roy Ramos

To be added to TAB's reader e-mail list, from which you will be alerted to site updates (and nothing else -- no inbox-clogging spam), write rl@theaudiobeat.com. -Marc Mickelson

Ayre MX-R footers?

February 5, 2011


Well, following your review and our exchange of e-mails late last year, I am very excited to report that a pair of Ayre MX-Rs is on its way to my apartment. I expect to receive the amps in about a month.

This raises another question I’d like to get your honest opinion on. What footers did you try underneath your MX-Rs and which did you find to work best?

You may recall that I’m currently using a pair of Parasound Halo JC 1 amps and underneath those I’ve been using AudioQuest Q Feet. Do you think those would work with MX-Rs?

Lastly, what do you think of the Ayre wood blocks versus the Q Feet?

Gary Alexander

The MX-Rs come with integral footers made from a high-density polymer. These are attached to the underside of each amp, and they were chosen for their durability and sonic properties. However, with Ayre equipment especially, I am partial to Ayre's own myrtle-wood blocks, which, I theorize, transfer energy out of the chassis in an effective way. (AudioQuest's squishy Q Feet, which I've never used, work via a different principle: isolation of the component from airborne and structure-borne vibration.) You have to experiment with the blocks -- often putting two under the heaviest part of the chassis (for most products, this is wherever the transformer is) and one at the opposite side -- on their edge, not their face. For the MX-Rs, I'm sure Ayre can give you specific directions. In case you were wondering, Ayre doesn't just attach the myrtle-wood blocks to the MX-R chassis because wood isn't durable enough to use for attached footers for such a heavy product.

About the myrtle-wood blocks, which cost a mere $5 apiece, Charles Hansen of Ayre had this to offer: "I still haven't heard any footer that I think sounds better than those silly wood blocks. The problem is that they aren't expensive enough for people to take them seriously. If they were $300 per set and had some complex mechanism hidden inside, everyone would use them for their reference. But people listen with their wallets and not their ears." -Marc Mickelson

Esoteric and Devialet

February 1, 2011


I'm considering buying an Esoteric P-03 Universal transport. I have a  Devialet D-Premier from France with its own superior DAC. I read your review from June 2006 on the Esoteric separates. However, I noticed that the AES/EBU digital output of the P-03 is separate for the right and left channels. My amp has only one AES/EBU input, as the most DACs do. Does this mean that I can't connect the P-03 Universal to my Devialet? Do you think that it makes sense to use the P-03 Universal with my Devialet amp? I know that I can't use all the features of the P-03 Universal because it won't be connected to the matching D-03 DAC. If there's a good way to connect it to my Devialet, please let it know.

Siert Klunder

When you connect the P-03 Universal, you will have to tell it what output you're using, and you'll choose the single AES/EBU, which converts the L and R AES/EBU outputs to a single stereo output.

Regarding SACD, while the P-03 Universal will play those discs, it won't output the DSD digital stream via single XLR. As far as I can tell, it will output high-resolution PCM data (you should research this some before buying, however). Your Devialet D-Premier probably won't decode DSD (very few DACs will, and no transports that I know of will output that data via single AES/EBU), but it probably will decode high-resolution PCM. In the end, you won't be able to listen to SACDs with the P-03 Universal (or likely any other transport) connected to your Devialet D-Premier via digital input.

As advanced as the DACs in your D-Premier are, the Esoteric D-03 DAC is probably even more advanced, and it's the natural partner for the P-03 Universal. With it, you will have no issues playing any digital discs (except Blu-ray). -Marc Mickelson


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