"Yes, that is what I hear also"
own Tidal Contriva Diacera SE speakers and really enjoyed your
characterizations of their sound. As I read your prose, I continually thought, Yes,
that is what I hear also. I share your experiences with the listening distance but
have yet to really experiment with the jumper and the port plug.
I thought this was an excellent review.
on the Tidal review
review of the Tidal Contriva Diacera SE speakers. I just received my pair, and I was
helped a great deal by Doug White of The Voice That Is with the setup. I am having a
wonderful time with them, and I agree with everything you wrote. You were very accurate
with your assessment of their qualities and abilities. My Goldmund 29M amp is able to get
the most out of them.
for ARC equipment, next system upgrade?
wrote to you a few times during the SoundStage! era. Right now I am using an
Esoteric P-03/D-03 transport/DAC combo as a source, a Simaudio Moon preamp and power amp,
and Revel Ultima Salon2 speakers. All AC cords are Shunyata CX series; interconnects and
speaker cables are Transparent MM2.
am buying a new preamplifier, as I discovered that my Moon P8 has very little gain. It
only works with sources with high output voltage, like their own Andromeda CD player. My
new preamplifier will be an Audio Research Reference Anniversary. Is it true that the
rubber feet under all ARC gear hold back the true sonic potential? Do I really need to
bypass those feet and use some sort of metal cones or coupling devices instead to make my
preamp sing? I didn't do this while I owned an ARC Reference CD7. Also, what should I do
first between investing in a super-costly rack like HRS or super-costly Esoteric G-0Rb
the feet on Audio Research components, they are chosen specifically for their sonic
properties. They are soft and isolate, instead of couple, which is what spiked cones do.
I've personally never had any issues with ARC's footers, but there's no harm in
experimenting and seeing if another kind of footer would work best with your rack. I've
had very good results with edenSound's TerraStone footers, which also have the added property of
draining off static electricity.
terms of how to spend money on your next upgrade, I have no experience with Esoteric's
separate clocks, so I can't comment there. I can say that the various Silent Running Audio
racks I've used have all been very worthwhile sonic upgrades, especially the new Craz²,
which I'll be writing about soon. It's important to know that SRA racks are meant to be
used with equipment in stock form and no special footers or isolation devices between the
component and shelf. SRA takes the configuration of each component into account in the
design of its racks. -Marc Mickelson
MX-Rs, archiving TAB articles
happened to see that your latest reviews have been done using both the Ayre MX-R and Lamm
M1.2 Reference amplifiers. Are you preparing a review of the Ayre MX-R monoblocks? If so,
could you do a direct comparison of them to the Lamm M1.2 amplifiers? (And as long as I'm
dreaming, please connect them to Paul Bolin's EgglestonWorks Andra II speakers.) I am not
just asking because I happen to own Lamm M2.1 amplifiers and the Andra II speakers. (All
right, all right, I lied. That is precisely the reason why I am asking!)
look forward to seeing the review.
I go to your site and hit the "Archives & Search" option at the top, the
submenu that comes up does not allow me to see any archived equipment reviews -- at least
when I put the mouse over "Equipment Reviews" nothing happens. Why is this? Is
it because your site is so new that you have not archived any reviews yet? This is my
assumption, but I am not sure. Or is there a problem?
you do archive the equipment reviews (assuming there are none now), could you do me a
favor? (Yes, me personally -- not for anybody else, just for me!) Could you please break
down the equipment reviews into categories? It would be a great help if they were broken
down into a few categories, such as:
equipment - (Digital players, turntables, tonearms and cartridges)
Amplification - (Preamplifiers and amplifiers)
Everything else - (Cables, power conditions, racks, tweaks, etc.)
understand why you don't do if for current reviews, as it is nice to see all of the
"new" reviews there. But once they have been up for awhile, (a few months or
so), it would make sense to archive them.
Yes, I do have Ayre MX-R amps right now, and a KX-R preamp too. I will be writing
about both, as well as the new DX-5 digital player. You can rest assured that I'll compare
the Ayre amps to my Lamm M1.2s.
your questions about TAB's archives, yes, the reason you can't click on
"Equipment Reviews," for instance, and see a listing is that I haven't archived
any equipment reviews yet. That's coming. Also coming are categories of reviews. I plan to
list them by product type, date and even writer, so you can see everything that Paul Bolin
has reviewed for TAB, for example. -Marc Mickelson
for the Esoteric coverage
just read Paul Bolin's Esoteric review from the link you passed along. Thank you
so much for sending this to me! It was interesting to read of the improvement Paul heard
by adding the G-03X Master Clock. Your past reviews of Esoteric equipment were very
informative, and were influential to my adding, first, an X-01 CD/SACD player and then
later the P-03/D-03 transport and DAC, which I have enjoyed immensely for the past several
years. The G-03X may be a way to even better sound without investing at the level of a
Paul heard a distinct improvement by adding a G-03X to the X-01 D2 is helpful information.
Again, thanks for sending the link. I thought Paul's review was most enjoyable to read!
Green, Larry Young and Music Matters
just read the
Grant Green/Larry Young review. Great writing! And great music. How did you learn so
much about jazz?
is the first I've heard about Music Matters. Are they really releasing the old Blue Notes
on 45rpm? And what's the story behind it all?
learned about jazz by immersing myself in it -- something I continue to do, learning more
each time I sit down to listen. It's incredibly rich and challenging music, and the
greatest recordings, like so many in the Blue Note catalog, reveal themselves slowly, with
Matters is a great story -- and record label. Joe Harley and Ron Rambach, who run it, have
decades of experience in the music industry, but more than this, they have great knowledge
of the Blue Note catalog. They have immersed themselves in it, helping those who buy their
LPs discover some of the most important jazz ever recorded. All of their releases are on a
pair of 45rpm LPs -- not the smaller 7" records that we think of as 45s. They have
chosen 45rpm because of its potential for improved sound -- something they achieve with
each of their releases. Joe and Ron truly love this music, and their definitive LPs are an
expression of that. -Marc Mickelson
a quick question, but I suspect it has a not-too-straightforward answer. Where do you
stand on mains conditioning as opposed to mains regeneration? There are numerous products
in both areas, and currently I'm looking at the PurePower range -- intuitively mains
regeneration seems the most logical, l but I'm sure it's not that straightforward.
have firsthand experience with both the regeneration and passive conditioning/filtering
approaches. I thought very highly of a PS Audio Power Plant regenerator when I owned it,
until I tried a Shunyata Hydra. While I wouldn't hesitate to use a PS Audio unit with
low-power components like digital or analog sources, I wasn't convinced that it was the
best choice for use with preamps and especially power amps, because the unit couldn't
re-create enough power to keep up with their demands.
I use a single Shunyata Hydra V-Ray Version II power conditioner or Essential Sound
Products Essence Reference power distributor and plug everything into it. Both have proved
to be the best power products I've used so far. They're passive devices, so I guess you
could say that I have chosen that route over regeneration of power. -Marc Mickelson
for Verity Lohengrin IIs?
my compliments on The Audio Beat -- it's a great read! Whereas other websites are
becoming dominated with and even plain aggressive in terms of advertising and have become
heavy to download because of it, The Audio Beat is fresh and keeps the focus on
the passion for music and reproducing it well. It serves readers in a pleasant and more
I ask your personal opinion and some steering in my quest? There are quite some pictures
of your home setup online, and some time ago the Verity Lohengrin IIs were in those
pictures, together with a fine array of amplifiers. I have proudly owned the Lohengrin IIs
for some two years now. They are absolute keepers. Maybe I've come to a certain age --50
-- and with that age has come a certain knowledge of what I want. My front-end components
are long-stayers too: Verdier La Platine turntable, Kuzma Airline tonearm and Ortofon A90
cartridge. Our room is large -- 240 cubic meters (8475 cubic feet if calculated correct)
-- but also fully acoustically measured and treated. The teaming up of the Lohengrin IIs
and the room is a very happy marriage.
have had the Atma-Sphere M-60s and MA-1s with the VU meters in my system. I also had an
opportunity to hear a vintage Luxman C-03 preamp and M-03 amp, which have digital VU
meters. Those meters gave an interesting message: 80% of time I listen up to 1 watt, 15%
of time I listen up to 5 watts, 4% of the time transients reach 10 watts, and 1% of time
(absurd SPLs here) transients reach 50 watts.
hear what you are probably thinking: 12 SET watts and I will go to heaven. But what you
see at the front with Lohengrin IIs is not what you get. There are 15" woofers around
were your experiences with the Lohengrin IIs and amplifiers? The picture online tells me
that Lamm, Zanden, and Audio Research amps were all used. I'm neither a SET addict
(although the WAVAC 833 v1.3 is one of the best amps I have ever heard) nor a solid-state.
It is hard to get the strings right, and once you reach that, the timpani comes in!
for the kind words about TAB. What you note is what I was hoping people would
see: that it's a reader-friendly site driven by a love of music and great reproduction of
it. I'm glad that we seem to be accomplishing this goal.
The Verity Lohengrin IIs are very fine speakers, and they not only will benefit
from the best amps you can afford, they deserve them. You have named all of the usual
suspects. Lamm has shown with Verity many times in the past, and the two brands have a
definite synergy. A pair of M1.2 Reference monoblocks, which I use, would make your
speakers sing. Synergy also happens with Verity and Nagra. John Quick is the US
representative for both brands, and he therefore demonstrates them together. I've been
very impressed with the results more than a couple of times, including at this year's CES.
Thinking back to my review of the Lohengrin IIs from a few years ago, I remember
being delighted with Atma-Sphere MA-2 Mk III amps driving the speakers. Because of the
Atma-Sphere amps' OTL circuit, the more output tubes each amp has, the better it can deal
with diverse speaker loads. The MA-2 Mk IIIs have more output tubes than both of the
Atma-Sphere amps you mention combined. The midrange splendor of these amps with the
Lohengrin IIs was something to behold. I would therefore recommend that you hear your
speakers with the latest MA-2s before settling on another amp, even though you have
experience with other Atma-Sphere amps.
will also suggest a solid-state contender: the Ayre MX-R, a pair of which I have right
now. These amps are very special -- an accolade I'll explore when I write about the amps
later this summer. -Marc Mickelson