Letters • June 2017

Which Ellington?

June 22, 2017


I have an unopened Classic Records 200-gram pressing of Duke Ellington's Blues in Orbit. Is it a good or great LP, and do you know how it compares to the more recent Original Recordings Group 45rpm version? Is Ellington's Jazz Party a very good LP?

Finally, would the SACD be much better than the DCC gold CD of, say, Sonny Rollins' The Bridge?

Jeff Levine

Both Blues in Orbit and Jazz Party are great recordings musically and sonically. They belong in any serious jazz collection. As to which version is best, I can't tell you, because I've not made comparisons. I can say that if you have audiophile versions in stereo (very important for Jazz Party especially; it's often referred to as Jazz Party in Stereo), you have very good-sounding LPs indeed.

As for the DCC gold CDs versus SACDs of the same titles, I do have some experience comparing various titles, and while I have preferred the SHM-SACDs of the Miles Davis titles, for instance, I'm not sure everyone will think they sound definitively better (especially if the two are played on different units). The DCC CDs have a richness that's very seductive; they really are CDs that do hint at the sound of good analog. If you like what you hear from the discs you already own, I would just enjoy them. Often, when you think you're paying for better, you just end up with different -- and less money to use to expand your musical horizons. -Marc Mickelson

Audio Aero or Lamm?

June 12, 2017


I'm writing you from Turkey as a good follower of The Audio Beat.

I've read your review of the Lamm ML2.2, which was very helpful to me. I have an opportunity to buy a pair of ML2.2s, but I haven't decided yet. I'm currently using Audio Aero Prestige monoblocks (40 watts, single-ended design) to drive my Verity Audio Sarastro II speakers. I know that my amps aren't well known like Lamm products, but if you've had any experience with Audio Aero amplifiers, would you please advise? Would going through with the Lamm purchase or keeping the Audio Aero amps be the best choice for me?

Ozan Batu

I have some experience with Audio Aero stereo amplifiers, a model of which I reviewed many years ago. I've only heard the 40-watt Prestige monoblocks at shows and never in my system, although I would have liked to review them. They were very interesting amps.

It's difficult for me to consider Lamm ML2.2s as anything other than an upgrade, but I would caution that they will be a rather stark sonic difference from your Audio Aero amps. I think you'd find that the Lamm ML2.2s sound less overt and forward than the Audio Aero amps, which always sounded big, bold and airy. Lamm's naturalness and ease are always front and center, and they help draw listeners into the music. The ML2.2s are among the very best amps I've heard -- and in some ways they were only bettered by Lamm's much more expensive ML3s. Verity Audio and Lamm have shown together many times, so the 18-watt ML2.2s will work well with your speakers, although ultimate loudness will be a concern if you have a big room and play your music loud. -Marc Mickelson

"Smallish, high-efficiency speakers"?

June 6, 2017


I read with great interest your article on the Stenheim Alumine Two speakers, as I am looking for some smallish, high-efficiency speakers to use with my Resolution Audio Opus CD21 player and S30 amp. Although the Stenheims are out of my financial reach, I was pleased to see the Reference 3a de Capos mentioned alongside (albeit with qualifications), as this is a speaker I have been considering.

Do you think these would work well with my equipment and can you steer me towards any other small, efficient speakers I may not be aware of but should have a listen to?

John Smyth

The Reference 3A de Capo would suit your system perfectly, with a combination of easy dynamics, articulate rhythmic integrity, expressive range and surprising scale. The only proviso I would make is don't skimp on the stands, either in terms of height or quality: the de Capos like to be perched a little higher than their proportions suggest, at least in my experience.

Alternatives? I'd look at Coincident Speaker Technology. Although I believe their two-way stand-mount has been discontinued, you might pick up a pair secondhand, while the current models also meet your needs. Finally, the obvious choice (if you can go to a slim floorstander) is one from the Living Voice Auditorium/Avatar series. One of these would be a perfect match in electrical terms, and it should come as no surprise that Resolution Audio and Living Voice shared distribution in the UK for many years. -Roy Gregory

Reader list

June 1, 2017


Please add me to your e-mail list.

Stephen Blake

You've been added. To join TAB's reader e-mail list and find out about new articles first, send e-mail to rl@theaudiobeat.com. -Marc Mickelson


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