Technology contact info?
you any information on Tube Technology's new address and telephone number and articles on
the previous Synergy integrated amp (not latest Carbon)?
only contact information I have for Tube Technology is what I included with my review of the Synergy Carbon. However, as I mentioned in my review,
Tube Technology is in the process of moving to the US and sharing manufacturing space with
Manley Labs, so you might want to contact Manley Labs for further information. Regarding
the Synergy, I've not reviewed or heard it, so I can't help you there. -Marc
Koda Takumi K-10 versus CAT SL1 Legend
just read your review of the Robert Koda Takumi K-10 with great interest. Would it
be possible for you to comment on how the Takumi K-10 compares with the CAT SL1 Legend in
terms of really low-level detail recovery such as hall ambience and reverberation, detail
at the back of the soundstage and also microdynamics? Also, do you have any plans to
review the K-70 power amp? It would be great if you got your hands on it as it's had very
positive reviews in UK. It would be great to see how it sounds with the Wilson Alexandria
The Robert Koda Takumi K-10 and CAT SL1 Legend are two of the very best preamps
I've heard -- both would easily make my top-five list -- but they certainly don't sound
alike. The CAT is more palpable and emphatic, and it captures small details of the type
you describe and micro volume shifts in more obvious fashion than the Takumi K-10, which
is more relaxed and gentle, imploring you to engage with the music, not thrusting it at
you. Both will convey the detail on your recordings, but they will do it in different
ways. You may also be able to increase the SL1 Legend's retrieval of ambience with
different tubes, an option you won't have with the solid-state K-10.
I discussed a review of the K-70 three-box amp with Robert Koch of Robert Koda, but that's
all we've done up to this point. I understand that there's a new version of the amp
available, so perhaps the delay has worked in my favor. I'll see what I can arrange,
perhaps for later in the year. -Marc Mickelson
. .thoughts on computer audio?"
are your thoughts on computer audio? Can it truly sound as good as high-end CD or vinyl
playback overall? Is it truly comparable? It has been gnawing at me, and I'm considering
taking the plunge, but I'm debating whether to take that route or invest in the
infrastructure of my analog front-end.
thoughts about computer audio are mixed -- still, even after much experimentation. The
convenience and space savings are certainly big pluses, especially when you consider the
number of CDs a big hard drive can hold. In my opinion, and from my experience, the sonics
are promising, but I've not heard enough to cause me to sell my CD hardware and go
computer all the way. This could be due to the extent to which I've personally
experimented -- with a couple of DACs and only one playback software package. However,
I've heard computer-based systems many, many times at shows, and only Peter McGrath of
Wilson Audio playing his own recordings through an expensive dCS rig has really impressed
me. Others have been good, even very good, but so have many CD players.
I've been using a CEC TL 1 CD transport that a friend lent to me, and it has caused me to
think that CD playback has gone in reverse in some ways since the transport's heyday in
the mid-1990s. I wonder if computer audio has some hand in this. Instead of exploring new
and novel hardware options -- like the TL 1's belt-drive transport mechanism -- companies
have been in a rush to build DACs for connection to computers, which are hardly high-end
music sources themselves. I wonder where we'd be in sonic terms if CD, not file playback,
would have remained the focus for the industry.
the end, I'm optimistic that computer audio will deliver sound quality that makes us all
think it's better than spinning a CD, perhaps when we have CD players with which we can
play files directly from thumb drives -- no computer needed -- perhaps when streaming DSD
is the standard and not just a pending novelty. But like you, I also play records, and
they remain the sonic standard to my ears. -Marc Mickelson
a Trident owner
read with interest your review of Gryphon Trident and found it quite useful for a potential
buyer. As an owner of the Trident, I also spent a lot of time on correct placement --
almost three years! And even these days I fine-tune them from time to time. You
wrote that listeners familiar with the likes of Wilson will decry a lack of transparency
and reach-out-and-touch immediacy with the Tridents. I also owned and listened to various
Wilsons previously. I have to say this happens when you place the Trident -- despite being
a sealed-box design -- not far enough from front wall. My speakers are placed almost eight
feet from the front wall.
often think that, as an industry, we place an overreliance on reviews and invest too great
a trust in reviewers. No matter how diligently executed, no review can provide more than a
snapshot of a product's character and demands -- and no reviewer can extract even close to
the understanding of that product enjoyed by the designer or long-term user. Under the
circumstances I treat your comments as praise indeed -- and add your observations to my
knowledge (such as it is) of that product. I'm especially pleased that you think the
review might be useful to a prospective purchaser; for me, that is almost the apogee of
attainment. After all, I cannot tell a reader what to buy -- but I can suggest what he
should consider, what he should look out for, and also what system and accommodation
was especially interested by your comments regarding the front-wall distance. In my room
the speakers were placed with around 82" behind them -- nearly seven feet. This was
arrived at by listening to and adjusting positions, but it was also influenced by the
stipulated listening distance, clearly defined in the user manual. Even so, I was still
inside the required baffle-to-listening-seat position. Looks like I'll just have to get an
even bigger room! -Roy Gregory
add me to your reader list.
have really enjoyed everything so far. Please keep up the good work!
be added to the site's reader e-mail list and hear about all new articles first, just send
a message to email@example.com. -Marc
The latest news item
about the availability of second-generation reel-to-reel tapes calls to mind a friend,
a sometime recording engineer, who had a large collection of classical second-generation
open-reel tapes (purchased illicitly) and a pair of enormous Ampex decks he used for
various purposes, including -- and here's the interesting part of my story -- comparisons
via studio-grade headphones of several of his tapes with their CD equivalents. Mind you,
this was when the CD, that mass-market conspiracy to destroy our ears, was new to the
world. He heard no difference, none whatever.
I appreciate that his methodology might have been flawed, his findings do give one pause.
dont know what prompted me to think about this. I've never contemplated stepping up
to the price level of an Audio Research LS27, but then I noticed that the list price was
only $3000 more, and if I sold some of my headphones and things which I hardly ever use I
could bridge the gap. Ive done so, and I am almost there. My dealer will let me
trade in for a small, acceptable loss on my LS17.
first I was excited but, the last couple of days I've gotten a bit of cold feet, thinking,
$7000 for a preamp. Are you sure? I just wanted to get your opinion -- if you
think this is a good step.
do like my LS17, and the LS27 also gets very good reviews. Its been suggested that I
look for a deal on a used Reference 5, which would be a much bigger jump. But I think even
with a good deal that will cost me quite a bit more and I have to go through the trouble
of selling my LS17 and taking a bigger loss.
I guess I am rambling, as I tend to do.
other equipment is a Bryson 4B-SST2 amp, a VPI Classic 1 turntable with ring and weight, a
Dynavector XX2 Mk II cartridge, a Simaudio 310LP + 320S phono stage, a Stello DA220 Mk II
DAC, Magnepan 1.7 speakers with Mye stands, a Cambridge 640C V2 CD player and a Philips
963SA for SACD playback. I also have a Benchmark DAC1 USB in my home office for headphone
for any advice you can offer.
Research preamps are distinct within the company's product line, meaning that the steps
between them are easily understood once you hear one model in relation to another. The
LS27 will be the most expensive component in your system, and it will make a strong case
for itself, improving on the LS17 in a number of ways, including low-end power and the
immensity of its soundstage. I don't think you'll regret the upgrade. On the contrary, it
may put you on the path to upgrading your entire system, a worthy sonic exercise but one
that can wreak havoc on your bank account. I speak from experience. -Marc Mickelson
enjoyed reading your Coltrane / All Night Long review, but I had a
question. I bought a copy of Coltrane and was going to subscribe to this series
if it was well produced. However, my first copy was far from flat, with dish-warping that
was so bad it actually created azimuth problems for my stylus. In addition, there was a
prominent thumping sound that began during the silence between the first and second cuts,
with the thumping continuing well into the second tune. I therefore returned it. Later, I
tried another copy, this time from a different online seller, hoping to resolve these
problems. It was, unfortunately, identical -- severely dish-warped and with a distracting
thumping sound. I returned it also and did not subscribe.
your copy not have these problems? I'd like to know if there exist non-defective copies. I
have bought many albums pressed at Quality Record Pressings, and while they can be very,
very good, far too many of them are plagued with this dishing issue.
be curious to know your experience if you get a moment.
my copy of Coltrane didn't have the issues you describe. It's an exemplary record
in every way, which is also the case with the others in the series (I've bought all but
the latest few titles). If Coltrane would have displayed either issue, I would
have noted it in my review. I do have a few Classic Records titles that are dish-warped,
and it's especially annoying, given that I can no longer return them for replacement.
records is both an exacting and imperfect process, but the people doing it today are more
purist in their approach, so their records are far better than those pressed in the '70s
and '80s (back then I returned records all the time; I rarely have to today). Still, you
should let the people at Acoustic Sounds / Analogue Productions / Quality Record Pressings
know about the issues you've had. I know they take quality control very seriously,
especially because they now control the entire process. -Marc Mickelson
noticed in your Jeff Rowland Aeris review that you currently use the Jeff Rowland
725 monoblocks. Can we expect a review on them anytime soon?
I've had the 725s in-house for a while now -- and been thoroughly enjoying them.
running order for reviews is currently the Wilson Benesch Cardinal (all but done), then
the Siltech SAGA electronics and the 725s, so you should see copy fairly soon. -Roy