need advice. I have Magnepan 1.7 speakers, and I would like to add a Magnepan DWM Bass
Panel to them. Is this possible, or it better to use REL subwoofer? What do you think --
is there a difference?
DWM would be perfect to add to your 1.7s, mostly because they all use the same planar
technology. No matter how well it's mated with your speakers, a dynamic powered subwoofer
will not produce the same quality bass as the DWM Bass Panel. While you have to provide
amplification for the DWM, you won't have to worry about setting the crossover point or
phase, often the trickiest parts of adding a subwoofer, because they will be set for you
when you buy the DWM. If you need further info, Magnepan has a page on its
website that gives directions for setting up the DWM. -Marc Mickelson
Timbre TT-1: "an equivalent or better DAC"?
read your article about the Timbre TT-1 and you are right: It still
makes the connection. Im sure there are better DACs out there that retain the
sonic qualities of the TT-1, and I would be interested to hear what some of those are from
you. I still have my TT-1 and its in my main system.
Im curious about what your thoughts are of an equivalent or better DAC.
20-year-old 44.1kHz/16-bit DAC like the Timbre TT-1 is supposed to be long obsolete in
these days of high-resolution file replay, but, as we both know, the TT-1 still makes very
good music -- and we still must play CDs. I assume you're wanting a recommendation for a
DAC made today that's "an equivalent or better." Unfortunately, I mostly have to
speculate, because my experience with file-replay hardware is scant.
do like the dCS Vivaldi 2.0 DAC that I'm currently reviewing, but it costs ten times what
the Timbre TT-1 did back in the mid-1990s. I also use an Ayre DX-5 DSD universal A/V
player as a digital source, and while, like the TT-1, you can't buy it new any longer,
Ayre's QX-5 Twenty DAC may have many of the same musical qualities. Finally, Zanden's
Model 5000 DAC, available used in various vintages, probably sounds the most like the
Timbre TT-1; it also decodes CD data only, but it uses tubes.
these DACs, I would recommend trying to find a CEC TL1 CD transport and Genesis Digital
Lens data buffer on the used market, as both are digital products from yesterday that
still sound glorious today. They also work very well with the Timbre TT-1, especially if
you can connect everything via AT&T glass optical cables (multimode with ST
connectors), which you can buy cheap from various sources, because they are used in the
telecom industry. -Marc Mickelson
discs in 2016
have followed your Ayre DX-5 universal disc player coverage carefully. (I'm also thinking
about their top-line amps, but that is for another e-mail.) I talked to Ayre and they told
me to find a used DX-5, which they will still upgrade to a
DX-5 DSD for me. Unlike you, Roy and others, I do not have a huge collection of
(mostly classical) SACDs, such as Esoteric or Japanese SHMs. But I have been
purchasing lots and lots of SACDs, DVD-As, and now Blu-rays that contain multichannel
audio, as I plan to have a really kick-ass surround-sound system.
already have most of these titles on LP, so it is the surround format that interests me,
along with the Red Book CDs, of which I have tons. So, instead of an Esoteric
K-1, which you reviewed highly, I am interested in a player that plays both great
standard CDs and multichannel audio. The Wadia reviewed on your site is out of production
and only plays CDs, and the Esoteric is quite costly and only does stereo. Then there is the
newer, cheaper Neodio player that plays Red Book CDs. I am wondering if the Ayre DX-5
DSD will play standard CDs on par with the other great CD players and give me absolute
top-notch multi-format performance? Or do you have any other recommendations? And if so,
do you have any idea where to find an Ayre player?
Ayre DX-5 DSD is a very fine universal player -- it's my reference -- but as with anything
in audio, you can always do better (which is subjective) if you're willing to pay for it.
I suspect the Neodio Origine will play CDs in a way that some, perhaps
many, listeners will describe as "better," but it's also three times the price
of the DX-5 DSD (and even more if you consider that a used DX-5 DSD will cost less than
the player's list price when new). If you are set on having one player for all formats,
including Blu-ray, your choices are few and far between. Right now, Oppo may currently
make the best-sounding Blu-ray players. But an even bigger hurdle for you is multichannel
support, which the DX-5 DSD has only through HDMI; there aren't multichannel analog
outputs, so you'll have to use it with an HDMI-equipped receiver or processor in order to
play multichannel discs with it. Oppo's players do have analog outputs, so that may make
them your only viable single-box options right now.
I were you, I'd probably buy multiple players, based on the discs I would play most to
least. If you'll be playing CDs more than other formats, allot the greatest amount of
money to that player. If that unit also plays SACDs and DVDs, all the better. Again,
Blu-ray will be tricky, with the Ayre DX-5 DSD leading the list in pure sonic terms. But
as you've discovered, that's a hard unit to find used, and for good reason, given its
capabilities. Some of the upper-end Pioneer Elite players likely sound very good and could
suffice for Blu-ray playback exclusively. The BDP-09FD and BDP-05FD are worth
investigating on the used market.
sorry I can recommend a brand-new all-in-one solution for you, but in today's digital
climate, the spinning disc is becoming an anachronism, so there aren't many companies
making truly universal players anymore. -Marc Mickelson
add me . . .
add me to the reader e-mail list.
J. Valadez Jiménez
You're on the list. For others, send e-mail to email@example.com to join the reader
e-mail list and find out about new articles on TAB first. -Marc Mickelson