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For published correspondence September thru December 2005, click here.
For published correspondence July thru September 2005, click here.
For published correspondence April thru July 2005, click here.
For published correspondence February thru April 2005, click here.
For published correspondence December 2004 thru February 2005, click here.
For published correspondence September 2004 thru December 2004, click here.
For published correspondence August 2004 thru September 2004, click here.
For published correspondence July 2004 thru August 2004, click here.
For published correspondence February 2004 thru July 2004, click here.
For published correspondence June 2003 thru February 2004, click here.
For published correspondence June 2002 thru June 2003, click here.

For an upcoming article on copy-protected CDs, Marja & Henk would like reader feedback on personal experiences where such discs refused to play back or caused other unexpected issues. If you'd like to participate in their informal survey to help them collect user information, please e-mail to marja@6moons.com
Dear Srajan,

I would like to congratulate you on your fantastic online magazine, it's by far the best and the most useful/ informative (I use it everyday).

I'm a local dealer/distributor (as part time business under MOR Audio & Video) to some American brands like: Analysis Plus, NuForce, Von Schweikert Audio, DH Labs among others, and have been following your suggestions and advice to great success with my clients.

Anyway, thanks again and best regards.

Marcial Ohaco
Santiago, Chile

Hi Srajan!

I was just starting to wonder why the lack of activity in the past month or so...just caught up with the letters and found out you've moved! Closer to your European readers I see. I hope that means you'll get a chance to visit London soon (forthcoming April Hifi show?) and if so, do give us a chance to show you around the big smoke. Grab a larger, eat some curry and perhaps even some music.

Warm regards,
Clinton

PS: Just heard friend's Audiozone Pre-T1 + FirstWatt F1 + Horne Shoppe Model 1 over the weekend - loved it!
Hi Ken,

Just read your review on the Quantum and thought I'll chip my 5 cents worth. I own the Pro as well as the Electroclear and have tried the Q-Bar and without doubt the Pro is my favourite. My experience suggests the Pro is extremely sensitive to what cable I fed it. In fact, the Pro takes the 'personality' of the feeding cable and broadcasts it - dramatically flavouring the system's sound. A dark/shileded cable makes my system darker/warmer, a silver brighter cable nudges my system sound towards more sparky/ziggy sound. Using the stock cord that came with the pro, i always experienced a roll off of the top end, slightly compressed sound and soundstage until I changed the cord. I also found, the further you put it AWAY from the hifi room, it's effect (both cable personality/lowering noise floor) dimishes. I used this discovery to tweak and found I liked it best in my kitchen - in the other end of my long and narrow Victorian home. Finally, leaving it on my carpet floor muffles the sound - sitting it on something solid opens up the sound nicely.

The Q-Bar and Electoclear, according to Bill @ QRT uses slightly different innards to the Pro. I've found these to have a distinct 'fixed' personality - which is woollier bass, more soft + 'honey-ing' of the top, as you put it, more SET/tube vs the Pro which sounds more linear top to bottom. I'm not sure what the RT8000 uses, but I would guess the same Q-Bar/Electroclear and not the Pro?

If you get a chance to revisit the products, let me know if you experience the above. QRT is an amazing product and I'm a very happy customer - they just need some tweaking.

PS: Golden Sound Magic Rings are similarly interesting and tweaky...different but equally magical.

Cheers,
Clinton

Hi Srajan,

My name is Ejder and I run a virtual shop selling Turkish music CDs at: http://exoticmusicshop.com. The shop is not so successful yet but there are serious visitors interested in Turkish music and reading the published articles on the site which provides information about Turkish Music, Doublemoon artists and bands.

I've found your review about Balkan-Gypsy style clarinet playing and Husnu Senlendirici and would like to publish it at Exotic Music Shop with your permission.

Kind regards,
Ejder

My all means and thanks for asking. It's all about networking and connecting people across the globe.

Srajan

Hi Srajan,

you know that Istanbul will be hit by a nice strong earthquake any time soon? There's a fault line going across Turkey which cyclically breaks along its entire length, bit by bit, Izmir being the second but last and Istanbul the last on the list. The Izmir quake occured in 1999. You have been warned:-)

The pic shows a beach close to our summer residence in France, ain't it nice:-)

Enjoy your new life in Cyprus.
Klaus

As one of moviedom's finer quotes has it, "Every man dies but not every man lives" (delivered, of course, with that killer Scottish Highland brogue). When your time's up, it's up, whether by cherry pit, old age, bombs, earthquakes, tsunamis, fire, flood or disease. The question is, what are you doing in the meantime -:)

Srajan

Congrats! Sraj-man,

You sneaky bastard! You moved! Well, as the Taosenos say," Either the mountain accepts you, or you leave!" But, the move looks exciting! So, why not? Taos will miss you. How 'bout some more pictures? That food will make you one fat bastard!

Steve "Taosman" Tottka
Hi Srajan,

Glad to see you back and that you have found a great place to stay in Europe. Now I have to admit I am really upset with you. Not only do you get to listen to the best stuff way before anybody knows it is even being produced but on top of it you're going to do it from one of the most fabulous places I've ever visited. I only stayed in Cyprus for a few eeks back in 97 but I just loved it - as you said the people are so welcoming and the island is just gorgeous.

I moved from the Rockies in Colorado to Wilmington, DE a few months ago... and thank god for music in the grey and wet winter here - but thinking you'll be enjoying both the music and Cyprus makes me wish I could pack and go as you do.

In the meantime I am having a lot of fun with the Onix SP3 playing the tube rolling game - it is amazing how $200 worth of tube can radically change the character of an amplifier (for the better or worse). When I am done with my little games, I'll send you a summary.

I have not had a chance yet to hear the Gallo Ref3s and I am delaying as much as I can because I feel that as soon as I hear them I'll just have to buy them and tax time is way too close for that (I have to admit I re-read your reviews of the Zu Druids and now I want to hear them too - now I am even more upset with you, the cool gear, Cyprus and you're tempting me beyond reasonnable). So for now the Rogers LS 3/5a are doing just right and are really showing me the magic of the little SP3.

Enjoy Cyprus and Greece and Italy and Turkye and all the fabulous places nearby - and don't forget Southern France - our desert wines do give the Cyprus ones a run for their money.

Frederic Beudot - Lincoln University, PA
http://fredericbeudot.home.comcast.net/

Dear Srajan,

thanks again for your recommendation. I followed up on it and spend 8 hours (!!!) putting together my new EquaRack. Quite a pain but hopefully I won't have to do it too often. It looks great (see attached pictures) and sounds very nice. More detail and open, lower noise floor, but also a bit cooler. I like it. Thanks again for your candid thoughts.

All the best,
Volker
Srajan,

I've often thought of leaving my beloved country. I go to Buenos Aires with some frequency where certain climates; political, educational, and cultural are more akin to my upbringing. The informal approach to socializing and strong family morays make me feel at home...probably like you've just experienced in Cyprus and unlike what is the norm in my New England home...born though I was in New Orleans.

In the interim, I'm working on fixing the country. If you have a moment, go to www.devalpatrick.com. I would love to see th place run as the model intended, wherein citizens carried their responsibility of citizenship. I'm afraid our foreign policy has been brutal and self-serving since the time of the colonies, becoming more grandiosely so as technology shrunk the world. We have seemed to reach a fever pitch of ineptitude, short-sidedness and globallysuicidal behavior of late. The more exposure I garner with people up the food chain in politics, the more concerned I become. At present, I wouldn't feel comfortable raising children here and I've always viewedthat as some type of litmus.

Technically, I believe we stopped being a Democracy just prior to the turn of the century...1890 perhaps. Since that time, it pains me to admit that by definition we've been a fascist government - as have many of the world's governments. But don't take my word for it, I've just stolen the ideas from better men than me...okay, 3 out of 4.

Thomas Jefferson:
"I hope we shall crush in its birth the moneyed corporations, which dare already challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country."

On November 21, 1864 toward the end of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln wrote a letter to Colonel William F. Elkins. In it he wrote,
"I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned, and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war."

Franklin D. Roosevelt:
"The first truth is that liberty is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to the point where it becomes stronger than that of their democratic state itself. That, in essence, is fascism."

Which dovetails nicely to a thought from Benito Mussolini:
"Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power."

I forgot, I'm not supposed to talk about politics... damn. The house looks great though.

Cheers,
Fred Crane

Dear Editor,

A very nice article [Interconnects - Theory and Practice], and a pleasure to read. I had heard about the Stealth Indra before, but more details on their construction were in this article than I've seen before. Thanks. Another fascinating review by Marja and Henk was the one on the Greatech GmbH muVAC. Terrific.

An error though: "Cable manufacturers next worried over conductor purity. The fewer impurities a copper wire contains, the less obstructions are encountered by the passing signal. As a result, we know expressions like 5-nines and 6-nines to represent 99.999999% conductor purity. Additionally, pure copper can be drawn in such a way as to build up molecules many hundred meters in length. Here reduced molecule-to-molecule transitions are the aim."

I know this is a misprint. When we say 6-nines purity we mean that the material is 0.999999 (six nines after the decimal point) pure. This, of course, can also be represented as a percentage. The representation would be 99.9999%.

Regards,
Geoff Thompson (Metralla on Audio Asylum, AudiogoN, Steve Hoffman's Forum)
Love your reviews. But... you are costing me money. So far: Omega Super 3r (s); Super T-amp; Teac A-L700P (like those Tripaths!); Decware Zen SE84CS (not as much "grunt" as the Tripaths, real sweet though); TC-754 Input extender; NAD C 521BEE CD player.

Thanks for the great info. I can't afford the mega-bucks stuff. But, I sure like what I have so far. (Now where are those Skylan stands?)

Mike Wedderburn
Thanks for the podcast interview; I enjoyed it very much. The inclusion of a couple of words not found in Mr. Webster's book bothered me not at all. I found you to be very straightforward and earnest.

I am the owner of a small bikeshop in Ft. Collins, Co. and have tried to make the use of the shop do double duty as a listening room for my stereo(s). I am faltering in my ability to receive Joe pPublic due to an extreme hypersensitivity to deodorants and cigaret breath. I have tried to think of some way to make a living with two-channel on the Internet but having seen the sparse attendance of two Rocky Mountain Audio Fests, I am not sure it would be any more lucrative than the meager bicycle trade. I am now on my fourth tube amplifier (VP-16 from Dared and fourth homebuilt open baffle loudspeaker system. I spin both vinyl and CDs and am trying to master the iTunes on my imac. I am also a former musician but still feel like you that once a musician, always a musician.

One thing that bothers me a great deal about the bike and stereo rags is that everything is universally praised. When that is the case ,the reviewer's judgement must be questioned. I think it is a sign of an industry in trouble when no insiders are allowed to or dare breathe a bad word. I am certain the bike trade has been very ill-served by this practice. As in the stereo world, there is a great abundance of many fine products, more so than at any time in history. But the magazines are pretty useless in helping the poor consumer distinquish good from mediocre. A ski magazines does not hesitate for a moment to identify a brand of skiis that would be better used as firewood. A camera magazine is not embarassed to point out a shortcoming in a new model. But the stereo and bike mags continue to paint everything with the same brush. Why is this so? Perhaps your freezine is less beholden to the manufactures and is therefore more able to call a spade a spade. Certainly I hope this is the case.

I have recently used the Silver Iris drivers from Hawthorne Audio. I am interested in writing about them for 6moons. Please get in touch with me if interested.

Sincerely,
David Sundby
Thought this might be of interest :-)
http://www.theorchard.com/news/tomembers_021306.php

Steve
Sounds of Silence
Audio Asylum Email from Peter Breuninger:

Srajan,

We've not met but I wanted to say hello and let you know that your podcast was exceptional. Your industry knowledge and audio sensitivities are very keen.

It was a pleasure hearing your views.

Sincerely,
Peter Breuninger
Reviewer/Press
Philadelphia Audio Society, Equipment Reviewer

Dear Srajan,

Congrats on your new location.Im sure the water is a lot warmer there than in NZ. Don't know if this is any help but I've been in contact with a gentleman called Zainea Liviu. He has a company that makes the ESR Round Diffusors based in Athens: http://www.zainea.com/company.htm

If you have any acoustic setup probs, I'm sure he would give you a hand. Seems like a hell of a nice bloke. Just a thought!

Hope the move goes well.
Cheers
Peter Ball
Kirrabilli Acoustics Ltd
Audio Asylum Email from Greg Kasten:

Hi Srajan,

First, please allow me to tell you how very much I enjoy having access to 6moons. Your own writings have helped me to examine my motivations for involvement in audio, and have shown me a better path to follow to reap the many rewards to be found in music. The genuine enthusiasm displayed by your volunteer reviewers frequently makes me wish I could contribute in a similar fashion.

I am also deeply appreciative of your willingness to participate in this forum, and others on the internet. Based on examples of your public conduct I have observed (The Singlepower and Wavelength reviews come readily to mind), I am also thoroughly convinced of how you place great value on personal integrity.

I have held these thoughts for quite some time. I should have written sooner to express them. Please forgive my tardiness.

The stimulus for me to write at this time came from Edward Barker's review of the Coltrane Altos, and my concern for 6moons' reputation. I have been interested in the Marten Design speakers for quite awhile. The Coltranes will remain beyond my budget. The Altos, I felt, might one day be attainable for me. I was very happy to read an extensive, thoughtful, well-written review.

When I finished the review, I checked AudiogoN to see if any speakers were on the market. I must admit I was quite surprised to see Mr. Barker had listed his Coltrane Altos for sale, on practically the same date as the publication of the review.

I know Mr. Barker is a volunteer reviewer, and I understand that you might have limited knowledge of the actions of any individual working "gratis" for 6moons. I know from the review that he purchased the Altos over a year ago. I am intimately familiar with the desire to experience new components, and of the need to free up monies to fulfill those desires. As a reviewer, Mr. Barker's need for physical space for components also likely significantly exceeds the audio norm.

I have a strong belief in the basic integrity of my fellow man. I have absolutely no reason to question the validity of Mr. Barker's review, or the timing of the sale of his personal property. I am, however, concerned that others might not share my feelings. The listing of the speakers for sale, so closely coupled to the publication of the review, might be perceived by others as a conflict of interest on his part.

I felt it important to bring this to your attention, just in case you were not aware of it.

You have all my best wishes for your your continued success in your chosen endeavor.

Sincerely,
Greg Kasten


Bravo. This is the kind of careful, considerate yet concerned upfront e-mail I can relate to. Indeed, I wasn't aware of the synchronicity here but I'm inclined to view it in the reverse. Edward had promised me a review of these speakers a long time ago but seeing that he had purchased them from the get, he was under absolutely zero obligation to actually write them up. It seems that for fiscal reasons, he now has to sell them and he managed to write the review just in time before putting the speakers up for sale. Granted, it could appear as though he intended the review to become a personal sales help but like you, I have absolutely no reason to think so whatsoever. What's more, Edward has contacted me -- I just returned from a 2-week trip to Europe -- to hand in his resignation. He wants to protect me and 6moons from this perception issue which he didn't forsee (but according to him, it seems to have drawn some heavy criticism on the Asylum). Needless to say, I have not accepted his resignation because I don't see a good reason to. If he insists, I will, naturally - but I hope that he'll reconsider. I mention it here only to underline that Edward indeed is a man of high integrity and that while I would never claim we're infallible, I very much doubt that this particular occurence is anything worrisome for me, my team or 6moons.

Srajan

This is a new company with an old philosophy. http://www.vaughnaudio.com/index.html

Thanks,
Joel
Hello Srajan,

A coincidence, I decide to finally drop you a line and notice that you're presently here in Europe house hunting. Good luck in your venture! I'm your 'normal' ex-patriot living more-or-less since 1971 in Germany, in Hanover now since 1995. My biography shows three Stateside venues meanwhile. I was born in 1953 in Philadelphia and we moved when I was eleven to Miami. My ebay name is "hatehifi" but I love music. My grandfather bought me an RCA suitcase stereo for my 11th and by age thirteen I had 12" Jensen coaxs, Ampex reel-to-reel, Dual record player and a Sansui AU555.

For the past five years I've been happy with a Gryphon Tabu Century w/on board phono, Audiomeca Romance with Sumiko BPSvdH and "Becker" active interconnect, Spectral SRD 1000SL (last issue) and Gryphon (Siltech) Reference balanced, Harman TU9600 & Micromega minium DVD with Gryphon Guideline II and my trusty Harman CD491 cassette feeding QLN G3s on custom 35mm steel bases (replacing the MDF) and REL Storm II with Reson cable from the amp's output. The rig is in our bedroom as we've a 1.5 yr.old son (3rd wife, got lucky, Ingela's 34). The equipment stand is a mass-loaded affair custom built for the Romance. Those are Gryphon Cones.

One of my best friends had a massive Avantgarde Trio system with two custom-made sub woofers each with two 15" [custom-made balsa-reinforced, etc.] Stroker basses per enclosure (H 120 W 60 D 90cm) double computer-calculated flanged-port bass-reflex ports, Alps active X-over and two K2 Crowns... You'll recognize the Droplet 5.0 CD. Those are 1.2 Alephs with Vishay-resistors and external power supplies - mods (a friend of Nelson's in Vienna, Mr Mashek) and a Brinkmann with (orig.) Breuer arm, Blue Amp #42 and the Consonace Droplet 5.0. This kit is in his chalet in the Vogues mountains near Strasbourg, France, a mile-away from the neighbors... and the room is a small 4.5 x 5 meters.

Thanks to your website I learned of Zu Cable and am corresponding with Adam (there is a Paul Letteri in there too) about possible distribution in Germany. Obviously I've to hear them, starting with the affordable Druid, first. Germany ['s HiFi scene] is not anything near what it is perceived to be.

If you are up for pen-paling, looking for input regarding Germany or want a simple spaghetti sauce recipe, drop me a line.

Cheers!
John B. Walton
'The desires of the heart are as crooked as corkscrews,
not to be born is the best for man;
The second-best is a formal order,
The dance's pattern; dance while you can.

Dance, dance, for the figure is easy,
The tune is catching and will not stop;
Dance till the stars come down from the rafters;
Dance, dance, dance till you drop.'

Death's Echo - Auden

Srajan,

I have recently finished your site. By that, I mean I think I've read most of it. It has required eye drops, tankards of coffee and was helped along by a touch of the flu that kept me immobile if only for a day or two. As my addiction to 6moons fell into being (I'd first heard about you from Steve Marsh from whom I'd purchased some monitors), I have dreamt systems of all variety in my 16 by 34 living room and a few in my yet to be finished 3rd floor. The dreams systems are nice and include components from my imagination...uni-directional flows of liquid emotion, steamed out under high pressure through an ancient cracked stone and levitating pursed wax lips...there's an old Greek man in the adjacent room happily peddling a bellows and eating grapes.

It's not quite the same as my 2A3s and simple monitors,but the music from them takes me there sometimes...from your site I gathered there was a freeing, trance-like state you found in music - I've felt that but for me it's more the witnessing of a story and or being the boy I was, surrounded by the musicians and characters that raised me. Thank you for your take on it.

One minor quibble/concern. The Mediterranean. All those toys and in some grand locale... I know you'll find it by the way - the grand locale. Be careful... in the right setting, with a glass of wine and Ivette nigh, you may not notice that the string quartet in the next room is coming from a transistor radio.

Pleasant travels,

Fred Crane - Moonie

Hi Srajan,

I was a bit saddened to read that you are moving abroad. It feels that we'll be losing our best North American connection. I realize the world seems smaller with the internet, and as far as e-mails go...I couldn't tell the difference if you were in "tim-buck-to" or just, what felt like...down the road in NM. I can't imagine that you'll make such interesting discoveries of North American products while in Europe, but of course that opens the door for other worldly products, that would not be as available here. Oh well, I'm sure I'll come to terms with my "so felt loss". I feel fortunate at this point that I've received the personal advice that I have, and have put together a system that is most pleasing, and actually brought me to an audio enlightenment that I only once dreamed about. (Thank you!) And speaking of the dream...my Omega upgrade kit for the Duos just arrived Friday. We've been experiencing some nasty weather and were powerless all of yesterday. If I get caught up on paperwork and quotes this morning, I'll attempt the change over today, and keep you posted.

Of course I wish you all the best with your move.

Sincerely,

Ed King

As you said, the Internet makes the world a smaller place yet. And I don't believe we should worry about any shortage of interesting products in the future -:) Srajan

A couple of fairly minor points from someone who bought the original Ref 3s in September 2004 and previously used Gallo Ultimates (4 balls per side). These are still in the rear channels - how's that for overkill?

I absolutely concur about the sound quality and further, that the Ref 3s thoroughly outperform the Ultimates. It might be worth pointing ut, however, that:

1. The tweeters will turn brown over time. The tweeters on the Ultimates did it, the Due's did it and so do the Ref 3s.
2. The binding posts on the Ref 3s encourage overtightening. I did this and when I swapped speaker cables, the binding post itself was turning as I tried to loosen it. I wasn't aware of this and wound up with an intermittent drop-out. It's okay for now, but at some point I'm going to have to go inside the speaker and resolder the wire to one binding post. I'm not looking forward to that.
3. The issue of how much power you need results in recommendations that are all over the map. Clearly the Ref 3s love tubes, and I'm having no -- zero, nada -- trouble driving them to stentorian levels in an 18 x 40' space with SET monoblocks (845 output tubes) that deliver 12 wpc. Granted, they have enormous Magnequest transformers and were custom-built, but still ...

Thanks for the review.

Best regards,
Dave Pogue
Srajan,

I thought I'd send this email to you with a copy to Paul Candy. As the editor, you are presumably responsible for publishing a review or sending it back for rewrites. Also, some of my observations are more general and not just about the recent review of the Zu Tones.

I waited with great anticipation for the Zu Tone review and was happy
when it materialized unexpectedly on a Sunday night! With all the fuss about Zu, I imagine others were waiting as well. However, I was disappointed to find that Paul Candy's review provided little information that could help in making a serious purchasing decision.

I already own the Zu Druids, and I expected that the Tone Review would contain some detailed comparisons between these two speakers. [We've already published two reviews on the Druid and there was no way we'd request a 3rd review loaner from Zu to a third reviewer. Sorry, just not practical.] I hoped it might also include comparisons to other better-known monitor speakers. At $1795 the Tones are not inexpensive. Are they really worth the extra expense compared to Von Schweikerts, Amphions, Wharfedales, ProAcs, Eras, Epos, Infinities, Paradigms, Coincidents, Axioms, M&Ks, Ushers - to name just a few? [Unrealistic expectations. Paul had the GMA Callistos to compare against. We're not about to assemble a dream team of one reader's competitors which would be very different for another reader to begin with. For shootouts, you might read HiFi World in the UK.] What about some due diligence with regard to bang-for-the-buck comparisons to better-known products in this crowded field? [Due diligence is the responsiblity of the buyer, Mr. Sharp!] Are there any other high-efficiency contenders in the mix? The only comparison Mr. Candy makes is to his own GMA Callistos, which is not terribly relevant since Callistos are even more expensive and esoteric than the Tones. How many people have heard the Callistos? [Paul wrote a review on them which helps with a comparison.] As a basis for comparison, shouldn't a professional reviewer use some well-reviewed monitors that a normal Earthling might conceivably have heard? [Feel free to buy Paul any monitor of your choice, sir. He writes as a hobbyist enthusiast and listens to the speakers he enjoys owning, not the ones you think he should have.]

I was also hoping for some technical details. How about the difference between the Tone and Druid drivers? They are different models, aren't they? Does the Tone driver also have that pointed aluminum "tiptoe" dust cap? [It's called a phase plug.] I couldn't see through the cloth grills in the photos. Are the frequency responses, impedance curves and distortion specs the same for both drivers? [You need to read Stereophile or SoundStage! if you want measurements but even then, you won't necessarily be assured comparisons between whatever two models you're personally interested in.] Apparently not, if the Tone efficiency is being revised to 96dB. Is the Tone driver a downgrade of the Druid driver or is the latter somehow unsuitable for the smaller sealed enclosure? [All questions a phone call to Zu could easily handle if you really must know.] Does the $1200 price difference justify the tradeoffs or would it be a better value to just go for the Druids rather than need to buy a sub and stands for the Tones?

Mr. Candy used a REL sub - where did he set the crossover to mesh with the Tones? [This will differ from room to room and setup to setup and is thus irrelevant. The fact that he achieved a seamless blend is what's relevant.] Can the Tones be placed close to the wall since the enclosures are sealed? Does boundary reinforcement help their limited bass?

Here's the big question: If we buy the Tones and add a $1200 sub, how closely do we approach the Druid's sound for about the same expenditure? Can combining the Tones with a sub improve on the Druid's sound by providing a lower bottom end, or does the midrange and treble of the Tones reveal flaws that the Druids avoid? I was thinking about swapping my Druids for aTone/Sub combo to achieve more flexible placement but I still have no idea if this would be a good idea or a step backwards [So you're really complaining that we didn't perform the exact comparison you were interested in. I see. We're supposed to be psychics now.]

Is the Tone grill cover really not removable? [Yes, the review says so.] Non-removable grills are very unusual these days. Why would Zu make this bizarre design decision after having no grill at all on the other models? Inquiring minds want to know. [Then pick up the phone and call Zu or send them an e-mail. You're already their customer. They wouldn't mind. We're not in the business to second-guess a designer's decision, especially when the reviewer hears nothing to complain about. We're music lovers, not measurement geeks or armchair wannabe engineers.]

Would the Tone's make a good LCR or surround speakers in an AV setup or is the lateral dispersion too narrow? [We're a 2-channel magazine. You're barking up the wrong tree.] Lobing anyone? How about vertical dispersion for rear speakers above ear level? I'll bet a lot of Druid owners have wondered about using Tones for center or surround speakers in a 5.1 set up. Is this feasible or a bad idea? [Request that Ultimate AV Mag or Sound & Vision schedule a 5-channel Zu review.]

These are all pretty commonsensical questions that readers could be anticipated to ask. How about some discerning details and specifics for those of us unable to audition the Tones in person? Isn't that the purpose of a review in the first place? [Our reviews are provided free of charge for your reading pleasure. If you don't enjoy them or derive nothing of value from them, I suggest go read something else somewhere else. 6moons nearly single-handedly discovered Zu in the US press and has published reviews of the Druid (2), Method, Definition Mk1.5, a preview of the Definition Pro and has a feature review of the Pro in the works. Mr. Candy was specifically picked because he had not reviewed a Zu speaker before to add some perspective to our existing reviews and because he owns a smaller bass-limited monitor to have realistic expectations and a suitable subwoofer to mate to.]

Instead, Mr. Candy's review meanders through audio philosophizing, a disavowal of taking reviews seriously, self-congratulatory musings on youth, speaker cosmetics, his living room decor, a redundant tutorial on full-range drivers, a description of his review setup and finally ends up reviewing Zu cables. Huh? Almost everything was covered except a thorough review of the Tones. Toward the end, a few comments about the Tones essentially echoed what had already been said in earlier reviews of the Druids, with little to differentiate the two speakers, except for size and price. Apparently, all Zu speakers convey immediacy and directness. [So it appears.] Form is emptiness and emptiness is form. Anything else? This puppy is not cheap but I have no more hard core purchasing information than I did before I read the review.

Mr. Candy reflects: "This completely spontaneous navel gazing brings me to another point. I think many readers take everything we reviewers say far too seriously. Are we somehow the clergy or hierarchy of the aforementioned schools of audio thought? Do we possess special insights or gifts that are denied them? They can't purchase a component unless the High Priests have blessed it." This is what my late father used to call being a Master of the Obvious. Admitting to navel gazing doesn't make it any less self-indulgent. Obviously what readers need is not benediction but cogent information. Where's the Delete Key? Where's the Editor? [The Editor is right here and deleting the rest of your long-winded complaint. Sorry. I suggest you simply no longer read Paul Candy if his approach doesn't suit your sensibilities. I will certainly not ask him to change a thing. I enjoy his style and so do many of our readers. Those who don't should practice their God-given freedom of choice and log on to a different site or review. Over and out. Ed.]

Evert Sharp
Srajan,

I have to say I was totally mesmerized by your Boston Audio Podcast interview, and want to give you a standing ovation for your honesty, insight and incredible perception about the High-End industry and the reviewing biz. Your comments about Class D designs, the future of PC audio and the differences between audiophiles vs. musicians/music lovers were particularly erudite. I look forward to more of the same from 6moons.com

Alan Nastir
To date I have purchased 3 products that you recommended. All met or exceeded your raves and all remain in my hands. The first item is a Red Wine Audio Clari-T amplifier which performs remarkably well at what it does best, which is defy expectations and flaunt established preconceptions about size and price versus performance. I have superceded it with another of your recommendations but I keep it around the way one keeps a flashlight.

I also purchased an Onix /Melody SP3 integrated. This device subverts all notions I ever entertained about build quality within my price range. Until this amplifier arrived, I would have never expected to own this level of tube amp construction in a used product much less a new one. And the sound, Omigawd, it is to die for. How can a 38 watts per channel tubed integrated furnish bass such as this? The command, control and courtesy of this amplifier is unimaginable to those of us who cannot afford to support the marquis brands. With a pair of efficient and excellent speakers, you will find that this amplifiers extracts and elicits sounds from your vinyl that were previously concealed.

And that brings me to the best of all your recommended components, the Zu Druid Mk. IV. These speakers have created considerable controversy among the self-anointed cognoscenti in the various audio forums. Much ado about nothing. I have had my Druids for about 4 weeks and would not be able to say they are fully broken in as yet. Nonetheless, they provide a seamless portrayal and casual stride I've never heard before. Apparently this comes as a direct consequence of their having no network distribution to compensate for. Much of the applauded achievement in conventional speaker design is due to the effectiveness with which they are able to splice the seams created by their crossover networks. Zu has reckoned rightly that no incision is better than the best splice no matter how lightly it scars.

So I am writing today to thank you for ferreting these jewels from the abundance of clunkers and "me too"/"get rich"/I'm a designer" projects that clutter and confuse the component menu confronting rural audiophiles such as myself. Your photography is a godsend and your commentary amusing, if occassionally excessively tangential. Keep up the good work. Your niche is well earned.

Sincerely,
Tom Carroll
Hi Srajan,

re: your dilemma between active vs TVC - I totally concur. TVCs don't work with all amps (did wonders with my Art Audio Diavolo and Pass Labs Aleph 5) but not so good with my Tom Evans Linear A. When it works, it sounds distinctively more transparent and therefore musical to my ears. My TubeDistinction Soul-Mate active pre (think Vibe + Pulse but better) still loses out to the Audiozone TVC when it comes to ultimate transparency (I suspect needing to draw 'dirty' power is the key cause) but it adds 'body' and 'scale' when I listen to large orchestral works. With jazz/Flamenco - no contest, the TVC wins every time but I decided the active is a better long term bet. Besides, unless you have a TVC to compare, you won't miss it. But most importantly, my active has a remote! Oh, and an active allows me more freedom to use different interconnects...I find the passive is less friendly. Perhaps this might explain something.

Keep up the good work!

Clinton

Srajan:

Just in case you haven't heard this, there is a CD titled Emociones that is simply beautiful. It's a three CD set of African, Middle Eastern and Eastern European music that is breath-taking in its scope. It's part of the 25 Years Network of CDs and is well worth the listen. Here's their website. It comes in a booklet and has a guide to other music as well.

Regards,
Tim Patchett
Dear Srajan,

With regard to your Feastrex column, I have no commercial interest in the company but was hired by Feastrex to interpret for them at CES and to translate the Naturflux brochure you kindly posted. I know quite a bit about the products. In fact, I have a pair of their 12cm speakers (D5 model) in my living room here in Tokyo and they are very much my cup of tea.

I might as well point out something rather important since some savvy viewer will surely notice it: if you run a simulation on the Naturflux magnetic circuit based on the drawing provided in the brochure, you will see a saturation bottleneck away from the voice coil gap. Obviously that's not a good thing; you want full saturation right at the voice coil gap. In fact, achieving full saturation right at the voice coil gap is probably more important than achieving high flux density per se. Anyway, the drawing is not to scale, and Feastrex could have avoided a potential misunderstanding if they had either provided a dimensionally accurate drawing or put some sort of a disclaimer next to the drawing that they used, but in any case the "bottleneck" does not exist: peak saturation is at the voice coil gap and the numbers they claim are accurate.

Some further clarifications, just in case: The Naturflux drivers shown are 12cm (D5nf) units. Regular production units of this type should be available starting in February 2006. The Qts is about 0.36 - pretty useful, in my opinion. They also have a 12cm driver with a conventional Alnico magnet, the D5, which has a Qts of 0.26 (I'm using this in a bass reflex enclosure with very good results), and they have a conventional circuit design field coil (electromagnet) version as well, the D5e, which can achieve any Qts one requires simply by varying the field coil voltage. I expect there will also be field coil "Naturflux" drivers, although I am not sure when. I just received word that Feastrex has completed a prototype of the D6nf, which is the 16cm Naturflux driver, but I have not heard it so I can't comment on it.

Because of the new magnetic circuit's many advantages, I expect Feastrex will focus primarily on "Naturflux" drivers, and drivers with conventional (cylindrical) magnetic circuits will probably become special-order items. A note on the reported 30kg weight - that refers to one complete loudspeaker, including the enclosure, using the largest driver Feastrex currently makes, the D6. The D6 itself weighs about 20kg, which is pretty huge for a 16cm fullrange driver. All the drivers are quite hefty but the 12cm Naturflux unit is obviously much lighter. By the way, I may be wrong but I expect the production model Naturflux drivers will be designed for mounting from the front of the baffle, and if they do, the square lip visible in the photo will be eliminated so the cone edge can be made flush with the front of the baffle.

And finally, since I expect anyone doing a Google search on Feastrex will find the comments made by Romy the Cat at his Good Sound Club website, I know exactly what he is talking about because I was in the Feastrex room at CES when he arrived and asked me to play a single track of a CD (an operatic piece), which he listened to for two minutes and then left. His highly negative judgment is based on two minutes of listening to that single track, and nothing more. For his purposes it was apparently enough to reach a decision. In all fairness, it must be admitted that those two minutes of play were not those drivers' finest moments. In other words, I also felt that the drivers (I can't remember the exact model, except I know they were 12cm units, and I'm sure Romy doesn't know which model he was listening to either) were not up to snuff on that particular track. In fact, that was probably the nadir of their entire performance at CES. And I really don't know why that was the case, because they were able to play other pieces of very similar music very well - certainly as well as can be expected in a typical CES hotel room. Once the people from Feastrex had figured out how to deal (as best that they could) with the lousy electricity and room acoustics, about the only time I felt the 12cm Feastrex drivers came up short was on the lowest pipe organ notes. Obviously, any 12cm fullrange that could reproduce the lowest octave of a pipe organ with any semblance of authority is going to suffer from severe intermodulation or Doppler distortion (and possibly other forms of distortion) on account of the huge Xmax that would be required. But aside from difficulty rattling your teeth with blasts from 32-foot organ pipes, the 12cm Feastrex drivers (and of course the 16cm units as well) are truly amazing.

I use them to listen primarily to chamber music, symphonic works for full orchestra, opera, and religious choral works, and I am extremely satisfied with them. In my view, they manifest in spades every strength that is ordinarily associated with fullrange drivers, and they do a better job than any other fullrange driver I have encountered in overcoming the traditional weaknesses of fullrange drivers. (If you want a driver that honks or shouts, you will have to look elsewhere.) I am a supporting member of a Japanese symphony orchestra that commercially releases live recordings of all their concerts, so I have a large library of music, a hall, and an orchestra that I know like the back of my own hand and can use for my personal reference. It is precisely because of the excellent balance and naturalness of their sound that I find these speakers so appealing. Anyone who wants to ask me additional questions about my experience with these fullrange drivers should feel free to write me at cdwitmer [at] spamcop [dot] net - however, please understand that sometimes I get very busy in my work (which has nothing to do with audio) and may not be able to reply right away. (As of this writing my work schedule is bordering on the insane, about as bad as it ever gets.) So any correspondent's patience would be appreciated. Thanks!

Christopher Witmer
Tokyo
Hi,

Canadian artist Marcia Seebaram released a CD in Canada a while back and it blew me away. It is called Thankful for you and I would love to see it reviewed on your website. To my ears, this is a potential award winner. Let me know if there is an interest and I will get a copy out to you.

Regards
Paul Piacente

Hi Jeff -
thanks for the inspiration (your articles) on the Garrard 301. I have two, a grease and an oil bearing, long in storage (was once tempted to toss them out since since they were freebies that a friend in Canada donated to my then vintage gear obsession - 15 years ago or so). Both are in good condition and because of your articles, I have dug them out, oiled/lubed & cleaned them up; mounted them to make-shift plinths (crappy cutouts on very thin particle board) ; mounted my Wilson Benesch Act 0.5 (cheap entry into nirvana) to the makeshift plinth (estimated the placement - I'm not that handy); dug out an old Denon DL103 and did the best I could at alignment, and wow - really incredible!

The arm came off my Oracle Delphi Mark V and I've owned it three years thinking I was in vinyl heaven (VdH Grasshoper 3 cartridge, Siemens microphone input transfomers from 1965 - wanna try them out? very good matcht o the Denon DL103n as well, and I have ten or so pairs in the stockpile - just let me know and I can wire them into a nice neat project box for easy plug and play - the mic transformers are plugged into my homebrew tube phono pre, then into my homebrew tube line pre, then into a pair of homebrew SET 45 mono bloc amps, feeding a pair of slightly modified Altec Model 19s...).

The Garrard in my rudimentary setup sounds great - the oil version. The grease bearing table is sitting on the sidelines waiting for its chance but I want a better plinth first and proper arm/cartridge setup.So, here's why I'm writing - 1) thanks for the articles! 2) I'm looking at the Cain & Cain production version plinth for the 301 - $900 & very reasonable if you ask me - but you mentioned a few tweaks you and Terry were going to try with the plinth -- thicker top plate and different woodcombinations -- so I need to ask if you tried any of these, and if so were there any improvements to be had.

I'll be ordering the plinth early next week so I was hoping I'd hear back from you with your views on the two tweaks. I take it Terry has pre-cut a few plinth kits and if I wanted to make some changes to the standard version, I need to let him know. I'm tempted to go with the standard version based on your views, but if I can squeeze out that ever elusive incremental improvement by having him build a plinth from Cherry or Walnut or Spruce, or? - I'd do it in a heartbeat because...it's what audio nuts do...

Thanks Jeff
Greg Thoman
Jeff,

I was reading one of your reviews on 6moons and noticed that you are a Jorma fan. Thought I'd let ya know that he is playing up here in the Pacific Northwest in the next couple of days. From your writings it looks like you live up here somewhere.

I've been enjoying your phono reviews and am anxious to see how the Groove and the Steelhead work out for you. There are not enough people reviewing phono-related products anymore so I appreciate your interest. I've been wanting to upgrade my phono stage but in all reality, neither at full retail are currently in my price range.

Best regards,
Jason
Hi Srajan,

We just received Hyperion's HT845 monos fresh from the CES. They make the HT88 sound lifeless in comparison even though the stock 845s are plain Shuguangs. I was reading up on all the 845 SET reviews and of course that includes your DeHavilland Ios review in which you stated:

"Against this background, the Ios did initially conform to expectations raised by the Art Audio Carissa on my then Avantgarde Duos and the long since discontinued Bel Canto SETi 40 from even earlier. You see, I relate to the 845 sound thus far (if such a thing really exists) as one that's massive, slightly thick, very developed in the bass yet with good treble extension. By the same token, I wouldn't call it a paragon of detail, PRaT or adrenaline. I'd call it juicy, slightly euphonic, a bit slow, slightly foggy and very solid."

The HP HT845 has details in spades, PRaT and adrenaline that I would associate with the best digital amps out there. It's a must listen! Albert may be contacting you shortly for a review.

Best regards,
Victor
Aural Designs
Hi Srajan,

Do you ever get any sleep? Seriously though, we are the distributor for Consonance here in jolly old England. Your recent efforts sure show an enthusiasm for these products. I have just added the Forbidden City range to our website, please take a look!

Keep up the good work mate. You mentioned that a tubed processor was in the pipeline, did they say a DAC or HT? Trying to get info from China is a bit "involved" shall we say.

By the way, the CD120 Linear is our bestseller at present, takes on the big boys and kicks their butts. Big time review coming out in Hi-Fi+ issue 44 [March]. My previous reference digital system was an old Theta Data Basic, Passlabs D1 - damn it, this baby beats it at 1/10th of the price. Long live 16 bits/no filter. Peter Quortrop lives a couple of blocks away from me and has been banging on about digital filters and how upsampling is bollocks for ages. You know, he is right. [Dammit, he nearly always is, too!]

So when you finally get to sleep, instead of gorgeous actresses, it's toobs'n'tonearms, eh?

Regards,
Ian Large
www.aliumaudio.com

Hi Jeff

I have upgraded the coupling capacitors in the Yamamoto with a much more natural result. I have taken the 0.2 uF ASC coupling caps out and replaced them with Jensen copper-foil paper-in-oil capacitors. This is a very big improvement all around once they run in.

Best regards
Jason

Dear Jeff

Inspired by your two articles, I have purchased a Garrard 301 with oil bearing in fine but used condition. I paid 325 euro. I was so exited to hear the sound of the Garrard that I quickly put together a temporary plinth consisting of two pieces of 1” birch-plywood (glued together) placed on a pies of 2” beech (a left-over piece from my new kitchen). I placed the whole thing on an old bookcase with 1” cork as decoupling. I mounted a Rega RB300 on the plywood plinth and used a Rega Elys MM-pu.

Well this setup plays music with a drive & PRaT as you describe. It is fantastic!. My “old” DIY player consisting of a Micro-Seiki RX1500 bearing and plate, Scheu DC engine, RB300 arm and Ortofon mc 20 Super mounted in a 40kg MDF plinth (dampened with bronze rubber and lead shot), has gone on retirement. Okay, my old setup was more precise and played records very well but didn’t play music in the same manner as the Garrard.

Now I’m looking forward to optimizing the Garrard and pull more music out of my records; mount a better cartridge; decouple the tone arm from the motor unit; and make a better decoupling from the surrounding (I'll use the Pierre Lurne way with 2 soft and one hard point) and bolt the whole thing to the wall.

One thing I don’t have tho is a manual. If your offer still is valid it would be a great help if you would send a copy my way. I think my Garrard deserves a drop off oil in the right places!

Anyway, I thank you for writing the articles, records have suddenly become very interesting again. And I am sure my wife is happy having a beautiful retro music-playing Garrard instead of an oil-rig in the living room.

Best regards
Stig
Denmark
How's it going Srajan? I see busy as ever! My name's Chris Glanton and we had email correspondence last fall about power conditioners.

Anyway, for grins, I ordered today one of Mark Shifters' SP3 and Ref1 combos for a whopping $1,200 that I plan to put on my desk/computer area for some better sound than these old Altec Lansings. Lol. Not sure how I'm going to source it yet. But I've been jonesing for a tubed amp forever and your review convinced me to give it a try. I'll also have the chance to try it on my Von Schweikert VF4 Gen II's and relieve John Potis' Bryston 7B monos driving them now. It'll be interesting to hear the combo.

Anyway, I felt I had to give this a try. Was thinking of Kevin's Prologue 3 but by the sound of the reviews, the SP3 was better. So thanks to you, my darn credit cards a bit heavier this day ,hehe.

Thanks Srajan, for the exellent reviews.

Chris Glanton
I just bought an Audio Zone Amp 1 (based largely upon your review). It is a couple of years old, so well broken in. At first, I was impressed but not overly so. Then I decided to see what would happen if I added my Audio Note M One preamp into the chain. Wow. Everything improved dramatically. It became a truly world-class amp. It was like everything went from 2D to 3D and became much more "real" sounding. Several audiophile friends enthusiastically agree. Not one single review I read on this amp indicated that anyone else tried this. If you get a chance to hear the Amp1 with a great preamp, please take it. Just thought you'd appreciate an update. Oh, speakers are Gallo NR 2 (still better than the 3s, btw).

Andrew Byers


Actually, this is something I bring up in the AudioSector Patek review (the Patek is very similar to the AMP-1). I didn't care for the combination with a TVC but with a good tube pre like the ModWright SWL 9.0SE or Hyperion Sound piece, it's a whole nuther ballgame just like you noted. Great ears hear alike? Sometimes it seems. Thanks for the update.

Srajan

Hi Srajan,

I thought I should drop you a few lines to thank you for your site which I read with a lot of pleasure but even more importantly, for uncovering what I find to be an amazing match. To make it short since I am sure you get tons of similar e-mails, I have replaced my former amplifier with the Onix SP3 and something magical happened.

To put it in perspective, my system has remained the same for the past 10 years and was made of an Accuphase CP55 for source, a Sphinx project 10 for amplifier and a pair of Rogers LS 3/5a with the AB1 bass woofers. And for 10 years, I was happy with this mix but I also remembered the amazing sound that the same Rogers yielded when paired with the E40 that Audio Note had specifically designed to drive them. At the time, tube was almost dead and I had made the choice of going solid state... with the lingering feeling that it may not have been smart.

When I read your review of the Onix and how you compared the Ref1MkII to the Rogers I decided that it was worth a try - at $700 (when it was on sale in December) it really was not much of a risk and Jean Higara's review of the SP3 that I read when I was in France recently was as enthusiastic as yours - how could it go wrong with such endorsements?

It did not go wrong - actually, it is just amazing how the sound coming out of the SP3 just dwarfs what the Sphinx used to produce (and the Sphinx is not a cheap piece of equipment either...). I am not a reviewer so I won't describe in many phrases what the differences are but suffice to say that I listen to classical music a lot, especially vocals and that it is just a different world altogether - but that was to be expected. What took me by surprise is how the SP3 really drives the Rogers and not the other way round - I had not realized that till now but the Sphinx feels almost "lazy" in comparison. The other element that I did not expect was to get deeper and tighter basses from the SP3 - but here again the Chinese little amp is just walking all over my $4000 Danish beast. I now understand what you meant when you wrote that it is a very modern sounding tube amp - there is no fluffiness in those basses.

So thank you for uncovering this rare animal and even now that it is back to $1000, it is still a steal ! You can recommend the pairing of SP3/Rogers LS3/5a anytime regardless of the fact that the sensitivity of the Rogers is only 82dB (I know that's a world that you don't touch but those Rogers just sound so true) - the 12-ohm average impedance makes up for it easily and with the knob at 10 o'clock, I get more music than my family will tolerate :-)

Continue reviewing while I start planning on how to acquire the Shanling SCD-T200 modified by Underwood HiFi. The SACD virus is really getting me and the price/performance ratio of this player just looks like another sleeping giant.

But before I do that, I want to listen to Gallo's new Ref 3.1s because I have the vague impression they might make me forget the Rogers (and I have been looking for a replacement for now 3 years without success - I tried Martin Logan, B&W, Paradigm and even Sonus Faber but none of them got the medium right enough to make me want to replace my Rogers - but the Gallos might actually get me what I am looking for...)

Thanks again and I am looking forward to your next discovery (I loved to read Stereophile's coverage of the CES where they "discovered" Gallo and Zu and how amazing those sound...).

Best regards
Frederic Beudot - Lincoln University, PA
Hi Srajan,

Have read with great interest this review [Walker Reference HDLs - Ed.] and especially your comments that you are really not sure why they work but that you can clearly hear they do. That's the most important thing!

Reminds of the Bybees filters which I had installed in my DUOs (2 on each each midrange driver and tweeter) Approximately half a year ago, I received the Omega upgrade kit and decided not to solder these things onto the very expensive drivers. After a few month of burning the new drivers in and enjoying their obvious benefits over the older ones, there was some kind of noise/grunge or whatever you want to call it that bothered me. Bybees were coming back into my mind. Soldered them not directly to the drivers but inside the speaker terminals respectively, at the output of tweeter XO. Whatever bothered me was gone and I had a smile on my face.

I guess they address a different kind of noise than what the HDLs are addessing. Most important thing is to be open-minded and not always ask for scientific explanations why something works.

Michael from Jakarta
Dear Editor,

Great stuff. Some aspect of future media has finally been realized on the Internet! Just in passing, as I read David Kan's bio in the November 05 issue, I couldn't help but notice the old chestnut, "those who can do, those who can't, teach gym (do HiFi review, etc.) .With apologies to Woody Allen(and in passing Annie Hall), it should probably read "those who can, may or may not do." Just because you can does not mean you will. Splitting hairs probably, but that's the reviewer's life.

Please keep those article's firing out.(Especially anything on Fi or Don Garber. In 200 years. they will be talking about his stuff the way we talk about Stradavarius today. (I own a Aa3 X integrated)

Yours
Michael Prendergast
Srajan,

For me, your review will be the basis of whether I shall order an evaluation unit of the SilverTone Model 3.2. The evaluation might later lead to an agreement of becoming a SilverTone agent in Sweden. So your review will be read with great interest. Thanks for a nice website and a happy new year

Lars Ahlgren
Sweden

Hello,

I hope you're having a great time relaxing on your vacation from the 6moons website. But when you return to reviewing audio equipment, I must ask you to take a good listen to the Bybee TV Enhancer ($500).

It is a true enhancement product. Besides improving the picture quality of DVD players and video display devices, it reall. improves the sound quality of a CD, DVD, or universal disk players! I've heard the demo at a local stereo shop. And I still can't believe how dramatically it improves the sound of front-end products!

I'm purchasing one as soon as the next shipment arrives at my local dealer. The first shipment has sold out!

Take care,
Rick
Hi Srajan,

I am having great fun on your 6moons website. You offer tremendous insights in your reviews and articles. I'm looking forward to your listening impressions on the Melody SWH 1688 II vs Music First Audio Passive.

Thank you.

Thimios Bouloutas
Athens, Greece
Srajan,

Hope you are well rested after your vacation. My Definitions are breaking in nicely. I will tell you that this speaker is the most complete speaker I have ever owned. Over the past 40 years I've owned the original AR-2, Bose 901 (first series) Ohm F (the original Walsh Driver), Apogee Duetta and Quad 988 to name the most noteworthy. All of them are special and have strengths and weaknesses but the Definition is the best overall speaker I've owned. Very special product.

Bill Feil

Srajan,

I feel as if I am swimming in your audio gear wake (I bought the Audio Aero Prima MK II SE and Modwright preamp, in part, based on your review). I have been in this crazy hobby for 15 years and am to the point where I am still crazy and am just having fun. I usually buy things used, sometimes demo units, try them out, and if they move me, I keep them. If not, I sell them on Audiogon. It is all good fun. Anyway, the AA is gone now and the Modwright has stayed. My speakers are Von Schweikert VR-4J's. Digitally (I'm a one source guy) I am currently auditioning the Cary 306 SACD because it is a CD/SACD player that has a digital input for my hard drive based music server centered around an Apple Powerbook and a 500GB hard-drive.

Anyway, I have two reasons for writing you. 1) I find your reviews and writing style extremely informative and enjoyable. You are an exceptional writer and I really enjoy reading your reviews for equipment even if I am not interested in it or could never afford it. I read all the major and minor audio mags from time to time and your reviews are at the top of my list of reading pleasure in the genre. I just wanted to pay you a compliment.

2) My second reason for writing is to ask your opinion about how to approach a possible change in amplifiers. I currently have a Pass Labs X250.5 driving my VSAs. I have a long distance between my amp and speakers (22ft.) - I was captivated by your review of the Patek amp and was wondering if you thought this amp could drive my Jrs? I will be writing Mr. Daniel to get his opinion too.

Any thoughts you can offer would be greatly appreciated. I sure wish I could audition a pair of Druids. I don't mind taking a chance on amps I have not auditioned, but, I tend not to buy speakers I have not heard in person before.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Michael Pardales

From the diverse readers who turned Patek owners, the amp's ability to drive "regular" speakers (after all, it's 50wpc), seems well documented so yes, the Jrs should be very copasetic. The cable length however is a subject I'd really bring up with Mr. Daniel. He's a no-bullshit guy and if his amp can't do it, he ain't gonna tell you it can just to make a sale.

Hi Srajan,

I discovered your website just a few months ago and have ravenously read review after review as I was about to redo my system. I purchased an Eastern Electric M520 as the result of your review. I love that amp. I have owned Kondo, Cary, cj, ARC, Jadis, Levinson, Cello, Threshold, Pass Labs Aleph 3, Spectral, Goldmund and numerous others. The M520 is a weird paradox. It has incredible tone while being very accurate and changing from disc to disc and track to track. No component I have ever owned has provided so much enjoyment. Thank you. I have never written an audiophile magazine or website before as I know you all must get inundated with innumerable component and system matching requests. The only reason I worked up the guts to do it now is I have a question which I have not seen addressed anywhere in all of audiophiledom. Where is the product (transformer-based interface boxI would imagine) that allows you to use high quality headphones with your favorite power amp? I have owned RS-1s, K-1000s, Stax and others. I am preparing to buy either the AKG K-701s or the AT ATH-W5000s, the brand new big brother to the W1000s (which your review turned me on to) replacing the W2002. But I want to run them on my Eastern Electric M520. You write much about system matching. Do I have to build a 2nd system just to listen to headphones? Ouch. There has to, has to, has to be some engineer somewhere who has seen this very obvious dilemma and come up with the interface box needed. If a guy loves his Gryphon Antileon, he ain't gonna get that exact sound in any headphone amp. The same goes for any other high end amp. Besides, if the First Watt F3 lives up to expectations, I will want to buy one to run my speakers and my headphones just like I want to with my M520! Thanks.

Sincerely,
Tim Crowell

Go here.
Srajan

Hi Srajan,

In one of your articles you mentioned you'd be interested in readers' feedback about items to review that might be off the beaten path and interesting. I've got a couple for you! I don't know if you've heard the Classic Audio Repro speakers, but they can sound very good. They're horn loaded over at least part of their frequency range. TAD drivers, etc. Go to their website and see what they have to offer. The smallest pair sells for under a couple of grand, as I recall. The other speakers are Big and Expensive. Or the smaller Edgarhorn speakers.

Maybe being a horn guy, though, you've checked them out. If not, I'd think either company would welcome the attention, and your readers would get yet another dose of horn speakers. Something I love. Here's another tangent. Recently I've read many of the articles Robert E. Greene put on his website. REG writes for TAS and teaches a course in acoustics. He's a musician, too. So, been around the block and thinks very deeply about sound reproduction.

REG has gotten me thinking about the Tact [now Lyngdorff] room correction device, as well as "corner loading" a system's subwoofers - the Tact way. This means, putting Tact subwoofers about an inch away from the corners, then letting the corners in effect horn-load the subwoofers [hornloaded subwoofers!]. Then put the system's satellite speakers away from the wall. Then plug the Tact room correction device into the system. It's used to time the signal to the subwoofers/satellites, so that the acoustic output arrives in phase.

One could do a small horn system, backed by what in effect are horn loaded subwoofers. The physics of this is sensible, too; I'm not a physicist but do work with physics at times. Anytime a bass driver is placed into the room, part of its output will cancel or enhance various frequencies that are bouncing off the back and side walls. So, bass output and quality varies, depending on all sorts of details.

From what I've seen on your site, which I always enjoy, the Manger system comes closest to the Tact mindset, when it comes to crossover-less systems, etc. The inherent problem Manger runs into, in terms of physics, is that the bass isn't corner-loaded unless the speakers are crammed into the corners. Which unfortunately puts the upper-range drivers into the corners, too.

And I'd think you know way more about all of the above than I do, so my clumsy explanations might grate on you a bit, though I don't mean them to.

Anyway, thanks for all your efforts and enjoy the day!

Kelly
Srajan

6moons is totally fresh & engaging, a great treat.

Best regards,
Jim Romeyn, Petaluma CA

Srajan,

I hope you get rich doing 6moons because you are making us all richer in knowledge & fun of our hobby!

Jim Romeyn

Hi Srajan,

Just wanted to send a quick email to let you know that I've recently auditioned Peter Daniel's integrated gaincard amp with my Druids and the results have been spectacular. You'd mentioned that you thought it would be a good match in your initial review of the Druids and I can verify this 100%.

To my ear, the match is better than that to my Onix SP3, a similarly inexpensive offering (and a darn fine amp as you know). The strangest part about it is that the gaincard amp sounds warmer and more what I'd consider "tube-like" than the SP3! Go figure...

Anyway, both are built like tanks but when you factor in the extra inputs, tube replacement costs etc., I'd side with the AudioSector. Just a thought for anyone looking for an excellent "entry-level" minimalist match for their Druids....

Matthew DeMaio
Hello Srajan,

one product that gets overlooked as he doesn't advertise is Jim White's company Aesthetics. Jim was top dog at Theta Digital for a long time before going full time here. Especially the Calypso preamp and their more expensive offerings are world-class statements but expensive. The Calypso is overall a complete preamp even compared to the ModWright SWL 9.0SE so we have put these both together for a different perspective. For dynamics, shadings, control and bottom end, the Calypso is a revelation especially at under $4500 and beats preamps at over 10k in several areas. We would love to see you checking out products like this that never get much press. Aesthetics also makes outstanding phono stages and a power amp is coming out soon, please get back to me when you get a moment and Happy New Year.

Joe Mickens

Srajan,

Hola from Mexico. I'm a regular 6moons reader and I share your enthusiasm for outside the box thinking and good audio design. In this connection, I would like to call your attention to the Wolcott "The Presence" amplifiers.

About eight months ago, I heard the new Wolcott stereo amp for the first time and was taken aback by the world-class sound. I'm ashamed to say that in 25 years as an audiophile, I had never even heard of Wolcott Audio. I began to wonder how a tube amplifier of such obvious sonic merit could go so completely unnoticed, not only by me, but also by the majority of the audio press, reviewers, dealers, discussion groups, and audiophile public in general? I'm hoping you can help remedy this situation.

As Henry Wolcott says, these amps are "a design that will spec with the best of solid state and sings with the heart of a three-watt triode." Would you believe midrange distortion around .01% and never exceeding .2% (point two percent!) even at the frequency extremes and at full output power? How about zero output impedance with a user adjustable damping factor for custom bass control? Throw in drive-anything grunt, quick overload recovery and even auto-biasing! Wolcott's innovative circuit topologies bid adios to traditional tube ills of high distortion, high noise levels, mushy bass, rolled-off highs, slow overload recovery, bias drift, erratic frequency responses into difficult loads, etc. This may sound like advertising hyperbole, but I invite you to listen and check it out for yourself.

If you're interested in learning more, please check out the following:
1) The Wolcott Audio website and especially Henry Wolcott's white papers on tube amp design.
2) Dick Olsher's rave review of the Wolcott "The Presence" Monoblock 220-watt amplifier from the July 2000 issue of Enjoy the Music. To my knowledge, this review is the only serious consideration Wolcott's amps have received from the audiophile press. Follow up is long overdue.
3) A few consumer reviews on www.audioreview.com., including my own review of my Wolcott stereo amp.

And now for a disclaimer. I am not an employee of Wolcott Audio and have no financial interest in the company. I am not a relative or business associate of Henry Wolcott. I am also not a promoter or a shill and have no connection to the audio biz. I am just an audiophile who is dismayed that a product of such merit has received so little exposure to the audiophile community. In my opinion, Henry Wolcott, now in his 80s, should be considered a Living National Treasure for his work in vacuum tube design.

I hope you will consider doing a 6moons review of the new "The Presence" stereoblock 120-watt amplifier from Wolcott Audio (Model# P120-S). I'm sure Henry Wolcott would be happy to send you a review sample and audiophiles everywhere will thank you.

Best regards,
Evert Sharp
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Hello Srajan,

Hope you and Ivette had a good Christmas. Wishing you all the best in health, happiness and audio wisdom in the New Year. I'm hoping I don't read anything on your site in 2006 that encourages me to part with more hard-earned funds on audio gear! Please keep to your new program with the "detuned" expense gear or start a new moon heading ... "how to deal with the wife factor", or possibly "how to find an audio wife"!!

All the best amigo,

Ed King

Srajan,

Just a note to wish you a Happy Holiday and a great New Year, and thank you for having such a great website. Recently, I particularly enjoyed the Mother-of-Tone website you alerted your readers to via an offered link. It's just this sort of thorough and informative coverage which makes your e-zine so valuable and enjoyable for the audiophile/musiclover.

All the best for the coming New Year,

Brandy
Dear Mr. Ebaen,

Regarding that Silvertone Model 3.2 review coming up, I have a question. The use of permalloy OTs is very much under debate at some web forums, due to its risk of magnetic saturation in those cores. Some people -- and designers -- really avoid the permalloy cores because of the limited bass capabilities of those cores while others see them superior to all other OTs. I would really apreciate (and many with me, I think) to have your comments regarding whether the Model 3.2 competes with other SET amps with more conventional OT cores regarding their bass handling in your review. This is especially interesting because I think the permalloy OTs are the very essence of this Silvertone product. By the way, I was planing to use the Silvertone amp with a pair of Druids MkIV, which I think is going to be a nice match.

Happy new year

Lars Ahlgren
Sweden

Hi Srajan,

I finally have both the Yamamoto A-08S and the Zu Definition/Ibis combo in my system. Together the pair more than exceeds the lofty expectations I had after reading and following closely your realsization journey, I am a lucky dog indeed.

At the moment I am using a cheap stepped resistor passive volume control until I can either build my own TVC or afford to buy a commercially available product.

Aaron Reynolds
Michael,

I have really enjoyed your reviews in 6moons, especially the ones involving the Moebius, the UltraVerve Jr. and (by triangulation) the DejaVu. I was so intrigued by the descriptions of the Moebius that I built my own version in the early fall. have since spent some considerable time tweaking it to get the sound where I want it. By and large, I agree with your descriptions of the (standard) Moebius 100%.

I am curious whether you were able to try any different brands of 6AQ5/6005 in your unit. I know Eric really likes his JAN Sylvanias but truth to tell, I don't think they show off the Moebius to its full advantage. So far I've tried quads of the following 6005s: RCA with round getter, RCA with square getter, GE 5-Star, regular GE and of course the JAN Sylvanias. I also have a quad of RCA 6095s which sound very similar to the RCA 6005s. hey all have their positive points but my favorite sonically is the RCA with round getter.

I don't know whether you ended up buying the Moebius or just returned it. But if you still have it, you should try some different tubes. And if you bought it, you may be interested in a few parts changes I have made that have IMO accentuated its strengths. One of the great things about the Moebius is that there are so few parts, you can finetune each one.

Keep those reviews coming!
Dave Vorhis
Srajan:

I enjoyed John Potis' review of the Zero One transport. Having just made the switch to a hard-drive based front end, I can vouch for its viability as a true high-end contender. The Zero One appears to be a well-thought-out, serious design. But I question a couple of points :

a) Where's the USB and/or Firewire port? John points out the fact that hard disks crash and this necessitates a back-up drive; it seems foolhardy to spend a lot of time ripping without one. It is curious that Mr. Heng chose a closed architecture, not allowing external drives to be attached for backup and extra capacity. Also, I know that 240GB (the stated capacity of its internal HDD) will store about 800 CDs using Apple lossless compression (or a similar kind). That's plenty for many. But music lovers willing to spend $3K for a transport like this are likely to have -- or acquire -- larger libraries.

b) Economics. A dead-quiet, attractive (IMHO) Apple iMac G5, with the new Front Row home-theater interface, costs $1,300. Two external 250GB drives will set you back about $500. We all have different views about letting a computer into the audio room, which I won't get into here, but everyone can do the math. I haven't heard the Zero One - it may well be worth the differential in price.

I mention these two points because HDD systems in the high-end are so new, many (like myself) are looking for apples-to-apples benchmarks when considering them as alternatives to gear we're familiar with.

David Zigas
Hello Srajan,

My name is Tom George. Several months ago, I wrote you about an inexpensive air bearing tonearm I thought might be interesting for review. Although I haven't seen mention of it on your site, I thought I'd send you this email to let you know about another product that has piqued my curiosity. There is a speaker designer named George Short who works in a rather remote area in northern New York. His company is Northcreek Music. Perhaps you are already familiar with him. He is somewhat known and has worked for various companies as an engineer/ designer. I guess he's best known for the crossover he produces for B&W 801s. Anyway, He has recently released a monitor kit called the Pegasus. There was quite a hubbub about it on the Madisound website (a site for DIY speakers). He has quite a bit of information about his design process and philosophy on his site. The man just seems very sincere and knowledgeable. I just get a good feeling about the person and in turn about the product. He was at RMAF. I thought I might see some mention in the audio press but did not. I thought with the open outlook of your site you might want to take a look. I am no way affiliated with him other than to be from roughly the same area of the country.

Thanks,
Tom George

Dear Jeff,

I am in Asia right now suffering through a bit of jet lag when I came upon your site and found my CD reviewed in it. Thanks you for your generous praises.

I have upgraded my system now where my preamp and amp are both simaudio and the change has been tremendous. I also upgraded my CD player to the Marantz DV 9500(not too much difference but definitely better picture quality through DVDs.

Thanks again and I remain a faithful reader. Merry Christmas!

Yours,
Ning

P.S. I have a new website at www.ninganpiano.com. Check it out when you have some time!

P.P.S. One of my uncles recently gave me as a present the Audio Technica ATH-W1000 headphones from Japan and I read an ecstatic review by Srajan Ebaen. It's wonderful to see products normally ignored on the American review circuit to be reviewed here. Keep up the good work!

Dear Srajan,

I am a great admirer of your reviews on 6moons. I can really relate to the way you tend to explain your experiences with the various equipment you try. I am also very anxious about your findings with the Melody 1688II. It seems like a hell of a preamp. But looks alone don't mean a lot in high-end, do they?

Best Regards,
Paul Blom, Holland
Srajan,

I wanted to thank you for what I consider the best stereo review/news source in the country. You and the other reviewers publish well researched and written articles that are always a joy to read. In addition, I applaud you for focusing on under-reported equipment and not just the latest offering from VTL, Krell, Halcro.

I once lived in your neck of the woods, down in Las Cruces but now I am living in Asheville, NC. Needless to say, I keep moving to towns with little or no audio shops. Therefore it becomes much more important to read about a product before traveling four hours to listen and/or buy it.

I am intrigued by your review of the Zu Druid. I have yet to venture into that end of the audio pool, but I am considering it now. I recall you recommending several amps for the Druid including Decware, Yamamoto and Fi. Unfortunately, none are available in my area. In addition, I can't bring myself to give up the remote...it has become part of my genetics. Can you recommend tube amps/preamps or integrated amps in the less than $3000 range that would mate well with the Druid (and have a remote)? Have you tried the Quicksilver Horn mono and preamp? Also, I really value reliability. I love music and want to listen not perform electronic neurosurgery every time I try to turn on my stereo.

Thanks and keep up the great work,

Jeff Trudrung

I'd look into the Unison Research Unico line - great sonics, great build, remote and well within your budget. Alternately, the PrimaLuna integrateds offered by Kevin Deal through Upscale Audio in California.

Srajan
I am currently in the market for an upgrade and I just recently read your glowing recommendation of the Zu Druid loudspeakers. Frankly, until reading your review I had never come across the Zu name, though I am admittedly fairly new to the higher end audio world.

I am looking to put together a new multichannel setup, with a price range of <$3500 for the mains (assuming the price for sub and surrounds are commensurate). In terms of usage, I would say I'm 60% movies, 40% music. The reason I am writing you is because I had all but decided on getting a set of Paradigm Studio 100s as my anchors, until I read your comment: "...why did I not buy a pair of Paradigms and be done with it? That's certainly an option. However, it completely overlooks that sanity need neither equate mainstream nor mandate mainstream products as though stellar performance for a relative song couldn't also be found in the more esoteric strata."

To be honest, I would love to branch outside the realm of the common - if it's affordable and worth it. I have long drooled over the Meadowlark lineup, only to always convince myself that my ear is probably not tuned enough to fully appreciate (and justify spending the $$ for) that level of beauty and musicality. However, after having read your review of the Zu Druids, I am wondering if something a little less ordinary and a little more beautiful could still offer me the performance for the price I am seeking.

Long story (not so short), would you recommend the Zu Druid over something like the Paradigm Studios? Or, more specifically, would that be your single best choice given my price point and what I'm looking for? Perhaps you don't know enough about me to make what you would consider to be a well-informed recommendation, but I'd appreciate your feedback one way or another. Thanks for your help, and thanks for your wonderful editorial.

Ryder Campbell

In its price range, the Druid is my top recommendation but depending on your room size, listening distance and output levels, you could consider a small sub necessary (smallest REL, for example, or something from the Canadians) especially if you love action movies. Paul Candy is presently reviewing the matching monitors called Tone and should have something to say on them by late January. While tastes are all over the place, those who've reported back on taking Zu up on their in-home trial thus far all share my enthusiasm - and with 30/60 days, the usual risk of shopping blind on speakers is really mitigated. Paradigm would probably get you into a 5.1 setup for less money but for the kind of sound I fancy, the Druid would be my first choice.

Srajan

Hello from Athens, Greece:

My name is Demos Dravopoulos and Im a great fan of 6moons. I have owned a number of amplifiers and recently acquired the fantastic and magical Blue Circle NSCS amplifier. I completely agree with your reviewer. I prefer the total magic this amp makes to almost any solid-state amp I've heard Im also a Cardas AC Golden Reference fanatic and love their Reference series interconnects.

Please review the following (if possible) in the near future:
  • a. Pathos Classic One MkII (Sam Tellig's mythical mini-amp). I own one. It does many of the things Sam wrote about, I brought one after reading this review for Stereophile. It excels in resolution, clarity and illumination - but I still listen to my new reference of integrated amps: the NSCS amplifier.
  • b. PrimaLuna (two or five)
  • c. Proac Response R25 or R28
  • d. Acoustic Zen Silver Reference

Best Regards,
D.Dravopoulos
'A fanatic 6mooner'

Srajan:

I read your notice about Jim Smith of Avantgarde USA switching gears, out of his full-time distributorship for AG. I thought this would be as good an opportunity as ever to praise Jim as one of the classiest people in high end, and undoubtedly whatever business/industry he migrates to. Like you, I had the privilege of hearing his system a couple of years ago, and it is easily the benchmark by which I gauge every other one I hear.

David Zigas

Hi Srajan

I have always hankered after high end audio kit and have done my best to get into it by buying used equipment so my limited funds could go the extra mile. I live in Middlesbrough, a medium size industrial town in the north of England where there is no local real hi-fi retail presence so the Internet has proven a very interesting and convenient window onto the amazing world you and your team populate and illuminate so well. Like most people, very limited funds and there being no local places to audition more than a modest selection of medium range prospective purchases are problems that make the development of a beautifully balanced breathtaking system where the combined audio quality is far greater than the sum of the component parts and the invested capital should be result, difficult.

As you'll guess I suffer from champagne taste but have just beer finances to confound my attitude that compromise is okay for others but I don't want to, not this time around. When a young adult, 20-30 years ago, I knew nothing about real hi-fi but with next to no money ended up with pre-owned Kef Reference 105-4 speakers, an A&R Cambridge Pre and power and a Marantz CD-94. All of these I still have after on average 19 years but recently I was delighted that my wife insisted that I make our only family room nicer by replacing my trusty 105-4 with speakers that look nice. I bought Quad 21L speakers as a main stereo pair and also to be used as front L&R surround speakers for our first home cinema system. I bought the 11L surround and centre channel speakers with a B&W PV-1 sub. Amazing with a Denon 3802, bought a couple of years ago as it was being discounted and superseded. We were starting a phased move to 5.1 for movies.

I don't believe in constantly up grading so to ensure years of satisfaction getting it right is critical. I almost immediately replaced the fantastic value brand new 21Ls with Wilson & Benesch Curves. They were second hand and very expensive but I will have them for many many years. Although they are 1% short of perfectly integrated with the Quads for 5.1, that almost imperceptible short fall was worth it for the improvement in 2-channel performance which is more important to me and to my wife. We love movies but as music is so much more critical of the kit I just did not want to have any significant compromise for the next 20-plus years of stereo.

When I can afford to replace my trusty Marantz CD-94 it will be very problematic to audition a selection of products to equal and compliment the Curves and your web site will be a very much appreciated starting filter. Of course not all products you mention are available in the UK and a much more significant issue is the costs are much much higher here. An example being the McCormack UDP-1, which I fancy after reading your BlueMoon review but here it is more than 70% more expensive than in the USA. This is very common and is certainly not just an issue with McCormack. The exchange rate should be working to the British consumer's advantage at the moment but it has not helped at all. The importers seem to work on the basis that $1 US equals £1.00 as a matter of course. The real exchange rate is about $1 = £0.57. The UDP-1 lists in the UK at £3400 whereas it should cost circa £1992.00 if the US price quoted on your site is correct. The Opus 21 is more reasonable exported but is still about 40% marked up at circa £2800.

I look forward to many hours reading about all sorts of wonders to fire my imagination and lust until my bank account has recuperated such that the next fugue into the audition rooms around the country is inescapable. I can't wait.

Please send me notices of your new reviews.
Frustrated and excited.

Ian McCann
Mr. Ebaen,

Before I start my questioning, I wanted to thank you for setting up 6moons.com. The reviewing style on the site is much easier on the brain than, say, Stereophile (at least those reviews that are available for reading; that's another positive thing about 6moons, that its free!). That said, I have specifically been reading the reviews about the Zu Druid and Gallo Reference III. Considering the positive press heaped upon these speakers in both of your reviews (and elsewhere), I wanted to make sure I had understood your analogies correctly. You talk of the Gallo as giving a nod to electrostat land in its sound and the Druid as sounding warm and organic. Could this relationship also be expressed in terms of, say, Omega Stax II vs. Grado RS-1? And when you are comparing the sound of the Duos to that of the Druid, you always mention the Druid as warm and fulsome. Could this relationship be expressed in terms of the following analogy to an orchestra: Gallo Reference III = strings, Zu Druid = woodwinds/brass, and the Duo as capable of playing the whole orchestra + percussion, just not all the time? Now, if you are shaking your head wondering what the hell to write back, just say so. I started this practice of reading stereo equipment reviews after thinking to myself after a few listening sessions in particular with my Grado SR-325s, "Man, wouldn't it be great to be able to have listening sessions like this without having to don special paraphernalia?"

Thanks for any and all feedback, and keep up the good listening.

Benjamin

Hi,

What I want for Christmas is a big high-end music server like this one... 27 hard disk drives and four power supplies. Heatsinks for silent processor cooling. I wish worldwide audio companies started working on this one for next Christmas.

Best Regards

Thomas Borgstrom
Stockholm Sweden
Hi Srajan,

The "Zu Stuff" article was a nice piece and coupled with the Johnny Cash pix? Oooh. that smarts. You're a gentleman and a scholar. And there's not many of us left... keep on keeping on...

Peace,

Warren
Srajan:

Thank you. Thank you so much for this CD. As my tastes have gone to World Music, this is a welcome shot in the arm. The recording is so wonderful, the talent so beautiful. There is so much I have to experience and this helps to point the way. MA Recordings, Crystal Cable and you have done a great service. By the way, listening to this on my Consonance CD-120 Linear reassures me that I made the right decision in getting this CDP (I couldn't resist).

Thanks again, and Happy Holidays,

Tim Patchett
Hello Srajan

excellent work on the feedback on the measurements/listening scheme. I put so much of a bug in the Editor's ear here a and writing and speaking with the reviewer that the Druids are on for a retest. I wrote and I am trying to set up a standard about first consulting with the designer about their measurements before doing your own to be fair to all. I sent your article to both the Editor David and the publisher aka measurement guy fuck-up king Noel. And told Noel that Johnny also has a comment in there for you, take the time to listen.

Thank you personally, this helps to reinforce my own findings. I am just starting to get people interested over here in the UK, everyone who has come to my home has been impressed. I have sold 4 Druids and a sub in under 3 weeks + cables. That is good for a place that doesn't accept outsiders. I am still fighting the Revolution.

Best regards,
Paul Letteri

Dear Srajan,

I am remiss in not thanking you for your fine hospitality during our visit to Taos. Both you and Ivette can be considered Southerners for it. Brenda and I enjoyed our time with you tremendously. Brenda originally was thinking of just staying at the motel, as she is around people so much and truly loves her time to herself, but she was as pleased as I was to get to meet and spend time together.

I admire your system and the opportunity you have to listen to new gear. Although, I know it must become a bit of a drudge at times. I would be honored if you are ever in the Seattle area if you could come visit us.

Thank you again and take care,

Millard and Brenda Jones

Hi,

First of all, let me congratulate you for 6moons, it is the most refreshing literature that one can find in this hobby, Im always in search of new articles there. Second (and the main reason for this email) is wanting to tell you that I found a very interesting CD that is in the line of your taste. I consider it an excellent example of where the new Turkish (and the "Oriental" in general) music is heading. All the recent interest in "exotic" sounds, rhythms and voices helps all these composers to show off their abilities to the world and that's great! I never heard of them before but Im sure you'll like it (maybe you already know them). The CD is Divan "Orient Expressions". It was impossible for me to find it here in the US but you can try this link.

Well, that's all, thanks for the great moments that I had (and sure will continue to have ) reading your articles.

Happy Holidays
Jorge

Hi Jeff,

I want to thank you for the awesome articles about the Garrard 301. That plinth from Cain & Cain is awesome. Any idea when I can expect part III of the article series? I am really enjoying this and actually firming up some plans to try to duplicate the table you have in your project. I am all but sure on the Cain & Cain plinth. I may end up with a 401 instead of a 301, will be deciding very soon. Already have a brand new Origin Live Silver arm waiting. This is great stuff. Thanks for all your work. Someday, when mine is up & running I will be sure to send you photos and a letter to describe it. Thanks

Sincerely,
Nick Goode
Dear Jeff,

In a couple of days I'll be the very happy owner of a Garrard 301 and be joining the Garrardians (moonies) club. I read both of your articles about the restoration project over and over again . These articles are of very great help. I also want to go through some 'once in a lifetime' audiophile project with this 301.I would be very pleased if you would mail me the manual and maintenance instructions of the 301.

I also own a brand new never used SME 3012 II tonearm , still in its original box, that I would mount on a self constructed Shindo-like plinth together with the 301.

Do you have some drawings about the Shindo plinth or alike? I am an experienced woodworker, and may purchase many sorts of wood. I read about Bas from the Netherlands using Maple because it is used in instruments. Would you be so kind to mail me his e-mail address in the Netherlands so that I can learn from his experience?

Many many thanks in advance. I'll certainly will keep you posted about the proceedings of this project.

Piet
Dear Jeff,

Well, I've gone and done it. . .I've joined the ranks of the Spinning 301st. Your ongoing 301 rehab project at 6moons has had me thinking along those lines for a while, so when a nearby seller offered a 301 for sale I decided to take the plunge. Unfortunately, the table and its manual went their separate ways some time back. If your offer to share a copy of the manual with your readers still stands, I'd like to take you up on the offer. This 301 happens to be a grease-bearing model. Don't know if your manual covers the care and maintenance of the grease bearing, but I'll bet the rest of the manual reads the same for both types.

Thanks for the generous offer on the manual and for the many informative reviews. Looking forward to your next report.

Cordially,
Mark
Hi Jeff,

I love the Garrard project and intend on starting my own when the time allows. I'm currently rapt in the throws of renovating an old home. I do still have time to grab a few sides and veg when sanity dictates. I was going to throw a new cartridge onto my table, a modded 125mk2 and thought at that price, it couldn't hurt at all to try the Denon 103. In my shopping I did run across a few different iterations and wondered which you were pushed towards.

Thanks,
Fred ...the two I've seen are the 103 and the 103d

Hi Fred,

Thanks for the kind words about the Garrard Project – appreciated. You’ll have a blast with the Garrard, it’s been the most fun I’ve had with audio in a long time. As for the Denon 103, I don’t have any experience with the D version, but here’s a link that tells what the differences are that you may find helpful:. I use the regular 103 version and like it a lot, but I’ve never compared it to the other iterations.

I hope that helps, and thanks for reading 6moons!

Jeff

Dear Mr. Potis,

Have greatly enjoyed reading you review of this unit. I purchased the TI 48 in summer this year replacing an Audiomeca Mephisto II transport and I'm extremely happy with it. I believe HDD based transports are the future for digital playback and your review confirms this. No doubt some day such playback will equal the best in vinyl playback.

I'm using the unit with my tweaked TacT Millennium MKIII driving the horns of my Omega Duos + Tact SDA 2175 amp driving TacT corner loaded subs below 300hz. Cables Virtual Dynamics Master series almost throughout.

Regards.
Michael from Jakarta
Hi,

very sorry to hear you killed your K-1000. I have also ordered the cable. The company who will do the replacement told me he as done up to now three replacements and killed one during this process. He also told me that the installment description of StefanAudio Arts has some flaws.

Best regards,
Reiner

PS: Have ordered your CD. Really looking forward.
PPS: Thank you for all the great tests! I bought the ATH W-1000 after your test. The only headphone which is better performing is the K701.
PPPS: If you are able to speak German, we have a really nice headphone forum: http://www.hifi-forum.de/index.php?action=browse&forum_id=110
Hi Srajan,

I thought I would let you know how things panned out in the end. Basically my ARC VT100MKIII is now sold and I have a pair of AMP2 monoblocks in the system. The UK now has an Audiozone dealer (Shadow Audio) who sold me their last pair. The amps are scheduled for review in two of the main UK mags; Hifi Choice and HiFi News and Record Review.

The amps are still 'burning' in but are showing what they can do. They have that magic ability to produce very solid images (compared to a NuForce 9), they have a slightly dark sound yet (could me a mains cable issues a la Paul Candy) and have a really wide range of timbre. But oh those dynamics both big and small.

I have also got under them the Prw1 and this removes that slight dark feeling to the amps but it seems to wash away the human emotional feeling and whilst it sounds more correct it feels less real. I'll see if it settles in but think the ARC LS16 Mk2 will remain. The dealer did have the ModWright pre and I may try that later as an alternative to the ARC pre.

Finally, thanks for 'switching' me on to these amps!
George Sallit
I believe that in most building wiring applications, we are trying to get away from aluminum al together. There is a bunch of it still out there with many home owners unsuspecting.

http://www.inspect-ny.com/aluminum/recogniz.htm

Regards,
Jim Tavegia