[SoundStage!]Archived Letters
January 2008

KEF measurements

January 30, 2008

To Doug Schneider,

Nice review of the KEF 201/2 speakers. Too expensive for me, but they won’t be for some lucky guy. But I have a comment about the measurements. The 201/2s show almost no distortion. Amazing, really. I can’t find anything better. But why didn’t you test them louder, as you do for other speakers? I would have liked to have seen that.

Derrick Paul

So would I. However, this is what happened. We always do the distortion test at 90dB and look at the results. If the speaker seems OK, we push it to 95dB, which is a punishing test and can damage some speakers. Therefore, it’s normal for us to do the measurements after the listening tests are done. But, with the way the scheduling worked out, we measured the 201/2s before the listening. Therefore, we made the judgment call not to push them to 95dB in order not to risk damage. In my opinion, though, given the amazing performance at 90dB, the 201/2 would have taken it. We just didn’t want to take the risk and potentially delay the review….Doug Schneider

From a Cerwin-Vega owner

January 24, 2008

To Vade Forrester,

Based on your review, I purchased the Cerwin-Vega CLS-215s. For what I have paid for cables or negligible tweaks, they are wonderful for what they are! I'm quite surprised at how nicely they handle classical and delicate recordings, and rock is the way it should sound. I haven't had this much fun listening to my rock since the double-stacked Advent days 35 years ago (yikes). I did tilt them down an inch per your instructions, and this brought great improvement

Question: If I get Mapleshade footers, what do I use to still aim them down an inch?

Bob Stein

I'm glad you're enjoying the CLS-215s as much as I did.

It's hard to tilt the speakers forward if you use footers. The only solution I found was to get a tall listening chair. You might try putting some of Mapleshade's thin carpet-piercing Heavyfoot footers under the back corners of the speakers. There's a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you could return them if they don't work....Vade Forrester


January 22, 2008

To Philip Beaudette,

Thank you for a great review of the awesome NAD C372. I bought it after reading your review, and let me just say that I could not agree more with you. Describing that amp in one word, I would use "effortless." The PowerDrive circuit and the robust nature of the setup makes for a sturdy amp that will stop at little.

Once again thanks for a great review that helped me make up my mind.

Kasper Kesen

More thanks

January 17, 2008

To David Cantor,

I want to personally thank you for your excellent review of my CD What's Your Sign? and especially for its selection as one of the "Best Recordings of 2007." Being a bunch of unknowns on a shoestring budget,we consider recognition from a publication like yours is a huge honor for everyone involved with the project. I wish I could come up with an "engaging paradox" to more poetically express my gratitude, but, alas, I cannot. All I can give is a heartfelt "Thank You!"

Joe Cassady

Usher on Usher

January 4, 2008

To Doug Schneider,

My name is Ben Usher, strangely enough, and I happened to be standing 15 feet from a magazine rack at my local bookstore today when something told me to turn and look. As I perused the 80 different magazines on the rack, the word "speaker" caught my eye, so I walked over and picked up the magazine (as I am currently constructing a new recording studio). To my amazement, the page that lay before me had this beautiful picture of the Usher Be-718 -- as if the thing were literally calling my name! I'd never even heard of the brand before! The sensation was rather weird and yet familiar at the same time. Anyway, I left the magazine there to look up the speakers online when I got home.

So, here I am. I just finished reading your review of the Usher Be-718s and was very intrigued. Your review is quite in-depth and informative. Nice comparisons and suggestions, not to mention concise and easy to read. Thank you for that.

Questions: Are the Be-718's shielded speakers that can be used in a recording-studio setting or merely for general listening purposes. Also, if they are suitable for audio engineering, would you consider them a reference-quality monitor, or are they simply "too good"?

You stated that: "Overall resolution and the ability to reveal the little details in a recording are first-rate. Like the very best small speakers Ičve heard, the Be-718s convey the space in the hall, the tiny nuances in the music, and even the defects in recordings."

All of this is extremely important during the editing phase of production. The speakers are certainly beautiful to look at, and from your review they sound amazing as well. Studio application would definitely be the icing on the cake.

Ben Usher

You know, I don't know if the Be-718s are shielded or not. Most speakers are nowadays, but you never know. However, your question about whether they'd be good in a studio is an interesting one. To me, a studio monitor should be, among many things, "flat," meaning it has relatively flat frequency response on- and off-axis. The Be-718s certainly have that. However, studio monitors are often powered speakers (i.e., active), and they're often made to take some abuse. The Be-718s aren't self-powered, but I suspect they can take some abuse -- although I doubt they're bulletproof.

So, in a nutshell, if you want a highly accurate, deep-bass-reproducing small monitor in your studio, and you have the amplification to drive them, you'd certainly be wise to look at the Ushers....Doug Schneider


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