[SoundStage!]Archived Letters
July 2008

Simaudio or Cambridge Audio?

July 28, 2008

To Doug Schneider,

Great review of the Simaudio Moon CD-1 -- as usual. If I had half your writing ability, I would be dangerous.

I am interested in the Simaudio unit and also the Cambridge Audio 840c. Any thoughts on comparing the two? Any help would be great. Keep up the great writing -- you are a credit to the profession, sir.

Sheldon Simon

I would love to pit the CD-1 against the 840c. We've seen the Cambridge Audio products at shows and they look interesting. However, here's the thing: The North American distributor, Plurison, rarely sends Cambridge products for review. I'm not saying they never do, just that they rarely do -- a "once every few years" kind of thing. Frankly, I have no idea why. However, letters like these help, so that's why we publish them. Afterward, we'll send off an e-mail to Plurison and see what comes of it. If it's not the 840c, maybe it'll be something else...Doug Schneider

Anaconda where?

July 23, 2008


I have a quick question: Would the Shunyata Anaconda power cord work better on the Ayre C-5xe universal player or the Conrad-Johnson Premier 350 amplifier, if you had to choose one place? Also, if I get a Shunyata Hydra V-Ray, am I better off putting the Anaconda on the V-Ray, while using stock equipment cords into the V-Ray, or using a lesser power cord on the V-Ray and using the Anaconda on equipment into the V-Ray?

Also, I know you are not into room treatments, but I just added six GIK bass traps and two Real Trap Mondos to my 11' x 13' room, and they made a much bigger difference than going from a Bryston 4B SST amp to the C-J Premier 350. Previous to the room treatments, the amp upgrade was the largest I have heard with my MartinLogan-based system.

David Matz

P.S., I always enjoy all of your reviews. I know I would enjoy your review of the new MartinLogan CLX.

If you plan to add a V-Ray to your system and have one Anaconda, use it from the V-Ray to the wall outlet. This will spread its effect across your entire system. Make sure you use an Anaconda Alpha, not the Vx with the compound inside, with the V-Ray.

In terms of which piece of equipment to use an Anaconda with, I'd choose the amp over the digital source -- again, if you have one cord only. Unfortunately, you can't easily experiment because the Premier 350 has a 20A IEC connector and the C-5xe a 15A connector.

Regarding room treatments, my room doubles as a living room, and I want to maintain some domestic tranquility, so I'm not about to push the issue. Also, my room is very big and has some treatments built in -- beams in the ceiling and blinds on the windows. Everyone who has heard music here has said it's one of the best rooms they've encountered....Marc Mickelson

P.S., There might be a chance of getting the MartinLogan CLX for review, though if wouldn't be until next year.

CD player: new or used?

July 21, 2008

To Doug Schneider,

I just read your review of the Simaudio Moon CD-1, and I am intrigued by your comments -- the fact it's made locally and has a great warranty. I've been looking at these players: the JoLida JD-100, Meridian 508.24 and Linn Ikemi. I've rebuilt an old system using Dahlquist DQ-10s, marrying them to an Anthem Statement A5. I have poor sources, and overall the sound is bright, analytical and detailed, but lacking depth and life. I'd like to breathe some of this into the system, depth and life, but I am certainly limited in regard to funds. On the other hand, I don't like upgrading and changing equipment, and I try to make careful choices.

Given your experience, how would you advise me? I was under the impression that buying used sometimes merits more, as a good 508.24, ten years old, costs about the same as this CD-1.

John Boros

The Simaudio Moon CD-1 has a lot of strengths -- great sound and build quality along with a tremendous warranty -- but I'm not sure that the price of it is one of them. Whatever way you look at it, $1500 for a CD player is quite a lot these days, even if some other CD players, including older ones, cost as much or more. The fact of the matter is that there are plenty of options that cost less.

In your situation, though, it's a little different. Price is obviously a consideration, as it is with most people, but it's not the only thing. By what I can tell, you're looking for a certain type of sound for your system and, based on what you described, the CD-1 may give you that. The key word here is "may." Unfortunately, I'm going to have to fall back on that always-used recommendation to "try before you buy" -- the reason being that it's true. When it comes to these small differences that audiophiles prefer, it's a matter of individual taste in many cases and no matter what I hear and say, the final judge about whether a product is right for you is you.

The only thing I will stress, though, is what I said right at the beginning: The CD-1 is built and backed very well, and it sounds very good. Therefore, before you buy anything else, regardless of price, do give it a listen and let me know what you find....Doug Schneider

ProAc or Wilson?

July 17, 2008


I read your SoundStage! review of the ProAc D38. Very nice! Question for you: Would you prefer the Proac D38 or the Wilson Sophia 2 with Theta electronics in a dedicated media room which measures 14 1/2' wide x 19 1/2' long x 8 1/2' high? It's hard to get honest answers from dealers!

Deva Chandramohan

If you had a smaller room and you were considering the WATT/Puppy 8, I'd tell you to choose the ProAcs for sure, but your room is a good size for either the D38 or Sophia 2. I have firsthand experience with both speakers, and as good as the D38 is, I'd choose the Sophia 2. It is one of the special speakers on the market and competition for much costlier designs. As I wrote in the sidebar to our review of the Sophia 2: "They are so skillfully voiced, their sound so free of their cabinets, that one can't help but like them." Honestly, you can't go wrong with either speaker, but, at least to my ears, the Sophia 2 is more right....Marc Mickelson

Axiom or Paradigm

July 11, 2008

To Doug Schneider,

I just read GoodSound!'s excellent review of the Axiom M60 v2 loudspeaker. I bought my first pair of Axioms over 20 years ago and I was not disappointed then. Now that I'm about to move back to Toronto after a ten-year hiatus in the US, new Canadian speakers are calling to me from across the border.

Do you have a sense as to how the Axioms compare to similarly priced floorstanding speakers from Paradigm (e.g., the Monitor 7, 9, or 11)? Any purchasing advice would be most appreciated.

Jay Nathanson

On the whole, I've found that Axiom makes excellent, affordable loudspeakers and so does Paradigm. However, one cannot generalize and say one brand is better than the other. They both have strengths and, also, variation in the product lines (i.e., some models are better than others). Therefore, the only way to really know is to try each brand and, also, different models from both companies.

Also, as a point of interest, I was just talking to someone at Paradigm the other day, and a brand-new version of the Monitor series is now out. Paradigm's website doesn't appear to have the details just yet, but from what I understand the speakers are now shipping....Doug Schneider

ARC Reference CD7 or...?

July 9, 2008


I have Lamm ML2 amps driving Kharma Exquisite 1a speakers. I am thinking of replacing my six-year-old Accuphase top-of-the-range two-box CD player with the Audio Research Reference CD7. As the CD7 has no preamp functionality, I will use my Jadis JA15. I have heard the CD7 against the Meridian 808 and the Krell and do prefer the CD7. However, I cannot hear it in my system before buying.

Do you recommend the CD7 in this system ? Do you recommend anything different?

Zaki Anderson

I am a great admirer of the Audio Research Reference CD7, but it sounds its best balanced, and I assume you wouldn't be using it that way. With cost as no object, I would choose the Zanden Model 2000P transport and Model 5000S DAC for use with your Jadis preamp, but if you want to stay preampless, the Aurum Acoustics Integris CDP would be a great choice -- I own one -- and the Nagra CDC might be as well.

Furutech break-in?

July 3, 2008


I read the Furutech Ag-12 review. I found it insightful, especially the comment on noise reduction. I am curious about the break-in time -- a cryo cable usually takes a bit longer than non-cryo. How long do you estimate this to take?

Ken Wong

Honestly, I was impressed with the Ag-12 right out of the box. Companies will sometimes send reviewers cables that already have time on them. I don't know if this was the case here -- the Ag-12 came to me directly from Japan -- but I heard the Ag-12's signature clarity right off the bat....Marc Mickelson


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