[SoundStage!]Archived Letters
April 1998


April 27, 1998

Increase the number of postings on Talk Online -- 100 is too few. You have a good thing here, but space limitations will hurt you.

...Mike Saliba

April 25, 1998

I am looking for a web site for ProAc speakers. A manufactuer, distributor, dealers, anything with some reviews would also be helpful. I am an avid reader of SoundStage! and really appreciate the hard work and effort you all put into this zine. It really shows, keep up the good work.

...Jeff Blanton

We don't believe that Proac has a web-site yet, but have heard that one is in the works...DAS

April 24, 1998

Please, please, please do a review on Earmax headphone amp from Audio Advancements. I purchased their headphone amp and am currently using it with Sennheiser HD-600 headphones and using Meridian 508-20 cd player. The Earmax is just unbelievable!!!!

I have exhaustingly listened to many other headphone amps and believe me, the Earmax has no equal!!! Its purity, transparency, harmonic richness and texture does not have an equal. I am in total ecstacy over this product and I really wish the product would be reviewed here so more people can learn about its existence and possibly own one so it can bring joy to their hearts as it truly does to mine.


...Serge Brotsky

April 22, 1998

Very interesting magazine. Maybe the best on the net! I would like increased focus (you already do a good job) on those of us that are newer to this hobby.

...B. O'Malley

April 22, 1998

You guys are not only the best source on the Web, you are the best source anywhere. Plenty of great reviews of big money gear to drool on, and plenty of low budget tweaks for those of us with a bit less cash. If I were to ask for anything it would be more reviews of gear for systems in the $1500 - $3000 range.

...K. Sharp

April 21, 1998

Competitive evaluations would be nice. Why is that a common practice in the UK magazines, but not here in the US? Is it advertising bias? Fear of legal backlash from bad reviews? Or is it just not the culture of US audiophiles?

...R. Carter

Your point is well taken and you are correct in pointing out that many of UK based magazines do reviews on many competing products at one time. The North American based magazines tend to focus on single product at a time with comparisons of equipment on hand to that product to establish its 'relative' worth.

I can tell you that our main reason for not being able to do 'shoot-outs' type reviews of large numbers of components is due to the logistics of getting all of the components in ONE place. In order to be fair to each product they MUST be reviewed in the same system, the same place, over the same span of time. Getting five or ten products together is very difficult given that our reviewers and the manufacturers/distributors are spread over a large geographic area. However, as SoundStage! has grown, so too have our resources to get more products to our reviewers for followups, direct comparisons, etc. I believe that this will further improve our review process by giving consumers more of the information that they need to make informed choices...DAS

April 21, 1998

To: Jay Piriz

I was surprised to find a review of a Swedish album on SoundStage! This album has been spinning a lot in my CD-player the last year. I'm glad you liked it as well. I saw Lisa Ekdahl live last summer when I spent my vacation in Stockholm. They had public rehearsals, during four evenings, before going on tour in France. The concert was at a club in a small room, holding a maximum of 80 people -- it was packed! :-) It was a very intimate concert and it almost felt like I was sitting in her lap while she was singing for me alone. ;-)

Reading your review, I understand that I now have to listen to some new artists. Since I like both Lisa Ekdahl and Rickie Lee Jones (Rickie Lee Jones' debut album is one of my absolute favourites), I'd probably like Krall, Cole and Barber as well.

By the way, two days after the Lisa Ekdahl concert I was lucky to get tickets to a concert with Michael Ruff at the Fasching jazz-club. He and his band were in an extremely good mood and it didn't seem like they wanted to stop playing. The concert started at 9:00 pm and ended at 1:15 am, with just a 20 minute break in the middle! :-) The repertoire was a little bit more bluesy than the two records I've listened to. (I didn't object :-)

As Steve Rochlin says: Enjoy the Music!


April 18, 1998

One of the best audio e-zines around. :)

Maybe you can introduce an 'audio-club' zone for people in different areas around the world to get to know each other and meet to listen to their music & hifi!!

...M. Hsiao

One of the great things about the Internet is its true world-wide access. It gets to places that most other mediums cannot. Your idea is a very good one...DAS

April 16, 1998

Wanted to write to say thanks for all the great entertainment at SoundStage! -- although I must admit it cuts into my productivity at work!

I enjoy very much all the feature articles by Greg S., Doug B., and Greg W. I graduated from "mid-fi and began building my first "real" system about a year ago and continue to find the "entry level" and other "tweak" columns to be a marvelous help.

Keep up the good work.

...P. Barrow

April 15, 1998

I think SoundStage! is excellent. Is is the perfect example of how an Internet magazine for audiophiles should approach the subject. In order to improve, SoundStage! should give the readers more objective measurements of equipment. I know that you tend to review things that are all good but it  seems like you sometimes are afraid to really highlight the shortcomings of a piece of equipment.

If SoundStage! were to give the product concrete rankings in a broad array of measurement areas, I think it would be useful.

...D. Grigg

To date we have produced, literally, hundreds of product reviews.  If there is one piece of consistent information that readers want MORE of, it is how one product stacks up against another.   In our reviewers our writers attempt to document as many comparisons as is reasonable, however, it is too difficult to compare everything.

That is why we will soon be releasing the SoundStage! Reviewer's Choice Component listing!  Put simply, our reviewers pick the best under various criteria.  We had not yet done this because we first wanted to make sure that we had an excellent cross-section of products that are representative of some of the finest in audio.  Put simply, we wanted to produce a definitive listing that leads people in the right direction.  We now feel we are there and you will see the results in the upcoming months.  Reviewer's Choice will also become a regular feature of our publication and we know our readers will find it indispensible...DAS

April 13, 1998

In this day and age, holding one's ground could be viewed as a major accomplishment. SoundStage! continues to improve with age.

Give a glass of water to a man dying of thirst, and you expect him to say "thank you, kind sir." Well, you've certainly got a lot of good products coming up for review (e.g. amps from RE Designs and Monarchy, etc.), and have covered plenty of good products in the past. So, what's my response? "MORE!" Oh, yeah, and "thank you, kind sir."

I am curious if any of the following products might be on a list of future reviews: Resolution Audio CD50 CD player; G&D Transforms UCD-1, UCD-2, and UTP-1; Camelot Morgana CD player and Uther DAC; Grounded Grid preamp or OTL amps by Transcendent; VTSP-1 preamp from Herron Audio; SPS preamp from Exor; Belles 15A preamp; products from Bybee Technologies; products from TG Audio Lab, including a new line of speaker cables; anything from either Wytech Labs or Flemming Audio Lab? And not to forget, anything in the Moon line from SimAudio?


...D. Derrick

Whew! That is a lot of requests, but I can see a number in there that are on their way that I will point our in order. We have contacted G&D and hope to get some reviews samples, although we've heard that they sell a lot and samples are scarce. From Transcendent we're scheduled to get their brand new $1199 preamplfier (information at their website http://www.transcendentsound.com). More from Belles is on the way and we've made contact with Bybee and TG Audio. Wytech Labs are in my own city and their amplifier and preamp sure do look interesting! Finally, there are the SimAudio products. Right now John Stafford has a Celeste amplifier and have discussed the Moon series for the future. More importantily, in the very near future we will be conducting a factory tour at their Montreal facilities that will seen here on our cyber-pages! Thanks for asking, we've got LOTS to come...DAS

April 10, 1998

It seems that everything I could want, you have already done (e.g. on-line archive of reviews, classified ads, enlightening editorials, etc.). Maybe more of them.

It would also be nice if you provided a series of your favorite links to other sites, audio-related or otherwise (you may already have these too, and I just haven't discovered them yet).

...P. Herns

Over time we are trying to expand SoundStage! to be everything the serious audiophile, videophile, and music lover needs. It is feedback like yours that helps...DAS

April 9, 1998

I think it's great! I'm happy to find something on the internet that actually has articles, not just an address to order them from.

...K. Denning

April 9, 1998

The biggest suggestion that I can give to you is to continue with the reviews. I am by no means a hard core audiophile, but I do really like quality sound. I sold off my modest (~$5000) home theater setup in search of a better 2 channel and home theater combination. I am looking to spend a reasonable amount of money, but am constantly looking for bang for the buck. Admittedly, I have listened to some $6000 speakers and been very impressed (to the point of drooling and smiling A LOT!!) but I would like to get as much musical truth possible out of a system utilizing more budget components.

Your reviews on such products as the Belles 150a and Lexicon DC-1 were very informative and helped a great deal in my research for choices to listen to. Please keep up the good work in reviewing budget to modestly priced components. That is the ultimate achievement that can be accomplished for you guys. Throw in a few more direct comparison comments during reviews to products in the same price range and you have the ultimately informative web site!!!!

...S. Sangster

April 8, 1998

All in all, I love SoundStage!   I was, however, a little disappointed with the coverage of HiFi '97.  I thought you could have provided more reviews and impressions of the equipment on display. A very short blurb wasn't very helpful or informative.

I will be at the show in Los Angeles and I hope SoundStage! does better then. Otherwise, keep up the good work.

...F. Salvino

Hello and thanks for your input.   I really enjoy having the Archives online because it allows people to go back and see what we've done in the past.  Furthermore, hearing reader's input into what they like to see in a show report is vital to our constant improvement. 

Admittedly, it is extremely hard to produce a show report that pleases everyone, so we are aiming to please the MOST readers.  SoundStage! will again be providing full coverage from Hi-Fi '98 in Los Angelos  Our plans are currently under wraps, but suffice it to say we plan to make this report unique like the rest!  Thanks...DAS

April 7, 1998

How about more analog coverage? Specifically a shoot-out among "affordable" analog rigs. Right now, the basic versions of  VPI, Linn, Basis turntables(and others) are all priced around $1500 and each is fully upgradeable to state-of-the-art sound. Unfortunately, home auditioning these rigs is VERY difficult, so a comparison test would prove quite useful in helping people determine the individual sonic signatures of the tables.

...John C.

You will certainly be seeing more analog coverage in our electronic pages.  As you probably know, our 'Vinyl Word' column is dedicated to analog.  Furthermore, four of our writers (Greg Weaver, John Upton, Tony Fafoglia, and Steven Rochlin) use turntables as part of their main music sources so undoubtedly THEY have an interest in seeing more too...DAS

April 2, 1998

I read your review in last month's SoundStage! on the Speaker Art Clef. I have owned a pair for about a year and I think they do some amazing things. I, for the most part, agree with what you said. I listen in a rather small room so they perform quite well on my hundred watt per channel B and K amplifier. I called the factory about the upgrade and they seemed very competent and quite personable.

Before I spend three hundered bucks, plus shipping, since I am in the midwest and that would probably tack on close to another hundred, I wondered if you were going to possibly review a pair of the Super Clefs in the not so distant future or should I gamble on the upgrade and just jump in. Mr. Gross described the improvement as dramatic. I just hate to give up my speakers for any length of time without reading or hearing something more.

Please advise. Thanks for you time.

...S. Weiss

We are planning to do a Super Clef followup in the coming months. I did manage to hear the Super Clef version at CES '98 (which sounded very good indeed), but I did not have any chance for a side-by-side comparison. My understanding is that the physical difference between the Standard and Super version is in the tweeter that is used, along with some changes in the crossover to accomodate this unit. I'm very interested myself because the regular Clef is a fabulous performer...DAS

April 2, 1998

As I was looking at your upcoming reviews and articles I was thinking  about
what I would add to the list if I could ... how about a series on efficient    speakers to match with SETs? Loved the article on the Moth 2A3 ... 2A3   makes a great amp with a suprising amount of punch for 3 watts.


...J. Day

Steven Rochlin says...At the moment there are over three highly sensitive speakers here and a few more on on their way. SoundStage! will soon have an article with more indepth discussions about speakers for our beloved low powered tube yummies. Stay tuned!

April 2, 1998

Excellent publication!!

More equipment reviews would be nice. Cheap Tweaks & Tricks to improve your system would also be handy for us poor audiophiles.

...P. Beck

Your suggestions are noted and we hope we can accomodate them all in the coming months.  We have, literally, TONS of equipment reviews forthcoming that should satisfy most listeners.  And from the great response we get for all of our monthly features, we will be publishing more and more about how to get the most from your current system. 

Thanks for taking the time to write...DAS


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