December 31, 2009
To Doug Schneider,
First, I really enjoy your reviews. Your reviews allow the
reader to better understand what the products have to offer. Thanks for the great reviews
on the Classé Audio CAP-2100 and Simaudio Moon
I am considering several high-end integrated amps
(Conrad-Johnson CA 200, Balanced Audio Technology VK-300xSE, Simaudio Moon Evolution i-7,
Pass Labs INT-150, Classé Audio CAP-2100). My primary desire is for an amplifier that can
drive my speakers well (Induction Dynamics ID-1), has good bass weight and control, along
with a silky midrange and extended highs.
Each of the amps seems to have something special to offer.
Given that the speakers are a four-way design with dual subwoofers, I think I need at
least 150-200W to be able to deliver the sound I want. Is this correct? The ID-1
speakers sensitivity is rated at 89dB (2.83V at 1m). The impedance of the upper
section is rated as 8 ohms and the sub section is 4 ohms. I am close to selecting the
Simaudio i-7, but would like to hear the BAT VK-300xSE and the Classé 2100. Your input
would be helpful.
Its always safer to have more power than you need
than less. Doing so will prevent the amplifier from running out of steam and, quite
possibly, clipping. Ive never heard those BAT or Pass Labs models in my system, but
Ive obviously listened to the Simaudio and Classé designs for some time. Of the
two, I like the sound of the i-7 better -- to date, its the very best integrated
amplifier that Ive had here. Theres also the benefit of the i-7 being more
powerful. The i-7 is rated at 150Wpc into 8 ohms, while the CAP-2100 is said to deliver
100Wpc into the same load. Thats not an insignificant difference and the additional
headroom that the i-7 has will probably serve you well. . . . Doug Schneider
Adding a Paradigm Reference Signature Sub 2
December 28, 2009
I am using two Paradigm Signature Sub 25s in my home
theater, with one sub placed in each front corner of the room. I like the subs very much.
I am interested in enhancing the physical/visceral impact of my home-theater system even
further. I am thinking about placing a Paradigm Sub 2 towards the back of the room. I plan
to use the Sub 2 as an end table placed between two sofas that are positioned at a
90-degree angle to each other (this is the only possible location for the Sub 2 in the
How do you think a Sub 2 would match up with the two Sub
25s? Do you think it would be difficult to integrate a Sub 2? I have used Paradigms
Perfect Base Kit for the Sub 25s and would also use it with the Sub 2.
I enjoyed reading your
review. Thank you for your advice.
Adding more subwoofers to an audio system is typically
an easy exercise, in my experience. It is a well-known fact that having more subwoofers in
a system will greatly ameliorate room modes associated with deep-bass reproduction.
Youll simply get smoother bass by adding that third subwoofer. Of course,
youll also gain more output capability and even, potentially, lower distortion,
because youll be asking less of each subwoofer to attain a desired listening level.
So really there is no downside to your adding the third Paradigm subwoofer -- except for
the added expense and the necessary real estate in your room. But since it seems you have
those things worked out, Id say go for it. You should have magnificent low-end
capability, thats for sure. . . . Jeff Fritz
Revel Salon2 questions
December 21, 2009
To Doug Schneider,
I just read your
review on the Revel Ultima Salon2 and thoroughly enjoyed it. Seems like you really
enjoyed them as well. Can't say I am surprised.
I am curious as to your opinion of whether or not the
midrange results would be different (richer and more lush) if you used a more powerful amp
and biwire speaker cables?
Thanks in advance for your "midrange" thoughts
and wonderful review.
I certainly did enjoy the Salon2 -- quite simply, it's
one of the very best loudspeakers I've ever heard. As for the midrange presentation, I
doubt that a more powerful amp would make the midrange richer or more lush. If anything, a
more powerful amp will simply allow them to play louder and, possibly, have a greater
overall sense of authority and effortlessness. That's usually what having more power
provides. I honestly can't tell you what biwiring will provide, as I rarely do it and I
never tried it with these speakers. What I hope to do, however, is keep these speakers in
my system for a little more time and experiment with things like cables and amps to see
what kind of difference they make to their sound. . . . Doug Schneider
NAD C 565BEE as a DAC
December 16, 2009
To Doug Schneider,
I have been happily reading your articles for years and
have come to respect your sonic point of view on things. The NAD
C 565BEE review was quite something.
I (and many others) are looking for good cost-effective
DACs to use with things like the Logitech Squeezebox. Perhaps I didnt quite fully
understand what this NAD can do, but I came away thinking that it can function as a
standalone reference-level DAC via its optical input. I know thats not quite how you
presented it, but is that a fair statement? If Im looking at spending a grand on a
half-decent DAC like a Stello, why not one just as good, or better, that can spin a CD
too? I guess, in other words, did you compare it to other high-end DACs via its optical
Thanks again Doug and I look forward to hearing from you.
Funny you should bring this up. When I reviewed the C
565BEE I wanted to concentrate on its performance as a CD player. However, since then I
have been experimenting with it as a DAC, since NAD claims that it can support up to
24-bit/192kHz through the TosLink input on the rear panel. I plan to report on that in an
article in February. . . . Doug Schneider
Audience ClairAudient LSA8+8 loudspeakers
December 11, 2009
To Vade Forrester,
I saw your
review of these speakers online. I live in San Antonio (as I hear you do) and am
intrigued by the smaller LSA4+4. I currently have Avalon Arcus speakers, with a Spectron
Musician III amplifier, ARC Reference 3 preamp, and an Ayre CX-7e source. Anything to
add/suggest/recommend for my consideration of the LSA4+4 compared with the Arcus? Or could
you recommend something else?
Thanks for checking out our reviews. I've not heard the
LSA4+4 speakers, or the Avalon Arcus, so I can't compare them. I've loved the Avalons I've
heard -- the Indras, the Eidolons, and the Isis. I could easily recommend any of those,
although they are pricey.
I don't know if you're open to using a subwoofer, but
I'd think the ClairAudient 4+4s would definitely require one; I just don't think eight
3" drivers would produce satisfying bass. There were times I wished for a subwoofer
to use with the 8+8s. I'm currently reviewing some JL Audio f110 subs which might work
with the 4+4s; they seem pretty fast. They're still breaking in, so it's too early to tell
much more. . . . Vade Forrester
Esoteric A-100 and speaker choice
December 9, 2009
To Uday Reddy,
I enjoyed your review of the
Esoteric A-100 amplifier. What is the efficiency of your loudspeakers? I'm considering
this amplifier and am looking at what to mate it with in terms of speakers. 45W isn't a
lot of power, but I suspect this amp can drive a lot of speakers. Your help is most
My Wilson Audio Sophias are the first-generation model
and are rated at 89dB (8 ohms). They're fairly sensitive and have no problem being driven
by lower-powered amps. In fact, Wilson Audio's recommended minimum amplifier power for the
first-generation Sophias is 15W. Although the A-100 was at a significant disadvantage,
power-wise, compared to my Jeff Rowland Concentra, it was able to drive my loudspeakers
effortlessly to the sound-pressure levels I required with superb sound quality. Unless the
speakers you're considering are really inefficient, you should have no problem pairing
them with the A-100. . . . Uday Reddy
From Nirvana to Siltech
December 1, 2009
To Doug Schneider,
Greetings from Finland!
You've seemed to like the Nirvana cables in the past. How
do you feel about them now? Im upgrading from the S-L range and wondering if the S-X
cables are still up to the task compared to todays cables. I like the basic sound of
the S-L cables a lot, but would like a little bit more harmonics and precision. In your
opinion, would the S-X line fill the bill? Or maybe something else, like the Siltech
I am grateful for any help.
I have used Nirvanas S-L cables for over a decade
and, like you, enjoy their sound. In fact, these cables, along with some from Nordost, are
the ones Ive used more than any others with all the equipment Ive reviewed
over the years. Theyre excellent.
I did try the Nirvana S-X interconnects many years back,
so my memory of them is vague right now. From what I recall, though, you wont see a
huge improvement -- they were just a little better than the S-L. However, its funny
you should ask about Siltech. I recently installed their Classic Anniversary cables in my
system. I havent evaluated them for as long as Id like yet, but my initial
impressions are very positive. More than likely, youll see an article on them in the
coming months. . . . Doug Schneider