A joke?

January 22, 2010

To Colin Smith,

Please tell me your review [of the Synergistic Research Tesla Tricon USB cable] is a joke before I lose faith in humanity. Are you serious?


Yes, I'm serious. I didn't expect much from the Tesla Tricon USB, but it bowled me over. It really is an incredible performer. Whether it's worth $500 is up to the individual consumer, but I can't imagine my system without it. . . . Colin Smith

Redgum and Simaudio integrated amps

January 21, 2010

To Doug Schneider,

Through the years I have been reading your equipment reviews and have found your written descriptions within the review are generally similar to my own preferences and tastes in audio gear and have held up when I do my own listening. With that in mind, I would like your thoughts on some integrated amps I’m considering.

Way back I did purchase a Redgum RGi120 (ENR, high-current version), partially based upon your review of it. I sold that amp as part of a package a number of years ago but it still stands as my "best I’ve ever heard" point of reference.

Currently, I’m on the hunt for a new integrated and have read your reviews of the Simaudio i-7 and Classé Audio CAP-2100 and I’m wondering what you think of them compared to each other as well as the Redgum. (I know, I’m really stretching that audio memory.) Do you still think the i-7 is the best integrated you have ever heard?


Ken Avis

Redgum! Now that name takes me back. From what I recall, that amp sounded fantastic, as did other amps I heard from Redgum. But it’s been way too long since I’ve heard them to make any meaningful comparison to the Simaudio or the Classé. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have more to say.

All told, over all the years that I’ve reviewed equipment (15 years and counting), the i-7 still stands tall as the best integrated amp I’ve ever had here. It sounds phenomenal, the build quality is outstanding, and its feature set is excellent. I recommend it highly. However, it’s worth mentioning that there are some new kids on the block: Simaudio has just released the Moon 600i and Moon 700i integrated amplifiers and they say that both are better sounding than the i-7. Simaudio promised to send me one of the models for review. . . . Doug Schneider

". . . continue raising the bar for online publications."

January 15, 2010

To Doug Schneider and Jeff Fritz,

I just want let you guys know that the new web design and layout of SoundStage! [Network] is really nice. I briefly looked at it before, but I spent some time on the site this afternoon reading the CES 2010 coverage and loved what I saw. Keep up the great work and continue raising the bar for online publications.

Chris Connaker
Computer Audiophile

Wadia direct to amp?

January 3, 2010

To Uday Reddy,

You mentioned in your review of the Luxman L-509u that you tried it with its preamp stage defeated and ran the power-amp part direct from your Wadia CD player (with its digital volume control). I did not, however, see a comparison between this and using the integrated complete. Did you have a preference between these two modes of operating? I ask as I'm considering either a Wadia 831 plus power amp (possibly a Luxman) or keeping my Bryston BCD-1 CD player and going for an integrated amp such as the L-509u and would really appreciate knowing how the Wadia performed driving the power-amp stage alone. (I only have and wish for CDs as a source.) Thank you for any help you may be able to give me.


I did notice a difference with both the Wadia 581ise that I reviewed in December 2008 and with my 830 driving the L-509u directly. There was clearly more transparency using the digital volume control. I'm certain I would have noticed this improvement with any amp, not just the Luxman. I have no experience with the BCD-1, but I've heard great things about it and am sure that it's very capable. If you're thinking of sticking with only one CD source, then either the 831 or the BCD-1 would be fine, but if you're leaning towards the 831 and have no need for any other sources, you'd probably be better off just buying a standalone amp, rather than an integrated, and driving the amp directly with the 831. Let me know if you have any other questions. . . . Uday Reddy