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
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 Im
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 Ive ever heard" point of reference.
Currently, Im on the hunt for a new integrated and
have read your reviews of the Simaudio i-7 and Classé Audio CAP-2100 and Im
wondering what you think of them compared to each other as well as the Redgum. (I know,
Im really stretching that audio memory.) Do you still think the i-7 is the best
integrated you have ever heard?
Redgum! Now that name takes me back. From what I recall,
that amp sounded fantastic, as did other amps I heard from Redgum. But its been way
too long since Ive heard them to make any meaningful comparison to the Simaudio or
the Classé. But that doesnt mean I dont have more to say.
All told, over all the years that Ive reviewed
equipment (15 years and counting), the i-7 still stands tall as the best integrated amp
Ive ever had here. It sounds phenomenal, the build quality is outstanding, and its
feature set is excellent. I recommend it highly. However, its 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
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
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
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. . . .