[SoundStage!]Archived Letters
June 1998


June 30, 1998


Didn't I tell you guys that the Arros/SimaAudio set up kicked butt. If you recall,  I sent SoundStage! a quick note on this display at the Montreal show. And now I see it in your Los Angeles report!

Now when will we see a review of this speaker in SoundStage!...or perhaps
more reviews of Canadian content generally (may I suggest integrateds by SimAudio/Celeste, Classe or Bryston--I'm in the market)?

Thanks again Soundstage!,

...Robin Roberts

P.S.: More DIY and tweaking advice always welcomed!

There is an upcoming review on the new Totem Model 1 Signature.  We would certainly like to get the Arro in for the future as well. As for SimAudio/Celeste, we have the Celeste 4150-SE power amplifier coming up.   You're right, those integrated amps really lookin interesting...DAS

June 26, 1998

Your HI-FI '98 coverage was great. Some of the pictures of the stereo equipment are mesmerizing. I like how you keep records of other shows you have covered such as CES97 and 98, and the Stereophile HI-FI '97 show from last year. I hope you continue to keep them on file....From what I've read so far, I like you better then any stereo magazine that I've read over the years. I hope more people find out about you.

...Dan Livni

Thanks for the encouragement Dan. It is our intent to keep ALL our content from our first day of publishing (November, 1995) online forever. We've improved greatly since then, however, we feel that much of the early information is still worthwhile. Glad you enjoyed it...DAS

June 24, 1998

I would enjoy more reviews of tweaks and relatively inexpensive  improvements. Most people definately don't take full advantage of their system's capabilities, and I guarantee they will thank you for it. So will your advertisers, who's products will come off all the better with these additions.

I have recently had a great experience with Black Diamond Racing cones and with the Synergistic Research AC Master Coupler. Reading SoundStage! as I do (every word you guys write), I could have probably discovered them a lot sooner.

However, you are doing a great job, and I congratulate everyone over there for your good work.


...Orion Hindawi

June 19, 1998

Suggestions for Improvement:

  • Inform readers on what will appear in SoundStage! in the next month.
  • Let readers suggest the equipment they would like to see reviewed.
  • If possible, review some home-theater equipment such as A/V receivers or DVD players.
  • Give more tips to the readers such as typical set up of speakers or how to match a system’s components.
  • Keep readers up to date on what is happening in the audio industry.
  • Continue doing your great job.

Thanks. I love your site.

...Luck Tanasomwang, Thailand

June 17, 1998

Dear SoundStage!

Thank you for noting our Revel Salon loudspeaker from HI-FI '98. However, the report (June 11) contains erroneous information. We were demonstrating the Salon continuously in the adjacent room. Unlike our multi-channel demonstration room, the Salon room did not have a connecting door to our static display. We intended to make sure that everyone knew about the Salon demo room, but we were packed with people almost continuously, so unfortunately, it appears that not everyone realized we were demonstrating the Salons. We assure you that you missed the most accurate sound at the show!

Best regards,

Kevin Voecks

It seems that we did miss the 'live' demo of the Salon! Our apologies to your company, and also our readers, for missing out on hearing the new speakers. Our HI-FI '98 coverage has been amended to indicate that there were a pair playing in the room next door. I guess we'll have to wait until next time! Thanks for taking the time to write and let us know...DAS

June 16, 1998


I noticed on your website that you will be reviewing the ProAc Response Four in the upcoming months. I would respectfully request that you consider the Response Two S in addition. At $4k Canadian, while not cheap, it is infinitely more affordable than the excellent Response Four. Very few enthusiasts can afford the Response Fours while the Two S is somewhat within reach and offers the ProAc "sound."


...Dave St. Pierre

Thanks for the suggestion. I agree that the less expensive Response Two S offers a large helping of the traditional ProAc strengths—the entire Response line shares some significant similarities. If ProAc USA or the mother company in the UK are willing, we will certainly be happy to review the Response Two S, as well as the other ProAc models, in the future...Marc Mickelson

June 12, 1998

Thanks for getting back on track with wonderful show coverage. It is heads above that rumination that you spewed out for CES.

...John Lettieri

June 8, 1998


I recently stumbled across your site—nice work! I've subscribed to Audio for too many years, and Stereophile for a few less, and I have to say immediately enjoyed your articles & reviews more than either of those mags. I especially like Greg Weaver's columns, because he's "frugal" like me, and it's always interesting to read about people actually DOING something to improve their systems, instead of just spending more money.

Compared to the other rags, you review more equipment in which I am actually interested. The writing style is good, and all of your writers seem to be sensible and level-headed, and have their egos under control

I'd considered making equipment racks with threaded rod, like Mr. Weaver did, but I got stalled when it came to finishing the rods. Spray paint is the obvious solution, but doesn't it scrape off when the nuts are moved? I don't particularly want to repaint it, or touch it up, every time I change shelf spacing.

Suggestions: (1) more do-it-yourself stuff, especially really easy projects for beginners. Like a lot of other people, I've built lots of audio equipment, and it really is much more satisfying than just buying & listening. (2) Detailed photos of equipment, front and back, and insides as well. (3) More articles on room acoustics and solving specific problems.


...Doug Burkett


Thanks for your kind words. The only way I know around the "repainting" issue is to either buy the all-thread pre-anodized, or have it so treated after purchase. Can you say "ouch" to the wallet? I can live with the few minutes of re-spraying from my leftover paint can when touch up is necessary. But to tell the honest truth, I haven't had to move a shelf in over 18 months.

As to room acoustics, that is all coming. I have been working on the subject for about 18 months and am still not sure how to present it all. There is SO MUCH technical stuff that has to be dealt with to handle the topic completely that it is a daunting task to make it all accessible. I am going to be looking at some good-performing yet inexpensive products from companies like Cascade Audio Engineering, as well as providing the full gamut of DIY articles, so stay tuned. I firmly believe in the hands-on approach. Besides

saving money for silly things like MUSIC SOFTWARE, when you undertake a DIY project, you learn so much more about our hobby. It is nice to hear that readers are enjoying my efforts. Thanks for reading SoundStage! and taking the time to write....Greg Weaver

June 5, 1998

Re: Music Hall MMF-2 Turntable

Great review! I've had mine for about five months and have been enjoying my introduction to the vinyl world ever since. You said it right when you wrote that this would make the perfect first step into analogue. As an analogue novice, I had a couple of questions you may be able to shed light

While the 'table manual specs a 1.7g weight, the Goldring cartridge manual lists a 2g weight; you say you used 1.7g. How did you decide which to use? I've heard that when in doubt, err towards the heavier side.

Also, assuming you used 1.7g, did you experiment with using the three different notches on the anti-skate rod? The manual specifies 2nd notch for up to 1.7g, and 3rd notch for 1.7g and up...this cartridge is standing right on the fence! I did not notice any sonic differences using the 2nd and 3rd notches myself.


...Rafael Teodor

After playing with the weight, I settled at 1.7 g as optimum to balance bass  response, image and stage width and tonal balance. Increasing the weight  tends to tilt the balance counter-clockwise to the dark side and increases the heat (via the increased friction) generated at the grooves, while lowering it causes accentuation of sibilants and loss of articulation.  As far as err-ing to the heavy side, just listen. Track as lightly as you can (at or above the manufactures recommendation!) without loss of detail,  increase of sibilance and "groove jumping." I have found that most  manufacturers know by both testing the compliance of the cart, the shape of the stylus, the reactance of the motor structure and by listening where to set the thing for optimal performance...Greg Weaver.

June 3, 1998

Re: Synergizing June, 1998 - DIY Equipment Rack

Had you thought about inserting a sorbothane washer between your shelves and each metal washer? I think the original shelf used regular rubber. I suggested that tweak to a friend who had purchased one and he thinks it was
an obvious improvement. Adding a rubber air ring and slab of marble or even the MDF probably would cause M.O.D. (music overdose syndrome) an affliction caused by listening to music for too long because the sound is so good. You can tell if this has happened to an audiophile, if, when he walks out of his listening room he has a smile that doesn't leave his face for hours.

...Mike Peshkin

It doesn't work! At least, it doesn't improve the sound, it degrades it. The whole point of this budget component is resonance control and coupling.  With Sorbothane or some other loose, damping material, you allow the shelf to have too much sympathetic movement. The shelves are too free to vibrate and become more easily excited AND it more seriously compromises the whole racks structural integrity, letting the whole thing swing in the breeze. This is a bad thing!

If you saw my Vinyl Word column last month, then you will already know about one 'Mick-Meister.' Well, when I arrived at his house after the Mid-West trip, he gleefully started showing off his finished IMPROVED version of my DIY Rack.  Well, at great expense he made custom Sorbothane inserts to place between each washer and shelf. It did nothing sonically and SERIOUSLY DETRACTED from the rack's stability. Spending about an hour and a half to undo the damage proved to both improve the sonics AND stabilize the whole platform, which is why it sounded better.

Given my experiences, DO NOT use such "washers" on the rack. Even major manufacturer's, none of whose names will be mentioned, are opposed to such measures. In fact, the latest intelligence from 'Chez Weaver'  recommends only tightening the nuts about a sixteenth to an eighth of a turn past finger tight to get the best sounding coupling. Give it a try. Although I can certainly understand the thinking and the desire to try Sorbothane or some similar substance between shelf and washer, don't blame me for the degradation of the sound. After all, you've been warned! ...Greg Weaver

June 2, 1998

Of course, being the "Headphone Guy," I always enjoy more articles on headphones. However, I realize that I am in the minority, so I don't expect this to happen. While you guys to review headphone equipment, it is mostly in the lower price bracket. Perhaps some reviews of the higher priced Beyerdynamics, Sennheisers, Grados and Stax  would be in order.

Also, perhaps in the future you will publish DIY quasi-technical stuff  dealing with topics like equipment isolation, room accoustics, electricity... But I do love the magazine, and I am continually amazed at the quality...especially considering that it's free!!

...Michael Shaw

Minority?  Perhaps not...there certainly are a LOT of headphone listeners and we will endeavor to do more related articles.   Right now Greg Smith is trying to rustle up more equipment...DAS

June 1, 1998

Suggestions for Improvement:

Bigger, more, more frequent! You guys rank with Listener, and The Tracking Angle as my favorite reads.

...Jim Levitt

Bigger!  More frequent! Actually, we're planning to do just that.  With Marc Mickelson now firmly established as Editor in Chief our goal is to improve on the existing SoundStage! and expand in new directions.   By the end of 1998 it will happen.  Thanks for taking the time to write...DAS

June 1, 1998

To Greg Weaver:

I gotta tell you I was sceptical about using Radio Shack motor winding wire as a conductor for an interconnect....but what the hey, it was cheap enough and source convenient enough to give it a try!

I can't say THANKS ENOUGH. It's sound was immediately noticeable without even breaking in the interconnect. Definitely better at the extremes than my Cabletalk interconnects. Having had a new child in our house the past two years has put a financial "crimp" on my audio hobby. Being able to sanely ($-wise that is) upgrade got my "juices flowing" for audio again....and away from my PC!

Thanks Again,

...Alan T. Graham


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