[SoundStage!]Archived Letters
September 1998


September 30, 1998

Frames are bad enough, but a pop up console? [It is] the best way to piss off your readers. Get rid of it -- they're the scourge of the internet.


September 22, 1998

... I think the web site is great and very professionally done. Keep up the good work.

Personally, I would like to see reviews of the following products (which, I realize, may not be readily available):

  1. Magnepan 1.6s;
  2. Platinum Duos;
  3. ARC 100.2 (which, BTW, I heard briefly at Audio Visions on L.I. alongside a Bryston 4B ST -- it was so much more "alive" sounding, I was shocked, because the 4B ST is, to my mind, a benchmark of sorts in affordable solid state; of course, at $3500 the 100.2 is much more expensive, but so were earlier ARC solid states; I can say with confidence that this one's in a different league entirely, with typically attractive ARC fit and finish).
  4. Also, and I know this would be tough to pull off, a Morrison 1.7 review would be most welcome.

Keep the focus affordable (not cheap) products that many of your readers might actually want to buy, and lots of luck.

...Chuck Martin

Thanks for the input, we value all suggestions. We are in constant contact with various companies and knowing the products that people want to read about helps our selection process...DAS

September 20, 1998

I fell in love with the Blue Circle BC2 amps and BC3 preamp with the upgraded BC3.1 power supply, so I bought them. Currently I will be sending my preamp back to Gilbert Yeung [Owner/President of Blue Circle Audio] to be upgraded to a BC3000.

My question to you is with all your experience what power cords did you find work best with the BC-2 amps. Would you recommend a Vibraplane under the amp? What have been your choice of tubes for both the amp and preamp? What interconnects and speaker cables have you found to work the best with the amp and preamp. (Have you heard the Magnan cables on them?) Do you like the Blue Circle Power Line Pillows as conditioners on the electronics, and what Digital front end would you recommend. Do appreciate your input on all these questions.

Thanks much,

...Michael Salamone

Whew! That's a lot of questions -- but since you own electronics so close to my own system that I feel compelled to answer all, particularly in light of what we have coming up in the Fall. I too have have the BC2 amps, BC3 preamp, and have purchased the BCG3.1 upgraded power supply which I will be following up on. We are scheduling the new BC3000 for future reviews, as well as the new 'lower priced' units to be shown at the upcoming CCEEC in Toronto.

I have not tried Vibraplane's under my amplifier, but I know a person who did and claims that there was an improvement. As for cables, I use Nirvana Audio S-L series throughout, which I find yield excellent results. I have not used Magnan, but our own Doug Blackburn has reviewed the Magnan, as well as the Nirvana Audio S-L and Nordost SPM. He found them all to be reference caliber, although with differences -- it is worth reading his reviews which can be found in the Archives.

As for the Power Line Pillows, I use the BC83 and a API Power Wedge for all my components. I find both of these to be excellent performers and definitely beneficial. Power cords? Just got some in and will be reviewing in the fall. Finally, about a digital front end -- I current have a Theta Data Basic and Theta Prime II DAC with a Camelot Dragon Pro2 Mk.II signal processor. The transport and DAC are now a few years old and I beginning to think that it is time to start looking around with all the impressive new products coming to market. Companies whose digital products I would enjoy hearing include: Resolution Audio, SimAudio, Sonic Frontiers, The Parts Connection (new DAC-3!) among others. I hope that helps...Doug Schneider

September 19, 1998

I've been an avid fan of the SoundStage! for over a year now, and I must say that one of the features that sets SoundStage! apart from other audiophile publications is the Synergistic Systems column in which fellow audiophile readers are given the opportunity to show off their systems.

I don't know about anybody else, but I for one would be very interested in seeing what these systems actually look like...perhaps readers submitting their systems could also send a picture? And to go a little further with this...it might be interesting to showcase a "system of the month" or something like that in which an audiophile is profiled along with his/her audio system. (equipment, taste in music, evolution of the system, further upgrades considered...etc.) You could begin with the reference systems of the SoundStage! staff perhaps.

This doesn't necessarily have to profile the "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" systems; I think most readers would even be interested in reading about a well put together entry-level system.

Thanks for your time, and keep up the great work!

...Albert Hwang

Hello Albert and thanks for your feedback. I'm glad to see you enjoy the Synergistic Systems section. Despite being a fairly obscure little hyperlink, it certainly gets a lot of traffic and a good number of people submitting descriptions of the systems. Your thought about pictures is a good one and something we have been thinking about implementing. I also like the idea about displaying the staff systems -- I think you will be seeing something fairly shortly.

One of the great values in the Internet is the ability to disseminate information to people and keep it updated and current -- Synergistic Systems is an example of that. We hope to improve it and also bring more useful features like this to our site. Thanks again...DAS

September 15, 1998

Just wanted to let you know that I'm very pleased that you guys have finally decided to start reviewing classical music. This is certainly something that I value greatly.

May I make a suggestion? It is my suspicion that there may be a great many SS! readers who are avoiding classical music because they are not too sure where to start. A regular "basic repertoire" kind of series might be just the ticket. Take a different composer, say, each month. Suggest some of his best works to start with for someone unfamiliar with him. Then perhaps even suggest particular recordings. Or something along those lines. I'm continually amazed when I read the "music" site how little discussion there is of classical music.

...Craig Zastera

September 11, 1998

I just want to tell you that your online mag is excellent ! I used to read Stereophile for many years, same with TAS. Now I read only Positive Feedback and SoundStage! Two excellent and non-competing journals. Keep up the quality info.

...Thom Middlestadt

September 9, 1998

Thanks for SoundStage! and for the Sonic Frontiers Power 1 review. One little comment, which has nothing to do with SoundStage! or the review: Do we HAVE to specify Canada when referring to companies that have their headquarters in a Canadian province (or a territory for that matter)? I mean, we usually don't see a US city cited as, say "Dallas, Texas, USA."

...Earl Dunbar

You make a good point Earl. For some reason it is a natural assumption that things default to the USA and if they are from somewhere else, then the country gets mentioned. Do we really need to do that? I'm not sure, but I live in the capital of Canada -- Ottawa -- and when I tell many people that are not from Canada many times they say, "where?" I then respond with, "in Canada.......uh, near Toronto!"

September 3, 1998

Being a beginner, I really get intimidated and confused reading all of the technical jargon. I understand that the majority of your readers probably know full well what you mean when you write about the slope of a speaker, but I've got no clue.

I am ceratainly not suggesting that you explain everything in layman's terms, but maybe if you have a "Beginners" article each week, you can win/educate a new breed of readers. And lets face it, your readers are most likely going to buy from one of your advertisers. If not, they would just go to Circuit City and buy anything with a Sony label. I bought my first set of quality speakers based solely on the recommendation of one of your reviewers (Clements 206di loudspeakers reviewed by Mike Masztal).

Other than that, I think the information I get from your site is top-notch and I look forward to reading it more in the future.

...Alex Qatsha

Hello Alex and thanks for your e-mail. While us audiophiles who have been in this for a long-time take many things for granted, we forget that many people may be just getting into this hobby. You are definitely right, a column dedicated to audio terminology and what it means is a great idea. I have passed this on to a couple of our key writers. Thanks again for your input...Doug Schneider

September 2, 1998

More reviews of "real-world" equipment at "real-world" prices -- i.e., fewer reviews of speakers in the $20K range, more in the $1-3K range. How many of your readers do you think will actually go out and buy a pair of the ProAc speakers you reviewed this month? Probably not too many.

A similar approach for other components such as amplifiers, transports, etc. I'd rather see an emphasis be placed on highest quality for the best value. I enjoy the various articles on system tweaks and would like to see more.

...Stephen Harlan

September 1, 1998

I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate your efforts in SoundStage!. Of all the websites dealing with audio and home theater, SoundStage! is certainly the most readable and understandable.

I also appreciate your frugalness. After reading your article on ferrite shields, I ordered 20 from Digi-Key last Saturday night, got them by Thursday, and proceeded to put them on. Damn, if I don't hear a certain cleanness in the sound, even to the point of hearing my favorite female singer, Sarah Brightman, breathing.

I tried the small inner tube under the CD player and it too seems to have made a difference.

Let's see. I've spent less than $35 on two little tweaks and gotten a big payoff. That's what I call progress for a little time and money. Keep those frugal tweaks coming. I'm looking forward to reading more of them in the future.

Keep up the good work. Please pass on my congratulations to the other fine writers at SoundStage!. I impatiently await the next issue.

Best regards,

...Stephen Greenfield

Glad to be of service! I'll be sure to pass on the word....Greg Weaver

September 1, 1998

Just wanted to drop you a line to tell you how much I appreciate SoundStage!. I also wanted to tell you that you were right on the money about Golden Sound’s DH Cones. I just put a set of jumbos under my Rega Planet, mediums and squares under my Audible Illusions preamp and smalls under my Sunfire power amp. The effect was everything I had hoped it would be. Bass got tighter and more articulate, the soundstage got deeper with more space around the musicians, and low-level detail improved dramatically. I couldn't be more pleased. Anyhow, thanks a lot for a great place for audiophiles to go and get some straight talk on great gear.

...John Crossett

Thanks, John, for the kind words. We work hard to make SS! an enjoyable place to visit. And this month we unveil News Online, where audiophiles, videophiles, music and movie lovers can come for news on the home-entertainment industry. And we’ll be sure to pass on your praise of the DH cones and squares to Golden Sound....Marc Mickelson

September 1, 1998

It seems like I've heard a lot about Meridian CD players, but no one has reviewed one recently. Would you guys care to review the Meridian 506.20? I've heard it's been recommended to some people as a basic, solid front-end.


...Keith Chan

September 1, 1998

I enjoyed reading your reviews of Kimber Kable interconnects. Why no review of the Synergistic Research products? My local high-end dealer sells some Kimber stuff, but raves and rants non-stop about the Synergistic stuff.

Is it really that much better?

Just curious.

...Richard George

In cases like these, where a reader asks about a product, we write the manufacturer and request review samples. Such is the case with Monitor Audio speakers you’ll see reviewed in the coming months....Marc Mickelson


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