March 28, 2002
To Doug Schneider,
I just wanted to thank you for introducing me to Axiom M3Ti. We seem to share the same likes in sound. I'm SHOCKED with how good these speakers are too. In fact, these speakers are so good they have taught my ears how to better listen to high-end stuff. They are the perfect introduction to the world of high-end sound. They might not be perfect, but I can honestly say I have never enjoyed my system more. The Boston Acoustics speakers they replaced cost four times as much and sound like mud compared to the M3Ti. I find it hard to believe the M22Ti can be a whole lot better (or is it?). Anyway, thanks for the heads-up on these little guys. They are keepers!
P.S.: I would normally never thank a reviewer -- that's how much I like these speakers and agree with your review. Good job!
March 21, 2002
There's a wealth of knowledge buried on your site, hidden behind the cute titles of columns. A search function would be a nice way to increase the value to frequent users.
We've toyed with a search function, but our content spans so many directories and/or servers that we haven't been able to implement it and not slow down the site noticeably. Luckily, so much of our content is linked to major Internet search engines, so you can often start there. Also, our AudioVideoReviews site lists our reviews by product category, and we'll be beefing that site up in the future as we are able....Marc Mickelson
Choosing review products
March 20, 2002
How do you select which equipment to review? I searched and could not find reviews of Sonus Faber speakers, Vienna Acoustics speakers, Monitor Audio speakers, Cary amplifiers, and many other brands. These are all brands that are fairly popular given the frequency of their appearance in enthusiast forums and sites like audiogon.com.
If you are interested in less-well-known brands, check out the speakers from Adire Audio. I am not associated at all with Adire Audio. I am a member of the Pacific Northwest Audio Society and enjoyed a demonstration of Adire's newest speakers at last week's meeting.
Anyway, I have enjoyed reading the reviews on your site and have found them to be quite helpful.
We select products based on what we think our readers would be interested in, but like all publications, we are at the mercy of manufacturers and distributors, who may or may not send us what we request. We try to keep our content diverse, but unfortunately we don't get every product we want to review....Marc Mickelson
A difference of opinion
March 18, 2002
[Regarding the Wilson Sophia speakers], nice review, and it would be hard for me to differ except that in a head-to-head comparison, I found the Sophia to better the WATT/Puppy 6 in all respects.
March 17, 2002
Is there a reason why the Magnepan 20.1 flagship speaker is never mentioned among the best speakers available? I have yet to see a review, except for the one at Magnepan's site. I've listened to some speakers in the $12,000 range that do not sound as good as the $3700 MG3.6/R. Your insight will be greatly appreciated.
Our recent dealings with Magnepan underscore the fact that reviews are not a large part of their promotional efforts. We have endeavored to review Magnepan speakers, including the MG3.6/R and a full Magneplanar multichannel-music system, for our readers because they have asked steadily for us to write about them, and I'll be sure to ask Magnepan about the 20.1....Marc Mickelson
A happy Athena owner
March 16, 2002
To Roger Kanno,
I've been looking for an upgrade for my speaker system. I currently have the Energy Take 5 system. After reading your review of the Athena AS-B1, I broke down and got the Athena AS-F2, AS-B2 and the AS-C1. All I can say is WOW! I can honestly say that for the price you can't go wrong. I'm not an audiophile, but I know what my ears tell me. The bass is awesome, the highs sound smooth, and I'm in heaven. I would like to thank you for your review; it's what made me decide to go with the Athenas. Now my wife will stop looking over my shoulder when I'm on your website wondering what I'm up to next.
March 14, 2002
Where can I get the past issues of SoundStage!? By the way, great job -- well-balanced design between technical, informative and advertising. Since I discovered your site, I only read my issue of The Abso!ute Sound and you guys. Keep up the good job!
If you are referring to our E-Mag, we are not able to keep back issues online due to space and bandwidth limitations. The rest of our content is available completely online (as are the equipment reviews in our E-Mag), so there's nothing to buy. Just visit us on the 1st and 15th each month....Marc Mickelson
Joule Electra Stargate?
March 12, 2002
Under "Coming Soon," I recently saw an announcement for an equipment review of the Joule Electra Stargate power amps. Now it is gone. Is it gone for good, and if yes, why?
Thanks in advance for your reply. Because of your recommendation I bought a Joule Electra LA-100 Mk III preamp, and I'm still very happy with it. Thanks again for your wise advice.
P.S.: I'm also a big fan of PS Audio's Power Plants. For my equipment, they sound better than the Shunyata Hydra.
We removed the Joule Electra Stargate because we don't know when we can expect to get a pair for review. However, we think we will still review, and measure, the Stargate at some point, so stay tuned....Marc Mickelson
A speaker worth hearing
March 6, 2002
To Doug Schneider,
I read your review of the Amphion argon2 loudspeakers with interest. It's a well-written and thorough review. There's another speaker in the same price range as the Amphions that merits a comparison: the ACI Sapphire III LE. ACI sells factory direct. The Sapphire III LEs are about $1200 per pair, and they're outstanding value for the money. I've owned a pair for about eight months, and as I compare them to others (particularly the Revel M20s), I find they represent outstanding value.
AudioReview.com reviewers have loved it, as have other audio magazines. You should try them if you can.
Mirage OM-7 or...?
March 5, 2002
To Doug Schneider,
I have been looking for a good pair of front floorstanding speakers. I was thinking about spending up to $3000. I have a pretty new Denon receiver. I'm really into watching DVDs in DTS, so I do have surround-sound speakers too. And I will probably get a subwoofer soon after I buy my new front speakers. My room is medium to large in size.
I read your review on the Mirage OM-7s. I just can't make up my mind between them and the Vienna Acoustics Mozart. I like the sound of both of them and like the wood finish on them too. Please help and give me your opinion on which speaker would be a better choice, or if you can think of another front floorstanding speaker I should consider. I love the theater sound in my house, and I listen to CDs.
I really like the OM-7 speakers and feel they are an outstanding value. The fact that you also like them substantiates this. At their $2000 price tag, it's hard for me to recommend much else, especially if you already like the OM-7's sound. In terms of the other speakers you mention, I've never really heard them critically and therefore can't comment on them. However, you do like them and should consider this. One thing nice about the Mirage series is the matching surround-type speakers, center-channel, and also new subwoofers. Given your propensity for listening in surround mode, this may have a big impact on your decision....Doug Schneider
Watts for WATT/Puppy 6?
March 4, 2002
To Marc Mickelson,
Allow me to congratulate you on your very balanced and informative Wilson WATT/Puppy 6 review. I have shared your feelings toward the previous speakers in the WATT/Puppy series, but I am very interested in the new speaker, which is why I have read your review with more than average interest.
Please allow me one question concerning the speaker's need for power. Is the WATT/Puppy 6 really power-hungry (like the 5.1)? My music is unamplified, symphonic as well as chamber music and some jazz, but far removed from noisy film soundtracks and sonic effects, so the combination of the 6 with an honest amp like yours seems like a marriage made in heaven.
The reason for my question is that someone showed me a review of the WATT/Puppy 6 in another magazine (named TAS), which creates the impression that even a 220W tube amp is not adequate for the dynamic swings of classical music, while you seem to be quite content with 18W.
I understand that the 6 seems to have a more civilized impedance curve than the 5.1, and in view of the rather pedantic tone of that other review, I tend to discount such statements as macho talk. But in Geneva, Switzerland, where I live there, there is no Wilson dealer, and I hardly have time to drive for hours. Therefore, I'd really appreciate your opinion.
I have driven the WATT/Puppy 6 with all manner of amplifiers, and their ability to turn a small number of watts into big sound is still enlightening to me. While you can play the speakers with solid state or even powerful tubes, they don't need this kind of amplification to sound wonderful. I have listened the most with my 18W Lamm SET monoblocks, with which the speakers absolutely sing. In fact, the WATT/Puppy 6 works better with the Lamm amps than any speaker I've heard in my room. I can't comment on the other review (I haven't seen it), but I can say that the WATT/Puppy 6 is rare in my experience because it works so well with a very wide array of amplifiers of differing power outputs....Marc Mickelson
Our new look
March 3, 2002
Congratulations on a fine update to your site. I find it more user-friendly than the old site, certainly faster, and even more chock full of great articles. The equipment discussed is diverse as are the music reviews. Thanks for your efforts in providing top-flight information about this crazy but wonderful hobby called audio.
March 2, 2002
I wonder why you do not ever do double-blind reviews of equipment. I think a double-blind review of cables would be very revealing (and put lots of the manufacturers out of business if the review were sufficiently promulgated). Those double-blind reviews I have seen in the past do tend to make a mockery of the supposed ability to tell differences.
Given the focus is supposed to be on the sound, I think that doing the reviews blind would actually create such a focus. I can't take your stuff seriously the way it is done at present, especially the reviews of power cords! Very droll.
We've done a blind test of speakers at Canada's NRC, and we'll probably do more of these in the future. Doing all reviews blind would be impossible, for various reasons....Marc Mickelson
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