[SoundStage!]Archived Letters
August 2002


Digital output

August 27, 2002


I was really impressed with your review of the Onkyo DV-S939 CD/DVD-V/DVD-A player and bought one to match the Onkyo receiver I have. I am writing to ask about the remark you made that the DV-S939 doesn't pass 24/96 data. I have it connected by the multichannel lead for DVD-Audio, and the default setting for the DVD on the amp is optical so I have that, and I have connected the RCA leads as they were also supplied. When I play CD, DVD-Video or any non-DVD-Audio discs, I output from the DVD player as bitstream.

I am disappointed with the lack of higher-than-CD-resolution music and would like to buy some 24/96 discs. Possibly these discs will be popular. As well, I will get my receiver upgraded to 24/96 and Ultra 2, so it is important to me that I understand what you mean here. I noted that you were impressed with the way the DV-S939 played 24/96 discs, so did you output the data as bitstream or some other way?

I am especially asking because I have just been reading in Hi-Fi World (July 2002. p.41) that 24/96 players that work properly have been rare, that they cut off sharply at 20kHz. I do not believe the DV-S939 is in this category, is it? I am confused about this and want to make sure I have the player set up right. How should I send the 24/96 data to the receiver?

I would appreciate your advice about this.

Brad Voller

The point in my review about the DV-S939 not passing 24/96 data has to do with the player's digital outputs. Like a good number of DVD players, the DV-S939 will not pass a 24/96 bitstream from its coaxial or TosLink digital outputs. Therefore, the best way to connect it to your system is via its analog outputs, in which case the player's internal DACs will do the conversion from digital to analog and you will hear 24/96 software in its full glory....Marc Mickelson

Meadowlark Swifts?

August 23, 2002


Have you heard the Meadowlark Swift speakers? I read your review of the Kestrels and would appreciate a comparison. I own two 35Wpc Tube Technology amp and a tube preamp. Would these mate well with Swifts and/or Kestrels? I heard the Blue Herons at HE 2002 and thought they were great. Unfortunately I didn't hear the Swifts. I value openness, imaging, great midrange and tonal accuracy -- not necessarily in that order. My listening room 10' x 15' with a 10' ceiling and is irregularly shaped. I listen to all types of music. Are there any other speaker brands you could recommend? Thank You in advance for your thoughtful reply!

Thomas Farrell

P.S. What are the Hot Rods?

I haven't heard the Meadowlark Swift speakers, and it's been years since I heard the Kestrels, so I can't really comment on them with any certainty except to say that I remember them to be a terrific value. The Hot Rod iteration is a different form of the same speaker with upgraded parts. Meadowlark offers this with with some of its models, but not all, I believe. One alternative speaker line that comes to mind is Triangle, whose products are generally considered tube friendly....Marc Mickelson

SACD editorial

August 19, 2002


Great editorial on the Sony DVP-NS500V SACD player ["Make Your Move," July 2002]. My thoughts exactly. I bought an open-box unit for $150. The sound of SACD is truly amazing for the price. I even hooked up the player to my vintage Fisher integrated amp and Gallo speakers, which is not exactly what you would call a detailed system.

Keep up the good work.

Douglas Milch

Wisdom Audio Adrenaline

August 13, 2002


Do you have any reviews on the Wisdom Audio Adrenaline Rush? What do think of it?


Brad Richards

We haven't reviewed the Adrenaline Rush, and I've heard Wisdom Audio speaker systems only at shows, so I can't say much about them other than that they need ample space. I'll get in touch with the company and see if we can arrange something....Marc Mickelson

More photos

August 12, 2002


I enjoyed your review of the Wilson WATCH Dog subwoofer. One suggestion: It would be great to see photos the product in use for the review. Additional photos are always fun to see and would add context to the review.

Chris Bell

A good suggestion, especially for reviews of subwoofers, where placement in the room can be telling. Not all of our writers own digital cameras, but some of us do and can oblige....Marc Mickelson

Magnepan info

August 7, 2002


I don't know were to start. I collect stereo equipment, mainly Dynaco tube type. I have two ST-70 amps, one ST-120, one Quad amp, PAT-4 and PAT-5 preamps, over 20 reel-to-reel tape decks. But I would have never dreamed that I would own a pair of Magnepan MG I improved speakers -- they are fantastic. Could you please send me any information you have on this model? They have beige grille cloth with oak trim and could be mistaken for brand new. I purchased them for $50 at a Goodwill store.


John L. Stevens

Fifty dollars for a pair of Maggies is great deal. You can contact Magnepan directly at (800) 474-1646....Marc Mickelson

DAC2 review

August 6, 2002


Thanks for the review of the Bel Canto DAC2. I just wonder how close the DAC2 would be to the Assemblage DAC 3.1 Platinum -- weighing at three pounds as it does! I wonder what kind of components would be used inside the unit. And how could it possibly present full, fleshy images? I think this is a poorly constructed DAC that should also reflect this in the sound. The Assemblage weighs almost 16 pounds, has three separate power supplies with three separate power transformers. And I consider the Assemblage to really deliver full fleshy images. Just curious to know your opinions.

Sherif Elkady

I haven't heard the Assemblage DAC, so I can't comment on its sound. I've lived with a Bel Canto DAC for a long time and stand by my comments in my review of the DAC2. You may find other DACs whose images have even more weight, but the DAC2 has its own set of strengths that make it worth considering....Marc Mickelson

Dynaudio Audience speakers

August 5, 2002

To Tom Lyle,

I enjoyed your review of the Dynaudio Audience 80. I own a pair of Audience 8 speakers (similar to the Audience 70). Have you ever listened to the Audience 8? If so, is it more similar to the 70 or to the the 80 in its sound reproduction? My Audience 8, according to Dynaudio, was replaced by the Audience 70.

If you have written a review of the Audience 8, I would love to read it. Or perhaps you know a magazine or a review writer, a friend or somebody who has listened to the Audience 8.

Best wishes from Brazil and best regards,

Rusel Barroso

I am so sorry, but I do not have any other experience with Dynaudio speakers other than the one I reviewed. With other speaker lines, there is almost always a similarity in the sound from model to model, and it improves as the line progresses. And I bet this is true with Dynaudio....Tom Lyle

"Righting Wrongs About Readers"

August 3, 2002

To Doug Schneider,

I enjoyed your article titled "Righting Wrongs About Readers." As a networking engineer specializing in carrier-class networks, I find it truly refreshing to see someone in a Web-based business who understands the underling principles that make the whole thing work. Also, I would like to compliment you and your staff on the outstanding style and content of your Web-based publications. Keep up the good work, and good luck.

Andy Coffey


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