In praise of Solo Crystal Oval
February 18, 2003
I just added Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval interconnects to my system after having had Solo Crystal Oval 8 speaker cables for a few months now. This produced greater transparency and detail and tauter, punchier bass, just as your review described. I struggle to hear how I could be happier with this Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval combination than I already am -- at any sane level of pricing. Thanks again for the excellent review of these excellent products.
Sony sighting in Singapore
February 17, 2003
To Jeff Fritz,
Thanks for the informative coverage of the multichannel world. I keep hearing of the elusive Sony TA-P9000ES multichannel preamp, perhaps more so than Osama Bin Laden. It is still available in Singapore at a couple of dealers in case any of your readers are interested.
Thanks for the kind comment and information. We'll pass it along....Jeff Fritz
Source for Japanese CDs
February 13, 2003
In regard to the February 6, 2003 letter to the editor, I know of a very reliable website from which to buy imports from Japan. The site is called Mundo, and it is run by a guy named Ray Mizutani. I've placed orders several times, and the service and shipping have always been excellent.
February 9, 2003
I've been doing a lot of research on bookshelf speakers under $1000 and have come across numerous glowing reviews of the VMPS 626R. The design looks very different from the typical 1"-tweeter-and-6 1/2"-woofer boxes that everyone else offers. I would be really interested in seeing a full review of these speakers, including NRC measurements, as everything I've read describes them as giant killers in their price range.
Keep up the great work!
I've had a little contact with VMPS, but I've never been able to set up a review. I'll contact the company again and see what I can arrange....Marc Mickelson
WATT/Puppy 6 vs. WATT/Puppy 7
February 8, 2003
I've always enjoyed reading your reviews, which guided me to purchase my first pair of Wilson speakers, the WATT/Puppy 6es. I noticed you now have a pair of 7s in your possession, and I would like your opinion on the differences between the two as I am considering purchasing a pair of the 7s. Unfortunately, I do not have the opportunity to audition both models simultaneously.
I recently reviewed the WATT/Puppy 7 speakers, comparing them to the WATT/Puppy 6es in the process. You can see that review here....Marc Mickelson
February 7, 2003
To Jeff Fritz,
I came across your very cogent article "Multichannel Music's Swiss Army Knife: The Multichannel Preamp" while I was looking for some data on the Sony TA-P9000ES. It appears this "perfect" (I absolutely agree) solution to multiple six-channel outputs is no longer in production. Would you have any idea where I might find one?
I have to say that I've never had more e-mail about any one piece of gear than the Sony TA-P9000ES multichannel preamp. There seem to be a lot of people looking for one, and none to be found. I wish I could help here, but they seem to be long gone off dealer's shelves and no replacement has been announced....Jeff Fritz
February 6, 2003
Keep up the good work! How about some coverage on Japanese import CDs? I am not talking about the XRCD line, but rather the flood of CDs that are available as Japanese remasters. My ears prefer the Japanese versions of more recently released CDs over their US counterparts by quite a wide margin. CD NOW had a good selection, but they have now merged with Amazon, and they seem harder to find.
One example is the Peter White: Glow. I purchased the Japanese import [Sony Recordings International SRCS 2541] and feel it has absolutely superb sound. Sure it was $35, but worth it in my book. How about comparing a few of these to the US versions, and finding a good source for them?
I am currently satisfied with my system, so I tend not to read the equipment reviews, but rather head straight for the music reviews and the column section. I am always in favor of content that helps you enjoy your system more. In this day and age, that seems to be a matter of finding the best source material.
I've heard from others that some Japanese CDs sound terrific, and many are not available here. If we can find a source for review samples, we'll certainly report on them....Marc Mickelson
February 5, 2003
To Doug Schneider,
I own a Plinius 8150 integrated amp, and on my search for speakers (OK, you can call me crazy) I've auditioned some 20 different models. My favorite so far is the Revel Performa M20, which got a superb review from you. BTW, if I had to review them, my conclusions would be exactly the same as yours.
Here in Portugal, the Joseph Audio speakers are soon to become available. Do you think that it's worth it to wait for the RM7si Signature Mk 2 speakers? How do they compare with the M20? Maybe its silk-dome tweeter matches better both my amplification and my room (on the bright side -- although I will work on this).
Your thoughts would be warmly welcome. Thanks in advance!
Greetings from Lisbon,
I certainly don't think you're crazy for listening to that many speakers. In fact, if other people did the same, they would be far happier with their purchases. As for the Joseph Audio speakers, we have not had any in for review. However, we have talked with the company and are hoping this changes in 2003. And since you are shopping in the $2000 price category, another speaker to add to your list is Amphion's argon2....Doug Schneider
Universal audio/video players and CDs
February 4, 2003
To Jeff Fritz,
I saw your "Roundup of Universal Audio Players" column. Right now I am up in the air for how to upgrade. I have a basic Sony DVD with DTS and an old Sony five-disc CD player, which is starting to not read the discs. I am interested in a universal player, but my main concern/interest is for reproduction of music. Seems from what I read, unless I get a good-quality standalone CD player, I will not get good sound (with most universal players). Maybe the Esoteric is an exception. I have an Integra 9.1 DTR receiver and ProAc Response 1SC and ER 1 speakers (basic surround speakers which need to be upgraded). I have been looking at Integra 9.1 (not universal) and the 8.3 players. Sometimes I think I should get the 8.3 and then later add a CD player like the Musical Fidelity A3.2 or the Rega Jupiter. Financing is also an issue -- otherwise I wouldn't be thinking so hard about this. Any thoughts? Thanks!
I'm not sure why folks are criticizing the CD performance of universal audio/video players. If I were you, I'd listen myself before believing such a thing. There are some great options out there right now, and although I agree that the Esoteric looks fantastic -- I want one myself -- you don't have to spend that kind of dough to get a substantially built player. The new Denon player looks like a hot ticket, for example. Why not buy something like that for the playback flexibility and then you'll have a CD reference if you choose to buy a more expensive CD-only player? If you can't appreciably beat the performance then you'll save some money and relish in the fact that you're not missing anything....Jeff Fritz
February 3, 2003
I read your article on the Magnepan MGMC1/MGCC2 speaker system with great interest. We are in the midst of a living-room renovation that is pushing me to consider new speakers. I would gladly have a system that suffers in the home-theater department so long as it does great music. I currently listen to a pair of Quad 63s driven by a pair of Denon POA-6600 amps and supplemented with a pair of Kinergetics subwoofers. The problem is that physically and aesthetically (yes, the dreaded wife-appeal factor) the Quads won't work so well in the new room.
The room will be 32' by 24' feet when finished with a wall unit dividing it into a 9' x 24' study and a 21' x 24' living room, all with 10' foot ceilings. The wall unit will be 17' long and 6' feet high, so there will be a 7' opening between the living room and study and 4' about the wall unit. The trick here is for me to find speakers that will work with the home-theater system, be great music speakers to satisfy me and look great to satisfy my wife (know of anyone who has a terrific invisible speaker?). Do you think that the MGMC1/MGCC2 system might be it?
By the way, you refer to your reference sound system, but you don't say what it is. I always find reviews much more informative when I know what the reviewer's "reference" is.
Thanks -- and keep up the great review work.
The article you refer to is an editorial I wrote on the Magnepan system I heard at CES 2002, which is why I mention no system of my own (each of our reviews includes this information, however). If I were in your shoes, I would certainly investigate the Magnepan system, not only for its visual appeal but its sound as well. I suspect it would work in your room, but you should hear a demo before ordering. Luckily, more of Magnepan's dealers are setting up demo systems around the MGMC1, perhaps because the speaker is currently Magnepan's best seller....Marc Mickelson
February 2, 2003
To Doug Schneider,
Can you recommend a synergistic speaker match in $1500 range for the Vecteur I-4/L-3 combo? The Amphions you highly recommended seem like a strong possibility, but I haven't found any dealers in the US. Thanks in advance and I appreciate all your advice on this site. I, for one, have benefited from your expertise.
We've gotten word that Quartet Marketing Group will be handling Amphion in the United States; however, they will not have the full lineup of products for a couple months yet. If you can wait, I'm sure you won't be disappointed. If not, other speakers I can recommend include the LSi series from Polk Audio or Energy's Connoisseur models....Doug Schneider
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