[SoundStage!]Archived Letters
April 2004


Seeking a Canadian bookshelf speaker

April 27, 2004

To Doug Schneider,

I am interested in a quality bookshelf speaker. My price range is $3000 CDN, and I have auditioned the Paradigm Signature S2 and was impressed. Being Canadian, I like to support Canadian manufacturers. Do you have any experience with the PSB Platinum M2? I have also seen a lot of acclaim for the B&W Nautilus 805 and Revel M22. I have a Bryston 3B SST amp. Do you have any recommendations in my price range?

Calvin Clements

I have no real experience with the Nautilus 805 or the Revel M22. However, you mention two speakers that I currently have in for review, the Paradigm Signature S2 and the PSB Platinum M2. Although it's too early to disclose much of my findings, I can say that given what you plan to spend you should definitely audition both of these. My reviews won't be online for a few months yet, but in the end it's your ears that really matter. Audition all the speakers you can -- that's what good dealers are there for -- and you be the judge....Doug Schneider

Better than Classé?

April 26, 2004

To Wes Phillips,

I enjoyed your review of the Classé CDP-10, which I own and enjoy very much. Sounds like it went toe to toe with some of the best and held its own.

Of course, being an audiophile, I always wonder if there is something substantially better on the market. I was just wondering if you've ever heard the Simaudio Moon Eclipse, and if so, how would you compare its sound quality to the much lower priced CDP-10?

Michael Dale

I haven't auditioned the Moon Eclipse in my own system, but I've spent a bit of time listening to it and I was very impressed by it. Gobs of detail, but perhaps a tad cool for my taste -- although that sure beats hot'n'nasty and, as I say, it wasn't in my system, so I can't be sure.

But I have to say that one of the things I liked best about the CDP-10 was its balance. The sound was balanced -- true enough -- but it also balanced affordability with performance in a way that was extremely seductive. You could buy better performance, but the price curve rocketed upward at an alarming rate.

If I were looking to improve matters without going nuts, I'd look at the latest version of the Ayre CX-7, which my audio buddy Ruben just bought (and tells me is even better than I said in my review).

Building a media room

April 23, 2004


We are going to be building a house, and we were wondering on the best room sizes for acoustics. We have heard of the golden ratio but not of anyone using it for this application. Do you have any information or have done any articles on designing a media room from scratch?

Mike and Joanne Habl

We published a couple of "Synergizing" columns over five years ago (!) that discuss the listening room. You can read them here and here....Marc Mickelson

Product suggestions for "Surrounded"

April 20, 2004

To Jeff Fritz,

I enjoy your column. Great job! What about reporting on the Audio Refinement Pre 2 DSP and Birdland Odeon Platinum DAC?

Keep up the good work.


Hmmm, a multichannel DAC. Didn't know about that one. Thanks for the suggestion. A colleague of mine used the Audio Refinement Pre 5 multichannel preamp for a while and really liked it. I've heard good things about the Pre 2 as well. I've got some cool things on the horizon, but I will look into these, so keep checking back....Jeff Fritz

Will you compare the Esoteric UX-1 and DV-50?

April 19, 2004


Any chance of a comparison when you get around to reviewing the Eoteric UX-1? I have a DV-50, which I am very happy with, but I could make room for it in my second system.

Jim Pearce

Absolutely. You'll read about both players and perhaps the X-01 as well....Marc Mickelson

Additions to the list?

April 13, 2004

To Doug Schneider,

I read your column posted in February 2002 about the best speakers for $200, $300, $400 and up. Are they the same now, or are there other speakers that will perform better for music and theater at this time?

Kevin Q.

That article was more or less a snapshot of speakers I had experience with at that time. But the list evolves, and some products drop off (mostly because they're discontinued), while others get added (because I get to hear them).

Today some minimonitors I would certainly add to the list based on my personal auditioning include Axiom's M2i, Energy's Connoisseur C-1 and C-3, Ascend Acoustics' CBM-170, and Paradigm's Reference Studio 20 v.3 and Signature S2....Doug Schneider

From the artist

April 12, 2003

To David J. Cantor,

Thank you for the wonderful review of my CD [Mirrors and Windows]. You showed me things I didn't see myself, and that's a lovely gift.

Dulcie Taylor

Integrated amp for Wilson speakers

April 9, 2004


I just bought a pair of Wilson Audio WATT/Puppy 6 speakers based on your review. I agree -- these things are edge of the art.

No doubt my front-end right now is not holding up its end of the bargain, but buying the speakers has left me a little cash-strapped. Any recommendations (the cheaper the better) for integrated amps that will work well with the WATT/Puppy 6es?

Ryan Coleman

Two that I've heard and loved are the Unison Research Unico and Audio Analogue Pucinni SE Remote. Both list for under $1500. I used both with the WATT/Puppy 6es and 7s and enjoyed their sound immensely. The Audio Analogue integrated sounds like good tubes, while the Unico has a silkiness that's addictive.

Unison Research's new $1295 Unico P integrated is now available as well. We saw and heard it in Montreal....Marc Mickelson

An Esoteric combo?

April 7, 2004


I have read your reviews of both the Esoteric DV-50 universal A/V player and the P-70/D-70 combo. I have no doubt that the later will outperform the former when it comes to CD playback. But I was wondering if you had the chance to connect the DV-50 to the D-70 to hear how it compared to the P-70. I still believe the combo with P-70 will sound better, especially considering that the P-70 alone costs more than the DV-50. The only drawback I see with this combo, though, is the fact that the DV-50 only has one coaxial output, and I am not a big fan of TosLink, so this would require switching the digital cable for movies and CD playback. I would also be interested in how this compares to the Linn Unidisk 1.1, since the Linn comes in at $11,000, and the DV-50/D-70 at $12,000. Also the new Esoteric universal player is stated to retail for $13,000, so I think this would be a good three-way match-up.

A.J. Clarke

I used the DV-50 as a transport when I reviewed the Esoteric P-70/D-70 combo, and while it sounded good, the P-70 and D-70 sound their very best when connected through their AES-3 connections and the separate word-sync option. If you're going to spend what the D-70 costs, you should hear it at its best, and that's with the P-70. Therefore I didn't dwell on using the DV-50 as a transport when there was a much better alternative.

We have a review of the Esoteric UX-1 universal player coming soon, and that unit may address your sonic and functional concerns all by itself....Marc Mickelson

Room size, amplifier power, and ProAc speakers

April 6, 2004


I read your review of the ProAc Response D38 speakers with interest. My system consists of Naim electronics -- CDS3, NAC252, NAP250 -- and ProAc Response 2.5 speakers. The NAP250 is not one of the most powerful amps around. Despite that fact, I really enjoy what my system does.

My room is rather small compared to yours (about 25m squared, 2.5m in height). Considering room size, large rooms need powerful amps, while in a small room the sheer power of an amp is less important. Would you second that statement? Or what else did you mean when talking about room size in your review?

The D38 might be what I'm aiming for. I love the Naim and ProAc sound and would, in such a case, probably opt for a more powerful amp like the NAP300.

Does the D38 have a minimum room size?

Reto Dubach

I would second your statement about room size and amplifier power. In a smaller room, you need less power to attain satisfying listening levels. Listening preference also comes into play. Some people like their music loud no matter the size of the room, and therefore need a more powerful amplifier.

I can't comment with certainty on the size of room in which the ProAc Response D38s will sound best, but I suspect a room can be much smaller than mine and still produce very good sound, because the D38s aren't huge and don't have overpowering bass....Marc Mickelson


[SoundStage!]All Contents
Copyright © SoundStage!
All Rights Reserved