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from the Audio Asylum

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Geography 101

Hi,

I just wanted to draw your attention to the fact that the Elnika Edgar amplifier is made in Slovakia, not Czech republic as the review states. Czechoslovakia has been split to Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993. Presov, the town where it is manufactured is located in eastern Slovakia.
Best regards,

your fan,


Tomas Polakovic

Many thanks for the correction, Tomas.



Standard CD playback on Sony's SACD machine

Editor,

How did Sony's player rate on standard CDs? Does the sound playing CDs compare with anything else on the market? I'm thinking of upgrading my Anthem CD-1 and have an extensive CD library.

Thanks for any feedback.

Larry Glasner
Thousand Oaks, CA

I found the SCD-1's onboard standard CD player to be smooth, detailed, with excellent bass definition. The instrumental timbre was outstanding, too. While not in the exalted domain of its SACD cousin, the SCD-1's standard player will offer you considerable improvement over the excellent Anthem CD-1 player.

Editor



Silverman's Beethoven

Editor:

Experience has taught me to beware of CD reviews, and yours of the Silverman Beethoven is a case in point. I certainly won't argue your right to exalt Silverman's playing, which certainly has its merits (though your failure to mention Wilhelm Kempff's among your favorite sets is telling), but your review gives nary a clue as to the very peculiar nature of the recording itself. I have in fact written about this to John Atkinson and he agreed: this is a recording for which only one volume level setting is correct. Now, the same may be said of all recordings, but this is an extreme case and there are number of salient points your review doesn't mention: the "right" volume level is quite low, which sets limits on how the CD may be auditioned; at volume levels greater than the "right" one, not to put too fine a point on it, the sound goes to hell; finally, for those of us used to, and perhaps who favor, close miking (witness ProPiano's Pianist's Perspective technique), this is an unusual recording in which ambient information plays a very big role. I don't say that any of this is necessarily good or bad, merely that it is useful information which belongs in a review of the recording.


Best,

Russell Lichter

My experiences with this remarkable set was obviously very different than yours, Mr. Lichter. The recording could be played back on my reference system at exceedingly high levels without much strain or diffusion of piano tone.

About not mentioning the 'peculiar nature of the recording itself' -- read the review again, Mr. Lichter. Carefully. Also, I am glad to see that you find my exclusion of Kempff 'telling'. Good taste does have its virtues.


Editor



Solid Tech

On your article for the 2001 Festival du son et de Image you describe the room for Canadian distrbutor Audiopathic. One thing that caught my eye was the equipment rack displayed on the picture showed with this article. Can you tell me what brand they are or who manufacture them? I will appreciate it.

Also I like to congratulate you for such an informative e-magazine. Thank you.

edgar.santiago@salem.af.mil

The stand is the Soild Tech 'Rack of Silence'. It is manufactured in Sweden and has some real buzz around the industry. Check it out at http://www.solid-tech.net

Audio Note, where are you?



Hello:

I like what you're doing on your website. Keep up the great work. I am curious if you have reviewed any of the single-ended triode amps from Audio Note. I'm having difficulty finding any.

Thank you.

Lincoln Wong

Great products, with a dynamite one-box CD player, the CD 3. (Ex?) distributor, Herb Riechert, tends to be very cautious when handing out review samples. We have tried, but to no avail.



Is the Rowland Concentra integrated that good?

Hello @udiophila.com:

Just browsing, and I read Anthony Kershaw's review of the Rowland Concentra. Rowland's accomplishments are legend in high-end audio. But you know what?...I'm a tube head, and despite all the superlatives, solid state, for me just doesn't make music, Rowland or otherwise. I know, I know, everybody's got an opinion, and tube vs. solid state is like Democrat vs. Republican. Wait...this is interesting. I wonder, are Dems linked to tubes, and Repubs to SS?? Hmmm.... But for example, at an audio show, I quickly walk out of most SS rooms. They just don't make music that sounds like music. My best example is Joseph speakers, and the "new" $15K Pearl. For its introduction two years ago at CES, they used VTL 750 monoblocks. I voted that room Best of Show, and it ended up being second overall, I think. Nowhere else did I hear a trumpet that was front and center, au natural, in-the-room, like it was there. The next year (last year), the Pearls were played with Rowland monoblocks. Guess what? The magic was gone. GONE. And, you know, Joe Joseph is a VERY careful guy who always has a superbly set up room. This year, Joseph displayed the new RM33si, with VTL 450s. Yes, the magic was back, and that room got a lot of attention. David Chesky was doing his six-channel demo there. One example, sure, but, really, it says it all. Sure , I give SS clarity, transparency, impact. But musical truth, NO. I just wonder if the Rowland Concentra really deserves the superlatives. But you have a nice bunch of reviews up currently. Keep up the good work!!

Dave Sturdevant

Juneau, Alaska

Nothing like a passionate Alaskan tubehead. Keep the flag flying, Dave. But to answer your question about the Concentra: unequivocally, yes!

Editor



Oh boy!

I'll be muddling on without you guys. After the physical description of a product (vide: Metronome) which goes on a some quite modest length, a few brief words on the sound quality perhaps? No heavy lifting. You may feel that since we are getting it free, well some banners, we aren't deserving of much content. And you do indeed hew to this motto. So I tried a couple of other reviews...same deal. What gives? Is this a basement hobby for some amateur? It's Canadian...so maybe it's Wayne World of audio? You're putting me on, right? A little of the old satire, no? Let's see, for example, the Metronome edges the Planet "by a nose." How? What part of the music contains the nose? The top end I guess. Maybe it edged it at the end of the CDP hurl? A young staffer throws the Planet, Kershaw the heavier Metronome...they are neck and neck down the stretch, but...it is the Metronone, by a nose at the finish line. A fine image. And original. And I have learned so much, thank you. Well, I'll meander over to Show report. I'll start at the top. Weather. OK. Good for a paragraph. On to a review. Scarlett. Cool, hmmm...with Merlins. Hey, no good. Why? Mikey Fremer spent a few thousand words why they were great. The previous issue I saw them in George Cardas' studio. Hmmm....I'm sure those other feckless reviewers are on the take. Mr. Kershaw has a scoop that will turn the audio world upside down. Plus, I'm dying to read a nice dirty, contentious and contrarian view, after all, they are also getting too damn expensive. "They don't beat my baton." Huh? None of my speakers beat my baton, either. (Hey, get your mind out of the gutter.) Was that an extra option I missed? Maybe a stab at a metaphor....read further. OK, "lean and still" followed by an ellipsis: ....and then nothing. Was it a silent display? I've never heard lean and still speakers. Still? Maybe the woofer was turned off by Merlin. And the tweeters too. Trying to fool Mr. Kershaw. Maybe the power amp wasn't connected? OK, enough fun. On to tilting at more of those audio windmills. After all, this audio game is tough. After taking on Merlin, Mr. Kershaw isn't tired of those "odd looks." Sorry, but he has to speak his mind! But wait, it's Mr. Wilson! Hey, it's that polite young journalist, Mr. Kershaw, sir. This young whippersnappers isn't listening to rap and wearing his hat backwards! No sir, Mr. Wilson! Those big expensive speakers you make, I hate to tell you, sir, they aren't that nice. Sorry. A little tough, more of those "odd looks" and that odd feeling that Merlin "inculcated" him with...he is not impressed. Not his "cup of tea." No cliches for Mr. Kershaw! He tells it like it is! And, by the way, Mr. Wilson, I want to talk to your designer. No more tea cup shaped speakers. Wait, I forgot, the key to a good sonic review from Mr. Kershaw is to turn it off. Scarlett, I know you cynics are think, they're Canadian, right? But "Wow!" Of course, there is a price to be paid for THAT encomium, he warns, "If they sound as good as they look." The Verity "dance" was noted. Damn, Canadian speakers actually move in syncopation--none of that damn American "stillness" from Merlin! Let's see, yeah, I own Sonus Faber Guarneris: "smooth and refined." Whew! I'm safe. And I was thinking of selling them and buying Merlins! Now onto the high-priced spread...an easy hundred K with cabling....the Wilson Benesch/Rowland/dCS....let's see: "Digital brilliance." Wait, isn't that a bad thing? Audiophiles hate digital brilliance! I know I do. But, MDG have "an eye for the finer things." Hey, so do I. I love wine and a good cigar, just like MDG. I don't know how the equipment sounds, but given that they are "progressing well," I guess they are out of intensive care and heading towards recovery. If we scroll down, we see what MDH has his well-attuned eye on--it's Michelle! He does have an eye on the finer things indeed! All this dancing and "delightful ease" over at Cary has Mr. Kershaw, who had been "lusting" after equipment in a positive tizzy! But it's good at Audiophilia. Up is down. Brilliance is sweet. Still is lean. They lust. They have their eyes of fine ladies. I haven't learned anything about how things actually sound, but I realize I should have had my eyes open and directed at finer things. I spend too much time leaning, still and not dancing with my eyes. Me, and I guess, Mr. Clemo, have got to muddle out of here. But, I'm telling you, the word has got to get out! I'm going over to Audio Asylum and spread the word! Your pellucid reviews. They soar, they dance. They drink tea. And you...you lust. You have your eyes on the finer things. You are not to be stopped with those odd looks you get. No wonder there isn't any time or space for that intrusive audio. I've never seen any mention of your work at any audio site and that's unfair. You are revolutionizing audio reviewing and everyone else has missed the boat. Onwards!

Your admiring fan, John

I thought our readers would enjoy this one unedited. We do so enjoy your letters, John. Keep 'em comin'!



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