POSITIVE FEEDBACK ONLINE - ISSUE 5
Paul J. Stiles
Yes, there's a DIY section, Paul. It's populated as the projects come in. We have several promised projects for review, but nothing's come in this round. Be patient... we publish 'em as they arrive!
In particular, I felt it necessary to compliment the work of Clark Johnsen. I have been very impressed with his writings over the years and remain even more so with issue five. His review of the Stillpoints ERS product was on point and perhaps deserves further review.
Thanks for the good words, Peter... I'm sure that Clark will blush (just a bit!) upon reading them. I can hear him now: "Really! That's very kind of him!"
If Clark wishes to pursue ERS, I'm sure we'll be seeing more on the subject. Glad to hear that you're enjoying PF Online...
From Richard Kern of Audiomod, at http://www.audiomod.com]:
The Super Clock 2 is $377 installed (return shipping on the SACD player is extra). The
Super Clock 2 is so good that you don't need to add the power supply if you can't afford
it. The power supply is $360 installed.
Although its encouraging to note that apparently you can get by
without the separate power supply, I'd be interested in your assessment as to whether the
performance would be as good as, or nearly as good as, with the full
Good question, Pete!
I've done my best to answer this in a recent issue of Positive Feedback Online. Check my notes in "Reverberations," PFO Issue 4, at http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue4/letters.htm. If you still have questions, let me know... I'll see if I can clarify things a bit further.
In a nutshell, however, I would say that the Superclock II all by itself is really quite fine. If that's all that you can afford, then you'll find the improvement to be quite striking. One additional thought that I haven't published in toto yet: the combination of the Superclock II plus Richard Kern's new transport mod... upgrading the transport section capacitors... looks to be the new sweet spot for "most bang for the buck."
Stay tuned for my review of that mod...but ask Richard about it in the interim.
(And yes, that goes for the rest of you too! ;-) )
the best, Pete..
I was writing about Gliere's Il'ya Murometz Symphony, and stretching it a bit (I felt) to show how Gliere was more than a little influenced by Anton Bruckner, and stretching it a bit more (I was sure) to make the analogy that Bruckner was to Mahler as Basie was to Ellington. To include even a paragraph about Ellington's indebtedness to Strayhorn, I felt, would be to stretch it too far. I probably would have mentioned it if the article was more centrally about Duke.
If it means anything, I am the proud owner of Lush Life: The Billy Strayhorn Songbook (Verve, 314 529 908-2) which I urgently reccomend to all Strayhorn fans; and of Great Times!: Duke Ellington & Billy Strayhorn Piano Duets (Riverside, RLP-475) that are each CDs despite Riverside's misleading LP designation. Both are the real.
we are forced to leave certain items out of what must seem interminably long works, just
to honor our sense of balance. Of course there is always the assumption on my part that
for most folks it wouldn't matter all that much; and for those who are really "into
the music," well, it's likely they already know. But thanks, David, for keeping me
What could it be? I talked to some audio buddies. A chip gone bad, some said. An intermittent solder joint, said others. What could I rule out? Some dust or dirt on the laser lens seemed more likely to me. I asked around.
Some said get a bottle of compressed air and blow out the dust (in my case animal hair most likely) that might accumulate in the body of the SACD player. Others said to use a vacuum cleaner. I went to some photo shops, where I thought I could get a can of compressed air. Well, the three or four brands that were available all had some solvent mixed in. I didn't think that would be good for the innards of a CD player. And I didn't have a small enough nozzle to do any good with my vacuum cleaner when I tried.
Finally, I got a tip that Radio Shack marketed an item called "CD Laser Lens Cleaner." I drove through a blizzard to the nearest Radio Shack, and low and behold they did have one such. It was eleven bucks and change. I took it home and, following the directions, I meticulously ran it through the routine described on its blister pack. My SACD player has been functioning perfectly for over a day now. I figure I saved myself some serious money with my little "CD Laser Lens Cleaner," what with not having to find someone to service my 777ES, or ship it back to Sony. I think the readership should know about this little beauty. If your CD player has trouble with skpping or stopping, go out and get yourself the least expensive repair in the book.
Shack Catalogue #42-227, "CD Laser Lens Cleaner."
When will you be getting around to the Kimber Kable reviews? I`m very interested in these cables and wanted to read what you had to say about them. What I have read and heard people say has been very positive. Wanted to get your feedback.
up the good work,
So far, what I've heard has been good, but that's mainly been with the power cables and the interconnects. The Kimber definitely has its own feel and flavor, different from both my current JENA Labs and Cardas references.
comments later, when I've had a chance to listen to the complete Kimber system, Dave.
Expect to hear in either PF Online Issue 6 or 7.
I think it might be a valuable contribution for you to do a review of long interconnects (5-8 meters) in a variety of price ranges.
I have contacted a few cable makers to enquire about costs and suitability for use on long applications. I have found that some don't respond, some just say that they will "work fine", and a few give specific capacitance/foot and other data. Some are well known and widely reviewed and recommended (Cardas, JPS, DH Silver Sonic, etc.) and some I never heard of (Signal Group, Pure Note, Audience, Empirical). Some cost $2K - $5K for a 7 meter length, while others cost $160-$500 for the same length. A friend recently bought an 8 meter length of Signal Group simply for its rock bottom price and low capacitance/foot and to my ears it sounds quite acceptable, though a bit lean in the low end. When faced with a need for long interconnects, there are real issues of selection to be addressed, not to mention costs.
Perhaps this might be a worthy project?
You raise some good points, Gardiner. Cable reviewing is tough work...but I can well understand the frustration of 'philes who have to deal with escalating costs with long cable runs. It's going to get worse, too, as multi-channel SACD pushes us into the fine world of SIX cable runs(!!)
"Logistics is hell!" said Gen. Sherman. (Or he should have!)
We'll keep your suggestion in mind, and see if we can pop a project along this line later this year...no promises, though!
All the best,
I will be able to offer demonstrations of Blue Circle gear in my home by appointment, initially on Mondays but after September 30, 2003, on a more flexible schedule. For the record, I am in the Eastern Time Zone. My email address will be: firstname.lastname@example.org until September 30, 2003, at which time I will post a new address.
With the lack of software in the SACD world, and reviews that the SACD players don't reproduce CD very well, I have been looking at the SIM Audio Eclipse CD player with its built in DAC. (A demo for about $3700). I am leaning toward two-channel (but making it work for movies, too, so probably will go with a pre/pro and a 5 channel amp (again looking at Sim Audio and Bryston),(depending on who I spoke to last)! I just signing on to ask you about the SCD-1s reproduction of regular CDs (and whether it had an internalDAC) when I saw your stop-the-presses note on the Meitner gear. Sounds like any amount for a regular CD player would be a waste of money, and that I should wait several months to get the equipment from Meitner. Am I reading you right on that?
Hello again, Nick...
"If" you can afford the Meitner DAC6/Meitner transport, that's the way I would go. You'll spend around $11K, but have exceptional 2/6 channel SACD and CD playback (assuming that you have a preamp that will handle 6 channels).
Call Jonathan Tinn at 503.221.0465, and discuss the Meitner option, and the system you're building. He may be able to advise you as to current pricing/availability of the Meitner system.
Thank you very much for mentioning PranaWire in your show review. It was easy to be overlooked as almost everyone who walked into the room took one look at the amps, their tongues fell on the floor, eyeballs bulging, and that's all they saw. Don't blame them though. I had the same response.
Thanks again Dave.
Look forward to seeing you at future shows, etc.
Seeing the show with Stan Ricker is an absolute blast. Stan is one of my closest friends in the known universe. I just wish I'd had a tape recorder running during all of our conversations over the last six years, because our readers could then be reading a second interview as big as the first (see Positive Feedback Online, Issues 1, 2 & 3). The amount of information and insight in Stan's brain is amazing.
Best of luck with your cables. If you exhibit them with Josh's amps again, you need to add some flashing LEDs and make them bounce up and down to make sure people notice them, however.
BTW, we used five dm68 this year.
So, I hesitate to comment in detail about what Auro D'oro has written, it is just too comprehensive. I would like to suggest owners place our Bellavista as far as possible from the center of wooden "floating" floors; at least to avoid walking close to the turntable while music is played. Auro D'oro suggested dampened maple cutting boards to help listeners in such situations. The best solution, in my opinion, to avoid (most of) the problems foot falls create is to place the turntable on a shelf directly fixed (screwed) to a wall.
In addition, I feel it is important to underline a couple of mistaken impressions about our top-of-the-line Bellagio 'table compared with the Bellavista 'table that might mislead the reader. The Bellagio is not merely the Bellavista table with improved mass.
The Bellagio platter is a double Sustarin® (Bayer® Germany patented acetalic polymer) has different technical characteristics to the PolyVinyl used on the Bellavista. Also the lower and upper platters are decoupledthrough five Teflon® rectified rings and are fixed with five large stainless steel 8mm thick allen screws. Sustarin® not only is better for sonic purposes (being a much better self dampening material that diffuses vibrations faster), but due to its molecular structure is harder to machine, so having a higher rejection rate makes it even more costly.
The double plinth boards, where the platter spins, are laser cut with a particular curved shape that not only increases rigidity but also discharges vibrations. The lower transparent acrylic board is used only to fix the three conical feet to three 110mm tall, 8mm thick Titanium threaded bars in true perpendicularity to the acrylic board.
The motor is better and is fixed on the transparent board, not because we thought it was nicer than to make a hole to put the motor on the the 'table's shelf support (a la Michell), but because, considering that 90% of final users do not know the vibrational characteristics of shelf boards (which, in the final analysis, transfer vibrations to the platters, too); we preferred to fix it where we had the opportunity to develop a proper anti-vibration design (a motor cylinder box to match with a 15mm thick, 450mm deep, 550mm wide transparent board).
The arm board is better and absorbs more vibrations coming to the turntable platter than the Bellavista's arm board.
The bearing spindle system is the same but polished on every surface to guarantee a closer tolerance and so less friction.