You are reading the older HTML site

Positive Feedback ISSUE 8
august/september 2003


Our readers respond…we respond right back!

Send your comments to either or


Many thanks for enticing J-10 back into the world of audio commentary! I have grievously missed his take on things since Stereophile cut him loose (one of the litany of unfavorable changes in the mag of late). Not only is he possessed of ne plus ultra taste in matters sonic, but his wordsmithing is unsurpassed in the field. Plus he's a fellow modernist (do you have any IDEA what Ribbon Chairs go for?)... gotta keep the brother in cool chairs.


Jim Wiberg
Triode Systems, Inc.
Fort Lauderdale, FL

Howdy Jim...

Well, I have to say that welcoming Jonathan back to the world of fine audio was one of life's genuine pleasures for Dave Clark and I. J-10 has been a good friend of mine for several years now, ever since George Cardas suggested that he and K-10 drop by and visit Rick Gardner and I here in River City while they were passing through town. You're right:  Jonathan has both sense and sensibility, and a writer's touch for converting heart-felt impression to enticing and entertaining expression.

All that, plus he's a kindred spirit, a helluva great guy, and a lot of fun to boot! Pretty terrific combination, that.

George Cardas (another exceptional audio friend) once told me, early on in my audio editing with PF:  "David, don't ever bother with anyone in audio that you wouldn't party with."

He's right... and I don't.

Which is why J-10 is welcome here.

Me, I think that fine audio benefits whenever Jonathan we're going to do everything we can to encourage him to continue.

And all of you who enjoy what we do here, are welcome here....

Editor-in-Chief, Positive Feedback Online

keep up the party spirit...alas, there are dark forces overly concerned with "accuracy", "imaging" and such who can drain the fun away from our hobby!

Methinks Mr. Cardas is right on the mark (and his power cords are standard equipment on the Avantgarde woofers - yours truly is the friendly neighborhood south Florida Avantgarde dealer).

I was sorry to see your print publication go the way of too many similar efforts, but am heartened that you carry the torch online. If you're ever in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale/West Palm Beach area, you have an open invitation to come by and share some single malt!


Bless you, Jim!

That is a most kind response, and a kind offer. Should I ever be in your area, I'll be glad to take you up on this.

You're right, of course...too often in fine audio analysis gets in the way of what Gizmo called "ecstasy"...the sheer delight in the music. (Like I'll be doing in just a few minutes when I sit down with the Meitner DAC6, the WAVAC HE-833's, the Kharma Grande Ceramiques...and Donovan on SACD!!) It's a tragedy that so much of what is so fine... and so much FUN... in audio ends up under the wheels.

Positive Feedback in its print format was great fun for the 12 or so years that we did it, and I'll ALWAYS love print (it has a discipline, a weight, a great vinyl and turntables, no?!), but what we lost in the mass of pulp we gained in freedom to do much more of what we want to accomplish.

Online publishing, if done with discrimination and excellence, yields nothing to print, I am convinced...and has possibilities that are impossible with paper and ink.

So, I'll be jolly, avoid "either-or" thinking, and thank the good Lord that where I am now is the best place I've ever been!

SACDs, LPs, print, pixels and all....

All the best to you on your audio voyage, Jim,

Editor-in-Chief, Positive Feedback Online

Hi Srajan!
Caught your Auroville 20 yesterday, printed it out to read later and was already greatly enjoying myself when I came to the word "buffered" in the third paragraph and I had to laugh. The word you mean, I think, is "buffed" but the mistake is one a native-born speaker would more likely make.

So you are one of us!

Then imagine my surprise when the fourth paragraph introduced "the famous Wood Effect". I had to pour another beer immediately before I could continue.

The whole essay is quite wonderful. Thanks again for taking the time to share your thoughts with us.


Given your rave review, don't you think you should warn potential buyers that the wonderful DAC6 rests on a foundation of sand, i.e., the Phillips SACD 1000. Mine busted after 3 weeks and maybe five hours listening to the DAC6. Yes, it sounds wonderful. But who needs a 9K DAC sitting on the shelf useless while many try, and apparently fail, to come up with any fix to the Phillips apparently inevitable–sooner or later–crash and burn.


Dean Hollister

Hmmm... I should "warn potential buyers"? Based on what? Your personal experience?

I don't think so.

I have no idea of whether or not the Philips SACD 1000 is a "foundation of sand"; I have no statistics as to the global failure rate of the unit. Anecdotal reports can't substitute for authoritative numerics on a question like that...and Philips doesn't share that information with me, eh? (My personal anecdotal would be that I haven't ever had a single problem with my Meitnerized SACD 1000... no "crash and burn," and not even a hiccup... but that's no more global than your experience.)

Without real statistics, it's too easy to drift into audio urban legends.Having said that, I can certainly appreciate your frustration, Dean. When a component fails, it's no fun... and I've had my share of audio gear had to be sent back for repairs. I assume that you've contacted the proper personnel at EMM Labs for repair and are going through the usual procedures for an RMA. That's standard operating procedure for problems like this.Best wishes for a better experience down the road....

All the best,

Editor-in-Chief, Positive Feedback Online

Just a quickie to praise fellow-reviewer "Max" for what I deem to be an exemplary review. I have it pinned on my bulletin board, alongside tickets to next Friday nights' Sox-Yankees game, to remind me what a "real" review looks like. Now if all of us could produce one of those every month or so, this site would become... well exemplary.

It ain't bad now but it could be...well, like that. You da man, "Max."

Bob Neill

I truly enjoy the website and like how it's designed. For whatever reason, though, sometimes it's impossible for me to print some of the articles, without losing a bit of the right margin. Even if, when printing, I specify 90% size of original, I still lose that bit. It's about a word or two. Which makes the articles hard to follow sometimes.


We have just finished reformatting all the text tables to be only 700 pixels wide (well over 500 pages). Along with that, the text has built-in margins/indents from the right and left. If you set the print margins
on print set-upat .75 or at the worst .5, you should have no problem getting all the text. Works fine here. Let me know at your end.

Dave Clark, Editor

Thanks for the tips about printing, I'll try what you're talking about. You guys really do have a nice website.


Ed. and All:
I'm always glad to hear Clark's reminiscences–especially over a few beers here on the Gulf of Mexico, but that's another story. Just don't get him started about the moon landings!

I remember my first digital demos as causing me to make the squunched-up face I always get when something is hurting my ears.

Then, the cheerleaders: "Isn't it GREAT?!?"

Just like the horrible crap they had in high-school, Cerwin-Vegas with about-to-burst-into-flames receivers, that same overwhelming sense of edge and strain, Sturm und Drang for the constipated.

Just like when I went to hear Teddy Kennedy speak as a lark, an amusement, in 1972. Then the hall erupted, and everyone but my group of four stood and cheered. That same sense of , "They gotta be effing KIDDING!!!" I still have lots of those moments in audio. A notorious tactless blurter, I can't pretend something DOESN'T suck. Besides, it makes my ears hurt–and that makes my face squunch up!

I suspect that a lot of those big-ass seventies speakers would acquit themselves well, given good source, amplification and connectors.

Can anyone seriously think that about early digital?

I doubt it.

Cheers, Bill Leebens.

Dear Mr. Robinson,
I know that Larry Cox is soon to be bringing forth a review of the new Generation 3 CODA 30 amplifier. I noticed on your "Reviews coming up" page that the CODA 05r preamp is also scheduled to be reviewed. Would it be possible to get Mr. Cox the 05r piece so that he might review the amp and preamp together as a synergistic system? Needless to say I am contemplating just such a purchase and it would be very useful to get reviews of both pieces at the same time.

The following is an excerpt from an e-mail I sent to Mr. Cox asking if there was any chance he would be finished before Oct. "I am really looking forward to your review. I am sure you know Coda does not advertise in The Absolute Sound or Stereophile and most (almost all) of the reviews listed on their site are old ones. If a customer is interested they must take advantage of an in-home trial or buy on faith based on postings in the Audio Asylum, etc."

Christopher Frank

Hello Christopher...If the logistics can be worked out (always an issue), and if Larry has the time/energy to do this, I certainly have no objection to your idea.

System synergy is of vital importance; whenever component matching can be done, it helps to zero in the "house sound" of a designer/company.

All the best,

Editor-in-Chief, Positive Feedback Online

Ye Olde Editor,
Thank you so much for your immediate reply and receptivity to my idea. I appreciate your recognizing the importance of synergy (how can we not in this hobby) but I have come to the conclusion at the ripe old age of 54 that I have zero energy for mixing and matching components. In fact I HATE MIXING AND MATCHING (this preamp goes well with this amp, etc.)! It really no longer has the hold on me that it used to (the finding the right cables that will be perfectly synergistic with the speakers). Mind you I fully recognize the importance of it all and still subscribe and apply the concept everywhere possible. But many manufacturers no longer produce phono stages. As such I will not buy their other offerings. I have decided that whoever I choose, the amp, preamp and phono stage will all come from the same company. Again I recognize that some companies do some things better than others, for example their preamps might be sensational, and the amps only okay, similarly their phono stages...

I am glad you used the term "house sound." I have always believed this to be so regardless of whether or not manufacturers denied this. Intuitively (if you have been at this long enough) it is obvious and self-evident. Harry Pearson has recently (in the last two issues) begun using the phrase "house sound" also. I guess great minds (or should I say ears) think alike (hear alike?).


Christopher Frank

Hello Christopher...
We’ll do what we can. If this can be arranged for Larry...and if he has the time...then we’ll do it.

If not...well, we gave it a try, eh?

All the best,

Editor-in-Chief, Positive Feedback Online

CODA has promised both units to Larry...
Dave Clark, Editor

Dear Editor,
I have a question regarding the Meridan 588 CD-player. Till now Positive Feedback Magazine didn't review this machine. I don't want to discuss your review policy. I know you cannot review everything, but what I find curious is that also Stereophile, the Absolute Sound, Enjoy the Music & Soundstage didn't publish any reviews. Only a short one I found in Hifi News in the UK. Well Meridian is a leading firm in this field, so I would expect that magazines wants to publish a review. If you take a look at audio asylum most 588 owners are quite happy with the machine, is this just coincidence or...?

Best regards,