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You Need More
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Paradigm home
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VOL. 80, NO. 11
NOVEMBER 1996
system, page 76
l
THE EQUIPMENT AUTHORITY
FE \TERF.
Pass Labs Preamp
and Parasound
Three -Channel
PURE POWER: AMPLIFIER DESIGN
& SOUND QUALITY Tomlinson Holman
E(,)I
26
\T PROFILES
PARASOUND HCA-2003
THREE -CHANNEL AMP Daniel Kumin
DIGITAL PHASE AP -2.1 SPEAKER D. B. Keele, Jr.
32
42
MARANTZ DP870 DOLBY DIGITAL
SURROUND DECODER Edward J. Foster
PASS LABORATORIES ALEPH-P PREAMP Bascom H. King
52
60
Al- RICI.1
EOSONE MILLENNIUM
HOME THEATER SPEAKER SYSTEM Anthony Cordesman
70
PARADIGM MICRO/SB-90
HOME THEATER SPEAKER SYSTEM Corey Greenberg
I)
I'.
I'
1)IUI CTOI:Y
\ R T \I E \ ri S
FAST FORE -WORD Michael Riggs
LETTERS
WHAT'S NEW
AUDIOCLINIC Joseph Giovanelli
SPECTRUM Ivan Berger
MONDO AUDIO Ken Kessler
ROCK/POP
JAZZ & BLUES
DIGITAL INTERCONNECTS
14
18
22
KIMBER KABLE SPEAKER CABLES,
Biró digital
interface,
121'1..A1'13A(:k
98
104
108
Cover Photographer: Bill Kouirinis Studio
Cover Equipment: Pass Laboratories Aleph-P preamp and
Parasound HCA-2003 three -channel amp
Audio Publishing, Editorial, and Advertising Offices,
1633 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10019
Editorial E -Mail: audiomag@aol.com
Audit
Subscription Inquiries:
Phone, 303/604-1464; fax, 303/604-7455
82
94
8
10
BIRO t2c DIGITAL INTERFACE,
AND CASTLE ACOUSTICS ISIS
11V(:011I)1NGS
CLASSICAL
1)1)ENI)A
ANALOG INTERCONNECTS
SPEAKER
Bureau
Ma -anti
surround dec
page 52
76
120
page 120
FAST
FORE -WORD
AUDIO
EDITOR -IN -CHIEF
Michael Riggs
ART DIRECTOR
Cathy Cacchione
ast month's Annual Equipment
Directory proved an
embarrassment of riches. Although
we had anticipated some increase
in size over last year, based mainly
on the addition of cables to the
mix, we were not quite prepared for
the magnitude of that jump. Not only
did the cables section turn out to be
larger than expected, but there was a net
increase in the size of the rest of the
Directory, as well. The upshot is that part
of the cables section (analog and digital
interconnects) has spilled over into this
issue. Listings start on page 82. If you
need addresses or phone numbers for
any of the manufacturers, you'll find
them at the end of the main Directory
in the October issue.
Speaking of equipment, I just returned
from the CEDIA (Custom Electronic
Design and Installation Association)
convention in Dallas. As the name
implies, this event is oriented primarily
to the A/V custom -installation business,
but over the last few years it has become
an increasingly important showcase
for manufacturers of all types of audio
and video gear.
Not surprisingly, the single biggest
topic of conversation was DVD (which
was being demonstrated continuously
at the Toshiba booth). There have been
intensifying, off-the-record, "you didn't
hear it from me" rumblings in recent
weeks from various interested parties
that an agreement between hardware
vendors and the movie studios on copy
protection and other outstanding issues
is all but a done deal. I'm writing this in
the middle of September, which means
that if these rumors are true, DVD might
launch as early as November (Panasonic
already has announced that it will begin
selling players in Japan then), and with
l
a reasonable number of software titles
available to support the introduction.
It will be a relatively "soft" launch
compared to what was originally
anticipated, meaning that it won't reach
full thrust until early next year, but at
least the waiting will be over. Keep your
fingers crossed.
Meanwhile, the floodgates are about
to open on processors, preamps, and
receivers incorporating Dolby Digital
(AC -3) decoding, which should dovetail
nicely with the arrival of DVD. The main
reason is that the Motorola 56009
implementation of AC -3 decoding has
finally received Dolby's blessing. Quite
a few manufacturers seem to prefer
the Motorola DSP chip to the Zoran
processor that up until now has been
the only game in town. What I've heard
is that the Zoran chip, though perfectly
capable, is somewhat more finicky
and less flexible than the Motorola.
(Contrary to persistent hype, it's not
a question of performance.) In any event,
expect to see-and hear-a lot more
Dolby Digital in the coming year.
One last trend: I saw an unusual
number of intriguing small speakers
from companies like Energy and PSB.
This is a category that really has been
emancipated by the growing reliance on
subwoofers to handle deep bass. Expect
more on some of these diminutive
beauties in future issues.
ASSOCIATE ART DIRECTOR
Linda Zerella
SENIOR EDITOR
TECHNICAL EDITOR
Alan Lofjt
Ivan Berger
MANAGING EDITOR
Kay Blumenthal
ASSOCIATE MANAGING EDITORS
Douglas Hyde, Scott Van Camp
ASSISTANT EDITOR/MUSIC
Michael Bieber
ASSISTANT EDITOR/DIRECTORY
Gerald F. McCarthy
EDITOR -AT -LARGE
Corey Greenberg
SENIOR CONTRIBUTING EDITORS
Edward J. Foster, D. B. Keele, Jr., Edward M. Long
CONTRIBUTING EDITORS/ARTISTS
Edward Tatnall Canby, David L. Clark, Anthony H. Cordesman,
Ted Costa, John Diliberto, Frank Driggs, John Eargle,
D. W. Fostle, John Gatski, Joseph Giovanelli, Dawn Joniec,
Ken Kessler, Bascom H. King, Daniel Kumin, Robert Long,
Paul Moor, Jon W. Poses, Jon R. Sank, John Sunier,
Michael Tearson, Jon & Sally Tiven, Michael Wright
V.P./GROUP PUBLISHER
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PRODUCTION MANAGER Dana L. Rubin
PROMOTION COORDINATOR Adele Ferraioli-Kalter
RESEARCH MANAGER Dru Ann Love
OFFICE MANAGER Aline J. Pulley
OPERATIONS MANAGER Sylvia Correa
AD COORDINATOR Linda Neuweiler
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ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Penry Price
MIDWEST ADVERTISING MANAGER
312/923-4804
Jerry Stoeckigt
REGIONAL V.P./AD DIRECTOR, WEST COAST
213/954-4831
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213/954-4830
WESTERN MANAGER Paula Mayeri
NATIONAL RECORD LABEL SALES
212/490-1715
Mitch
Herskowitz
MAG Inc.
212/490-2079
Cara B. Bernstein
800/445-6066
CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING
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'Ines
CHAIRMAN Daniel Filipacchi
PRESIDENT, CEO, AND COO David J. Pecker
EXEC. V.P. AND EDITORIAL DIRECTOR
Jean-Louis Ginibre
PRES., HACHETTE FILIPACCHI NEW MEDIA
Paul De Benedictis
SR. V.P./DIR., CORP. SALES Nicholas I. Matarazzo
SR. V.P./GLOBAL ADV. Paul DuCharme
SR. V.P./CFO & TREASURER John T. O'Connor
SR. V.P./MFG. & DISTRIBUTION
Anthony R. Romano
V.P., GENERAL COUNSEL Catherine Flickinger
V.P., CIRCULATION David W. Leckey
V.P., RESEARCH & MKTG. SERVICES Susan Smollens
V.P., COMMUNICATIONS & SPECIAL PROJECTS
Keith Estabrook
V.P., MAGAZINE DEVELOPMENT Marcia Rubin
V.P., DIR., CREATIVE SERVICES, CORP. SALES
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V.P., FINANCIAL OPERATIONS Margaret Carroll
CREATIVE PRODUCTION DIR., GLOBAL MKTG.
Jean Pierre Labatut
SR. V.P./CORP. SALES, DETROIT H. E. (Bud) Allen
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
8
LEGATO LI nK COnVERSIOn S,
TWIn D/A COIVERTERS
AID A STABLE PLATTER flECHAflISf'i,
OIE THInG WAS fiIsSInG.
WE REALÍZED
THE RECORD BUTTOI.
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ay
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What lies beforeyou is the most refined,
illost sophisticated and most uncompromising idea to be thought of inyears, a CD
Slayer that records CDs, the Elite PDR-99.
A CD recorder engineered not only to record CDs,
Dill to play them hack with the highest standards possible.
A CD player that has Legato Link Conversion S. which
,ffectively rc creates the music as it was original coneived by the artist. The PDR-99 also has the extraordinary
ability to record from any source.
The Stable Plater le,hax,sm-another 5stoundini
advancement-helps tc. supo,ess reson.anc and vibrat_on
of the disc. This ensures more accurat, p.¿-yback and
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And yet, with all theseadvancements, the nest important
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BY PIO EER
also true that some things take a little
LETTERS
training before you can hear them easily.
That is why I suggested the use of earphones and some patience. I agree that
Do It Blind
clusions as bad for business, an embarrass-
even -order distortion (second, fourth, etc.)
is asymmetrical and will produce a different sound for positive and negative polari-
Dear Editor:
I salute you for your new policy of publishing full-length technical debates in your
ing family secret that one doesn't talk
ty. However, I have found that listeners
about, or, as a last resort, something to be
denied. I trust that Audio does not share
have more difficulty hearing the effects of
"Letters" section; it adds tremendously to
the appeal of Audio. I was dismayed, how-
that view.
ever, by the absence of something very basic
in the two exchanges of letters published in
the August issue. Neither the debate between Tony Federici of Mondial Designs
and your reviewer Ed Foster nor that between Keith Johnson of Reference Record-
ings and contributing editor D. W. Fostle
makes the slightest reference to doubleblind listening tests at matched levels. The
issue in both controversies is sound quality-the alleged "brightness" of the Aragon
8008ST amplifier or the alleged superiority
of HDCD sound to the sound of conventionally recorded CDs-so why is the obvious decision -making methodology treated
by these practitioners as if it didn't exist?
I am not referring exclusively to A/B/X
comparisons. That is probably the best protocol for listening tests, the one used in the
laboratory of The Audio Critic, but others
are also valid, such as the same/different
protocol, for example. There are only two
unbreakable rules: level matching (within
±0.1 dB) and no peeking (at the nameplates, that is, or any other clue). Everything
else-the duration, location, and pacing of
the test, the music system used, the program material, the switching mechanism,
the speed of switching, and so on-is negotiable. All objections-on the Internet or in
polarity reversal at loud levels (above 90 dB
SPL) than at lower levels. This is most like-
Peter Aczel
ly because of distortion in the ear. With a
Editor and Publisher
The Audio Critic
Quakertown, Pa.
stereo presentation over loudspeakers,
Polarity Pointers
many people hear a change in the depth of
the image-a center vocal being forward or
recessed, depending on the polarity. I hope
this clarifies things a little.-E.M.L.
Dear Editor:
Edward M. Long's interesting article on
The Plot Thickens
polarity reversal ("Upside Down Sound,"
July) could have been more complete by
giving readers some important background
information for a better perspective on this
controversial subject. New readers of Audio
might not know that it is easy to fool yourself into thinking that you "hear" ephemer-
al things like polarity effects, when it is
often just the power of suggestion. I have
been convinced that I heard polarity when
I could see the reversing switch positions,
but when I had another person operate the
switch, out of my view, I couldn't tell
which position sounded better. Of course,
some audio effects can still be heard, even
in blind tests, but you can't know whether
it is truly an audible effect or whether you
are simply fooling yourself unless you do a
blind comparison.
Also, the presence of about 1% second -
Dear Editor:
I applaud Edward M. Long's decision, in
his review of the Sonance DL1200 sub woofer (Audio, September) to show the
loudspeaker's phase response using a linear frequency plot. This enables you to
deduce group delay directly from the slope
of the phase plot. Group delay equals the
change in phase divided by the change in
frequency (actually, -AP/AF). Unless the
frequency axis is linear, you can't see or
calculate it from the phase plot. Group
delay that is constant with frequency is a
desirable characteristic for best transient
response.
Also, you can examine the phase intercept. This is where a line drawn tangent to
the slope of the phase plot at any frequen-
cy, when extended, intercepts the phase
axis at zero frequency. It is desirable for the
harmonic distortion in the loudspeakers
phase intercept to be 0° or 180n° (where
(quite common at high volume!) can artificially make polarity reversal audible. The
"n" is any integer). The worst value of
phase intercept is 90n°.
As D. B. Keele explained in his review of
the Optimus Pro LX5 loudspeaker (Audio,
April 1995), these factors help describe the
the subjective audiophile press-to this
more distortion, the more audible the
proven methodology have consisted of specious attacks on the negotiables. No one has
been able to explain what superior insights
are to be gained from mismatching the levels or peeking at the nameplates. I have noted numerous instances of false conclusions
resulting from levels mismatched by as little
as 0.3 to 0.4 dB. That kind of level disparity
change. But in the absence of such distor-
inversion that demonstrated otherwise.
Dan Shanefield
determine these parameters-a tedious
is experienced as a difference in quality
Piscataway, N.J.
May I also suggest extending the frequency axis down to 0 Hz to make the
tion, polarity reversal has always been completely inaudible on stereo music played over
speakers, which is what most of us listen to.
At least, I have never seen a published report
of a blind test of the audibility of polarity
rather than loudness.
A significant segment of the high -end
audio commmunity regards the doubleblind methodology and its objective con-
Author's Reply: I am aware that it is easy to
fool yourself into believing that you can
hear things that are not actually there. It is
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
10
transient response of a loudspeaker. Ever
since Audio's loudspeaker reviews began
reporting phase response, I have had to
manually replot the phase response to
and somewhat inaccurate procedure.
phase intercept easier to see.
John Sehring
via AOL
f
MovieWorics
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speaker system, which Audio magazine called "the
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The Center Speaker.
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Stereo Review -9/96
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FOLK (M5, M311, CS250S, PSW300)
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13i<JSTON ACOUSTICS (Micro90, 90X, 90C)
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CIRCLE NO. 7 ON READER SERVICE CARD
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Canada: 1.800-525-4434 www.hiri.com
Outside U.S. or Canada: 617-332-5936
lase idmbrNTe SoundWorks OCamtn dce Se'undWorks. Ensemble and The Surround are
ü -rko 'n. NJUeSlork ,o a trademark al Cambridge
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arc registered nademarb nl a @y
U. S.
oiler ends I II30-,6
VISA
WHAT'S NEW
Infinity
Speaker
Planar drivers (one
EMIM midrange and
two EMIT tweeters)
handle the frequencies
above 160 Hz in the
The Petrel's three drivers
are housed in a first -order
transmission -line enclosure
with an elastically
decoupled baffle. Its grille
is frameless. The crossover
Infinity Sigma speaker.
A 66 -inch mid -bass
coupler and 12 -inch woofer,
both with injection -molded
graphite cones, handle
the lower frequencies.
The enclosure, which has
gently curved side wings to
reduce diffraction, measures
58/., x 18z. x 16/., inches.
is mounted externally,
to reduce microphonic
effects. Available finishes
are rosewood, ash, and
ebony veneer. Price: $700.
Frequency response
is rated as 30 Hz to
42 kHz, ±2 dB; rated
sensitivity is 87 dB SPL
for a 2.83 -volt input; rated
impedance is 4 ohms.
Price: $10,000 per pair.
For literature, circle No. 102
For literature, circle No. 100
Kinetic Audio
Speaker
Drivers in the Labyrinth four-way
system are diagonally staggered
to prevent interference between
the wavefronts from the woofer
and mid/woofer, and the speakers
are supplied in mirror -imaged pairs.
The 12 -inch woofer and 11/6 -inch
dome tweeter use variations on
KLIPSCH
SPEAKERS
Horn loading, rare in satellite speakers,
transmission -line enclosures. Baffle
edges are chamfered to reduce
diffraction; all level controls
is common at Klipsch. The Rebel Series satellites
have horn -loaded tweeters mounted within their
woofer horns; sensitivity of the satellite is 93 dB
SPL at 1 meter for 1 watt. (A matching center
speaker is available.) The powered sub has
a 50 -watt high -current amplifier with full
crossover functions and automatic turn -on
and shutoff. The Rebel KSS-3 sub/sat system
has a rated frequency response
of 40 Hz to 20 kHz, ±3 dB. Price: $749.
For literature, circle No. 103
and fuse holders are at the
front, for easy access. Rated
frequency response is 18 Hz to
18 kHz, ±1.5 dB (±2.5 dB from 14 Hz
to 22 kHz), and rated sensitivity is
91 dB. Standard finishes are oak or
walnut; rosewood (shown) available
at extra cost. Price: $6,500 per pair;
bases, $250 per pair.
For literature, circle No. 101
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
12
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ESOTERICAUDIO USa
Group Of Companies
Esoteric Audio USA and
TIFF are -registered trademarks
of Esoteric Audio USA, inc.
44 Pearl Pentecost Road
Winder. Georgia 30680
(770) 867-6300
(770) 867-2713 fax
Scr,.n;íl,
/
CIRCLE NO. 55 ON FEADER SERVICE CARO
A
AUDIO CLINIC
JOSEPH GIOVANELLI
Power in and of itself does not tell us
anything about the sound of the am-
plifier. Making an amplifier or receiver
more powerful does not enhance its sound
until you reach a level where its extra power
is demanded. There's no reason a 100 -watt
Basic Terms
QThere is much I don't know about elec-
tronics. Would you explain the mean-
ing of MHz, kHz and ohms?-Richard
Zachary, Winooski, Vt.
(mA), which measure current, and voltages
measured in volts (V), millivolts (mV), and
microvolts (µV). These and other, less common, units are all named after early scientists, just as the ohm and the hertz are.
ATo understand either kHz or MHz,
you must first understand Hz. Waves
(radio, sound, ocean, etc.) move in cycles,
rising and falling before returning to their
starting point. The higher a wave's frequency, the more cycles it goes through per sec-
Tube Amps
With Hot Power Transformers
QI just obtained some 1955 tube power
amp should sound any better than a 10watter when both are actually delivering
only 7 watts.
An amplifier's sound is affected by a num-
ber of other factors that have nothing to do
with power. These include noise, distortion,
damping factor, and so on. The way an amp
or receiver handles the complex load pre-
amps whose power transformers get
sented by your speaker is a factor, too.
These factors can be affected by the qual-
ond. But rather than use those English
very hot (I've measured temperatures as high
as 140° F). As far as I can tell, the amplifiers
ity of components used, the design and
construction of the power supply, the
words or their local equivalents, the world
are not drawing excessive current, even
refers to cycles per second as "hertz," abbre-
though they're still using their original filter
capacitors. The labels on these amplifiers say
that they will operate safely at 50 Hz, which
amount and type of feedback, the class of
operation, and other design choices. Further, your perceptions of an amplifier's or
viated "Hz"; this is in honor of Heinrich
Hertz, a 19th -century physicist who researched the nature of radio waves.
Sound consists of air vibrations that occur between about 20 and 20,000 times per
second, the nominal limits of human hearing. The frequency range of sound is therefore 20 to 20,000 Hz. The latter is frequently abbreviated, however, by using the metric
prefix "kilo-," which means "times 1,000."
So the upper limit of audible sound is about
20 kilohertz, or 20 kHz for short.
Radio waves, which are repeating electromagnetic waves rather than air vibrations,
typically go up into the millions of hertz
and beyond. Thus, we use the prefix "mega"
(times 1 million), or "M" for short. An FM
station at 88.3 MHz is therefore broadcasting at a frequency of 88,300,000 cycles per
second. (Actually, if it's FM, its frequency
will deviate by about 200 kHz on each side
of that figure.)
would make their transformers run even
hotter! The power transformers in most
modern amplifiers don't run nearly this hot.
What do you think about all this?-Donald
Bisbee, Columbus, Ohio
AI think that the transformers of most
amps made in the '50s did run hot,
but they were designed to take this heat.
You say that the amplifiers are working
properly. Make sure that those old filter
capacitors are not themselves running
warm. That would be a sign of leakage,
which would add to the current drawn
from the power transformer. If these amps
have bias adjustments (which they
probably do), be sure they're set properly
Off -Speed Recordings?
QOver many years of collecting, I have
discovered that thousands of recordings
(LPs, cassettes, and even CDs) play either
sharp or flat in relation to A = 440 Hz and
that the running times I measure with a stop-
watch are often different from the timings
listed in the recording's notes. Why?-Ken
Smith, Hamilton, Ont., Canada
AThe discrepancies in running times
can have several causes. For one
High Quality, Low Power
Other units you're likely to run into in
audio are amperes (A) and milliamperes
nent's sound, they may enhance your enjoyment of it.
thing, the total running time of a recording
will exceed the sum of the tracks' individual
called megohms (Me), and thousandths of
an ohm are milliohms (mS2)-note the dis"m" (thousandths) prefixes!
design, finish, and reputation. Even if these
attributes don't actually enhance a compo-
much current. You should consider
electrical resistance, a property that opposes
the flow of electric current and turns it into
heat. Since "ohm" is a short word, it's usually spelled out, though sometimes symbolized
by the Greek letter omega (12). Thousands of
ohms are called kilohms (ka), millions are
tinction between the "M" (millions) and
pressions of such other attributes as size,
so that the output tubes don't draw too
replacing the grid -coupling capacitors on
the output stages of your amplifiers. If they
leak, the grids will be driven more positive
than they should, again forcing the output
tubes to draw too much current.
Many amplifiers of this vintage operate
in Class A, which maximizes output -stage
linearity but minimizes efficiency. Such
amps draw full current at idle, which also
helps keeps the transformers hot.
The ohm (named after Georg Ohm, an
even earlier physicist) is a measurement of
receiver's sound can be colored by your im-
QWhy do some high -end amplifiers with
low advertised power ratings sound
much better than lower -end amps that adver-
tise more power?-Name withheld
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
14
running times because of the pauses between tracks. But if the total running time is
stated and you measure a different total
time, there is a speed discrepancy.
If the discrepancy is always the same
(e.g., every LP you time runs, say, 6% slow
and every CD runs 2% fast), the problem
If you have a problem or question about audio,
write to Mr. Joseph Giovanelli at AUDIO Magazine, 1633 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10019, or
via e-mail at JOEGIO@delphi.com. All letters
are answered. In the event that your letter is chosen by Mr. Giovanelli to appear in Audioclinic,
please indicate if your name or address should
be withheld. Please enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope.
Every little bit
counts.
Introducing
Adcom's
In our never ending quest for
reproducing the fine quality of a
live performance, we took our award
winning and critically acclaimed
GCD-600 and made it a bit, actually
four bits, better.
We added the latest Burr Brown
20 -bit ladder -type D/A converter the same one used in our GDA-700
separate Digital -to -Analog converter. The result is
a level of sonic performance usually reserved for stand
alone D/A converters and C/D transports.
But that's not all we did. To achieve the lowest
levels of noise and distortion, our GCD-700's analog
section features the same Class A amplifiers we use in
with two transformers. One for
the analog section and one for
the digital section, each housed on
separate circuit board assemblies
to eliminate EMI and RF interference.
By now you're probably asking
yourself, "How good
does it really sound?"
Let your ears be the
judge. Visit your Adcom dealer for a
demonstration of this remarkable new
player. You'll discover that the new
GCD-700 sounds exceptional and is
sensibly priced. What else would you
expect from a component that is every
bit pure Adcom?
GCD-700
CD player.
our top -of -the -line GFP-565 preamplifier.
The GCD-700 also boasts a superior power supply
ADCOM
details you can hear
11 Elkins Road, East Brunswick, NJ 08816 U.S.A. (908) 390-1130 Distributed in Canada by Pro Acoustics, Inc. Montréal, Quebec (514) 344-1226
CIRCLE NO. 2 ON READER SERVICE CARD
© 1995 ADCOM
probably lies in your equipment. (Even
We have been conditioned to think that
cold, it will be flat. I have listened to a
quartz -lock speed controls don't guarantee
absolute speed accuracy.)
If the discrepancies vary-some recordings running slower than specified, some
faster-mastering errors may be the cause.
standard concert pitch is based on an A of
recording in which an orchestra and an organ had the same pitch at the beginning of
the piece but were a quarter tone apart by
its end, because the air around the orchestra
had heated up more than the air around the
It could be that a tape made on one deck
was played back for mastering on a deck
whose speed differed slightly or that a key
component, such as the turntable of the
instrument" recordings, may be pitched
lower, for a more authentic sound. And
many recordings may be pitched a little
high, to sound brighter. (Many musicians
record -cutting lathe, was running off speed.
But in my years as a record -mastering engi-
advocate using A = 442 Hz as a standard for
this reason.)
large, perhaps even insurmountable,
neer, I and every colleague I knew took
Even assuming the musicians used the
difficulties in the way of wiring surround
great pains to prevent such errors. When I
gave the client the total running time for a
440 -Hz standard, their pitch probably
speakers. The house is on a slab, which
won't be correct unless they tune up with a
tuning fork just before recording-and unless that tuning fork is correct. (Someone
eliminates the option of underfloor wiring
(and complicates undercarpet wire runs).
running time when he played it on properly
adjusted equipment. I have, however, heard
of a few cases where the original recording
once gave me a tuning fork that actually
stuffed with insulation (it took the DSS
rang at 442 Hz, not the 440 Hz stamped on
it. Had I used this fork in any of my live ses-
installer three days to run one cable through
was deliberately played a bit fast during
mastering so it would not run too long-I
sions, the overall pitch would have been
joists, and more insulation. I've seen
advertisements for wireless speakers;
recording, including silences, I knew that he
would come up with precisely the same
even had to do it myself once, when a client
insisted I fit his 61 -minute master onto a C60 cassette.
Pitch deviations from A = 440 Hz are not
necessarily related to speed discrepancies.
440 Hz. But pitch has varied (and still
varies) from place to place, and there has
been a gradual rise in pitch for over a century. Hence, old music, especially on "original
sharp.)
The temperature of the concert hall also
affects the pitch. The oboe is often used as a
organ!
Surround Without Wiring
Ql recently moved into a new home
whose layout and construction put
The ceilings are 9 feet high, and the walls are
one wall). The attic is a maze of beams,
although such speakers seem intended for
placement in other rooms, can't they be used
standard that other instruments are tuned
for the surround channels? And how good
to match. If we tune to an oboe and the hall
is hot, the pitch will be sharp; if the hall is
would wireless speakers be for surround? Can
Your
dad
better speakers be substituted for those
thinks YOU
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yourbuddies TxxNE:you oughtta come
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ANYBODY EVER ASK YOU WHAT YOU WANT TO DO?
If you're mechanically inclined, the Air Force could be the perfect place for you. Where else could you learn about Tactical
Aircraft Maintenance, Aerospace Propulsion, and everything in between while earning a good salary and learning to
included in wireless systems? Because my
primary interest is music, I am not willing to
recently been discontinued. The newer JBL
make too many sacrifices in the name of
surround sound (and my wife has a strong
transmitter, but its receivers and amps are
built into the speakers; again, however, this
say on ugly installations).-Wayne B.
system's speakers are not designed
Howard, Warner Robins, Ga.
ABefore you consider wireless systems,
specifically for surround use.
consider running the surround channel wiring along your walls' base
Mike and Mike-Preamp Noise
QMy mike mixer's rated equivalent input noise is -116 dBV. However, when
DAT recorder through an old Advent mike
preamplifier. I hear noise if I turn the gain
up all the way, but even though this music is
rather quiet and the ribbon mike's low output requires high gain settings, I don't hear
noise in playback.
Your gain settings can also be a factor. If
the noise you hear originates after the mike
stages, you can usually cure it by running
the master gain lower and opening up the
installations.
I connect mikes to this mixer, especially Neu-
mike inputs more. (But don't open up the
The little speakers that come with most
of the wireless systems I have heard just
mann U87s, I hear an unacceptable level of
noise. I didn't hear this noise when I was us-
don't do much. They're too small, and
their amplifiers have too little power to
give you all the bass you'll want. Aside
ing a Shure mixer. My present mixer has 1%
mike inputs to the point of overload.) Also,
I wonder if you hear more noise with your
Neumanns than with other mikes because
of an impedance problem. My Advent pre amps, quiet as they are, become noisy if fed
by high -impedance sources. See if you can
molding. This can work in many
from that, their overall sound can be quite
good. Also, I don't know of any that give
you the diffused sound you'd want from
surround speakers. And you cannot
substitute better speakers or amps.
The JBL SoundEffects system included a
transmitter and a matching receiver with
WRKW-1000 system has a similar
resistors, Mylar capacitors, and socketed
BA4560 op -amps. Is there a quieter op -amp I
could substitute-or better yet, that could directly replace the BA4560s? John R. Benham, Spokane, Wash.
AI don't know any suitable chips, but
Audio's readers may. Check semiconductor reference books and write to semiconductor makers for information.
line -level output, as well as a power
But unless you hear this noise in play-
amplifier designed to fit under the receiver.
These items were available separately but
may now be hard to find because they have
back of actual recordings, you can probably
ignore it. I make live choral and chamber
recordings with a ribbon mike feeding a
set the U87 mikes to a lower impedance;
that would load the input circuits of your
mixer, which should lower noise. I wonder
if you got better results with the Shure mixer because its inputs could be set to accept
high -impedance mikes.
And could it be that your mixer is quiet
but your mikes are noisy? The electronics in
condenser mikes like the Neumanns can
generate noise, especially as they age.
job0 at the airport.
WOrkat the gara
canhGü.,gQutWith t
workatthePl
.t
be a leader? If a mechanically oriented career is what you want, think about the Air Force. It's
one road that can take you anywhere. For more information about the United States Air Force,
am_
see your local recruiter or call 1 -800 -423 -USAF. Visit us at http://www.airforce.com
Aim High
ffilitC
A
bit. In a car, where woofers are small
and listeners sit close to them, this is
not a problem; in a ballroom, where
woofers are larger and listeners may
be 30 feet below, it is.
SPECTRUM
IVAN BERGER
INSIDE -OUT
COAXIAL
Eastern Acoustic Works, of
Whitinsville, Mass., says it
has solved these
problems by
The coaxial speakers we con-
sumers buy are usually for
cars. Their advantages include
low cost, easy installation, and
minimal lobing. Similar reasons account for coaxials' use
in large, distributed sound systems, such as those in ballroom ceilings.
Similarity, however, is not identity.
Ballroom speakers use horn tweeters,
which have higher output and higher
efficiency than the domes used in
car -sound coaxials. Most horns also
project the highs in an asymmetrical,
Two extra
e
`
drivers in
the horn's
throat
cancel throat
reflections.
turning
the coax inside
out. In its Model
CP621 Phase Aligned Array speaker, the tweeter horn is a
large, rounded hexagon for more
symmetrical treble dispersion. Six
51/4 -inch woofers around the rim of
the horn's flare couple together to
rectangular pattern, not the cir-
¡%'`
0
in Eastern
Acoustics
Works'
CP621,
the tweeter
horn has
six woofers
mounted
around its
flared rim.
rO
I
1
2
o
cular pattern projected by domes.
And the woofers'
directivities vary
0
r
!
1
O
1
_.
1
cóo
oo`......1
dle frequencies-should decrease
midrange beaming.
frequencies they
Two more 51/4 -inch drivers
mounted in the throat of the horn
around the room,
while the shorter waves of the
lower midrange
tend to beam a
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
18
apart that they don't couple at mid-
wavelength of the
er bass wavelengths spread
s._,,
tiple drivers-spaced far enough
according to the
handle: The long-
,1
provide the effective radiating diameter of a 21 -inch woofer; this makes
the low frequencies more directional. At the same time, the use of mul-
are used to cancel throat reflections
from the radially coupled woofers.
This technique helps optimize power
response below the crossover point.
A neat idea, but don't expect to see
it in car stereo: Each CP621 measures
about 2 feet square.
OUR CALLING
THE DISH NETWORK. WHERE
MORE ALWAYS COSTS LESS.
Somewhere in our Annual Equipment
Directory, in last month's issue, are some
errors. We don't know what they are, yet,
but we assume we made a few-we're human. And if you look real hard, you'll find
some errors made by the manufacturers
and importers who supplied the data. But
the only errors of that kind you'll find will
PER MONTH
S
9AMMIN?P'
be the ones we failed to catch.
Some errors, we cannot catch. For example, if a manufacturer says he has a 12 -inch
woofer when he meant to say 10 inches, or
At the DISH Network
we're selling our complete state-of-
his amp delivers 150 watts instead of the
you can get America's Top 40
130 he wrote down. But we do note a lot of
entries that strike us as errors-and that almost always are.
Take equalizers, for instance. Since the
audio band (20 Hz to 20 kHz) is about 10
octaves wide, multiplying the number of
equalizer bands by the width of each band
the-art 18" digital satellite system for
only $199 when you subscribe for a
year to America's Top 40 CD".
premium services like HBO and
A'S TOP 4
Showtimme at cable -busting rates, too.
VS. COMPARARU Pt
Cable just can't compete.
Average cable costs over $42 a month.
THE DISH NEIWORK WILL. SAVE YOU
With one phone call
channels,
$17 A MONTH OR OVER $200 A
YEAR. EVERY MONTH! EVERY YEAR!
including The Disney
So make the comparison
Channel, plus 30 channels of digital
music for $300 a year! That's just
$25 a month! And we offer all
eft 1ff ME IIITO
YOUR COMPLETE SYSTEM
AND A DER
YEAR OF PROGRAMMING CALL:
and then make the call. To the
Pam ~us _....t.m..
company where more will always
the multichannel
cost you less. The DISH Network.
Call Now. Limited Time Offer.
30 -day money back guaranee.
http://www.dishnernork.com
1 -800 -333 -DISH
should yield a result of about 10. An octave
equalizer usually has 10 bands, a third -oc-
;s
ÑETWÓRK
Nothing Else Compares`'
WHEN YOU PURCHASE
tave equalizer has 30 or 31 bands, and so
I YEAR OF AMERICA'S
TOP 40 CD.' FOR $300
on. A 10 -band, 'A -octave equalizer or a 31 -
band octave model could be built, but the
former couldn't cover the whole audio
band without gaps and the latter's overlapping bands would make it hard to set. So
when a few manufacturers gave us answers
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like those, we called for verification. The reply, each time, was "Oops!" Then there were
Beethoven was only 5'4:'
THE MISSING LENGTH
1,1111111:
r
The list of blank -cassette lengths has
just gotten shorter. Our Annual Equipment Directory lists no cassettes in 45 or 46 -minute lengths, though they were
quite popular some years ago.
---.
This should be no surprise. The demand for such cassettes came from people who wanted tapes just long enough
for copying LPs, most of which ran for
more than 30 but less than 45 minutes;
for that use, C-60 tapes seemed wasteful.
Today, when most recordings are CDs,
with a maximum length of 74 minutes
or so, it makes more sense to buy C-74,
C-75, or C-76 cassettes. Even so, only
It may be small. But the Bose® Acoustic Wave® music system is definitely an
overachiever. The unit features a compact disc player, an AM/FM radio, a handy
remote control, and our patented acoustic waveguide speaker technology. And it
produces a rich, natural sound quality comparable to audio systems costing
thousands of dollars. We know that's hard to believe. So we're ready to prove it.
Call or write now for our complimentary guide to this award -winning system.
Because, like the system itself, it's only available directly from Bose.
Call today. 1-800-898-BOSE, ext. A77.
two companies (Sony and Denon) listed
such tapes this year. The most popular
SW/81,M,
lengths are the traditional C-60, C-90,
Address
and C -120s.
Coy
1
Name (Please Print)
l
Daytime Telephone
State
zip
Or mail to: Bose Corporation. Dept. CDD-A77, The Mountain, Framingham, MA 01701-9168.
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
19
I
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Evening Telephone
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Better sound through research ®
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Pop -music stations of all types tend
to play best-selling records. (If the station's sufficiently uncreative, that's all it
will play.) Even the oldies stations play
the biggest hits of yore. But commercial
classical radio than buy classical CDs.
Tom Bartunek, of New York's WQXR,
added that CD listeners can skip tracks
they dislike, but FM listeners cannot.
Actually, they can-but only by switch-
classical stations do not.
Over the years, many classical stations
ing stations or turning the radio off,
have developed rules to keep listeners
both actions program directors are hired
to discourage. College and public radio
cause he didn't know just where they'd fit
in) or just what the product happens to be
for. If we're familiar enough with the product to spot the omission, we'll call and ask
for more details.
Frequently, companies give us informa-
tion that's correct but makes no sense to
anyone outside the company. When they
give us proprietary terminology, we'll usually ask them what it means and translate it.
If the BlowBox speaker enclosure turns out
from tuning else-
stations, whose rev-
where: no new music
or old recordings,
enues are less directly
to be a type of vented box, we'll list it as
"vented." Some manufacturers object, but
tied to the sizes of
we're actually doing them a favor: The peo-
nothing in a minor
their audiences, tend to
be more adventurous.
ple who already know what a BlowBox is
will know that's what we mean by "vented"
Anthony Rudel, of
SW Networks' syndi-
in that maker's listings; the people who
key (especially in the
morning), nothing on
odd (read: authentic
period) instruments,
nothing long, and absolutely no vocals.
The catch is that
much of this "forbidden" music sells very well. There seems
to be a boomlet in historical reissues
and in period -instrument recordings.
Many modern works are best sellers.
And vocals (choral, song, or operatic)
cated Classic FM, said,
"Buying a CD and lis-
tening to the radio are
two completely different things. Putting on a
CD at home is an active listening experience. People use the radio as an accompaniment to other activities."
album of the year has been a vocal.
In Billboard's August 10, 1996 issue,
Senior Writer Bradley Bambarger found
He has a point. And for each listener
there are probably some mixes of music
and activity that don't work well. I, for
example, cannot write or edit while listening to vocals, even if the language is
as incomprehensible as Uzbek to me.
But I can drive, swim, carpenter, and do
a lot of other things to vocals.
Yet I hope the sense of classical music's breadth doesn't get squeezed out of
FM. One of the most magical listening
that many classical -radio program di-
experiences of my life was hearing
rectors are aware of-and defend-this
Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra for the
first time, on a Pontiac car radio tuned
have claimed an increasing share of Bill-
board's annual Top Classical Albums
chart. In recent years, vocal recordings
have gone from one-third to two-thirds
of the top 15 albums. And for three
years straight, the top -selling classical
dichotomy. A few commented that pro-
gramming should not be shaped by
record sales, as far more people listen to
the companies that stated in one column
that their preamps handle only line -level
signals-but nevertheless gave specs for
MM or MC phono signal-to-noise ratio.
(And the ones that said a preamp handles
only phono signals yet has tone controls
and a tape monitor loop; that would be
to WQXR. How likely is someone to encounter that on radio today?
Companies give us wrong information
for a number of reasons. Sometimes they
misinterpret a question. Sometimes they
confuse one spec with another. Sometimes
they shoehorn the wrong spec in because
need to get information from those listings
the most are precisely the ones who won't
Q
know what a BlowBox is.
a
The fun and easy part of this is calling to
find out what a manufacturer intends when
his meaning isn't clear or his data seems er-
roneous. The newer and more innovative
call, because old descriptions don't quite fit 2.
new designs. Sometimes a manufacturer
will spend a while on the phone working
out just how to describe something novel;
it's then a challenge for us to boil it down to
as few words as possible.
The Directory keeps everyone here busy,
every summer. (No one at Audio ever gets a
summer vacation.) But it's important.
From now until next October, we'll be
among those looking things up in the Directory, too.
EVOCATIVE AUDIO
It's easy to think of home theater as a
video phenomenon. It's not.
It took multichannel sound to turn
plain video and TV into home theater. And
although today's movies integrate sound
and picture better than TV programs
(which are mainly illustrated radio), they
still depend on sound-especially musicfor their full effect.
pany to say it has a three-way crossover
product's specs and features aren't finalized
by our deadline, so the manufacturers give
us a few preliminary details or, in some cases, their best guesses.
We occasionally notice that a manufac-
make an experience come alive again than
even full -color moving images. I remember keeping photos of a woman who'd broken up with me but erasing all my tapes of
her voice. The photos were only artifacts
with one fixed crossover frequency. And so
on, category after category.
turer left important information out, such
as a product's unique features (usually be-
keeping); the voice was her.
headache. A typical error there is for a com-
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
20
w
the technology, the more likely we'll have to 11.
they don't have the right one. Often, a
possible but, again, darned unlikely.)
Crossover listings have always been a
á
And audio can sometimes do more to
(and her beauty made them well worth
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AUDIO
KEN KESSLER
Recently, I made the trip up to
Quad to speak with Ross Walker. The
subject? The continual sniping at
AUDIOPHILIA
ANTIQUARIUS
Quad because of the company's cur-
rent suspension of repairs to the
original Quad electrostatic loudspeaker. Quite simply, the diaphragms in the original Quad ESL
(1956-1981, R.I.P.) were treated with
a chemical no longer produced by
the original supplier; at the time of
writing, Quad is looking for alterna-
tives. Unfortunately for Quad, the
original ESL is one of the most cherished speakers of all time and devoted owners would rather give up mu-
sic than listen to anything else, so rt
there's a constant flood of elderly z
Quads in for servicing. And the owners can get a bit cranky if deprived of Ú
their beloved ESLs.
The nature of internet forums is 'f,
argumentative and too often based t
on supposition rather than fact.
One oft -repeated question is, "Why
doesn't Quad simply utilize the material from the current speaker?" After a few such missives were posted
on the Sound Practices forum
eeping tabs on the hi-fi "un -
derground" is much easier
when you're active in it. And
for 20 years my pet passion in
hi-fi has been collecting, refurbishing, and using vintage
audio gear, one of the sub -cults that
makes up hi-fi's underbelly. Which
means that I'm
(unashamedly)
typical of the
geeks ridiculed
A: Three. One to change the bulb
and two to argue about how much
better the old one was.
Naturally, vintage hi-fi enthusiasts
after a few glasses of wine, I'll repro-
aren't too popular with the manufacturers, who'd prefer it if you re-
he crafted for that particular forum:
freshed, upgraded, or simply updat-
For the last 40 years we have applied a mixture to the Mylar (treble)
and Saran (bass) diaphragms, which
was based on a compound made by
ICI (a large paint manufacturer) and
which worked well. This compound
is no longer made, and ICI will not
ed your system from time to time
with a new
purchase. But
there are some
WILL A
companies,
in the best of
FORD DEALER
most notably
the audiophile
CARRY PARTS
McIntosh and
"light bulb
Quad, that
FOR A '58 T -BIRD?
jokes." Substipositively reltute "hi-fi jourish the fact
nalist" for "authey have cusdiophile" and you have a gag for a tomers for life (many of whom won't
slightly different audience:
Q: How many audiophiles does it
take to change a light bulb?
(sound@mail.tpoint.net) regarding
the old Quads, I volunteered to present the questions directly to Ross
Walker, of Quad. Rather than quote
Ross, whose language can turn salty
outlive their purchases because
duce the salient points of the reply
make small quantities for use on
electrostatic loudspeakers. We now
have to find a new material that will
give the right resistivity and that does
not change significantly with temperature, humidity, or time. Most
materials that look promising tend to
change with one or more of these
Quad and McIntosh products are so
factors. The material has to have low
mass and be easy to apply to Mylar. It
reliable). It is, after all, a selling point
helps if it doesn't fall off. We now
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
22
have two interesting compounds that appear to have promise, but until we know
how they behave in the long term we have to
be cautious.
Of course we tried the ESL -63 diaphragm
coating, but that has a higher resistivity and
does not work adequately in the original
ESL. The 63 stator design is completely different, and it is not feasible to make original
ESL parts using 63 technology.
We are continuing to research new materials, and we will be successful. We just can't
say when. Quad has never promised to
supply parts for any
product for any
length of time, but we
reasonable prices) for a 1958 T -bird? What
would Jeep say if you were to ask them to
upgrade your 1989 Cherokee to 1996 specs?
Will Nikon convert your F2 into an F4?
Even better: Has Intel offered to upgrade
your 286 chip to a Pentium for a nominaland I mean nominal-fee?
Far be it for me to rail against self -abnegating customer support and upgrade pro-
offer support to our
ANY LP -12 TURNTABLE
limit on such availability. Linn, for example,
ALL THE WAY BACK
can and will update
TO 1972.
any LP -12 turntable,
going all the way
back to 1972, to cur-
and last manufac-
tured 15 years ago.
The fact that we are
try's arbitrary time
But how much further
and money to find a
solution is evidence
that Quad has a
strong commitment
to its customers.
than other consumer
,/
Every other manufac-
i
turer would tell you
to try to persuade customers to buy them
durables makers does
the hi-fi industry have
to go to make its customers feel that
money's worth?
them to as many manufacturers as you can
in other fields:
"Quad has never promised to supply
parts for any product for any length of
In addition to answering directly the
He's not kidding, either. A visit to the
factory reveals stocks of tubes for the old
ence the critically acclaimed realism
of Dolby® Digital AC -3n' Surround.
Through 1/31/97, you can take home
the same kind of excitement-plus big
savings-when you add AC -3 to your
new Yamaha home theater system.
Just buy either of our RX-V2090
or RX-V990 AC -3 -ready receivers-
add the DDP-1 AC -3 Surround
Processor-and get an instant $100
cash discount. Not to mention a
system that will change the way you
Quad II, bulbs for the Quad 33 preamp, ca-
questions about long-term ownership,
pacitors for the 303 power amp-all prod-
about obsolescence, and-though not stat-
ucts that never made it past 1980. I shudder
ed as such-about this industry's unique
position in producing the only consumer
to think how much that spares cache is
obsolescence. Although many would like to
processor isn't the only way to experi-
Take Ross Walker's points and apply
time, but we do try harder than most companies to offer support to our customers."
goods that are supposed to be immune to
Yamaha's flagship DSP-A3090
they've gotten their
by taking out the old ESL.
questions about the current state of Quad
ESL repairs, Ross also raised a number of
0
rent specifications.
spending time, effort,
precisely where to put
a 40 -year -old product
that needed servicing, and it would need a
lot of pushing and shoving to get it there.
The Quad ESL -63 continues in production,
and we do not have some devilish scheme
s
by date. I admire any company that carries
spare parts going back further than the five to -10 -year period that
seems to be the indus-
LINN WILL UPDATE
nal ESL was first manufactured 40 years ago
Saves You
grams that keep stuff alive way past the sell -
do try harder than
most companies to
customers. The origi-
Sounds Like A Million.
worth.
"The original ESL was first manufactured 40 years ago, and last manufactured
think that every hi-fi manufacturer drives
15 years ago, and the fact that we are spend-
around in a Lamborghini, checking the
ing time, effort, and money to find a solu-
time on a Patek Philippe and patting a bellyful of beluga caviar, a number have been
driven into nonprofitability by the unrealistic demands of consumers, who expect the
manufacturers to keep their amps or speakers or what have you working for decades
and for negligible fees. Or, to put it another
way, will a Ford dealer carry parts (and at
tion is evidence that Quad has a strong
commitment to its customers."
Again, irrefutable-unless you can name
another company in another field (or in hifi, for that matter) still reaching into its coffers to finance the sustenance of equipment
that went out of production before the CD
was launched.
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
23
listen to movies forever. For the dealer
nearest you, call 1-800-4 YAMAHA
or visit http://www.yamaha.com
YAMAHA DSP
Offer good at participating retailers
through 1/31/97. 01996 Yamaha Electronics
Corporation. USA. Dolby and AC -3 are trademarks
of Dolby laboratories Corporation. Yamaha Electronics
Caporauon.USA. PO. Box 6660, Rucn:i Park CA 90622
YAMAHA'
"The Quad ESL -63 continues in pro-
Thorens is still pestered for idler wheels for
duction, and we do not have some devilish
scheme to try to persuade customers to buy
them by taking out the old ESL."
Again, inarguable. If Quad wanted all of
its ESL owners to ditch their speakers in favor of the new model (now in its 15th year),
the company would have ceased repairing
the old model years ago.
Lest this appear like a love letter to Quad,
TD -124 turntables; Acoustic Research-
note that the same concerns apply to any
number of other companies old enough to
have equipment out in the field nearing its
parts backup? Are audiophiles as unreasonable as the manufacturers think they are?
One industry insider, who wishes to remain anonymous, told me that most of the
second, third, or even fourth decade of use.
which isn't even in the same state in which
it was established-probably gets the odd
request for AR turntable belts and AR -3A
tweeters [It does-Ed.]; and Revox probably has to maintain a stock of heads for G36
open -reel decks. But what is deemed rea-
sonable, when almost all other industries
have a single decade as a cutoff point for
major companies have a policy of holding
spares stock for up to five years. He was
speaking of his own employer, too. A competitor told me the same. And nobody says
a word when they find that, suddenly, his
19 -year -old cassette deck or receiver, which
he thoroughly abused in college and con-
tinued to use into his 30-something/40something years, is no longer serviceable. If,
on the other hand, a high -end manufacturer says that it no longer has parts for a component of similar age, suddenly that manufacturer is deemed a villain. How come?
Simple: The odds are that the high -end
preamp or speaker cost a lot more, so the
consumer feels entitled to a much longer af-
"remarkable"...
"flawless"... "astonisping
"a landmark"... "the best"
termarket service period. But again, this
doesn't wash with most other industries,
regardless of the price of the item. (We're
not talking about the one -to -three-year
.
CS3.6
CS.5
K ...one of the best speakers available at any
price-Thiel's full size CS.5.
-Tim Smart, Business Week, December 11, '95
«...the C53bs outperform every other
speaker I've heard in their price class...
a remarkable loudspeaker. »
-Robert Harley, Stereophile,
Vol. 17, No. 5, May '94
CS1.5
CS7
CC The CS1.5 is a landmark speaker of
the 1990s...an astonishing speaker. i,
CC Thiel's CS7 loudspeaker is
one of the finest sounding
-Sam Tellig, Stereophile, Vol. 17,
No. 8, August '94
loudspeakers that I have heard.»
-Anthony Cordesnan,
Audio, August '95
CS2 2
CC I think they are one of the
best, if not the best, performers
I have come across. 55
EXPECT MANUFACTURERS
TO KEEP AMPS
OR SPEAKERS
CS5i
GGA completely flawless design. 5,
-Nagashima,
-Andy Benham,
Hi Fi Choice/U.K.,
Winter '92/93
AUDIO CONSUMERS
WORKING FOR DECADES.
Stereo Sound/
Japan, Winter '93
row"
warrantees that come with most consumer
goods; the law protects you there, if only up
to a point.) Go on: price a replacement
front bumper for a 1968 E -Type Jag.
Companies like McIntosh, Linn, and
Quad are exceptional. But the rest do their
best to keep old gear alive. So if one day you
find that you can no longer buy a volume
Mir Aim,
From left to right: CS.5, CS2 2, CS6, CS5i, CS7,CS3.6, CS.S, SAE
Priced from $ 1,450 to $ 12,300 per pair. All are carefully -hand crafted in
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a
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number of years you've owned the product.
That's the real price you paid for all that enjoyment: pennies per day.
Then try to think of anything else that
gives you so much pleasure for so little outlay. And then give that preamp or turntable
or loudspeaker the honorable funeral it
deserves.
A
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
24
For well over 60 years, the name Tandberg has been associated with flawless, faithful sound mmproduction. Whether the
components were professional grade reel-to-reel tape recorders, audiophile -quality cassette decks or high -end electronics,
Tandberg invariably established new standa-ds of excellence.
The new 4000 Series continues this unbroken tradition. The unique, stackable, top -loading transport of the CD Player, the
Zara Negative Feedback and Discrete Class A circuitry of the Control and Power Amplifiers, the Dual Gate MOSFET and Class A
circuitry of the FM Tuner are packaged in a museum -grade, fully remote -controllable system as pleasing to use as it is to view.
Tandberg achieves the best of both wo-Ids by integrating old world craftsmanship, world class industrial design and the
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What keeps us in the foreground is our background.
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Much more than hi-fi.
CIRCLE NO. 31 ON READER SERVICE CARD
BY TOMLINSON HOLMAN
Nearly 10 years ago,
to pinpoint the cause. This is as it should
Stereo Review re-
be. Rather than attempting to "hear" a
measurement, it is better first to hear a
ported on a
4m1iflcr
csi
difference on a blind test and then find a
way to measure it. No matter how sincere
the intentions of the experimenter, seeing
listening
a measurement and then listening
can lead to the self-fulfilling
prophecy that the mea-
n
surement explains the
of a num-
listening results.
I would emphasize that many
amplifier listening tests lack the kinds
of experimental controls used in the Stereo
Review study. This makes it easy for the
scientifically oriented to dismiss the work
&und
Ual
test
ber of power
of others with "But did you employ the
amplifiers ("Do All
Amplifiers Sound the
proper experimental controls?" It is worth
noting, however, that crossover distortion
Same?", January 1987). The test
was carefully done, using double-blind
comparison, careful level matching, and
in transistor power amplifiers was first
other experimental controls. Perhaps
with early solid-state designs. It was only
oversimplified, the results were widely tak-
when an engineer measured the right
en to mean the author found that "all amplifiers sound alike."
characteristic (low-level distortion) that
this "new" distortion came to light and
Is that all there is to it? Is power amplifi-
was eliminated as a problem.
On the other hand, valuable as such listening can be, it also has its pitfalls. For ex-
discovered, I believe, 'not by an engineer
but by a listener who heard a problem
er design at such an advanced state that
amplifiers indeed do sound alike? Or, if
they can sound alike under certain prescribed conditions, are there other potentially relevant conditions under which
ample, it has repeatedly been shown that
even small level differences can influence
the outcomes of listening comparisons,
they do not? And in that case, what criteria
should be used to distinguish them?
In the intervening 10 years, I have deter-
with the slightly louder amplifier winning.
So, in order to keep the playing field level,
volume differences must first be eliminat-
mined that many amplifiers may in fact
sound alike under certain circum-
ed. Then, of course, the A/B comparison
switching must be shown to be adequately
transparent on its own, and other experimental controls, such as blind listening
stances-but under other conditions,
many do not, and for a variety of reasons.
Many of these characteristics were first
discovered through listening, and those
discoveries verified by controlled listening
tests, before a laboratory test was devised
protocols, must be incorporated to exclude other extraneous factors that might
bias the results. Controlled listening comparisons serve as a check, validating obser-
Tomlinson Holman is the President of TMH Corporation. He is a Fellow of the
AES for contributions to amplifier design" and editor of the forthcoming two volume AES Anthology on Amplifiers.
PHOTOGRAPH: ©1996 LEE FRIEDMAN/GRAPHISTOCK
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
26
vations of genuine sonic effects while
times called phase) correct-by matching
speaker wiring across channels, for example-it has also been demonstrated conclu-
world loads. Such effects, when they exist,
are usually caused by interactions between
the amplifier's output network and the impedances of the cables and loudspeakers.
Most amplifiers have networks of resistors,
inductors, or capacitors between the output
devices and the loudspeaker terminals. The
network isolates the output stage from the
direct effects of the wide variety of impedances that could be connected to the amp.
sively that the absolute polarity of some sig-
For example, if an especially capacitive
nals is audible. This means that a positive
variation in air pressure (compression) due
to sound at the source should be represented by a positive variation from the loudspeaker. Since the entire record/playback
chain from microphone to loudspeaker is
speaker cable were to be connected directly
to the output devices, with no intervening
network, the amplifier could oscillate. Such
oscillation usually is ultrasonic, so it's rarely
culling out spurious ones that would be a
ations, protection -circuit misbehavior, output power into real speaker loads, behavior
waste of time to investigate further.
when clipped by asymmetrical signals,
With those details out of the way, here
are seven factors that have proven to have
audible consequences or that there is good
reason to believe would influence sound
quality under some conditions. They are:
high -frequency distortion, and noise.
ABSOLUTE POLARITY: While most everyone involved in audio knows about the requirement to keep relative polarity (some-
absolute polarity, frequency -response vari-
usually undefined for any individual
recording, chances are probably about
50/50 that any particular recording has cor-
FIG. 1-A
PROTECTION -CIRCUIT
"SPIKE- ON THE WAVEFORM
(UPPER LEFT) AND THE RESULTING
VOLTAGE/CURRENT EXCURSION
ACROSS THE SAFE OPERATING AREA
OF ONE-HALF THE AMPLIFIERS
OUTPUT STAGE (LOWER RIGHT):
SEE TEXT. SAFE AREA SCALE:
10 VOLTS PER DIVISION, HORIZONTAL;
5 AMPERES PER DIVISION, VERTICAL.
rect polarity (assuming that the recording
can meaningfully be said to have a specific
polarity). So the polarity -inversion switch
on some preamplifiers might be useful. (If
your system lacks this feature, a four -pole,
double -throw switch can be wired between
your amplifier and the loudspeakers to flip
the polarity of both speakers at once. For a
wiring diagram, see "Upside -Down
Sound," July 1996.)
Changes in absolute polarity are not, by
any means, audible on all recordings for all
listeners, but they are audible on some
recordings for some listeners. The reason is
that the ear is not equally responsive to positive and negative sound pressures. (The effects of polarity have actually been known
for years: In the 1950s, the Todd -AO sound
studio checked the absolute polarity of its
film sound systems from microphone
through to loudspeaker.)
Amplifiers, preamps, and other audio
components can invert polarity; an even
number of inversions (as when the power
amp and preamp both invert) will cancel
out, and a system that does invert polarity
can be corrected simply by swapping each
speaker's positive and negative wires. But if
an inverting amp is substituted for a noninverting one, or vice versa, the change may
be audible on that account.
FIG. 2-
PROTECTION -CIRCUIT SPIKES
IN TWO OTHER POWER AMPLIFIERS.
audible, but it may burn out tweeters and
possibly destroy the amp.
The output -isolation networks, on the
other hand, can readily have audible effects,
given all the possible cable and loudspeaker
combinations that an amplifier may face.
The potential for significant impedance interactions between amplifier output and
loudspeaker can be evaluated via an amplifier's high -frequency damping factor, but
few amplifier makers list this specification.
Damping factor is the ratio of the amplifi-
er's output impedance to a standard load
impedance. The higher its broadband
damping factor (not just its low -frequency
damping factor), and thus the lower its output impedance, the better an amp can drive
a wide range of load impedances without
variation of its frequency response. This
can be very significant in some instances,
since an amplifier's frequency response at
the loudspeaker terminals is a critical deter-
minant of its sonic performance. Even a
0.5 -dB response difference over an octave
or two will be clearly audible. An amplifier
with a damping factor that does not remain
high across the full audio band is more like-
ly to exhibit such load -induced response
deviations than one whose damping factor
does remain high.
PROTECTION -CIRCUIT MISBEHAVIOR: For
several years, I have been a judge in an amateur loudspeaker design contest (nowadays
held by Brian Smith, at Just Speakers, in
Concord, California). Since the designs of
these speakers are not constrained by mar-
FREQUENCY -RESPONSE VARIATIONS:
ketability, some can present a tortuous load
While most amplifiers have almost perfectly flat response when feeding purely resistive loads, frequency -response variations
known amplifiers have simply not been able
can occur when feeding complex, real AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
28
impedance to an amplifier; some wellto drive them properly. If the combination
of output voltage and current required to
drive the load with the signal exceeds an
amplifier's "safe -area capability," the amp
has no alternative but to behave very badly-
chopping up the waveform, for instance,
sometimes at levels that are not very high.
Anyone can easily hear when this happens!
An amplifier's "safe operating area"
(SOA) is defined by the voltage and current
limitations of its output stage. When these
limits are exceeded, catastrophic failure
may occur if the amplifier does not protect
itself by limiting the signal or shutting itself
off. Protection circuits usually operate by
ducing simultaneous high voltage and high
current in the output transistors (90 volts at
15 amperes!). Few output transistors will
tolerate this for long. Figure 2 shows similar
behavior in other amplifiers, each playing
into a loudspeaker load.
One way to resolve this problem, often
adopted in high -end amplifiers, is simply to
put in so many output transistors that protection (other than fuses) is unneeded. But
as Paul Klipsch once told me, "Engineering
Not all amplifiers sound the same when
clipped. Some amplifiers, for example, have
relatively soft clipping characteristics, with
is doing for a dollar what everybody else
sonable at first glance, but, since music is all
over the map dynamically and loudspeaker
sensitivities also cover a wide range, it is
nearly impossible to say that an amplifier
will never be clipped during its lifetime of
playing music.
monitoring output voltage and current
while the amplifier plays, then taking remedial action if either of these parameters goes
beyond the safe operating area.
The difficulty comes in defining what remedial action to take. Many protection cir-
cuits, when activated, cut off the
drive current to the amplifier's output
GIs
distortion rising gradually as the amp's
power limits are reached and exceeded; other amplifiers tend to have lower distortion
before the clipping point but a much faster
rise in distortion above that.
One limitation of the 1987 amplifier listening test was that the amplifiers were nev-
er overloaded, or clipped. This seems rea-
It is, however, obvious that the more
powerful an amplifier, the less often it will
..
preferable to
C«
first hear a
be driven into clipping. If your room,
speaker sensitivity, and listening preferences lead you to clip a 100 -watt amplifier
from time to time, you'll hear less clipping
from a 200 -watt amp, less still from a 400watter, and so on. Having adequate power
difference on
to avoid clipping is certainly important.
stage. How-
ever, suppose this
happens just as one half of an
amplifier's complementary output
stage is feeding current to an inductive
speaker load. An inductor's fundamental
a blind test,
thn find a way'
to measure ifi/A
This can become prohibitively costly, however, especially if the amplifier is overdesigned to achieve it.
1
In this respect, optimal design depends
greatly on the speaker loads the amplifier
will be required to drive. For years, amplifier designers concentrated on output power
property is that it opposes changes in cur-
ratings into standardized load resistors (8
rent (a capacitor, by contrast, opposes
ohms, 4 ohms, and so on). Yet speaker loads
changes in voltage). The protection circuit
cuts off the relatively small output -stage
drive current in order to get the high current from the output stage to immediately
stop flowing into the inductive speaker
load. But since the inductive load opposes
changes in current flow, the current will
does for five." So, while piling on the out-
put devices does keep the output stage
within its safe area by brute force, that solu-
tion seems inherently inelegant. A better
approach is to put in a more than adequate
the voltage along with it. Depending on
where the current is coming from, this
number of output transistors to enlarge the
safe area and to disconnect the loudspeaker
from the amplifier with a relay when that
wide safe area is exceeded. This way, you
could destroy the amplifier-the very
know that there is no intermediate state
mechanism set in place to protect the amplifier could be its undoing.
where the protection circuit is affecting the
sound in any way or making the amplifier
Figure 1 shows just such an event. At the
upper left is a sine wave with a voltage spike
caused by an amplifier protection circuit's
less reliable.
continue to flow for a short while, dragging
attempt to shut the amp down. The lower
half shows the safe area of one-half of the
amplifier (the other half is symmetrical to
it). The brief excursion way over to the
right is the protection -circuit spike, pro-
OUTPUT LIMITING: When an amplifier is
called on to provide more voltage or current than it can deliver, it will clip (flatten)
the top and bottom of the waveform. Distortion is high at an amplifier's clipping
point and increases rapidly at power levels
above clipping.
are not resistors and can require substantially more current than their nominal impedance ratings and Ohm's Law would suggest. So, in recent times, concern has shifted
increasingly to having adequate current ca-
pability. Unfortunately, I believe the emphasis has now swung too far in this direction. If an amplifier's current capability is
translated into doubling of the power output as the load resistance is halved (e.g., 100
watts into 8 ohms becomes 200 into 4
ohms and 400 watts into 2 ohms), users
with speakers approximating an 8 -ohm impedance are underutilizing the amp's capability. The output transformers on tube amplifiers provided a way around this: Taps on
the transformer optimized the amplifier's
current -to -voltage ratio for the nominal
impedance of the speaker. Hardly any solidstate amplifiers have such a capability, how-
ever, with such exceptions as some Mcln-
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
29
tosh models using output autoformers
(one -winding transformers) and my own
Apt One (whose power transformer could
be switched to produce higher current for
low -impedance loads or higher voltage for
high -impedance speakers).
FIG. 3-VOLT-AMPERE PLOT
FOR ONE-HALF THE OUTPUT STAGE
OF A POWER AMPLIFIER PLAYING
COMPRESSED FM MUSIC INTO
A HIGH -QUALITY LOUDSPEAKER OVER
A PERIOD OF TIME. VOLTAGE ACROSS
THE OUTPUT STAGE IS HORIZONTAL,
CURRENT VERTICAL.
Current Limit
t
Power Limit
Voltage
Limit
VFIG. 4-THE SHAPE OF A TYPICAL
VOLT-AMPERE SAFE AREA OF AN
AMPLIFIER OUTPUT STAGE. THE
LIMITS CHANGE WITH TEMPERATURE
AND PERCENTAGE OF TIME SPENT IN
EACH REGION.
The ability to drive the actual load impedance of a loudspeaker on real signals I
call an amplifier's "elbow room." The reason can be seen in Fig. 3, which shows the
excursions caused by a highly compressed
FM radio signal into the safe area in onehalf of a power amplifier output stage driving a high -quality loudspeaker. Note that
the maximum envelope of the excursions'
forms a more or less straight line, from upper left (high current) to lower right (high
voltage). The amplifier is not clipping, but
it is playing at a fairly high level. The point
at which this envelope intersects the ampli-
CLIPPED WAVEFORM. CLIPPING
OF JUST THE BOTTOM OF THE
WAVEFORM LEADS THIS AMPLIFIER
TO THE DISTURBANCE IN ITS
BASELINE FOLLOWING THE CLIP.
output case, but the output stage has to
drop the "other" half of the voltage, and the
combination of voltage and current results
in real power being dissipated inside the
amplifier-it gets hot. This is another way
to look at the amplifier's safe area.
Now, if instead of Class AB, other classes
of operation, such as Class G, are used,
which effectively vary the supply voltage
with the signal demand, more efficient operation becomes possible and internal dissipation is reduced. This is what makes prac-
fier's safe area curve (of the shape shown in
Fig. 4) is not at either extreme, but rather in
the middle. Thus, the most relevant consideration is not the maximum voltage output
tical some contemporary high-powered
(the basis of conventional 8 -ohm power
ratings) or the maximum current output
(which might be an additional specification), but the power that the amplifier can
dissipate internally (not the power -output
weight what a couple of years ago was only
a two -channel model.
rating). And the power amplifier specification that best correlates with this capability
not in the category of high audibility, amplifier misbehavior on asymmetrical signals
can be very significant, if only because it
can cause loudspeakers to break. Figure 5
is probably an unexpected one: All other
things being equal (such as class of amplification), it is the weight of the amplifier that
matters most! That's because a more massive heat sink can support greater power
dissipation through the output transistors.
But note that the strongest correlation to
weight in Audio's Annual Equipment Directory (October) is price.
One way around the problem of having
to dissipate so much power in the amplifier
in order to properly supply the load is more
efficient amplification. Most audio ampli-
five -channel receivers, which could not otherwise dissipate enough power within their
chassis to deliver in the same space and
CLIPPING BEHAVIOR ON ASYMMETRICAL
SIGNALS: Audio signals are often asymmet-
rical, but virtually no test signals are. While
shows what happens when a power amplifier is clipped on only one side of the wave-
form, which could occur with a piano
waveform, or speech, for instance. The vertical displacement of the signal and long recovery time after the clip are evidence of a
problem. This would cause the connected
woofer cone to be pushed out of its box and
possibly damaged. I learned about this from
a studio application where the user could
see there was a problem that was causing his
fiers are Class AB, in which two output
monitors to break. Although the loud-
halves alternately share the duty of driving
the load, with a small, constant bias current
to stitch the two halves together without ex-
speaker would usually get blamed for failure, in this instance it was a power amplifier
flaw that caused the loudspeaker to fail.
The defect was a result of coupling capacitors located where they could take on
cessive distortion around the crossover.
FIG. 5-AN ASYMMETRICALLY
sistive), but this is potentially not the hardest signal to handle, because it means that
there is little drop across the output transistors and so not much resulting power dissipation at that instant. A more difficult situation is the intermediate case, where, say,
half of the rail voltage has to be supplied.
The current will be lower than in the full -
They have more or less fixed power supply
rails. The output stage acts as a kind of variable gate between the power supply and the
load, and it must dissipate the difference
between the two. At the instant of a high
output voltage, there may also be a high
output current (if the load is primarily reAUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
30
the wrong charge during clipping and
would have to "re -equilibrate" after the clip
by charging to a new condition. The remedy for this is to not use coupling capacitors
between amplifier stages and to use a DC
servo around the amplifier to reduce out-
put offset voltage, rather than a coupling
HIGH -FREQUENCY DISTORTION: Ampli-
sistor. One way it can be overcome is by using a cascode connection of two transistors
"stacked." In this configuration, the output
fiers tend to distort more at high frequen-
is better isolated from the input of the
cies, largely because their feedback typically
stage, with less effect as the output swings
falls as frequency goes up (and as the circuit's innate distortion is rising). Above 10
kHz or so, harmonic distortion measurements are poor indicators of audible problems, since the harmonics are ultrasonic.
But another type of distortion, difference tone intermodulation, can be plainly audible at high frequencies if it becomes great
enough. Difference -tone IM is measured
across a wide voltage range.
capacitor to break the feedback loop at DC.
using two high -frequency tones, such as 19
and 20 kHz. If the amplifier is nonlinear, it
will produce a 1 -kHz difference tone from
these two high -frequency signals; since the
high -frequency tones provide no psychoacoustic masking at 1 kHz, the 1 -kHz tone is
audible, whereas simple harmonic distortion from these tones would not be.
Music rarely includes two high -frequen-
cy tones that aren't harmonically related,
but music signals approximating the characteristics of noise are possible. So a more
relevant test might be to drive an amplifier
with audio -band noise from which a portion of the spectrum, such as the midrange,
has been filtered, to see how much of the filtered frequency region is filled in by distortion products generated within the amplifi-
er. This is a test that potentially could
correlate well with listening and that would
exercise more distortion mechanisms than
simple THD or intermodulation tests. Since
no one currently performs such a test, however, high -frequency THD should still be
given some weight; it probably does corre-
late with performance on the noise test,
even if it's not directly audible.
There are at least four primary sources of
distortion that lead to performance that, if
not audibly degraded, is at least not exemplary, and that perhaps could be shown to
be audible in some instances by the noise
test. One is the basic open -loop distortion,
reduced by feedback, but nonetheless present and often dominant. Although all am-
Another source of distortion is lack of
drive capability for the output stage. This
may happen in both bipolar- and FET-output amplifiers but is a likely culprit in the
case of the FET output type. Although the
output stage's FET has a very high input
impedance at low frequencies, the impedance is capacitive, and so it falls dramatically with increasing frequency. Unless enough
drive current is available to charge the capacitance, distortion will result.
afe area"
refers to the
IIowable voltage
ti
excursions in
tan amplifier'
woofer/satellite systems is fairly high by the
standards of traditional wideband speakers.
These conditions conspire to make amplifier
noise audible at levels that previously would
have been inaudible.
Any of the seven factors described above
could be involved in producing audible differences among power amplifiers. Although
we may be at the state where, with good
amplifiers driving loads within their capability on controlled program material, they
can indeed achieve audible transparency
(and thus sound the same at matched levels), that does not mean that power amplifier design is over. By expanding
the range of program material, test signals,
and loud-
speaker and
cable load impedance variations, the potential
for audible misbehavior is increased.
output stage.
While not all of the amplifier design failings
discussed have been shown to produce effects that are directly audible, and some will
be relevant only at elevated signal levels or
under otherwise unusual or difficult condi-
A third source is the quality of the amplifier's global feedback resistor. Since there is
a very high voltage swing across this resistor
in high -power amplifiers, any variation in
tions, they still require consideration by
its resistance with voltage causes corresponding gain changes with voltage, which
is another definition for distortion.
The fourth source of distortion is magnetic fields resulting from the high currents
in the wiring and printed circuit board
traces. The power -supply lead wires carry
mechanisms, often the high -voltage -gain
current for only half of the signal (for a
second stage in power amplifiers is the
positive supply, for example) and create a
corresponding "half -wave" magnetic field
around them. If the magnetic field is intercepted by circuit -board traces, harmonic
distortion may be added to the signal.
collector -base junction of the primary tran-
tivity for the satellite portion of sub-
and went
plifier stages have their own distortion
main source. Here it arises because of the
high voltage swing on the output "talking
back" to the input of the stage across the
NOISE: Audible noise, usually in the form
of hiss, although very low in many power
amplifiers, has come into increasing prominence today. The reason is that there are
commonly more amplifier channels in use
than ever before, as multichannel audio becomes widespread, and loudspeaker sensi-
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
31
anyone seeking a consistently high level of
sound quality.
Audio amplifier design seems to follow
fashion. A few years ago, it was transient intermodulation distortion (TIM) that was in
fashion; today "retro" audio, in the form of
low -power tube amplifiers, is making a
comeback in the high end. These trends
seem to be supported by the inability of the
marketplace to absorb more than one idea
at a time. In truth, however, amplifier design is always a balancing act, with a great
many factors involved. Real but frequently
overlooked design problems can affect both
audible performance and reliability under
realistic operating conditions.
A
der such conditions the left/right channels
of the three -channel amp will need all the
headroom and power of an equivalently ex-
EQUIPMENT PROFILE
DANIEL KUMIN
cellent stereo model.
This would appear to be much the idea
PARASOUND
HCA-2003
THREE -CHANNEL AMP
behind Parasound's HCA-2003, the latest of
the San Francisco firm's High -Current Amplifier series, with its three 200 -watt channels. Like many of Parasound's recent models, the 2003 was designed by John Curl, one
of the godfathers of modern wideband amplifier engineering. The amp meets Lucas film's Home THX criteria for power amplifiers and is so certified, and it is specified as
delivering 300 watts per channel into 4
ohms and as having a peak current capacity of 60 amperes per channel.
The manufacturer lists a number of the
2003's technical high points, among which
are: independent power supplies for each
channel via a common, 1.2-kVA power
transformer equipped with separate windings for each channel; 90,000 microfarads
of "computer -grade" supply filtering; separately regulated driver -stage power supplies; and "hand-picked," complementary
MOS-FET high -voltage drivers.
The Parasound's output devices are 12
complementary pairs of beta -matched, 50 MHz, 15 -ampere transistors; these are direct -coupled to the load without benefit of
any LCR output networks; "linear -tracking,
instantaneous -acting DC servos" perform
Ten years ago a three -channel ampli-
fier might have seemed about as
useful to the average audio fan as a
three-legged hog (the wonderful
joke regarding which will have to
appear another time). Today, however, as most anyone who has visited a hi-fi
shop or read an audio (or Audio) magazine
in the past decade can testify, three -channel
amps make perfect sense. Take one highperformance, separates -based stereo system, add a three -channel amplifier, mix in
Dolby Pro Logic (or Dolby Digital) processing and a few new loudspeakers, and you've
made the transition to surround -sound
home theater.
The obvious way to deploy such an item
is in driving the "front stage" of a home
theater-that is, the left/center/right speaker trio that delivers about 85% of home theater's acoustic goods. A typical installation
will relegate the pre-existing (and presumably lower -power amp) to surround -channel ("rear") duty. However, a three -up amp
might just as easily drive center and surround speakers in conjunction with a stereo
model or surround and subwoofer with another three -by; you might even buy a three -
channel amp to power a stereo -and -sub woofer loudspeaker array, with no thought
to surround.
But it seems self-evident that most three channel jobs are destined for the L/C/R triumvirate. A factor easily overlooked in such
cases is the excellent chance that, no matter
how elaborate the home theater system in
which it finds itself, the amplifier will spend
a good portion of its life reproducing plain vanilla stereo (and even mono) from non -
Dolby and classic films, "regular" TV
broadcasts, and, of course, stereo music
recordings with no surround encoding. Un-
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
32
DC guard duty. Parasound says the input
stage is a cascode Class -A circuit, using
matched, complementary J-FET pairs, and
the company specifies overall operation as
"high -bias" Class A/AB. This indicates a
substantial zone of Class -A operation,
Rated Continuous Power Output, 20
Hz to 20 kHz, All Channels Driven:
8 -ohm loads, 200 watts x 3; 4 -ohm
loads, 300 watts x 3.
Rated Distortion: Less than 0.05%
THD at full power, less than 0.006%
THD at typical levels.
Dimensions: 19 in. W x 7 in. H x 16 in.
D (48.3 cm x 17.8 cm x 40.6 cm);
height with feet, 7% in. (19.4 cm).
Weight: 54 lbs. (24.5 kg).
Price: $1,650.
Company Address: 950 Battery St., San
Francisco, Cal. 94111; 415/397-7100.
For literature, circle No. 90
Get a bigger rush from your music. Only Sony
headphones can capture the spirit and sound of the
original recording. That's because no one knows
more about sound reproduction than we do. And
no one applies that technology to headphones better. We make more headphones than any other
manufacturer-frgm noise cancellation to wireless.
There's only one way to make your favorite rock
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01996 Sony Electronics Inc. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission isproirityted. All rights reserved. Sony is a trademark of Sony. http:/www.sony.com
easy for a reasonably fit individual
Parasound HCA-2003 - Free only Response at 1 Watt (3 channel.)
+1
l
l
to move the Parasound amp
Ap
llll
around without a subsequent call
to the osteopath. The whole busi-
CHANNEL I
o
CHANNELS 2 AND 3
ness is painted in basic audio
2
-3
4
Ik
100
10
10k
IOOk 200k
FREQUENCY - Hz
Fig. 1-Frequency
response.
Fanaowtl HCA.2003 -CR BaVaMbn 0Ia(cR 2-1, s1, 2-3. 612); eoha
- 60
Ap
-65
co
o
coilpo
úv o.
17entr
9/0 a:Vat
Y
It also
grade F.on of to revealed
a
parts didroügh,, P`9Uali
cons¡d
black-once again, not fancy, but
professionally applied. And I applaud the use of high -visibility
white for the rear -panel lettering,
applied in d' bypass
even though the front gets higher class (but less legible) gold -toned
graphics; now, that's thinking.
Front -panel features are limited
to a heavy rocker switch for power
and five LEDs. One LED glows red
for power -on and standby modes,
Construction lookec3,U er-cost
main circuit boards are Used in
p e Parts Wier_
components a pass Ps, my o
see
noncritical am. in 4) rcol:Uin
tions-eminently'nd lots ve been
'oca -
automatically switching to green
about 6 seconds after a cold start,
-70
as circuits stabilize. Across the way
is a trio of red LEDs, marked "Current Overload," one for each channel. The manual says that these "in-
1
ú -80
-85
dicate overload of the power
3 TO 1
-90
20
100
10k 20k
Ik
supply just before the onset of audible distortion. .in virtually all
.
FREQUENCY - Hz
listening situations, these LEDs will
Fig. 2-Channel separation.
rarely illuminate." Parasound was
I WAS QUITE IMPRESSED
as good as its word: In all my listen-
BY THE HCA-2003'S
111111 111!!!li
ing, none of the three so much as
glimmered. Later, on the bench, I
EFFORTLESS CAPABILITY
-130
111111II111IIIIIIII111!!!! 1111III1
found out why: Even when the amp
- 140
.III11IECÍli111iIIIIII 11111111
was driven into long-term voltage
-150 1111111111111111111111111111 111111111
clipping that virtually turned the
Parasound HCA-2003 - 113 -octave Noise 100w¡
-110
- 120
11111IIn
20
100
1k
10k
100k 200k
FREQUENCY - Hz
Fig. 3-Noise analysis.
signal into square waves, the LEDs
stayed dark. Putting a screwdriver
across an output did the trick, tripping a relay as well.
which tends to be confirmed by the 2003's
distinctly warm idling and low -output behavior-just cool enough to lay your hand
on comfortably for quite a while.
The HCA-2003 is-well, "big" is probably as good an adjective as any. Measuring
some 19 x 7 x 16 inches, the amp tips the
scales at a hefty 54 pounds. Construction
was not fancy but very solid everywhere I
looked, sporting heavy -gauge sheet metal
front and rear and top and bottom and with
very large heat -sink extrusions forming the
sides of the chassis. The sinks have generous
ribbing 11/4 inches deep, and their profiles
are thoughtfully rounded to cut down on
the cuts and scrapes that sharp -cornered
heat sinks so frequently inflict. I appreciat-
ed equally the presence of rack handles
both front and rear, which make it almost
Around back, the big Parasound supplies
identical facilities for each channel: a solid -
FOR WIDELY DYNAMIC,
FULL -RANGE SOUND.
and feature some unusually heavy traces on
power -transistor and power -supply paths;
the relatively limited hand wiring is very
tidily terminated, wire -tied, and shrink tubed into place.
looking, gold-plated five -way (3/4 -inch, on -
center) binding -post output pair; a high quality, gold-plated RCA input jack; and a
nice, finger -sized knob for input level (as
opposed to the screw -trims sometimes
found). Each level control is marked "THX
Level" at its wide-open position and has
generous travel back to zero. There is no fa-
cility for channel bridging, which seems
sensible enough for a three -channel amp.
Filling out the rear panel are a screw -out
fuse holder (15 amps) and a socket for an
IEC three -wire power cord; the supplied
14-AWG power cable is said to be a "custom
designed audiophile -grade" item.
A trip inside the HCA-2003 appeared to
confirm its maker's claims as to specific
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
34
Measurements
It's worth noting that the HCA-2003 survived all the test -bench abuse I could throw
its way. This included a certain amount of
deliberate stress, as in attempting to light
the aforementioned overload indicators,
and the odd incident of the accidental variety: principally, one particularly boneheaded moment when I inadvertently sent about
10 volts to its inputs for an extended peri-
od-yikes! The Parasound tried mightily
for a few seconds to produce the requested
3,000 watts and then shut down, but it powered right back up after a brief cooling -off
period (for both amp and operator) without complaint. Interestingly, although the
Introducing The Tower °Series By Henry Kloss.
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and an incredibly
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Tower H
No Magic Formula. No Secret
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Tower ilbyHenryKloss
CenterStage by Henry Klossr-
In 1988, we changed the w a pet pie bought speakers
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CenterStage is a two-way; three -driver center
Henry Klass (founder of AR. KLH & Advent) - selling it
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woofers, a 51 /4" polypropylene midrange driver. and a
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No Mumbo Jumbo.
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Toner II is finished in vinyl that simulates black ash
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Factory -direct price: $999 pr.
The result is somewhat unusual: speakers combining
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"Selling direct allows Cambridge SoundWorks
to price speakers hundreds of dollars below
the competition."
Inc. magazine
Tower lip by Henry Klass'
Toner Ill is a two-way design using a wide -dispersion
Tower byHenryKloss
tweeter and a single 8" usxifer like the more expensive
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The flagship of our new series is a three-way, bipolar
and outstanding dynamic range with the natural, wide -
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range sound (including terrific bass) that results from a
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generously -proportioned cabinet. It has been
proper stereo effect in a variety of listening positions.
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model named Toner by Henry Klass. The bipolar
Toner features two forward -facing 8" woofers; a
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tweeter; and separate rearward -facing midrange and
than superficially similar models through a combination
tweeter units identical to those used in front. A
flared low -frequency' vent is at the lower rear.
Because it has even more cone area, Tower's
feeling of "presence" is, if anything, stronger than
that of Tower II. That presence, when combined
of Henry Noss' design expertise, plus Cambridge
SoundWorks' highly efficient direct -to -the -consumer
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grilles, fully -finished cabinets (front and rear) and gold-
with the three-dimensional sound of Tower's bipolar
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plated binding pasts. It is finished in black ash vinyl.
is one of the finest speakers ever offered. It is bi-wire/
Factory -direct price: $599 pr.
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like other models in the series, Tower Ill is
magnetically shielded and features removable black
most center speakers, thanks to its dual -vent
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The Surround' by Henry Kloss
You can create a complete home theater sound
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Outside U.S. or Canada: 617-332-5936
0 1996 Cambridge SoundWorks. ®Ensemble is a registered trademark of Cambridge
SoundWorks, Inc. KIN is a trademark of KIN,
Inc. AR and Advent are trademarks of Internatlonal lenses Inc.
Cambridge SoundWorks is not affiliated with KLH, Advent or AR.
re -1910-
ral
CIRCLE NO. 8 ON READER SERVICE CARD
Parasound HCA3003 - THO.N v.lrsg. (Bohm loads) at 1,10.100, 200 .
0.1
1 WATT
10 WATTS
1
200 WATTS
0.001
10
100
1k
10k
50k
FREQUENCY - Hz
A
Para sound
i
'ullll
z
+
_
0.01
~~nnumuu~Mmw~M11
Bl8......el....BBl....1811j ll
1.1111111 10 WATTS 1111111111111!I11
111111~11%11~1
=111111111
Iummnml'/1IIII11
100WATTS
mi
--.___
eunlll
11-.111
i
~111111~11111111
300 WATTS
wave clipping point was much more substantial. Parasound specifies the 2003's dynamic headroom as "greater than 2 dB,"
without stating the load impedance; I'm
happy to give them the benefit of the doubt
relative to 1 watt), from 20 Hz well
into the ultrasonic region. It is very
low, and the absence of 120-, 180-,
and 240 -Hz power -line artifacts is
impressive. There is a clear peak at
the 60 -Hz fundamental power -line
around performance.
frequency, but let's keep in mind
that this reaches only -120 dBW!
HCA-2003 - THD.N v. freq. (4ohm lads) 01,10, 100, 300 w.
_==
==== ===_ -M]
~IM.-.11111~1~..1.1~~..11~M.
o.I
The HCA-2003 proved to be a
notably quiet amplifier, with A weighted noise measuring -99.1,
-99.3, and -99.6 dBW on the three
channels. Figure 3 shows a third octave spectrum of the noise (also
II=~.1I:111~~.
At rated power, total harmonic
distortion plus noise (THD + N)
woofer, for most of my listening, in order to
maintains good linearity well into
100
1k
10k
FREQUENCY - Hz
Fig. 4-THD + N vs. frequency
for 8 -ohm loads (A) and
4 -ohm loads (B).
2003 does idle rather hotter than many typ-
ical amps, it ran surprisingly cool, never
getting too hot to at least touch comfort-
50
the ultrasonic and infrasonic regions (the 4 -ohm, 300 -watt plot
peaks at only 1.4%, just off -scale).
Figures 5A and 5B show the
Parasound's power output versus
distortion with 8- and 4 -ohm loads
on all three channels. The closely bundled
curves for 20 Hz and 1 kHz are pretty con-
ventional, revealing performance that's
in 0.1 dB, but a slight channel imbalance
puts channels 2 and 3 at 0.12 and 0.16 dB,
dominated by noise right up to the clipping
point, with the very direct onset of clipping
typical of most solid-state amps. The 20 kHz plots, however, have gradually rising
(but still negligible) distortion, beginning
at around 100 watts.
The amplifier clipped at about 265 watts
while driving 8 ohms and 323 watts with 4 ohm loads, easily meeting its specs of 200
respectively, below channel 1. On all chan-
and 300 watts. On IHF tone bursts I saw
nels, the -3 dB points were well below 10
Hz and at around 150 kHz, and useful output reached beyond the 200 -kHz measurement capability of my generator/analyzer.
This is very extended and satisfyingly flat
reproduction.
288 watts into 8 ohms and 487 watts into 4
ohms, for about 1.6 and 2.1 dB of dynamic
ably, even after having run full power on all
channels for long periods of time; this,
doubtless, was thanks to its very substantial
heat -sinking.
Frequency response was very flat at all
power levels. Figure 1 shows all three channels at 1 watt; channels are flat to well with-
Figure 2 displays channel separation at 1 -
watt levels into 8 -ohm loads; I have only
shown four of the permutations, as the others were similar enough to be redundant.
This is excellent performance, in my experi-
ence, especially for a multichannel amp
where space, and hence board -trace routings, can be cramped.
work driving the three front speakers, currently a pair of B&W 803 Matrix Series 2s
with a single B&W HTM center -channel
unit. All of these qualify as moderately sensitive speakers, and my usual amplifier (an
extend up to 40 kHz (and down to
1111
10
I inserted the HCA-2003 into my usual
home theater/hi-fi system, putting it to
80 watt x 6 job that also drives the sur-
10 Hz) and that the Parasound
0.001
Use and Listening Tests
remained below 0.05% with 8 -ohm
loads and 0.08% into 4 ohms. Figures 4A and 4B show THD + N for
the two cases. Note that these plots
~~11111~~111111111~~111111111~11111Z
INI111111~111111111IIIIIIMMII
here, thanks to the 2003's excellent all-
headroom, respectively. (A side note:
Roughly 1,500 simultaneous watts from
one amp is a lot of poop. At full cry, the
2003 sucked down my AC line current by a
couple of volts; this surely is representative
of real -world conditions, but it might well
have done a bit better with a stiffer AC line.)
As is often the case, 8 -ohm dynamic
headroom compared to steady-state clipping power (as opposed to the on -paper
spec's rated power) was practically nil; 4 ohm dynamic headroom above the sine AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
36
rounds) has never seemed particularly underpowered. In the interests of science, I
ran the system full -range, with no sub -
MEASURED DATA
Output Power at Clipping (1 kHz, 1%
THD + N): 265 watts/channel into 8 ohm loads, 311 watts/channel into 4 ohm loads.
Dynamic Output Power: 288 watts/chan-
nel into 8 ohms, 487 watts/channel
into 4 ohms.
Dynamic Headroom: 1.6 dB into 8
ohms, 2.1 dB into 4 ohms.
THD + N, 20 Hz to 20 kHz: At rated
power, less than 0.05% into 8 -ohm
loads and less than 0.079% into 4
ohms; at 10 watts out, less than
0.027% into 8 ohms and less than
0.053% into 4 ohms.
Damping Factor re 8 Ohms: At 50 Hz,
566; at 20 kHz, 354.
Output Impedance: 15 milliohms at
1
kHz.
Frequency Response at 1 Watt: 20 Hz to
20 kHz, +0, -0.16 dB; -3 dB below 10
Hz and at 140 kHz.
Sensitivity: 102 mV for 1 watt (0 dBW)
out, 1.435 V for rated output.
A -Weighted S/N: 99.1 dB at 1 watt out
into 8 ohms.
Input Impedance: 51 kilohms.
Channel Separation: Greater than 74
dB, 20 Hz to 20 kHz.
Channel Balance: Within 0.13 dB or
better.
Regular_
EXpresso_
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CIRCLE NO. 22 ON READER SERVICE CARD
Definitive Technology
The Leader in High -Performance Loudspeakers.
Noise was not a problem with
the big Parasound. With the amp
idling and my ear to the tweeter,
the noise sounded just about per-
Perk,ounE MCA -2000 . TMO.N v. Output HO: 20 kHz. 1 kHz. 20 Hz i8e0m IoeOki
(
Ap
0.1
Authorized Dealers
Alaska Audio: Juneau. Pyramid: Anchorage.
Cohen's Electronics: Montgomery. Kincard's TV: Tuscaloosa*
is Audio: Birmingham.
/- Custom Audio Video: Little Rock.
Jerry's Audio Video: Phoenix, Tucson.
- Access to Music Larkspur. Accurate AN: S. Lake Tahoe.
dio Concepts. Long Beach, San Gabriel. Bay Area Audio: San Jose*
fectly "white" and just barely audi-
ble. There were virtually no perceptible hum components, and in
contrast to many other multichan-
+
001
nel amps I've encountered, the
0.001
0.0005
10
100
500
OUTPUT - WATTS
A
fare" snippet from Delos' Surround
Spectacular demo CD (DE 3179),
Pettsouna 11CA2007 TMD.N v. eupu 040 20 k1441 kN420 MB (Iota k.E.l
)
W
-==-===2::::=7.--=.7.:::::=='.::
ssirMI..IIeeessirrr.Ir_r ra.
~_.....el1~_.....eº111IMIM ..
IIIME1111~11~11111~
Illlll1Illlllai 1
,i
r.r.ii--;:i..::.-==.T.:--ii--:-0klyi
IIIE
~~.....11~5:.......?..
the 2003 acquitted itself with a
smooth, no -sweat delivery of some
very substantial, low -end -rich
transients. There was no sense of
IM1111~t,"MUºI
the fat, glugging tinge that even an
excellent amp, when momentarily
swamped by such transients, tends
0.01
..Z1.ÍÍÍÍ1111111=1ÍÍÍI~1MIZ
0.00i
MI1IIIIII1IIIIII1111I
10
100
500
OUTPUT - WATTS
Fig. 5-THD + N vs. output
for 8 -ohm loads (A) and
4 -ohm loads (B).
2003 was entirely free of audible
mechanical hum or buzz.
On high -impact musical segments, such as the Copland "Fan-
to display. Clean, natural -ambience jazz ensemble recordingssuch as The Holmes Brothers' Jubi-
B
lation (RealWorld 92127-2), in
which the drums and voices are
very realistically captured-produced neutral and open sound,
stress the Parasound as fully as possible and
free of any "extra" air or brightness yet clear
to eliminate any aural confusion; for the
same reason I did the bulk of the listening
and detailed. Dense, full -orchestra reproduction proved equally clean. Complex textures were transparently rendered in a believable acoustic space. A disc of Nielsen
wind concertos and orchestral miscellany
with the surround channels off, in "Dolby 3" -like stereo/surround and three -channel -
mono setups. My system's front end em-
ployed Citation's excellent Model 7.0
preamp/processor and Meridian 508 CD
and Marantz LV-500 laserdisc players.
I was quite impressed by the 2003's
rather effortless ability to deliver very widely dynamic, full -range sound in the absence
of a subwoofer. The amp played the system
loud enough that, even in my largish (about
2,300 -cubic -foot) room, identifying the
"onset of audible distortion" was to some
degree debatable: It might have been the
amp, but it might also have been my ears,
which seem a bit less receptive to very high
SPLs with each passing year. In any event,
playing even the noisiest scenes from my fa-
vorite big -action laserdiscs, such as the
train/bus crash from The Fugitive, to name
one, and at several dB above the THX reference level (absurdly loud, in all honesty),
failed to elicit any audible strain from the
HCA-2003 amplifier.
(Sony Classical SK 53276) sounded organically whole; the lifelike effects of numerous
delicate, low-level flute and clarinet nuances-and of the composer's characteristic, pressure -wave brass -choir attackswere about equally notable.
If forced at gunpoint to assign a character to the 2003, I might log it just barely on
the "warm and rich" side of the ledger
rather than on the "cool and analytically
detailed" side. This is not to say that the big
Parasound was not transparent, but it did
not exaggerate shimmer or airiness and it
Boots Camera: Fresno* Chi. Hansen West LA. Coast Satellite:
Atascadero, Santa Maria. Creative Stereo: Santa Barbara, Ventura.
David Rutledge Audio: Palm Desert. DB Audio: Berkeley Digital Ear
Tustin. Dow Stereo Video: San Diego & Suburbs, La Jolla, El Cajon Chula
Vista, Escondido. Larson's: Redding. Lee's Home Theater: VVisalia
Monterey Stereo Monterey Pacilk Coast AN. Newport Burch Paradyme:
Sacramento. Performance Audio San FrancscoSpeakerCntt: Riverside.
Systems Design Redondo Beach. Videotek: WestminsterWestchester TV:
Bakersfield. Wilson Home Theater Woodland Hills.
Audio Visions: Grand Junction., Listen Up. Denver Boulder,
Colorado Springs. Soundtrack: Denver & Suburbs, Boulder, Ft.
Collins,ranklin's:
Colorado Springs.
RoAl
Greenwich. Canton's Audio Video: Danbury.
berts Audio Video: New London.
- Myer-Emco.
oun
dio: Newark, Wilmington.
Absolute Sound. Winter Park. Audio Advisors: West PalmBeach
dio Center: Deerfield Beach. Audio Video Store: Tallahassee.
The Audiohouse: Vero Beach. Cooper for Stereo: Clearwater*
Hoyt Stereo, Jacksonville Palm Audio: Destine Sensuous Sound: Tampa.
Sound Components : Coral Gables. Sound Ideas: Gainesville.
Sound Insight: Ft. Fierce. Stereotypes' Daytona Beach. Stuart AN: Stuart.
LaAudio Warehouse: Savannah. Ken s Stereo Jcl.: Macon*
ser Disc Enterprises: Atlanta. Merit TV: Columbus*
Stereo Connections: Valdosta. Stereo Festival: Atlanta.
Audio Center Honolulu Waipahu.
- Audio King Cedar Rapids, Des /homes. Archer Audio Video:
Dodge. Audio Video Logic: Des Moines* Audio Visions: Sioux
City Camera Corner Davenport. Hawkeye AN: Iowa City, Waterloo.
Ultimate Electronics: Boise. Wise Buy: Idaho Falls.
United Audio Centers: Chicago & Suburbs. Camera Corner
oomington Can a Stereos: Rockford Good Vibes: Champaign.
Jon's Home CU.: Quincy. Sound Forum: Crystal Lake*
Select Sound: Naperville Sundown AN: Springfield.
Classic Stereo: Ft. Wayne, Mishawaka. Good Vibes: Lafayette
Kings Great Buys: Evansville* Ovation Audio: Clarksville; Indianapolis.
AuAccent Sound: Overland Park. Advance Audio: Wichita.
dio Junction Junction City,
Ovation Audio: Lexington, Louisville.
- Alterman Audio: New Orleans, Metairie . Lake Charles Music: Lake
.
rtes. Sound Advice: Baton Rouge Wrighl's Sound Gallery Shreveport.
MA- Cookie'. Chestnut Hill, Saugus. Goodwins Audio: Boston,
Shrewsbury. Nantucket Sound: Hyannis. Northampton Audio:
Northampton. Pittsfield Radio: Pittsfield.
Gramophone: Battimore, Ellicott City. Myer-Emco:
adhersbur9, Beltsville, Rockville. Soundscape: Baltimore.
Cookie': Portland.
- Pacer's: Detroit Troyy. Classical Jazz Holland. Classic Stereo.
anozoo, Grand RRapds Stereo Center FRAV: Flint.
Court SI. Listening Room: Midland, Saginaw.
MN Audio King' Minneapolis & Suburbs, Rochester, St. Cloud.
Audio Designs: Winona.
Independence AN: Independence. Reference Audio. Sedalia.
Sound Central. St Louis.
Ideal Acoustics: Starkville McLelland TV: Hattiesburg.
Players AN' Ridgeland.
CAspen Sound. Missoula. Avitel: Bozeman.
r & Home Stereo CIr.: Billings* Rocky MI. Hi Fi: Great Falls.
Audio Video Systems: Charlotte- Audio Visions: Wilmington.
Now AudioVideo: Durham, Greensboro, Raleigh, Winston SalemAudio- Lab: Wilmington.
Custom Electronics: Omaha, Lincoln.
- Cookie': Nashua, Manchester Newington, Salem, S. Nashua.
Hal's Steroo: Trenton Monmouth Stereo: Shrewsbury Sound Waves:rthfield
Woodbridge Stereo: West Caldwell, Woodbridge.
Ultimate Elect.: Albuquerque. Sound Ideas: Albuquerque.
Ultimate Elect.: Las Vegas. Upper Ear: Las Vegas.
- Audio Breakthroughs: Manhasset. Audio Den: Lake Grove*
dio Expressions: Newburgh. Audio Junction: Watertown.
Clark Music Albany, Syracuse- Steno Exchange.: Manhattan, Nanuet
Hart Elect.: Vestal. Innovative Audio: Brookyrr Listening Room:
Scarsdale. Rowe Camera: Rochester. Speaker Shop: Amherst, Buffalo.
ppyy Audio Craft Akron, Cleveland, Mayfield Hts., Westlake*
Audio Etc.: Dayton. Classic Stereo: Lima. Paragon Sound. Toledo.
Threshold Audio: Heath.
OK- Ultimate Electronics: Tulsa. Photo World: Bartlesville.
Bradford's HiFI: Eugene. Chelsea AN: Portland, Beaverton- Kelly's
Home Clr.: Salem. Larson's: Medfont, Roseburg. Stereo Plant: Bend.
Audio Junction: Pittsburgh. Gary's Elect.: State College.
GNT Stereo: Lancaster. Karl Elect.: Blakely, Kingston* Hi Fi House:
Abington, Broomall, Camp Hill, Harrisburg. Listening Post:
Pittsburgh. Palmer Audio: Allentown. Pro Audio: Bloomsburg.
Stereo Shopper Selinsgrove, Williamsport. Stereoland: Natrona
Heights. The Stereoshop: Greensburg. Studio One: Erie.
Stereo Discount Ctr.: Providence.
AN Design. Charleston* Custom Theater I Audio. Myrtle Beach*
stain Audio: Columbia.
Audio King* Sioux Falls. Sound Pro: Rapid Ciry.
- College HiFi: Chattanooga. Hi Fi Buys: Nashville Now Audio Video:
Modern Music: Memphis. Sound Room: Johnson Cty.
Horne Entertainment: Dallas, Houston, Plano. Audio Tech: Temple,
111
noxville
T
was reliably free of any sense of hardness or
Waco Audio Video: College Station. Brock AN Beaumont*
edge. Bottom -octave depth and control
Austin. Krystal Clear: Dallas. Marvin Electronics: Ft. Worth. Sound
were outstanding: If anyone needs an amplifier for a three-subwoofer home theater,
the 2003 would seem ideal! As a threelegged answer to some modern multimedia
audio needs, Parasound's HCA-2003 deserves serious consideration.
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
38
A
Burkiey's Sound Systems: Abilene Blorn's: Sao Antonio. High Fidelity:
Quest: El Paso. Sound Systems: Amarillo. Sound Towne: Texarkana.
UT- Alpine Elect. Provo. IudioWorks: Sat Lake Coy. Crazy Bob's: St George
Makes Bros.: Logan. Ultimate Elect: Layton Mussy, Oren, Salt Lake City.
yypp Myer-Emco: Falls Church, Tyson's Corner, Fairfax.
Audio Connection: Virginia Beach. Audiolronics: Roanoke.
Home Media Store: Richmond. Stereo Type: Charlottesville.
Audio Video Authority: S. Burlington.
Aspen Sound: Spokane. Definitive Audio: Belevue, Seattle. Evergreen
io: Silverdale Pacilic Sight & Sound: Wenatchee. Tin Ear. Kennewick
Sound Post: Princeton.
Audio Emporium: Milwaukee. Absolute Sound I Vision' Sheboygan.
Iii -VA-Fi Heaven: Appleton, Green Bay. Sound World: Wausau.
Precision Audio: Rio Piedras.
B Sound: Calgary, Edmonton Kelowna Vancouver &
, Victoria. Advance Electronics: Winnipeg. Kay Bloor Radio:
Toronto. Digital Dynamics: Clearbrook Great West Audio: London.
Kebecson. Montreal. Lipton's: New Market Ontario. Peak Audio:
Halifax. Sound Room: Vancouver. SlereoLand: Windsor.
Treble Clel: Ottawa.
u
ur
Via- Contact Grupo Volumen: Mexico City.
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hen Stereo Review's Julian Hirsch
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Whether incorporated in a super
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we were thrilled and honored by
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nitive Tech
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CIRCLE NO. 13 ON READER SERVICE CARD
11105 Valley Hts. Dr. Baltimore, MD 21117 (410) 363-7148
Visit us at http://www.soundsite.com/definitive. 9egMeredTrademark
Oh PIONEER
The Art of Entertainment
1996 Vionce: i....
.ics i_SA> i,.
-
La..Dc..
When Greg (the guy sitting on the couch in
ti -is picture: comes home from worl, he wants to
relax. And if his idea of relaxation neans watching cars
crash through burning barrels, we think the experience should
be as realistic and dramatic as possible. With that goal in mind
we offer the Pioneer Advanced HomeTheater System. Tianks to our Dolby
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really there. And the supercharged performance of his Pioneer LaserDisc player
means that when Greg gets bored with crashing cars, he can immerse himself in
nearly 10,000 other movies and concerts. The result is equal tc (Grec thinks better
than) the movie theater experience. Greg feels better already. Call 1-800-PIONEER
for the dealer nearest you. Pioneer Advanced HomeTheater. You're surrounded.
These shelves (also called baffles, plates, or
D. B. KEELE, JR.
DIGITAL PHASE
AP -2.1 SPEAKER
platters in Digital Phase's literature) have
slots cut into them to form a series of eight
side -by -side fingers, or reeds. The ends of
the six inner reeds are free to vibrate; the
two end reeds are attached to the sides of
the cabinet.
All internal surfaces of the cabinet, except the inside of the front panel, are covered with sound -absorptive acoustic felt,
1/4 -inch thick. Even the tops of the shelves
ike all Digital Phase speakers, the AP 2.1 is sold directly by the manufactur-
er, rather than through dealers, and
uses a patented bass technology called
Acousta-Reed. Invented by the com-
pany's president and founder, Daryl
Powell, this design uses two sets of internal
vibrating "reeds," formed by parallel slots
cut in two internal wooden shelves, that are
said to cancel the back waves of the woofers
and improve the system's bass response.
The reeds, which couple acoustically to the
woofers, are also said to increase the total
moving mass of the system and thus enable
the use of smaller woofers to reproduce the
bass; smaller woofers can provide more
uniform coverage and superior transient
response.
The AP -2.1, the second version of the
AP -2, looks quite similar to the AP -1 that I
previously tested (Audio, December 1993)
and that is still available at $1,250 per pair.
The AP -2.1, however, uses two of Digital
Phase's small 61/2 -inch woofers rather than
one in order to provide greater bass output.
The speaker is a conventional -looking rear-
ated Frequency Response: 35 Hz to 20
kHz, ±1.5 dB.
Rated Sensitivity: 91 dB at 1 meter, 2.83
V rms applied.
Rated Nominal Impedance: 8 ohms.
Rated Power Handling: 150 watts.
Dimensions: 42 in. H x 14% in. W x 13
in. D (106.7 cm x 35.9 cm x 33 cm).
Weight: 76 lbs. (34.5 kg) each.
Price: $1,700 per pair in honey oak or
black oak.
Company Address: 6223 Lee Highway,
Suite #205, Chattanooga, Tenn. 37421;
800/554-7325.
http://www.mindspring.com/
-dgpow/dphase.htm
For literature, circle No. 91
ported tower. Its two woofers are mounted
above a dome tweeter. Two large, flared port
tubes, 11/4 inches long and 3 inches in diam-
that form the reed assemblies arc covered
with this material. (The AP -1 used fiberglass instead of felt for absorption.) The
eter, are on the rear of the cabinet, just below the input -connection cup.
grille is framed in 3/4 -inch HDF, with plastic
The AP -2.1's cabinet, built of 1 -inch
front panel. The drivers are recessed so that
medium -density fiberboard, is very strong.
their rims are flush with the front panel,
which is covered in black vinyl. A heavy,
Its ample bracing includes two 3/4 -inch
high -density -fiberboard (HDF) shelves
that run from one side of the cabinet to the
other, one shelf extending halfway back
from the cabinet's front and the other extending halfway forward from the rear.
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
42
projections that mate with holes in the
hardwood base extends beyond the edges of
the cabinet.
The polypropylene cones of the long throw 61/2 -inch woofers are impregnated ó
with carbon fiber. Each cone is anchored to
The Price of Admission
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100
\,'
90
tig
GRILLE OFF
GRILLE ON
SMOOTHED
80
co)a
70
UNSMOOTIIED
60
20
10k
1k
100
20k
FREQUENCY - Hz
Fig. 1 -On -axis frequency
response.
.180
the woofer's basket by a butyl rub-
has been smoothed by averaging with a
ber surround and is driven by a
tenth -octave filter. The dip seen at 166 Hz is
sharper than the smoothed curve can show,
two -layer voice coil wound on an
aluminum former.
The 1 -inch tweeter's voice -coil
former is integral with its spun titanium dome; this one-piece construction is said to be lighter and to
dissipate heat better than a conventional two-piece design. The tweeter's dome is protected by a nonremovable screen, which also holds a
phase plug in place and is said to
improve the tweeter's dispersion.
A high-energy neodymium mag-
net keeps the tweeter small; the
magnet is self -shielded. This driv-
so I've also included the unsmoothed data
in the dip's vicinity. The upper -frequency
response with the grille on is also shown
unsmoothed.
If you exclude the sharp dip, the smoothed
curve fits a fairly tight, 6 -dB, window (+1,
-5 dB, referenced to 1 kHz) from 47 Hz to
20 kHz. Except for a slight downward tilt of
about 1.6 dB/octave above 1.6 kHz and the
166 -Hz dip, the overall curve is quite
smooth and well behaved. The high -frequency downward tilt could easily be corrected by a slight boost from a typical treble
control.
er, too, is suspended by a butyl
rubber surround.
The AP -2.1's crossover
is
mounted on a 33/4 x 51/2 -inch print-
ed -circuit board mounted behind
the bottom woofer on the rear pan-
10k 20k
1k
100
FREQUENCY - Hz
Fig. 2-On-axis
phase
response, group delay, and
waveform phase.
el. Top-quality components are
used, including air -core inductors
SOUND THAT WAY.
(wound with oxygen -free pure
1a
~ílll
tlip.)
ing of second -order (12-dB/octave) high- and low-pass filters, but
its actions are designed to combine
1=.,. 1¡,, til
,.i.``, p
-1A h,l
s
N
,
with the drivers' own rolloff
11I
II
1
I
0 FRONT
I
45
OFF
,...S44,0%1.-_-_-__-__7. 90 SIDE
200
-
.
-
__.-.
AXISDEGREES
135
180 REAR
-
2k
MADE THE WOOFERS
LOOK SMALL, BUT
THEY SURE DIDN'T
copper wire) and 400 -volt metal film polypropylene capacitors. The
crossover is quite simple, consist-
I,1é
THE BOX'S SIZE
20k
characteristics to produce an in phase, fourth -order (24-dB/octave) Linkwitz-Riley acoustic
crossover. All internal connections
are made with 14 -gauge oxygen -
FREQUENCY- Hz
The grille significantly roughens the response above 2 kHz and adds several fairly
narrow peaks and dips of about ±2.5 dB deviation. Above 20 kHz, the tweeter smoothly rolls off and is down only about 12 dB at
30 kHz. Very few dome tweeters are this
well behaved above 20 kHz, where most
dome resonances occur. Averaged from 250
Hz to 4 kHz (giving equal emphasis to each
third -octave frequency band), the AP -2.1's
Fig. 3-Horizontal off -axis
free copper audiophile cables,
frequency responses.
which are soldered to the crossover
sensitivity measured 90.6 dB, only 1.4 dB
below Digital Phase's 92 -dB rating. Between 2 and 4 kHz, one speaker was a bit
and input terminals but are con-
more than 1 dB softer than the other
nected to the drivers with clips. Input connections are via a large set
of gold-plated, bi-wirable binding
posts on the rear.
(which is still quite close). But outside of
'1.L
-90 BELOW
a!
-45
OFF
FRONT AXIS DEGREES
+90 ABOVE
200
2k
FREQUENCY- Hz
Fig. 4-Vertical off -axis
frequency responses.
20k
Measurements
The AP -2.1's on -axis frequency
response, measured in a large anechoic chamber, is shown in Fig. 1;
the measurements were taken at
the listening height recommended
by Digital Phase, halfway between
the two woofers (34 inches above
the floor). The main curve, made
with the speaker's grille removed,
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
44
this range, the right and left speakers
matched within a very close ±0.5 dB from
100 Hz to 20 kHz.
To check the crossover, I measured the
frequency response with the tweeter's polarity reversed, by changing the connections
at the bi-wire terminals. Reversing the
tweeter's polarity created an octave -wide
triangular dip in the response (not shown),
centered at 2.6 kHz. Since the dip created by
this reversal was only 12 dB deep, rather
than infinite, the AP -2.1's crossover is not
quite a pure in -phase Linkwitz-Riley type,
but it comes very close. The 12 -dB dip also
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CIRCLE NO. 32 ON READER SERVICE CARD
i
19.4 OM1.+S
18.7 OHMS
13.5 OHMS
OHMS
1
100
20
10k
1k
20k
FREQUENCY - Hz
A
90
22
.45
nected properly. This will cause
Figure 4 shows the vertical off -axis responses; the bold curve in the middle of the
graph is the response on the suggested listening axis, between the two woofers. The
some, but relatively little, lobing at
curves are quite uniform except in the
crossover.
range from 3 to 8 kHz, where the response
narrows significantly. Fortunately, for angles ranging from 5° below the axis to 10°
above it, the response is quite uniform and
revealed that the AP -2.1's drivers
are not quite in phase at crossover;
they differ by about 28° when con-
100
o
What caused the high -Q dip at
166 Hz? By comparing response
measurements (not shown) made
near the woofer and near the port,
I learned that the dip was due to
phase interference between the
velop at and near 2.2 kHz. The polar pattern of the speaker through the crossover
woofers and the radiation from the
range is skewed slightly upward.
port. The port's radiation peaked
at 166 Hz; this peak had a high Q
In the graph of the AP -2.1's impedance
magnitude versus frequency (Fig. 5A), the
two peaks and a dip that characterize vented enclosures are clearly evident below 100
Hz; the dip at about 41 Hz shows the ap-
of about 8, and its output was actu-4s
-37
14
45
-90
20
100
1k
ally 3 dB greater than the port's
TEF
10k
20k
FREQUENCY - Hz
Fig. 5-Impedance
B
magnitude (A) and
phase (B).
so
a!/1
output at the speaker's vented -box
resonant frequency of 40 Hz! Fortunately, high -Q response dips are
far less audible than broader, low Q deviations.
70
80
50
20
1k
100
FREQUENCY - Hz
Fig. 6-Three-meter room
responses.
10k
20k
ohms, is reached in the bass range at 60 Hz,
the vented system's upper impedance peak.
The minimum impedance, 2.7 ohms, oc-
phase and group -delay responses,
referenced to the tweeter's arrival
time. Also shown is the waveform
curs at 5.5 kHz, just above the crossover. An
waveshape fidelity in specific frequency ranges. The phase curve is
mostly well behaved, except in the
vicinity of 166 Hz, and decreases
about 210° between 1 and 10 kHz.
(When averaged between 1 and 4
kHz, the group -delay curve indi-
cated that the woofer lagged behind the tweeter by a fairly short
0.2 millisecond.) The speaker's
impedance anomaly is clearly evident at
166 Hz, the frequency of the high -Q dip in
the anechoic frequency response.
The AP-2.l's impedance varies over a
wide range of 7.2 to 1, so if you want to en-
sure that your cables cause no response
peaks or dips greater than 0.1 dB, cable se-
ries resistance should be limited to 0.036
ohm or less. For a typical run of about 10
feet, that would require 10 -gauge (or heavier), low -inductance cable.
Figure 5B shows impedance phase versus
frequency. The maximum phase angle,
curve for waveform phase indicates
+62°, occurs at 20 kHz; the minimum, -45°,
that waveshapes will not be preserved over any significant frequency spans, but this is normal
for conventionally designed loudspeakers. All three curves exhibit
significant changes in the vicinity
occurs at 70 Hz. A phase glitch occurs at
of the 166 -Hz response dip.
Figure 3 shows the AP -2.1's horizontal off -axis responses; the bold
curve at the rear of the graph is the
competent high -end amp, used with cables
on -axis response. The curve -to -
curve uniformity indicates very
wide and even horizontal coverage.
In the main horizontal listening
window, within ±15° of the axis,
Two large, flared port tubes and
gold-plated bi-wirable binding posts
dominate the AP -2.1's rear panel.
proximate frequency of the vented -box
tuning. The maximum impedance, 19.4
Figure 2 shows the AP -2.1's
phase, which directly indicates
so
flat. At angles below -5°, significant dips de-
the response is extremely uniform,
with the curves within ±0.5 dB of
one another all the way to 20 kHz!
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
46
165 Hz. The wide variations in the AP -2.1's
impedance phase and magnitude, and the
low minimum of 2.7 ohms, mean that the
AP -2.1 will be a moderately difficult load
for some power amplifiers. However, any
having low resistance and inductance,
should drive the AP -2.1 very well.
When I swept the AP -2.1 with high-level
sine waves, I noted only one significant box
resonance, a slight buzz at about 225 Hz. I
was impressed with the speaker's clean out-
put in the bass range above 31 Hz. Port
wind noise was very low, and no dynamic
offset of the woofers was evident. The vented -box loading worked very well and reduced the cone excursion at box resonance
Heard any good movies lately?
7000
IMartroo Mot
,ftenul,roted.
Adcom's 5 -channel GFA-7000 amplifier is playing to rave reviews.
That's why Adcom's GFA-7000 has five separate amplifier
modules, each rated at 130 watts into 8 ohms*. To assure
that no channel of information is compromised, each
module must be capable of delivering all its power all the
time, so each amplifier channel is given its own power
supply and is mounted on its own circuit board. Even the
toroidal power transformer has individual secondary windings for each amplifier module. With the GFA-7000, you'll
never get stuck without enough power. It's like having true
all -wheel drive.
Today's movie soundtracks demand more than conventional home audio systems can deliver. That's why Adcom
developed the Home THX® certified GFA-7000 power
amplifier. With our GFA-7000, the movies you play at
home will sound just the way the filmmakers intended. But
that's not all. Adcom engineers went beyond the demanding
requirements of THX® and created a home theater power
amplifier that's caught the attention of the world's most
critical audiophiles as well.
The GFA-7000 is really five amplifiers in one.
The quantity and quality of power needed to faithfully
reproduce the full range of frequencies and overall dynamic
range of today's exciting soundtracks are highly demanding, especially considering that top home theater systems
can utilize five separate full range speaker systems.
Movies or music, the GFA-7000 delivers
a real performance.
The power amplifier is the heart of every high performance audio/video system. It is also the foundation on
which Adcom has built its reputation for performance and
value. You can be sure our GFA-7000 amplifier is an audiophile's amplifier, first and foremost. And because it exceeds
THX® specifications and is ready for Dolby AC -3, it is sure
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Listen to an award -winning movie or your favorite
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11 Elkins Road, East Brunswick, NJ 08816 U.S.A. (908) 390-1130
1996 ADCCM
'Power ratings are to FTC requirements. Continuous average power at any frequency between 20Hz and 20kHz with all channels dnven at less than 0.05% THD.
CIRCLE NO. 3 ON READER SERVICE CARD
MAXIMUM POWER: 50 WATTS
5th, 4.5%
4th, 2.7%
..
12dB
by a significant 66%. A solid reduc-
when measured from 1 meter away. The A4
tion in excursion was noted at 42
(440 -Hz) distortion (not shown) rose at
Hz, the speaker's vented -box reso-
most to the low level of 0.75% second har-
nance. The woofer's maximum
peak -to -peak excursion was a
monic; all higher harmonics were below
healthy 0.53 inch, with moderate
distortion.
When I listened from behind the
cabinet, where the ports are, the
loo
50
150
200
250
FREQUENCY -Hz
Fig. 7-Harmonic distortion
for E1 (41.2 Hz).
indicates some type of internal
mechanical or acoustical resonance, such as a standing wave
MAXIMUM POWER 50 WATTS
100 -
10 -
within the cabinet, which can be
heard through the port.
3rd, 6.8%
2nd, 2.7%
12dB
so -
-F
sPOW ER WATTS
0.5 -
"..
tí-Ailzpe
0.05
250
150
166 -Hz peak in port radiation was
quite audible. When the ports were
covered, the sound level at this frequency dropped significantly. This
450
350
550
650
FREQUENCY -Hz
for A2 (1 10 Hz).
0.1
100
10
1
POWER - WATTS
to 50 watts. The IM rises gradually and
reaches a moderate 9.5% at full power (a
good result, considering that both frequencies are reproduced by the same drivers).
Even at that distortion level, the AP -2.1
speaker was in the right-hand
35 watts at 20 Hz, rises quickly to about 280
watts at 50 Hz, falls slightly, and then rises
to a plateau of about 3,400 watts between
200 Hz and 1.5 kHz. After falling slightly in
the crossover region, it rises again, to about
stereo position, and the test microphone was at ear height (36 inches)
bit rough and exhibits several
o
(E1) of equal power, over the range from 0.1
peak power input and output capabilities.
The peak input power starts at a moderate
fairly well behaved, although it is a
2
ated by tones of 440 Hz (A4) and 41.2 Hz
Figure 6 shows the 3 -meter
peaks and dip are included, the
curve fits an acceptable, 11 -dB,
window. The averaged curve is
S
8.8%. This could be associated with the 166 Hz anomaly; I did not investigate further.
Figure 9 shows the IM versus power cre-
room curve for the AP -2.1, with
both raw and smoothed data. The
Hz, the averaged curve fits a fairly
tight, 8 -dB, window. Even if these
lo
quency) that reached a moderately high
sounded fairly clean on this test.
Figure 10 shows the AP -2. l's short-term
at the main listening position on
the sofa. If you exclude peaks at
140 and 530 Hz and a dip at 350
Fig. 8-Harmonic distortion
0.4%. The speaker also generated a subharmonic at 220 Hz (half the fundamental fre-
peak -and -dip combinations and a
slight high -frequency depression
above 5 kHz.
Figure 7 shows the AP -2.1's El
3 kilowatts, at higher frequencies. With
room gain, the maximum peak SPL starts at
a barely usable 89 dB at 20 Hz and then rises very rapidly to a plateau of about 117 dB
I WAS IMPRESSED WITH
THE DIGITAL PHASE
AP -2.1's CLEAN OUTPUT
IN THE BASS RANGE.
Fig. 9-IM distortion for A4
(41.2 -Hz) harmonic distortion.
The second harmonic reaches a
(440 Hz) and E1 (41.2 Hz).
moderate 9.9%, while the third ris-
near 50 Hz. The peak output then rises
es to 12%. The fourth and fifth
quickly, to a high 125 to 127 dB between
harmonics reach 2.7% and 4.5%,
respectively, with higher harmonics below 0.7%. At 1 meter in free
space and with 50 watts input, the
200 Hz and 1.6 kHz, before falling smoothly to about 121 dB at 20 kHz.
speaker generates a very usable 100
dB SPL at 41.2 Hz.
The A2 (110 -Hz) harmonic distortion is shown in Fig. 8. The only
significant distortion is a low 2.7%
When the AP -2.1 was driven with the 160 -
second harmonic and a higher
6.8% third at 50 watts input. In
each burst were reproduced very accurately.
free space and with a 50 -watt input, the AP -2.1 generates a fairly
Use and Listening Tests
140
TEF
130
PEAK AC OUS TIC OUTPUT
RooM
1
120
110
10k
100
PEAK INPUT POWER
WITHOUT
ROOM
GAIN
90
100
10
80
20
1k
100
FREQUENCY - Hz
Fig. 10-Peak input power
and sound output.
10k 20k
healthy 105 dB SPL at 110 Hz
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
48
The signals used for the peak input and
output tests are sixth -octave tone bursts.
Hz burst, much hangover and smearing
could be seen on the oscilloscope and
heard. In all other bands, the AP -2.1's out-
put was quite clean; the start and stop of
The AP -2.1 speakers are very handsome,
attractive, and solidly built. Digital Phase is
5S
NO ONE WILL COMPLAIN ABOU
vnq Ids
!
nl In ref pFrl
r? r,nn 11,1
1-~~77
Jensen Nitro Series car audio gear. At finer audio stores. Call 1 -800 -67 -SOUND
CIRCLE NO. 16 ON READER SERVICE CARD
V
Nj
to be commended for its cabinetry, workmanship, and choice of wood finish. The
honey oak finish of my review units was
gorgeous, while the cabinets' curved surfaces contributed very positively to the fine
level than the B&Ws. The acoustic guitar
was reproduced crisply, with good delin-
styling. The solid -oak base fit the look per-
On another excellent, very clean, minimalist -recorded sampler, Reel One (Pope
Music PM2002), soprano Lori Lieberman's
voice on the first three tracks came through
fectly. Everyone who saw these speakers
commented on their good looks.
The woofers seemed quite small compared to the size of the box, but they did not
sound small when I fired up the AP -2.1s in
my listening room. The bass was very clean
and extended and compared extremely well
with the bass of my B&W 801 Matrix Series
eation of the strings. Relative to the B&Ws,
however, the treble was somewhat subdued
overall.
clean and clear, with no harshness. On track
2, where Lieberman sings a duet with her-
self, both parts were very distinct tonally
With flawless
imaging and
3 speakers. On some music, such as rock
and jazz, I actually preferred the bass of the
soundstaging,
Digital Phase speakers. Only on program
material that had significant bass below 30
great bass
Hz was the AP -2.1 bested by the 801.
performance,
The Digital Phase owner's manual,
and some
which covers the whole AP series, is a 19 page booklet. It discusses wiring and con-
mighty fine
looks, the
Digital Phase
nections, placement, cleaning and finish,
technology, and the warranty. The informative section on speaker placement suggests
playing a test CD that has a range of low frequency test tones and moving the speak-
Hz caused a sharp dip in the anechoic response, it increased the output in the 160 Hz band when I listened to band -limited
noise in a room. When I played my special
61/2 -cycle tone bursts (on Test CD for Sound
Reinforcement Systems, available from Syn-
ergetic Audio Concepts at 812/923-0174),
the 160 -Hz tone burst sounded quite
smeared on the AP -2.1s, somewhat like a
bongo drum being hit. The 801s, however,
sounded quite clean and crisp on this signal, with sharp attack and decay. Blocking
the AP -2.1's ports by stuffing them with
towels considerably reduced the 160 -Hz
bongo -drum sound. Could I hear this
problem on normal program material?
Most times not, but I could hear problems
in the upper bass that added a heaviness
and bloatedness to male speech and some
AP -2.1
music. (Room effects tend to mask response
problems in this frequency range.)
The AP -2.1s handled music that stresses
stands tall.
many speakers, such as loud rock with
ers around until you find a spot where the
test tones are about equally loud. Digital
Phase suggests placing the speakers sym-
heavy bass, easily and with much aplomb.
And these Digital Phase speakers handled
classical music with heavy bass (such as
large kettle drums and pipe -organ pedal
metrically (both the same distance out
from the wall behind them and equidistant
from the side walls) and aiming them in toward the listener. Thus, their axes will cross
at or in front of the primary listening position. The manual also suggests using absorption and diffusion to tame reflections
from hard surfaces.
I listened to the Digital Phase speakers
with gear that included the Krell KRC pre amp and Crown Macro Reference power
amp, Straight Wire Maestro cabling, and
louder than the B&Ws at 40 and 50 Hz and
were slightly louder in the 63 -Hz band. Port
wind noise was very low.
While the anomaly noted earlier at 166
notes) equally well.
and could be followed easily. The percussion on the Carmen ballet music, tracks 4-7
of the same disc, was very dynamic and exhibited a powerful bass underpinning.
The AP -2.1s also performed excellently
on the pink noise stand-up/sit-down test,
their timbre remaining essentially unchanged when I stood up. The horizontal
coverage was likewise excellent. Octave -to -
Are the Acousta-Reeds responsible for
the AP -2.1's excellent bass performance?
My tests suggest not, and I suspect that the
shelves within the cabinet, by lengthening
the path through the enclosure, may be responsible for the 166 -Hz anomaly I found. I
think the AP -2.1's outstanding bass performance results simply from its application of a
well -designed vented box, driven by a pair
of well -designed, high -excursion, low -dis-
the B&W 801 Matrix Series 3 speakers I use
for comparisons. I placed the AP -2.1s about
7 feet apart, 21 feet from the side walls, and
octave spectral balance on pink noise was
good, exhibiting minimal tonality (the treble was, again, more subdued than on the
tortion woofers. The AP -2.1s performed
4 feet from the wall behind them; I aimed
them toward my listening position. Connections were not bi-wired. I listened from
B&Ws). Except for really low bass, below 30
Hz, the AP -2.1's output was slightly greater
stability, smoothness, and the ability to play
loud and clean. Can I recommend the AP -
than the 801's.
2.1? Very much so, but with two reservations: its subdued high end (which is easily
corrected, if desired, with a slight treble
boost) and its lower mid/upper-bass resonance problem (which is not so easily corrected). Still, the AP -2. l's combination of
stunning good looks, extended and power-
a couch about 7 feet from the speakers.
I started with an excellent blues sampler
On third -octave, band -limited pink
noise, the AP -2.1s generated no usable bass
disc from Boston Acoustics, Up Close 20
Featuring Mighty Sam McClain (Audio -
output in the 20- and 25 -Hz bands, quite
Quest 1031). McClain's voice sounded very
clean and well balanced, while the bass was
output at 40 Hz and above. Once I matched
the AP -2.1 and 801 midrange levels (which
required attenuating the AP -2.1s by 4 dB),
the Digital Phase speakers were noticeably
robust and smooth. The AP -2.1s actually
reproduced the low bass at a slightly higher
usable output at 32 Hz, and robust bass
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
50
flawlessly in other respects as well, such as
imaging and soundstaging, center -image
ful bass response, and excellent overall performance is hard to beat at its price.
A
Music is the universal religion.
Be sure to build a proper altar.
Since laserdisc players convey Dolby Digital
EDWARD J. FOSTER
MARANTZ DP870
DOLBY DIGITAL
SURROUND DECODER
on an RF carrier, the DP870 demodulates
such signals internally to isolate the bit stream for decoding.
In addition to three Dolby Digital inputs,
the DP870 has six analog audio inputs,
which can be used to connect another 5.1 channel decoder or for pass -through of the
output from a Dolby Pro Logic or other
surround processor. When the input selector's "Bypass" button is pressed, sound fed
to these audio inputs is routed directly to
the six output jacks and thence to whatever
amplifiers are downstream.
This arrangement enables the DP870 to
be used with a variety of other equipment-for instance, an A/V receiver that
has a six -channel direct input, such as the
Marantz SR -96 that I reviewed in August, or
the company's SR -870 or SR -770 models. In
this case, you'd use the receiver normally
for conventional program material and select its six -channel input to listen to Dolby
Digital flowing from the DP870.
You can also use the DP870 with an A/V
preamp/processor (the Marantz AV -600, for
example) coupled to independent power
amps or with earlier generations of A/V receivers, such as the SR-92/SR-92 Mark 2 or
SR-82/SR-82 Mark 2. For that matter, you
can use the DP870 with any A/V receiver or
integrated amp that has pre-out/main-in
jack pairs for the five main channels and a
subwoofer output connection. In such
cases, you'd route six -channel audio from
the processor/preamp or receiver preamp
outputs to the DP870's six audio inputs and
W
hile billed as a Dolby Digital
(AC -3) demodulator/decoder,
the Marantz DP870 can also
serve as a complete surround
controller for home theater systems that lack 5.1 -channel control facilities. Based on the Zoran DSP chip,
the DP870 can decode Dolby Digital surround programs whether they arrive in RF
form from a laserdisc (the only way they're
available at the moment) or as straight digital bitstreams from future sources such as
DVD and HDTV. It
can also accept discrete 5.1 -channel audio signals from DTS
decoders or other systems yet to come.
Three inputs are
Dimensions: 17% in. W x 33/8 in. H x
Ins in. D (43.9 cm x 8.6 cm x 30.1
cm).
Weight: 10.6 lbs. (4.8 kg).
Price: $699.99.
Company Address: 440 Medinah Rd.,
Roselle, Ill. 60172; 630/307-3100.
For literature, circle No. 92
available for AC -3
signals: the RF input
round, you'd choose
YOU CAN SWITCH
AMONG THREE AC -3
the AC -3 source with
SOURCES WITH
Pro Logic Surround,
you'd switch the
THE DP870'S SELECTOR.
for laserdisc players
and both optical (Toslink) and coaxial
(RCA -jack) digital inputs for future Dolby
Digital sources. Each input can be selected
independently, so one can connect up to
three Dolby Digital sources and switch
among them with the DP870's selector.
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
52
feed signals back to the receiver (or to separate power amps and a powered subwoofer)
from the DP870's six output jacks. To listen
to Dolby Digital Sur-
the DP870; for non -
encoded or Dolby
DP870 to "Bypass."
Also note, howev-
er, that the Marantz
DP870 controls only audio signals; video
switching remains the province of the A/V
receiver or ancillary processor/switcher.
Depending on the system configuration,
you may have to change the settings of both
components to switch program sources and
Introducing the New
Polk RT2OP with Built-in
PoweL Subwoofers...
This matched home theater system
consists of the new RT2OP main
speakers with built-in powered subs,
LS f/x bipole/dipole surround speakers
and the awesome CS350 center speaker.
Polk Audio's new RT2OP
is truly a speaker for our
times. Featuring built-in 100
watt powered subwoofers and
Matthew Polk,
Polk's patented Power Port
co-founder and
chairman
venting technology, the
RT2OP delivers the bass authority and
life -like dynamic range for home theater
and digital music sources.
But the remarkable RT2OP is more than
a mere brute. It is a true serious listener's
speaker which will seduce you with it's
accuracy, detail and spacious imaging.
Dynamic Balance® driver technology,
spawned from laser research conducted in
polk
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"
5601 Metro Drive, Baltimore, Maryland 21215 USA
cooperation with Johns Hopkins University,
is the key to the superior musicality
of the RT2OP.
For the complete story of Polk technologies
and the entire line of Polk loudspeakers,
call (800)377-7655 or visit us on the
web, http://wwwpolkaudio.com.
CIRCLE NO. 26 ON READER SERVICE CARD
Dealer Locator Number
e
1-800-992-2520
I
Ad code: 20003
"Polk Audio". "The Speaker Specialists", "Power Port" and "Nigh Velocity
Compression Drive" are regcstered trademarks of Polk Investment
Corporation used under license by Polk Audio Incorporated.
OSL
Rip
>
LARGE SETTING
Q
K
I
SMALL SETTING
III
1
100
20
10k 20k
1k
FREQUENCY - Hz
digital." I haven't figured out a use
for these jacks (except possibly to
to evaluate AC -3 decoders leaves much to
feed a system in another room),
sweeps are so rapid that the Audio Precision
System One has difficulty keeping pace and
but they're there.
Two RC -5 remote control jacks
(the only non -gold jacks) are pro-
vided to transfer remote control
Fig. 1-Frequency
be desired. For example, the response
ceases to track the sweep as soon as the
response deviates from "flat." For similar
reasons, crosstalk and distortion measurements on Dolby Digital are confined to one
response, Dolby Digital
signals to and from the DP870. A
(AC -3) mode.
= '.c3A
slide switch above the jacks chooses whether the DP870 responds to
internal or external control.
The speaker -setup controls, on
=ESU.II~MIIIIIIMII11~=~11111111111 1
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the back panel, consist of two
linear PCM signal from a CD player, will
dutifully return it to the analog domain, I
111IIII111IIII111IIII
two -position and two three -position slide switches. The switches
are labeled "Front Spk." ("Large/
Small"), "Surr. Spk." ("Large/
decided to test this system both as an AC -3
decoder (using the Dolby test laserdisc) and
as a linear PCM decoder utilizing the CBS
CD -1 test CD as a source. This enabled me
Non/Small"), "Center Spk."
to evaluate the performance of the D/A
("Large/Non/Small"), and "Sub.
W Spk." ("On/Off"). When set to
converters, digital filters, and analog output
electronics more fully than is possible using
their respective "Small" positions,
the Dolby disc. That's important, because
16 -bit linear PCM data is reconstructed
o__=
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0.001
1
100
20
10k 20k
FREQUENCY - Hz
Fig. 2-THD + N vs.
frequency, D/A converter.
.,
o>,
-
1.40N laiS.S1
vs Lvoll 103,51 at
I
bass below 100 Hz is redirected
from the front, center, and surround channels to the subwoofer.
WK.
-80
Op
When the center or surround
-82
switches are in the "Non" position,
full -bandwidth audio is redirected
- 84
from the selected channels to the
front. The switches don't operate
directly on the signals but actually
-86
-88
-90
-100
-60
-80
-40
-20
SIGNAL LEVEL - dBFS
Fig. 3-THD + N vs.
output level.
o
frequency (1 kHz) and one level (0 dBFS).
Since the Marantz DP870 has digital as
well as RF AC -3 inputs and, if fed a 16 -bit
from the Dolby Digital bitstream by the Zo-
ran chip and converted back to analog by
these very same D/A converters.
I've divided the data table into two parts
to indicate the conditions under which the
data were collected. All the graphs shown
as a
test
were
set the DP870's microprocessor; in
fact, the changes don't take effect
until you've turned the system off
and on. An unswitched AC outlet
rated at 200 watts is provided by
get the sound and picture you desire. For
Marantz as a convenience.
example, if you are watching a laserdisc and
either forget to switch the DP870 from "Bypass to "RF" (or to choose the six -channel
input if you're using a receiver so
The front panel has a power switch on
the far left, a master volume on the far
Logic surround, not Dolby Digital. This can
be confusing until you get used to it, but it's
right, and, to its left, an array of six level
trim controls, one for each channel, each
with a center detent. To the left, near the
power switch, is an array of buttons, and
above them a corresponding set of display
unavoidable when audio and video por-
lamps. The left button selects delay time (0,
tions of a program are split and handled by
separate components.
In addition to the six audio input jacks
and corresponding output jacks (all goldplated RCAs), there is a two -channel line
output (also using gold-plated RCAs) that,
according to the manual's clumsy transla-
5, 10, or 15 milliseconds), the next four
choose the input ("Bypass," "RF," "Optical," and "Coaxial"), and the last two initi-
able in time for my review, so I have no
source, but I did run response sweeps using
the Dolby Digital test laserdisc and tabulat-
tion, "provides two channel audio output
of Dolby Pro Logic encoded signal, when
the unit is in the `Bypass' mode. When the
unit is in other mode, these jacks provide
comment on its operation.)
ed the range over which the Audio Preci-
only left and right signal of decoded Dolby
laserdisc that Dolby Laboratories produced
equipped), you'll be hearing Dolby Pro
ate "Test" and "Mute." An extra lamp in the
display indicates the presence of an AC -3
signal. (The remote control was not avail-
Measurements
As I've mentioned more than once, the
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
54
DYNAMIC RANGE
MEASURED A SUPERB
89.6 dB UNWEIGHTED,
AND 95.9 dB, A -WEIGHTED.
sion System One tracked and the maximum
deviation in response over that range. The
sweeps taken using the Dolby test laserdisc
overlay those using the test CD so closely
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Monsoon. Get caught in it
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l,neerlty rrrer IOW vs level WPM .t 1 ..y
UNDITHERED
I_ DITHERED
I
- 100
I
-60
-80
-40
o
-20
SIGNAL LEVEL - dBFS
while the low -frequency effects
dithered signals from -70 dBFS to -100
(LFE) output was almost 9 dB
dBFS. As you can see, the results are superb.
higher, so I turned the LFE trim-
Linearity error is nonexistent to -70 dBFS
mer fully counterclockwise to
in either case and to -80 dBFS on the
bring its output essentially in line
with that of the primary channels.
dithered tracks. Linearity error on an un -
Fig. 4-Deviation from
In general, the trimmers have a
linearity.
range of just under ±10 dB.
slarsne: One's
fade ts Neese
Len
len
Ap
+8
+4
i v
o
4
- 120
-110
-90
-100
-BO
-70
-60
SIGNAL LEVEL - dBFS
Fig. 5-Fade-to-noise test.
-80
Ap
- 100
- 120
Note also that the table shows
there's more than adequate output
level (3.16 volts), and the channel
separation measured at 1 kHz in
GREAT DYNAMIC RANGE,
the AC -3 mode is excellent. Worst -
IT'S CLEAN,
case separation (right front to left
front) is 77.7 dB, with most of the
numbers about 10 to 20 dB better
than that.
Total harmonic distortion plus
noise (THD + N) at 1 kHz and 0
dBFS, using the Dolby Digital signal, are tabulated for each channel.
(The datum for the LFE channel is
taken at 30 Hz.) Within the limits
of measurement error, THD + N in
the left -front channel using the
-140
30
lk
100
IOOk 200k
10k
FREQUENCY - Hz
Fig. 6-Noise spectra
vs.
frequency.
. o_
vSID oM .. .
,.
e e e e e e e e ó/ é d
Inputs for three Dolby Digital
sources are on the back panel.
that I think it's safe to assume that the response of the five main channels is essentially as shown in Fig. 1-i.e., flat within
+0 dB, -0.5 dB from 20 Hz to 20 kHz. The
main curve in the figure was taken with the
front speaker switch in the "Large" position; the secondary curve that begins to roll
off just above 200 Hz was taken with the
switch in the "Small" position.
For the record, I took all data with the
volume fully advanced and the level -trim
controls for the five main channels set at
their center detents. As you can see from the
table's "Dolby Digital Characteristics" sec-
tion, the output levels in the five primary
channels were matched within ±0.42 dB,
dithered -90 dBFS recording is less than 0.7
dB, and that figure drops to 0.14 dB when
Dolby Digital test laserdisc agrees
with the corresponding datum taken using the CD test disc. The latter
indicates that, on a single -channel
sine -wave basis, the D/A converter
and analog electronics, rather than
the Zoran AC -3 decoder, set the
performance limits.
Referring now to Fig. 2, you can
see the D/A converter's THD + N
versus frequency measured using
the 0-dBFS tracks of the CBS test
THE DP870 HAS
AND IT'S QUIET.
dither is added. Even at -100 dBFS, linearity error is a mere 0.17 dB on a dithered signal. Superb performance!
Figure 5 shows a fade -to -noise plot taken
on the left -front channel, while Fig. 6 is a
%J -octave spectrum analysis of residual
noise in that channel. As you can see from
Fig. 5, linearity error averages a mere 1 dB
at -110 dBFS. Figure 6 suggests the presence of some magnetically -induced hum at
60 and 180 Hz, but there's no trace of power -supply ripple at 120 Hz and its harmonics. The whole lay of the noise curve is quite
"low," and very smooth, which helps deliver the excellent 97.8 -dB A -weighted signal-
to-noise (S/N) figure shown in the table.
Quantization noise, which includes conver-
sion artifacts, is higher (-85.7 dBFS), but
CD. Over most of the audible
this figure is nothing to sneeze at. Dynamic
range measured according to JIS standards
is a superb 89.6 dB unweighted and 95.9 dB
range, distortion barely exceeds
A -weighted.
0.01% and, except for a bad point
at 18 kHz where the beat product reaches
0.0485%, contamination hardly tops 0.02%
Use and Listening Tests
under worst -case conditions. I consider
through the bench measurements without a
that pretty darned good performance.
hitch. But from the human -engineering
viewpoint, there are a few complaints (although "complaint" might be a tad too
strong a word). I've already outlined the
potential confusion that may arise with
Figure 3 shows THD + N versus level at 1
kHz, again using the CBS test CD as a signal
source. Distortion drops rapidly from -80.4
dBFS at 0 dBFS (equivalent to 0.0095%) to
-86.8 dBFS (0.0091%) at -6 dBFS. This
suggests that at maximum output the analog electronics may be contributing a bit to
overall distortion. From -30 dBFS to -90
dBFS, THD + N remains below -88.8 dBFS.
Figure 4 shows linearity error versus level
using the undithered recordings of the CBS
CD -1 disc to -90 dBFS and, separately, the
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
56
Clearly, the Marantz DP870 breezed
thinking you're listening to an AC -3
laserdisc in Dolby Digital when in fact
you're really listening in the Pro Logic
mode. The DP870 isn't alone in this regard;
it's a common logistical problem whenever
an outboard decoder/processor is integrat-
ed with existing equipment. Still, Dolby
Digital Surround laserdiscs have been with
A bullet -prop}.
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CIRCLE NO 6 ON READER SERVICE CARD
CRUTCHFIELD
Sony
MEASURED DATA
DSS
D/A CONVERTER CHARACTERISTICS
is Here!
Output Impedance: 470 ohms.
Frequency Response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz,
+0, -0.5 dB.
THD + N at 0 dBFS: Less than 0.0485%,
Output Level re Left Front: Right front,
20 Hz to 20 kHz.
THD + N at 1 kHz: From 0 to -90 dBFS,
Frequency Response: Left front, 20 Hz
to 18.2 kHz, +0, -0.45 dB; right front,
20 Hz to 18.8 kHz, +0, -0.43 dB; center, 20 Hz to 18.7 kHz, +0, -0.41 dB;
left surround, 20 Hz to 18.7 kHz, +0,
PIUS MORE
CAR STEREO
on the perfect
stereo
`,nr
less than -80.4 dB; from -30 to -90
AudioCar Stereo
yrdee Home Theater
dBFS, less than -88.8 dB.
Maximum Linearity Error to -90 dBFS:
Undithered recording, 0.69 dB.
Maximum Linearity Error to -100 dBFS:
Dithered recording, 0.17 dB.
FREE
A -Weighted S/N (Infinity Zero re 0
dBFS): 97.8 dB.
Stereo Catalog
Quantization Noise: -85.7 dBFS.
Dynamic Range: Unweighted, 89.6 dB;
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18.7 kHz, +0, -0.40 dB; LFE, from below 20 Hz to more than 78 Hz, +0.15,
-0.13 dB.
THD + N at 1 kHz, 0 dBFS: Left front,
0.0091%; right front, 0.0095%; center,
0.0110%; left surround, 0.0112%; right
RF Input
Maximum Output Level at 1 kHz: Main
mum, 77.7 dB (right front to left front);
maximum, 112.3 dB (left front to LFE).
selected as the primary audio system for
DVD in North America and other NTSC
markets. (And despite the last-minute efforts of the DTS camp to muddy the waters,
I expect the FCC will stay the logical course,
keeping Dolby Digital as the audio standard
for HDTV.) By now, I would have hoped
that current -generation A/V receivers and
outboard boxes would have been integrated
to the extent that they
would automatically
detect the presence of
an AC -3 bitstream
and choose it over
Dolby Pro Logic. The
son operation -one at the controls, the
other either listening or watching a sound level meter at the primary viewing location.
'Nuff complaints already! The Marantz
DP870 tests exceptionally well, and it is a
remarkably fine -sounding decoder. And
its six -channel pass through switching capability makes it unusually versatile. It
WELL, AND IT IS A
FINE -SOUNDING DECODER.
front -channel time alignment adjustments of some other
Dolby Digital Sur-
I'm also somewhat
put off by the front -panel level -trim con-
r Call for your FREE catalog,
August issue), you can leave the trimmers at
their center detents and calibrate the system
using the latter's noise sequencer and elec-
1-800-955-9009
tronic level controls. That's because the
SR -96 stores the level setting for each channel separately for its six -channel input. But
with a less adroit receiver, or with separates,
1 Crutchfield Park, Dept. AU, Charlottesville, VA 22906
,
them in the first place becomes a two -per-
may not have the
Marantz SR -96 receiver (reviewed in the
CRUTCHFIELD
easy to knock out of whack, and setting
TESTS EXCEPTIONALLY
trols. If you use the DP870 with the
days, nights, even on the weekend!
Nobody ships faster!
you must use the DP870 trimmers to calibrate. That's a nuisance. Panel knobs are
THE MARANTZ DP870
foresight.
FREE technical advice when you need it -
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
58
CIRCLE NO. 12 ON READER SERVICE CARD
-0.40 dB; right surround, 20 Hz to
Channel Separation at 1 kHz: Mini-
just requires some
anywhere else.
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dB; LFE, +8.87 dB.
DOLBY DIGITAL CHARACTERISTICS
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-0.51 dB; center, +0.06 dB; left sur-
surround, 0.0084%; LFE at 30 Hz,
A -weighted, 95.9 dB.
us for some time now, and AC -3 has been
Information you
can't find
anywhere else
left front at 0 dBFS, 3.16 volts.
round decoders, but
it's got great dynamic range, it's clean, and
it's quiet. And, who knows, maybe some of
that good sound is because Marantz chose
not to use electronic level controls. (They
have been known to induce noise and dis-
tortion, after all.) When integrated with
the SR -96 A/V receiver (which is how I
used it and how many Marantz enthusiasts will), most of my complaints fade into
oblivion.
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Fax: 703-5b0-53(19
put selection and volume) is centered in the
front panel.
EQUIPMENT PROFILE
BASCOM H. KING
The four inputs and the main and tape
outputs are represented on the rear panel
PASS LABORATORIES
ALEPH-P PREAMP
by pairs of XLR balanced jacks above pairs
of high -quality RCA unbalanced jacks.
(The Aleph-P comes set up for unbalanced
input signals, with U-shaped, gold-plated
jumpers shorting pin 1 to pin 3 in each of
the XLR balanced input connectors. To use
the balanced inputs, you merely remove the
shorting jumpers.) An AC power -cord
socket and line fuse holder are also on the
rear panel.
Construction of the Aleph-P is beefy and
robust, to put it mildly. The front panel and
side pieces appear to be of 1/2 -inch -thick
aluminum, and the top and bottom covers
and rear panel are made of 1/4 -inch alu-
; l:
Ililll
i
.
l
y
Í:1
;!nn! n!!!I!n!l!!u,-
o1r1s1u1l t1e1lu1u.
0I
wll!
-
1113111111
UNIQUELY, THE ALEPH-P
HAS ACTIVE CIRCUITS
The Aleph-P was the first
preamp produced by Pass
sounds like a real human being wrote it.
Laboratories. The company
says "it integrates power
The control setup is a bit unusual. Between the input selector at the left and the
MOS-FET devices and sin-
overall volume ("Level") control on the
gle -ended Class -A operation
in a simple topology in order
right are knobs for left- and right -channel
gain. Having gain controls enables you to
optimize the match between the input signal level and the rest of the preamp. This
prevents overloading the gain stages and
matches the signal to the "Level" control
(which follows the active circuits) so that
you won't be stuck using just a few steps at
one end of the control's range. Having separate gain controls for each channel lets you
use them to adjust balance, too. Both the
signal -selector and "Level" knobs can be
to deliver the most natural
sound possible." The excellent owner's manual goes
into great detail about the philosophy of the
design as well as how to use the preamp.
The manual is not dry and humorless but
Dimensions: 19 in. W x 4 in. H x 111/2
in.D (48.3cmx 10.2 cm x 29.2 cm).
Weight: 25 lbs. (11.3 kg).
Price: $4,000.
Company Address: 24449 Foresthill
Rd., Foresthill, Cal. 95631; 916/3673690; fax, 916/367-2193.
For literature, circle No. 93
(Nelson Pass, in fact, was the author.)
rotated continuously, with no end stops,
since they are actually digital encoders that
operate via a microcontroller. A ring of blue
LEDs around each of these knobs shows the
input selection and level setting. A sensor
for the supplied remote (which controls in-
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
60
SANDWICHED BETWEEN
TRUE GAIN CONTROLS
AND AN ATTENUATOR.
minum, all bolted together with Allen -head
machine screws into inch -thick bars at each
enclosure corner.
There are three printed -circuit boards
inside the Pass Labs preamp. One of them,
on the inside of the rear panel, links all the
input and output connectors and signal switching relays. The main board, which
fills most of the chassis bottom, is a beauti-
ful study in layout functionality and simplicity. The third p.c. board interconnects
the front -panel controls and indicating
LEDs. It also carries the microcontroller
that operates the attenuator and source -selector relays according to the position of the
front -panel "Level" and source -selector
knobs. A generous -sized toroidal power
transformer is mounted to the preamplifi-
SOUND SO REAL YOU CAN FEEL IT
Velodyne
r`here's more to a good subwoofer
j than thunderous, wall -rattling bass.
Even a small percentage of distortion
can take all the clarity out of the signal,
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You'll hear all the impact and all the
fidelity from Velodyne's High Gain
Servo subwoofers. It's thanks to the
accelerometer. This revolutionary
device, custom -designed by Velodyne, is
mounted directly on the speaker's voice
coil, where it takes continuous motion
measurements and feeds them to a comparator circuit. Any differences between
the measured motion and the source
signal represent distortion.
The Velodyne system corrects those
differences approximately 3500 times
every second for a precise match with
the input signal. The resulting sound is
clean, powerful and, at less than 1%
THD, virtually without distortion -a
combination no other subwoofer has
been able to achieve.
Why let distortion get between you
and the power and definition you
expect in a subwoofer? Audition a
Velodyne speaker system, including an
F -Series sub, today. Call 1 -800 -VELO-
DYNE for the authorized dealer in your
area.
Velodyne Acoustics Inc.
1070 Commercial Street, Suite 101
San Jose, CA 95112 USA
408-436-7270 FAX 408-436-7276
1-800-VELODYNE
© 1996, Velodyne Acoustics Inc. Velodyne is a registered
trademark of Velodyne Acoustics, Inc. All rights reserved.
Subwoofers in Velodyne's F -Series feature a resin -reinforced cone with a specially
designed hole pattern to break up unwanted standing waves; a high density surround
and linen spider for exceptional durability; a massive magnet structure; a copper voice
coil, precisely matched for maximum output and amplifier efficiency; protection circuitry to prevent damage; an optimized cabinet design; and infrared remote control.
Now available with 10' 12", 15" and 18" drivers!
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zserwiaeri e LN6Llahl ,. ruu(n.)
Sao
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- 10
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closely matched in performance character-
sources of the MOS-FETs. In fact, that
istics, so results are presented for the left
is exactly what is done by the front -
channel unless otherwise noted.
panel gain controls. These controls en-
With the front -panel gain controls at
able optimum adjustment of circuit
maximum, gain from either the balanced or
unbalanced inputs was 13.5 dB to the unbalanced main outputs and 18.6 dB to the
gain for different signal -source levels so
I
-30dB
- 40
resistance connected between the
10k
FREQUENCY - Hz
Fig. 1-Frequency response
at various level settings.
200k
that the output level control and amp
stage are in their optimum operating
ranges. The manual for the Aleph-P
states that it can drive low -impedance
loads without distortion and can even
drive a 0 -ohm mixer junction without
any distortion!
The Aleph-P's outputs are automati-
cally muted at turn -on, turn-off, and
er's right side piece. Construction and parts
quality are of a high order.
Circuit Highlights
The Aleph-P's circuitry is completely
balanced, from input to output, which is
uncommon. Its overall topology, however,
is not just uncommon but definitely unusual. In virtually all other preamps, the signal
passes from the selector switch through balance and volume controls and then into the
line amplifier. In the Aleph-P, the selected
signal is applied directly to the input of the
line amplifier, while the front -panel "Level"
knob indirectly (via the microcontroller)
operates a relay -controlled output attenuator that feeds the preamp's main outputs.
The circuitry for the line stage is a single stage differential amplifier using a pair of
MOS-FET transistors. The drain of each
MOS-FET is fed from a MOS-FET constant -current source, and each source is
connected to a MOS-FET constant -current
sink. The drains are coupled by capacitors
to the output attenuators for each phase of
the signal.
Negative feedback is applied from each
MOS-FET's drain back to its signal input
gate. Since the drain outputs are opposite in
polarity to these gates, the feedback is inverting, which calls for series input resistors
for voltage (as opposed to current) drive.
These resistors determine the preamp's input impedance. Their values are set, in con-
any time the AC line voltage drops to a
point where the regulators would be unable
to perform their job.
Measurements
Measuring the Aleph-P's gain and sensi-
tivity is not a simple matter, as these are
functions of the level- and gain -control settings. They are also affected by the output
load on the preamp, and this effect will vary
with the level setting, since the preamp's
output impedance varies with the output
attenuator setting (which is controlled by
the front -panel "Level" knob). In addition,
you can use an internal switch to lower the
gain by 12 dB in the unlikely event that you
expect an input signal to exceed 18 volts.
This switch was set for the normal mode in
all tests. The two channels of the Aleph-P
balanced main outputs; setting the gain
controls at minimum reduced the readings
by just under 22 dB. At either setting, gain
from the balanced input to the unbalanced
tape output was -9.3 dB but was 0 dB from
unbalanced input to unbalanced tape output; gain from either input to the balanced
tape output was also 0 dB. Sensitivity measurements are presented in Table I.
Frequency response is shown in Fig. 1 for
input and output with instrument loading
and with the gain controls fully clockwise.
(Results were about the same with the gain
trims fully down and with unbalanced input and output.) Although response within
the audio band is flat at all volume levels,
there are rolloffs above the audio band at
the highest and lowest level settings. The
rolloffs at the higher settings result from the
low-pass filter formed by the output impedance and the capacitance of my test
leads. As the level control is turned down,
the output impedance drops and the high frequency response improves until there is
hardly any rolloff with 20 to 30 dB of attenuation. With further attenuation the output
impedance becomes still lower, yet the
EQUIPMENT USED
I used the following equipment in the listening tests for this review:
LS22, Spectron 10, and Forssell bal-
CD Transports: Sonic Frontiers SFT-1
Amplifiers: Sonic Frontiers Power -3
and Counterpoint DA -11A.
CD Electronics: Genesis Technologies
Digital Lens anti -jitter device; Sonic
Frontiers SFD-2 MKII, Classé Audio
DAC-1, Dodson Audio DA -217, and
Manley Reference D/A converters.
Phono Equipment: Oracle turntable,
Well Tempered Arm, Accuphase AC -2
moving -coil cartridge, and Vendetta
Research SCP-2C phono preamp.
anced tube line driver.
mono tube amplifiers, Quicksilver M135 mono tube amplifiers with Svetlana 6550C output tubes, and Spectron
1KW digital switching amplifier.
Loudspeakers: Genesis Technologies
Genesis Vs and B&W 801 Matrix Series
3s augmented from 20 to 50 Hz by two
subwoofers.
Cables: Analog cables by MIT and Trans-
parent Audio; digital interconnects
junction with the circuit's relatively low
Additional Signal Sources: Nakamichi
(AES/EBU balanced), Illuminati DX -
open -loop gain, to produce nominal unbalanced input impedance of 10 kilohms and
balanced input impedance of 20 kilohms.
An interesting attribute of such a circuit
is that its gain can be set by the amount of
ST -7 FM tuner, Nakamichi 250 cassette
recorder, and Technics 1500 open -reel
recorder.
50 and Audient Technologies Datrix
Other Preamplifiers: Audio Research
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
62
Reference active cabling used with Audient Tactic and Audit cable driver and
receiver.
MicroWorks Delivered Chest -Thu mpiri
Bass And Crystal -Clear Highs, With
Almost No Distortion At Any Level."
Boot magazine
Introducing MicroWorksOur New High -Powered,
High -Output Amplified
Speaker System.
MicroWorks is a very
powerful, very versatile
amplified subwoofer/
satellite speaker
/
system. It
duces enough
natural,
accurate, wide -range sound - -including deep bass - to fill a living room or a
conference room. It's perfect for use with
multimedia computers and for making business
presentations. It can be the heart of a terrific
home stereo system. Or just connect it to a
stereo TV or VCR for a simple -but -fantastic two -
channel home theater sound system.
More Power. More Output. Better Bass.
Compared to any other multimedia speaker
system we know of, MicroWorks has much
more power, significantly more acoustic output
and deeper, stronger bass. We think it sets a new
standard of performance for the product
category. Its sound is comparable to that of a
very high quality component stereo system.
The Ultimate Multimedia Sound System?
The wide frequency range, natural tonal
balance and high output of MicroWorks make it
one of the very best multimedia sound systems
you can buy. It's perfect for use with SRS or
Dolby's new Virtual Pro Logic' system. And its
wide dispersion and high sound level capability
make it ideal for computer presentations to
groups of people. Yet
its tiny satellite
speakers and
vertical subwoofer
(which goes on the
floor) take up very
little workspace.
MicroWorks
consists of two
magnetically
shielded cube
MicroWorks
comes finished in
black or white.
compact, affordable, amplified
speaker system that produces wide range, natural, very "big" sound. PC
Computing named SoundWorks
"best multimedia sound system over
$100." Audio says it's "really
amazing...exceptionally good."
SoundWorks may be the
most highly
i..
..LI.J
I reviewed speaker
'y ' -1-1-1-1
i
'NO:
$34999
MicroWorks system with satellite speakers and
subwoofer with built-in amplifiers.'
satellite speakers, an in -line volume control, and
a subwoofer. The subwoofer cabinet encloses a
61/1" woofer, a 3 -channel amplifier, an electronic
crossover and a control panel with two inputs
and a bass level control. The satellite cubes are
supplied with desktop stands, plus a velcro kit
that lets you attach the cubes directly to a
computer monitor.
Factory -Direct Savings.
Because we eliminate expensive middlemen,
we can sell MicroWorks for only $349.99 - about
half the price of its best-known competitor.
SoundWorks is
one of the most
highly acclaimed
speaker systems
of all time.'
system ever. CD
Rom World
ranked it #1, ahead of
systems selling for three times its price.
SoundWorks (at only $219.99) remains the
country's best value in a high-performance
amplified speaker system.
Music Anywhere, Anytime.
With SoundWorks' optional carrybag and
rechargeable battery - along with a portable CD
player - you can create a high-performance
music system that can go anywhere - even the
beach. Plus you can play the system in its bag while you're carrying it!
Satisfaction Guaranteed.
Try MicroWorks or SoundWorks in your
home or office for 30 days. listen with your
music, with no sales person hovering nearby.
After a month you can keep it or return it.
But be warned - you'll keep it.
To Order Factory -Direct,
For A Free Catalog, Or For The
Nearest Store Location, Call
.Nut.i_.
1-800-FOR-HIFI
(1-800-367-4434)
CAMBRIDGE
SOUNDWORKS
SoundWorks: - Still The Country's
Best Multimedia Speaker Value.
Two years ago, we changed the way people
listened to music with computers, portable CD
players, boom boxes and TVs when we
introduced SoundWorks.
Designed by Henry Kloss, SoundWorks is a
CIRCLE NO. 9 ON READER SERVICE CARD
Critically Acclaimed. Factory -Direct.
311 Needham Street, Suite 104, Newton, MA 02164
Fax: 617-332-9229
Canada: 1-800-525-4434
Outside US. or Canada: 617-332-5936
The subwoofers of both systems are designed to be placed on tae Floor, not on
the same surface as the satellite speakers. O 1995 Cambridge SoundWorks.
high -frequency rolloff returns; I cannot
account for this. With IHF loading, the
-3 dB point dropped from 100 kHz to
about 60 kHz in the worst case ("Level"
clockwise), but the change in response
essentially disappeared at attenuations
of 20 dB or more. Tracking between
channels was extremely good, thanks to
0.01
0.1
10 20
I
OUTPUT -V
A
r"M LABS
TMD.M¢t we
LEVE1. Vi
10
the use of high -precision resistors in
the output attenuators.
Because of the output attenuators'
design, the output impedance varied
with attenuation. Output impedance at
the balanced outputs got as high as 2
kilohms with the level control turned
all the way up. Turning the level control
down, however, swiftly reduced the
output impedance, which dropped to
less than 200 ohms for attenuations of
0.1
20 dB or more. Output impedance will
likely be less than 200 ohms in most
conditions of use. Impedance at the
unbalanced output was half that at the
0.01
0.001
0.01
0.1
20
10
I
balanced output.
Balanced input impedance was
OUTPUT -V
Fig. 2-THD + N at 1 kHz
about 20 kilohms with level and gain
controls fully clockwise and increased
B
vs. output level and load
for balanced (A) and
unbalanced (B) outputs.
BMX LABS
F16 1 TMB Mi>,) ra FNWIhx)
1
41'
INSTR LOAD
0.1
nil
y
t
LOAD "
iiinn
1
INSTR. LOAD;;-:.-¿
5V OUT
0.01
I
2.5V OUT
IHF LOAD
INSTR LOAD
IHF LOAD
11.
0.001
20
Ik
100
I0k
50k
FREQUENCY-
Fig. 3-THD + N vs.
frequency for various
gain settings.
output voltage with decreasing load imped-
ance is at its maximum. But note that the
input voltage is the same for all five curves,
so the circuit is being driven just as hard, despite the changing output voltage. The distortion was predominantly third -harmonic.
The measurements in Fig. 2B are for unbalanced output, again with gain and level
settings at maximum. Here, the maximum
output for light (high -impedance) loading
is about half what it is for balanced output,
and there is a noticeable upturn in the distortion curves where even -order distortion
starts to increase. These changes of slope
don't occur in Fig. 2A because balanced
outputs inherently cancel even harmonics.
With the preamp set for 10 dB of gain with
instrument loading, distortion was about a
third of that seen in Fig. 2A.
The fact that the distortion curves in
Figs. 2A and 2B have about the same shape
for the various loadings supports the man-
that of the balanced input.
Common -mode rejection ratio
(CMRR) indicates how well a balanced
ufacturer's claim that the Aleph-P could
drive a 0 -ohm load with low distortion.
input rejects noise signals applied to
both its positive and negative pins;
when measured at the unbalanced output jacks, it also indicates how well
each phase of the input signal is represented in the unbalanced output signal.
With the level control at its maximum
position and with gain trims at maximum, CMRR exceeded 56 dB at 20 kHz
and 60 dB below 4 kHz at the unbalanced output jacks; with the gain con-
low 800 Hz. For bal-
Table I-Input sensitivity at maximum and minimum gain.
anced outputs and
gain at maximum,
CMRR was 87 dB
at 20 kHz and bet-
Sensitivity, mV
MAX. GAIN
58.8
anced input and output and with gain and
level controls at maximum, the conditions
under which output impedance is the highest. With this high impedance, the drop in
gain trims counterclockwise. Unbalanced input impedance was about half
trols at their 1 o'clock positions, CMRR
was about 42 dB at 20 kHz and was bet-
105.8
surements in Fig. 2A were made via the bal-
to 34 kilohms with level clockwise and
ter than 50 dB be-
Any Input to Unbalanced Main Out
Any Input to Balanced Main Out
Balanced In to Unbalanced Tape Out
Unbalanced In to Unbalanced Tape Out
Any Input to Balanced Tape Out
Figure 2 shows 1 -kHz total harmonic
distortion plus noise (THD + N) versus
output level for various loads. The mea-
MIN. GAIN
1310
729.9
1462
1462
ter than 100 dB be-
500
500
low 3 kHz. Perform-
500
500
ance on this test
was very good.
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
64
Consider Fig. 2A: The curves for 10 -ohm
and 100 -ohm loading reach 0.02% distortion at about 22 and 220 millivolts, respectively; in each case, the preamp is delivering
about 2.2 milliamperes of output current.
At lower output voltages (and correspondingly lower currents), distortion would be
lower still. (This is obscured by the noise
component of the THD + N at the bottom
of the 10 -ohm curve.) By extrapolating, we
can see that the circuit could indeed provide 1 to 2 milliamps into a 0 -ohm load at
low distortion.
Figure 3 shows THD + N as a function of
frequency with instrument or IHF loading.
Input voltage was 1 volt with "Level" fully
up. The gain controls were turned up full
for the 10 -volt output curves and were
turned down to get the other measurements. The 1,000-picofarad capacitance of
the IHF load reduces both high -frequency
distortion and out -of -band noise. Since the
noise component of a THD + N measurement includes noise above the audio band,
WELCOME TO THE NEXT LEVEL
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When you become
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the IHF load yields lower overall THD + N
500 millivolts output, readings ranged from
at 2.5 volts out, where the noise accounts
for more of the reading than the distortion
does. Distortion performance of the Pass
86 to 89 dB.
Labs Aleph-P is very good, and it will likely
contribute only negligible distortion in actual use.
.art__
o s;eee00o
oodded0
Use and Listening Tests
The Aleph-P impressed me right away as
a very good -sounding preamp. My initial
listening notes indicated that definition and
Interchannel crosstalk was generally
detail were very good, as were space, dimen-
quite similar in each direction and was better in the balanced than in the unbalanced
input and output modes. With unbalanced
sion, imaging, and soundstaging. I noted
some slightly irritating sound on a few of
my CDs that are difficult to make sound
good, but this irritation cleared up when I
changed my interconnect and speaker ca-
input and output, crosstalk was down by
more than 80 dB below 4 kHz, increasing to
about 70 dB down at 20 kHz; with balanced
THE PASS ALEPH-P
IS AN EXCELLENT PREAMP
THAT SERVES
THE MUSIC WELL.
bles; with the new cables, the Aleph-P
discovered, was simply that the remote control's volume -up button had stuck, and the
input and output, crosstalk diminished to
-100 dB below 6 kHz and about -92 dB at
sounded very good indeed. There was now
20 kHz.
Because the level attenuator is at this pre -
made music a real pleasure to listen to. Regardless of the cables I used, I felt the bass
was not as prominent or strong and had less
remote happened to be pointing at the
"slam" than with the other preamps I had
on hand. Bass detail and realism were still
very good, however. All in all, the Pass
Aleph-P is an excellent preamp that serves
the music well.
listening room.
My experiences with this preamp made
me wish I had the chance to listen to some
of Pass Laboratories' famed single -ended
solid-state power amplifiers. The Aleph-P is
ratio ranged from 100 to 103 dB. With level
When I first tried out the preamp, the
volume started mysteriously and uncon-
an excellent -sounding preamp that will
likely give trouble -free service for a very
set at maximum and gain controls set for
trollably turning itself full up. The cause, I
long time.
amp's output instead of its input, it attenuates output noise, too. Therefore, this pre amp produced some truly low output -noise
levels, on the order of several microvolts.
With a fixed input level of 500 millivolts,
gains set at maximum, and level set for 500
millivolts output, the IHF signal-to-noise
a musical ease to the reproduction that
Aleph-P. Aside from that, the preamp func-
tioned perfectly both in the lab and in the
ACROTEC
.
I.
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CIRCLE NO. 1 ON READER SERVICE CARD
A
RC -2000 AT A GLANCE
Replace all of your existing remotes and
control your entire A/V system with one,
easy -to -use remote.
Convenient Macro keys store up to 20
commands each that can be sent
DEATH. TAXES.
TOO MANY REMOTES.
(we can fix that last one)
automatically in sequence.
LCD window and keypad illuminate
With some help, at least one of life's certainties can be negotiated.
Take the half -dozen hard -to -use remote controls that came with
automatically when the room is dark.
Ergonomically designed, with logically
grouped functions and clear labels.
Large LCD window displays as many as 32
special commands for each component.
Renaming feature lets you customize the
LCD display with component and function
names you choose.
Hundreds of built-in commands for popular
Marantz models and other components
using the Philips RC -5 remote control
language. DSS command functions
provided.
ALL YOU NEED IS ONE
Built-in and learned functions give you
complete control of infrared -operated
components such as:
TVs and monitors
Cable boxes
AN receivers
Surround decoders
Laser disc players
VCRs
DSS satellite
CD players/
changers
Cassette decks
AM/FM tuners
0,
02
03
,..;.,
nr
your home theater equipment. Why so many? Because no one has
produced an affordable, powerful, and sensible remote that can
replace your extensive collection.
Now, thanks to Marantz, all you need is one.
+
Introducing the Marantz RC -2000. Designed with input from
leading custom A/V installation experts, the RC -2000 is the first
learning remote that gives you complete, convenient control of
your entire entertainment system.
In contrast with other learning remotes, the RC -2000 has an
intuitive keypad layout with highly visible labels, plus advanced
convenience features such as Macro keys that transmit up to 20
commands each at the push of a button. Imagine: One button can
activate your entire home theater system, set the input selectors,
adjust the surround mode, and even start the movie - all in the
order you choose, and even with timing intervals you may need.
This is what remote control should be all about.
":..the Marantz RC -2000 is the answer
to my prayers ... It looks to be a real solution to
one of home theater's most troublesome and
overlooked aspects - system control."
Lawrence E. Ullman,
Stereophile Guide to Home Theater, Summer 1996
DSS INSIDE!
Complete set of
TCE-brand DSS
commands
included, plus
built-in command
labels for learning
other -brand DSS
codes.
BUILT-IN
ILLUMINATION
A built-in light
sensor activates
the illuminated
keypad and LCD
display when the
room is dark, and
automatically
disables it to save
battery power
when the room
brightens.
Illumination can
also be activated
instantly at the
touch of a button.
Despite its powerful capabilities, the RC -2000 sets up in minutes, a decided advantage over expensive
controllers that require professional installation and programming. Powered by a 33 -MHz notepad
computer chip, the RC -2000 can learn hundreds of infrared remote commands, enough to handle even
the most sophisticated A/V systems. Got satellite? The RC -2000 is already loaded with commands for
popular DSS brands, plus hundreds of additional commands for Marantz and other brands that use the
Philips RC -5 remote control language. You can even rename component labels and functions with
names you choose.
Of course, what good is all of this control capability if you can't see what you're doing?
An illuminated keypad and back -lit LCD display make the RC -2000 perfect in darkened home theaters.
A built-in light sensor automatically activates the illumination feature when the room is dark, and
disables it to save battery power when the room brightens. The illumination can also be activated
instantly at the touch of a button. An advanced memory backup system protects all of your customized
features and learned codes, and even alerts you when it's time to change the batteries. The RC -2000's
powerful programming features allow you to customize it to match your exact requirements for precise
and total control of your entire entertainment system.
So what should you do with your old remotes? Absolutely nothing.
moat
rinf
if®
PURE HIGH FIDELITY
Marantz America, Inc.
440 Medinah Road, Roselle, IL 60172-2330 Tel 708-307-3100 708-307-2687 Fax
Presented by
When you've got questions about Audio and Video,
see a specialist
clDo
I
need a bigger amp for my
rear speakers?
AThe key to enhancing rear speaker
performance is rot a bigger amp, but
the new Digital Surround Sound
process, also referred to as AC -3.
Dolby Surround AC -3 celivers
six separate channels of sound. Dolby
clWhy its sensitivity important when
evaluating loudspeakers?
ASensitivity can be a very misleading
guide to j_idgirg loudspeakers.
Sensi bvity is defined as how a
loudspeaker performs with a given
input, at a specific distance, on axis. One myth is
provides a single limited
tandwidth (100-700Hz) rear channel which is
typically played back throLgh two channels of
zmplification and two speakers. In comparison,
a more sensitive ;peak; r sounds better than a
loudspeaker with less sensitivity. The phrase,
more sensitive speaker; simply means that the
Dolly AC -3 provides separate (discrete)
left -rear and right -rear channels, with
power. This is rrost o wious when performing
an A/B test of _vvo different speakers. One
speaker will inevitably be louder. This type of
test tends to tr ek less experienced listeners
into thinking the louder speaker sounds better.
Many times, a lcudspeaker manufacturer will
sacrifice a more sensitie speaker for one with
a better response to improve over-all sound
quality. As a sma-t corsumer, you should keep
Fro -Logic Surround
full -bandwidth (3-20,000HZ) for more precise
Iota' zation of sounds and more -ealistic
ambiance. If you already have a Dolby Pro Logic
Surround system, you will need a Dolby
Surround AC -3 demodulator/decoder and a
stereo VCR or laser -disc ?layer with AC
RF
signal output. If this is not n your budget, good
-esuks also can be achieved with another new
teration of surround sound: DDSC (Dynamic
Disc-ete Surround Circui _). Improvements are
Iasi
heard: lower THD by about 20%,
ncreased separation front, oack and side to side.
Also 18 -bit digital convers on for surround and
effec_s channels for much higher fidelity an
fuller bass response even in the rear :harnels,.
speaker will play louder at the same input
the following it mind before performing a
sensitivity test: tie best way to compare tw
different loudspeakers is to listen to a track o
one speaker, then restar
Each month, Audio Magazine's feature "See a Specialist" showcases the finest audio/video dealers from
across the country. The dealers, chosen as a result of recommendations from equipment manufacturers,
Audio Magazine staff and industry organizations, exemplify the best audio/video dealers from New York to
California. The chosen dealers offer solutions to problems that can best be handled by a specialty
audio/video retailer.
If you would like to submit questions to dealers in your area please write to
See a Specialist, c/o Audio Magazine, 1633 Broadway, NY, NY 100 9
clWhy am I always blowing up
:
Why should
I
buy my equipment
from a local audio and home
tweeters?
theater specialist as opposed to a
large chain store?
AThe most common cause of tweeter
failure is from using a power
an-plifie- or receiver that is too small
for the volume levels ycu are trying
to achieve. Wher an amplifier is
pushed past is maximum output level, it is
driven into a concition called :lipping. This is
when the amp s cutting off the top and bottom
of the waveform that it is trying tc reproduce.
Tiese clipped signals are loaded with high
frequency, ene-gy that pass through the
crossover ne:work of the speaker to the
tweeter, causir the tweeter to overheat and be
damaged. Clippirg is caused by -urning the
I
volume control .p too high. Altnou, h a volume
control can be turned to maximum rotation, the
amplifier generally runs ou- of ur clipped power
before ycu reach this point. Tie amplifier's
output is determined by the it put level, the
volume control setting and hoN much bass,
treble and loudness boost is added. "lost power
amplifiers will react their maximum power at
about one o'cloc < on the volume control.
To determ ne a safe level to operate an
amplifier at, inzrease the volume to where you
can just hear cfastor-_ion anc then pack t down a
bi:. This shouic present future tweeter =allure.
-Peter Svec
Aucio Labs, Inc.
AYou may think tha: you would get the
pest ceal from a large department
ato -e because o' their "low p -ice
guarantee." but the cheapest price
doesn't always mean the best dea
Ir the long run, quality products and quality
.
seriices will always be a better deal. Large stores
surii"e of their volume cf sa es. Their goal is to
get yixir me ney a Jickly and r¡ore on to the next
sale. Your c c al :.pecialir_ survives on having
s_tisfied repeat ct stoners that :el their friends
abcu: tie experience. These referrals are the
life brood cf their business. Also. large stares
rlpically sell you what they wait (products that
spill rna<e them the Tost money). Your local
iodic and hone tieate- specialists will take the
s me necessary to help determ nE the product
:hat best rieets your neecs. Audio specialists are
(ay seletti'i about what products they carry.
n or_er to differentiate themselves, they must
3,111 hgher quality products at al excellent value.
To tc+rnalete your sale, a large store takes ;tour
-rponey and thanks you. A specialist considers
the stale done afte - you hzive taken the product
reme, heeti assisted with t -e proper installation,
aid has fully t -ailed you so you can operate
y3111" 'ew system. No chain s -to -e can say al' that
a -d have a totally satisfied d ent base.
phase, with the result that the two
AURICLE
wave fronts cancel at the sides, yield-
ANTHONY H. CORDESMAN
EOSONE MILLENNIUM
HOME THEATER
SPEAKER SYSTEM
ing nulls in those directions. When
the speaker and the room work well
together, this produces a cleaner
sound from the front -channel speak-
ers, a feeling of added space, and a
broader listening area with more stable imaging.
The Millennium system comes at
a time when audiophiles want more
and more from home theater speakers. They expect excellent stereo performance, with outstanding dynamics, bass power, and extension. They
Nudell, who has been responsible for some exceptional refer-
tions...believed to have a historical
basis, although not verifiable." Fortunately, Arnie is neither an elf nor
Elvis, and the Eosone Millennium
ence speakers from Genesis
system provides the kind of technol-
well matched that there is a seamless
Technologies and Infinity (see
"The Audio Interview," July).
Eosone's sales literature calls Arnie a
"legend." I'm not sure this is either
accurate or flattering, since the
dictionary defines legend as "a
story handed down for genera-
ogy and sound quality you expect
blend of sound across the front.
from a hit instead of a near myth.
As you'd expect from Arnie, this is
not your usual home theater package
of five pet -sized coffins and a disco bass subwoofer with a built-in amp.
They also want the speakers to produce surround effects that approxi-
For example, in most home theater
rooms, with electronics that can
systems, the surround speakers (and,
range from an ordinary A/V receiver
usually, only the surrounds) are
to high -quality separate compo-
dipoles. In the Millennium system,
every speaker except the surrounds
acts as a dipole over at least part of
its range, a technique Eosone calls
Radiant Surround Field technology.
The company says this broadens the
optimum listening area while reducing sound -blurring reflections from
your room's side walls and your TV
screen. A properly designed dipole
nents. And all these demands are ex-
Fosone is a new company, but it
has a veteran designer: Arnie
want the speakers' timbres to be so
mate those in a top-quality theater
installation. They want to be able to
get all this in a variety of listening
acerbated by new discrete -channel
digital surround formats, such as
Dolby Digital (AC -3), which offer
better bass dynamics, more detailed
surround information, and far less
time smear and sonic confusion than
Dolby Pro Logic.
Unlike the many speakers Nudell
has designed as ultimate statements,
speaker can reduce side -wall reflec-
tions because the speakers radiate
forward and backward in opposite
Company Address: 2550 Britannia Blvd., Suite F, San Diego,
Cal. 92173; 800/347-1876.
For literature, circle No. 94
the Eosone Millennium system is intended to deliver the kind of perform-
ance demanding consumers
want at a price most can afford. For $2,879 you get five
well -designed speakers plus
two powered subwoofers
built into the left and right
front speakers. More important, you receive very good
performance with both music and home theater.
The front left and right
speakers are RSF 1000 towAUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
70
The Heart of a
High -End Home cheater
Mere Mortals Can Afford.
early 15 years
gear off the production
ago, B&K
line, take it home and
Components,
listen to music on it.
Ltd. of Buffalo, NY.
This attention to quality
started out with an idea.
and detail allows us to
If we produced wonderful
produce great products at
sounding components,
reasonable prices.
and kept prices low, we
knew we'd win a reputa-
Our products speak
for themselves.
tion for making High End
Do you hear the bite of
audio affordable.
the cymbal? The energy
Critics took notice, "B&K
and emotion of the sound-
offers exceptional sound at a
track? Do the voices
remarkable value". We have won
sound right? Do you hear the beauty of a
numerous "Best Buy" awards from
allows us to buy better parts in quantity,
solo violin? If you get the harmonics
leading hi-fi publications - coveted
at the best possible prices. We keep our
right...if you reproduce vocal and instru-
recognition that is only awarded to the
circuits simple. Fewer parts and shorter
ments correctly...then everything else
very best models in each product category.
signal paths deliver better sound. And,
typically falls into place, including detail,
fewer parts means we can afford better
resolution, clarity, imaging, soundstage,
parts. We can pay close and critical
rhythm, pace, timing. And getting the
attention to the parts we do use. We can
movie effects, voices, and music right
evaluate each transistor, capacitor,
makes our audio/video system the complete
resistor, switch - even wire - to determine
package for both music and movies.
"B&K Components, Ltd. has become one of America's
leading manufacturers of affordable, high quality
audio electronics...providing musical, reliable
preamplifiers and power amplifiers within the budget
of virtually any music lover."
-
Hi -R Heretic
how well it works and how good it sounds.
"Astonishing, staggeringly wonderful!"
Can I hear it?
You bet you can! You don't need a critic's
"B&K Components offers good value.
- William L, Madison, WI
They sound great!" - Sensible Sound
"Wow!... Why, oh why didn't I do this earlier?"
"golden ears". You need only normal ears
-
and a love of music or home theater. The
But that is only part of the story.
Eric L, Streamwood, IL
superior sound quality of B&K is obvious,
We make sure that each unit sounds the
Please take the time to listen to B&K's
not subtle. If you like jazz, listen espe-
same. We test each resistor, transistor,
components and judge for yourself. You
cially to the timbre of a sax. If you like
and capacitor for value, tolerance and
are gifted with the greatest device ever
classical, you'll hear the "truth of timber"
functionality to be sure they meet our
invented for measuring the quality of hi-fi
right away. With any style of music or
standards before we solder them to a
gear, your ears. At B&K, high end A/V
movie soundtrack - the harmonics just
circuit board. Then we test all subassem-
means high performance, not high price.
sound right. We bring out the beauty of
blies. Finally, we put each completed unit
music, the power of cinema - we put you
through a variety of bench tests to ensure
in the action.
its quality and longevity. Then, because
Why are your prices so low?
the human ear is the ultimate - the only -
We commit to long production runs. This
arbiter of sound quality, we regularly pull
B&K
Uialgmrl, 4,ry.burnrl, and 111.,Jr In Ow U.S.A.
Call 800-543-5252 or fax 716-656-1291 for a dealer near you. Or write: B&K Components, ltd., 2100 Old Union Road., Buffalo, New York 14227
CIRCLE NO. 5 ON READER SERVICE CARD
ers. These measure 49 x 121 x 181/2 inches,
weigh 116 pounds each, and are solidly
built for the money ($1,100 apiece). Each
tower is divided into an upper passive section and an active section below it that con-
tains the subwoofer and its amp and
crossover. The tower's overall bandwidth is
rated at 26 Hz to 22 kHz.
The passive section, which operates from
about 85 Hz on up, holds two 61/2 -inch
woofers, one 4 -inch midrange driver, and
sures 7 x 17 x 8 inches, and costs $250 if you
buy it separately.
The RSR 350 surround speakers ($430
per pair) have a rated bandwidth of 70 Hz
to 22 kHz. There are three drivers: two angled 3/4 -inch tweeters and one 61/2 -inch
woofer (again, in a sealed enclosure), with
the crossover at 4 kHz. Whereas most surround speakers are bipoles or dipoles that
radiate sound from opposite baffles, note
that the Eosone surrounds are monopoles
tails such as forest sounds, rain, street noise,
and the other delicate effects found on the
best soundtracks.
Not unexpectedly, the RSF 1000s provid-
ed very good musical sound when used
with a sophisticated surround processor
like the Meridian 565, which delivers a
high -quality bass signal. But they also performed gratifyingly well in stereo with such
moderately priced, high -quality surround
decoders as the Adcom GTP-600 and
two 3/4 -inch tweeters. One woofer and one
tweeter fire to the rear, in opposite phase to
the front drivers, so the passive section acts
with two tweeters angled to achieve dispersion. The RSR 350s each weigh 17 pounds
Marantz AV -600.
and measure 12 x 15 x 51/2 inches; wall
level where it does have to make some com-
as a dipole. Sealed subenclosures are pro-
mounts are supplied.
promises for home theater purposes. For
vided for the woofers and the midrange
driver. The specified crossover frequencies
are 850 Hz and 5.2 kHz for the front -firing
drivers and 5 kHz for the rear. Nominal impedance is 8 ohms.
The active subwoofer section uses two
10 -inch woofers in a bass -reflex enclosure
powered by a built-in 120 -watt amplifier
with a low-pass filter adjustable between 50
and 100 Hz. (The high-pass to the passive
FOR LESS THAN $3,000
YOU GET FIVE
WELL -DESIGNED
SPEAKERS PLUS TWO
POWERED SUBWOOFERS.
The Eosone Millennium is priced at a
instance, you can find a more dynamic system with better and deeper bass output, although you will likely have to pay at least
$1,000 more. The Millennium system does,
however, produce excellent bass for the
money, and it has the virtue of doing so
while providing well-defined bass and tran-
sients without boom or overhang. It also
enables you to turn up the deep bass to theater levels without audible distress. And its
section is simply a capacitor, providing a
fixed, 6-dB/octave rolloff below 85 Hz.)
Like most stand-alone powered subs, each
tower's subwoofer section has both pre -
I began by listening to the Eosone Millennium system in stereo, and it performed
very well for a system at this price. The RSF
1000s provide more upper -midrange and
amp -level and speaker -level inputs, which
treble energy than most speakers, which
are switch -selected. The manual recommends using the preamp-level input only
helps them do an unusually good job of reproducing musical harmonics and imaging
when your system provides a preamp-level
subwoofer output. (You'll still need to con-
detail. And in general, the stereo sound stage, dynamics, transient performance,
nect your amp to the other terminals, of
course, to feed the passive section.) Pre -
and bass response of the Eosone towers are
very good for the money.
overall mix of bass, midrange, and treble
dynamics makes good movie soundtracks
truly exciting. The Millennium even did a
creditable job when I played Judge Dredd, a
laserdisc that has more gratuitous deep bass
than any other Dolby Digital soundtrack
I've heard.
The RSC 300 center -channel speaker anchors the home theater performance of the
Millennium system. Even in stereo listening, it can help the RFS 1000 towers by providing center fill, a more stable sound field,
amp -level output jacks let you feed the bass
At the same time, the balance of upper
signal from one channel's subwoofer section to the other's, so you won't have to run
two long cables from your preamp or re-
octave energy means you must pay more attention to the quality of the associated electronics. The RSF 1000s reveal the problems
and better imaging (particularly if your
surround processor has a derived center -
ceiver. Eosone suggests defeating your system's low-pass filter, if it has one, and using
in the "music" or "hall" modes of many
really cares about music). The RSC 300
might benefit from a bit more bass exten-
the low-pass filters in each tower's amp.
A/V amplifiers and receivers, which over process the music in ways that suggest their
channel setting designed by someone who
sion (or from the use of the "small" center -
The amplifier turns itself on when it senses
a signal and turns off when there's been no
signal for 10 minutes or so.
The RSC 300 center -channel speaker's
rated bandwidth is 90 Hz to 22 kHz. On the
front baffle of the sealed enclosure are two
51/4 -inch shielded woofers flanking a %inch tweeter. An additional 1/2 -inch tweeter
designers have never heard live acoustic
channel or "normal" mode on your sur-
music. Stick with the stereo or stereo -plus -
round electronics), but its timbre and
derived -center -channel mode, and you
imaging blend very naturally with those of
should have no problems.
Not surprisingly, the Eosone Millennium
the RSF 1000 front towers.
radiates to the rear; it, too, is in opposite
phase to the front drivers, making the
designed by someone who cares about
soundtrack information, not just sheer
speaker a dipole above its 3 -kHz crossover
frequency. The RSC 300's nominal impedance is 8 ohms. It weighs 16 pounds, mea-
power. The Eosones can deal with the most
demanding special effects yet still do an excellent job of re-creating subtle ambient de-
system really came to life when I shifted
from stereo listening to home theater. It immediately became clear that this system was
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
72
The RSR 350 surrounds also match the
other speakers' timbre very well and have
the extended frequency range, dynamic capability, and imaging detail necessary to
perform well with Dolby Digital soundtracks. The Eosone surrounds also reproduced music with Dolby Surround or Ambisonic encoding better than most surround
speakers in their price class.
Packed stadiums. Crowded movie theaters. Sold -out events.
With the Mitsubishi 40 -inch direct -view TV,
there's no ticket shortage for the
best seats in the house.
When the first 40 -inch direct-v=ew television
was introduced in 1993, we envisioned bringing
our Diamond Vision° stadium -sized screen into
your living room. Mitsubishi is proud to introduce
its complete family of 40 -inch televisions.
The Mitsubishi giant 40 -inch sets deliver the
highest possible picture quality with a screen size
rivaling that of a big screen projection television.
The 40 -inch models offer surround or level
sound audio systems, creating realistic, top-quality
sound to complement the high-performance picture.
Mitsubishi's new 40 -inch models incorporate
the high -end features you would expect to find in
a discriminating home theater system.
For tickets to the best seat in the house, call
1-800-937-0000, Ext. 942 for the Mitsubishi
dealer near you.
MITSUBISHI
THE BIG SCREEN COMPANY
CIRCLE NO. 18 ON READER SERVICE CARD
If there's one practical caveat I have
found that the use of two built-in sub -
about the Eosone Millennium system-especially if your processor or receiver does
not provide Home THX re -equalization or
a good treble filter-it is to suggest that you
pay careful attention to the system's treble
balance. Although the Eosone Millennium
woofers often produces more realistic and
better -defined bass in reasonably priced
speaker systems than a separate subwoofer
offers exceptionally good imaging and con-
fiddling with the distance from the speakers
to the wall behind them. (This almost made
veys unusual amounts of detail and surround effects for the money, many soundtracks are still m'xed with too much treble
The front -channel towers and the RSC
300 required a minimum of angling and
The Millennium delivers smoother and
more accurate bass than almost all of its
competitors that rely on single separate
subwoofers. Its left and right front speakers
do a very good job with music. The center
THE MILLENNIUM SYSTEM
electronics before you buy the Eosone
RANGE AND HAS SEVERAL
speakers for home theater use.
I did find the Eosones easier to set up and
position than most home theater speakers.
The RSC 300 center channel is large enough
to deliver very good performance yet small
enough to fit on top of most TVs. It also has
DISTINCTIVE VIRTUES.
towers are tall enough to provide a left/right
image that will integrate well with the center channel in most installations, and I have
the Eosone Millennium is competitive with
any system I know of in its price range and
has a number of distinctive virtues.
does.
energy for home listening. Most A/V electronics now take this characteristic into account and have filters designed for use with
flat speakers. But make sure you have such
excellent video shielding, which means it
won't impair picture quality. The RSF 1000
price is no object, because the former has
more competitors and the trade-offs it has
to make are more obvious. Nevertheless,
channel is well matched in timbre to the
main speakers, and the surround speakers
are considerably better than many in their
IS COMPETITIVE WITH
ANYTHING IN ITS PRICE
price range. In fact, I prefer their dispersion
characteristics to those of most dipole and
bipole designs, particularly with Dolby Digital soundtracks.
Buying any home theater speakers, inup for the terrible instruction manuals!) I
also found that the RSR 350s' radiating
characteristics provided good surround
with a variety of soundtracks, including demanding Dolby Digital material, after only
a little tinkering with placement.
It is much harder to judge a speaker that
delivers value for money than one where
cluding the Eosone Millennium system, involves a trade-off. If stereo is all you want,
you can get better sound for the same mon-
ey if you buy two unamplified speakers
than if you buy a system that must provide
five speakers, subwoofers, and built-in amplification. But then, of course, you would
A
not have home theater.
ND 56
HD 36
HD 26
Life is stressful. You could spend a few
thousand dollars rushing to a weekend getaway
at a rejuvenating retreat. You could mortgage
your home for one of those "quiet as a
HD 475
HD 465
HD 455
recording studio" motor cars you've seen on
television. Or you can keep the family fortune
HD 265
HO 25 SP
and relax in the sanctity of your own home
140 565
with a pair of Sennheiser headphones.
HO 545
Discover the ultimate in surround sound...
HD 5:5
at a budget you can easily afford.
HO 58o
HE 6o
HEV 7o
7,1 SENIVHEISEH
6 VISTA DRIVE, P.O. BOX 9 7, D .D LYME, CT 06371 TEL: 203.434.9190 FAX: 203.434.1759
IN CANADA: 221 LABROSSE AVE, POIN E -CLAIRE, PQ H9R 1A3 TEL: 514.426.3013 FAX: 514.426.2979
WORLD WIDEWIS
://www.sennheiserusa.com
CIRCLE NO. 2
READER SERVICE CARD
2.
ORPHEUS
1000
Talce a look at any speaker manufacturer's lineup. Chances are their "top of
Based on nominal
driver diameters I died
In Audo. October. 1995.
e line" offers a lot more piston area than their "starter" model. Why?
Wttb speakers, bigger is better.
Unless, of course, you don't care about visceral impact. Or distortion.
'Total
Acfve
Or efficiency. Or dynamic range... Model for model, Legacy offers more
Driver
Area
(in?)
piston area. So, if you're looking for a bigger, fuller sound, get Legacy.
FOR YOUR FREE CATALOG CALL
18OOAUDIO HI
(1 - 8 0 0- 2 8 3- 4 6 4 4)
S
I
NCE1
98
3
.,,-wo
F<e
AUD1O
!
400 O42 o ,i C45 3j
yS.'`''<i
C 1' gllio
yi +1/0
°s
PHONE: (2 1 7) 5 4 4-5 2 5 2 FAX: ( 2 1 7) 7 4 4-7 2 6 9. 302 1 SANGAMON AVE. SPRINGFIELD, IL 6 2 702
CIRCLE NO. 17 ON READER SERVICE CARD
In the last few months, I've lis-
AURICLE
tened to plastic -box speakers from a
fair number of well -regarded manufacturers, and I have to say that based
on what I've heard, I'm not ready to
welcome the Plastic Speaker Era with
COREY GREENBERG
PARADIGM
MICRO/SB-90
HOME THEATER
SPEAKER SYSTEM
the same open -armed glee as I did
the Radius Toothbrush Era. Even
with the best of these plastic -box
speakers, there's a distinctly odd col-
oration in the midrange that I've
never heard from any of the speakers
these same companies build with
wood cabinets.
Maybe I'm just used to the woody
resonances of traditional loudspeakers, but the plastic -box speakers definitely have a less natural sound overall. Do they sound better than a TV
set's own speakers? For the most
part, yes. Do they approach the
sound quality of entry-level audio-
phile speakers like the $350/pair
NHT SuperOne that I reviewed in
the August issue? Not in the slightest.
And that doesn't bode well for budget-philes and quality -minded civilians of all stripes who will be looking
to buy a good set of affordably
priced home theater speakers in the
coming years.
I was visiting Canadian loudspeaker manufacturer Paradigm recently, and I got to talking about this
ou like wood? Me too. Wood
r
looks good, smells good.
And because it's so rigid
when mulched, glued, and
turned into "medium -density fiberboard," or MDF, it's
great for building speaker cabinets.
That's right, the latest trend in affordable high -end loudspeakers is to
very issue with Bill VanderMarel, the
company's director of sales and marketing. When I told him about all the
plastic -box speakers I'd been hear-
use plastic for cabinets instead of
ing lately, VanderMarel agreed that it
wood. While many utility speakers
have appeared
was becoming harder and harder to
use real wood
in plastic en-
cabinets at
closures, now
I CAN'T BELIEVE
But if you're a budget -minded audiophile, recent loudspeaker trends
suggest you'd better get used to a
new material if you want to stay in
this game without spending dearly.
even high -end
THAT FIVE SPEAKERS
points, espe-
designers are
AND A SUBWOOFER
cially for six-
FOR $540 CAN SOUND
THIS GOOD.
theater speak-
It's called "plastic."
manufacture
Stream, M.P.O. Box 2410, Niagara Falls, N.Y. 14302; 905/632For literature, circle No. 95
in which they
can continue to
affordable
Company Address: c/o Audio -
0180.
looking at ways
the lower price
pack home
er systems
priced under
a grand. But
speakers at the bottoms of their lines
and still bring a profit in the face of
when I told him about listening to
rising production costs and customers who now want 5.1 good sounding speakers for what they
SoundWorks Ensemble IV package
used to pay for two.
thought it was the best value in a
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
76
the cool little $400 Cambridge
of five tiny plastic satellites and a
shoebox subwoofer and how I
Rotel Report
4
RSP-985 THX Surround Sound Processor
Do you already own a
high quality music system?
Do you loathe the thought of
relegating it to a dark closet?
Then consider the new Rotel
RSP-980 Surround -Sound
Processor for adding all the
performance and flexibility
you'll ever need to your exist-
Preamplifier, an impressive centerpiece for a home entertainment
RB-985 5 -channel amplifier
Whether building your
home theater from scratch or
adding to an existing system,
this amplifier is the answer.
With 5 channels each delivering 100 high current watts,
the RB-985 puts plenty of
power in a highly efficient
and convenient package.
The RB-985 exemplifies
ing music system.
Rotel's commitment to qualFull THX® circuitry augity: A massive 1500VA toroid
mented by precision A/D and
transformer combines with
D/A conversion means you'll
oversized, high capacity filter
hear a movie's soundtrack excapacitors and precision reguactly as the director intended
lators to provide extraordinary
you to. Wide -bandwidth
smooth operating voltages.
video switching for both comEach of the RB-985's 20 outposite and S -video sources
put devices is rated for 130
and special "Zone 2" outputs
watts and 15 amperes of curincrease your current system's
rent. This high reserve design
flexibility. Audio circuitry feaassures uncompressed and dyturing high
namic reproprecision
duction of
The
metal film
Surround Sound Processor expands
today's music
your cherisheed music system.
resistors, low
and video
system. The RTC -970 decodes Dolby® Pro Logic® sources with
ESR capaci-
ni7C 7.3c-
The RTC -970 is a videophile's delight with an audiophile's soul.
It combines a Dolby Pro -Logic surround sound decoder with a high quality AM/FM tuner for performance and convenience.
HOME
THEATER
Home Theater: New Horizons, Old Concerns
Transitions are often difficult. Making any move - say, for
instance, to a home theater system - is something of a balancing
act. After all, what's the point of three or four more channels if
they don't sound as good as the two you already enjoy? That's
why music lovers think of Rotel's award -winning sonic heritage
when facing the here -and -now reality of home theater.
Consider Rotel's new RTC -970 Surround Sound Tuner/
precise all -analog circuitry to avoid the harshness common to
most digital designs. A special Cinema Mode compensates for
excessive high frequency energy in many movie soundtracks. And
the RTC -970's Music Modes add progressive spaciousness to
music while providing accurate and convincing reproduction.
An informative on -screen display makes initial set-up and
calibration easy and also helps you get the most out of your system every day. You can choose any of up to four audio -only and
four audio/video sources for your main system while selecting a
different one for enjoyment elsewhere in your home!
Regardless of the source you choose, your ears will applaud
sources.
tors, and
Placing
high current
the RB-985
operational
in your sysamplifiers
tem is easy. A
means you
multi -pin
won't lose
connector,
anything
allowing
The THX approved RB-985
either. Of
single -cable
delivers the powerful sonic boom
course, a
hook-up,
of a movie explosion with
DB25 concomplements
5 x 100 -watts of power.
nector
an array of
means you'll be able to add
gold-plated RCA jacks. RugDolby Digital/AC-3 (or DTS
ged, heavy duty binding posts
... or whatever) at any time,
accept a variety of audiophile now or in the future.
grade speaker cables.
Rotel's remarkable audio circuitry. Careful power supply design,
meticulous parts selection, and painstaking board layout lie at the
heart of the RTC -970's outstanding performance.
The RTC -970 also puts discrete multi -channel digital audio
squarely in your future. There's a connector specifically designed
for outboard Dolby Digital/AC-3 processors like our soon -to -
Our point is simple: Rotel gives you several approaches to
home theater. Each product is different because your needs
are different. But each one shares a common family heritage
of extraordinary sound quality, backed by a five year warranty
on amps, preamps, and processors. That's the Rotel tradition.
And, even in the midst of change, we'll never forget it.
appear RDA -980. That makes your upgrade path simple and totally free of pre -planned obsolescence.
Rotel of America
54 Concord St. North Reading, MA 01864-2699
tel 800-370-3741 fax 508-664-4109
THX` is a registered trademark of Lucasf ilm Ltd.
Dolby` and ProLogic' are trademarks of Dolby Laboratories Licensing Corp.
ROTEL OF AMERICA
dp Copyright 1996 Rotel of America. All rights reserved.
CIRCLE NO. 27 ON READER SERVICE CARD
home theater speaker combo under a grand,
cabinet and still keep the price to just 70
his Canadian eyes lit up like the aurora borealis.
clams a pop.
The SB-90 subwoofer measures 153/4 x
"Five of my Micro minispeakers and the
matching SB-90 subwoofer list for $540, eh?
That's only $140 more than the Cambridge
system, and you get real wood -cabinet
speakers and a much bigger subwoofer, eh?
They're not video -shielded, but if you've
got a rear -projection TV, that's no problem-interested, eh?"
12% x 17 inches. Like many budget sub woofers, the SB-90 is a bandpass design:
The 8 -inch woofer is mounted in a separate
sealed box within the SB-90's cabinet, with
all of the woofer's woofing vented out of
two flared ports located on the subwoofer's
grand that was significantly better sounding than the little Cambridge
combo, so I was eager to see if Para-
fect, but
digm could really pull it off. A quintet
of tiny plastic speakers and a shoebox-
shoebox-sized sub with a 51/4 -inch woofer,
the Paradigm SB-90 is much bigger and
more massive, with a Paradigm -built 8 -inch
driver. All told, it was hard to believe the
Micro/SB-90 rig was only $140 more than
the Ensemble IV combo.
At 8' x 6 x 8 inches, the Micro is Paradigm's smallest bookshelf speaker. A Paradigm -built 5 -inch woofer is crossed over at
3 kHz to a 5 -inch OEM -sourced dome
tweeter, while a small -diameter port on the
speaker's back panel extends the system response down to a claimed 70 Hz. The Micro
looks a lot more expensive than any $70
speaker should, and it's here where Paradigm's clever cost-cutting comes into play.
The wood -framed cloth grille looks removable, but it's not: If you're all dolled up and
ready for a night of cross -dressing, don't try
to remove the Micro's grille or you'll break
a Lee press -on. Paradigm also shaves a few
dollars by mounting the Micro's crossover
I
can't believe that five
speakers and a subwoofer for $540 can
sound this good. The CSW Ensemble
sized sub for $400 is one thing, but $540
for five real -wood two -ways and an 8 -inch
on my doorstep, one containing the SB-90
subwoofer, the other the five Micro mini speakers. Right off the bat, it was obvious
that this was a more audiophiliac system.
The Micros are full -bore, two-way mini speakers with real wooden cabinets finished
in black wood -grain vinyl. And instead of a
pair of Micros sat on 24 -inch -tall stands,
with the center -channel Micro sitting on
top of the Pioneer big -screen TV, flipped
upside down so the tweeter was closer to
the top of the screen.
I'd been duly impressed by the
You bet your back bacon I was inter-
A few weeks later, two big boxes appeared
line filters. Both the main and surround
sound of the $400 Cambridge Sound Works speaker package last year, but
the Paradigm system jumps performance up several levels toward true, audiophile -approved sound. It's not per-
ested! I hadn't heard anything under a
subwoofer would be an Old Testament grade miracle-if they sounded good.
converter), Kimber PBJ interconnects and
4TC speaker cable, Canare 75 -ohm digital/video cable, and API Power Pack AC
IV may be the best inexpensive sub/sat
speakers out there, but the Paradigm Mi-
SUBSTITUTING A CC -50
SCREEN PURPLING
cro/SB-90 system offers genuine entry-level
high -end sound for just 140 clams more (or
209 clams more with a CC -50 at center).
Tonally, the SB-90 subwoofer dominated
the mix, giving the system a big, ballsy bal-
ON A DIRECT -VIEW TV.
ance. Coupled with the Micros' warm,
FOR THE CENTER CHANNEL
WILL PREVENT
downward -tilted treble, this made for a big,
sweet, instantly likable sound that's all out
back panel. In normal use with a Dolby
Surround system, the SB-90 is hooked up
between the amplifier and the main pair of
Micros, so its internal 100 -Hz crossover
rolls off the bass before it gets to the satellites. The Micros used for the center and the
two surrounds are hooked up directly to
those outputs on the A/V receiver.
of proportion to the Paradigm's bargain basement price. The combination of the
SB-90 and the five Micros sounded smooth,
detailed, and so utterly free of the laundry
list of sonic problems that plague most inexpensive speakers that it was a pleasure to
leave the Paradigms hooked up for weeks in
my living room. Far from tolerating them, I
The Micros are not video -shielded, so
really enjoyed listening to them day after
setting one on top of a direct -view TV may
cause some screen purpling. Paradigm sug-
day and night after night as laserdiscs, CDs,
and DSS audio all came through loud and
gests substituting its shielded, two-way
clear. Believe me, this is not a "cheap 'n'
CC -50 center -channel speaker ($139) for
one of the Micros in systems used with a direct -view CRT set. Rear -projection TVs
aren't affected at all by this, and I certainly
had no problems using a Micro on top of
cheerful" budget rig; I've heard "home theater" systems from some of the best-known
high -end lines that sounded far worse overall than what I was hearing from this $540
Paradigm combo.
The SB-90 proved itself to be an excellent
budget subwoofer, with surprisingly high
output for its size. All things being equal,
bandpass subwoofers like the SB-90 enjoy
my Pioneer RPTV.
I listened to the Paradigm speakers in my
living room, driven in turn by both a $549
Harman Kardon AVR 20 MKII A/V receiver
and my He -Man reference rig: Aragon 4004
Mk II and Acurus 200X3 amplifiers, a Cita-
greatly increased output capability at the
components directly to the drivers' own
tion 7.0 surround processor/preamp, Theta
terminals and eliminating the added materials cost of a p.c. board entirely. It's touches like these that enable Paradigm to design
a speaker with good drivers and a wooden
Digital's Data III laserdisc/CD transport
expense of signal linearity-lotsa deep -bass
roar per cubic inch, but not nearly as tight
and well defined as good sealed or ported
and DS Pro Generation V D/A converter, an
designs. And that's pretty much what I
RCA DSS system (modified with an S/P
DIF digital output to drive the Theta D/A
heard from the SB-90. It's got a big, meaty
sound that goes real low and loud on movie
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
78
We've all heard it before...music is the international language. So, all
audio components speak the same language, right? Wrong. You can't
get the translation right if you don't have the right equipment.
Introducing the ULTECH HDCD-10. A bold new D/A converter with a
twist...built-in HDCD' decoding. Benefiting from the HDCD5 chip
comes in two ways: decoding of the new HDCD-encoded CD's AND
incredible digital filtering for non -encoded CD's. And don't forget, the
HDCD-10 utilizes two 20 -Bit Burr Brown PCM 1702J D/AConverters
for impeccable sonic quality.
To speak the international language correctly, stop by your nearest
ULTECH dealer and audition the HDCD-10 as well as other fine
®t0 is a registered trademark of Pacific Microsonics, Inc.
ULTECH components. (Note: They're NOT priced out of this world.)
U LT O CH
a
U
D
I
O
ULTECH AUDIO components are manufactured and distributed by.
ULTIMATE TECHNOLOGY, INC.
401 Chaddick Drive, Wheeling , IL60090
Phone 312/328-1100 Fox: 312/808-9389 Email: ultech@concentric.net
CIRCLE NO. 33 ON READER SERVICE CARD
soundtrack effects, but it does lack the tautness and clarity I'm used to from my reference speakers. Still, just the fact that it can
deliver honest, room -rattling deep bass at
all when the whole system costs just $540 is
astounding. Although high -end home theaters certainly deserve better bass quality, a
bandpass subwoofer like the SB-90 is undeniably the best choice for a budget system
that's trying to go as low and loud as possible with a small woofer in a small box.
Driven full -range with the SB-90 out of
the system, the Micros still sounded sweet
and slightly rolled off on top, with a very
clear and open midrange that made for ex-
long-term listening enjoyment with movies
and music.
One thing you don't want to do is crank
the Micros up on bass -heavy program material without the SB-90 subwoofer hooked
up in -line with them. I heard considerable
driver doubling and porthole asthma when
girlfriend, Chloe. When I first hooked the
Paradigms up in my listening room, I just
plopped them on top of my reference
speakers around the room and swapped the
speaker cables over to the budget speakers.
After a few days of listening to them while
watching laserdiscs and DSS, Chloe turned
to me in the middle of a movie and asked
me what the little speakers on top of the
THE SB-90 SUBWOOFER
DOMINATED THE MIX,
GIVING THE SYSTEM
A BIG, BALLSY BALANCE.
cellent intelligibility on soundtracks featuring complex dialog. Many cheap speakers
sound so muffled and nasal that dialog is
the Micros tried going it alone at high lev-
hard to follow, but the Micros are excellent
in this respect. And while I would've preferred a bit more life in the upper octaves,
the Micro's downward -tilted high -frequency balance was a blessing when listening to
trebly laserdisc soundtracks and DSS programming. I think the 5/8 -inch tweeter that
Paradigm uses in the Micro strikes just the
right balance for a budget design meant for
els, so rolling off the bass in the signal fed to
them is mandatory if you want to be able to
reach near -theater levels at home. With the
SB-90 subwoofer's crossover in the path,
the Micros were able to handle just about
any action film I threw at them without audible strain.
Without a doubt, the greatest testimony
to the Micro/SB-90 system came from my
NHTs were doing there. I told her they were
a set of speakers I was reviewing.
"Are we listening to them or the big
ones?" she asked.
"Them."
"Well, how much do `them' cost?"
"Five hundred and forty bucks."
"Wow, they sure sound normal for such
cheap speakers." That about says it all, I
think. At $540, the Micro/SB-90 package is
a serious steal. Without a doubt, this is the
best -sounding home theater speaker system
I've heard for under a grand. If you want to
get into home theater but thought all you
could afford was Lilliputian plastic speakers, you need to audition the Paradigm rig
before you flash the plastic. Wood I steer
you wrong?
A
PURE SINGLE -ENDED CLASS A
ALEPH 5
2 CHANNELS
2 GAIN STAGES
60 WATT /CH OUTPUT
300 WATT IDLE
PASS LABS
24449 FORESTHILL ROAD, FORESTHILL, CALIFORNIA 95631 TEL (916) 367-3690 FAX (916) 367-2193
CIRCLE NO. 25 ON READER SERVICE CARD
Our speakers
speak for themselves.
And they're not the only ones
tallying.
The critics rave about our Optimus® LX5 speaker. Maybe you've read about it in audio publications. But
have you heard it? Quite simply, unless you've given this speaker a listen, you've heard nothing like it!
Its Linaeum-design, "wide angle" tweeter produces an incredible
360° dispersal pattern, with highs to 25,000Hz. The cast aluminum
enclosure's only 101/2" high, so a pair will fit nicely on a shelf, or under
the Christmas tree! For our store near you, call 1 -800 -THE -SHACK."
CR RadioShack.k.
You've got questions.
We've got answers®
ANALOG INTERCONNECTS
FINISHED CABLES
TYPE
U - Unbalanced
B - Balanced
aY
Co
MANUFACTURER
ACROTEC
ALPHA -CORE
AMERICAN HYBRID
v4`
Q
,ai
.1
6N -A2010
6N -A2030
6N -A2040
6N -A2050
6N -A2110
6N -A2200
6N -A2080
8N -A2090
U
MI RCACU
MI XLRCU
MI AGRCA
MI AGXLR
U
m,ai;C:
C
¿
1-.o
.
a>`
CR
w
6N Copper
6N Copper
6N Copper
6N Copper
6N Copper
6N Copper
8N Copper
8N Copper
RCA
Q
Neutrik XLR
1-1.5 meters
1-2 meters
1-1.5 meters
1-1.5 meters
1-1.5 meters
1-1.5 meters
1-2 meters
1-2 meters
500.00-550.00
250.00-450.00
300.00-370.00
160.00-190.00
400.00-450.00
250.00-300.00
850.00-1495.00
700.00-1200.00
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
B
Copper
Copper
Silver
Silver
RCA
XLR
RCA
XLR
0.5-16 meters
0.5-16 meters
0.5-16 meters
0.5-16 meters
60.00-1950.00
60.00-1950.00
270.00-1950.00
344.00-2950.00
No
No
No
No
AHT Ultra Resolution
U
Copper
WBT RCA
3.3-40 feet
330.00-790.00
NER
U
Copper
Neutrik RCA
0.5-5 meters
59.00-119.00
Yes
Mogami cable.
U
OFC
OFC
OFC
Accu-Lock RCA
Any
Any
Any
40.00-500.00
20.00-400.00
10.00-200.00
Yes
RCA
RCA
407 -strand tri-axial.
Single, twin. or tri-wire.
As above.
B
LI
U
U
U
U
B
B
U
Neutrik XLR
RCA
RCA
RCA
RCA
RCA
Gold-plated connectors; bi-axial.
Gold-plated connectors.
For high-RF environments; carbon shield.
Gold-plated 6N copper connectors: bi-axial.
Gold-plated connectors.
TECHNOLOGY
AMERICAN
RECORDER
TECHNOLOGIES
APATURE PRODUCTS High Definition
AV -Poly
U
Yes
Yes
CD -1
U
AUDIENT
TECHNOLOGIES
Cadenza
Cadenza Balanced
U
B
Copper/Silver
Copper/Silver
RCA
XLR
1-5 meters
1-5 meters
295.00-600.00
395.00-700.00
No
No
AUDIO ELECTRONICS
High Definition Interconnects
U
Copper
RCA
1-6 meters
62.50-125.00
No
AUDIO INSURGENTS
Phi Beta Squared
Phi Beta
U
Copper
Copper
RCA
RCA
1-10 meters
1-10 meters
189.00-783.00
139.00-589.00
No
No
Custom lengths.
Dragon
U
RCA
U,B
U.B
U.B
RCA, DIN
Lockable RCA
Lockable RCA
Lockable RCA
Lockable RCA
Any
Any
Any
Any
Any
Any
No
No
No
No
No
No
Sorcerer
U.B
Silver
WBT Lockable RCA
Any
No
As above.
Illusion
U,B
Silver
WBT Lockable RCA
Any
39.00/meter pair
69.00/meter pair
99.00/meter pair
149.00/meter pair
199.00/meter pair
399.00/meter;
balanced. 449.00
649.00/meter;
balanced, 699.00
1599.00/meter:
balanced, 1799.00
Unshielded.
Sceptor
Apprentice
Presto
Excalibur
Spellcaster
Silver -clad Copper
Silver -clad Copper
Silver -clad Copper
Silver -clad Copper
Silver -clad Copper
Silver
No
Ribbon conductors.
Silver/Copper
Silver/Copper
Locking WBT
Locking WBT
1-1.47 meters
1-12 meters
289.00-356.00
Copper
Copper
Silver
Silver
RCA
RCA
RCA
RCA
1-10 meters
1-10 meters
1-10 meters
1-10 meters
50.00 up
100.00 up
300.00 up
900.00 up
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Balanced conductors: Litz.
Copper
Silver
Long -grain Copper
Long -grain Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
Long -grain Copper
Copper
Long -grain Copper
JIS to RCA
JIS to RCA
1.2 meters up
1.2 meters up
0.5 meter up
0.5 meter up
0.5 meter up
0.5 meter up
0.5 meter up
0.5 meter up
0.5 meter up
1 meter
150.00/1.2 -meter set
275.00/1.2 -meter set
25.00/meter pair
39.00/meter pair
65.00/meter pair
98.00/meter pair
165.00/meter pair
25.00/meter pair
45.00/meter pair
39.00/meter pair
No
No
Yes
Yes
Tonearm cable.
As above.
CL -3 rated; symmetrical coaxial.
CL -3 rated; double -balanced.
Double -balanced.
Triple -balanced.
As above.
t
t
RCA
1 meter
1 meter
0.1 meter
65.00/meter pair
225.00/meter pair
39.00/meter pair
No
No
No
AUDIO MAGIC
AUDIO MATIÉRE
U
U
U
Naissance
Presence
As above.
Z -Core design.
As above.
As above.
As above.
Source to preamp.
t
Amp to preamp. t$498.00. first meter: $320.00
per additional meter.
AUDIO NOTE
AUDIOOUEST
AN -A
AN -C
AN -V
U
AN-VX
U
Emerald X 4
Pro
Jade
Turquoise
U
Topaz
Ruby
Quartz
U
U
U
U
U
U
U,B
U,B
RCA
RCA
RCA
RCA, XLR
RCA, XLR
RCA
RCA
As above.
Litz.
As above.
CS -12
CS -32
U
Mini Adapter X
U
Mini Adapter Z
Mini Adapter Pro
Jumper Cables
U
U
Copper
Silver
Silver
AUDIO RESEARCH
LitzLink 2
U.B
Copper
RCA, XLR
0.5-9 meters
210.00 up
No
Available in 0.5 -meter increments.
AUDIOSTREAM
A-400
A-500
U
RCA
RCA
1, 7 meters
0.5, 2.0 meters
9.95-26.95/pair
37.95-44.95/pair
No
U
OFHC
OFHC
A-600
B
UCC
RCA
1 meter
79.95/pair
No
Double -shielded; gold connectors.
Double -shielded; Turbo Ground gold
connectors.
As above.
Opal
U.B
U.B
U,B
B
Copper
Copper
Silver
Silver
Silver
RCA, XLR
RCA, XLR
RCA, XLR
RCA
XLR
0.5 meter up
0.5 meter up
0.5 meter up
0.5 meter up
0.5 meter up
225.00/meter pair
350.00/meter pair
495.00/meter pair
725.00/meter pair
975.00/meter pair
AUDIOTRUTH
Emerald
Lapis
Diamond X 2
Diamond X 3
AURAL SYMPHONICS AS -One Gen 5
U
U
U
t
CL -3 rated.
As above.
No
Yes
Connects portable to preamp t3.5mm miniplug
to RCA.
As above.
As above.
Replaces pre-out/main-in U connectors.
Air-Hyperlitzi triple -balanced.
As above.
As above.
As above.
As above.
U,B
Silver/HCOFC
RCA, XLR
1-13 meters
485.00-1445.00
No
Helical signal path.
BEL
"The Wire" P1
U
Copper
RCA
0.5 meter up
157.00 up
No
Custom lengths.
BRYSTON
RCA 1 -Meter
RCA 2 -Meter
XLR 1 -Meter
XLR 2 -Meter
Custom RCA/XLR
U
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
RCA
RCA
XLR
XLR
1 meter
2 meters
1 meter
2 meters
Any meters
120.00
160.00
120.00
160.00
No
No
No
No
No
U
B
B
U.B
See October issue for company addresses
RCA, XLR
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
82
40.00/meter pair
THE BR4STON ST SERIES AMPLIFIERS
Listen Past the Equipment
and Experience the Music
as Intended
Once in a while an idea
comes along which represents
a significant step forward in
advancing the current stateof-the-art. We feel our new
ST Series amplifiers exemplify
this unique distinction.
A new approach to low -noise,
low distortion signal -path
has produced a line of
amplifiers which is actually
quieter and more transparent
than any source material
currently available.
Bryrton ST amplifiers, from the top: 8B ST 4 channel 120 wpc 5B ST 3 channel 120 wpc,
4B ST 250 wpc stereo, 7B ST 500 watts mono. Not shown is the 3B ST 120 wpc stereo.
The Bryston ST innovation: our
Complete y
power
Switchable gold plated RCA
ultra -linear "input buffer -with -
supplies fcr each channel elimi-
unbalanced and XLR-1/4 inch
gain" substantially lowers the
nate any crosstalk to ensure firm
balanced inputs, with equal
distcrtion and inherent noise
floor - hearing is believing.
focus and completely accurate
gain, allows flexibility for multi-
imaging of musical instruments.
channel system configurations.
separate
Music
for a
Generation
Bryston Ltd, P.O. Box 2170, 677 Neal Drive, Peterborough, Ontario,
Canada K9J 7Y4 Tel: (705) 742-5325 Fax: (705) 742-0882
CIRCLE NO. 36 ON READER SERVICE CARD
°SLiilLYI'Llf 0 )D]
ANALOG INTERCONNECTS
FINISHED CABLES
TYPE
U - Unbalanced
B - Balanced
`/'/Á'
/,i
CABLE TALK
CALRAD
ELECTRONICS
CAMELOT
TECHNOLOGY
Improved 2
Monitor 2
Professional 2
U
Reference 2
B
55-707
55-1011G
55-1000
55-999
55-930
55-800
35-525
10-140
U
Sir Galahad
CAMPAIGN DESIGNS Aonacreon
o
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
RCA
RCA
RCA
RCA
0.5-1 meter
0.5-1 meter
RCA
RCA
RCA
RCA
RCA
RCA
RCA
6. 15 feet
3, 25 feet
10 feet
6 feet
1.5, 20 feet
B
Silver
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
t
1 foot
5, 10, 15 feet
U
Copper/Silver
RCA
3-6 feet
85.00-115.00
Yes
B
B
U
U
U
U
U
U
0.5-t meter
0.5-1 meter
69.95-79.95
119.95-149.95
199.95-259.95
359.95-449.95
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
3, 6,10 feet
U
Silver
RCA
1-20 meters
250.00-3000.00
Yes
Golden Cross Interconnect
Cross Interconnect
Quadlink-Five Interconnect
3008 Microtwin Interconnect
Crosslink
U,B
U,B
U,B
U,B
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
RCA. XLR
RCA, XLR
RCA, XLR
RCA, XLR
RCA, XLR
0.5 meter up
0.5 meter up
0.5 meter up
0.5 meter up
0.5 meter up
550.00 up
298.00 up
159.95 up
85.95 up
56.00 up
No
No
CELLO LTD.
String 1
U,B
Copper
Fischer, RCA, XLR
CUSTOM
CONNECTIONS
Hi-Rez Audio
Hi -Band Audio
U
U,B
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
RCA
RCA
Benchmark Mkl Audio
Benchmark Mkll Audio
Groneberg Audio
TC-One
U
Mark II
Signature
Plus Four
U,B
U,B
U,B
Slink
White Slink
Black Slink
U
ULC-Standard
ULC-Reference
ULC-Balanced
U
AV2627
AV2628
U
ENSEMBLE
ESOTERIC AUDIO
U.S.A.
CARDAS AUDIO
,--
Q
Signal return flow system.
Multi -ground technology.
Three -core interconnect.
Dual oxygen -free cable; double -braided shield.
Gold-plated connectors; dual cables.
Dual cables.
As above.
Gold plugs.
Y -adaptor.
tXLR plug to RCA and phone plugs.
Custom lengths; custom Teflon connectors.
No
Yes
t
Yes
t1 -meter pair (RCA), $320.00; 10 -meter pair
(Fischer), $1556.00.
RCA. DIN
RCA, DIN
RCA, DIN
1-5 meters
0.5-5 meters
0.5-5 meters
0.5-5 meters
0.5-5 meters
20.00-50.00
35.00-75.00
99.00-200.00
129.00-250.00
239.00-400.00
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Molded gold ends.
Custom lengths; silver -soldered.
As above; multi -pair.
As above.
As above.
HPOFC
HPOFC
HPOFC
HPOFC
RCA
RCA, XLR
RCA, XLR
RCA, XLR
1-4 meters
1-8 meters
1-12 meters
1-12 meters
80.00-200.00
240.00-730.00
450.00-1990.00
650.00-2850.00
Yes
No
Twisted pair.
As above; shielded.
Twisted pair; dual shield.
Twisted quad; dual shield.
Copper/Silver
Copper/Silver
Copper/Silver
RCA
Opt.
1-5 meters
1-10 meters
1-5 meters
89.00-185.00/pair
149.00-635.00/pair
498.00-1338.00/pair
Yes
Yes
Yes
Twisted pair.
Opt.
Copper
Copper
Copper
RCA
RCA
XLR
1-7 meters
1-7 meters
1-7 meters
90.00-470.00
225.00-675.00
395.00-995.00
No
No
No
8-pF/foot capacitance.
U
Copper
Copper
RCA
RCA
6 feet
6 feet
9.00
4.00
Supraflux
U,B
Copper
RCA. XLR
0.5-20 meters
37.50 up
Artus Hyper -Balanced
Primus Hyper -Balanced
Technus Twin -Symmetry
Tech 2ii Twin -Symmetry
Graphis II Tubular Geometry
Musica 500
Musica 200
Musica 100
Tech 2THX
THX High Performance
Line -Level Interconnect
THX Ultra Performance Silver
Line -Level Interconnect
U,B
U,B
U,B
U,B
RCA, XLR
RCA, XLR
RCA, XLR
RCA, XLR
RCA
0.5-6 meters
0.5-6 meters
0.5-6 meters
0.5-6 meters
0.5-6 meters
1 foot up
1.5-16 feet
1.5-16 feet
400.00-2050.00/pair No
325.00-1120.00/pair No
120.00-615.00/pair
No
85.00-330.00/pair
No
55.00-220.00/pair
No
30.00-86.00
Yes
20.00-40.00
Yes
10.00-26.00
No
U,B
U,B
Silver-plated Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
RCA
No
Yes
Home THX certified.
As above.
U,B
Silver-plated Copper
RCA
Yes
As above.
Argento Signature
Argento Series 1
Argento Series 2
U
U
5N Silver
5N Silver
5N Silver
RCA, XLR
WBT RCA, XLR
RCA, XLR
0.5-5 meters
0.5-5 meters
0.5-5 meters
1400.00-6000.00
950.00-3800.00
475.00-2000.00
No
No
No
Litz; Teflon insulation.
As above.
As above.
Precison Interface
Technology
U,B
Copper
RCA, XLR
0.6-300 meters
990.00 up
No
Precison Interface
Technology
CA -25000 Phono Cables
U,B
Copper
RCA, 5 -Pin DIN, XLR
0.6-300 meters
990.00-1880.00
No
GOLDMUND
Lineal Interco
U
HIGHWIRE AUDIO
700 Ai
700 Bi
700 Pi
U
HOVLAND
JARRETT-WAUTERS
DISCOVERY CABLE
DPA DIGITAL
DUNLAVY
AUDIO LABS
EMERSON
FINESTRA
DESIGN GROUP
FM ACOUSTICS
U,8
U,B
U,B
U,B
U
B
U
U
U
U
U
RCA
RCA
RCA
RCA, XLR
No
No
As above.
As above.
Allows connection of two cables to one input or
output.
Yes
Triple -shielded.
Custom lengths.
As above.
As above.
As above.
As above.
Optional EasyLink RCAs.
Optional Musica 200 RCAs.
CA -25000 Series
RCA
1 meter up
890.00 up
No
U
Silver-plated Copper
Silver-plated Copper
Silver-plated Copper
RCA
XLR
RCA
1-10 meters
1-10 meters
1-2 meters
398.00-1298.00
448.00-1348.00
398.00-498.00
No
No
No
RFI suppression.
As above.
As above; phono.
Phono Cable
U,B
Silver-plated Copper
RCA -RCA, RCA -DIN,
XLR
0.5-1.5 meters
795.00
No
Optional balanced XLR, $40.00 additional.
Passage
U,B
Copper/Silver
RCA -RCA, RCA -DIN,
1-8 meters
95.00-335.00
No
Teflon insulation.
1.5-100 feet
2-100 feet
2-50 feet
2-50 feet
3-30 feet
3-30 feet
130.00 up
220.00 up
300.00 up
600.00 up
1000.00 up
2000.00 up
No
No
No
No
No
No
$20.00 per additional foot.
$27.00 per additional foot.
$32.00 per additional foot.
$48.00 per additional foot.
$80.00 per additional foot.
$180.00 per additional foot.
8
RESEARCH
JENA LABS
(Continued)
XLR-XLR
Soloist
Mini Twin
U
Gemini
Quad Helix
Sine -Weave Quad
Sine -Weave Seven RCA
U
U
U
U
U
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
RCA
RCA
RCA
RCA
RCA
RCA
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
84
Are you looking for a high
performance
INTERNATIONAL home theater
system, but wondering
how to fit 6 speakers
into your room and
still leave room for
furniture and family?
{OSONL
Shielded satellites +
powered subwooferperfect for home theater
Audio Hall of Fame speaker designer, Arnie Nudell, has
developed the perfect solutionsubwoofer/satellite systems,
featuring powered subwoofers
and Radiant Surround Field"'
technology.
"... ranks with
the best"'
* Excerpted from review
of RSS702, Stereo Review,
July 1996
!!u
Eosone's Powered Subwoofer
gives the deep bass response,
and dynamic range necessary
for getting maximum enjoyment from movies and
music. Discover the
"... skin tingling,
room shaking bass-
which passive
subwoofer
systems simply
cannot match.
Radiant Surround FieldTM
technology creates a broader
listening area so everyone
in the room, regardless of
position, hears superior sound
and spatial effects. Surround
sound performance is raised
to new heights through this
remarkable technology.
ressuvePrD1.1r2filili.1112
Stereo Review, July 1996
Rear -firing tweeter ensures
the fullest sound possible
Shielded satellites
perfect for home theater
Eosone RSS systems are available in three configurations:
For more information
or store locations
call - i
l-
Ail 1111
1111
RSS105: 6 piece home
RSS703: 4 piece home
theater system
theater front stage
CIFCLE NO 14 ON READER SERVICE CARD
RSS702: 3 piece stereo
ANALOG INTERCONNECTS
FINISHED CABLES
TYPE
U - Unbalanced
B - Balanced
.ro
m
.o
m
é
=o
4000.00 up
600.00 up
1200.00 up
2000.00 up
4300.00 up
190.00-210.00
480.00-540.00
480.00-540.00
46.00 up
No
No
No
DIN-XLR
Bare, Spade
3-15 feet
3-50 feet
3-50 feet
3-30 feet
3-15 feet
5-7 feet
5-7 feet
5-7 feet
2-50 feet
Aluminum/Copper
Locking RCA
0.375 meter up
154.00 up
No
U
Copper
U
LCOFC
RCA
RCA
3 meters
0.5-2 meters
40.00
90.00-110.00
U,B
U,B
Copper
Copper
Copper/Silver
Copper/Silver
Silver
Silver
RCA, XLR
RCA, XLR
RCA, XLR
RCA, XLR
0.5 meter up
0.5 meter up
0.5 meter up
0.5 meter up
0.5 meter up
0.5 meter up
59.00/pair up
78.00/pair up
120.00/pair up
173.00/pair up
225.00/pair up
390.00/pair up
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Copper
Copper
Copper
RCA
RCA
XLR
0.7-6 meters
0.7-6 meters
0.7-6 meters
450.00-1250.00
495.00-1295.00
475.00-1275.00
No
No
No
RCA
XLR
RCA
XLR
RCA
RCA
1 meter up
1 meter up
1 meter up
1 meter up
1 meter up
1 meter up
139.00 up
159.00 up
79.00 up
99.00 up
54.00 up
34.00 up
No
No
No
No
No
No
Teflon insulation.
No
Shielded directional shunt.
JENA LABS
U
(Continued)
Trinity
B
Sine -Weave Five
Sine -Weave Seven XLR
B
Radiant Path XLR
Phono Soloist
Phono Gemini RCA
Phono Gemini XLR
Ultra Ground
B
U
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
JPS LABS
The Superconductor
U
JVC
CN-630 HG
CN-700 Pro Series
PBJ
KC1
vó
c>
Radiant Path RCA
KIMBER KABLE
/i/i//s:;'/
m
c
MANUFACTURER
B
U
U
B
RCA
XLR
XLR
XLR
XLR
DIN -RCA
DIN -RCA
RCA
XLR
No
No
No
No
No
$360.00 per additional foot.
$48.00 per additional foot.
$100.00 per additional foot.
$180.00 per additional foot.
$400.00 per additional foot.
Optional right-angle, $50.00 additional.
As above.
As above.
Shielded; includes ground wire.
Copper shield; copper -clad aluminum center.
Gold-plated plugs.
As above.
Varistrand design.
As above; shielded.
As above.
As above.
As above.
Silver Streak -SE
Silver Streak-Bal
U
KCAG
KCTG
U,B
U,B
Dragonfly Wings DWS
Dragonfly Wings DWSh
Dragonfly Wings DWB
U
C -200-D
C -200-D
C -100-D
C -100-D
C-80
C-50
U
U
Silver -clad OFHC
Silver -clad OFHC
Silver -clad OFHC
Silver -clad OFHC
Silver -clad Copper
Copper
LEGACY AUDIO
Legacy Lattice
U
Copper
RCA
0.5-5 meters
85.00-250.00
LEGEND
Legend VI
Legend IV
Legend II
U
Silver
Silver
Silver
RCA
RCA
RCA
1-3 meters
1-3 meters
1-3 meters
1200.00-2280.00
515.00-1135.00
295.00-655.00
Gray Woven
Gray Woven
Gray Satin
U
U
Mu -Metal
Mu -Metal
Mu -Metal
RCA
XLR
RCA
1 meter up
1 meter up
1 meter up
245.00 up
325.00 up
345.00 up
No
No
No
LINN
Analog Interconnect
U
Copper
RCA
1-50 meters
80.00/pair up
Yes
LUMINOUS
AUDIO
TECHNOLOGY
Synchestra Signature
Synchestra
Monarch
U
U
5N Silver
5N Silver
RCA, XLR
RCA, XLR
U
Silver -clad OFC
0.5-10 meters
0.5-10 meters
0.5-10 meters
Lynx
U
Copper
RCA
RCA
Any
400.00-2270.00
190.00-1520.00
80.00-450.00
30.00 up
No
No
No
No
Single Ended Flexible
U
Copper
RCA
1-10 meters
250.00-1150.00
Yes
Single Ended Semi Rigid
U
Copper
RCA
1-5 feet
250.00-450.00
No
Balanced Flexible
8
Copper
XLR
1-10 meters
350.00-1500.00
Yes
CZ Gel -1
CZ Gel -2
B
Copper/Silver
Copper/Silver
XLR
RCA
0.5 meter up
0.5 meter up
375.00 up
375.00 up
No
No
Controlled -impedance cable; custom lengths.
U
MARIGO AUDIO LAB
MR8.8 Fractal
U
Copper
RCA
0.75-7 meters
545.00-2395.00/pair
No
1 meter (standard), $595.00.
MIT
MlTerminator 5
MlTerminator 4
MlTerminator 3
MlTerminator 2
MlTerminator Proline
MI -330 Terminator
MI -330 Plus Series Two
MI -330 Tube Terminator
U
RCA
RCA
RCA
RCA
XLR
Locking RCA
Locking RCA
Locking RCA
1-12 meters
1-12 meters
1-12 meters
1-12 meters
1-12 meters
1-12 meters
1-12 meters
1-12 meters
40.00-100.00/pair
60.00-135.00/pair
90.00-200.00/pair
130.00-340.00/pair
U
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
195.00-565.00/pair
250.00-680.00/pair
350.00-930.00/pair
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
U
Copper
Locking RCA
1-12 meters
350.00-930.00/pair
No
U
Locking RCA
XLR
Locking RCA
Locking RCA
XLR
1.5 meters
1-12 meters
1 meter up
1 meter up
1 meter up
295.00/pair
495.00-1235.00/pair
995.00/pair
1295.00/pair
1495.00/pair
No
No
No
No
No
Custom lengths.
B
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
U
Copper
Locking RCA
1 meter up
1995.00/pair
No
As above.
U
Copper
Locking RCA
1.5 meters
2495.00/pair
No
B
Copper
XLR
1 meter up
2995.00/pair
No
As above.
KLYNE AUDIO ARTS
LAT INTERNATIONAL
AUDIO DESIGN
LINDSAY
AUDIOPHILE
MACH 1 ACOUSTICS
MADRIGAL AUDIO
Series Two
MI -330
High Energy Terminator
Series Two
MI -330 Phono Terminator
MI -330 Proline Terminator
MI -350 CVTerminator
MI -350 CVTerminator Twin
MI -350 CVTerminator
Proline Twin
MI -350 CVTerminator
Reference
MI -350 CVTerminator
Phono Reference
MI -350 CVTerminator
Proline Reference
B
U
B
B
U
B
U
U
U
B
U
U
U
B
U
U
B
U
U
195.00-575.00/pair
As above: larger conductor bundle.
Shield for phono.
As above.
As above.
As above.
As above.
Double -shielded.
Foamed -Teflon dielectric; double -shielded;
50 -ohm.
Foamed -Teflon dielectric; solid copper shield;
50 -ohm.
Foamed -Teflon dielectric; triple -shielded;
100 -ohm.
As above.
As above.
As above.
MONARCHY AUDIO
AR -2
U
Silver
RCA
3 feet
199.00/pair
No
Solid Teflon dielectric.
MONSTER CABLE
M1000i
U.B
Copper
RCA, XLR,
0.5-8 meters
150.00-980.00/pair
Yes
Bandwidth Balanced; Time Correct windings.
U
Copper
Copper
Copper
1-4 meters
2.5-8 meters
0.5-6 meters
300.00.750.00/set
40.00-100.00
75.00-350.00/pair
No
No
Yes
As above; Home THX certified.
(Continued)
M756
M351 Sub Interconnect
Interlink Reference
Ground Control
U
U
RCA
RCA
RCA
AUDIO/NOVEMI3ER 1996
86
As above.
Bandwidth Balanced; Time Correct windings.
Make enough trouble and
people always start talking
Carver Research Lightstar Reference Amplifier
Recommended Component, Stereophile, April 1996
(Vol. 19, No. 4)
"Innovative, powerful (350 Wpc) power amplifier
that impressed RD [Robert Deutsch] with its
dynamics and sense of power in reserve, while
sounding impressively neutral."
riMipx THX Amplifier
Stereophile Guide to Home Theater, Fall 1996
(Vol. 2, No. 3), Robert Deutsch
At Carver, we've found that making trouble is usually
the first step in making real audio progress. For nearly
twenty years we've built audio components around
controversial design concepts in order to break through
traditional price/performance barriers.
The three amplifiers shown here continue that
tradition. The awesome Lightstar Reference is our most
articulate technical statement ever as well as Carver's
blueprint for the future. The lessons we learned during
its development are now common denominators for
every Carver amplifier design. As a result, people are
talking about the latest Carver amplifiers in terms usually
reserved for far more expensive models, such as
"innovative," "powerful," and even "magic."
To achieve this level of performance, technology and
value in a single precision chassis, we design and build
these amplifiers in our own factory just outside Seattle,
Washington. Hear the technology that has the experts
talking at your authorized Carver dealer.
© 1996 Carver Corporation. All rights reserved.
THX° is a registered trademark of LucasFilm. Ltd.
"It's very modestly priced but doesn't sound like
it...There are two groups of audiophiles to whom
I particularly recommend the TFM-35x: those
who are drawn to the tonal qualities of tube
amplifiers but don't want the responsibility
of their care and feeding, and those who are
attracted to the sound of the Carver Lightstar
Reference but deterred by the price...ln the
right system, it can give the big boys a good
run for their money."
Carver AV -806x Multi -channel Amplifier
Recommended Component, StereophiA. April 1996
(Vol. 19, No. 4)
"I was expecting competent performance; what
I got instead was magic,' enthused TJN [Thomas
J. Norton] about the six -channel Carver...
`My favorite current multichannel amp."
Q\RVER
Carver Corporation, P.O. Box 1237. Lynnwood, WA 98046
For authorized dealer locations call (206) 775-1202
http://www.carver.com
ANALOG INTERCONNECTS
FINISHED CABLES
TYPE
U - Unbalanced
B - Balanced
/,/ ió
¿11
OafMANUFACTURERca
MONSTER CABLE
(Continued)
Interlink 406
Interlink 206
Interlink 201
Sub Interconnect
Interlink 400 Mkll
Interlink 300 Mkll
Interlink 250
MUSICAL CONCEPTS Super Connect IV
MUSICAL DESIGN
MUSIC -LINK
MUSIC METRE
Aura
mage-.5FT
mage-.5FT
mage-1FT
mage-1FT
mage-2FT
mage-2FT
mage-2CD
mage-2CD+
mage-3FT
mage-4FT
RCA
140.00-210.00/set
80.00-140.00/set
30.00-60.00/pair
Yes
Yes
No
As above; Home THX certified.
As above.
As above.
RCA
RCA
RCA
0.5-8 meters
0.5-8 meters
0.5-8 meters
35.00-100.00/pair
25.00-80.00/pair
20.00-60.00/pair
Yes
Yes
No
Bandwidth Balanced; lime Correct windings.
Plated Copper
RCA
0.5 meter up
59.00 up
Yes
Triple dielectric; custom lengths.
Plated Copper
RCA
0.5 meter up
125.00-195.00
Yes
Triple dielectric; custom lengths.
OFHC
OFHC
OFHC
OFHC
OFHC
OFHC
OFHC
OFHC
OFHC
OFHC
OFHC
OFHC
OFHC
OFHC
OFHC
OFHC
OFHC
OFHC
OFHC
OFHC
RCA
XLR
RCA
XLR
RCA
XLR
RCA
RCA
RCA
RCA
RCA
XLR
RCA
XLR
RCA
XLR
RCA
RCA
RCA
RCA
1-20 feet
1-20 feet
1.20 feet
1.20 feet
1-12 feet
1-12 feet
1-12 feet
1-12 feet
1-6 feet
1-6 feet
1-20 feet
1-20 feet
1-20 feet
1-20 feet
1-12 feet
1-12 feet
1-12 feet
1-12 feet
1-12 feet
1-12 feet
195.00-2095.00/pair
255.00-2725.00/pair
345.00-3670.00/pair
455.00-4825.00/pair
645.00-4220.00/pair
845.00-5520.00/pair
745.00-4870.00/pair
745.00-4870.00/pair
945.00-3320.00/pair
1245.00-4370.00/pair
65.00-635.00/pair
85.00-845.00/pair
115.00-1160.00/pair
145.00-1570.00/pair
175.00-1110.00/pair
225.00-1490.00/pair
245.00-1620.00/pair
345.00-2270.00/pair
445.00-2920.00/pair
545.00-3570.00/pair
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
Litz; unshielded; shielded version available.
RCA, DB-25
U
Copper
Copper
Copper
U
U
U
U
U
U
U
B
U
B
U
B
U
U
U
U
2o
1-4 meters
1-4 meters
2.5-8 meters
Copper
Copper
Copper
U
RCA, 08-25
EMS -1
EMS -1
U
EMS -1.5
EMS -1.5
EMS -3
EMS -3
EMS -4
EMS -5
EMS -6
EMS -7
U
Silver
Signature
4N Silver
DEC
OFC
RCA, XLR
RCA, XLR
RCA, XLR
RCA, XLR
0.5-50 meters
0.5-50 meters
0.5-50 meters
0.5-50 meters
250.00-2500.00
175.00-1300.00
115.00-865.00
95.00-545.00
No
No
No
No
B
B
U
B
U
U
U
U
As above.
As above.
As above.
As above.
As above.
As above.
As above.
As above.
As above.
As above.
As above.
As above.
As above.
As above.
As above.
As above.
As above.
As above.
As above.
Ill
U,B
U,B
U,B
U,B
THE NATURAL
CHORD
Dichord
U,B
Copper
RCA, XLR
0.5-2.5 meters
175.00-315.00
No
Custom lengths.
NIRVANA AUDIO
S -L Series
U,B
Copper
WBT, XLR
1-25 meters
t
No
Proprietary Litz geometry. t$695.00 first meter,
$200.00 per additional meter.
NORDOST
Magic 1
U
Copper
RCA
1 meter
40.00
No
Black Knight
U
OFC
RCA
0.6-5 meters
70.00-240.00
No
Black Knight XLR
Blue Angel
B
OFC
U
Silver-plated OFC
XLR
RCA
0.6-5 meters
0.6-5 meters
100.00-270.00
100.00-370.00
No
No
Blue Angel XLR
Blue Heaven
Blue Heaven XLR
Red Dawn
Red Dawn XLR
SPM Reference
SPM Reference XLR
B
Silver-plated OFC
Silver-plated Copper
Silver-plated Copper
Extruded Silver OFC
Extruded Silver OFC
Silver Alloy
Silver Alloy
XLR
RCA
XLR
RCA
XLR
RCA
XLR
0.6-5 meters
0.6-5 meters
0.6-5 meters
0.6-5 meters
0.6-5 meters
0.6-5 meters
0.6-5 meters
130.00-400.00
170.00-560.00
200.00-590.00
330.00-1040.00
360.00-1070.00
900.00-2700.00
930.00-2730.00
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
Four -conductor flat cable: extruded Teflon
insulation.
Eight -conductor flat cable; extruded Teflon
insulation.
As above.
Ten -conductor flat cable; stranded extruded
Teflon insulation.
As above.
36 -conductor; extruded Teflon insulation.
As above.
19 -conductor; Teflon insulation.
As above.
16 -conductor.
As above.
Twin -axial; Teflon insulation.
Calibre
U
B
U
B
U
B
6N OFC
PAC
Pro Reference Interconnect
Silver
RCA
0.5-10 meters
120.00-880.00
No
PARADOX
Paradox
U
Copper
RCA
1 meter
500.00/pair
No
PARAVOIX
A201
U
A205
U
OFC
OFC
RCA
RCA
1-6 feet
1-6 feet
50.00-100.00
25.00-50.00
Yes
Yes
A -A
AA -AA
U
Copper
Copper
RCA
Dual RCA
1.5-20 feet
1.5-50 feet
2.00-4.00
3.00-27.00
No
U
Zeropoint Musical Ref
Zeropoint Pro
Zeropoint OLX
Zeropoint TRX
B
PC-OCC
B
A540 Transbalance
A 320
U
OFC
OFC
OFC
OFC
OFC
RCA
RCA
RCA
Molded RCA
Molded RCA
Molded RCA
0.5-6 meters
0.5-6 meters
0.5-6 meters
0.5-6 meters
0.5-6 meters
0.15-6 meters
50.00-200.00
30.00-75.00
40.00-90.00
30.00-75.00
15.00-45.00
5.00-15.00
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Twisted pairs.
As above.
Optional Y -adaptors.
As above.
PRECISION
INTERFACE
ELECTRONICS
RCA30
30R
P47
RCA50
U
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
RCA
RCA
RCA
RCA
0.75-20 feet
1.5-20 feet
1.5-20 feet
1.5-20 feet
Yes
Yes
No
No
Includes ground wire or turn -on lead.
As above; dual shield.
As above but triple shield.
PRISMA
Dual Interconnect
Quasi Balanced Interconnect
Balanced Interconnect
U
Copper
Copper
Copper
RCA
RCA
0.5-3 meters
1 meter up
1 meter up
49.00-75.00
105.00 up
149.00 up
Yes
Yes
Yes
Analog Link I
Analog Link II
Hybrid Link
Silver Link
U
OFC
HPOFC
t
RCA
RCA
RCA
Cardas RCA
68.00/meter
85.00/meter
135.00/meter
185.00/meter
Yes
Yes
Silver
0.6-5 meters
0.6-5 meters
0.6-5 meters
0.6-5 meters
Elements
U,B
Copper
RCA, Neutrik XLR
t
Aqueous
U,B
OFC/Silver
RCA, Neutrik XLR
t
HDI
U,B
LC Silver
RCA, Neutrik XLR
t
PFANSTIEHL
PHOENIX GOLD
PUREST
SOUND SYSTEMS
PURIST
AUDIO DESIGN
B
B
U
U
U
U
B
U
U
U
XLR
(Continued)
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
88
Yes
Yes
Yes
Custom lengths.
As above.
As above.
EMI/RFI suppression.
As above.
tSolid-core silver with OFC copper.
t$180.00, first meter pair ($230.00 balanced);
$30.00 per additional 0.5 meter.
1$380.00, first meter pair ($420.00 balanced);
$40.00 per additional 0.5 meter.
t$440.00, first meter pair ($490.00 balanced);
$50.00 per additional 0.5 meter.
SMALL.
POWERFUL.
THE NEW KLIPSCH REBEL.
Full Range sound from the only horn loaded
speaker system small enough to fit anywhere!
Klipsch Horn Technology delivers incredible sonic
performance because horn loaded speakers result
in greater efficiency, broad dynamic range and high
levels of output with low levels of distortion. The
Rebel KSS-3 Sub/Sat System achieves a full range
frequency response using two satellite speakers and
a subwoofer powered by a 50 watt discrete amplifier.
Sound is full and accurate from the trill of a piccolo
to the thwump of a bass guitar string. You hear
everything. Add a Rebel video shielded center
channel and surrounds for a home theater system
designed for people who demand great sound but
prefer a compact system. 1-800-KLIPSCH
1996 Klipsch Inc.
Klipsch
N
C.
The Legend Continues."
ANALOG INTERCONNFfl TS
FINISHED CABLES
TYPE
41i v?
U -Unbalanced
B -Balanced
m
C
2
cMANUFACTURER
sr
t
PURIST
AUDIO DESIGN
Maximus
U,B
Alloy/Silver
RCA, Neutrik XLR
(Continued)
Colossus
U,B
Alloy/Silver/Chromed
RCA, Neutrik XLR
Proteus
U,B
Proprietary Alloy
RCA, Neutrik XLR
t
t
Dominus
U,B
Proprietary Alloy
RCA, Neutrik XLR
t
Premium Stereo Patch Cable
Premium Stereo
Patch Extension
Standard Stereo Patch Cable
Standard Stereo
Patch Extension
Standard Patch Cable
Premium Patch Cable Ribbon
Standard Patch Cable Ribbon
Premium Stereo
Mini -Plug Cable
U
BL -1
T -20X
U,B
U,B
OFC/Silver
OFC/Silver
SIMPLYPHYSICS
Phaseline Pro
B
Copper/Silver
SOLID CORE
TECHNOLOGY
SCT-04 (Cormorant)
U
SCT-04 (Cormorant)
B
MediaLinO Bronze
MediaLinO Bronze
MediaLinO Silver
U
SONORAN
AUDIO DESIGNS
SOUND IMAGES
t$760.00, first meter pair ($810.00 balanced);
$60.00 per additional 0.5 meter.
t$1130.00, first meter pair ($1180.00
balanced): $80.00 per additional 0.5 meter.
t$2300.00, first meter pair ($2350.00
balanced); $160.00 per additional 0.5 meter.
t$5000.00, first meter pair ($5100.00
balanced); $300.00 per additional 0.5 meter.
RCA
RCA
3-20 feet
3 feet
8.99-19.99
RCA
RCA
3-12 feet
3 feet
3.99-6.99
3.99
Jacks to plugs.
U
RCA
RCA
RCA
Mini -Plug
1.79-3.49
16.99
6.99-8.99
9.99
Four gold-plated plugs at each end.
Four plugs at each end.
U
1.5-12 feet
3 feet
3-6 feet
6 feet
RCA, XLR
Any
Any
95.00/meter pair
Yes
Yes
Teflon copolymer dielectric.
Unshielded twisted pair.
XLR
0.5-125 meters
395.00-10,000
No
Silver coaxial shielding; dual -phase line -isolated
design.
Copper
RCA
0.5-3 meters
114.00-189.00
No
Copper
XLR
0.5-6 meters
124.00-289.00
No
Capacitance, 135 pF/meter; inductance,
0.1 µH/meter; resistance, 12.5 ohms/meter.
As above.
OFC
OFC
OFC
RCA
RCA
RCA
7 inches
0.15-6 meters
0.5-6 meters
4.50
5.00-13.75
21.75-37.50
No
Y -adaptor.
U
Cactus Connect Signature
Cactus Connect Mkll
U,B
U,B
Copper
Copper
RCA, XLR
RCA, XLR
0.5-10 meters
0.5-10 meters
250.00-1200.00
157.00-784.00
Yes
Yes
Custom lengths.
SI Signature
SI 1
U,B
U,B
Copper
Copper
RCA, XLR
RCA, XLR
1-2 meters
1-10 meters
350.00-650.00
250.00-1600.00
No
No
Litz; proprietary geometry and shielding.
Twisted pairs; individually Teflon -coated
strands.
SI 99.99997%
U,B
Copper
RCA, XLR
1-10 meters
140.00-590.00
No
Streamline
U
Copper
RCA
1-5 meters
16.00-33.50
No
DL1
SL1
HRV1
U
OFC
U
4SP SN1
U
Copper
Copper
Copper
RCA
RCA
RCA
0.5-5 meters
0.5-2 meters
1-5 meters
500 feet
27.50-60.00
36.00-60.00
18.00-35.00
.70/foot
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
AudiFlex Gold I
AudiFlex Gold II
AudiFlex Gold V
U
U
Copper
Copper
Copper
RCA
XLR
RCA
0.5-3 meters
0.5-3 meters
0.5-3 meters
111.00-138.00/pair
118.00-144.00/pair
118.00-144.00/pair
No
No
No
MI -330
U
Copper
RCA
3-40 feet
No
For Spectral components.
U
Copper
RCA
3-35 feet
No
As above.
Stinger Drone Series
Stinger Venom Series
U
OFC
OFC
RCA
RCA
0.5-20 feet
0.5-20 feet
4.50-12.00
7.00-23.00
No
No
Stinger Queen Series
Stinger King Series
Stinger Dream Series
U
U
OFC
OFC
OFC
RCA
RCA
RCA
1.5-20 feet
1.5-20 feet
1.5-20 feet
15.36-31.60
22.50-49.30
Yes
Yes
Yes
Virtuoso (IC)
Maestro II (IC)
U,B
U,B
Silver/Copper
Coated Copper
RCA, XLR
RCA, XLR
0.5-6 meters
0.5-6 meters
300.00-1950.00
195.00-1075.00
Yes
Yes
Solo (IC)
Rhapsody II (IC)
Encore (IC)
U
Silver/Copper
Coated Copper
Coated Copper
RCA
U,B
U,B
0.5-3 meters
0.5-6 meters
0.5-6 meters
240.00-725.00
120.00-450.00
80.00-300.00
Yes
Yes
Yes
Laser Link II (IC)
Symphony (IC)
Flexconnect II
Musicable II
Harmony
Concerto
U
Coated Copper
RCA
U,B
OFHC
OFHC
U
OFC
OFC
OFC
RCA, XLR
RCA
RCA
RCA
RCA
0.5-6 meters
0.5-6 meters
0.5-6 meters
0.5-6 meters
0.6-6 meters
0.6-6 meters
56.00-210.00
44.00-110.00
34.00-100.00
26.00-70.00
18.00-45.00
13.00-36.00
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Beta
Omicron
U,B
U,B
HCOFC
HCOFC
RCA, XLR
RCA, XLR
1 meter
1 meter
195.00/pair
395.00/pair
No
No
SYNERGISTIC
RESEARCH
T.H.C.
U
RCA
Alpha
U,B
Copper Matrix
Copper Matrix
3-10 feet
2-50 feet
49.00-90.00
77.00-376.00
No
No
TARA LABS
Prism 11
Prism 22
Prism 33
Prism 55
Prism CD
U
RSC-CD
RSC Prime
U,B
U,B
U,B
U,B
U,B
OFHC
OFHC
OFHC
OFHC
OFHC
OFHC
OFHC
OFHC
RCA
RCA
RCA
RCA, XLR
RCA
RCA, XLR
RCA, XLR
RCA, XLR
Consonant Alloy
Consonant Alloy
Locking RCA, XLR
Locking RCA, XLR
0.6-2 meters
0.6-10 meters
0.6-10 meters
0.6-10 meters
0.6-2 meters
0.6-10 meters
0.6-10 meters
0.6-10 meters
0.6-10 meters
0.6-10 meters
25.00-42.00
33.00-204.00
52.00-239.00
88.00-398.00
39.00-79.00
90.00-730.00
114.00-690.00
180.00-1046.00
320,00-2142.00
497.00-3695.00
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
RADIO SHACK
SILVER SONIC
SONANCE
SOUNDSTREAM
TECHNOLOGIES
SOUND & VIDEO
SPECTRAL AUDIO
U
U
U
U
U
U
U
B
Gold-plated pins.
Jacks to plugs; gold-plated connectors
9.99
Gold-plated 1/a -inch plugs.
As above.
High -density braided shielding; polyethylene
dielectric; gold-plated plugs.
Fine -stranded wire; nitrogen -foamed dielectric.
Silver-plated 22-AWG; Teflon dielectric.
75 -ohm.
Multi -zone AN cable; four shielded pairs.
Gold-plated connectors.
As above.
As above; directional.
Ultralinear Terminator
MI -350
Ultralinear Terminator
STINGER
ELECTRONICS
STRAIGHT WIRE
SYMDEX SYSTEMS
RSC Reference Generation 2
RSC Master Generation 2
RSC Decade
U
U
U
U
U
U
U,B
U
RCA, XLR
RCA, XLR
RCA, XLR
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
90
Double -shielded; 18 -gauge center grounding
wire.
As above; gold-plated plugs.
Triple -shielded; gold-plated plugs.
Single -jacket, dual -twisted pair; double drain
system; gold-plated plugs.
Platinum or gold versions available.
Symmetrical coaxial; microporous Teflon
insulation.
Version of Virtuoso.
Dual symmetrical coaxial.
Symmetrical twin -axial; sintered Teflon
insulation.
Symmetrical coaxial; Teflon insulation.
Star -quad; dual shield.
Symmetrical coaxial.
Star -quad.
Custom lengths.
As above.
Unshielded; gold-plated connectors.
Gold-plated connectors.
As above.
As above.
As above; unshielded.
Gold-plated connectors.
As above; rectangular solid -core.
As above.
As above.
As above.
Imagine.
A muscular 600 watt amp with the soul of a 9 watt triode.
The new Sunfire stereo amp:
sonic
magic
by Bob
Carver.
Sunizre
Load Invariant High Fidelity Stereo Power Ampl!ter
It's not a 9 watt triode of course, and we wouldn't want it to be, but it does share a very important characteristic with one. It incorporates the
current -source (high output impedance) property of a triode-the very property that is the dominant factor (perhaps ninety percent) of the sonic
magic that makes listening to the classic vacuum tube amplifier so much fun. So when you choose our current -source output connections for your
system, you'll have a sumptuous high end, and a midrange that positively glows. At the same time, the new Sunfire Amplifier, with its uncanny
tracking downconverter, has the ability to raise goose bumps with its awesome power. Using 12 herculean International Rectifier Hexfets, it can
drive any load to any rationally usable current or voltage level.
;,lo-,xe
Choice of Outputs.
oe
eli
You can connect most speakers to the voltage source output, with its near zero impedance, to experience the powerful dynamics and tight bass
you've always wanted more of. Or let's say you own electrostatic, planar magnetic or ribbon speakers, then connecting the higher impedance
current -source output can coax forth a sensuoas, delicately detailed musical voice associated with low -powered lassie tube amplifiers. Or if you're
able to biwire, you may just arrive at the best possible interface: voltage output to woofer for incredible bass whack, current output to midrange
and treble for a huge three-dimensional soundstage with detail retrieval so stunning that you will often hear musicians breathing! Each choice will
reveal the delicate musical soul that complements this amp's astonishing muscle and control. And each will lead to a multilayered soundstage so
deep and wide it will take your breath away.
Performance that's difficult to believe.
The basis for all this is designer Bob Carver's sersatilin He's worked successfully for over 20 years with both tube and solid state designs, and he
understands the intrinsic subtleties of each. For the new Sunfire, he insisted on an enormous 138 ampere peak -to -peak output current capability
with 600 watts rms per channel continuously into 4 ohms and 2400 watts rms into I ohm on a time -limited basis'. Courtesy of 24 massive
Motorola triple -diffused ouput devices, each capable of 20 amperes without taxing current reserves. Imagine all that in a single amp. Or better
yet, visit a Sunfire dealer. That's where you'll hear for yourself how Bob Carver's Sunfire Amplifier makes it all come together.
Sunfire
F.I.C.. 300 wom cmmum p
dmM, both channdc driven oto
8 ohm horn 20 ht lu 20 khr
it,
For
.. from the mind & soul of Bob Carver
Y/ vnu are getting rein c
to spend more than $2,175
on an amplifier-don'tat least not until vou've given
the Slay -ire a listen. Highly
nvummended in the $2000
to $25,000 price class"
The Sensible Sound
O5o IMO
Issue Number Sr
additional information on Sunfire, and especially the uncanny tracking downconvo:ner, use the reader service card or write to Sunfire Corporation, PO Box 1589, Snohomish, WA 99290.12061335-4748
CIRCLE NO. 30 ON READER SERVICE CARD
MING 1195
ANALOG INTERCONNECTS
FINISHED CABLES
TYPE
U -Unbalanced
B - Balanced
m
g
m
o
ca
o
tia
MANUFACTURER
hill
.
km
No
No
Custom lengths, $3.00/pair/foot additional.
As above but $30.00.
OFHC
OFHC
RCA
1-6 meters
1-6 meters
225.00-495.00
270.00-594.00
Yes
Yes
TPT-treated jacket.
As above.
Copper
Copper
Copper
RCA
0.5-6 meters
0.5-6 meters
0.5-6 meters
80.00-350.00
120.00-560.00
150.00-700.00
Yes
Yes
Yes
Coaxial; custom lengths.
Twisted pair; custom lengths.
Multi -conductor; custom lengths.
RCA
RCA
RCA
RCA
RCA
RCA
RCA
RCA
XLR
XLR
XLR
XLR
XLR
1-6 meters
1-6 meters
1-6 meters
1-6 meters
1-6 meters
1-6 meters
1-6 meters
1-6 meters
1-6 meters
1-6 meters
1-6 meters
1-6 meters
1-6 meters
1900.00-2700.00
4200.00-6000.00
45.00-150.00
90.00-290.00
145.00-435.00
240.00-590.00
450.00-990.00
850.00-1350.00
210.00-735.00
470.00-975.00
830.00-1330.00
1600.00-2100.00
3500.00-4300.00
No
No
Yes
Yes
No
No
No
No
Yes
No
No
No
No
Networked cable.
As above.
Musichord
The Link
MusicLink
MusicLink Plus
MusicLink Super
MusicLink Ultra
Balanced MusicLink
Balanced MusicLink Plus
Balanced MusicLink Super
Balanced MusicLink Ultra
Balanced MusicLink
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
Reference
Reference XL Balanced
Copper
XLR
1-6 meters
7700.00-9500.00
No
As above.
OFC
U
Silver -clad Copper
TICE AUDIO
IC 1A
IC 1A
U
TIC -1
U
TIC -2
TIC -3
U,B
U,B
TRANSPARENT
MusicLink Reference
CABLE
Reference XL Single -Ended
B
XLR
RCA, XLR
RCA, XLR
As above.
As above.
As above.
As above.
As above.
As above.
As above.
As above.
CC
U
SL
U,B
U,B
U,B
U,B
U,B
Copper
Silver -clad Copper
Silver -clad Copper
Copper
Copper
Silver
RCA
SC/II
SC/IV
CCC/II
AI/2
RCA, XLR
RCA, XLR
RCA, XLR
RCA, XLR
RCA, XLR
0.5-7 meters
0.5-7 meters
0.5-7 meters
0.5-7 meters
0.5-7 meters
0.5-7 meters
19.00-70.00
78.00-175.00
110.00-305.00
45.00-110.00
195.00-585.00
250.00-1550.00
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Solstice II
U
Grain -optimized Copper
RCA, BNC, DIN
0.1-200 meters
30.00/meter pair
Yes
Oasis II
Atlantis II
U
Grain -optimized Copper
Grain -optimized
PC Copper
Grain -optimized
PC Copper
Grain optimized
PC Copper
Grain -optimized
PC Copper
Grain -optimized PCSilver
Grain -optimized PCSilver
Grain -optimized
PC Copper
Grain -optimized
PC Copper
Grain -optimized
PC Copper
Grain -optimized PC Silver
Grain -optimized PC Silver
RCA, BNC, DIN
RCA, BNC, DIN
0.1-100 meters
0.1-100 meters
50.00/meter pair
90.00/meter pair
Yes
Yes
0.1-100 meters
130.00/meter pair
Yes
Symmetrical coaxial; MP Teflon insulation;
'/e- and'/8-inch phone connectors.
As above.
Equinox II
XL0 ELECTRIC
mm
75.00-105.00/pair
190.00-460.00/pair
U
WIREWORLD
mm
F
2-12 feet
2-12 feet
Dimension
Dimension Reference
VAMPIRE WIRE
É0
RCA
RCA
TED'S
EXCELLENT CABLE
TIFF ELECTRONICS
c4`
v/c>
FF
Fh
ém
,g)
U
U
Polaris II
U
Eclipse II
U
Silver Eclipse II
Gold Eclipse II
Equinox II Balanced
U
U
B
Polaris II Balanced
B
Eclipse II Balanced
B
RCA, BNC, DIN
0.1-50 meters
200.00/meter pair
RCA, BNC, DIN
0.1-50 meters
300.00/meter pair
Yes
As above.
RCA, BNC, DIN
RCA, BNC, DIN
XLR
0.1-50 meters
0.1-50 meters
0.1-50 meters
600.00/meter pair
1000.00/meter pair
130.00/meter pair
Yes
Yes
Yes
As above.
As above.
XLR
0.1-50 meters
200.00/meter pair
Yes
Symmetrical coaxial; MP Teflon insulation;
CL-3/FT-4 rated.
Symmetrical coaxial; MP Teflon insulation.
XLR
0.1-50 meters
300.00/meter pair
Yes
As above.
XLR
XLR
0.1-50 meters
0.1-50 meters
600.00/meter pair
1000.00/meter pair
Yes
Yes
As above.
As above.
Four -conductor. t$100.00, first meter pair;
$69.00 per additional meter.
Two -conductor. t$50.00, first meter pair:
$20.00 per additional meter.
t$49.95, first meter pair; $20.00 per
additional meter.
t$99.00, first meter pair; $69.00 per
additional meter.
t$119.00, first meter pair; $69.00 per
additional meter.
t$175.00, first meter pair; $125.00 per
additional meter.
Floating Faraday -cage shield. t$240.00, first
meter pair; $190.00 per additional meter.
t$210.00, first meter pair; $150.00 per
additional meter.
t$275.00, first meter pair; $200.00 per
additional meter.
Floating Faraday -cage shield. 1'$375.00, first
meter pair: $300.00 per additional meter.
t$330.00. first meter pair; $250.00 per
additional meter.
Phono cable; floating Faraday -cage shield.
t$400.00, first meter pair; $250.00 per
additional meter.
Teflon dielectric. t$625.00, first meter pair;
$500.00 per additional meter.
Teflon dielectric. t$725.00, first meter pair;
$600.00 per additional meter.
Teflon dielectric. t$675.00, first meter pair;
$550.00 per additional meter.
Teflon dielectric; full floating Faraday -cage
shield. t$750.00, first meter pair: $500.00 per
additional meter.
XLONDO ER -4
U
OFHC
RCA
1 meter up
t
Yes
XLONDO ER -5
U
OFHC
RCA
1 meter up
t
Yes
XLO/Pro Type 150
U
Copper
RCA
1 meter up
U
Copper
RCA
1 meter up
t
t
Copper
RCA
1 meter up
t
t
XLO/Pro Type 100p
U
U
4N OFHC
RCA
1 meter up
U
4N OFHC
RCA
1 meter up
B
4N OFHC
XLR
1 meter up
U
6N Copper
RCA
1 meter up
t
t
t
U
6N Copper
RCA
1 meter up
t
B
6N Copper
XLR
1 meter up
t
Type 2
XLO Electric/Reference
Type 3a
U
6N Copper
RCA
1 meter up
t
XL0 Electric/Signature
U
6N Copper
RCA
1 meter
t
U
6N Copper
RCA
1 meter
t
B
6N Copper
XLR
1 meter
t
U
6N Copper
RCA
1 meter
t
XLO Electric/Standard
Type 0.1
XL0 Electric/Standard
Type 0.1s
XLO Electric/Standard
Type 0.2
XLO Electric/Reference
Type 1
XLO Electric/Reference
Type 1 s
XL0 Electric/Reference
Type 1.1
XL0 Electric/Signature
Type 1.1s
XLO Electric/Signature
Type 2.1
XLO Electric/Signature
Type 3.1
As above.
RCA, BNC, DIN
B
XLO/Pro Type 100
Symmetrical coaxial; Teflon insulation;
CL-3/FT-4 rated; '/- and 1/4 -inch phone
connectors.
As above but MP Teflon.
Yes
Silver Eclipse II Balanced
Gold Eclipse II Balanced
B
Continuous -cast copper.
As above.
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
92
Yes
Yes
Yes
AUDIO... THE EQUIPMENT AUTHORITY
SOLD AT THESE SPECIALTY DEALERS
The following are just some of the fine audio/video dealers that sell
AUDIO Magazine:
Dealers, call:1-800-221-3148 if you are interested in selling
AUDIO...THE EQUIPMENT AUTHORITY
ESOTERIC AUDIO
4120 N. MARSHALL WAY
AUDIOMASTERS
102 LAFAYETTE STREET
ANMA, IL 62906
SOUND SYSTEM
3201 STATE ROUTE 27
FRANKLIN PARK, NJ 08823
SOUNDS DESIGNS
808 COLDWATER ROAD
MURRAY, KY 42071
MARIO'S SOUND ROOM
GOODWINS AUDIO
870 COMMONWELTH AVE.
BOSTON, MA 02210
SOUND CONCEPT INC.
264 EAST ROUTE 59
NANUET, NY 10954
2201 MARKET STREET
SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94114
NEW HORIZON BOOKS
20757 13 MILE ROAD
ROSEVILLE, MI 48066
DALBEC AUDIO LAB
51 KING STREET
TROY, NY 12180
JACK HANNA AUDIO/VIDEO
6130 PACIFIC AVE.
STOCKTON, CA 95207
AUDIO -VIDEO ALTERNATIVES
4526 N. WOODWARD AVENUE
ROYAL OAK, MI 48073
AUDIO ENCOUNTERS
4271 W. DUBLIN GRANVILL
DUBLIN, OH 43017
SOUND EYE
1317 SARTORI AVE.
TORRANCE, CA 90501
SOUND ADVICE INC.
3348 NILES ROAD
ST. JOSEPH, MI 49085
SOUND STATION
601 SE FRANK PHILLIPS BLVD.
BARTLESVILLE, OK 74003
WESTSIDE INT'L NEWS INC.
MATLACK COMMUNICATIONS
11949 WILSHIRE BLVD.
W. LOS ANGELES, CA 90025
2866 FOXWOOD DRIVE
MARYLANE HTS, MO 63043
SOUND SERVICE
621 NORTH MAIN STREET
GUYMON, OK 73942
DURANGO MUSIC CO.
902 MAIN AVE.
HARVEY'S STEREO
SCOTTSDALE, AZ 85251
PACIFIC AUDIO & ALARM
2370 E. ORANGE THORPE AVE.
ANAHEIM, CA 92806
SOUND TECH/LOS GATOS
15330 LOS GATOS BLVD.
LOS GATOS, CA 95032
STEREO PLUS
176 FRANKLIN AVE.
FRANKLIN SQUARE, NY 11010
2646 SOUTH GLENSTONE AVE.
SPRINGFIELD, MO 65804
DAVID LEWIS AUDIO
9010 BUSTLETON AVE.
PHILADELPHIA, PA 19152
VIDEO 7 WEST
22 KNEEN STREET
SHELTON, CT 06494
PRO AUDIO
STEREO SHOPPE
1630 COUNTRY CLUB PLAZA
ST. CHARLES, MO 63303
900 WASHINGTON BLVD.
WILLIAMSPORT, PA 17701
SOUNDS EXCLUSIVE/HANKS
757 N. MONTROSE STREET
CLERMONT, FL 34712
AUDIO VISIONS
136 MAIN STREET
SOUND DECISION
3727 FRANKLIN ROAD
ROANOKE, VA 24014
DURANGO, CO 81301
BOB'S NEWS & BOOKS
1515 ANDREWS AVE.
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL 33316
KALISPELL, MT 59901
SOUND STAGE
5900 N. POINT WASHINGTON RD.
MILWAUKEE, WI 53217
DIGITAL INTERCONNECTS
FINISHED CABLES
TYPE
U -Unbalanced
B - Balanced
0 - Optical
h
m
C.
CI,
,
p
MANUFACTURER
.
h
m
G
I
v
é Q.
C.
c°Fv
I
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m
C .§
ACROTEC
6N -D5010
6N Copper
RCA
0.6-1 meter
200.00-250.00
AMERICAN HYBRID
TECHNOLOGY
AHT Ultra Resolution
U
Copper
RCA
0.5-2 meters
175.00-250.00
ANALOG RESEARCH
U -Byte 1
U -Byte 2
U
Copper
Copper
BNC
BNC
6 meters
6 meters
RCA, XLR
RCA, BNC
Pre-radiused ST
APATURE PRODUCTS BL -4 Accusound Silver(2+2)
AUDIENT
TECHNOLOGIES
AUDIO ALCHEMY
AUDIO INSURGENTS
AUDIO MAGIC
U
m
c
m1
.
;p
=o
No
Gold-plated 6N copper connectors.
50.00
200.00
No
No
75 -ohm.
As above.
Any
Any
Any
70.00-1000.00
60.00-500.00
120.00-1000.00
Yes
Yes
Yes
Digital Datalink
Fiber Optic
U
0
Silver
Silver
Polished Glass
Black Beauty BL -2+2
U,B
OFC
RCA, XLR
Any
50.00-500.00
Yes
Datrix Standard
Datrix Reference
U
U
Copper
Copper
Copper
RCA, BNC
RCA, BNC
RCA, BNC
1.5-3 meters
1.25-3 meters
0.1 meter
185.00-250.00
350.00-450.00
60.00
No
No
No
75 -ohm; AES/EBU version available.
As above.
SDI
Copper
Copper
BNC
RCA
1 meter
1 meter
259.00
89.00
No
Yes
Powered RS422; includes power supply.
Transformer -coupled; removes digital ground
loops.
RCA
RCA
RCA
RCA
1-10 meters
1-10 meters
1-10 meters
1-10 meters
289.00-1063.00
229.00-904.00
129.00-489.00
60.00-222.00
No
No
No
No
Custom lengths.
As above.
As above.
As above.
Any
Any
Any
39.00/meter
249.00/meter
349.00/meter
No
No
No
Any
799.00/meter
No
Silver -clad Copper
RCA, DIN
Lockable RCA, DIN
WBT Lockable RCA,
DIN
WBT Lockable RCA,
DIN
DIN
Any
99.00/meter
U,B
U
DST
U,B
Clearstream
U
ByteRight V.5.1
ByteRight V.4.1
ByteRight V.3.1
ByteRight V.2.1
U
U
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
Sceptor
Spellcaster
Sorcerer
U,B
U,B
U,B
Silver -clad Copper
Silver
Silver
Illusion
U,B
Silver
U
U
Mystic
SMA, mini-BNC, and angled connections
optional.
Black Beauty RCA connector.
Ribbon conductors.
12S interconnect for Audio Alchemy products.
AUDIOPRISM
Digital RX
U
Copper
RCA
1-3 meters
250.00-500.00
No
AUDIOQUEST
Digital One
U
0.5 meter up
30.00/meter
Yes
U
Silver-plated Long -grain
Copper
Silver-plated Copper
Silver
Silver-plated Copper
Synthetic
Quartz
Fused Silica
RCA, BNC
Digital Two
Digital Pro
AES/EBU Two
Optilink X
Optilink Z
Optilink Pro 1
RCA, BNC
RCA, BNC
XLR
Toslink
Toslink
AT&T ST
0.5 meter up
0.5 meter up
0.5 meter up
1-12 meters
1-12 meters
1-12 meters
75.00/meter
225.00/meter
135.00/meter
98.00/meter
245.00/meter
175.00/meter
No
No
No
Digitalink
Digitalink
U
B
Copper
RCA, BNC
XLR
1-1.5 meters
1-1.5 meters
200.00-250.00
130.00-145.00
No
No
Optilink Pro 2
0
B
Fused Silica
Silver
Silver
AT&T ST
XLR
XLR
1-12 meters
0.5 meter up
0.5 meter up
295.00/meter
297.50/meter
487.50/meter
No
Lapis AES/EBU
Diamond AES/EBU
B
Glass
Glass
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
AT&T ST
AT&T ST
RCA, BNC
XLR
RCA, BNC
XLR
1-2 meters
2 meters
1-2 meters
1-2 meters
1-2 meters
1-2 meters
200.00-300.00
595.00
195.00-345.00
390.00-570.00
400.00-780.00
650.00-950.00
No
No
No
No
No
No
75 -ohm; includes ground wire.
Dual twin -axial design; includes ground wire.
75 -ohm; includes ground wire.
Dual twin -axial design; includes ground wire.
U
Copper
RCA
0.5 meter up
80.00 up
No
Custom lengths.
Copper
RCA, BNC
0.5-1 meter
179.95-224.95
Yes
70- or 110 -ohm.
RCA
XLR
5 -Pin Mini -DIN
3 feet
3 feet
3 feet
125.00
125.00
125.00
No
No
No
Includes "Stone" pulse -train optimizer.
Teflon construction.
As above; I2S interface cable.
Copper
RCA
0.75-2 meters
175.00-350.00
Yes
Copper
Copper
Copper
RCA
RCA
RCA
0.5 meter up
0.5 meter up
0.5 meter up
215.00 up
215.00 up
58.00 up
No
No
No
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
RCA
RCA
RCA, DIN
RCA, DIN
RCA, DIN
1-5 meters
0.5-5 meters
0.5-5 meters
0.5-5 meters
0.5-5 meters
15.00-40.00
35.00-75.00
69.00-150.00
79.00-180.00
129.00-249.00
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Molded gold ends.
Custom lengths; silver -soldered.
As above; multi -pair.
As above.
As above.
Litz twisted pair.
As above; shielded/tonearm cable available.
As above.
AUDIO RESEARCH
AUDIOTRUTH
AURAL SYMPHONICS Aural Optical Gen 1
Optimism
Digital Standard Gen 2i
Digital Standard AE
Digital Statement Gen 2i
Digital Statement AE
BEL
"The Wire" P1 D
CABLE TALK
Digital 2
CAMELOT
TECHNOLOGY
Excalibur
Excalibur II
Excalibur III
CAMPAIGN DESIGNS
Silurian
CARDAS AUDIO
Lightning High -Speed Digital
U
B
0
0
0
B
0
0
U
B
U
Copper/Silver
Copper/Silver
U
AES/EBU
High -Speed
Double -balanced.
As above.
Triple -balanced.
Brass ferrule.
Triple -balanced.
As above.
Data Transmission
Video/Digital
Hi-Rez Video
HDTV Video
Benchmark MkI Digital
Benchmark Mkll Digital
Groneberg Digital
U
Alpha
Epsilon
B
B
OFC
OFC
OFC
RCA, DIN, XLR
RCA, DIN, XLR
RCA, DIN, XLR
0.5-7 meters
0.5-7 meters
0.5-7 meters
39.00-339.00
89.00-619.00
149.00-1329.00
No
62mega
DISCOVERY CABLE
Digi-Cable
U
HPOFC
RCA, BNC
1-10 meters
80.00-440.00
Yes
OPA DIGITAL
Digi-Link
Opti-Link
U
Copper
Glass
RCA
Toslink
1 meter
0.75 meter
59.00
44.00
No
No
JB-4
JB-8
U
U
Copper
Copper
RCA, DIN
RCA, DIN
0.5-10 meters
1 meter
80.00-600.00
275.00
No
No
Digiflux 75
U
Copper
RCA, BNC
0.5-20 meters
75.00 up
Yes
CUSTOM
CONNECTIONS
DANIELS AUDIO
EIDOLON RESEARCH
ENSEMBLE
U,B
U,B
U,B
B
0
See October issue for company addresses
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
94
Double -shielded.
o >
cz
°,1
A
0
D
co
16LPC
G
D
8LPC
POWERKORD
CD
Patent #5108320
a ent#5376758
MODEL 88 - THE BLACK PEARL
CO
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V-21 w/F
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DV -30 w/RCA
D'a
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ó
DIGITAL INTERCONNECTS
FINISHED CABLES
TYPE
U -Unbalanced
B - Balanced
0 - Optical
()h
c0.md
I
h
ny
1
mtió
Q,o,c
1.1
S
MANUFACTURER
vo
165.00-450.00/pair
40.00-120.00/pair
No
No
RCA
1.5 meters up
495.00 up
No
RCA. BNC, XLR
1-2 meters
196.00-248.00
No
Silver-plated Copper
RCA, XLR
3-25 feet
275.00-935.00
No
Proprietary
Silver
Proprietary
Silver
RCA, BNC, F
RCA, BNC, F
XLR
XLR
0.5 meter up
0.5 meter up
1.5 meters
1.5 meters
55.00
213.00
350.00
750.00
Yes
No
No
No
B
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
RCA
BNC-RCA
BNC
RCA
BNC
XLR
XLR
3.8-6 feet
3.8-6 feet
3.8-6 feet
3.8-6 feet
3.8-6 feet
3-6 feet
3-6 feet
150.00-190.00
200.00-240.00
250.00-290.00
400.00-590.00
500.00-690.00
360.00-432.00
720.00-864.00
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
U
Aluminum/Copper
B
Copper
RCA, BNC
Mini -DIN
0.375 meter up
Any meters
99.00 up
99.00 up
No
No
XN-100 HF Series
XN-700 Pro Series
U
Glass
Glass
Toslink
Toslink
1-2 meters
0.5-2 meters
20.00-25.00
100.00-150.00
OPT
0
Toslink
AGDL
TGDL
U,B
U,B
Proprietary Polymer
Silver
Silver
RCA, XLR
RCA, XLR
0.5 meter up
0.5 meter up
0.5 meter up
40.00 up
112.00 up
195.00 up
No
Yes
Dragonfly Wings DWD
Dragonfly Wings DWDB
U
Copper
Copper
RCA, BNC
XLR
0.7-6 meters
0.7-6 meters
225.00-625.00
250.00-650.00
No
No
DI -20-D
DI -20-D
U
Silver -clad OFHC
Silver -clad OFHC
RCA
XLR
1 meter up
1 meter up
69.00 up
79.00 up
No
No
U,B
GOLDMUND
Lineal
U
HIGHWIRE AUDIO
700 Di
U,B
Silver-plated Copper
HOVLAND
Hovland -Pincus Interconnect U,B
ILLUMINATI
DV -30
DV -60
DX -50
U
Orchid
B
Gemini Digi-Link RCA -RCA
Gemini Digi-Link RCA-BNC
Gemini Digi-Link BNC-BNC
Integer S-PDIF RCA
Integer S-PDIF BNC
Trinity AES
Integer AES
U
The Digital Superconductor
The Impressionist One
JVC
KIMBER KABLE
KLYNE AUDIO ARTS
LAT INTERNATIONAL
Q
0.5-2 meters
0.5-6 meters
Numericus
Graphis 75
JPS LABS
co
RCA, BNC, XLR
RCA, BNC
ESOTERIC AUDIO
U.S.A.
JENA LABS
Av
c
yai
U
U
B
U
U
U
U
B
U
B
B
Silver-plated Copper
Copper
ó
Custom lengths.
As above.
Custom lengths; optional balanced XLR,
$40.00 additional.
75 -ohm transmission -line impedance.
I2S bus.
Pure quartz glass fiber.
Yes
Varistrand design.
As above; larger conductor bundle.
Teflon insulation.
As above.
LEGEND
AUDIO DESIGN
Legend Digital Reference
Legend Digital
U
U
Silver
Silver
RCA
RCA
1-2 meters
1-2 meters
349.00-558.00
250.00-400.00
LINN
Digital Interconnect
U
Copper
RCA, BNC
1-50 meters
102.87 up
Yes
LUMINOUS AUDIO
U
U
Copper
Copper
RCA, BNC
RCA, BNC
0.5-10 meters
0.5-10 meters
89.00-410.00
130.00-690.00
No
No
AES/EBU available.
TECHNOLOGY
Allegro
Allegro Signature
MACH 1 ACOUSTICS
Digital Flexible
U
Copper
BNC
1-10 meters
195.00-1095.00
Yes
Digital Semi Rigid
U
Copper
BNC
1-5 feet
195.00-295.00
No
Foamed -Teflon dielectric; triple -shielded;
75 -ohm.
Foamed -Teflon dielectric; solid copper shield.
MDC-1 Pro
MDC-2 FatBoy
B
U
Copper/Silver
Copper
XLR
RCA, BNC, XLR
0.5-10 meters
0.5-10 meters
243.00-1050.00
243.00-1050.00
No
No
MADRIGAL AUDIO
I
MARIGO AUDIO LAB
Apparition Series 2
U
Copper
RCA, BNC
0.75-1 meter
549.00-595.00/pair
No
McCORMACK AUDIO
Wonderlink Digital
Wonderlink Digital I Balanced
Wonderlink Digital II
U
Copper/Silver
Copper/Silver
Copper/Silver
RCA, BNC
XLR
RCA, BNC
0.5-1.5 meters
1-1.5 meters
0.5-1.5 meters
195.00-253.00
275.00-325.00
69.00-89.00
No
No
No
Custom lengths.
As above.
As above.
MlTerminator 3 Digital
Digital Reference
Proline Digital
U
Copper
Copper
Copper
RCA
1-2 meters
1-2 meters
1-2 meters
100.00-125.00/pair
325.00-395.00/pair
695.00-795.00/pair
No
No
No
75 -ohm.
AES/EBU.
DR -1
U
U
Silver
Silver
RCA
RCA
B
PCOCC
U
Copper
XLR
RCA-BNC
3 feet
3 feet
3 feet
3 feet
199.00
99.00
49.00
49.00
No
No
No
No
Solid Teflon dielectric.
DR -2
DAB -1
DR -3
Super Connect IV
U
Plated Copper
RCA
0.5-3 meters
49.00-72.00
Yes
Triple dielectric.
RCA
XLR
RCA
XLR
RCA
XLR
RCA
XLR
1-12 feet
1-12 feet
1-12 feet
1-12 feet
1-12 feet
1-12 feet
1-12 feet
1-12 feet
115.00-720.00
145.00-970.00
195.00-1295.00
265.00-1695.00
295.00-1945.00
395.00-2595.00
395.00-2595.00
525.00-3440.00
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
No
Litz; unshielded; shielded version available.
As above.
As above.
As above.
As above.
As above.
As above.
As above.
MIT
MONARCHY AUDIO
MUSICAL CONCEPTS
I
B
U
U
8
Locking RCA
XLR
As above.
DOC-1+
DOC-1+
DOC-2+
DOC-2+
DOC-3+
DOC-3+
DOC-4+
DOC-4+
U
B
OFHC
OFHC
OFHC
OFHC
OFHC
OFHC
OFHC
OFHC
MUSIC METRE
Fidelus Digital
Signature Digital
U,B
U,B
OFC
OFC
RCA, BNC, XLR
RCA, BNC, XLR
0.5-50 meters
0.5-50 meters
150.00-450.00
87.50-200.00
No
No
Air dielectric.
NIRVANA AUDIO
Transmission
U
Copper/Silver
RCA, BNC
1.5 meters
595.00
No
75 -ohm.
No
No
Coaxial twisted pair; Teflon insulation.
As above.
MUSIC -LINK
NORDOST
PARADOX
PARASOUND
PRISMA
B
U
B
U
B
U
Moonglo
Moonglo AES/EBU
U
B
Silver
Silver
RCA
XLR
0.6-1.5 meters
0.6-1.5 meters
180.00-240.00
225.00-300.00
Paradox
U
Copper
RCA
1 meter
250.00
No
120.00
90.00
99.00
No
No
No
75.00-95.00
No
LightLine
0
DataBridge
Balanced DataBridge
U
B
Glass
Copper
Copper
AT&T ST
RCA
XLR
1 meter
1 meter
1.5 meters
Prisma -Link
U
Copper
RCA
1-1.5 meters
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
96
Custom lengths.
DIGITAL INTERCONNECTS
FINISHED CABLES
TYPE
U - Unbalanced
B - Balanced
0 - Optical
a
aa,
.
h
co
a° 'ga`
F&
f
F ony
k
c
ao
e
,,
Digital Link I
Digital Link II
U
PURIST
AUDIO DESIGN
Colossus Digital
U
t
Colossus Balanced AES/EBU
B
t
Proteus Digital
U
Proteus Balanced AES/EBU
B
D-75
U
0-110
B
SIMPLYPHYSICS
Byteline Ill
SONORAN
AUDIO DESIGNS
Cactus Connect Signature
SOUND IMAGES
SI Signature
SILVER SONIC
m
45.00/meter
65.00/meter
h
Q
Yes
Yes
=ó
75 -ohm.
As above; EMI/RFI suppression.
75 -ohm ±10%. 11340.00, first meter;
$60.00 per additional 0.5 meter.
110 -ohm ±10%. t$390.00, first meter;
$110.00 per additional 0.5 meter.
75 -ohm ±1%. t$525.00, first meter;
$100.00 per additional 0.5 meter.
110 -ohm ±1%. t$625.00, first meter;
$100.00 per additional 0.5 meter.
t
t
RCA, BNC
XLR
U
Copper
RCA, BNC
1-20 meters
200.00-2100.00
No
Silver coaxial shielding; Teflon dielectric.
U,B
U.B
Copper
Copper
RCA, XLR
RCA, XLR
0.5-10 meters
0.5-10 meters
125.00-600.00
80.00-365.00
Yes
Yes
Custom lengths.
U,B
U,B
U,B
Copper
Copper
Copper
RCA, XLR
RCA, XLR
RCA, XLR
1-2 meters
1-2 meters
1-4 meters
250.00-400.00
150.00-200.00
100-00-250.00
No
No
No
Litz; proprietary shielding.
Twisted pairs; proprietary shielding.
U
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
Copper
RCA
BNC
RCA, BNC
XLR
RCA, BNC
0.5-15 meters
0.5-15 meters
0.5-15 meters
0.5-15 meters
0.5-3 meters
60.00-190.00
60.00-190.00
60.00-190.00
76.00-222.00
143.00-182.00
No
No
No
No
No
75 -ohm; gold-plated connectors.
Info -Link
Mega -Link
Silver -Link II
Video -Link
Silver
Silver/Copper
Silver/OFHC
STX
Glass
Plastic
RCA, BNC
RCA
RCA
RCA
AT&T ST
Toslink
0.5-2 meters
0.5-6 meters
0.5-6 meters
0.5-6 meters
1-9 meters
1 meter
200.00-540.00
85.00-470.00
43.00-130.00
17.00-50.00
250.00-410.00
49.00
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
No
Cactus Connect Mk11
SI 99.99997%
STRAIGHT WIRE
c
m
OFC/Silver
SI 1
SOUND & VIDEO
0.6-5 meters
0.6-5 meters
RCA
BNC
co
.1
c>o
PUREST
SOUND SYSTEMS
OFC
OFC
c.
o
cv
moo`
o
/
o
MANUFACTURER
a
al -
Vo
DigiFlex Gold I
DigiFlex Gold II
DigiFlex Gold Ill
DigiFlex Gold IV
DigiFlex + PLUS
U
U
B
U
OFHC
Toslink
Any
Any
Yes
Yes
75 -ohm; foam Teflon dielectric.
AES/EBU; Teflon dielectric.
As above.
As above.
As above.
AES/EBU 110 -ohm; gold-plated connectors.
75 -ohm; gold-plated connectors.
Coated conductor; foam Teflon insulation.
Dual shield.
75 -ohm.
Kevlar-reinforced.
SYMDEX SYSTEMS
Xi
B
HCOFC
XLR
1 meter
195.00
No
Custom lengths.
TARA LABS
Prism Digital
Prism Luminary
RSC Digital 75
RSC Master Digital
U
Silver
Glass
U
OFHC
U,B
Consonant Alloy
0.6-10 meters
1-2 meters
0.6.10 meters
0.6-10 meters
85.00-695.00
185.00-225.00
180.00-1230.00
275.00-2050.00
No
No
No
No
RSC Decade Digital
U,B
Consonant Alloy
RCA, BNC
AT&T ST
RCA
Locking RCA, BNC,
XLR
Locking RCA. BNC,
XLR
Gold-plated connectors.
0
0.6-10 meters
370.00-2405.00
No
As above.
Digital Cable
Teflinque Balanced
Digital Cable
Single Mode Laser Linque
U
B
Proprietary Alloy
Proprietary Alloy
RCA
1-1.5 meters
1 meter
180.00-225.00
XLR
No
No
No
THETA DIGITAL
As above; rectangular solid -core.
As above,
0
Glass
FCPC Single -mode
1-2 meters
250.00
Cable
AT&T Cable
0
Glass
AT&T ST
1-2 meters
180.00
No
DC 1A
U
RCA
DC fA
B
OFHC
OFHC
XLR
1-3 meters
1-3 meters
125.00-200.00
200.00-350.00
Yes
Yes
TPT-treated jacket.
As above.
TIFF ELECTRONICS
TDC-3
U,B
Copper
RCA, BNC, XLR
0.5-6 meters
90.00-300.00
Yes
Solid -core; custom lengths.
TRANSPARENT
U
CABLE
High Performance Digital
Premium Digital
AES/EBU Digital
U
B
Copper
Copper
Copper
RCA
RCA
XLR
1-6 meters
1-6 meters
1-6 meters
90.00-260.00
250.00-750.00
400.00-1200.00
No
No
No
75 -ohm.
As above.
110 -ohm.
VAMPIRE WIRE
DI/1
U
Copper
RCA, BNC
WIREWORLD
Starlight II Video/Digital
U
Silver Starlight II Digital AN
Gold Starlight II Digital AN
U
Silver Starlight II AES/EBU
Gold Starlight II AES/EBU
B
B
Grain -optimized
RCA, BNC
PC Copper
Grain -optimized PC Silver RCA, BNC
Grain -optimized PC Silver RCA, BNC
Grain -optimized PC Silver XLR
Grain -optimized PC Silver XLR
XLONDO ER -6
U
OFHC
XLO/Pro Type 104
XLO/Pro Type 104p
TICE AUDIO
XL0 ELECTRIC
U
100.00-250.00
Yes
Continuous -cast copper.
55.00/meter
Yes
Microporous Teflon insulation; CL-3/FT-4 rated.
0.1-100 meters
0.1-50 meters
0.1-100 meters
0.1-50 meters
160.00/meter
320.00/meter
160.00/meter
320.00/meter
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
As above.
As above; CL-3/FT-4 rated.
RCA, BNC
1 meter up
t
Yes
RCA
1 meter up
t
75 -ohm. t$35.00, first meter; $8.00 per
additional meter.
Copper
Yes
t$55.50, first meter pair; $35.00 per
Copper
RCA
1 meter up
4N OFHC
RCA
1 meter up
U
6N Copper
RCA, BNC
1 meter up
t
t
t
0
Glass
AT&T ST
1 meter
165.00
U
6N Copper
RCA
1 meter
6N Copper
AES/EBU
1 meter
t
t
XL0 Electric/Standard
Type 0.4
XLO Electric/Reference
Type 4
XLO Electric/Reference
Type 7
)(LO Electric/Signature
Type 4.1
XLO Electric/Signature
0.5-3 meters
0.1-100 meters
Yes
Microporous Teflon insulation.
additional meter.
1$63.00, first meter pair; $35.00 per
additional meter.
1$89.00, first meter pair; $64.00 per
additional meter.
t$175.00, first meter; $100.00 per
additional meter.
Teflon dielectric. t$325.00, first meter;
$250.00 per additional meter.
Teflon dielectric. t$375.00, first meter;
$280.00 per additional meter.
Type 4.1 b
YBA
Microporous Teflon insulation.
Diamond
U
Copper
RCA
1-6 meters
520.00-1320.00/pair No
Cristal
U
Copper
RCA
1 meter
300.00/pair
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
97
No
Twelve leads twisted three by three; three
shielding levels.
Four leads individually insulated, shielded,
and twisted together.
L
G
S
For recording producers, as for so
many other hapless individuals peripheral to Richter's career, he has
never made life easy. To begin with,
he hates to record. If he does it at all,
he prefers doing it in live perform-
ance-but with no recording para-
Sviatoslav Richter in Prague
Various orchestras and conductors
PRAGA CMX 354001-15
15 CDs; AAD; 16:44:01
Sound: B, Performance: A
Edition Sviatoslav Richter
Various orchestras and conductors
BMG/RCA 74321-29460
10 CDs; ADD; 11:17:57
Sound: B, Performance: A
st March 20th, Sviatoslav
bserved his 81st birthday.
eviewed Philips' boxed set
ter CDs (September 1995),
I Hips collection-almost all these
recordings date from considerably
farther back-but for the sheer music they offer, both command serious
phernalia visible to him. That means
all sorts of technical disadvantagesmakeshift, far from optimal microphone placement, background audi-
attention. Both Praga's and BMG/
ence racket, the impossibility of
RCA's engineers have accomplished
retakes, etc. However, with an artist
prodigies of rejuvenation in using
digital technology to resuscitate old
recordings-some of which I knew in
their original, primitive LP versions,
of Richter's supremacy, recording
firms have to take what they can
get-and feel lucky to get it.
If you examine the fine print on
and would scarcely recognize here.
this BMG/RCA set, you discover not
Exotic Dances from the Opera: Music of
Rimsky-Korsakoti', .Richard Strauss,
Jchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Rabaul,
Fritz Reiner's recording of Salome's "Dance of the Seven Veils"
may have the raw emotion, but this
rendition from the new conductor of
said he clearly regarded those selecions from his recorded repertoire as
is legacy. (I also pointed out that today, in the autumn of a life that permitted me, as a Juilliard teenager, to
Rubinstein, Dtorák, and Saint -Satins
hear such keyboard titans as Josef
Hofmann, Vladimir Horowitz,
The general concept of this collection takes me back to the early
Sergei Rachmaninoff, Moriz Rosen-
days of the LP or even the first prere-
natural acoustic that I've not heard
before on symphonic releases from
Reference Recordings. His miking
thal, et al., I have come to regard
corded stereo tapes. But aside from
channels the hall ambience as a clean
Richter as the equal, and in some instances the superior, of any of those.)
Now two other labels have picked up
on the legacy idea and come out with
their own boxed Richter sets. What-
the Samson and Delilah "Batch.
and strong stereo difference signal,
Minnesota Orchestra, Eiji Oue
REFERENCE RECORDINGS
RR-71CD CD; DDD; 60:36
Sound: A+, Performance: A
the Minnesotans reveals delicate details that were previously lost in the
work's dense sonic fabric. Keith
Johnson's miking captures a rich and
(if you have an
nale" and The Snow Maiden's
which
"Dance of the Tumblers,"
these eight tracks are not
I 1 DCD decoder) provides an
potboilers as were those on
I field through even the sim-
ever their sometimes considerable
drawbacks, one must rejoice simply
early spectaculars, so the CD
plest of processors. This is
to have them available.
the standard audiophile -record criticism of "great sound/lousy music or
performance."
For sound, neither of these new
sets can do more than approach the
also cannot be pegged with
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
98
xcellent surround sound
a great demo disc and a
fine sampler for those who prefer the
ballet episodes of many operas to the
vocal portions.
John Sunier
218 THX stereo power amplifier
worth looking into
The NAD 213 THX stereo power amplifier
is one of the most sophisticated
hi fi components we have ever
produced. Yet for all its brilliant
features and astonishing levels of
performance,
it remains true to the
NAD "no nonsense" design philosophy.
-he very first feature you'll notice s
.
the weight c f the 218 THX, due
supply because sevecal smaler
capacitors have a faster re:o+er/
of -
partly to the heavy c=nstru:tion of
time and hue less equimien series
the
lie chassis aid iron- panel
designed far -act mounting. (its
inductance and resin:ante than a
single pair.
The 218 THX ircorpoates fu :y
balanced XLR inpAts. al ovrin3 he
use of long uns cf cable. be:ween
pre an( power
peaks,
advanced specifcaticn makes the
218 THX idea for preessiomal
studio use). But the increase in
weight is largely due :o the massive
Holm yen tcroidal mains
transformer
sages,
wthoul the
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interferer ce This thouc ht ul yet
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Hard Clipping
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A thougltfull+ designed. utterly
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A feature which doesn't add
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The circuitry includes lea arc ri:ht
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going o it cr
czming in Al
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neans more savings again tovards
tie specification of better
compone its
Any amp which is overd i.Pn
(anlikely on 'he 213 T -IX becalrs_ it
is so powerf iI) can n rod ace
cistortion o"clipp ng . The NAG'
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POWER
surpli
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be petits Typ tally. tie 218 THX
incorporates exler live non intrusive
protefion circ uitr-. This prevents
damage f-om accidental Overload or
misuse which can lead to
overheating or circuit failure.
=Inal y for *hos.3 for whom the
let.ers TI -X a -e somewhat of a
mystery. et L, brief y explain.
George Lucas. creator of the
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window frarres nil thank you foL
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But with al hs capability none
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Every featur a of -he 218 THX
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That's why our slogan "pure and
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equipment as advanced as the 2-8
THX as it was Me i NAD was
created more than 20 years ago.
'Star bars' ep cs, vent
to
xtaoklina-y lergths
to ensure that the sound
quality cf his films
exceeded anything
Ho lyruood had
NAD
CIRCLE NO. 10 ON READER SERVICE CARD
H X
met these chaIler g ng
standards and wen the right to carry
the THX badge. -he 218 THX
Pr WER
sneakers
WHY HOLI'IGREN?
Apart from being the deal design for
tie huge arrounts of Sower it is
likely to hard e, the liolmgren offers
specift Lions coverinc
distort on. noise, power etc. to
encourage marutacturers
to develop produc:s which will
reproduce his sound tracks to the
standard th_y deserve.
NAD was first vith a
power amplrier vh ch
ure.and simple.
only that all the recordings come from the
erstwhile state-owned Melodiya recording
firm but also-issued in 1996!-from the long
sic of Béla Bartók: the relatively innocuous 15
Hungarian Peasant Songs transcribed for pi-
ano. Few major virtuosos would deign to
merklavier" (Op. 106)-to say nothing of the
great "Diabelli" Variations. From Brahms
come the esoteric Variations on a Hungarian
bygone days of monophonic recording. So do
record Beethoven's Choral Fantasy for Piano,
Song (Op. 21, No. 2), from Mozart five
many choice items in the Praga set, which
mines tapes made from broadcasts of live
Chorus, and Orchestra; here Richter doesjust as he does César Franck's symphonic
poem Les Djinns, with its important but not
conventionally solo -piano obbligato. The
Chopin ration includes the C -Sharp Minor
Sonatas, from Rachmaninoff eight etudes Tableaux, from Schumann the Symphonic
Richter performances in Czechoslovakia between 1954 and 1988. In both sets, some of
those live performances seem to have coincided with serious epidemics of respiratory maladies. Nevermind: Richter remains Richter,
and we will not soon-if ever-hear his like
Polonaise and the Second Concerto in F Minor. Four further, characteristically esoteric
concertos include those by Glazunov and
etudes and the great four -movement Fantasy,
and from Scriabin the Sonatas No. 2 and No. 5.
Genuine rarities, at least from Richter, include the Weber Sonata No. 3, unfairly forsak-
en by most contemporary pianists, and two
surprise Ravel recordings: the complete
"Miroirs" suite (including an "Alborado del
gracioso" rivalling Dinu Lipatti's legendary
He does still perform in public, but rarely
(in repertoire far less demanding than the py- cution Transcendante run the musical and
recording) and the "Valses Nobles et Sentimentales."
rotechnics he once tossed off with such negli- technical gamut from introverted poetry to
gent finesse) and only if all peripheral condiextroverted razzle-dazzle. Hardly anywhere
Both these sets' notes carry bylines untions fully conform to his demanding tastes else today will you encounter Tchaikovsky's orthodox by U.S. standards: Pierre -E. Barbier
for the Praga, Prof. C.
and preconditions. He
Rueger for the BMG/
never liked many asBRIAN: SYMPHONIES
going Havergal Brian cycle on Marco
Rimsky-Korsakov, the Prokofiev First, and the
Saint-Saéns Fifth. Five of Liszt's etudes d'Exé-
again.
pects of the U.S.A. and
NO. 20 AND NO. 25;
it from his touring
FANTASTIC VARIATIONS
ON AN OLD RHYME
itinerary. Especially
for Americans, these
recordings-many of
them both musically
National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine,
Andrew Penny
MARCO POLO 8.223731, CD; DDD; 62:44
Sound: A, Performance: A
years ago eliminated
Richter phenomenon.
Here we have a
unique pianist who
combined most of the
best characteristics of
all his leading contemporaries. As for technique, he took on with
consummate ease any-
thing most virtuosos
except Horowitz shied
away from-but Rich-
ter brought them to
life with less brittleness and more poetry
than that other phe-
RCA. The professor ev-
Society.
idently knows a lot
more about Richter's
That connection may account for the
oddball track numbering. Though the CD
comprises three works, with a total of seven movements, there are 35 tracks. Each
and pianistically breath-
taking-will forever
bear witness to the
Polo, sponsored by The Havergal Brian
Since his death in 1972, Havergal
Brian's music has become something of a
cult object. It may have been out of fash-
ion earlier because he never partook of
modernism's most tortuous elements; now,
I suspect, it is credited with more
profundity than it can legitimately claim, though it is certainly lis -
is referenced in the booklet's analytical
notes, which makes detailed study easy.
Needless to say, if record producers had
tidbits new to even
such an old Richter
stuck to Philips' original guidelines, the internal cues would have been index points,
not tracks. As it is, current hardware reflects the producers' sloppy ways, so index points would be useless. But
while adequate, per-
in order to play just Symphony
No. 20 you must program 14
tenable and attractive. Call it
tracks into your player!
proto-postmodern.
The orchestra is a fine one,
and the pickup captures it in a
very convincing concert -hall
The early (1907) Variations
are a bit of a romp (and, as the
notes point out, rather Sibelius like). The two symphonies, dating from the 1960s, are more serious in intent and fairly classical in form. They are
played knowingly by the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, guided by a
British conductor, and are part of an on-
nomenon himself did.
If you think of Franz
Liszt as a barn -burner, for instance, Richter's
interpretation of his music will prove to you
the unfair limitations of such a conception.
The limited scope of a single review forces
the reviewer to give this coincidental, duplex
blockbuster merely a lick and a promise, comparatively speaking. The BMG/RCA set contains a generous portion of Bach: Richter's favorite English Suite (No. 3, in G
Minor-recorded in 1948!), the D -Minor
Concerto, and (with Anatoly Vedyernyikov)
the Concerto for Two Claviers and Orchestra.
Until fairly late in Richter's life, Soviet stric-
tures against much contemporary music
hand as me. Barbier's,
haps primarily demon-
strate the ability of a
good computer wordprocessing program's
ability to block, copy,
paste, and recycle material from one piece of
writing to another.
So here, dear reader,
you pays your money
soundstage, moderately close -to.
and you takes your
Why the exotic venue for such
choice. In a situation as
quintessentially British music? In choosing
the Ukraine, Marco Polo may have been
trying to contain costs on what cannot be
a best-selling series. If so, they have found
Robert Long
a real bargain.
atypical as this one,
Grande Sonate; certainly nowhere will you
find a more grandiose, majestic performance
of it than Richter's.
Both these boxed sets contain their own
performances of an all-time Richter specialty:
Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition."
They also overlap with separate but equal
recordings of Schubert's D -Major Sonata (Op.
53, D. 850); the BMG/RCA set provides the A -
Minor Sonata (Op. 42, D. 845), to boot. The
heaping Beethoven helping includes two Concertos (No. 1 and No. 3) and no fewer than 10
sonatas-including the "Tempest" (Op. 31,
caused Richter to chafe badly, but here we
No. 2), the "Appassionata" (Op. 57-ostensibly Richter's own favorite among his several
have conceivably his first venture into the mu-
recordings of it), and the mighty "HamAUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
100
complicated biography
than Barbier seems
to-including some
other considerations,
particularly technolog-
ical, simply have to
fade into second place
to the paramount fact
of the music itself. Some of these performances may force you to reconsider the relative
importance of the very latest, up -to -the -absolutely -last-minute state of the recording art;
a few others may arouse homicidal emotions
towards the apparently terminal respiratory
cases in the near background, uninhibitedly
barking away like walruses. Musically, though,
many of these miraculous performances will
carry you to unprecedented heights, causing
almost overly familiar works to sound fresh,
new, and vital and also making you feel fortunate to have shared the same century with the
Ukrainian -born, German -Russian -Polish Swedish -Tartar pianist known as Sviatoslav
Paul Moor
Teofilovich Richter.
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CIRCLE NO. 19 ON READER SERVICE CARD
These great
titles and more
available at:
Monteverdi: Vesperae in Nativitate Sti.
Joannis Baptistae
manticism of the 19th
Since it also uses a variety of compositional
styles, Monteverdi's Vespers can be difficult to
century.
Hassler Consort, Franz Raml
MDG 605 0593, CD; DDD; 74:04
Sound: A, Performance: A+
But Monteverdi also
infused his new style
into the church music of
his day. He spent many
Born in 1567, Claudio Monteverdi was the
principal link between the music of the 16th
and 17th centuries. Because of his monumental contributions to the dawning of baroque
opera (notably his great Orfeo) and the vitality
of his Italian madrigals, he is credited with
years as the choirmaster of St. Mark's in
Venice and composed a number of outstanding sacred works. Unlike most of his contempories, Monteverdi treated Biblical texts with
the same originality that characterized his sec-
perform with consistency. The Hassler Consort, under the direction of Franz Raml, has
overcome these difficulties to present an outstanding interpretation that could be considered a definitive version. The group's attention to every detail is exemplified by its use of
a quarter -comma mean -tone temperament.
The ensemble, playing on original instruments, is tightly knit and flawlessly in tune.
leading music out of the renaissance and into
the baroque. In this regard, he can be com-
ular music. His Vesperae in Nativitate Sti.
Joannis Baptistae contains an abundance of
virtuosic vocal and instrumental technique,
Even listeners leery of early music will instantly notice the resulting beauties of this performance's intonation.
pared to Beethoven, who heralded the Ro-
stark contrasts, and vivid word painting.
Of the many excellent soloists, the countertenors are particularly fine. Overall sound
quality is impressive, and great care was taken
in balancing the voices and the instrumental
accompaniments.
Patrick Kavanaugh
Messiaen: Et exspecto resurrectionem
mortuorum; Couleurs de la Cité Celeste;
Stravinsky: Symphonies of Wind
Instruments
Percussion Group of Strasbourg; Orchestre du
Domaine Musical; New York Philharmonic,
Pierre Boulez
SONY CLASSICAL SMK 68332
CD; ADD; 57:01
Sound: B+, Performance: A-
Carter: A Symphony of Three
Orchestras; Varése: Déserts; Ecuatorial;
Hyperprism
New York Philharmonic; Ensemble
Intercontemporian, Pierre Boulez
SONY CLASSICAL SMK 68334
CD; ADD; 48:34
Sound: B+, Performance: A-
PAQUITB
Boulez: Pli Selon/Livre Pour Cordes
BBC Symphony Orchestra; Strings of the New
Philharmonic Orchestra, Pierre Boulez
SONY CLASSICAL SMK 68 335
CD; ADD; 70:50
Sound: B+, Performance: C+
You have to admire Pierre Boulez. While
other composers have been swayed by the
minimalist trends of the last
30 years, he has resolutely
"...this album is his
[Paquitc D'Rivera]
set of the very sweetest
and magnanimous
of remembrances...
...a jazz classic..."
Fred Bouchard
stayed the course of 20th century atonality. He's a champion of things that go skarack!,
whether it's Elliott Carter or
Frank Zappa. Like the architect O'Rourke in Ayn Rand's widely read
jazz Timm, Sept 1996
1 Crng
n aound recereP^;
"Give the reedm n credit for brilliant
programming and his roost no-nonsense work...
a project that inspire. all of its partiúpants...
on the more except onalorder of Ssetches of SpOn."
BO) Brmenthol,
Boston Glofr May 6, 996
010144
jr 45
-
...
me ra.,,tng>_
Eau w:U .ne pulse
rece-ded
perruss
Grysy Aarr,c. is a mare -.
recording of amtaang mnlc.
Buy it immediately.. -
Wes Phlkps, StereopMe.
19, No. 6, h.1e 1996
Vd.
W0126
YoL Can Hear The Difference
pesky Records Radio City Stamm. P.O. Bo> 1261 New York. NY 10101
fora free catalog - to order I-100-131-1437 or 313-5B- 7577 Intee and learn http:llwwwtoesky.com; m..
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The Fountainhead, Boulez will not give in.
These three recordings are part of a Sony
Classical series of Boulez reissues illustrating
his conducting and compositions. As a composer, he has charted major musical trends of
the 20th century, from atonality to works influenced by world music. Olivier Messiaen's
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
102
"Et Exspecto Resurrectionem Mortuorum"
("And I Await the Resurrection of the Dead")
and "Couleurs de la Cité Céleste" ("Colors of
the Celestial City") are dramatic, sometimes
frightening works employing stringless orchestras with lots of percussion. "Et Exspecto," in particular, sounds like the score for a
blasted, post -apocalyptic landscape.
Igor Stravinsky's Symphonies of Wind In-
struments shares the same discordant sonic
terrain, in a work for winds and percussion
that varies from the militaristic to the drama
of a Balinese barong dance. It's only at the end
of the piece that Stravinsky waxes contemplative with a chorale -like hymn.
Berners: Les Sirénes;
Cupid and Psyche;
Caprice Peruvien
Stravinsky praised
Berners' music, which is
closest in style to that of
RTE Sinjonietta, David Lloyd -Jones
Walton and Constant
MARCO POLO 8.223780, CD; DDD, 69:23
Sound: A, Performance: A
Lambert. Like Kurt Weill,
his earliest work was his
most avant-garde, and these later ballets are
The Baron Berners spent the early part of
his adult life in diplomatic service and the rest
as an eccentric country gentleman with literary and painting skills. But prior to his death
in 1950 he expressed that it was mainly as a
composer that he wished to be remembered.
much more accessible. Berners involved himself in music for the cinema, and some of this
CD's music will suggest that connection. The
opening scene of The Sirens sounds like an
English Daphnis et Chloé. The Irish Radio -TV
(He motored with a clavichord in the back
Sinfonietta performs the witty ballets with
great élan, and the sound quality is beyond
seat of his Rolls!)
reproach.
John Sunier
While these composers
were looking to Asia for inspiration, Edgar Varese
looked to the future of music made with electronic instruments. "Ecuatorial" uses
the familiar and eerie Ondes
Martenot. Employing extensive percussion
and sounds from the industrial world, like
sirens, Varése's 1923 work "Hyperprism"
sounds thoroughly modern. Elliott Carter
used conventional instrumental forces, but the
expanded use of antiphony and the coloristic
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Boulez will be remembered less as a composer than as a facilitator, in conducting the works
of others and in engineering the electronic and
new -music laboratory at IRCAM (the Institute
for Musical and Acoustical Research and Coordination, in Paris).
The production values in these recordings,
made in the years 1966 to 1983, clearly reflect
Boulez's influence. The wide dynamic range
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These releases are important historical
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103
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on that album, a bristling, in -your face response to the fluid folk of her
earlier material, seemed to indicate
that she'd had it with prettiness.
Fortunately, the pendulum has
swung back in favor of a more pleasantly conventional aesthetic on Nine
Objects of Desire. With startling versatility and chilling accomplishment,
Vega successfully spans a spectrum
of styles from understated bossa
nova to jazzy swing and from ghoulish folk to hip -hop inspired pop. But
if that sounds like a bumpy ride,
Vega paints all 12 of these tracks
from a muted pallette, with her mellow voice and excruciatingly tasteful
instrumentation the colors at its axis.
Assisted by husband Froom on
keys, Pete and Bruce Thomas of Elvis
Costello's band (The Attractions) on
e
drums and bass, percussionist Jerry
Marotta, and members of Soul
Coughing, Vega strips each of these
songs down to its core groove and
feel, an approach that insinuates her
folk past, but also a style that inches
toward the audacity of 99.9F°. The
spare arrangements on "Birth -day
(love made real)," with its vaguely
juju-syle guitar theme, and the
á
NEVER
á
SMUT PEDLERZ/BOMP
FOR (.010, L3:57
Sound: A, Performance: A-
$x
Stop
Nine Objects of Desire
Suzanne Vega
A&M 31454 05832, 38:52
Sound: A-, Performance: A
ne Vega knows a lot can
in four years. She married
Mickey Leigh and Simon Town-
intelligence with potent rock 'n'
roll energy. And though Leigh goes
about having 'amois, legendary
for (and attains) dramatic ambi-
older brothers (respectively, Joey
ence on two echo -drenched, gui-
Ramone and Pete Townshend) and
ta
overcoming the inevitable
"living in the shadow" sti.
ma-something that's e
pecially real when your
life's calling is the some as
your famous sib ing's.
spring'ia new record named Nine
Leigh, however, doesn't
to
gay
objects, if Desire.
a' the industrial pretense of
1992's ambitious but off-putting
99.9F°, Suzanne Vega-the one-time
Century") to the maniacal ("Don't
Be
So
Strange," "Whatchu
Think!?!"), provocative ("Proud to
be Human"), and hilarious ("Idiot
Son of 007"), Stop's debut infuses
shend could both write books
r Mitchell Froom, gave birth
aughter named Ruby, and then
th to another remarkable off-
u
From the biblical ("With Our
Blood," "Back in the Twentieth
need a book: lie ha; Stop, a kinetic trio that combines power -pop punk influences with off -kilter quirk-
iness and humor reminiscent of
early Zappa and Eeefheart. The
literate, coffeehouse folkie-scared
us into thinking she aspired to be a
net result has n -ore in common with
female Tom Waits. Her abrasive work
punk.
the Brit -invasion thin New 'York
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
104
-vocal songs, "With Our
lood" and "The Ballad of
ickey Leigh," Never, otherwise, never digresses from
the guitar -driven, power -trio
mplate.
He's been called "a
sound -alike little brother,"
but Mickey Leigh emerges here
with his own, distinct voice and approach. While Never is a band effort, it's truly one person's sound
and vision. Play it loud and never
stop. (Available from Smut Pedlerz,
P.O. Box 3419, Chino, Cal.
95927-3419)
Mike Bieber
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hushed acoustic mystery of "Honeymoon
Suite" see Vega embracing the folk idiom but
not succumbing to it. And cuts like
"Caramel," a loungy bit of bossa nova, and the
breezy pop of "No Cheap Thrill" possess a
sensuality we haven't seen before from the
songwriter. The only problem on Nine Objects
of Desire lies within Vega's narrow vocal range.
Given the breadth of musical diversity on the
album, it's silly to think that Vega's hushed vo-
cals can swing some of the further stylistic
reaches. On both "Tombstone," a prowling,
understated song that hauntingly yearns for a
growling voice at its center, and "My Favorite
Plum," which needs something equally gruff,
Vega is unable to keep pace with her own
heady arrangements.
But regardless of this minor incongruity,
Nine Objects of Desire rates as Vega's masterwork thus far, an album that rewards repeated
listens and a coup de gráce that both advances
and perfects her pursuit of a singular pop music expression.
Bob Gulla
ii:
r
L
DGC DGCD-24823, 54:15
Sound: B, Performance: A
inventive wordplay juggler, trash can -sampling guru, and slacker extraordi-
naire, Beck Hansen is not your typical
workaholic. It's been almost four years
since his anthem -for -the -era, "Loser,"
topped the charts and made him a star, but
Beck has been slow to record a follow-up,
stubbornly defying corporate convention
while polishing his next enigmatic message to the masses. Full of
zonked-out lyrics and surreally melodic choruses, Odelay is well
worth the wait.
(IC1
J
easy -listening strings, turntables scratch
over wailing harmonicas, and distorted
clavinets solo over hep vocals. Many sound
snippets (including Zappa, Jobim, and '70s
soul band The Emotions) glimmer through
the mix, but word has it that much of
Beck's sampling mania was shelved because
of clearance problems. Still, it's his free -association rambling, along with the musical
tomfoolery, that keeps Odelay together.
Cryptic, unfathomable lyrics create
Beck's otherworldly scenarios. Some are
simply inane ("Got a devil's
haircut in my mind"), and others arise from Beck's homeless
past ("Karaoke weekend at the
suicide shack/community ser-
More focused than Mellow
Broken Arrow
Neil Young with Crazy Horse
REPRISE 2-46291, 47:43
Sound: A, Performance: A
Neil Young first hooked up with Crazy
Horse on 1969's Everybody Knows this is
Nowhere, and in the intervening 27 years, their
on-again/off-again relationship has yielded
some, maybe even most, of Young's finest
work: After the Gold Rush, Rust Never Sleeps,
Ragged Glory, Weld, Arc, and Sleeps With An-
gels. This new one's certainly near the top of
the heap of this long -running hit series.
In contrast to his last few records, Young's
glass of water is now half -full. Broken Arrow
begins with a declaration: "I'm still living the
dream we had/For me
While most of Odelay is upbeat,
occasionally Beck retreats inside, revealing
a sad soul under the clown's mask, such as
was no fluke. He may still sound like a
on the Beefheartish "Derelict" and the
slacker with his sleepy vocals and simple
mournful "Ramshackle."
country -blues allusions, but Beck is a golden -penned songwriting machine.
cerns, Odelay is either a wonder of disasso-
guitar hasn't lost any of its edge over the years,
and when you add some Crazy Horse to the
equation, it's like strapping a supercharger
onto the beast. The band's definitely in "pile-
driver" mode as it lays down some killer
grooves on "Loose Change" and "Slip Away."
Depending on your audiophile con-
Beck's sampling wizardry determines
Odelay's sonic surprise. Over a slew of
"funky drummer" loops, he grafts a zany
ciated soundbytes or a rather unnerving
virtual orchestra. Saucy guitars dance with
skill.
Load
Metallica
ELEKTRA 61923, 79:00
lo -fi menagerie. But no one can contest the
author's sampling genius or songwriting
Ken Micallef
the band draws from a fresh array of styles
without straying far from its roots. "Poor
Twisted Me" and "2 x 4" celebrate boogie
Sound: B+, Performance: A
blues, while "King Nothing" and "Wasting My
Hate" update dark, primal rhythms with state-
Metallica ruled the heavy-metal circuit for
more than 10 years until it decided to take a
four-year hiatus after the last record (1991's
Metallica). During this absence, a new sonic
pollutant called "alternative" took over the
charts, and kids who once banged their heads
to Guns 'N' Roses and Megadeth began losing
their minds to Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins. Heavy metal seemed doomed to an extinction more permanent than that of the dinosaurs. So Metallica's members, unwilling to
of-the-art guitar effects and "Mama Said"
it's not over." This opti-
mism runs throughout
Broken Arrow, he has
found satisfaction just
staying on life's highway. Young's visceral
vice and I'm still the Mac").
Gold (which contained "Loser"),
Odelay captivates with charismatic silliness
while proving that Beck's phenomenal hit
When Young finally downshifts into his
adopt the moniker Alternica, put their
folkie roots on "Music Arcade," he finds himself musing over the long roads travelled: "I
didn't really mean to stay as long as I have/So
I'll be moving on." After that, there's nothing
left to do but play some blues. It's just Young
and the guys in some rowdy, noisy club digging into the Jimmy Reed classic, "Baby What
troglodyte heads together to fight metal's last
stand. And Load, the new album, is a not -so secret weapon.
Like the last disc, Load is loaded with
takes an incisive and poignant stab at country
music.
Most notable, however, is the way Metallica
has kept up with the times. "Until It Sleeps"
draws surreal guitar lines from the workbook
of Angelo Badalamenti, and the surging gui-
tars and sinister vocal
harmonies of "The
House Jack Built" and
4.
"The Outlaw Torn" are
more than a bit reminiscent of Alice In Chains.
True, some of Metalli-
ca's older fans might be disappointed by
You Want Me to Do." Hey Neil, is that a
bitterness and anger. But the record is more
multidimensional. Instead of relying primari-
Load's lack of barnstorming thrash numbers,
and "Hero of the Day" is a bit wimpy for any
authentic headbanger. But overall, Load is a
disc that shows tremendous growth and maturity while ushering heavy metal into its next
rhetorical question?
ly on staccato guitar riffs and tuneless growls,
critical phase.
Steve Guttenberg
scream -along choruses, razor-edged rhythms,
and the energy of a generation that feeds off
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
106
Jon Wiederhorn
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CIRCLE NO. 15 ON READER SERVICE CARD
JAZZ -BLUES
ing plant). So, the large group orchestrations heard on these six discs
were, at least in part, Columbia's re-
action to Prestige's approach of
recording Miles in loose, small group blowing sessions. Columbia
opted to use its resources and pre-
sent him in a grand context, and
thankfully, Miles had his choice of
arranger in Gil Evans.
tiP
Vi11J
AHD UVU
Floyd Dixon
ALLIGATOR RECORDS
ALCD 4841, 58:24
Sound: A-, Performance: A
Is it 1996 or 1956? Listening to
Floyd Dixon's rollicking Wake Up and
Live!, it's easy to mistake it for a lost Del -
mark or Aladdin recording of the '50s.
He's best known for his jump blues hit of
1954, "Hey, Bartender"; yes, that's the one
the Blues Brothers covered. Dixon even
takes another swing at it,
these 42 years later, and
with extra meat on his
bones, this new version
sounds
even
better.
Dixon's a triple threat: a
mean piano thumper, a
powerful, bluesy vocalist, and on the 16
original tunes in this collection, he
proves he's still writing music that boogies with the best. The music's power and
authenticity was captured (analog) using
t
vintage mikes and tube preamps, yielding
The Complete Columbia
Studio Recordings
Miles Davis & Gil Evans
COLUMBIA 67397, six CDs; 7:28:51
Sound: A, Performance: A+
he only disappointment (and
it is slight) from
this long-awaited
boxed set per-
tains to sound
quality; the emphasis on upper par-
tials may be cause for moderate
equalization. But when considering
Columbia's track record of near disregard for the sound of its early jazz
reissues on CD, the inclusion of a
high end is a giant step forward.
the warm sound of an old blues LP but
In fact, everything about this
also a beautifully produced modern
package offers a giant leap for jazz
lovers. Similar in packaging to The
recording.
Complete Billie Holiday on Verve box
old buddy Ray Charles to drop his Nat
set, the Miles & Gil package is a
King Cole affectation and reveal his true.
thick, cloth -bound book with extensive liner notes and CD jackets contained within. Knowledgeable histo-
Way back when, Dixon convinced his
bluesier self. And there are traces of
Brother Ray's style in Dixon, particularly
the phrasing on "A Long Time Ago"; its
not mimicry, just more of a gospel color.
rians and producers contributed to
the annotation, great photos
Eddie Synigal's miraculous tenor sax solo
abound, and original cover art graces
the CD slip covers.
The instrumental "Gettin' Ready" is sim-
Although Miles's 1955 signing
with Columbia was met with some
resistance because of the trumpeter's
ongoing drug problems, it was no secret that his records sold well while
he was under contract to the Prestige
label (which used Columbia's press-
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
108
elevates this tune to an even higher level.
ply Floyd and the band limbering up; the
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Their first three collaborations, encompassing the years 1957 to 1959, yielded clas-
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Ahead sessions, alternate versions and rehearsal material from Porgy and Bess, and
rehearsal takes from the Sketches of Spain
sessions.
Although Davis and Evans were further
caught on record with live versions of some
of this material, no new ground was broken. What's in this box is the real McCoythe best of large ensemble jazz, appropriately presented and painstakingly researched
by producer and jazz historian Phil Schaap.
It's Grammy time.
James Rozzi
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
110
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DESIGN GUIDE. ALLPASS TECHNOLOGIES. INC.. 2844
Big speaker systems can usually produce a big
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AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
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PO. BOX 44283
MADISON, WI 53744.4283 U.S.A.
TEL 608-831-3433 FAX: 608-831-3771
e-mail: madisound@itis.com
IU
Web Page: http'/www.itis.com/madisound
I
\
FOR SALE
ZALYTRON
Focus on Focal !
Open season on Focal
for the speaker builder
bargain hunter.
We have quality
speaker drivers at
T120TI02
T124TD
T120ZLT
4C211
6P211S
7CZLT
AUDIOM 8/2
8C012DBG
8K515
8K511DB
Audiom 10/2
10K617H
10V617
165 C Kit
W21B
HALF MILE VINYL. Large Inventory Quality Preowned LP's
cleaned and graded. Send SASE for catalog to Box 98, East
Wareham, MA 02538. Call 508-295-2508.
WANTED: REAR PROTECTIVE METAL
SCREENS FOR DAHLQUIST DO -10 SPEAKERS. WILL PAY TOP DOLLAR. CONTACTJIM
W00DWARD AT (916) 771-2486.
INVENTIONS WANTED
HAVE AN IDEA? National company submits ideas, inventions to industry. National exposition. Patent services. 1 -800 -288 -IDEA, Code: AUDIO.
PARTS AND ACCESSORIES
CATALOG
PIECES
PRICE
48
96
62
200
$35.00
50.00
50.00
50.00
39.00
39.00
45.00
45.00
39.00
39.00
35.00
45.00
169.00
60.00
75.00
80.00
169.00
139.00
110.00
135.00
60.00
24
250
198
270
6C211 S1
tric, EV, JBL, Tannoy ETC. Sonny (405)737-3312. Fax 3355.
982-2620.
Analogue Productions, Mobile Fidelity, Reference, Chesky.
Sheffield, Classiol, Audioquest, DCC. Golden Strings
HDCD's, [RCA LSC. Mercury,
EMI & Decca originals &
re -issues] & much more!
112
100
4C212
4C228G
5NZLT
6C211S
Old/Obsolete Models. NEEDLE EXPRESS. 1-800-
The #1 source for audio I hile LP's & CD's
won't put you
in the poor house!
T9OTI
WANTED TO BUY
WANTED: TUBE HI FI, CORNER/HORN SPEAKERS! Altec, Jensen, Marantz, Leak, Quad, McIntosh, Western Elec-
AUDIOPHILE RECORDS
cheap, cheap prices,
so that anybody can
build a speaker that
sounds great and
ITEM
RECORDS
NEEDLES/CARTRIDGES & Belts --Expert Consultations,
All Major Brands, One of Largest Stocks in Country including
108
300
10
89
10
8
10
34
20
50
30
IF YOU WANT TO SPEND EVEN LESS,
WE HAVE THESE BLOWOUTS
SEAS P17RCY / 4 OHM
$29.00
SEAS CAI7RCY
29.00
SEAS 382 1"ALUMINUM TWEETER 15.00
AUDAX HT130FO
26.00
AUDAX HT13OG6
20.00
AUDAX HT170G2
21.00
AUDAX HT11OGO UNCOATED
15.00
AUDAX HT13OMO
15.00
3.3 MFD MYLAR CAPS 250V
3/$1
ZALYTRON INDUSTRIES CORP.
$5 USA, $10 elsewhere,
refunded with order.
1-800-716-3553
WANTED TO BUY
MARANTZ & ALL VINTAGE EQUIPMENT, HIGH -END. No
one pays MORE, working or not! N.Y.S.I. (718) 377-7282,
2-6pm, WEEKDAYS.
Integrated buyer, David Yo, since 1977 always buying: vintage tube Marantz, McIntosh, ARC, Quad, Leak. Vintage
speakers, units from Western Electric, JBL, EV, Jensen, AItec, Tannoy, Thorens TD -124, Garrard 301. P.O. Box 80371
San Marino. Ca 91118-8371. Tel: 818/441-3942.
WANTED-JBL HARTSFIELD, EV PATRICIAN, Paragon
and other speakers; Western Electric theatre equipment:
tube equipment by Marantz, McIntosh etc. Bob Aranyi, 500
Satinwood Terrace, Buffalo Grove, IL 60089. (847)
CASH for USED AUDIO & VIDEO EQUIP.
CASH PAID
Air
Tight,
Altec, Apogee,
Aragon,
Audio
Alchemy, Audio Control, AudioQuest, Audio
Research, B&K, B&W, CAL, Carver, Cary,
Dahlquist,
Dunlavy,
Denon,
Klipsch, Krell, Levinson, Lexicon, Magnepan,
Haver,
Heath,
Infinity,
Magnum-Dynalab,
JBL,
Jensen,
Marantz,
HEIaRED diodes, Soto foil inductors, all types of audio
connectors, silver contact toggle & rotary switches,
stepped attenuator kits, hospital grade plugs, tubes,
tools, IC's, super selection of damping materials & feet.
International/overseas orders are especially welcome!
Phone (415) 669-7181 or fax (415) 669-7558 for a catalog.
Michael Percy, Box 526, Inverness, CA 94937
Martin -Logan,
1 -800 -NEW -FOAM = 1-800-639-3626 NATIONWIDE SPEAKER REPAIR. PARTS, AND
many more.
ACCESSORIES. Call us with your speaker
problems. VISA/MC/AMEX/DISC. EMAIL
AUDIO CLASSICS
Enhancers by Philips NuReallty Aphex Free Catalog
KAB Electro -Acoustics, P.O. Box 2922, Plainfield, NJ
NICHICON MUSE, BLACK GATE, CAnoocs, VISHAY, MILLS,
HO CO, REsuTA, TDK, ALPS, Noels, EAR, DEHec PArms,
CARDAS, KIMBER, ACROTECH, & pure silver chassis wires,
KEF,
McIntosh, Mesa, Perreaux, Phase Linear, PS
Audio, Proac, Proceed, Quad, Rotel, Rowland,
Sequerra, Spectral, SOTA, Soundcraftsman,
Sound -Lab, Stax; Sunfire, Tandberg, Tannoy,
Theta, Thiel, VAC, VTL, VPI, Vandersteen,
Velodyne, Wadia, Western -Electric, Wilson &
PRESERVE + ENHANCE + RESTORE'"'
We Sell Audio Dynamite!
From Spinning 78's To The Outer Limits of Hi -Fidelity! Sound
featuring these vendors and many more. Free catalog'
Duntech,
A JOURNEY OF A 1000 HERTZ.,
BEGINS WITH A SINGLE KIT.
LV/CD/RECORD COLLECTOR'S SUPPLIES. Jewel boxes,
record jackets, sleeves, storage boxes, 78 sleeves, dividers,
much more! Free brochure: CABCO PRODUCTS, ROOM
663, POB 8212, COLUMBUS, OH 43201. (614) 267.8468.
Best Prices, Fast Delivery!
at fair prices! Extensive deep in stock inventory
Classe, conrad-johnson, Counterpoint, Crown,
Dynaco, Farichild, Fisher, Golden Tube, HK,
RECORDS
WELBORNE LABS
P.O. Box 260198, Littleton, CO 80126-0198
Wr MULTICAP, INPINICAP, HOVLAND, SOLEN, SCR, REL-CAP,
dbx,
NEWFOAM@msn.com
For our Catalog and Manual, send $12 (US/Canada) $18
(International) or call (303) 470-6585, fax (303) 791-5783 or
e-mail to: wlabs©ix.netcom.cow with your Visa/Mastercard.
Absolutely the best selection of audiophile grade parts
D.I.Y. NEW FOAM KITS
Nationwide Service Since 1979
Noble and stepped volume controls; Enclosures, Books and
other Supplies for DIY'ers. International Orders Welcome.
Premium Grade Parts
for Hi -End & Vintage Audio
CALL TOLL FREE
and Svetiana tubes; Cardas, DH Labs, Kimber Kable
Neutrtk, Vampire and WBT connectors and wire; Alps
HIGHEST QUOTE. (215) 886-1650 Since
1984. The Stereo Trading Outlet, 320 Old
York Road, Jenkintown, PA 19046.
WANTED: Accuphase, Accurus, AR, Adcom,
rcaker Repair 8c Replacement Par11, t-
Parts and Supplies
Hovland MusiCaps, Kimber Kaps, MIT MultiCaps, Solen
'MMA and Wonder InñniCaps; Caddock, Holco, Mills and
Resista resistors: Golden Dragon, NOS RAM Labs, Sovtek
BUYING and SELLING by PHONE. CALL for
TEL. (516) 747-3515 FAX (516) 294-1943
N EW-FOAM
we've got Vacuum Tube and mosfet Amplifiers, Linestages
Phonostages, Active Crossovers, Power Supplies, AC Line
Conditioners and many other Audio Kits and Schematics.
Visit our Website for more info. http:// wvw.welbomelabs.corn
634-3199.
469 JERICHO TURNPIKE, MINEOLA, N.Y. 11501
Our warehouse is open for pick-up 10AM to 6 PM daily.
Saturday 10 AM to 5 PM
UPS orders shipped same day Minimum order $50.00
Call or Write for your Latest Catalog mailed FREE in USA.
Canada $5 P&H, Worldwide $10 P&H
WELBORNE LABS
200 PAGE CATALOG and DESIGN MANUAL OF
HIGH QUALITY AUDIO KITS and SUPPLIES!!!
Limited
FREE condensed catalog!
o
...audible results with the finest
in connecting components!
8AM-5PM ET M -F
607-$65-7200
Fax 607-865-7222
E-mail: info@audioclassics.com
34 Gardiner Place, Post Office Box 176WTB,
Walton, NY 13856
07062-0922 (908)754-1479 VISA/MC.
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
118
SOUND CONNECTIONS INTERNATIONAL INC
203 Flagship Dr. -Lutz FL USA 33549
PH: 813-948-2707
Fax: 813-948-2907
CABLE TV
CABLE DESCRAMBLERS-FM VIDEO COMMUNICATIONS: 30 -DAY TRIAL, 1 -YEAR WARRANTY. LOWEST
PRICES! C.O.D., VISA, MC, DISCOVER. 1-800-805-8464.
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Best Buys
SOUND VALVEStM-Quality AFFORDABLE U.S.-Made Tube Components!
FREE CATALOG. Internet: www.sound-
Best Service
valves.com. E -Mail: jopets19©
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mail.idt.net. SOUND VALVES, 185N. Yale
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1-800-956-8835 2°.;
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equipment company is looking for the right person to join our
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structure and benefit package. Must be willing to re -locate to
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by Richard Modafferi, independent consultant to Audio Classics, Ltd., inventor, and former Senior Engineer at McIntosh.
AUDIO CLASSICS, LTD. POB 176RTM, Walton, NY 13856
DA7120
WHOLESALE/RETAL PRICES!
THROOP, PA 18512-1429 (PH: 717-489-3292).
324-7422. Hours: 9am-4pm Pacific Time.
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Biró ttc Digital Interface
Trying to put a Toslink optical digital cable into a coaxial RCA
digital jack is like the proverbial square peg in a round hole. It just
can't be done, unless you have a box like the biró t2c digital
interface, distributed through Audio by Van Alstine. This little box
is the least expensive interface ($75) I know of that allows a DAT,
CD, or other piece of digital gear with a Toslink digital output to
complete a connection to a coaxial digital input.
Now this box is nothing fancy, just a useful electronic tool
powered by a simple wall wart. (However, since jitter is said to be
higher via long optical connections, using the t2c to shorten the
KIMBI:R KI.IBI.Ii
optical link between your components might reduce jitter in
Speaker Cables
your system.) It came in real handy when
trying to connect a laserdisc player
I first used Kimber Kable speaker wires in my old
with only a
apartment because their braided construction let me flatten
them a bit to fit under my rug and they were reasonably
GRADE: B+
priced. When I buried cables in the walls of my new
amp's co-
house, I picked Kimber Kables again, for several
axial digital input. The preamp also
had an optical input, but the distance
reasons: I could still afford them. Their jackets are of
fire-resistant high -temperature Teflon. And since the
from the player to the preamp was well
cables would run near some AC lines, I liked the fact
that their braided construction resists hum pickup,
much the way multiple shielded pairs would.
in excess of 10 feet-about the
maximum distance recommended for
optical cable runs. So I ran the 6 -foot Toslink
cable from the LD player to the biró box, then a
coaxial cable to the preamp. Problem solved.
Rather than have loose cables hanging out of my
walls, I had my installer place wall plates with binding
posts at either end of each cable run. I use shorter lengths
of the same cables to connect the speakers to the posts.
I terminated the cables with Kimber's PostMaster
spade connectors ($16 per pair). The PostMasters
sandwich a silicone wafer
GRADE: A
between plated contacts, so
they'll stay snug against
binding posts that are only
finger -tightened.
The PM -25 fits
binding posts
from 0.20 to
0.265 inch in
diameter; the
PM -35s fit into
posts measur-
ing 0.28 to
0.345 inch.
Both fit wires
ranging from
AWG #16
(the smallest
I would have given the biró t2c an "A" if it were
bidirectional (optical-to-coaxial/coaxial-to-optical). I wanted to take a coaxial
CD output to a professional DAT Toslink input, but the biró works in only one
direction.
John Gatski
For literature, circle No. 121
Castle Acoustics Isis Speaker
The made -in -England Castle Acoustics Isis ($529 per pair, standard finishes,
$629, custom finishes) is a nice little speaker. The second smallest speaker in the
nine -member Castle family (14 x 7 x 7' inches), the Isis has a 5 -inch woofer and a
I -inch composite dome tweeter. Bass is reinforced by a front -mounted port.
Frequency range is from 60 Hz to 20 kHz. Sensitivity is listed
at 87 dB (1 watt at 1 meter). Castle speakers come in nine
different wood -grain finishes, so they can be matched to
Mounted on 24 -inch metal stands
with their grilles removed, the Isis pair
sounded fairlig," with some audible
and a spacious stereo image. They seem to
WonderSolder.
be more suited for acoustic music, jazz,
deep bass, detailed treble and midrange,
used in my
and classical than pop, as bass on some pop
apartment, equivalent to AWG #14, are $26
recordings got a little plump. There also
was a bit of midrange/low-treble hardness
I
for a precut 10 -foot length, $34 for 15 feet. In
my walls, I use both AWG #9 Type 8TC ($10
per foot) and AWG #13 Type 4TC ($6 per
foot), in case I decide to biamp or bi-wire
my system someday. Ribbon -flat versions
are now available; confusingly, the flat
version of the 8TC is the 16LPC ($14 per
foot) and the flat equivalent of 4TC is
8LPC ($8 per foot).
Ivan Berger
GRADE: B+
almost any decor. My sample pair came in a very attractive oak.
you should
consider using for speakers) to AWG #6 and
come with heat -shrink boots and Kimber's
The Type 4PR cables
Toslink output to a pre -
on loud dense rock music.
This is a great speaker by itself, but using a
compatible subwoofer, such as the Velodyne
VA -1012X, to relieve it of the low bass duties
would make a killer system for under $1,500.
The only real minus was the cable connection. The recessed rear compartment was too small
for my Alpha -Core 10 -gauge flat cables with spade lugs to reach the terminals. I swapped the
spades for banana plugs to make the connection.
John Gatski
For literature, circle No. 120
For literature, circle No. 122
AUDIO/NOVEMBER 1996
120
WithVideoQuest Cables,
It's What You See On The
Screen That fln'mts.
I\ I ow that "Performance Video" is a hot bpic, more people know that
I v every step from the source to the scree n is important, and that many
of those steps are wires. But, with many logical sounding stories of
engineering competence, pretty graphs anc even prettier cables and
plugs... how can you know whose cables a -e worth using? The answer
has always been to look for yourself... this time "look" really means look!
Looking Backward or Forward?
r
B
C
By itself this chart
ins nothing. It
In 1976 Polk Audio woke up the US audio world with a most unusual
you see on your screen that counts.
speaker cable. Since then, many cable suppliers have introduced
innovative and often effective ways to reduce the various types of cable -induced distortion. There have been some
bad ideas and some just plain "make it big and they will buy" products... but, there has also been real progress.
Unfortunately, the video arena includes companies touting how their cables solve problems that had
been solved by others decades ago. After all, a lot of very competent people have been supplying the
world of high -frequency commLnication for a very long time!
These backward -looking companies claim that "characteristic impedance" is important. This is
awfully safe ground... everyone nas agreed about this since before most of us were born. CATV cable at
the hardware store gets this part ight, there's no reason to pay a premium for old news. However, there
When a DSS receiver,
VCR or video camera
has "S';,outputs, Video
S/Two will outperform
composite cables.
are many other significant, and often more important variables.
It is ironic that some of the same designers who properly argue that "while measurements are
important, they don't tell the whole story," are now retreating to the test bench instead of working to
provide new solutions.
Composite, RGB, V/C (S), YIK (DYD), RF - We've Got Them
VideoQuest cables use a combination of the best techniques and materials available from today's high frequency cable industry, with our own desgn innovations to "push the envelope."
After 18 years of designing distortion mechanisms out of audio
cables, and eight years doing the same for video, digital and RF cables,
VideoQuest continues to expand the boundaries of this frontier.
tiiúeotuest Video Iwo Pushes the Envelope
Twin -axial construction includes two iden-ical
conductors, ensuring equally low distortior paths
for positive and negative... something not possible
,-,k1
h
with conventional coaxial construction.
Hard Cell Foam (HCF) insulation minimizes dielectric
involvement (the way insulation creates distortion by
storing and releasing energy). HCF also minimizes damage caused
Video Two's twin -axial construction uses
by applying hot plastics to the surface of metal. And, HCF
special Silver Plated Long Grain Copper
minimizes cold -flow (the deformation of a material under
and Hard Cell Foam dielectric.
pressure, changing the cable's electrical characteristics and
compromising performance).
Special Silver Plated Long Grain Copper reduces distortion and improves signal flow... which in the
world of audio would cause a blight and irritating sound. However, in the high frequency domain, SPLGC provides a dramatic and ccst-effective improvement over even the highest grades of pure copper.
There are many more technical details and underlying theories as to how to reduce distortion in video
How does a signal
become distorted?
cables. For more of this information, please ask for our Cable Design brochure... or better yet. go "see"
the cables for yourself.
P.O. Box 3060 San Clemente, CA 92674 USA. Tel 714-496-2770, Fax 714-498-5112. info@@audioquest.com
CIUCJIOCIueSt