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Positive Feedback ISSUE 27
september/october 2006


Our readers respond…we respond right back!

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Dear Robert,
I've been powering my Eidolons with a Black Gated PS Audio HCA-2 and holding out for an audition of Ayre's new mono block's. Hoping, after hearing them, I wouldn't have to have them. Finding a pair used would be at least a year our two out. OK fine.

After a late night read of your NuForce experience I became so stoked at the possibility of an amp that could be even half as good as you described at a truly realistic price. The next day a pair of SE's popped up on Agon, used. Well there in the rack and I simply can't believe what I've been missing.

As you know there are plenty of positive reviews of this product, it was your pairing them with your Eidolons that hooked me. I just wanted to thank you for your guidance in this purchase. You saved me a butt-load of money and put a smile on my face. Thank you very much.

Malcolm Baba
Danville, California

Dear Malcolm, I'm delighted the NuForce 9SE Amplifiers make your Avalons sing like mine! Remember, never turn them off and use them with the best copper cables you can afford. A good copper power cord helps, too.

Great listening to you,

Robert H. Levi

Dear Dave,
Kudos to both you and Rick Gardner on the superb quality of your recent dialogue about listening priorities in the context of the Boulder 2060. The two of you have demonstrated for all of us the best of what this pursuit of high-end audio is all about in the content, tone and quality of your recent exchange of articles.

My gratitude and appreciation,


Thanks for the kind comments, Rushton. What Rick and I are doing embodies what Positive Feedback and Positive Feedback Online has represented for many years now: "a creative forum for the audio arts." From time to time we publish dialogues like these, where point/counterpoint or disagreement are pursued vigorously, passionately, but with courtesy and respect.

We disagree, but we disagree agreeably. (Nor are we done yet!)

I think the world could use much more of this, and much less of the hostile, angry, and even vile communications that one sees in some places online.

Scott Frankland, a long-time friend of PF/PFO used to call this the "protocols of community."

I have always liked that phrase...

All the best,


Dear Sirs
First - I'm biased. More often than not I like the sound of a CD vs an LP. Now, what the hell kind of test was that? A direct drive and a Technics no less.

Sure there are some good direct drives. But most―unlike what was mentioned in the response to the last letter I saw on this―do not react fast enough to change. And like the author of the letter states it reacts after there is an error. Additionally the motor stops and starts (albeit very fast) because it's a DC motor. Additionally your response as to the superiority of the belt driven TT was that the belt is basically a rubber band? So what? (It's not a rubber band―but that's not my point). A belt driven table normally utilizes platter mass to maintain speed stability―normally doesn't have a DC motor (most that do use very good motors) and isolates the motor from the platter/arm―which can't be done with a direct drive (at least not on most tables). Look―I am sure a Technics 1200 can sound OK. But you match some very good CD players against a so-so table. You could have used any number of belt driven tables ―even used ones. When comparing these mediums you have an obligation to level the playing field. Given all the hype about CDs and the fact that most people think LP's sound inferior (a belief most have without comparing―or having used shiny chrome turntables with sprung feet―oops―sounds like the Technics) you have a responsibility to do a better job. Now―I will say that even with the inferior comparison you did say the analog system did well and even beat one CD player. Still―it should have been a fairer test. (If you must keep the Technics go get a bargain basement CD player in the same price range)

Wow, I’m not sure where to begin. I am certain that many audiophiles would take vigorous exception to your statements that, "Given all the hype about CDs and the fact that most people think LPs sound inferior…". In fact you can count me in that group because I think vinyl does sound superior to CDs.

You also make blanket generalities about direct drive turntables and the Technics in particular, although I suspect you never heard one. Having owned a VPI and now the Technics, I won’t deny that the VPI is a superb machine but it is not vastly superior to the Technics. I prefer accuracy in my music and I feel the direct drive is much better at being accurate then a belt. As far as belt drive, I again make the assertion that belts are a terrible engineering principle to base music playback on. What happens, do you suppose, when the belt stretches?

Many audiophiles prefer Lenco type tables and those use a rubber wheel! I don’t know about you but that just doesn’t seem a 21st century approach either.

You make another statement about motor isolation. Well, the spindle has to be attached to a bearing and if the motor is directly driving that spindle I think the whole isolation aspect is slightly exaggerated. The noise that drives me crazy on vinyl is the surface noise which is vastly louder and more irritating that any possible tiny noise or vibration from a motor. I suppose if anyone ever cured the surface noise issue, we may then actually be able to here motor noise but I doubt that will ever happen.

The point of the article in fact was that most audiophiles claim vinyl is superior to digital. I admit to having my "tongue in cheek" when selecting the SL-1200 but then I realized it is quite a good turntable. If fact it came close to besting the much more expensive CD machines. The only thing that prevented it was surface noise and inconvenience- something vinyl will never overcome. There was no sense in using a very expensive turntable in the comparison- I owned the VPI and it didn’t overcome the clicks and pops and the limited 15 minutes of music before you have to flip the LP!

Ed M. 

Dear Mr. Dudious,
I have read your article in Positive Feedback Online, about the Lowther C45 as a midrange driver.

Finding this project extremely interesting, I would like to ask you for the crossover schematic of the Scan Speak-Lowther-Vifa system, if you are willing to share it with me.

I am a DIY enthusiast and would maybe like to build such a system for my personal use. There is no commercial interest behind my intention.

Greetings from Germany.


Volker Deppert

Hi Volker, 

I have taken on this project, which is very time consuming. I have not, as yet, come to a final design. If you are a DIY enthusiast, perhaps if I gave you a few tips, you could begin your own project. Seems the woofer ScanSpeak 8555.01 is the best for this project. It likes a 2 cu. ft. box, with a 3" pipe vent, 7" long, firing forward. The Midrange—the Lowther C45 likes to see a .4 cu ft box, sealed. You might mount the tweeter in the same box, or make a baffle that mounts on the top for the Vifa ring-radiator tweeter.

We are aiming for a xover from woofer to midrange of somewhere between 200Hz and 400Hz—I haven't figured it out yet—and the tweeter would be between 4kHz, and 5kHz. I think a 2nd order slope would be a good compromise to start with. But everything I've told you is subject to change. Let me know how it goes. I expect I'll share my results with the world through the Internet. 

Sooner or later.

So be patient. If you can't wait, keep me informed. I'll try to answer any questions.

But honestly, I've no idea where this is heading.

Max Dudious

Hi Max,
Thank you very much for your answer. I will be patient and wait for the progress you make. Until now, my three projects of the last three years were following given designs, without developments of my own. I do not have any measuring equipment, which is essential for this, I believe. But I enjoy this hobby very much. Like you said: The juice is worth the squeeze.

So I wish you success and will try to look after your results in the Internet.

Until then, goodbye,