TNT-Audio Readers' Corner
Monthly section devoted to your letters, positive and negative feedback about everything related to Audio and HiFi.

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April 2016

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Arcam Solo
Hello, Andy. Apologies for troubling you but I was wondering if you could help with some classification and evaluation issues. Maarten Van Casteren did a review of of the Arcam Solo I happened to purchase. Unfortunately his own page doesn't have an email, that or after 3 days straight of trying to get these access lists working for this 3000 plus computer building is catching up on me and I just can't see it.
The point is I want to get rid of my Arcam Solo. I can remember, and can see that from the article, that the initial price was 1000. It has very rarely been used, as, tbqh, I use my computer, phone, or deck for music. (No pretences at being a DJ I just like the authentic sound). Now that I actually think about it, it has probably had a few hours play time max since I bought it about 5-6 years ago; lets say 10 hours very maximum.
So what would you suggest? Or if you think it would be a better idea could you put me in touch with Maarten? I hope you don't mind the intrusion, however I have literally no idea what I should ask for it, or for that matter (as it has an internal AMP etc) what exactly to classify it as.
From what I know from your site, and from my experience of relating your reviews to products that I have purchased your team are the perfect people for me to come to, though.
I hope to hear from you soon,
P.S. Oh, and please also keep up the great review work, not just yourself but everyone at the site. There is far too much crud out there masquerading as hi end equipment.
Robin - E-mail: kingkranenburg (at) gmail.com

AN
Hi Robin,
Thanks for the kind words. I'd suggest looking at completed sales on ebay to get an idea of the value (use the advanced search function). If that doesn't get you anywhere, I'd generally expect to get about 50% of the new (or at least, most recent) sale price for most things. Depending where you sell it you might consider aiming for 650, but you may need to settle for less.
Good luck!
Kind regards,
Andy Norman

Re: Maverick audio speakers
Lucio,
Going against probably any piece of advice you could give me I purchased a set of Boston Acoustics CR57s. They're not bad but are not as good as the bs22s and likely nor the Cambridge Audio's. However, the price was right and they're certainly not offensive and my amp handles them very well which was a concern with the Maverick Audio, and their impedence is at 8ohms.
Much of the issues that they have with sound reproduction I am imagining being more a part of their lack of bass or the maverick audio's limitations. So, in resolving these issues to the best of my ability until I get a subwoofer (which I am considering a martin logan dynamo 300) and eventually new speakers (way down the line) I am considering purchasing a modest sound card, or DAC. I have had my eye on Pro Ject's USB DAC. And also replacing the tubes in the Mav. Given my oportunistic miss step in speaker selection I am wondering how you would proceed?
Thanks again,
Steve - E-mail: sbenton.benton3 (at) gmail.com

LC
Dear Steve,
if you are using a PC as your primary HiFi source, a USB DAC should be the first thing to purchase. The ProJect USB DAC could be a wise choice. Replacing the tubes in the Maverick amp isn't strictly necessary and certainly won't give you any extra kick in the bass. Better performing loudspeakers or a subwoofer could be a more logical cure for this probem.
Keep me updated,
Lucio Cadeddu

Philips CD 750
Dear Lucio,
On a lark I picked up a 1994 model Philips CD 750 for equivalent of USD 150 (my Naim CD5XS is still lying boxed after lens change).. and boy....I don't miss a thing!!!
I might let go the CD5XS - as excellent a player it is and settle for this..
boy... oh boy...
.....which is hifi and which is music...
Hard to say till you do the same thing with less money. The Naim Nait 5i-2 & Merlin TSM sings just as happily and I don't have to worry about Flatcaps and power supplies!!!
Regards,
Mahesh - E-mail: mpwaran (at) yahoo.com

LC
Dear Makesh,
the differences among CD players are never as big as one might imagine. Hence, an old CD player can sound acceptable even by today's standards. For example, read my review of the old (Philips-based) Revox B226 CD player. It was, more or less, a Philips CD960 with a different dress. Your CD 750 was equipped with a good D/A chipset, the TDA1549, found on much more expensive CD players such as the ALCHEMIST NEXUS, the MICROMEGA MINIUM and the SUGDEN MASTER.
In any case, compare it directly, head to head, to your Naim CD player, I'm sure the differences will be much more evident. Our audio memory isn't much reliable, trust me.
Hope this helped somehow,
Lucio Cadeddu

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