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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February 2004

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Midwest Audio Fair
Hello Scott,
I enjoyed your review of the Midwest Audio show. I live close enough to attend, and I wondering if you have heard any plans for a show in 2004. If you have, when is it scheduled to occur.
Thank you for your time.
Thomas M Smith

Hi Thomas,
Unfortunately there are no plans for a MAF 04. There has been some discussion of an 05 show but nothing is firm yet. The only show in the Midwest (sort of) will be Rocky Mountain AudioFest that will be in
Looks as this is turning out to be a MAJOR show. A bunch of the online mags have jumped on board as sponsers. Last I talked to Ron Wellborne (Wellborne Labs and show coordinator), the vendor list was pretty sizable. This one could be huge. Sounds like another road trip!
Best Regards,
Scott Faller

FleXy fan
Thank you for your great website and the description of how to build a rack! I mostly followed your instructions and am very happy with the results. I did not compare the sound of racks in a test but seeing is believing ;-)
Best wishes, good luck and take care,
Lutz Kraemer - E-mail: lutz.kraemer (at)

Dear Lutz,
thanks for your appreciation. The FleXy rack is undoubtedly our most successful DIY design!
Happy listening!
Lucio Cadeddu

Digital cables shootout test
I was reading your article on digital cables. Have you published the results of the listening test?
Ed Lam - E-mail: bedlam008 (at)

Dear Ed,
I truly apologize for the excessive delay but right now we are working on a set of ELECTRICAL MEASURES on those cables. This should be something revolutionary and original (if successful) and will try to confirm our subjective findings on the sound of those cables.
Please be patient and stay tuned, we're working for you :-)
Lucio Cadeddu

Thanks for Your NAD 3020 Review
Dear Mr Cadeddu,
Thank you for your review of the NAD 3020. I bought it from a second-hand store at about US$47. It's functionally perfect and cosmetically good. There are only 2 scratches on the front of the volume knob. It's really more powerful than it looks and weighs!
Now I use it as a preamplifier with my Pioneer SX-727 (another old equipment) as a power amplifier. I found that the bass is a little too much, not tight enough. Also, the overall sound is not fast enough. Do you think I can improve these by cables? I only use cheap cables for connecting both amplifiers and the loudspeakers with the power amplifier. I'm considering to changing them. Do you have any recommendations?
Thanks again for your helpful review! Looking forward to your reply soon.
Mike Lee - E-mail: eelekim (at)

Dear Mike,
considering you use pretty old gear, a recapping might be necessary. Changing the power supply caps in both amps should tighten the bass a bit and improve speed as well.
Certainly cables play a role here. Have you ever fancied building your own speaker cables? We do have various DIY designs that can suit your needs (even the simpler TNT Star would be a good upgrade). Visit our DIY cables section for details and helpful hints.
Hope this helped,
Lucio Cadeddu

Right amp
Hey, thanks to you, I now own a pair of Epiphonies and am wildly happy with them. :-) The only thing I've ever heard that makes what I have sound BETTER.
So now a question: did you prefer the RAM 301 or the HH Scott with them (or any other amp)? The reason I ask is I live right down the road from the Jolida factory...
Many thanks,
Paul - E-mail: pshread (at)

Hi Paul,
Glad to hear that you are enjoying your Epiphony's. They really are a great little speaker. Tell you what, when it comes to amps and the Epiphony's, the most fun I had with them was when I had a pair of 78watt EL34's hooked to them. They absolutely came alive.
Jolida offers a few different EL34 designs. The 202, 302 and the JD1000. Just so happens, Mike from Jolida is sending me a JD1000 (100wpc) for review. Granted it may take a while from me to write the reveiw, but knowing Mike, drag your Epiphony's down to Annapolis Jctn and Mike will surely let you give them a listen.
Be sure to let us know what you decided on.
Best Regards,
Scott Faller

CAT 5 cables questions
Hi Scott,
Just read your question and answer page about CAT-5 speaker cables. I made myself a cable on the weekend and now I have a few questions for you. Would you be so nice to answer them, please?

  1. I used 6 individual CAT-5 cables, and I braided them (3x2). Do they have to be braided, since the pairs are already twisted? Can I run them straight in a heat shrink tube?
  2. Can I use more then 6 cables? Is there a benefit?
  3. I'm thinking of using this CAT-5 solution to my home theater speakers, as well. Do I have to use 6 cables at all times or can I use less runs (center speaker)?
Thank you in advance,
Robert - E-mail: R.SUMAHER (at)

Hi Robert,
Let's see if I can help.

  1. You could run them parallel and install them in a single sleeve, no problem at all. They will work just fine. If you go back to Stefano's Triple T article and re-read his listening impressions, your parallel runs won't quite sound the same. There is something to be said about the braiding or geometry of the calbe. It tends to add some "slam" to the bass IMO. If you aren't worried about this, then run them parallel. The cable will work and sound just fine.
  2. You can use more than 6 runs if your system calls for it. Go to my article called Cat 5 FAQ's.
    In it I have an Excel spreadsheet that will help you pick the number of runs you will need.
  3. In your home theatre, the center and front channels on average draw more wattage than the rears. You should make all of you cables the same length. Be careful though, watch the overall capacitence of your rear speaker cable lengths. They can get a little long. In turn, you could end up causing some problems for your amp due to the high capacitance levels of your rear channel cable runs using CAT 5 (or CAT 6). You may want to consider the Sonus Flatter You shouldn't have any issues with this flat design on your rear channels.
Hope this helped,
Scott Faller

CD player choice
I was reading through some of your reviews in looking for a CD player. While they are better than the big mags about pointing out strengths and weknesses, I still get the feeling that there are several very good ones I would be happy with. I am just getting into hifi and would like to make a good investment in a CD player.
Some I am considering are the Ah! Njoe Tjobe 4000, Jolida JD100, NAD (I forget the number), Cambridge D500, and Rotel 1072. I think these are all very good, but could you give me your thoughts on the ones you are familiar with?
Maybe point out different sounds, build quality, upgradeability......
Thank you so much for your time.
Bart - E-mail: barth7 (at)

Dear Bart,
to get an idea on the different sound quality I strongly invite you to read our reviews carefully. FWIW, my PERSONAL preference goes to the Jolida and the Rotel, but it is just a matter of taste. In any case, considering the good quality of the cited players it is very hard to make a wrong choice. System matching and "personal" taste are two parameters of paramount importance, actually, more than "sound quality" in itself.
Try to evaluate some of those players into YOUR system and let your ears decide.
Hope this helped,
Lucio Cadeddu

Mains cable
Dear Lucio,
I want to use a mains cable to make a direct connection between my house’s circuit breaker and a dedicated outlet for my audio system. It has to be 11 meters long. I intend to use quality but affordable wire, so I thought of Supra’s speaker cables. I wonder which wire specs are adequate for such a long run…
The Supra Ply 3.4/S has two conductors with 3.4mm/12 AWG, and the Supra Linc 4.0 also two 4mm/11 AWG. Should I use any of these models, I’d have to add an earth wire outside the jacket. Another possibility is the Rondo 4x4 (4mm/11 AWG) which has four conductors: I could use the third conductor for earthing and not use the fourth.
Can you recommend one of these options, or maybe a better solution?
Thank you for all your help.
Best wishes,
Nuno Vidal - E-mail: nuvid (at)

Dear Nuno,
AVOID using non-mains specific wires for such applications! It can be extremely dangerous!!! If you want to use Supra cables, try finding the specific mains-devoted cable made by this Company (LoRad 3x2.5) or any other mains cable sold per meter.
Hope this helped,
Lucio Cadeddu

Still mains cable
Hi. Having just found your site in the nick of time how good it is to see common sense.
I was about buy exspensive mains lead when found your d-i-y projects. I then set about making a Merlino, only thing is I could only get s-y cable will this do the same?
I used this to rewire my mains block to good effect even for tv/vidieo block again to good effect sharper picture. What I was thinking was using 5 ,1:5mm cables 2 live 2 neutral 1 earth and braid them together (Kimber style) would this work? And would still need shielding and ferrite clamps?
Thanks for your time
Pete C. - E-mail: clarkes1 (at)

Dear Pete,
any good shielded mains cable will do the trick. You can even consider to build our braided TNT The Twisted Snake.
Shielding is necessary, in my opinion (provided you have a good "ground" wire in your house) and ferrites ...sometimes they do work, sometimes they don't. Try and decide.
Hope this helped,
Lucio Cadeddu

Stereophonic Physcho-Dynamics
I have just finished you review of the Holfi CD player. As a music appreciation consumer (MAC), I reached your website via a REVOX search. I had no interest in a Holfi. In America the name sounds to close to a species of COWs i.e., cattle _ milk _ beef. Never the less, I thought I was going to be involved in a brief reading, it became a complete reading. I read your review, in TOTALITY. First,...Congratulations...your effort at offering language metaphors for sound interpretation are Excellent. You have increased my useful vocabulary. Second,...One would ask, "what is your ZERO point that you always "equalize" to when making a "Reference" evaluation. And more importantly is this "ZERO" point the shared body parts of our Human genders.? Third,...You need to Apologize to your Wife and Mother. You give to your wife, a subordinate capacity to catalog and recognize equipment's "musicality".
By inference, you attribute to her less "sophistication"...that she possesses, (in comparison to you), less "audiophile" capabilities of perception analyzation of sound characteristics,...reducing her to a "counterweight",... to your logic and expertise of sound producing equipment. AND THEN, to recommend the "cleaning" skills to, " you wife or MOTHER", ..Sir, you are in trouble.
Fourth,... It seems that Culinary Metaphors could serve just as well...especially for your attack on the manufacturers choice of "line item" build components. Last, but not least,...My own form of sound production, sound stage, sound "presence" has been to forget the flaws of equipment, and to "mix brands of speakers" that are inherently engineered and yield "sonically different" sound.
I do my own form of sound room design, "tweaking" the reception of music to my mind with bits and pieces of pure music fidelity that only this special recipe of dissonance can create. One of "aural perceptions" that allow me to take flight in music appreciation without the "shackling" of Hyper technical evaluations...true or not. A poor mans delivery system of Impact and Musical Illusions, on the Time - Space,...Music continuum.
WHY.......Possibly like yourself, I can no longer "afford" the ultimate system, so all the sound/music delivery...linked to "specifications" of components like "tubes", "power supplies", "unique cabling", special stands or "feet", is just a whimsical marketing ladder that I, and most of the worlds population, can't afford to climb.
An A+ to you efforts...with reader caution to word or phrase interpretations.
Very Truly Yours,
Ralph Coello - E-mail: gtm-usa (at)

Dear Ralph,
thanks for your appreciation and...irony. Please forgive me when I write in English, this is NOT my mother tongue. I've learned it mostly on the Internet. For this very reason my use of words, phrases and metaphors may be quite misleading :-) Readers BEWARE! :-)
I'd be happy to give the reader just a pale idea on what to expect from the reviewed component. The final choice should ALWAYS be made after a PERSONAL and CAREFUL listening test.
All the best,
Lucio Cadeddu

Ewing D. Nunn's original Audiophile record label
Dear Sirs;
As a hobby, I maintain a web site devoted to Ewing D. Nunn's original Audiophile record label. The site includes a discography which I believe is now complete for the period of Mr. Nunn's association with the label (1947 to 1977). It also includes a number of contributions from people who knew Ewing personally, and links to related sites including the web site of Paul Dumke, who is Ewing's grandson and who inherited some 3000 photos taken by Mr. Nunn.
The Audiophile records are still highly prized by those who are fans of vinyl, and some of the material from the original master tapes is also available on CD. Ewing is perhaps best known for his recordings of Doc Evans, Knocky Parker and other traditional jazz artists, but he also issued a number of recordings of classical artists, including Dr. Robert Noehren and groups from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. I hope that your readers find the web site to be of interest. It is located at Sincerely,
Robert Gilchrist Huenemann - E-mail: bobgh (at)

Dear Robert,
thanks for the precious feedback!
Lucio Cadeddu

TNT DIY cables
Thanks for the informative DIY articles. About 8 months ago I built my first pair of TTTs, I have loved them from the moment they were connected. After they "broke-in" they have only gotten better. I built a pair for a friend who also loves his. I have since made some interconnects, and a power cord using some of the ideas at your site and others with very good results. I recently tried another CAT5 design that I thought I would share with you. The TNT Triples were a bit heavy and not very flexible. They were a bit imposing so the WAF was a little low, so I reduced the the amount of CAT5 and built quad speaker cables.
I used the same techniques as the other TNTs and made biwire connections at one end. I found braiding instructions that describes the process for braiding together four lines versus three at . Once you get started it is very easy and I found the results of this cable to be quite promising. There doesn't seem to be quite as much detail as the TNTs but the "Quads" seem warmer. The cables are a bit lighter and pool better if you need the extra slack.
Thanks again for the articles, and if you have tried the "Quads" I would be interested in your opinion of them.
Christian - E-mail: cwgreen (at)

Dear Christian,
we've not tried the Quads, anyway thanks for the precious suggestion!
Lucio Cadeddu

Marchand EC626 review
Just a note to say the review of the Marchand EC626 amplifier by Richard George was outstanding. Clear, detailed and informative. I especially like the extent to which he went in identifying systematic synergy. I wish all reviews were this well done.
Neal Hood - E-mail: neal.hood (at)

Dear Neal,
thanks for your appreciation. Not all review were created equal because not every HiFi component excites the reviewer the same way. And trust me, when an audio component is boring as hell, it is hard to write exciting reviews :-)
Stay tuned, we'll try to make sure the fun never ends,
Lucio Cadeddu

Highway 61
Totally agree Bob and the Beatles were 2 of the 3 most important acts, although funnily enough back in the 60s I was more of a Stones fan than the Beatles - but I agree that the Beatles were more important.
I will never forget the day in late 1962 when one of my mates at school said that there was a great band on 5 o'clock club (A rather naff 60s kids program) this evening. We all rushed home and it was our first view of the fab four, Paul with this wild violin bass guitar - so cool - they did "Love Me Do".
Although we never knew at the time this was a historic moment, pop music would never be the same again (well until the 80s anyway). I hated pop music in the early 60s, I could not stand Rock and Roll - Elvis, Bill Haley etc, the only pop stuff I liked then was The Shadows (not that idiot who used to sing with them) Buddy Holly and Eddy Cochran. As a 12/13 year old kid I used to listen to my big sisters Frank Sinatra and jazz (George Shearing etc) plus my mates sisters r&b stuff - Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley etc. Ah happy days.
Anyway, sorry to prattle on, but I did enjoy the review of a truly great album by a truly great man. For me Bob Dylan was the voice of the second half of the twentieth century. Possibly the 3rd would be the grateful dead or jimi hendrix or the beachboys or the byrds - hmmm! see what you mean.
Bill McCormack - E-mail: knollsoft (at)

Well I glad you are a fan - as for the 3rd most important act of all time? Well if you put a gun to my head and said "Choose!" I'd probably have to go with Led Zeppelin. As for the Rolling Stones "Sympathy for the Devil" has a pretty strong claim as the greatest rock record of all time.
- sits back and waits for the emails :-) Best Regards,
Geoff Husband

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