TNT-Audio Readers' Corner
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June 2008

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Klipsch
Hi,
I've been reading through a lot of your articles at TNT-Audio, and first I'd like to say they're about the most entertaining, informative, original, and provocative reading I've found on affordable hifi for music lovers. Largely on the basis of Lucio Cadeddu's review of the Klipsch RF3, I took the plunge and grabbed a pair that were sitting neglected on ebay, and just yesterday got a second-hand TA-10.1 amp, which I am now listening to, and I'm very happy.
My source is my computer, through which FLACs are fed into a USB DAC and then straight to the amp. I intend to make some of your diy cables soon, which raises a question: should I bi-amp these speakers with an active crossover? I've read Mark Wheeler's articles on the merits of putting the crossover before the amps, and I'm sold on the idea. But how do I do it with these Klipsches? It sounds complicated to get the match, and I don't have any recommendations about how to start.
I read that Trends Audio are bringing out a crossover some time this year. But are off the shelf systems going to work with my existing speakers? I was thinking of adding another TA-10.1 to power the highs and lows independently. Is this a good idea? My speakers have two sets of binding posts, but do I nonetheless need to take out the crossovers from inside them?
I'm considering using a different amp for the highs to the TA-10.1, which will cover the lows. I'm considering using my vintage 20wpc Sansui AU-555 for the highs, partly because I like its warm sound up high, and partly because it's built into the sideboard in my lounge room and it's otherwise unemployed. Obviously I wouldn't use such different amps to bi-amp left and right, but thought they might be complimentary in this high-low arrangement. Are there any compatibility issues I need to be aware of between different amps? Is this a good idea, or should I just shell out for another TA-10.1?
Thank you - I'm about to build the FFRC now,
Russell - E-mail: russell.downham (at) gmail.com

LC
Dear Russell,
active biamping is a complicated route with your speakers. You need to open them, eradicate the passive crossover and connect the drivers directly to the binding posts. It can be done but then you'll be in trouble finding the appropriate set-up with an outboard electronic crossover. Passive biamping is much easier: one amp for the highs and one for the lows and you're done. If you are willing to use that Sansui integrated, connect it to power the lows, not the highs. I'm pretty sure two TA 10.1's will work better, though.
Hope this helped,
Lucio Cadeddu

Triangle Titus
Greetings Lucio,
I recently saw your review about the Triangles & was impressed - I finally found someone who was selling a pair & auditioned it. To summarize, it does have clarity & resolution but a bit bass shy - which I consider normal for a 5" size midrange/midbass.
Being in Manila, Philippines - it seems nobody much uses this speaker or knows about the brand - well, except for the seller. He is selling it to me for about US$400, used but good condition. I do have an audio set-up in my bedroom consisting of Rotel gears & B&W speakers while my Home Theater in our TV room also has Rotel & B&W speakers (All 600 series 3, UK made). In a way, I guess I love the sonic signature of B&W speakers.
Now, I'm about to embark on a 3rd install for my work area - and I have an enroute Rotel RB-981 130wpc 2ch poweramp - I plan to add a DIY Tube preamp to it and a CD player to round up a simple install.
The seller said that the Triangle Titus is ideal for tubes since it has a high sensitivity - he added that it may not sound good for solid state applications. Any truth to that?
As you can see from my upcoming gears - its a Solid State power amp mated to a tube preamp - meaning a "hybrid" setup. While I do know the Rotel 130watts poweramp may be overkill for the speakers, but I can't do anything about that as the Rotel was originally planned for a different install that never came to fruition.
Nonetheless, the Rotel poweramp is enroute & I can't do anything about it as it was paid & shipped more than a month ago. I hope you can guide me in this 3rd setup and any advice and recommendations would be greatly appreciated :-)
Thank You!
Mardon - E-mail: mlcallanta (at) gmail.com

LC
Dear Mardon,
I believe the Triangle Titus will sound good even with the Rotel power amp. Power is never enoough, just turn that volume down when the sound becomes harsh :-)
That said, the tonal balance of the Rotel is quite similar to that of the Titus. Adding a warmer preamp might prove to be useful and a good all around idea.
Plus, the extra "kick" of the Rotel power amp might add weight to the dry bass of the Triangle's. Anyway, since the speakers are second-hand...why doesn't the seller let you test them in your own listening room? That would help understanding better what to expect from this combo.
Hope this helped,
Lucio Cadeddu

Merlin TSM-MMe
Lucio,
You are so kind to your email friends I thought I would ask you a question.
I am getting a new set of Merlin TSM.MMe monitor speakers in a week or so. Will be using in my living room/family room (24 ft x 20 ft x10 ft ceilings). Wanted to get your advice on what you would suggest that I use to drive them (I'm no longer into tubes, BTW). I currently plan to use my AA Puccini 70 wpc (latest model).
I would like to to get great sound from them, warm, full, involving, easy to listen. We listen to jazz, classical, opera, etc...no rock, no booming speakers (my wife hates that).
I have some gear left over from my last house which I was planning to sell when I get the setup going for the Merlins. I have preamps...Audible Illusions L2, and Blue Circle w/ext. power supply and a couple amps McCormack DNA 125 (w/o mods), B&K 75 wpc, and a Rotel 60 wpc. I also have Edge G2 and G6 but plan to sell them...too much invested.
Would appreciate your comments, first on the Puccini...is that all I need...or any other combo. BTW, I use Cardas Twinlink speaker cable.
Thanks in advance,
Glenn - E-mail: gsherwood53 (at) gmail.com

LC
Dear Glenn,
the Merlin TSM-MMe's are not exactly an easy load for the amplifier. Though the Puccini might be a good partner if you wish to get a warm and east-to-listen sound (as you say) I'm afraid it could be not electrically adequate. A much better result would be achieved with the Audible Illusions & McCormack DNA combo, in my opinion. That said, feel free to experiment, you know which kind of sound you might consider acceptable. In other words, perhaps the Puccini will suit your needs....but the Merlin's deserve much better gear, in my opinion.
Hope this helped,
Lucio Cadeddu

HP interview
Thanks Lucio for the interview with grand old master HP. It was rather short though, as if it was an interview over the phone?
I was nice to hear from him again :-)
PS can you give chief editor the tip to revamp the TNT website? The grey dull background and rest of format looks ehh a bit outdated :-)
Kyrill - E-mail: kyrgoo (at) gmail.com

LC
Dear Kyrill,
thanks for the feedback. No, it wasn't an interview over the phone, we are both too busy to spend time talking over the phone :-) It was done via e-mail and - more or less - it contained the same questions that I asked 10 years ago.
As for the outdated look...gosh, we ARE damn outdated! Wouldn't you consider outdated someone who uses a 30 years old sport car as daily driver and loves vinyl? :-)
Stay tuned!
Lucio Cadeddu

Problems on a Garrard deck
Hi, I wondered if you could tell me why my Garrard Zero 100sb cuts out on one channel occasionlly, but when I turn my amlifier off and on again (after a wait of about 10 sec) it works o.k. again. I have read that this can be a problem with these decks, do you know a solution, it sounds like some sort of induction being built up in the cables or cartridge, I think the cartridge maybe an original, its a older shure type cartridge. Any help would be gratefully accepted.
Thank you, regards.
Malcolm - E-mail: malcolmd.halliday (at) virgin.net

LC
Dear Malcolm,
are you 100% sure the problem is caused by the deck and not by the amp? I'd try another amp or a separate phono preamp, connected to any AUX/Line input. Then I'd inspect all the connections carefully: from the cart to the arm and from the deck to the amp. Those cables are old and perhaps with lots of oxidation here and there. A rewiring might be a worthwhile upgrade in any case. Finally, if the cart is still the original one you should trash it as soon as possible. Buy a new one now! Any standard cart will fit: Shure, Stanton, Grado, Ortofon...provided they are MM, if your amp accepts MM input only.
Hope this helped,
Lucio Cadeddu

Opinion on Image 34i amp
Dear Lucio,

  1. I read Nels Ferre's favorable review of Image 66i integrated amplifier made in China. I received an Image 34i integrated based on Electric Harmonix EL-34 output tubes and I am wondering if my amp is as good as the 66i integrated.
    Have you heard the Image 34i integrated amplifier? I like its sound, save for some limitations (it is very airy, lively and dynamic, but lacks a pedigree of some more expensive tube amplifiers.
  2. I am also intrigued by the new Unison Research P40 and P70 push-pull amplifiers. I used to own the Unison Sinfonia amp before but sold it as it had reliability issues. Unfortunately, there is no way for me to audition such brands as NAF or Unison before, and in order to listen to them, I have to make a prepaid order.
I have two pairs of totally different speakers - Silverline Sonata-III and open-baffle Nightingale CTR-2. For the Nightingale speakers, I want to purchase either NAF Legend-II integrated or Unison Research P40.
I will appreciate your comments and recommendations.
I am also wondering whether the Image 34i is point-to-point wired as is the Image 66i.
I will appreciate your advice.
Best regards,
Alexander - E-mail: akolegov (at) mtu-net.ru

LC
Dear Alexander,
unfortunately I don't happen to know the amps you mention so I can't comment much on them. For technical details (hardwiring etc.) please contact the manufacturer. If you like your amp and can't really audition others...what's the deal? Just listen to your system and enjoy it! Problems might arise when you will be no longer satisfied by your amp. That, sooner or later, will happen.
By now, just keep your mind focused on Music :-)
As a side note I'm always puzzled when someone uses more than one pair of speakers. If you have two different rooms, please skip. Otherwise my (unasked) advice is: sell any extra pair of speakers and any extra component you may have and try buying a better system. Rather, ONE better system. There's no really need to use two different pairs of speakers. For sure there exists a pair (for the price of the two) that performs better in any area. Think about it.
Hope this helped,
Lucio Cadeddu

Burson Audio Buffer
Hi Nick, how have you been?
After reading yr article concerning Burson AudioBuffer, I'm really impressed and would like to know from you if it is a good choice to fit in my car system. If so, I think some mods will be necessary... Would you pls help me with some issues?
Well, I'm going to use 2 class-T Amp9 from 41Hz in my car, right and left amps for dual mono operation; since the bufer works in dual mono also. Each amp have 4 channels but should be configurated in 3 channels, 1 for the mid bass, 1 for the tweeter and the other 2 bridged/paralleled to run the sub. Kindly pls let me know if...:

  1. Can I turn on the buffer into a preamp adding volume controls to them? Besides, the preamp should have 8 output channels instead the 2 original outputs to feed the 2 Amp9. Also, 2 input line levels will be needed (selector switch?) Is it ok? Can be done?
  2. In this case, could I add to the right side one stereo volume control for the mid and tweeter, another setereo volume control for the left side and a third stereo volume control for the paralleled channels? (each volume control channel to run the paralleled channels of each amp: http://www.diyfidelity.com.au/product_info.php?cPath=0_33&products_id=32).
  3. To use the buffer/preamp in a car system with DC current, may I change the internal power supply (120VAC to 15VDC) for a 12V to 15V DC-DC converter? Is that right?
Many thanks for your kindly assistance and very best rgds!!
Nilton - E-mail: nilton_sacchetti (at) hotmail.com

NW
Hi Nilton,
I have zero experience with car hi-fi but I would say that trying to use the Burson buffer in a car would not be practical. I'm sorry that I can't offer more help but would guess that a site/forum dedicated to car hi-fi would be a better place to ask your questions.
Best regards,
Nick Whetstone

High resolution files
Hi Nick,
I would like to listen to high resolution files (24/96) directly connecting a portable hard disk or a NAS to my preamplifier (Bryston SP 1.7) via coaxial cable, so using the DAC that is already present in the Bryston.
I know that there are "audiophile" music players already available (Linn, T+A,...) that can do that, but it seems to me that they cost too much right now. So, at time being at least, I'm looking for a temporary solution, but at the best quality/price ratio ... ;-)
Ideally it should be open to future upgrade and be noiseless as my intention is to have it placed close to the preamplifier.
What do you suggest me:

  1. A portable multimedia hard disk ? some good brand / models ?
  2. A NAS + related device ? some good brand / models ?
About the NAS solution, please consider that I already have a Squeezebox available, that is connected to Bryston via coaxial digital output. I could connect the NAS via ethernet to it. But I was told that Squeezebox digital output is not more than 48Khz ... is it true ? So the signal enters as 96khz and exit as 48khz even if I do not use its DAC ? How can it happen ?
Many thanks for your help,
P.S.: about the digital output, is there a simple way to measure the frequency of it (48, 96, ...)? Using a software or a simple multimeter? Massimo - E-mail: mvilla (at) tiscali.it

NW
Hi Massimo,
First, you are correct, the Squeezebox will only play up to 24/48 and there is no way around that. As I understand it, the SB just plays every other sample of a 24/96 file and that won't make for very high-quality music! The Transporter can do 24/96 but of course it is not really a cost-effective solution that you request.
I am not a technician but believe that you would need to somehow extract the clock signal in order to measure the frequency.
I am only really familiar with the streaming devices and USB DAC's that I have reviewed for TNT. Looking round forums such as Slim Devices http://forums.slimdevices.com/forumdisplay.php?f=20 you will find the real experts so I suggest asking there.
I forgot to add that you can down-sample the 24/96 files (not ideal I know) with something like R8brain http://www.voxengo.com/product/r8brain/
Regards,
Nick Whetstone

Re: CD 120 linear
Dear Mark,
I am stunned to know so many details about my system I would have never known in my life time, particularly about the valve amp. I went through your reply again and again, so interesting. I will save the mail for my reference.
Actually I use to own solid state amp AMC 3100a (100 watts) for last couple of years, slowly I lost interest to listen from the solid state system because I felt the music is too harsh no softness (bass was deep). From there I started to search for new amp, to my understanding the CDP 3300 and Kef were okay problem was with only driving unit.
I had audition with Krell 400AXi, Moon i-3, Prologue one, Rotel 1070, Nad M-3, Unison unico, Arcam 90 some were out of my budget others were similar to solid state hype. So I decided to go for valve amp (suits my budget and sound?). Frankly I thought push pull and single end sounds similar even I asked the dealer they confirmed the difference is not much, if you can provide me more tips on that will help. I read few reviews through net & decided to go for Melody & now end up with some other issue (bass).
As you instructed I will go for:

As you have mentioned that KEF matches better with solid state, I have list of speakers Focal 806, Monitor RS-6, Dali Ikon-2 and 6, Polk LSi-15, Usher compass -718 & 601, Quad 22L, Pro-ac studio 110,100 & 130, Totem rainmaker, Aurum cantus melody 103 & leisure 3se B&W 684 or 685, Triangle Altea or Comet EX...
Can you help me to short list for me to have audition with some of mentioned speaker depending upon compatibility with Melody amp to get good tonal balance and high not harsh and bass deep (not booming) and my rooms is 4*7 mtrs without acoustically treatment. Usually I go for soft POP: Craig David, Diana krell, MLTR, Corrs when I hear this ablums in my present system I get good high and vocal is not soft and to support this bass quite low I get some good bass when the volume is at 12 and then I loose the sweetness (and neighbors frown at me when ever I meet them next). At volume I need to capture all the subtle details. Recently I changed the power chord with Furutech and Ecosse.
Is there a particular model for NOS 6SN7, because I see many varieties, I donít have any idea which one will match. Can I get the Source Details? (May be I am asking too much).
Thanks again for your support.
Regards,
Murgesh - E-mail: murgeshj (at) hotmail.com

LC
Dear Murgesh,
if your room is 28 sqm and has NO acoustic treatment perhaps you should plan something in this direction before asking which is the best speaker or cable or valve for your system! The problems you describe are caused by (poor) room acoustics (hard vocals, thin bass, need for high volume etc.).
Add some furniture, pillows, heavy carpets and curtains before spending any money on new components.
Keep us updated,
Lucio Cadeddu

T-Amp mods
I enjoyed your tweek section on the T-Amp. I have one that is unmodded and was wandering if there was a way to sum the 2 channels and make this a mono-block amp? I was also curious on how to bypass the volume control and just use the amplifier section. I want to use a tube preamp with the T-Amp's amplifier section. Any help on wiring for either of these 2 projects would be MUCH appreciated...Thanks for your time.
Chris - E-mail: tylerch1 (at) yahoo.com

DH
Hi Chris
I believe I've already given you my best answer on this, but you could take this up in the tnt-audioaddicts forum (a good place to hang out and get advice). There are also some other audio sites on the web that are heavily into T-amp mods. Google will find them.
You CAN'T bridge the T-amp to make each single T-amp a monobloc (by combining the left and right channels of a single amp). See our Review on the T amp "If you are thinking to bridge it in order to get a mono amp with more power...forget it!" The T-Amp can't be bridged!" Please check out the the full review.
But if you use two, I suspect that you could combine two lefts (= monbloc 1 taking the left input from your preamp) and two rights (= monobloc 2 taking right input from your preamp). Please note, I have not tried this myself and I'm just thinking aloud. It *might* cause damage.
As I said before, these are simple power amps, so just turn the volume pots up full for use with a preamp.
Best wishes,
David Holgate

Phono preamps
Hello Arvind.
I'm finally putting together a home theatre/stereo system after years of waiting. About two months ago, I stumbled across Audiogon, and so far I've snagged a beautiful Rotel 1056 for $625 and a mint Arcam CD73t for $425.
Vinyl-wise, I have several hundred discs and a 35-year old Phillips GA-212. I last used it 20 years ago, when I swapped out my B&O SP12 for a comparable Grado and monster cables. I suspect a P1 or low end ProJect could outperform it, yes?
Which has prompted my search of Audiogon for used tables. I don't want to spend more than $500 tops, because I'll still need a preamp. So I'm inclining toward P3's at the $500 level given Rega's rep and praise for the RB300 arm.
Today's discovery was TNT Audio. A romp through preamp land culminated in your year-old, three-way review endorsing the Cambridge Audio Azur at $180. I think I have a decent ear, but I'll be listening for music not shortcomings when I finally put my system together. How would you compare the CA unit to some interesting choices on Agon for up to $350? That's as much as I want to spend, unless you have some compelling wisdom to offer:

And I didn't see one for sale, but do you have thoughts on the Pro Ject Tube Box II?
Arvind, if you made it this far, thank you. I'd really appreciate any thoughts you have.
Best,
Phil - E-mail: pkann (at) doremus.com

AK
Phil,
Good for you, I know how excited you must be. Besides audiogon also check out ebay, craigslist and audioasylum for used gear.
Sorry, but I have no experience with the Rega's. I actually dont have much of a curiosity about table for now, since I am so happy with my modded Techincs - ut that bug could bit me again someday soon.
Sorry again, I did not compare the Cambridge to any of the preamps you mention, just the 2 others mentioned in the article.
Regards,
Arvind Kohli

Re: NAD amps
Hi Lucio,
I've just read your reply on TNT's Readers' Corner. I'm about to invest SGD$90 on a used "Diva Audio Fugue IC" (Now you've given me second thoughts). Call me picky, but I thought that the 317, as good as it is, is slightly cold and bland. Which is why I miss the "musicality factor" of the 3020i. Will a DAC help? And is all the rave about the 3020i really justified? Or is it possible for me to go to any store and get a 20+Watt integrated amp with similar performance? (well, not any store, but you know what I mean).
Moving away from the amp issues, my speakers are sitting on the table at the moment (yes, bad I know). It's on smallish spikes which makes, rather surprisingly, loads of difference! My room is pretty cluttered so if I put the speakers on stands, it'll sit just beside my table, which can't be good for vibrations and soundstage... Are there any alternative methods of controlling vibrations?
Oh, by the way, I don't know if I was drunk when I typed my first email, but my "source to amp" IC is actually a QED Qunex 3, 30th Anniversary. [I got it mixed up with my other audioquest cable :P] And I accidentally did away with the salutations and thanks cause I copied the bulk of the text from my post in another forum. For that I apologize.
Thank you for your help, and I hope to hear from you asap. I've got some money on hand and I need to spend it on something useful! Haha.
Eldrid - E-mail: baby_bass_breakinout (at) msn.com

LC
Dear Eldrid,
if your speakers sit on a table it is 101% irrelevant whether you use good interconnects or not!!! Or a new DAC. That said, spikes do not "control vibrations". If you wish to achieve that result you should use absorbing feet instead. We reviewed many of these, just browse the site for useful suggestions, even of the DIY kind.
Finally, it is hard for me to believe you can detect any musicality factor from the 3020 with the speakers installed that way. I guess you've read many raves about the 3020 (including mine) and you want to believe you hear things that aren't there, in your system. The 317 is a far better performer, indeed. Using soft feet under the amp and the speakers will give you more musicality and warmness, if that's what you're after.
Keep me updated,
Lucio Cadeddu

Re: Icon amp
Hi Lucio, here I am again.
Thanks again for your previous comment. As usual, I have some questions:

  1. What is the use of a power supply if it doesn't power up the output?
  2. I decided to also wanna play my music on cassettes again. Also, I would want to connect a tuner and cd player to the 'ICON" when I would purchase this amp. This means, I am gonna need a pre amp. Which one(s) would be a good match to the "ICON" in terms of price-quality rate?
Thanks again!
Herman - E-mail: herman.marijke (at) home.nl

LC
Dear Herman,
a power supply (mains trasformer + diodes + filtering caps) converts the AC into CC and, at the same time, lowers the voltage. Using a bigger power supply won't make the power output of an amp increase. If only things were that simple! You can only improve overall dynamics, if the previous PSU is under-sized.
A good preamp for the Icon might be a passive one...there are many good DIY kits on the Web.
Happy listening and stay tuned!
Lucio Cadeddu

CD 120 linear
Dear Mark,
I am Murgesh from Thailand; I read your review about CD120 linear from maker Opera. And found it might be my pick for that I need to know your opinion when CD120 linear is compared to Rega Apollo, Arcam CD 192, CEC 5300.Orginal 8AT.
My problem all those digital sources are not under one roof to have auditioned and it is difficult to judge the sound precisely.
As my systems consists of Melody astro black 50, Kef-Q4 speakers & CEC 3300. The combination is lacking bass it seems to be hollow no soul. I am confused now whether I have to change the speakers or Digital source. The Interconnect cable is from Audio quest-Cobra and the speaker cable also Audio quest mid night-3.
Please help, I am in need of good sound.
Regards,
Murgesh - E-mail: murgeshj (at) hotmail.com

MW
Dear Murgesh J
I am glad you raise the point that few of us may ever compare the choices in our shortlist under the same retailer's roof!

Even reviewers rarely have the privilege of hearing comparable products the same month, let alone together in my listening room at the same time.

You do not say much about the priorities you have for music reproduction. It is impossible for anyone to respond really informatively if we do not know what a listener's priorities are. However, you do say that you are experiencing a lack of bass in your present system.

The heart of any system is the amplifier and its design tends to influence perceived bass (so that tiny speakers like Linn Kans used to get driven by Naim NAP250 to produce a combination that some found acceptable, when the Kans usually sounded too feeble and fierce in other contexts). I have not heard the push-pull KT88 Melody Astro50, but a glance at its tube (valve complement) and its circuit suggest some early cheaper moves to consider before replacing your source. Push-pull amps are even more fickle than good single-ended amplifiers when it comes to speaker matching. Kef do try to make their multi-way speakers as benign a load as possible, but they are not the best match for valve amplifiers.

Your first task is to check that your Melody amplifier output impedance matching is wired to the 4ohm tap. It matters not a jot what speaker manufacturers state a speakers impedance to be: a nominally 8 ohm speaker may drop to 3 ohms under typical dynamic drive conditions, frequently at frequencies close to the typical over 15 ohm bass resonance peak. The mixture of high impedance and low impedance (and the capacitive and inductive slopes in between) play havoc with the frequency response and the transient response. To be honest if you love your Melody Astro 50 (and I'm sure we'd all love that groovy 101D bottle in the middle) then you should keep the Melody and look elsewhere in your system.

Begin with tube-rolling (trying substitute brands of valves). Your amplifier features four 6SN7, which is a valve with a reputation for being one of the most linear octal small signal tubes, but at a price. Some examples can be very microphonic. My own experience has been that just one 6SN7 in a circuit can have a very 'washed-out' sound, like clothes that have lost their colour through being washed with too much soap at too high temperature. Modern Chinese brands seem to be the worst for this (despite my love of Chinese amplifiers) and even some of the better more expensive Russian valves are not much better. My own experience is that a much fuller, warmer more linear performance tends to come from NOS Western European (including British) and American types from 30 or 40 years ago. I would not be tempted to pay more than €20 or $20 per valve. Legendary types are just that: legends, and last no longer than any other. Changing just one 6SN7 on my power amp input makes a big difference, so changing four should be even bigger.

The only premium KT88 worth having are so stupidly expensive that I won't even name them.

Some Audioquest speaker cables strive for detail rather than bass. Borrow and try (do not buy) some Naim NACA5 speaker cables. They are the benchmark for speaker cable bass. They are VERY unfashionable and very cheap and sound very coarse and dated, BUT I have never heard better articulated bass from any other cable (including my own silver & copper hawsers) and they will demonstrate to you how good your bass can be with a different cable; just ignore the forward upper-mid and rough treble because you are only testing the bass.

The CEC3000 cdp is also unfamiliar to me, but the ingredients look sensible. If I had a cdp with a balanced output I'd connect it to an amp with a balanced input. With balanced connections any old cooking cable is fine. Boutique and couture cables are mostly bunkum and as soon as connections are balanced differences mysteriously diminish (I use the word 'mysteriously with sarcasm, there's no mystery, the engineering is obvious). I did notice this guy in USA who hot-rods CEC3000cdp's so you might want to talk to him before you shell out on a new front-end. And do make sure your cd player is on a firm, low-mass, inert support. Squidgy supports can lighten bass.

Now the Kefs. I like Kef, some of my teenage projects used their B110 mid-bass units, I spent hundreds of hours in front of a pair of Kef R104ab in afriend's studio (their complex crossover doing a fair job of correcting that lumpy T27 tweeter), but my experience is that they tend to suit muscular solid-state amplifiers best.
Go listen to some other speakers, taking your Melody amp with you. You might be surprised.
Happy listening
Mark Wheeler

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