August 2010 issue - Page 5

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I wonder if you can suggest one or two alternative ‘speakers for my system. It consists of Naim Nat 03 tuner, Rega Saturn CD, Krell FPB 250 watt monoblocks, Audio Research Reference 3 pre-amp and - at present - Gamut L3 standmounts. Transparent Super cabling throughout.

I listen to classical music, especially piano and string quartets, and acoustic jazz - no rock or pop.  The Gamuts are a well engineered design, but I feel I need speakers with perhaps greater finesse and delicacy and a more open, airy soundstage. They could well be floorstanders. Budget up to £6000.

Tony Mates


I would suggest you audition Martin Logan hybrid electrostatics, such as the Puritys I reviewed in our September 08 edition. They offer a beautiful sound with any music type but being so pure and crossover free and are especially strong with strings and classical instruments. Of all the loudspeakers I review Martin Logans stand out in my mind (excepting Tannoy’s vast Prestige loudspeakers), especially at their price, which under represents their relative quality I feel. The Martin Logan electrostatic panel really is a special experience and you will not hear a sound stage that comes close, from a cone 'speaker. NK




Martin Logan Purity hybrid electrostatic loudspeakers.


Also consider the Eminent Technology LFT-8b. Substantially cheaper at around half your maximum budget, these planar magnetic hybrids are wonderfully seamless and expansive. DP



I came across, on the World Design Forum web site, an article about upgrading the KLS3 tweeter from the Audax Gold to the Seas 002 Millennium tweeter.

I built the original Mk II loudspeaker when it first came out. I have similar problems with the rippling on the surface of the tweeter but I didn’t realise that the gas leaked from this tweeter. Does this rippling mean that the gas has leaked from my tweeter also?

Can you advise me on whether I can buy a similar Audax replacement? And can you give me details of the crossover mod to suit the Seas 002 Millennium tweeter and what companies would supply this tweeter?

Thanks for your time.

yours faithfully,

Patrick Smith

Hi Patrick. This is a recurring tale as the Audax HD-3P piezo Gold Dome tweeter did leak, losing its inert pressurising gas. We ran a complete article on replacing the Gold Dome of KLS3 with a Seas Millennium in our June 2008 issue (p80). I cannot reprint it here, but it is available as a back issue from our e-editions. Just go to the web site to go though to our on-line delivery system to buy the back issue. You can get Seas drive units from Madisound in the USA or Solen in Canada. Seas are Norwegian but do not sell direct. NK



Seas Millennium 002 tweeter, a top quality design able to replace the Audax HD-3P Gold Dome.



I am currently using an Eastern Electric M520 purchased about 3 years ago. Sadly, it has developed a nasty buzz in the transformer but my local valve expert in Exeter has just managed to solve the problem when we thought a new transformer might be needed. The amplifier I bought is rated at 220 volts and the local repairer is sure that  240 volts is putting a strain on the amplifier, saying H.T. is rising beyond the safe limits of the capacitors and suggesting I have a separate transformer made up to reduce the mains to 220 volts. He has regularly measured the local mains at 248 volts and is concerned for the safe future of the amplifier.

As experts is this area, I wondered if you would advise on this and whether other readers have experienced similar problems with valve products sourced from abroad.

Thanks very much for any advice and insights as I have been missing the amp a while, though a friend  lent me an old NAB. Speakers are sensitive Audionote ANEs, usually suited to valve equipment.


Mark Armitage



Hi Mark. If the mains is running at 248V and the product is designed for 220V then there is 13% over voltage. This is a little higher than the 10% or so a designer might envisage, although Eastern Electric are based in Hong Kong (220V) and would be aware that their products may well see 240V overseas, as many territories use 240V.

You say the problem was ‘solved’ but do not say how. Do you mean the realisation that a voltage difference existed? If so, I think not. Mains transformers buzz because they have loose windings or because the local supply is ‘dirty’ and full of harmonics and I see you live in or close to Exeter, where agricultural or industrial machinery might be a problem. This is one possibility.

Sometimes the transformer mountings need tightening or even the lamination clamp screws, as the lams. can buzz too. Transformers are varnish impregnated to prevent this but air pockets can result in dry areas. Over-voltage does not in itself cause buzzing; capacitors simply rupture if over run.

It is usual to use an auto-transformer for step down and you need to consult Farnell or RS Components for this. I suspect it will not provide a cure however. If the buzz disappears late at night, then it's the mains supply I would guess. If it is constant, the transformer. Either way, it does not need replacing unless the buzz is driving you mad. NK



Whilst I agree that thinking in terms of “the best” is unhelpful and reductive, I thought it a bit ironic that, close by that statement, in the key defining your “verdicts”, the top category was “simply the best”. I think that, like Tina Turner, it is time that description was pensioned off.  How about “pushed our buttons” or just “exciting quality”.

Anyway, I bought the edition because it included the Heresy speakers. I use a 1990s Heresy II model with considerable satisfaction and wondered if there were any real changes and what you thought (I can remember what Ken Kessler thought of the Heresy II). It turns out that the Heresy III is different in a variety of ways and I have a sneaking suspicion I would not want to swap over to them.  But the Heresy IIs are very bass-light, so not everything is different.


Graham Elliott



Klipsch Heresy III, idiosyncratic but fun, says Noel.


Perhaps we should say “amongst the best”, but somehow I’m not sure it matters that much. There are, in truth, lots of statements we make that should be qualified, but then you get into long, linguistically tortuous diversions that send our readers to sleep. And we do try not to do that!

The Heresy’s were nothing other than idiosyncratic, but imaginative and very good in many ways. Not the subtlest package perhaps but definitely entertaining. Putting the bass unit close to the floor brought bass up, part of the design, and putting them close to rear walls would also help. High sensitivity means they are great for low powered valve amps. NK

Comments (1)
Nakamichi 600
1Monday, 11 November 2013 04:24
Hi, I bought a Nakamichi 600 cassette deck head from B&W UK, I think they told me then it was their 2nd to last one. Still excellent. One of the finest pieces of hi-fi machinery.

Yes, Nakamichis were lovely – I have a ZX-9 and love it, but spares are drying up. What a shame. NK

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