August 2011 Issue - Page 5

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I was impressed with your review of the Creek Destiny 2 Integrated amplifier, it sounds like my kind of amp! I have the Tact/Lyngdorf SDA-2175 power amp. Other than one is an integrated, how would you compare them? You stated that the Creek would be your preferred totable amp?



I thought the Creek Destiny 2 magnificent and superior to the SDA-2175, which to me was not going to set the world alight, even though it is a clever digital device. Just bear in mind the Creek does not have that nasty hard glare or sterility of most transistor amplifiers. It is a fabulous transistor amplifier in my view, one of the very best. NK


Creek Destiny 2 amplifier, one of the best sounding transistor amplifiers available. thinks Noel.




I am just recovering from the Hong Kong cough which I picked up recently!

Peter Comeau

Head of Acoustic Developments

International Audio Group




We have the dreaded cough here in the UK. It’s obviously got a season ticket with China Airways.

Noel Keywood, publisher

Hi-Fi World




For a bad cough, put one of these in a soup, the Chinese say.


This Chinese remedy of pear and ginger soup has put me to rights.

You need the full recipe for the soup:

About 1 inch of fresh ginger stem cut into small strips.

One pear – sliced.

Tablespoon of honey.

Pinch of salt.

Simmer the ginger and pear together in a pan with just enough water to cover the pear pieces for five minutes or until the pear is softened.

Take off the heat and stir in the honey and salt.

Drink the soup and eat the pear at the same time.

According to Chinese tradition the ginger and salt are good for the throat. The pear and honey are good for the nose and lungs.

Peter Comeau

Head of Acoustic Developments

International Audio Group






As a new reader to your mag and a relatively novice system builder I wonder if you can put me on the road to improving my system.

My real passion is vinyl, although I do have quite a lot of CDs too. I have a Rega 25 turntable with an Elys 2 cartridge powered by a Nait 5 integrated amp and a cheap second hand Naim Stageline phono stage. Speakers are B&W 704s with QED XT400 cables in a room approximately 14ft x 11ft. CD player is a Marantz CD63Mk2 KI Signature.

Your response to Andrew of Greensted (May 2011) caught my eye and got me wondering whether a change to the Goldring 1022GX cartridge and Quad QC24P phono stage would be a significant step in the right direction, as I also have to turn up the volume significantly when playing vinyl. I have been delighted with the service from my old Nait and had planned to eventually upgrade to the Naim NAC202/NAP200 combo (when funds allow!). In the meantime I need a fix and wonder if the change of cartridge and possibly the phono stage could be the way to go? Also would the Quad complement the eventual addition of the Naim pair? I listen to mainly rock and blues.


Kind regards,

Dave Muir

Chingford, UK


Dave – go for it. The Goldring 1022GX cartridge is both dynamic and fundamentally accurate, and it has a good stylus that digs out real detail, but with no top end sting. It will be an improvement over the mild mannered Elys.


The Quad phono stage is lovely and has oodles of gain, much more than most other stages, so you won’t be winding up volume. Furthermore, you can move to Moving Coil later if you so wish and it will still sing. Additionally, putting valves in front of a smooth but grunty Naim set up works well I’ve found. And the Quad is punchy too. I wager you’ll be very surprised at the improvement. NK


With loads of gain and both MM and MC input options, Quad's QC24P valve phono stage is a great way to go if you have a Naim and want to use LP.




I have an LP12, 1982 vintage, Lingo’d, Cirkused and Trampolinned, and with an Ittok LVII. My present cartridge is a Lyra Lydian, now getting a bit long in the tooth, and I’ve been wondering about replacing it. I bought your May edition to check out the Benz Ace review.


As I read the magazine I was attracted by the article on the Inspire LP12 rebuild. Finances would permit a rebuild or a new cartridge, but not both. Which should it be?

But wait! My eye was then caught by the comment on the Ittok in the World Classics section – “now off the pace”. Should the Ittok be sent off for a rewire? Should it be replaced, and if so would something at around £700 plus trade-in give me a worthwhile improvement? Should I give up reading magazines that confuse me with too many desirable options (obviously I’m thinking about Motorcycle Sport and Leisure at this point)?


The Lyra could wait a bit longer before being replaced. Should I go for a rebuild of the deck, or of the arm, before changing the cartridge, and if so, which would give me the greater improvement? You talked me out of selling the LP12 and my vinyl collection a few years ago, and I’m so glad you did. Which direction would you point me in now?


The rest of the set-up is a Lehmann Black Cube, Naim Nait XS and Musical Technology Harrier SE speakers.


Alan Thorn



If we talked you out of selling your vinyl, our existence is forever justified! NK


Okay – I’d say get your deck rebuilt first, and then go for an arm upgrade. If you like the Ittok sound then try Audio Origami’s PU7 – it’s a gorgeous design and way better than an Ittok. Then it’s time for your new cartridge, but if you can possibly afford it then go for a new phono stage first; the ANT Audio Kora 3T Ltd. is a far more musical and natural sounding device than your Lehmann Black Cube, in my opinion. DP


Get an Audio Origami PU7 to replace the Ittok, says David.



After being out of the game so to speak for about eight years due to circumstances that need not concern us here I recently got a system set up again. Luckily, my vinyl and CD collection remained intact.


My current set up consists of -

AR Legend turntable with outboard power supply, Mantra Logic Datum II tone arm, Ortofon 2M Red cartridge, Sony CDP - XB930 CD player, Pioneer A-300X amplifier and Lake Audio Model 5 point 2 floorstanders.


Everything was purchased second hand, bar the cartridge. Not the most exotic I think you will agree but the sounds it is making has left album sleeves and jewel cases strewn all over my listening room.


I used to crave upgrades all the time previously when I owned what most would consider a much better system. Proving that Nirvana can be had on a budget.

Wonder what that valve amp I’ve just seen advertised would sound like in this set up?

Kind regards,

Derek Shorrock



Hi Derek. If you are happy it might be best to leave it that way. Your Chinese Lake loudspeakers are an unknown quantity to us. If you are interested in a valve amplifier then try and get one on loan to see how they fare with your Lakes and with your taste. If you buy one cheap direct from China, as you did with the Lakes, you are likely to get poor transformers and a mediocre sound, as well as fake CE safety certification and no ROHS compliance. NK


Not knowing your loudspeakers, Derek, I can’t say. If they’re small, inefficient mini monitors then any valve amp will sound bad as it would be a poor electrical match for them. If they’re nice and sensitive then it would have a fighting chance – but of course it all depends on the quality of the valve amp. DP



Might I be so bold as to mention VortexBox – a freely downloadable .iso of a complete Fedora 14 CD and DVD ripping streaming network server. Burn the .iso to a bootable disc, and use any old PC to build your VortexBox.


It installs faultlessly to build a stable reliable music network server. It will burn CDs to FLAC files, wav or mp3 – with adjustable bitrate. It rips DVDs to .mkv files, playable with VLC mediaplayer or HD Ryan Playon, and a 3Gb disc is very cheap these days. It tags from a free database, and spits the disc out when complete.

On a PC, SoftSqueeze allows you to play tracks, random mixes or by artist or album. SqueezeBox server will stream all your PCs music to the network, and SlimDevices Squeezebox v3 (now Logitech, ebay 100!) is an ideal player, with optical output to Onkyo optical in stereo amplifier or DAC to amplifier.

With the world’s greatest depression just starting, not all can afford RipNAS boxes, or Vox Olympian speakers: this is a great introduction to network streaming: I used an Intel 410 Atom motherboard in a CPC media case, with Pico psu from 12v- 30w consumption. Most hi-fi magazines will never mention this brilliantly written free program, which is a stunning Linux application.

Steve Sanford



That sounds like an unashamed attempt at free advertising Steve, but I guess a free Linux app for this purpose is a gift horse that should not be looked in the mouth. NK


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