February 2012 Issue - page 1

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February 2012 Issue
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I bought a set of Martin Logan Electromotion speakers about one month ago and I was glad to see that your review of them in the October edition of Hi-Fi World aligned with what I thought of the speakers.

In your review you state the Electromotion can sound bright and grubby if given half a chance with an unsympathetic choice of amplifier or source component. I am soon to purchase an amplifier and would appreciate any advice on what to buy to avoid building a bright and grubby system. My system so far is as follows: PC, M2 Tech Young DAC, Van Den Hul The First Ultimate Interconnects, Electromotion speakers.

I would like an amplifier that does not roll off the top end, has taut bass, yet is sweet, smooth and not bright. I was considering one of the following integrateds: the Pathos Classic One, Creek Destiny II, Electrocompaniet PI-2, Aaron XX. Please advise whether you consider any of the above amplifiers to be a sympathetic choice for the Electromotions. If not, please advise me of amplifiers that you would consider suitable for this purpose.

I also need to buy speaker cables. I would appreciate any advice you have on speaker cables that deliver a similar sound signature (sweet, smooth and not bright). Thank you for your consideration of my request.

Owen Arndt





What amplifier should I use to drive my new Martin Logan Electromotion loudspeakers, asks Owen Arndt


Hi Owen. The ‘grubby’ bit was Alvin’s description of bass / lower midrange quality from its dynamic bass unit, using an amplifier unable to keep a grip. Of the amplifiers you list the Electrocompaniet P1-2 best suits your needs and tastes as it is crisp, clean and able to maintain good bass control.

I suggest you listen to Van Den Hul cables since you have their interconnects and I assume you are happy with them.  You do not mention price but their Magnum Hybrid is a suggestion as a starting point. NK



I bought the Cambridge 650BD Blu-ray multiformat player due to your recommendation. I like it very much, but still my combo of Pioneer PD-S06 and a ‘lampizised’ DAC plays CDs way better (with tube output). I discovered that I could connect the 650BD to the DAC with a coax cable with very good sound if I play Blu-ray audio only discs. Due to copyright protection, playing SACD discs with this combo is impossible, which is very unfortunate. However, switching between tracks on the Blu-ray discs resulted in some nasty and loud cracks. Could you suggest a possible solution to this problem?  Thanks beforehand!

best regards

Jan Ove Tangen


Hi Jan. You cannot output DSD code from the digital audio S/PDIF output but you can play the stereo layer of an SACD by selecting it in the player’s menu. You get standard CD digital, or 16bit PCM at 44.1kHz sampling rate. The 650BD has a very low jitter output so quality should be every bit as good as your Pioneer, but make sure you use a decent digital interlink cable. I use a 650BD and do not suffer ‘cracks’ when changing tracks. NK



Cambridge Audio 650BD gives "very good sound if I play Blu-ray audio only discs." says Jan Ove Tangen.



Cambridge Audio say -

We have never experienced ‘cracks’ or other noises when changing tracks using the 650BD’s digital output.  Nor have we had any similar experiences reported to us.

Without carrying out some tests, it is difficult to say whether this issue is caused by the 650BD or by the DAC itself unlocking/re-locking when a track is changed. If possible, it would be worth checking whether this happens on any Blu-ray audio disc, on both (optical and coaxial) digital outputs and also if this happens with a different DAC.  Your dealer may be best placed to assist you with this as they will have different equipment in store to test this with.



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