July 2012 Issue - page 4

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Where I live in New Zealand decent hi-fi gear is very limited and often auditioning in our own home is out of the question. Consequently those of us who live here rely heavily on reviews and the advice of experienced people like yourselves.


I would like to upgrade my ‘speakers and would like your opinion on two or three options of floor standing speakers to fit my system. Currently my system comprises a NAD M55 disc spinner, NAD M3 amp, B&W 685 speakers on stands, B&W ASW610 sub (to fill out the very bottom end), Slinkylink speaker cables and Neotec silver interconnect. I listen to all types of music but find myself being more drawn to the jazz and folk genres. I have a 4x7 room but am hoping to move to a new home with a larger listening room.


I have found the 685s a bit harsh at times and listening fatigue can set in after a while. I do like the idea of the Martin Logan Electromotions but I would have to import them so would have to be super confident that they would suit. There is also a possibility to audition some Tannoy DC10s but again I have to very certain to warrant the supplier getting them in especially. The same situation applies to Monitor Audio and Sonus Faber. My budget would be at its limit at the Tannoys.

Thanks heaps,

Grant Barraclough

New Zealand





Tannoy Precision 6.4 loudspeakers may well suit Grant Barraclough's room in New Zealand.


Hi Grant. I guess your 4x7 dimensions are metres and not feet, in which case it is a fair size room that would just about accommodate the ‘speakers you list.


Because open panel electrostatics have a totally different sound to box loudspeakers, not everyone likes them. Martin Logans have a box bass unit too, and this doesn’t integrate perfectly with the open panel, although I acclimatise to it for the sake of appreciating all the other things Martin Logans do so well. So it is difficult to recommend the Electromotions without audition; they are a step into another world, loudspeaker wise.


The Tannoy DC10s are being updated to DC10As and are easier to recommend. Your room is barely big enough I feel, and you may well be better off with DC8Ts or the new Tannoy Precision 6.4s. Tannoy engineer in very smooth treble and you would find them much easier than the B&W 685s. If your dealer can demo Monitor Audios the GX200 is a nice loudspeaker, if with ‘obvious’ treble from its ribbon tweeter, but it is good quality treble. I hope this helps. NK




Your review of the Goldring G1022 reminded me of something perplexing about cartridge test measurements over the years. Despite its fancy Gyger I stylus, the G1022 suffered 5dB treble loss at 20kHz when tracing inner grooves. However when you previously tested the cheaper G1012 with the less fine Gyger II stylus, this showed only 3dB loss and the Ortofon Vivo Blue, which has a simple elliptical, showed only 4dB loss. Even more bizarrely, when the spherical-tipped Denon DL103 and London Decca Professional were tested, they only lost 3dB at 20kHz on inner grooves. What is going on? In theory high frequency tracing, particularly on inner grooves, should improve as we move from spherical tips to simple ellipticals and then to Gyger II and Gyger I tips – and subjective listening tends to support this view. However frequency response tests have rarely shown any relationship between stylus shape and inner groove high frequency response.


Does anyone have an explanation for this peculiar state of affairs? Is the theoretical advantage of line contact tips being cancelled out by poor alignment, or does their advantage only come into play at higher modulation levels? It is unusual to find such a conflict between theoretical predictions and test results and it would be interesting to know what is going on.

Yours sincerely,

Alasdair Beal



Differences of a few dB exist in the test discs, as well as between samples of cartridges, styli geometries and stylus alignment on the cantilever. LP is a very imprecise technology and it isn’t realistic to expect digital levels of precision from it under measurement. The inner groove response test looks at the situation in general to check nothing too extreme or unusual is occurring with a cartridge, as well as to see how it has been balanced.  NK




Re-reading the latest issue of HFW, I came across the letter on page 36 from Gerry Martin and your own reply. A couple of thoughts occurred to me.

First, I think Goldring are wrong in rejecting the request for assistance on the basis of a 1-year warranty having run out. According to the law relating to the Supply of Goods including The Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002, Goldring and their distributors/vendors have a responsibility for the quality of this product for a total of 6 years. However, I believe it would be the responsibility of the consumer to prove that the product was faulty at the time of purchase if the fault is established more than 6 months after purchase; the burden of proof lies on the vendor during the first 6 months only.

In this case, assuming a manufacturing fault, it should not be too difficult to prove that this was indeed the case and so successfully be able to reject the goods. There is in fact further case law in the UK that gives more than 6 months to consider rejection of goods in many circumstances.

Secondly, Goldring must realise they are dealing with a manufacturing fault, so they are stupid in turning down Mr Martin’s request for help – very bad business sense, if you ask me! The fact that you have written about it and I have noticed proves this pretty neatly I think.

Finally, I think it would be fair if HFW in the future ‘refrained’ from recommending (see top page 37 for example) a product with such poor quality control and customer service

Best wishes,

Olle Andersson



Thanks for your observations Olle. UK hi-fi companies are often none too generous when it comes to customer disputes, it seems from our postbag. But then we do hear the complaints but rarely the praise (if there is any!), so ours is not strictly an impartial position. But see the next letter.

One faulty product and a disappointing response does not statistically damn all Goldring cartridges and prove they have bad quality control. That is an assumption too far. We’ve all used plenty of Goldrings over the years, without problem, and so have readers. To ignore what is a very effective product would be to act against the best interests of our readers. NK


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