July 2012 Issue - poge 6

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July 2012 Issue
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In the middle seventies I was living in the Victoria Centre in Nottingham. As was my wont, I popped one day into the demonstration room of the local hi-fi dealer, I think that it might have been the first of the Superfi chain. I vividly remember hearing music being played on an admittedly large pair of speakers. There was such a sense of ease and calm to the music: it was all laid out and was “there” rather than “here”. I was able to listen to it, rather than it being like a pair of speakers on my shoulders facing into my ears. So many systems seem to pin me to the chair or the wall behind, awful.


Also, I remain quite severely sensitive to aggressive or nasty treble. It can really make my ears wince.

In the last five years or so I have evolved my system as follows; CD player is an Electrocompaniet EMC-1 with matching Electrocompaniet EC1-5 amplifier and Diapason Adamantes speakers on their original equipment Diapason stands. Balanced interconnects were made up by the dealer and Black Rhodium Tango speaker cable. Mains cable is just a bog standard distribution block.


So why am I asking for help? The system isn’t terrible but isn’t quite where I want it to be. When I went to the Bristol show I thought that the general style of the presentation of the music by the Audio Note room seemed good, as was the Gamut company.

I’m looking for a sweet open sound which doesn’t harden up as the volume increases, an absence of a harsh or strident treble good detail and imaging.


Politicians would have us believe that choice is a good thing. But there is so much choice in hi-fi equipment that without help from someone who has a wide range of experience in the industry it would consume a couple of lifetimes. I am prepared to consider changing any one or indeed several pieces of my equipment from mains block to speakers. I have had a valve amplifier but found in the end that it was difficult to live with the heat. I hope that you might be able to help me.

With best wishes

Martin Dickinson





Spendor A3 loudspeakers have an ep38 polymer cone for smooth, natural sound.



As lovely as the Adamantes are, they are a small loudspeaker and you cannot expect them to have the big, open relaxed sound of large Audio Note AN-E loudspeakers driven by Audio Note valve amplifiers, or a big pair of EI Superiores S7s from Gamut. Visit some dealer showrooms and listen to big loudspeakers, that is assuming you have a room large enough to accommodate them.


If you are using Adamantes because space is limited then a pair of floorstanders balanced for near-wall use, like KEF Classic iQ50s would give a bigger sound. Spendor A3s may well appeal too, if you want a smooth balance and have limited space. Spendor’s ep38 polymer cone gives very low coloration and a natural tonal balance plus a sense of warmth that makes for an easy going presentation. NK




I look forward to every issue of Hi-Fi World as I regard your publication unsurpassed. My desire is that it remain that way, which is why I feel the need to offer some constructive criticism. As your learned readers will know, there is equipment that portrays some music styles better than others and a thorough, professional review will reveal those characteristics, which brings me to my point.


The article on Inspire’s Monarch turntable left me hanging and frustrated. The same goes for the article on Musical Fidelity’s V-LPS 11 phono stage. Why? Because not once was there reference to Rock, popular or other styles of music. This is a gross oversight that diminishes the article’s credibility. Are we to assume the only potential customers are those with a preference for jazz, classical or chamber music?


May I suggest you include an additional perspective from someone more attuned to other musical styles, especially if the original reviewer is not familiar with these. This will be of huge assistance to those compiling a ‘short list’. As such, I feel both reviews are incomplete and were not deserving of a place in your fine publication.


Michael Ivosevic



I understand your frustration and indeed if we run reviews missing either reference to Rock or Classical music we get complaints from the faction ignored! The reviewer you allude to is Rafael Todes, who plays violin with the Allegri String Quartet. You can see him at right in Rafael is by far the most educated and astute listener I have ever encountered, and that makes him a dynamite reviewer. He has musical experience others cannot hope to match and can hear right into what products are doing. This means his reviews, including that of the Inspire Monarch turntable are piercingly perceptive.


This is valuable; it ensures our reviews are accurate, meaningful and useful rather than misleading. That’s a lot more than I can say for much of what is published!


However, we cannot ignore Rock and I take your point. Obtaining more than one opinion is a good way to tackle this issue. NK


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