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No. 75 August 2010

Until recently “High Fidelity” was one of the two Polish audio magazines, which were issued twice during vacation period – in July and August; the second one was ”Audio”. But according to the newest information, it will be different this time – even “Audio” combined those two issues, so that we are now the only magazine on the Polish market to have separate July and August issues. But we are also going on vacation, so in July all articles will be published in the beginning of the month, and there will be no upload mid month.

As usual, there are also a lot of issues worth writing about, which are not so easy to combine with the regular tests. There are more and more of them, so I will need to think about a new form of articles – short descriptions, columns, something like “hot topics”. I hope, that something will appear next month.

First, I would like to tell again about the new, copper-Teflon capacitors from V-Cap, the CuTF, I mentioned last month. I started from installing them in my CD player (Ancient Audio Air), and then tested them in my Leben CS-300XS Custom Version. It already sounded well then, but now, after initial burn-in – and the V-Caps need even a few months to reach their full potential – I am even happier with them. The Leben sounds with an incredibly full and resolved sound. I think, that the new CuTF are equally resolving as the tin-Teflon TFTF (Tin Foil Teflon Film), or even more than those, while being more natural, softer and warmer. Not to the extent of the oil ones (OIMP – Oil Impregnated Metalized Polypropylene), but more than the TFTF. This is not yet the end of the burn-in period, but I am very, very pleased with their performance – in my devices, in my system, they fit perfectly.

This is not the last change in the Leben – its owners know it well – its feet, made from plastic and a metal ring, are not the best around. Since long I have the ceramic ball supports from finite elemente Ceraball. We listened to them with other members of the Krakow Sonic Society, and the results of that session were reported in the 51. meeting report (HERE). Although for the players – mine and Janusz’ – we used the larger Cerapuc, the first ones turned out to be better for other devices. Janusz placed his DACs on those, as well as the Ancient Audio amplifiers (three supports per unit). I wanted to bolt them to my Leben, but I could not get around a certain “aesthetic shock” – the Ceraballs are much higher and narrower than the original feet. I understand the devices, good devices, as a certain whole, and I do not like to interfere with that too much, that is why I could not get through with this change of the CS-300. But fortunately finite elemente introduced new, lower supports, so I got those to try with my Leben. And they work as I imagined, while looking splendidly. Their picture is below – you can order three or four pieces. The distributor of finite elemente is the company Audio System. I will try to describe the details in a separate, short article.

The main topic of the June issue was the turntable and tonearm of the Lithuanian company (HERE). Both elements were brilliant, but in my opinion, the turntable requires still some work around cosmetics and, maybe, the motor power supply. However the Reed 3Q tonearm is a finalized, brilliantly finished product, splendid sound wise, and a beautiful item to look at. Thanks to the laser pointer setting the VTA is a breeze. All this makes it clear, that when looking for such items, we should have a very close look at the company’s offerings. This is also the reason I bought such a tonearm for myself. This may look like reverse logic in acquiring an analog system, as I do not posses a turntable, but I think it was a good move. I could not resist the Reed, I have mine already, with the inscription engraved on the base – my name and the “High Fidelity” title – a very nice gesture from the Lithuanians.

Another thing that changed in my system is the video source, which – quite unexpectedly – will also be used as a sound source. For some time already, I watched movies using the all-in-one system Arcam Solo Movie 5.1, where I used the drive and preamplifier section. The picture quality of the Arcam made most stand alone top DVD players from other companies stand ashamed. I chose a very well thought device, the player Dune BD Prime 3.0, which includes a Blu-ray drive. Yes, I am lately watching, a subsequent time, but first time in HD quality Battlestar Galactica, and the sixth season of House MD. I did not try the BD drive yet, but files are great to watch. It turned out, that at the same time I had 12 DACs for testing for “Audio” from the 499 to 12000zl price range. Trying to assess them from each and every side, I used also the Dune as the digital source. And I was surprised, in a very positive way. And although the sound with the most expensive DACs could not match that of Linn Klimax, or Akurate, but with Majik, or the Blacknote DSS 30 Tube - it could compete! This is a very solid, and cheap, device, one that you should give a try. The Polish distributor is the company Human Media - you can call on me when contacting them… Its only drawback, to date – is the fact, that when we use an external DAC, the maximum signal we can output is 96kHz.

This is not the end. I mentioned that I want to exchange my loudspeakers. The Dobermann Harpia Acoustics were great, but I need to go further. The company representative proposed, that they will create a new, more refined version of the Dobermann for me, when I mentioned my thoughts, so I thought why not, and finally, after half a year of waiting, it seems that they are ready. Already auditioned, they are now in varnishing process. They will be in Ferrari Red color… But actually I wanted to talk about something else. When I was in Munich, visiting the High End 2010, I saw a few very interesting things on the Furutech stand. But I was mostly interested in the new loudspeaker terminals FT-808(R). How beautiful are they! Incredibly solid, perfectly crafted, I needed to have them. So I ordered two pair, and was the first person outside Japan – as the distributor of the company, Mr. Coley Graeme told me – to receive those. I have them already, please look at the pictures. I know that the sockets this company makes are brilliant, I had all the sockets replaced for Furutech ones in my Ancient Audio Lektor Prime, and now I ordered the Air also “all Furutech”. The terminals I am talking about will be installed in my new Dobermann. It remains to be seen, how this will sound, but it looks fine already.

Finally I would like to announce a new book describing an audio company – this time I am talking about the company Gryphon Audio Designs. Gryphon Unplugged by Albert L. Jones, helped by Ken Kessler, describes the company’s history, shows its greatest achievements, the way of conducting business, philosophy, etc, and this all is accompanied by many pictures. The book is written in English, and is a very nice read. After the book about Thorens, I wrote about in the June editorial (HERE) this is another one worth to have in our library. The Polish distributor of Gryphon is the company Hi-Fi Sound Studio, which – a curiosity! – does not have its web page. But you can reach the owner of that company, Mr. Ryszard Jasik by email:

And a few words about our plans for next month. As you can see, not everything I told about last month could be finalized this month, but I think, that the changes were for the best.

September 2010

  • Metronome Technologie T3A Signature + C3A Signature – CD Player
  • Ayon CD-2s – CD Player
  • T+A (loudspeakers or CD + amplifier from the E series)
  • Transmission Audio – stand mount speakers (a company without Polish distribution, responsible for the loudspeakers of a short lived company Red Rose Music, a company of Mark Levinson) with a ribbon tweeter.
  • German Physics The HRS 120 Carbon – floor standing loudspeakers
  • CAT SL1 Legend – line preamplifier
  • Avantgarde Acoustic DUO OMEGA – floor standing speakers
  • Blacknote USB DAC15 – Digital to analog converter

    I wish you beautiful music and a good rest!

    Wojciech Pacuła

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    Our reviewers regularly contribute to  “Enjoy the”, “”“”  and “Hi-Fi Choice & Home Cinema. Edycja Polska” .

    "High Fidelity" is a monthly magazine dedicated to high quality sound. It has been published since May 1st, 2004. Up until October 2008, the magazine was called "High Fidelity OnLine", but since November 2008 it has been registered under the new title.

    "High Fidelity" is an online magazine, i.e. it is only published on the web. For the last few years it has been published both in Polish and in English. Thanks to our English section, the magazine has now a worldwide reach - statistics show that we have readers from almost every country in the world.

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