Letters to the editor: Nubert, Nuarl, Grimm, Merging, Bellari & more

  • [Header image: as seen in the gents toilets at Das Gift, Berlin]

    Christoph K. writes…

    Hi John,

    First I would like to say that I‘m a big fan of your reviews and also of your music taste (Billy Bragg BBC 😉 such a direct and raw sound. I can also recommend the Wedding Present BBC Peel Sessions.

    I just listen to vinyl on Techniks 1200 Gr, Gold Note Vasari Gold, Techniks 1200 GR Ortofon Concorde, Allen&Heath Xone 23Mixer, Nubert Nuvero110 Loudspeakers, Rotel RB870BX, Audioquest cables. Now I want to replace the Rotel for Schiit stuff (Freya+….).

    John, I would like to make a proposal. Might be of interest:

    I‘m sure you know the loudspeaker company Nubert. They are big players in the German market; about 40 years. And they are direct sales pioneers. The company is still running by the founder Günther Nubert.

    Many people like Nubert Speakers. And also many people dislike their sound qualities (mostly high-end representatives). Who is right? The bearings are extremely split!

    I think the engineering, sound quality and pricing of Nubert speakers is worth talking about it. In particular, the “high-end series Nuvero110“ has a great price-performance and sound qualities – a good positioning in your listening room provided.

    Ok and another proposed topic could be the testing of sound qualities in apropos of systems with two turntables and a DJ Mixer; used as a phono preamp. Can this be hifi? An interesting question for all the techno lovers who also like to listen to different music-styles like classical, jazz, country, bluegrass, piano music etc.

    Have a nice Sunday and keep on listening.

    Yours Christoph

    Simon G writes…

    Hello John,

    Re. NUARL N6 Pro TWS

    This Japanese earphone deserves some exposure and nobody is talking about them. They are very good with a nice balanced signature, comfortable fit and great battery life and connection stability is excellent.

    Here is the site if you are curious;

    I bought mine from Stereo ( in Singapore and took only a week to receive here in Canada.

    I like your work and your style is refreshing and informative.



    Sander O. writes…

    Dear John,

    First of all my compliments on the great work you’re doing both online as well as via YouTube. I absolutely like the style, approach, and maybe more than anything the music choices and balance between both vinyl & digital (!). Refreshing to see someone using both media alongside and in harmony with each other.

    On the vinyl end of the spectrum I have a question, or rather a suggestion: would it perhaps be an idea to cover the topic focused around drive systems? e.g. Belt drive, Direct drive, Idler drive (Thorens td124, EMT930, Garrard 401). Another (perhaps most important?) critical element and influence factor part of the analog front-end, others being of course, card, arm, mat etc. As an audiophile myself I have experienced, listened and owned (or still do) all of the drive systems and find it absolutely fascinating what a difference each experience can provide. In the end, I’ve settled (after a long journey) with a Garrard 401 (idler) table as my main stereo source. But every now and again swop for an LP12 (belt), or a modded technics 1210 (direct). Just because they all do things differently. By no means do I propose to make it a competition, rather an exploration of differences. I’m convinced anything colors, just as every approach is slightly different and depending on taste and execution suits one person more than the next one.

    In any case, I figured sharing/sending even though chances are slim this note gets lost / unnoticed in your sea of emails.

    Keep up the excellent work! I will be on the look-out for every new episode, if not only for the music which is always tasteful and in many cases a new lead to something new. 🙂

    Cheers from Holland,

    Kevin B. writes…


    It may be on your radar already, but I wanted to send a message regarding Merging Tech’s Anubis Box.

    It’s designed as a pro audio device, but much like the RME ADI-2, it has a lot of crossover potential, especially given Merging’s credential in the world of those who engineer audiophile-favourite classical records. While I personally am not a Merging user of late, having left a Ravenna-centric job for a Dante-centric one, I think it would be interesting to see/hear your take on audio-over-IP and its potential in the world of hi-fi.

    As a pro AE, it’s an unavoidable reality at this point that audio-over-IP will (or at least should) become the norm in the next 5-10 years for digital audio transmission. The universality of these systems is remarkable, and assuming their firmwares are up to the task, the results are remarkably flexible and stable compared to existing formats (SPDIF/USB/etc). I imagine it’s only a matter of time until a smart Alexa or Siri protocol can utilize AoIP for multiroom functionality.

    Do you see this development on your end?

    Huge fan of your site,


    Tom W. writes…

    Hi John,

    I love the whole “short film” concept. I find myself watching short films even on subjects I have no interest in, like IEM’s. I find them very entertaining and, of course, informative. The production level is top-notch.

    Also, the collaborative idea of working with Jeff from Tone and Srajan from 6moons is brilliant. I can’t help to think this is a win for everyone, especially the readers.

    You also managed to get my interest back into Redbook CDs. I bought a new Rega Apollo, primarily due to your comments on how the quality of the machines and DACs have improved over the years.

    Thanks and good luck.

    Tim W. writes…

    Hi John.

    Hope your day is going well.

    Respectfully, I had an idea for an article for you. This is meant in earnest, not in telling you what to do or how to do your work (you are very good at that already). I’ve read some articles over the past 6 months or so and can’t remember the source/citation for all of them.

    I’ve been reading about things like the resolution/noise level of specific DAC chips – something along the lines of ESS Sabre chip with -126dB noise floor. Then, there’s Srajan’s discussion of the noise level of the room relative to a DAC’s measured noise floor (e.g., traffic, air conditioning, etc. to that measured -126dB). Then, I read something recently about how a 45rpm LP captures more information and sounds better than 33 1/3 LP. My pondering leads me to ask you (out of trust) if there’s any way to “measure”/estimate/something the “resolution” of an LP, relative to a digital recording.

    It seems to me there’d have to be a ceiling for the resolution of a 33 1/3 LP, especially if a 45rpm sounds better (?). I know a microphone, for example, could be saturated by something like a canon going off (Tchaikowsky’s 1812 Overture comes to mind, or the terrible recording quality of some punk bands). So, to me, rather than infinite resolution of an LP, we have a resolution ceiling of said LP. You’d also have a limit to how much could be cut into an LP (some noise is so small, it just can’t be cut). I just wonder if there’s a way to draw a parallel of a 33 1/3 LP to a “digital” resolution, like DSD256, or something like that.

    Again, this is respectfully put to you as an idea. I totally get that it’s 1) a difficult question; and 2) you may not even be remotely interested in finding an answer. It won’t kill me not to know the answer, but I thought it an interesting proposition. I also don’t really know how I’d go about finding an answer myself (rather than asking you) – something that with your contacts in the industry and elsewhere you could potentially reach out to consider. I don’t really see that someone has looked at the resolution of analogue in this kind of way before.

    No worries if you have no interest in pursuing this; I understand. As I said, it’s just an idea. Also, no need to publish it in your articles on letters to the editor.

    Thank you for your time and work,


    John P. writes…

    Hi John,

    I’m sure you are well aware of Bellari but maybe one item might have missed your attention. The PA-555 is an actual tube preamp with 3 inputs run off of a single 12ax7 tube. Price is well under $300. Thought it might be interesting comparing it to the Schiit Vali 2 or even the Schiit Saga. Anyway, keep up the great work!

    Bart L. writes…

    First of all, I love your site and the reviews! No bullshit, simple, straight. Thank you! A marvellous hobby isn’t it? I do love classical, jazz, blues and opera by the way 😉

    I tested the Grimm MU1 last week. With a Hegel H590 and Vivid Audio Kaya 45s. I think it is a great device! Might be an option for future Darko investigations.

    Warm greetings from another music lover.


    Bruce M. writes…

    Qutest was a huge disappointment. Somehow Watts manages to take all the fun out of it. Deep bass sucks and the whole thing is way too neutral. Dynamics? Meh. Certainly competent and impressive in many ways but BORING and not engaging. Can’t wait to sell it – my Mojo bass trounces it (but Mojo is veiled). I’m an audio designer and I HATE that Watts dumbed it down. I’ll never buy Chord again.



    Pål B. writes…


    Cables again…

    I think I have done my homework when it comes to a proper power supply for the units in my sound system, without overdoing it. But when I took the opportunity to ask support at McIntosh about the subject I was surprised that they:

    1. Didn’t think it was worthwhile. Better use the money on the amplifier instead of flashy cables.
    2. Didn’t want shielded power cable because that could prevent that the heat could dissipate out of the cable.

    After having bought a new Cambridge streamer I was surprised to see a message to the contrary on signal cables. They recommended their own signal-cables or asked you to contact the local store for buying proper cables. This is the first time I see the manufacturer give info on cables at all.

    I could have sent you the full communication if I get an e-mail address so you could read it in full. I must have gotten something wrong. Appreciate some comments on this.

    Regards Pål. Norway.

    Don C. writes…

    Thanks for the ability to do dark mode, much appreciated.

    Written by John

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts for Darko.Audio. He has previously contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

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