Letters to the editor – Week #4, 2021

  • Garry M. writes…

    Hi John

    Have been following you for years and enjoy your YouTube reviews in particular….you have subsequently cost me a fortune on new kit….you bastard! Have more recently been listening o your podcasts as well.

    Sorry to take up your time with an admin question.

    I have just subscribed to your Patreon service and have had a bit of trouble adding the RSS Audio link to my Apple Podcast App. Have been able to do it easily for other Patreon subscriptions I have, but get a message that “Podcast cannot be added because the server or feed cannot be found.”

    I live in Australia, so not sure if that impacts anything.

    Thanx again, and apologies for the admin question.


    Me: Hi Garry

    Thanks so much for supporting what I do via Patreon. I’m not sure if it has an RSS feed? Perhaps you are trying to add my podcast to your Apple Podcast app? If so, the RSS feed for that is as follows:

    Martin M. writes…

    Hello John,

    I really like the direction your content went to in the last years.

    So I just wanna thank you especially for posts or Videos like Electronica for audiophiles.

    So last but not least.

    Do you know

    I think you might like it.

    Look for shows like Tiefenschärfe, The Good Nightz, BTTB Back To the Basics or Electro Royale.

    Best regards from Hamburg


    Colin B. writes…

    re. I could be wrong…

    … but is that Banton FrameWorks and HebTroCo?

    Well played.


    Me: Say whaaaat now?

    CB: Your spectacle frames, and the gold cord overshirt. Wondered if you were doing some subtle product placement.

    Me: Nope. I don’t do product placement. They are my specs and my shirts.

    Kimmo V. writes…

    Hey John,

    I might have missed your thoughts on the new turntable of yours. I’d like to hear them! Do you still have two turntables?

    – Kimmo

    Me: Hi Kimmo. Sorry, I won’t be reviewing the GR. It’s for private use. The turntable count currently stands at three: the Technics plus a Pro-Ject Xtension 10 and a Rega Planar 2. 

    Anton G. writes…

    Hi John,

    I like your articulate and honest approach, but why are you so snobby about dance music? Even if you don’t like your pulse being raised too much it’s really useful for evaluating different elements of a system: speed/timing, detail, composure under pressure, bass articulation and control, etc. And trance, house and drum and bass are capable of invoking emotions as deep as any classical, jazz or folk music.

    Two more points: I bought the RME DAC on the back of your video so thank you for that. Also, I see you have an Intel NUC, I can highly recommend the iFi iPower Plus PSU for it, it totally transforms it. It would be interesting to see you compare it to a dedicated streamer or transport.

    Me: Snobby about dance music? WTH are you talking about? You see one video of mine about ambient music and then assume I don’t listen to other kinds of electronic music? **shakes head**

    AG: Your reference to “doof doof” music suggested otherwise. I look forward to your YouTube rundown of the latest drum & bass bangers!

    Me: Did you watch the entire video? I used the term ‘doof doof’ as a sly reference to what I hear from other people when I talk about Hawtin or Sandwell District. And this was explained at the end of the video. I featured a dnb banger in the NAD M33 video.

    AG: I didn’t make the end – the music just wasn’t my thing. Apologies if I’ve misinterpreted it.

    Tom D. writes…

    Hello John,

    This message to thank you from Belgium for all the great content you give us. You’ve been a very important influence on my path in the hobby with the production value of your videos, your articles, your attitude in general, of course, and your taste in music which is very similar to mine!

    With two exceptions: I like Red Hot Chili Peppers and jazz.

    In that regard and as an electronic music fan (techno in particular), I can only encourage you to dig a little bit in jazz music. At a time when I was bored with the techno scene, jazz expanded my mind the same way electronic music did years ago, and the connections between the two are so obvious that it is funny! In return, it made me rediscover techno in another way. Try In a Silent Way by Miles Davis or On the Corner, or maybe A New Perspective by Donald Byrd, or A Love Supreme by John Coltrane and then you come back to Guru’s Jazzmatazz and Moritz Von Oswald in known territories! Maybe you’ll change your mind about DSD on the way, but this is another subject!

    Thank you again, I hope you will stay with us for a long time.

    Best regards,


    Me: Alas, jazz is off my menu forever. My father played seemingly nothing but when I was a kid and I’ve never recovered. 😉 Besides, jazz lovers are already extremely well served by the hifi world, don’t you think? The titles you mention I have seen and heard at hifi shows more times than I can count. With electronic and indie rock music, I am taking the path less travelled. Vive la difference, non?!

    Daniel G. writes…

    Just watching your Ether 2 comparison. I own a pair of Ether 2 for about a year. I noticed you show it with the Dragonfly red mobile DAC. The Ether 2 makes LEAPS with the DF cobalt (I have both the red and the cobalt running from Audirvana FLACs). It works gorgeously with electronica/EBM/coldwave/shoegaze, such as Zanias, VV and the Void, Bestial Mouths, Lebanon Hanover, or Box and the Twins (all from Berlin). For a desktop amp, I use a Woo WA6 SE with upgraded tubes, nothing to complain.

    I may disagree a bit on soundstage of headphones vs. speakers. I also just have modest speakers (B&W CM6S2 and REL T9/i), but with a bit of care of set-up, soundstage and imaging are WAY better with speakers than any headphone, including the Ether 2. Room treatment I made myself from discarded palette wood, Roxul 80, and Etsy fabric print. Cost me about $500 for a corner bass trap and ~four 24×48″ absorption panels with my photos.

    Best wishes/herzliche Grüsse aus Kalifornien von einem Exil-Schweizer.


    P.S. I drive a Tesla MS85 (2013 model).

    Me: Not sure I commented on soundstaging vis-a-vis headphones and speakers in the video but I agree with you: speakers do it better. Vrrrrrroooom.

    Arthur G writes…


    I’m a newbie in the Hi-Fi appreciation world, particularly in loudspeaker systems. I recently got into it last year, just like many others, because of the pandemic and by watching a LOT of videos by John. From there I got into Tidal, Qobuz, Roon, RPi, Ropieee, Topping DAC, and many other things. I just had what I considered/still consider decent gear up to that point, two 90’s midi/mini Hi-Fi systems, a Sony and a Kenwood, with their stock speakers. Adding Chromecast Audio to them made them Roon endpoints. And I really enjoy listening to them.

    But I wanted to experience modern equipment. So about a month ago I decided to build a budget system. I read and watched several reviews and landed on the NAD C 338 and the Elac Debut Reference DBR-62. This pair sounds amazing! Definitely better than any of my current setup. And I want to thank you for your research, review, and presentation of all these audio equipment, especially the ones by Mr. Michael Lavorgna and Mr. Phil Wright. They made my task easier and the journey enjoyable! Kudos!

    I just want to add something to the C 338 review: the firmware hasn’t been updated since July 2019. Particularly, the Cast firmware version is still at 1.28.102057. My Chromecast Audio has the 1.42.172094 Cast firmware version. I don’t know if that makes any difference at all to the stability or sound quality, which is the most important thing. I can hear a difference between Chromecast Audio to C 338 via toslink and just casting straight to C 338. I actually prefer the sound of the latter slightly. But I hope NAD hasn’t forgotten about their budget babies and is still actively trying to improve the C 338. I’d personally appreciate the integration of Tidal Connect.

    Thanks again and stay safe, everyone!


    Me: Thanks for the compliments re. Lavorgna and Wright’s efforts. I’ll pass them on. However, if you prefer the sound of the NAD’s Chromecast implementation, why fuss over its firmware version? Sounds to me like you’re confusing the trees for the wood. Put down the firmware counter and listen to some damn music!

    Jason C. writes…


    Long time viewer of your YouTube channel. Nice view on the Dan Clarks… I have a pair of Focal Elear and owned many sub $500 headphones over the years. I love the Focals and looking at the Focal Stellia’s one day. What are your favorite headphones under the $3000 range.

    Thank you,


    Me: I answered that in the video, didn’t I? 😉

    JC: Yes, I think you did… and, they weren’t the Dan Clark’s.

    Me: Huh? Is my saying the Ether 2 would be my forever pick right now not convincing enough for ya? 😉

    Andrew B. writes…

    Firstly, great channel and reviews.

    I’m chancing this so thanks if you can respond.

    Do you still have the set of Genelec The Ones 8341 that you bought?

    If so, could you do a comparison to the Buchardt Audio’s A500?

    Me: Sorry, Andrew but I won’t be doing that comparison. That’s 2 weeks of work time that I simply don’t have.

    Robert M. writes…

    Enjoyed watching your videos but can’t support the channel with the comments section disabled, I feel it’s like trying to have your cake and eat it, which is fine if you’re hosting the videos on your own website, but you’re not, your channel, in part, got were it did today because of the exposure that YouTube afforded you, There is a cost to putting yourself out there, but at the same time there is a reward also, not really that dissimilar to the relationship that celebrities have with the press, yes we know that there are many ignorant people out there that say foolish things behind the anonymity of the internet, but that has to be played out, it will evolve, it doesn’t help by shutting down discussion in it’s entirety, there is no room for growth by taking such drastic measures, growth on our part and yours, critique is very important, even if it does outweigh the positives comments now and again, requiring people to come here to give feedback will for the most part just create an echo chamber for positive comments, having the comments section disabled takes away a fundamental part of what YouTube is about, discussion.

    Any all the best.

    Me: All about discussion? Not even YouTube themselves see it this way: they give creators like me the option to turn comments off when it “all gets too much” (their words) — which it did for me.

    Have you read the three articles on my website about this matter? By the tone of your email, I’d wager not. 😉

    Disagree with what I say about a product? No problem! Obviously, you have the product to hand so there’s nothing stopping you from making your own video about it. All you need is a phone for filming and a YouTube account. Easy, right?

    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.

    Follow John on YouTube or Instagram

    A short film about high-end headphones

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