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Letters to the editor – Weeks #16 & #17, 2021

  • Simon writes…

    Just watched your CD vs streaming piece. A few months ago I started using my almost-17-year-old Copland CD player again and was convinced that the CDs were sounding better than a lossless rip. Which didn’t seem to make any sense. So very glad to learn I’m not alone.

    Jeremy writes…

    Thanks for your informative help making sense of the latest equipment to please our ears.

    I have found this little piece called an IEast M30. It looks like it’s a serious contender to the RPi route for a simple streamer. I wonder if it could tempt you to take a closer look.

    Joel writes…

    I really enjoy your insights and thoughts on the audiophile scene. I especially enjoy the music tips I get through your videos and reading on your site.

    Have you “heard” (pun intended) of Hotel Pools?? I think they originate from the US and started off on Bandcamp.

    If not, I seriously think you should look them up, fantastic retrowave/ambient techno music. (They’re on Spotify and I guess on other streaming sites also)

    Currently only a Spotify user myself, but since Qobuz launched in Sweden the other week, I might consider switching. Although Spotify has announced its HIFI service. I guess the home country of the service is not left out of the “selected markets”! 😉

    Waiting to see the price of Spotify HIFI before making a decision.

    Thanks again for your engagement in music! Have a lovely spring!

    Ben writes…

    Hi John,

    Been meaning to write this for a while. I really enjoyed your Wilson Tune Tot video. I know you felt your video was potentially not valid as you didn’t compare it to a similarly priced loudspeaker. I disagree, I feel that your excitement, enthusiasm, and the fact that you were trying to work out what to give up to get a pair speaks volumes. It really reminded me of what it feels like when you find a product with real magic. This is what this hobby is all about. I hope that the fact that the original ones you had were white and in subsequent videos, they are red means you were able to get a pair (rather than deciding to repaint them!).

    In one of your videos, you alluded to the fact people may not be happy with you still talking about CDs. Personally, I still buy them and would want a physical copy of albums I really like. My best friend from university and have a tradition of buying each other 3 CDs for the other’s birthday. My friend has an encyclopedic knowledge of music and always comes up with things I haven’t heard of. Thank you for introducing me to Destroyer, as he was blown away by Kaputt.

    One of the CDs he bought me for my birthday in January 2020 was Purple Mountains. I nearly recommended it to you but incorrectly assumed you would already have come across it. That album became my anthem of last year whilst walking to work to face the apocalypse!

    All the best,

    Ben

    Dominik writes…

    re. TIDAL Connect on Volumio

    It’s a truly gamechanger! After the upgrade, you can stream directly from the Tidal app, and other roommates can control the stream using the Volumio app. Even on streamers like Raspberry Pi! This is amazing, isn’t it?

    PS. Great job, John, with the youtube channel. I can’t wait for every story.

    Thank you for your passion.

    Christoph writes…

    I saw your coverage of the raspberry pi as a streaming solution. Just wanted to let you know that I use the Raspberry Pi (4) in combination with an Audiophilleo – it‘s a perfect companion to the raspberry and improves sound quality big time (at least for me). Maybe you want to give it a try?

    Richard writes…

    Sometime when you feel inclined, try lifting your Rega Planar 2 on the left or right-hand side while playing. The sound does not substantially change, at least on my Planar 2. The Planar’s tonearm is not sensitive to level. This tonearm sensitivity/levelling business can be an acute pain. I once had a turntable whose tonearm was sensitive to the tiniest change in level. This for me has always been the thing to check for in turntables. I enjoy your engaging style and comments.

    Matt writes…

    Hi John

    I thought I’d send a nice message and thank you for the YouTube clips on the Kef LS50 Meta, Spotify, DACs, building a raspberry pi to stream and using high-end audio kit with Spotify.

    Many moons ago I had a Rotel RA 920 amp with a pair of Kef Coda 7s and they were great at the time. My old man got me interested in high-quality audio, who had a Creek amp, Arcam CD player and Rega turntable at the time (oh and had some old school wooden shell Warfdale speakers floor speakers), so we often mixed the kits to try different sounds. When I started flat-sharing in London, I didn’t carry on using my kit for concerns of damage or theft. In the end, I decided to give them to my Aunt instead of being stuck in storage unused and not enjoyed. That was 5-10 years ago all in all.

    Fast forward to today, now with my own place in the edge of North East London, I’ve reinvested into some pretty nice kit. After doing some research, including watching your videos, I now own a pair of Kef LS50 Metas (in black, which look awesome), a Marantz PM6007 amp to start me off and best of all, a Raspberry Pi 4 with an Allo DigiOne Hat. (Oh and I somehow managed to get a 3m pair of AudioQuest Rocket 22 cable, which was fun to terminate haha).

    To say the listening experience has kicked up a notch would be a massive understatement. From a Sonos One or simply my iPhone to the glorious setup I have now is leagues apart. Ok sure, I might have gone overboard on the speakers but I thought I’d rather have a solid base and reduce the variables for when I decide to say upgrade my amp or buy another input. And yeah, Spotify through this is a ‘much better listening experience’ as you said in one of your videos. (Thumbs up)

    Thanks again. I thought you might like a little story to go with it too. Looking forward to more videos and cheers for the insights… Really helpful as a fellow digital music listener.

    Written by John Darko

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

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

    Follow John on YouTube or Instagram

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