in

Letters to the editor: Weeks #14 – 27, 2022

  • Editor’s note. This is the first ‘letters to the editor’ post since March. Why is that? We’re still receiving far too many missives from readers seeking buying advice or opinions on products with which we have zero direct/hands-on experience. This is all carefully explained in the FAQ that sits above the email contact form where would-be emailers must check a box confirming that they have read the same before they can hit send. Kindly note: emails seeking information already covered in the FAQ are sent straight to trash. What I am looking for from readers are emails that make suggestions and counterpoints where the emphasis is on give (and not take), a selection of which follows below…


    John writes…

    re: Roon playlist

    If you haven’t checked out Zone In, a Roon playlist, may I suggest it? Since you have brought this genre of music to my attention I have found some of these recordings wonderfully immersive. My office system surrounds me with sound for the most part with these pieces. My favorite kind of reproduction. Keep up the good work.

    Tony writes…

    re. Future-Fi contender?

    Have you seen the Marantz M-CR612 Network Audio Player

    https://www.marantz.com/en-gb/product/network-audio-players/m-cr612

    This little box should be able to do most of what anyone might want, at a very reasonable price. And it has a CD. And it’s class-D. Interesting, particularly as Marantz is normally reckoned to make good equipment.

    Jaco writes…

    Re. Device with HDMI eARC passthrough that extracts audio via optical output

    I’ve been watching some of your recent Future-Fi Youtube videos and noticed that your preference is to use the HDMI eARC output from your Samsung Frame TV for listening to music and testing audio components.

    However, that seems to be a problem when you are testing audio components that have only Optical digital inputs. I have found a device that can give you both. It is called the THENAUDIO ZONE-2 eARC Audio Processor. This device can be inserted in between the HDMI eARC output of your TV and the HDMI eARC input of an audio component (it does eARC passthrough), while it extracts the digital audio and outputs it via an Optical output. See the link below for the product:

    www.thenaudio.com/product/zone-2-earc-audio-processor/

    I hope you found this useful!

    John writes…

    re. 10 questions for first-time buyers

    I found the discussion of passive vs active speakers to be so important. Consider your recent review of the Kef LS60 and older review of Kii3. While I don’t have either, I am a long-time user of an active OB design – Linkwitz Orions. Siegfried Linkwitz (Linkwitz/Riley crossover fame) concluded that differences between amplifiers were acutely minimal when processing crossover actively – each amplifier channel managing one driver and its particular load. I’ve been very happy with my modest Rotel RMB1048. While I might fantasize about the blue glow and dancing meters from my old McIntosh, I believe that is (for me) a fool’s errand. Related; I hope you take an opportunity to review an open baffle design i.e. Spatial. Thanks.

    John writes…

    re. An article that I feel is very much worth republishing – “KIH #40 – Openly baffled?

    For it was relevant (and very well written) back in 2017 and I believe even way more so today. So yeah, maybe worth republishing (or something similar). Or not, just a suggestion 🙂

    Henderson writes…

    Hello from Pennsylvania,

    I always feel like you share your knowledge and opinions as a friend might, rather than as a lecturer. A few things I’ve learned – various audio products – new (to me) music, particularly electronic – awareness of the type of listener I am – streaming music, which i now do almost exclusively – the importance of how music is mastered and produced – Roon – …. Thank you.

    Regarding the Sonos arc review – comparing it to a 1,000 € stereo system may be a bit like comparing apples to oranges. Their price may be similar but their primary intended use is different. Perhaps comparing a pair of Sonos 5’s (after using the Sonos app to adjust the the sound for your room) would be more of an apples to apples comparison.

    Me: Apples are not the only fruit. We have to try both apples AND oranges to know which one we prefer; and then maybe more swiftly discern which other fruits we might enjoy. 

    Kent writes…

    re. Anthem

    Hello John. I’m an avid listener to your podcasts and was listening to Future-Fi today. You made a brief reference to Anthem with regard to room correction. I recently purchased an Anthem home theater receiver and have to say that I am blown away by how good it sounds. The room correction is fantastic – with a modest subwoofer, my in-room response is flat to 25Hz. I am pretty happy with that! In addition, my speakers sound so much more dynamic than with my previous unit. If you have a chance to review an Anthem product, I would highly recommend it.

    Robert writes…

    re. HEDDphone and the Cayin HA-6A

    Hi, please advise if the Cayin HA-6A has the wherewithal to drive the HEDDphone. I”m running the HEDD’s via the Burson Conductor Reference 3X thru the balanced XLR and with 7.5w available the HEDD’s sing, I’m looking for my first tube amp and I was hoping the HA-6A would fit the bill. Deeply appreciative of any insight you might have…

    Me: Sorry but I’ve no direct experience with either product.

    Dave writes…

    re. record shopping

    Your report on record shopping in Munich was very timely. It came out two weeks before I visited Munich. I went to the stores you recommended and they were definitely worth visiting. I made a nice little haul to bring back to the US with me. Danke! Keep up the good work!

    Edward writes…

    re. I’ve just learned that Plexamp is now available for Raspberry Pi

    Random tip coming from just an enthusiastic user: I’ve just learned that Plexamp is now available for Raspberry Pi!

    I think this is significant because:

    – Raspi allows you to select your preferred hardware

    – You can get roughly all the functionalities Roon has

    – And you can play your hi-fi collection on the go

    – You get a (on-the-go) movie server as well

    – The lifetime pass is significantly less (€120 versus €700)

    I’ve got this working via:

    https://github.com/odinb/bash-plexamp-installer

    Written by John Darko

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts and pens written pieces 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

    Is this the future of hi-fi? (I think it might be)

    Podcast: The REAL value of measurements