Greetings from Moscow (part II)

Dear Massimo,
Thank you again for the swift response and the kind words.
Please excuse the slow replies. My routine has changed completely when I became father. There’s (almost) never a quiet moment so it’s difficult to make time to concentrate and write an e-mail, especially one that I would want to do justice. My e-mails to you tend to be a little more personal than the Q&A you’d post on your website because I’m so grateful that I’ve found your website.  If you want to post these conversations on your website it may make sense to redact the “lyrical” parts and only post the “physics”. 🙂
I still have some questions for you (and I sense you’re the right person to speak with on these matters) and also am a little hesitant as to where I go from here in terms of developing my home stereo. I’ll try to outline the things that I’m thinking now below in a structured way.

  1. The seller who’s got the Grundig bundle I mentioned in my first message to you is not interested in my pair of Brauns. He will take the Kenwood but that way I’ll need to pay him 50% of what he asks for the Grundigs and the MXV100. That seemed somewhat on a high side for me so I put it on hold for now. (And I have put both the Kenwood and the Brauns on sale.)
  1. So I’m still enjoying the V7200 driving the TL800.  I really like the combination. Let’s say that for the near future I have what I think is a v. good amp and v. good speakers.  I think I’ll have some time enjoying them rather than searching for more gear in that endless game of comparing and contrasting, and finding what is, or appears to be, best.  I think I’ve found what is very much enjoyable for me, for now at least, so I think I’ll just need to sit back and enjoy for a while.
  1. Having an amp and a pair of speakers that I don’t want to change soon means I may need to do some work on other components of my setup, and it’s here that I’m struggling a little as to next steps. Here’s my current system:

(i) Grundig V7200
(ii) Sansui 771 receiver
(iii) Revox B750Mk2
(iv) Kenwood KA 6004

(i) Telefunken TL800
(ii) Revox AX3-3b
(iii) Braun L810

(i) Lenco L75 (w/ Shure M75 MB Type 2)

(i) Telefunken RN100CX

(i) Marantz 5010

(i) Primare DVD26

I’ve put the Kenwood and the Brauns up for sale.  I’m thinking of selling the Revox amp as well (but not sure yet).  I quite like the Revox and the Sansui.  I have yet to listen to the TL800 with the Sansui and the Kenwood (need to get adapters for the TL800’s original speaker cables). Practical / “physics” questions (maybe these are stupid questions but I’m genuinely interested) :

a) what is the right way of connecting two integrated amps to each other such that one is preamp and the other is main amp? Obviously it’s easy to do when both integrateds have normal/separate mode switch. For example, I’ve connected my Revox and Kenwood to each other (PRE OUT on one to MAIN IN on the other). But what if the integrated does not have that separation (e.g.: my Sansui and Grundig don’t have this)? Also, if one day I buy a preamp (maybe a Grundig XV5000) – will I be able to have the V7200 be the power amp for it?
b) you mentioned that grills are very important for the Aktiv Box and, I take it, for other speakers as well – you had said on the website that the version of the TL800 sounds worse with wooden grills than with the sponge. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve zero technical expertise and, to be honest, it is surprising that one would compare two versions of different grills because I would’ve thought you’d always achieve the best results listening without grills! My pair of TL800 comes with removable wooden grills and I do take them off when listening (with wooden grills on, the sound is worse – and that’s what I’ve always thought would be the case hence removing them always). Am I wrong? Are the grills that important and why? Should I go and have someone make sponge grills for the TL800 (using the Monacor sponge you’d recommended)?
c) another thing that surprised me (maybe even more than the grills question) was that you had said on the website that the 2nd version of TL800 was better because of the 10 post “attenuator” on the midrange instead of a 5 post on the 1st version of it.  I thought that was based on a very deep listening experience so I took your guide and, of the 2 versions of TL800 available, I chose the one with 10 post attenuator (even though the other one was more to my liking in terms of looks as it has this “wooden” box and my pair is painted white).  Again, to echo my earlier comment on grills, I would’ve thought it’d be best to listen to the speaker without anything covering (i.e. take the attenuator from the midrange off altogether). How come that attenuator has such an important influence on the sound of the speaker?
d) I’ve read also about felt pads for the Rogers (as an example) being super important. Again, I’m just wondering – how does that work? Would simple felt pads from furniture stores do the trick? Does this have to do with isolating the speaker from the stand / bookshelf – does it alleviate the impact of vibration? Would the modern anti-vibration pads (such as e.g. Isoacoustics etc.) not do the job better?  My TL800 have their felt pads as well (I don’t know whether that comes from the previous owner or is factory made) – are they beneficial for these speakers at all (where they are placed on stands or on floor – see also next question below)?
e) next question is regarding the placement of the speakers on stands.  I’ve not had time to experiment yet, but I did note your saying that the TL800 should be placed on floor for better results. Again a surprise! How does that work?  I have them on (about 30cm high) stands, slightly tilted back, maybe 9-10 degrees or so (see pictures attached). These are custom made stands, I’d ordered them for my Braun L810 but since TL800 is of comparable size, they fit well for them.  I should also mention that I had experience with the Brauns whereby they sounded better when on stands as opposed to being on the floor.
f) the placement of the speakers in the listening room. The room where I listen to the music is moderately large (think maybe around 40 sq.m.) – it’s a living room combined with kitchen. Plenty of furniture and of course a lot more distance to the back wall from behind me when I’m on the sofa listening than 1.7m. Sorry about the toys 🙂 They are not meant to be there but I’m just too tired at the moment to take them away.  I know I need to do that and also I need to remove the Sansui from underneath the Grundig. Should I change anything else in terms of positioning etc.? Does the way speakers are placed now make sense? Should I change anything to get better results? Really put them on the floor? Maybe at least on the wooden plinths that I have under the stands now? (Note the 30cm height I mentioned above includes the height of the plinth.)
g) I know I said I don’t want to change amps soon – but I’m wondering would, in your opinion, a combination of XV5000 and A5000 be better than the V7200?  I know you said the XV and the A 5000 were not full CCI whereas the V7200 is full CCI.
h) there’s of course the big subject of cables – that’ll take me too long to explain – let’s keep that for the next time – but in short, I have some vintage Telefunken (from the 50s) and Klangfilm (pre-WW2) speaker cables – they showed themselves extremely well with the Brauns and the Revoxes – but my TL800 have their original cables so I’m keeping them, right?  I also have the interconnects and power cables all vintage (AEG/Telefunken/Siemens) etc. except where the amps have non removable original power cable (I did note you had said never change Grundig power cable).
i) you mentioned in one of your responses on the website that TL800 is not a “party speaker” but a “single listen speaker”. Can you please clarify what that means?
j) you don’t seem to talk much about music on your website – what kinds of music do you like?

Thank you for taking the time to respond – that is very kind of you.
Best regards

Dear Boris
The “how it works” can become complex to explain when you have no knowledge of acoustics or electronics. And unfortunately I don’t have much time to write letters. You will forgive me if I just show you the best solution to your questions.
a) Don’t worry about this … use the V7200 and remove all the other electronics from the room: any electronics that are not full CCI connected to 220V make the full CCI one worse.
b) Simply cut out a rectangle of Monacor foam, for the TL800 this is the best solution. The original grid for all the Grundig loudspeakers.
c) A loudspeaker can be attenuated with a resistor or with an acoustic attenuator … the latter has advantages but a higher cost.
d) Felt furniture feet are fine, not other esoteric solutions …
e) The best solution for the TL800s are the Grundig BF4 stands blocked to the floor with four pallets of putty
f) See answer “e”
g) Better the V7200.
h) <TL800 have their original cables so I’m keeping them, right?  Yes
i) I mean that, like all multi-way loudspeakers with side-by-side loudspeakers, they get their best result (seeking the right angle) only for one listening point.
j) I listen to everything I hear makes me vibrate the strings of the soul … from classical music (sonatas for piano, violin, cello) to more contemporary music …. I never exclude anything before


Dear Massimo,
Thank you very much. These are helpful responses.
Just one point of clarification if I may – on a) and g) – I was asking more on thinking about the future: for example, I may at some point buy an XV7500 or an SXV6000… If I get a preamp, I might need to have the V7200 be the power amp for it – so question is, how do I hook them up together?
Thanks again for your help and here’s wishing you and your nearest and dearest a happy and healthy holiday season.
Kind regards

Dear Boris
You can use “monitor” input into V7200. With XV7500 + tuner (…see here: ) you can obtain a little improve…however you can obtain a greater improvement removing not CCI appliances and installing the system by applying the method for installing electronics on the site:
Best Regards