My current system is comprised of Jeff Rowland electronics, Goldmund
Studio turntable/arm, Clearaudio Insider cartridge, Audio Research CD 2,
highly modified Revox reel to reel (with several master tapes), modified
WATTs (original), Transparent Reference interconnect, and proprietary
flat cable speaker wire. I am very happy with the system, but always
like to try new equipment/tweeks.
The following are some products I have tried over the past several
Furutech CD Degausser- $300
I had a hard time rationalizing even trying one of these but an
audiophile friend of mine talked me into it. It does an excellent job
of removing the "grundge" from CDs, even fresh from the factory. When I
played the Burmiester II CD, Stevie Ray Vaughn's guitar came alive in
the room. Much better focus, dimensionality, and detail. This is a
must for anyone using CD as a reference source.
Purist Audio Wall Sockette- $35
I was stunned at what a hospital grade electrical connection could do in
my system. Much tighter/deeper base (which is saying something for the
WATTS), larger/deeper soundstage, fuller midrange, and a sigificant
increase in dimensionality. Best $35 investment I made and on the same
order of change as when I replaced my interconnect with Transparent
Reference. Most cost effective piece I have added to my system.
However, one caveat. I have an older home with 12/2 wiring and no
ground wire (the box is the ground). You may not experience the level
of improvement I did if you have good wiring. Based on this experience,
I have ordered the Wattage to see if I can get even better power to the
system. I will let you know when I install what differences, if any, I
Both of these items were obtained at Fatwyre.com.
MAYBE- BUT NOT SOON
Belcanto Upsampling DAC- $1299
I tried this when a friend of mine got one in and wanted my opinion. I
used the recommended Denon DVD player as the deck for this listening
session. When it was working properly, it offered glimpses of what I
get in my current analogue set ups- very good highs and excellent decay,
better overall transparency and slightly better detail, and a much
improved soundstage that offered a reasonable level of dimensionality.
However, even with all of that, it was not up to the overall level of my
analogue. But then, this was a $2K front end competing against a $35K
front end. The technoloy offers hope, but I am going to wait on the
side line until the technology matures and the war between Sony and
everyone else is settled. This particular unit (the first run using a
new chip) had a disconcerting habit of dropping the whole midrange by
6-10 db when coming out of warm up. All I had to do was recycle it and
it came back fine.
NOT COST EFFECTIVE
PS Audio 300 Power Reconditioner-$1,000
I borrowed a friend's unit to try. It made subtle, positive differences
in the highs and provided slight dimensionality improvements when I
hooked up my pre-amp. When I added the CD player, I got about the same
results, but to a slighly greater extent. When I added the turntable,
the most significant change was that instruments/voices were more
focused and better dimensionality in the back instruments. However, I
thought I heard a slight compression of the overall dynamics of the
music. Overall, nice, but not cost effective in my mind. I would
rather save $965 and just buy the Purist Audio outlets.
For those of you who use Transparent cables with networks- try moving
the networks towards or away from one another. I have found that moving
them closer together helps fill out the midrange. I can't explain it-
maybe it deals with ringing and microphonics.
Hope this helps some of you. Please post and let the group know what
your experience has been with these or other products. It may allow all
of us to experience the music more fully, which is what high end audio
is all about.
One of the best tweeks I've come upon is Optrix fluid for treating CDs. It
provides a dramatic improvement that even the skeptics will be able to
hear. It even improves CDs previously treated with Finyl. I believe Music
Direct has it for about $16 for a bottle that will treat a couple of hundred
Nordost ECO3 is an antistatic fluid that is made to be applied to speaker and
interconnect cables. It can also be used on the inside of the CD tray and on
the top (label side) of CDs. A treatment lasts a couple of weeks. The
improvement here is very audible, even to sceptics. Also from Music Direct.
On the basis of your recommendation, I purchased from fatwyre both the
demagnetizer and the wall outlet.
First I tried out the Furutech demagnitizer first and also shared your
feelings about the price. Also, the instructions are in 2 languages,
Japanese and Chinese, but the setup seems straight forward enough.
Power it up and put the CD in and hit the button. When the green light
goes down, I guess it's ready to go. Now if I only knew which was the
right way to put the CD in, label up or down.
To get to the point, it's working because I tried half a dozen CDs and
was very surprised to see the added sonic detail and range.
Following day, I go ahead and change the outlet (with the power off)
plug everything back in and...
You did not overstate the results. For me, I'm in a turn of the century
building in Hoboken, NJ the results were nothing short of startling. It
was like the whole system got a sonic booster shot. Incredible!!!! For
$35 there is nothing that can come close. This change has left me
shocked!!! I mean, right now I'm writing this listening on my secondary
speakers in a den (Paradigm Reference 20s) and the improvement is
extraordinary. Stanley Jordan's Conorcopia CD was a new experience.
Now here is where the disagreement comes in. I recently purchased the
Belcanto DAC1. It does indeed provide all the benefit you stated but
for those of us lacking a $35K front end for comparison, there is
definitely a superlative value in running this with a DVD player. They
recommend the Denons, Pioneers and Toshibas. Sony players don't seem to
have the "right" optical outlet design. After the 200 hours breakin
period, I would say this is a great value that can't be touched for the
money. The sound is broader, with such warmth and detail that the CD
quality of sound is replaced with musicality. I recommend that people
try it with their systems, particularly if they already have DVD that
can be coupled with it. Belcanto offers a 10 day trial so you need to
run it continously to get to the results.
Lastly, and this is true irony for you, before I read your post I had
already ordered ps audio's p300. Unfortunately it hasn't arrived yet
but in a way that's a positive so I can digest the other new stuff
Greg, I like the fact that you put this information out to generate some
positive discussion. I wanted to contribute as I have waded into the
same waters as you were touching on as well.
My system: Rotel 995/991 preamp & amp, Denon 1500 DVD player, Belcanto
Dac1, B&W 803 Nautilus speakers, Sony 555ES CD Changer, Paradigm
Reference 20 speakers, Silver Audio Silver Bullets 4.0, DH Labs BL-1
XLR, Transparent Premium Coax Digital Cable, Alpha Core Silver and
Copper speaker cable bi-wired.
In article <skgb0tm...@corp.supernews.com>,
ggr...@webtv.net (Greg Graff) wrote:
> I am writing this post in the hopes that it will inspire some of the
> readers of this newgroup to come forward with little tweeks or component
> changes they have experimented with in their system so that all of us
Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.
Romanesq- Degausse both sides of the CD before playing-it helps.
Update on Wattagate
After the stunning outcome of the Purist Audio wall outlets, I just had
to try the Wattagate. It was noticably better than the Purist, but not
to the magnitude of replacing the orginal outlet with the Purist.
Everything was slightly to substantially better, especially the
transparency. But like everything else in audio, the 80/20 rule
applies. The first 80% is relatively cheap and the remaining 20% is
very expensive. While I can easily recommend the Purist Audio to anyone
with a system worth more than $1,000, I would only recommend the
Wattagate to someone with a high resolution system. That being said, I
order a second Wattagate for the second circuit ( I have separate
circuits for the line level and power amp) and will install it this
evening for the power amp.
One interesting thing to note was that I used the original Purist Audio
outlet in my video system and not only did it greatly assist the audio
part of the system, but also the video part. Talking with an EE friend
of mine, he said that he had the same experience when he installed
hospital grade outlets in his video and audio systems. He believes that
the combination of a tight interface with the plug and socket and the
Purist Audio design help both the video and audio circuits reject RF. I
don't know if this is the reason, but all I know is that it works.
Shunyata Black Mamba Power Cord
Based on recommendations by The Cable Company (they were still batting a
1000), I ordered the Black Mamba power cord. I was using Cardas's
Golden Cross power cables previously. The Black Mamba worked very well
for my amp. I have much better focus and dimensionality in the
soundstage. But what impressed me the most was the weight and dynamics
of the music. It wasn't that the sound was overall louder, it helped
the gradients of dynamics come through clearer, much like live music.
Also, the sublties of the music were much more apparent. It was as
though the music was more dynamic without any strain. It maybe what I
had been missing in my system, a sense of true dynamics.
Based on this, I have ordered another one for the preamp. I doubt that
it will be as dramatic, but I would like to see. I will let you know
later if it works better or not in my system.
I hope more of you will post and let all of us know what you have found.
I am especially interested to see if anyone else has tried the PS Audio
and what your results were.
Try replacing it again, with a new 35-cent discount store outlet.
I'll bet the change will remain. What you got was a fresh clean tight
connection, which replacing the outlet with anything new will get you.
Granted that the 35-cent outlet has less contact pressure and will not
maintain as good contact over time. But you can get a
"spec grade" outlet that WILL from your local electrical supply store
(where the electricians go to get their stuff, not from the average
hardware store) for 1/3 or less of the price of an audiophile outlet.
BTW, if there are other outlets on the circuit between the breaker box
and your system, you will also get a benefit from cleaning and
tightening the wires on each one. And if they're connected to push-in
holes on the back, take them out and use the screw terminals instead,
being sure to tighten them well. Sometimes those old connections are
so bad that if I plug an air conditioner into one, every outlet up the
line from it gets HOT (not from inadequeate wiring, house is too new
for that, but from the poor connections that those push-in connectors