Review By Max Westler
Okay, when we last saw our hapless reviewer he was lying crumpled in front of his still-smoking loudspeakers, frazzled from so much high-intensity listening, but inwardly satisfied that (professional to the last) he had gotten his review in on time. (Click here to read that review.)
Then a discomforting thought troubled his rest. After all was said and done, there was still a pair of his old Bybee speaker filters lying about with nothing to do but feel sorry for themselves. "So, what about hooking them up to the amplifier output," he was soon asking no less an expert than Jack Bybee himself.
Jack agreed that putting the new Bybee Slipstream Speaker Chargers at the speaker end of his cables and the old speaker filters at the amplifier end would significantly improve the sound, by intercepting and purifying the electrons both going to and returning from the speakers.
To accomplish that, Jack explained, the old loudspeaker filters at the amp output should be hooked up out of phase -- that is, with their +/red connectors attached to the -/black connectors of both the amplifier and the speaker cable -- and vice versa. That's because the purifying (or quantum noise filtering) devices in these Bybee products treat the +/red but not the -/black path. (Pay attention as there may be a quiz.)
Luckily, our hero springs from hearty stock, and has grown used to being amazed and stupefied. Because adding those old speaker filters to the amplifier output did indeed make the sound considerably better. It was exactly the effect he had noticed when test listening to the Bybee Slipstream RCA Magic Bullets. Put a pair at the end of the interconnects going into the preamp from the CD player or turntable -- or into the power amplifier from the pre-amplifier -- and you get a profound improvement. Add a second pair, so that you have the MBs at both ends of those interconnects, and you magnify the improvement dramatically.
Just for the sake of being thorough--this was definitely going to be the music writer's last equipment review, make no mistake about it) -- he asked Jack Bybee to loan him another pair of the new Slipstream Speaker Chargers. Why not find out how the new product works when installed at both ends? An altogether simple plan, right?
Oh No... Not Another New Product!
But guess what turned up in the mailbox a few days later? An entirely new product! Yes, in the time it had taken our hero to work up his original review of the Bybee Slipstream RCA Magic Bullets and Speaker Chargers, the ceaselessly inventive Mr. Bybee had come up with (drum roll) the Bybee Slipstream Ultra Speaker Charger! So what did he have to lose by running through his test list one more time, comparing the original Speaker Chargers to the spiffy new silver-wire Ultras?
It's well that our hero springs from that aforementioned hardy stock, because the new Ultra Charger brought startlingly more luster and vivacity to music: more depth to the soundstage, more bloom to the upper end, more slam and definition to the bass. And so, with the original Slipstream Speaker Chargers connected out of phase at the amplifier output terminals, and the new Ultras in phase at the loudspeaker inputs, he was thinking there it is, the ultimate setup for listening pleasure as close to the clarity and realism of live music as he was ever likely to experience in his own living room. Now, finally, he could cease his hardware reviewing labors and begin the long and well-deserved rest he had earned...
...Except for the unsettling suspicion that even as he again lay crumpled in front of his still-smoking loudspeakers, frazzled from so much high-intensity listening, but inwardly satisfied he had gotten his review addendum in on time, Jack Bybee was walking out of his laboratory with yet another new and improved version -- of the Magic Bullets? the Ultra Speaker Chargers? -- chuckling softly to himself, "Well, I wonder what he'll make of these?"
After his delirium subsided, our hero asked Jack Bybee why the Slipstream Ultra Speaker Chargers ($990 per set) are so clearly better than the already superb original Slipstream Speaker Chargers ($775 per set). Here is what Mr. Bybee had to say:
"Each Slipstream Ultra Speaker Charger set provides four single plug-in cable extensions, for the signal (+) and return (-) terminals of each loudspeaker. Each of the four incorporates a short length of 12-gauge 99.9999-purity silver ribbon, enclosed in a newly designed ultra-flexible PTFE Teflon tube that touches the ribbon only at the edges. This construction effectively forms an air dielectric, which is highly desirable sonically. Your speaker cable connects to heavy-duty premium Lexan 5-way binding posts.
At the downstream end, the connection to your loudspeaker is via the exceptional high-contact, high-conductivity Eichmann Bayonet banana plugs. NOTE: Because of heavy customer demand, Bybee Technologies offers optional spade lug terminations. However, we find the Eichmann Bayonet banana plug sonically superior to any spade lug; they are simply the finest loudspeaker connectors we know of. Unless your loudspeakers cannot accept single banana plugs, we strongly recommend that you opt for the Eichmann Bayonet plugs.
Bybee Slipstream Ultra Speaker Charger: $990 per set