fellow audiophiles to our February meeting for untreatable Audiolics. As mid
winter is the best time for us to enjoy and improve our music systems, I've been
experimenting like crazy, as you may note in my previous articles. The
improvements in my system over the past three months have been logarithmic such
that I may have gotten to the point where my experimentation and tweaking days
are over. I know, that's sacrilegious for an audiophile to say, but the system
really sounds phenomenal. More below!
But first, a few words on a visit I had
last week to possibly the most natural and best sounding audio system I've ever
had the pleasure of hearing. I'm talking about Roman Bessnow's, Good
Sound Club that I've previously discussed at AA
Chapter 125. Like me, he's a tube-horn man, and has been experimenting
for years on improving his playback through trying to control the AC electrical
gremlins. Over the past month he made two improvements; not to the playback
equipment, but to the electric input:
He had been using two of the Pure
Power PP2000 AC regenerators, but through experimentation found that in
his system, (but not as far as I can tell in mine, possibly because I feed them
through my adeptResponse aR2 power
conditioner, which may suppress some interplay between the units),
they somehow interfered with each other such that the sound wasn't as natural as
with one. Unhappily he needed both to feed sufficient electricity to his system.
Thus, he was one of the first individuals to obtain the new PP3000 unit which
allows for 30 Amperes of power from one unit.
Second, in order to isolate his system from house
created ac noise, he had a second 200 Ampere service put in directly feeding the
PP 3000 with special circuit breakers and higher than necessary rated cabling.
So what was the effect of just improving upon an already cleaned up electrical system? In a word (or several), the closest I've ever heard in a home audio system to being in the concert hall listening to a concert. If I had been blindfolded on entering the room, with some of his best recordings, I could have imagined that I was at the actual live event. While his system sounded great previously, it now takes on the aura of a live event it's that good.
Which brings up the second best system I've heard in my life, meaning this writer's with its new improvements. Over the past two months I've added Stein Harmonizers that opened up the room, dissolving the walls and firming up the room's atmosphere, to my new Classe CT-SSP preamp processor (review to come), to some used but new to me balanced three meter long MIT Magnum interconnects, to replace my home built Black Mountain cables which were allowing some RF to get through that could not be discerned with my previous setup.
By the way, if you do get the itch to replace cables and are of the Scottish persuasion, or just cheap to begin with, want slightly used cables that have already been broken in, and are being sold at a fraction of their original price, go directly to UsedCable.com. You can order directly from the web or give them a call and describe your system, as they will make helpful suggestions on the best cables fro the various equipment in your price range. Remember, all audiophile grade cables are the most overpriced equipment you'll buy, with the highest markups and the quickest loss of resale value.
Well, this past weekend the magic occurred. On Saturday night, the system sounded great until it was shut down. But when the system was turned on Sunday, the magic occurred. The first change noted was about a 6 dB quieting of the electrical noise and grunge emanating from the speakers at rest, giving almost total silence from each 106dB/W/m efficient horn.
Second, on properly recorded two microphone
stereo recordings the soundstage lost the feeling that there was something
between me and the recording. I've never heard this before in any system. The
hall extended to way behind my listening chair and the soundstage widened and
deepened. I'd use the word "Transparent" but that would infer that
there was something between me and the music. Actually, there appeared to be
nothing in the way. The old adage that "Veils had been lifted" would
be incorrect as there appeared to be no veils at all; a first in my system.
For instance, on a recording of the Copland Fanfare
for the Common Man from an 80's direct to disc recording from Crystal
Clear Records, the bass drum appeared to be behind my rear wall, about 4
feet further back than previously.
Third, and I know this is supposedly impossible,
there was a felling of solid hall space in the vertical dimension such that on
Cantate Domino, I could image the height of the church it was recorded in, not
just the horizontal space. Whether all of this was due to the quieting of the
electrical noise coming through the ac lines or something else I'll leave to the
theoreticians. All I can say is that this was the single biggest jump in
creating the "absolute sound" that I've heard in my system.
Finally, with my ground water heat pump and media room system, my electrical consumption normally runs between 1500 to 1800 KWH per month with electrical bills running in the $300 to $400 range. For the past two months, I consumed 320 and 356 KWH less than the average for the two months over the last two years. Now whether this is due to the treatment or global warming will have to wait for further electric bills. But if this continues, the treatment will pay for itself, a first for my many years of experimentation.
So what should you get out of this tome? While
for years there was a discussion in the high end over whether it's the source
component or the loudspeakers that is the most important factor in music
reproduction, or possibly the listening room as the most important, it appears
that it may be the AC coming into the system that's the most important to
quality sound reproduction. No matter how expensive or complicated your system
is, this treatment should work wonders on it.
Whether this service will be available in your
area would have to be worked out between you and Mr. Mroz, as he requires a
licensed electrician for the installation. Plus the cost is dependent on the
size of the service, time required and travel expenses. In my case, this was the
best investment made in my system and house in several years. Well
worth the cost!!
A Few Words
From Mr. Mrock
And now a
few words from Steve Klein
So what exactly is it? To me it is the most important audio component overlooked until now; your electrical load center.
It has been a long known fact that the AC power coming into
your home affects sound quality. It is also known micro arcing greatly affects
sound quality. So what's the solution? It's a Patented Total Contact panel
service from a company called Perfect Path Technologies.
Total Contact is a intensive teardown of your current
electrical load center. Every part (every screw even) is inspected
for safety, and prepped for Total Contact. It is highly conductive cold plating
compound that is applied to every mechanical electrical connection as the load
center is reassembled, power is then restored. The entire process takes from 6
to 9 hours meaning your entire home is without power during this time.
Because of the very nature of the binder, plus variation in
temperature and humidity initial break in will occur in 7 to 9 weeks. It will be
well worth the wait... we promise!!!
Initial Break In: This is not a subtle thing. There will be no mistaking the first break in! The sound stage will open up, way up, in all parameters, height, width and depth. The center completely fills in. The noise floor will disappear, yielding never heard before air, micro detail, and nuances.
Bass extension deepens and thickens, midrange increases in
Increase in the music's speed will leave you speechless. It
becomes as fast as real world music! Honest!
Total Contact will continue to improve over a 24 month period
after installation. Once installed Total Contact is permanent, and will last as
long as the electrical system.
Aside from the revolutionary sonic improvements, your entire
home will benefit from this service. Lights will be brighter, motors will run
smoother and quieter, dimmer switches are noticeably cooler. Because of the
reduction in waste heat, you will have a much safer electrical system. I've
actually seen almost a 20% decrease in our electric bills.
As always, thanks,