Thank God for air conditioning. Summer has started early in New Hampshire and while nine(!) SET amplifiers do a superb job of warming my media room in the winter, in the summer they caused dehydration in the summer before we added a whole house geothermal cooling system. Now at least the heat prostration only begins after several hours of listening.
Last monthís discussion (AA 128), was on the best apparatus Iíve found to date for controlling the noise coming through from the electric company that adds distortion to even the best systems, the Pure Power PP 2000. I had purchased two and had one from a fellow audiophile that made such an improvement in my system that I almost cried when the friend took his back and one of my units had a problem and was sent back to the factory. With one unit isolating only the front channels and sources without the subwoofer amp, the sound was still great but not quite up to having the entire system isolated.
Well, the second unit turned out to only have a blown fuse I had not discovered on one of the circuit boards, and that one, and a third unit that I purchased, arrived last week and have been in my system since. One runs the front channels and source components and video equipment, the second the right, center and rear channels, and the third, the subwoofer and computer equipment, all running at 50 to 70 percent of their continuous power limit.
All I can say is the sound is the most glorious and lifelike that Iíve ever heard in my system, and now even surpasses the previous best listening session, and thatís every night. Of all of the products Iíve recommended and berated over the past 128 articles, these units have produced the best improvement ever heard in my system. Iíll be selling off all of my other AC filters, and I suggest you do the same and purchase one or more of these units before they are inundated with buyers as their supplies of the units are limited.
A few weekends ago, I attended something that
Iíve not in several years; an audio get-together at a high end salon. Years
ago, at least twice a month, Iíd go down to
My favorite establishment, of course, was Clark
Johnsenís Listening Studio, situated off of
Now, just about all of these establishments have either perished or been turned into midĖfi purveyors or have gone into the video and home theater angle. There just arenít enough high-enders left out there to support them even in major cities.
That is why I was sort of amazed to read in
Stereophile that there was still a primarily two channel super high end business
still running in
In the interim, he has owned salons in Nashua and North Hampton, NH and opened Fidelis a few years ago. Derry is located directly off of Interstate 93 between the Concord-Manchester and the Boston areas, is in a low rent area with a beautiful old downtown so may be an ideal place for a high end business. The shop has three rooms, primarily set up for two channel listening, but with two having flat TVís for those seeking a high end AV (primarily A) experience. There is also a large collection of new and used vinyl, and a large selection of used stuff. New equipment included product by Ayre, Vienna Acoustics, REL, JBL subs, Conrad Johnsen, and on and on. Walter has been in the business for over 30 years, is extremely knowledgeable and his shop is well worth the trip if you are looking for high end equipment.
Anyway, the get-together was informative with Patrick Butler, a representative from Sumiko giving a demonstration of a pair of Vienna Acoustics Beethoven II speakers being driven by Ayre electronics off of notebook computer files of primarily voice pop recordings. I did get a chance to play some of my files from Golden Era classical orchestra recordings. While the Ayre amps were only 60 watts per channel driving fairly small speakers in a good sized room with about 8 bodies listening (All looking over 50 Iím sad to say. Are there any young audiophiles out there?), and my ears are attuned to horns being driven to concert levels, the presentation was well worth the trip to reacclimatize my ears to above average, smaller home systems.
Other lines he carries include PS Audio, Harbeth speakers and Analysis Plus wiring among others. Plus, thereís a large supply of new and used vinyl.
Clark first discovered this company and their original pads about a
year ago, and I reviewed them then as a relatively inexpensive way to help
control ground borne vibration. Since then, they increased their line into
spacers, risers and dual risers, which had double or quadruple pads built into a
Corian block. Unhappily, the North American distributor went belly up with the
recession, so they could only be obtained in
Then, Derrick Ethell, owner and developer of the Black
Ravioli, added his so-called Big Feet to
the mix. I was so excited with what these things did to my system, even with
only enough of them to support three pieces of equipment, Clarkís entire
supply, that I gave a preliminary review at AA123, extolling their
Unlike most equipment which needs a break-in period to hear their properties, the Big Feet showed their qualities immediately. Rather than just placing them under all of my equipment at once, I kept adding them one by one, then removing them, and evaluating the changes. There were a bunch of the singles, two sets of the doubles and one of the triples, which replaced the previously mentioned Footers on my source equipment. Each addition led to a slight increase in the clarity of the image. It wasnít the so-called removal of veils heard with many other tweaks, but a tightening of the image such that individual instruments and voices became more focused, and the soundstage took on more feeling of space.
Lighter pieces of equipment can get away with three of the singles, and very light pieces should have some mass such as bags of lead shot to get the best affect. Large amplifiers and power supplies sound better with four singles, or even better, three of the double or triple units. In my system, three of the singles were placed under the OPPO 83SE Universal player, and the lighter tube amplifiers, two sets of doubles and one triple under my pre-pro, and a mixture of doubles and singles under the tube amplifiers. I could go on but I think you get the message. Iíve tried innumerable feet, supports, racks, etc., over the years to control ground and airborne vibration, and probably have close to 100 different feet in a container in the basement. None of them come close to what these do to control chassis vibration.