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July 2010
Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine
Audiolics Anonymous Chapter 129
Revisiting the Pure Power PP2000 Regenerator And Black Ravioli 
Article By Dr. Bill Gaw

 

  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.

Power UnitLast 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 Boston , where there were several audio emporiums that would have group get-togethers for serious listening. Unlike high end audio shows, where everyone in the room is schmoozing and carousing, one could actually listen to the music and at the same time learn from the other audiophiles there.

My favorite establishment, of course, was Clark Johnsenís Listening Studio, situated off of Congress Street . He had rented a several thousand square foot space in an old seaport solid brick building with 13 to 15 foot ceilings, massive oak floors and beams, with his primary listening area about the size of a small concert hall, and the measurements proportioned to Boston ís Symphony Hall. What a listening salon! And what get-togethers! Everyone invited there was either an audio aficionado or a musical erudite. What a great experience. Unhappily, when the area became gentrified, he lost his lease and had to close, never to recover, like many other high end audio emporiums.

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 Derry , NH (USA) , a town with a population approaching 15,000. It is called Fidelis AV and is run by Walter Swanborn, an audiophile retailer known to me since the early 80ís when he owned a salon in Boston. Walterís one of the few audio shop owners still around that is a straight shooter. I remember him loaning me a very expensive preamp back in the mid 80ís, which I couldnít afford at the time, and he knew it. It was for a listening session at Clark ís studio, a competitor, and he knew that also and still loaned it. This was the session on George Washingtonís Birthday, discussed last month, which produced the best, most realistic music reproduction Iíd ever heard until then.

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. 

 

Black Ravioli
Unhappily, I cannot take full credit for discovering the tweak  discussed today as it was scouted out by Mr. Clark Johnsen. It was discussed previously in my column at this link. and covers the Black Ravioli Footers.

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 Europe . Subsequently Clark has been working on getting a distributor and dealers on this side of the Atlantic , with some success.

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 virtues. Subsequently, Clark received a new shipment, and brought them up a couple of weeks ago. Pricing is still unavailable as they are still looking for a distributor on this side of the Atlantic, so maybe Clark or Derrick Ethell will fill in that information. The new footers have lost the black cloth covering, and the fancy polished Corian, and consist of two rubber-like squares one on each side of a Corian block. They also come in singles, doubles and triples for heavier chassis.

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.

 Highly Recommended!!

 

Now a few words from Derrick Ethell of Black Ravioli:

I have finally made the decision to sell direct in continental USA and I will shortly be making that clear on the website blackravioli.co.uk. We have recently completed transactions with a number of customers in Canada by trialing a personal service via email and it seems to work fine. Once contact is made with us we will send back the terms and conditions of a sale, the current prices and details of how we will go about ensuring the customer gets the right products for their needs. If they are happy we will follow up and discuss in detail their requirements and hopefully supply exactly what is best for them. All the products are in stock and available. Delivery is by UPS. Any import duty will have to be paid by the client on arrival but delivery is free on all orders over $300. The final price will be subject to the exchange rate at the time but all I can say is that it is probably not going to get much better than the current rates so it's a good time right now to be buying black ravioli.

Derrick Ethell
Black Ravioli

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
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