The Art of Tuning
Go forth and find ye cables, tweaks, power products, and low-cost amplification, saith the Lord of Atkinson. Little did I realize how much fun my assignment would be. While I didn't run across any low-cost amplification on my first day at CES, there were cables and tweaks galore.
As luck would have it, the Stereophile outpost in the Venetian was virtually across the hall from Ted Denney's Synergistic Research Inc. Given that the thread on the magazine's website forum about Ted's Acoustic ART Real-Time Analogue Room Treatment now amounts to well over 40 pages, I was delighted to discover that he was prepared to do a demo before the show officially opened. While not even Ted could compensate for my absentmindedness, which led me to abandon his literature somewhere on the 29th floor, I found the demo so convincing that I took copious notes.
For those unfamiliar with this fascinating system, Ted developed it after spending three years sailing the Pacific on a vision quest of sorts. Stopping at Tibetan Buddhist temples along the way, he became intrigued with the use of Tibetan bowls to control and tune sound in the sanctuaries. The result is a tuning system that consists of a suspended blue Vibraton sphere that looks a bit like the planet Saturn, topped by removable tiny magnets; the Gravitron and Magnatron Satellites (small carbon steel bowls that have been zapped by a 2 million volt Tesla coil) that sit atop either magnetic or non-magnetic bases affixed to walls), and a spiked Bass Station that sits on the floor.
In the course of various positionings, removals, and repositionings, I heard the components of the ART system focus and tighten percussion, render a soundstage considerably more three-dimension, clarify a musical presentation rather than leaving it muddy, and considerably tighten and control bass. The active shielding on Ted's cables have an equally remarkable although different effect on clarity. I can understand how the entire set-up might push some audiophiles past their woo-woo threshold, but my ears tell me Ted's products amount to breakthroughs in the field of resonance control, room tuning, and musical expression.
Ted also exhibited his Tesla PowerCell, an AC conditioner that limits neither current nor dynamics. Given how convincing Ted's demos were, I regret that there was no easy to conduct a before and after comparison.