Tweaks for DaysTweaks to Daze
I love this stuff. Ultra System's Robert Stein (pictured right with Bernd Alne of HiFi-Tuning left) greeted me with an entire array of 12 audio enhancement products, a host of which are just entering the US market. One that will surely attract Michael Fremer's attention is the Audio Desk Systeme Vinyl Cleaner. This German wonder, which retails for $3495, delivers the world's first, fully automatic ultrasonic as well as mechanical LP cleaning bath. The baby treats both sides of an LP to an ultrasonic cleaning, then to a liquid bath, and finally to a blow dry. The only services it doesn't offer are tints and highlights.
Germany's HiFi-Tuning has announced a host of new and revised products. First and foremost are changes to their oft-reviewed HiFi-Tuning fuses. Containing a 3Ns pure silver burn wire that does not degrade in quality even as it slowly oxidizes and 3N silver endcaps, the company has removed the gold plating on those caps to increase performance. The result is a $5 price drop. Don't forget to burn in these babies for a good 72 hours.
The company has also issued a CD/DVD demagnetizer ($399) that is claimed to improve on existing models from other companies by zapping the disc with two different frequencies. Each zap is eight seconds in duration: four seconds to ramp up the charge, and four more to reverse polarity and ramp it down. The treatment corrects the low-level magnetic effects caused by metals in the inks and dyes used to print labels on the CD.
HiFi-Tuning also has a brand new IEC plug ($139) whose contacts are 98% copper/bronze with 24 carat gold plating on the 1.5 mm clamps. Over three years and $100,000 was invested to perfect the plugs, I was told. HiFi-Tuning's schuko plug is the plug most commonly used by American cable manufacturers (including Kimber, Shunyata, JPS, and I believe Nordost) on the cables they export to Europe.
Last but not least, the Audio-Animator Ultra ($599) is a magic gold wand from ArtKustik of Austria that is said to improve the sound of CDs as well as the taste of whiskey and wine. Containing quartz crystals and God only knows what else, it is said to refresh music when waved over CDs as much as it improves the taste of food if you store it in the refrigerator (which is where your body may end up if you pretend to buy the spouse one for Valentine's Day). While the basic Audio-Animator has been around for 10 years, the Ultra version is brand new. There are also smaller versions that attach to cables ($299/pair).
Ultra Systems is like a candy shop for those unafraid of thinking outside the box. I hope I have the opportunity to try some of these products out at home.