Steinmusic Harmonizer's American Debut
Midway through Axpona, Norbert Mundorf, maker of the fabled Mundorf capacitors, flew in from Germany to bring the Steinmusic Harmonizer H2a and H2b to the Jaton room. Although I had already blogged the room, I happened to be in the right place to learn what was going on.
Making their show debut, presumably before they appear at the Munich High-End Show at the end of March, the Steinmusic Harmonizer, Magic Stones and E-pads are room acoustic optimizers that have been engineered by Holger Stein. Although I did not have the opportunity to take a before and after listen, as I have done countless times with room treatment products that include the Shakti Hallographs, Synergistic Research ART system, and Acoustic Resonators, the Jaton folks were mighty impressed with the improvements Stein's products made to their sound.
Attempting to describe what the electric cube does, Mundorf said that it alters the molecular structure of the air. "There is something in the air," he told me in the best English he could summon up on jet lag. "We were really surprised and satisfied with the performance of these products. They affect airwaves, clearing up and removing echoes and distractions caused by reflections. If, for example, you put it next to a window in a reflective kitchen, it will affect your ability to hear things clearly."
Stein's literature, whose awkward English suggests that Stein values clear music over coherent translation, says, "The air molecules inside of the listening room are 'jogged' trough [sic] the loudspeaker and thus transmit the sound information." It goes on to hypothesize that the Harmonizer works at the etheric level, charging airwaves to enable them to transport sound more effectively.
Stein calls this a working hypothesis. In other words, he hears it working, and is trying to figure out exactly what it does. To my mind, that's a legitimate approach. Did people hold off eating until they could figure out exactly how food was transformed into energy?
The black cube shown in Mundorf's hand either plugs into the wall or is powered by a 9V battery. The Magic Stones are triangular elements with a diameter of around 30mm, and are said to increase the Harmonizer's effectiveness.
Also available are E-pads, self-adhesive elements which "have a radical impact on the reproduction of music if placed a the right position. They work at the level of interaction of molecules and thus produce profound and measurable changes of the material properties. This may be related to the spectrum of resonances as well as the torsion force, the elastic modulus [sic?] and the conductivity. So it is kind of resonance control, but working by the capacitive influence on the interaction between molecules What happens wherever you use them is that music becomes more intense and detailed."
Having previously written about products that fly in the face of what we believe to be bona fide reality, I can just see the dismissive comments starting to appear moments after John posts this. Of course, everyone debunking these products will have yet to take a listen. In fact, the majority of debunkers will probably never bother to take a listen, lest their experience contradict what they believe. I for one look forward to the opportunity to take a listen. Hopefully that will come when Jaton holds a demo of their products for the Bay Area Audiophile Society.