Synergistic's Black ART
When I reported in our report from the 2009 RMAF that I perceived a degradation when Ted Denney of cable manufacturer Synergistic Research removed his tiny ART devices from the room, it triggered a debate that raged not just in the comments following that report but also in our website forum right up to today. The fact is that these small metal bowls are too small to have a significant effect on the acoustics of a room at frequencies below 10kHz or so, yet they seem to improve the accuracy and stability of stereo imaging and even tighten up the sounds of bass instruments. It is a mystery, therefore, how these devices can work. I have conjectured that perhaps they have an effect on the
A pair of YG’s new two-way Carmel speakers ($18,000/pair) was being powered by an Ayon tube amp and Ayon CD player. The room was completely bare, other than the tiny devices that you can see on the wall above and to the side of each speaker, with other "bass” devices in front of the speakers and on the wall behind the CD player.
Both Jason and I have commented in our reports on the generally problematic acoustics of the small rooms in the Marriott’s Tower, and how other exhibitors had tried to deal with them with Tube Traps, absorbers, and diffusors. All I can say is that in this bare, untreated roomuntreated in the conventional manner, that isthe sound of the Carmels was way better than when I first heard them at the 2010 CES. The balance was mellow and musically involving and it was almost as if the acoustics of the room were being sidestepped. The overall sound was not quite at the level of the Revel and Dynaudio rooms that I felt were the best of Show, but it wasn’t as far behind as you might expect.
Ted offered to remove the ART devices so I could hear if the sound got worse, but it was already past the Show’s closing time on the final day. And in any case, I had heard that demonstration last year. I’ll let Shakespeare sum it up: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” And mine, it seems.