Synergistic Research’s HFT and FEQ Transform Bose Wave Radio

With up to 75 rooms to cover on multiple floors of the Marriott’s tower, I decided to check out Synergistic Research’s much-heralded new products before the show officially began. Inventor Ted Denney decided to dem his new babies, not with the expected megabuck system, but rather with a Bose radio. Positioned atop one of his Tranquility Bases, used as shelves on a Solid Tech rack, the radio played a vocal track by Anne Vada and Aki Fukakura as Denney demonstrated the cumulative effects of his tiny aluminum passive HFTs (High Frequency Transducers, $299/5 pack), active FEQ (Frequency Equalizer, $750), and Tranquility Bases. (In the photo, Ted is pointing to the HFT affixed to the front of the radio.)

My initial impression, with everything in the system, was that despite the radio’s glaring limitations, the room-filling size and depth of the soundstage were pretty amazing. As Denney progressively removed the 20 HFTs he had positioned around the room (including two on the front and back of the radio, and one on his Synergistic Research active FireWire cable), then the FEQ which rested on a table behind the equipment rack, and finally the Tranquility Bases, the soundstage shrank, bass lost impact, music became localized in the radio, and, most important, the listening experience became less compelling.

Activating just the Tranquility Bases made the bass more solid and the picture more dimensional. Even with just two out of the 20 HFTs returned to the front and back of the Bose radio, sonic depth increased. The more HFTs Denney added—there are five levels of treatment, each comprised of five HFTs—the larger and more room-filling the soundstage became. With everything restored, percussion seemed to be coming from all over the place, color increased, and the three-dimensional illusion was pretty uncanny.

Having said that, I wish I could have heard this experiment on a far more refined system. After all, a Bose radio can do only so much, no matter how much help it gets. Regardless, the demonstration sure whet my appetite to hear the HFTs and FEQ again, and experiment with them in my reference system (currently in storage [sigh] pending a move to new house).

COMMENTS
eugovector's picture

The best part about the HFT, in my mind, is that they are small enough to be carried anywhere.  Next time you go to a movie or concert, bring a handful of these and mount them in the room before the show begins.  Better yet, they could be strung together and worn as a necklace so they are always right by your head improving the sound of rush hour traffic and your morning BM.  Perhaps they could be inserted directly into the ears, or ingested like tic-tacs?

Please try some of these implementations and let us know the results of your experiments.

fy415's picture

It would be very helpful, since these items are so unusual, to explain what exactly the High Frequency Transducer, the Frequency Equalizer, and the Tranquility Base are, what they're made of, and how they work. 

I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling disappointed (even frustrated) with the lack of information. The inventor is right there, after all. Why not ask him?

SergioLangstrom's picture

fy415,

Asking Mr Serinus to ask a valid question about a snake oil product is like asking Stereophile to test said snake oil product in a valid way. Not going to happen.

I suggest everyone vote with their pocketbook and not buy Denney's snake oil.

Audio Legend's picture

Classic Snayke Oyl, from a carnival barker. The sad part is they make good products.  This "I'm a genius, trust me" marketing is B.S.

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

In understand your frustration, and applaud your curiosity. However, there is only so much I can put in a short blog. Pls. check the website or call the company for more information. 

eugovector's picture

Yes, the who and the where is critical.  The what, why, and how are inconsequential.

Perhaps there was room for even one critical question?  Maybe, "what does the HFT stuck on a digital cable do?"  You should do more than applaud curiosity; you should adopt it.

SergioLangstrom's picture

Mr Serinus,

Why do you constantly gush praise upon Ted Denney's products, then turn around and claim there is only so much you can put in a short blog?

Snake oil is snake oil and regardless of your praise, those who have been around for a long time know that anything Mr Denney makes is pure bunk.

Telling us to go to his website or to call the company is laughable. He doesn't make anything that isn't pure BS.

tarquineous's picture

"Anybody that's been around knows" ? Are you claiming to know everyone that has been around ?

I've been into audio for about three decades, and have tried a few Synergistic Research products. Out of the six products I tried, I liked and still own four of them. The other two, I did not care for, and sent them back. I would say with experience, their products vary from very good to rather poor, factoring in both performance and cost.

I would not however say that "everything" they make is this or that. Like you, I have not tried all of their products, nor is it practical. I therefore cannot make a valid judgement on every product Synergistic has made.

Archimago's picture

Wow. This sounds like a flashback to the 1990's with the Peter Belt's PWB Rainbow Foil. Just stick those babies anywhere and voila, audio euphony for all!

I see the foil and PWB cream might still be on the "Recommended List" here still? At least they sent out free samples to try which was really decent of Peter and May Belt.

Jason, it would be nice to get a close up "macro" shot of what that HFT looks like - no need for Denny's mug with unsightly red eyes in that photo, please.

On more thing - for the Wave Radio to have music "become localized" to the unit is actually a good thing IMO given how the WaveGuide (TM) diffuses and distorts the sound to exert its intended effect. Seems to be an improvement taking those stickies off!

I wonder if many of the attendees leave that demo shaking their heads in horror at the insult to their intellect.

eugovector's picture

And I would take it a step further and say that it's an insult to real inventors and engineers that submit their products for review and advertise in the pages of stereophile.  When obvious bunk is priased, how do we take serious the review of seemingly-well engineered speakers and associated equipment?

It's not enough for readers to walk, the manufacturers should to.  ATTENTION MANUFACTURERS OF WORTH:  The perception of your products are being dragged down by Stereophile.  Take your reviews and advertising elsewhere, if only to the now-sister publication Sound and Vision.  Of the two, Stereophile is more Cain than Abel, though let's hope that S&V is the one who survives.

John Atkinson's picture

eugovector wrote:
ATTENTION MANUFACTURERS OF WORTH:  The perception of your products are being dragged down by Stereophile.  Take your reviews and advertising elsewhere, if only to the now-sister publication Sound and Vision.

An unexpected benefit of Stereophile's reporting on Ted Denney's products at shows is that it attracts all the trolls to one place so they don't contaminate the rest of our show coverage :-)

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

ChrisS's picture

...and they're so small!

Mygaffer's picture

I find your comment about trolls strange and out of place. A reader brings up very valid points about this article, the fact that many if not most "audiophiles" will see articles like this and begin to lose trust in your company's ability to faithfully present products without letting money get into the way, and you call them a troll?
This kind of article reflects very poorly on your publication. I don't know if these products do anything, based on my knowledge of audio and physics I would guess not but I am open to some blind testing to prove me wrong. This article was as soft as they come. Was this a paid advertisement masquerading as standard content? I know that thing is common online and I have not read much of your publication up to this point.
This is actually one of the first articles I have read here and having read it I know I won't trust any other article I read. Who I will trust are of the knowledgeable people who populate your forums.
Thanks for your time,
Mygaffer

John Atkinson's picture

Quote:
I find comment about trolls strange and out of place. A reader brings up very valid points about this article, the fact that many if not most "audiophiles" will see articles like this and begin to lose trust in your company's ability to faithfully present products without letting money get into the way, and you call them a troll?

Thank you for making my point for me.

Quote:
Was this a paid advertisement masquerading as standard content?
 
No. Thank you again for making my point.
 
John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile
SergioLangstrom's picture

Now if you could only find the time to do some tests on Denney's products instead of calling those who question his products as being trolls, you might have a valid point.

Till then, you haven't much to argue with.

es347's picture

I don't know you personally only having shaken your hand at the RMAF a few years ago but it seems to me that your getting involved in this level of sarcastic back and forth with S'phile posters..."trolls"...is beneath you.  It makes you look at least as petty as they might appear.  That's it from me but just for the record I, like the other trolls here, feel a sense of outrage with these nonsensical devices that do nothing more than extract money from ones wallet.  I haven't heard all of the "tweaks" out there but the fringe dwellers like those listed above that I have heard make no difference whatsoever...zilch...nada...zero...except for the lowering of my checkbook balance.  Over and out...your photo is ridiculous by the way :-)

Squid Cap's picture

You are free to call unnecessary criticism as trolling when you have black on white, data on paper. Until you do, we are free to reveal the glaring omission of truth found around Synergistic Research demos.

I measured on SR demo. There was difference on average 0.4dB between sound pressures between the "improvements". Trend line is: less SR products in the room, less SPL. This is directly opposite what room treatment does: we get decrease in sound pressure, not increase when we absorb sound energy. The amount is also noteworthy, below 0.5dB we don't sense sound pressure increase but we interpret it as sound quality increase. You can quite easily go several dB up on volume if you do it slow enough, all the time music sound better and better.

I'm audio engineer myself and there is no known mechanism that could explain the results. There is ONE simple and logical explanation: the SR salesrep who is holding the remote controller and will NOT let clients or customers use it.. Since these effects were so obvious, we should be able to measure them easy. Why aren't these methods used, why aren't blind testing used, why aren't basic methods used to verify the observed results?

I know exactly why. This drives traffic. Cable discussions in stereophile are SOLELY there to provide easy traffic and heated discussion that can be interpreted by ad algorithms to be hot topic and that drives ad revenue up. Thanks goodness for adblockers.

Try to deny that. Littlebirds are around audio shows, they hear all kinds of discussions by accident ;)

John Atkinson's picture
Squid Cap wrote:
You are free to call unnecessary criticism as trolling when you have black on white, data on paper. Until you do, we are free to reveal the glaring omission of truth found around Synergistic Research demos.

If you read this thread in its entirety, you will observe that those I refer to as "trolls" fit the dictionary definition: "A member of an internet forum who continually harangues and harasses others. Someone with nothing worthwhile to add to a certain conversation..."

If you take the time to read my own writings on Synergistic Research products, you will see that I am also skeptical of how they are supposed to work. See, for example, www.stereophile.com/content/rmaf-2014-john-atkinson-wraps-his-wreport, though you will also I note that I reported hearing a difference that I could not explain.

Squid Cap wrote:
I measured on SR demo. There was difference on average 0.4dB between sound pressures between the "improvements". Trend line is: less SR products in the room, less SPL.

Certainly that would explain what I heard. But do you have more than anecdotal evidence, "black on white, data on paper," as it were? Repeatably measuring spl with music as source to within an accuracy of less than 0.5dB under uncontrolled conditions is relatively difficult. So what meter did you use, what weighting and ballistics, what music, how many comparisons, was this a single instance or did you average multiple tests, etc?

Squid Cap wrote:
Why aren't these methods used, why aren't blind testing used, why aren't basic methods used to verify the observed results? I know exactly why. This drives traffic. Cable discussions in stereophile are SOLELY there to provide easy traffic and heated discussion that can be interpreted by ad algorithms to be hot topic and that drives ad revenue up.

And now you descend into trolling. You know . . . ? Really?

Squid Cap wrote:
Thanks goodness for adblockers.

This is a free-access website. We try to be respectful of visitors, we do not feature annoying pop-up ads, or context-specific key-word-activated ads, or force visitors to endure ads before they can access our content. But if all visitors followed your example and used ad blockers, it would no longer be free. Your loss, I suggest.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Squid Cap's picture

Test of course is not accurate, there is so much noise that getting accurate reading is almost impossible. But i managed to isolate the test tracks and what actually attracted me, was how consistently it was already visually apparent. I'll dig where i got the screencaps. I used Reaper and had to interpret a lot, use long averaging. But the results, i can fully trust that will get same conclusion from any engineer "it is clearly higher sound pressure, less than 1 db".

Found the screencap, it is test 1 on topmost track, no treatments, test 2 middle without their bass treatment and last is full treatment with dozen or more of those little patches and some tiny "bass" correcting thingymawhizz.. You can see even visually that those are not identical sound pressures. And i repeat, not valid, full confimration but it would be quite odd to have that happen in real life. Clips were taken from this and it is very poor audio, deliberately took one that wasn't in their own showrooms, one that would not likely be tampered in post (we already know they cheat on post production..): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHrXQ8L_IDI

http://i.imgur.com/7ROhmq3.jpg (clips are not synced in this, they were arranged to fit in the same pic with max horizontal resolution)

The only thing to do now, is to demand control when they are doing the tests, using your own material and having access to the remote.. I doubt the Bose demo has any display in the device visible that would show for ex, levels used?

Oh, and so i don't hide behind pseudonym, my name is Kennett Ylitalo.

John Atkinson's picture
Squid Cap wrote:
Found the screencap, it is test 1 on topmost track, no treatments, test 2 middle without their bass treatment and last is full treatment with dozen or more of those little patches and some tiny "bass" correcting thingymawhizz. . . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHrXQ8L_IDI.

Thanks very much for the link. I will try performing my own analysis on the soundtrack, but it is still possible that something might have been done to the sound in post-production.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

eugovector's picture

People also laughed at the idea of the titanic sinking.  Maybe the best advice is not to ignore the icebergs.

andy_c's picture

It's my understanding that Sound and Vision and other incarnations of AV mags have struggled, yet Stereophile has done well financially. How does this come about?

If you look at the AV business, it is thriving, with boatloads of new products each year and forums like avsforum awash in posts. That forum had to turn itself over to Huddler because the growth was too much for the previous operators to handle. And yet the AV-oriented mags don't do well. As far as I can tell, the reason is that the AV audience is a self-reliant and community-reliant bunch, who support each other and share knowledge mostly in online forums. Rationality rules in that world.

Audiophiles are a different matter though. They are an insecure group. Despite the "trust your ears" meme, they do anything but. They depend on validation from self-appointed gurus. And these so-called "gurus" have no clue. It's an ideal opportunity for all sorts of shenanigans from the audio press. In the last few years, it's taken the form of a transition from snake oil agnosticism to snake oil cheerleading at Stereophile. It would be a mistake to underestimate the ability of Stereophile to not only survive, but thrive in this environment. MBAs call this "a strategy of milking" from the book of the same name.

Atkinson is all too aware of the ignorance of his own readership and is, I'm sure, plenty willing to exploit that in the foreseeable future, thus guaranteeing Stereophile's success in the short to medium term.

John Marks's picture

I have been writing professionally for more than 30 years in several overlapping areas--not only consumer audio (and music) but also pro audio, custom install-systems integration, and even car audio.

From my experience, the major difference between audio magazines and home theater magazines is the "engaged hobbyist" aspect. You say "credulousness," I say engaged hobbyists. And I am the one (along with JA and other people in NYC) who reads the Letters to the Editor directed to me or directed to John A. about something I wrote.

Once a person has taken up audio as a hobby interest, that person tends to continue to read the enthusiast publications until he loses interest. To state it somewhat differently, most of the customers for most of the products reviewed in Stereophile and advertised in Stereophile are "audio hobbyists." It is very rare to find someone who is not an "audio hobbyist" driving $35,000 Sonus Faber loudspeakers with $40,000 of electronics in a system including $5000 in power distribution products and $15,000 in cables.

I will now make my point by a logical reduction. Most of us would prefer not to have to live without a clothes washing machine and a dryer, or without a vacuum cleaner. However, very few of us subscribe to appliance industry or homebuilding industry trade publications to keep up with the latest in appliances large and small, even though we all realize that at some point between next week and 10 years from now, we are likely to need a home appliance. Nearly all of us take the attitude that when that day comes, we will get advice however we can or think necessary.

In my experience, home theater products from projectors to processors to screens to flat panel TVs are for nearly all the people who buy them just another home appliance. They enter the marketplace, do whatever "due diligence" they want to, get the stuff installed or set it up themselves, and then EXACTLY like the washing machine or vacuum cleaner, it is what it is, and it is here until it breaks. I will then look around again.

To restate, most of the customers for home theater products are not hobbyists, they are just buyers of a home appliance. That is why consumer home theater magazines have an easier time attracting advertisers than subscription renewals. Some people bite on the teaser first year subscription. That becomes their due diligence, and then after that, they are fine. Some people buy a newsstand copy or the Buyer's Guide, and that is their due diligence. The percentage of people in the market for home theater at any given time who are in it as a continuing hobby, and who are always striving for "more" and "better," is a small fraction of the percentage of similarly-motivated people in audio. Home theater product buyers usually have no idea whether they are really buying something "right," but nearly all of them know they are buying it "once."

A close friend is a major regional systems integrator. His repeat business comes 10, 15, or 20 years after a big system install. Nobody who bought a big home theater calls up the next year to ask, "What is even better today than what I bought last year?"

It was good then, it is "good-enough" now. I am not saying that there is not a small band of videophile crazies who are after continuous improvement. What I am saying is that the video and stereo industries are very different in that regard.

So, the two industries are totally different at the consumer end. Your casual swipes about "insecure" audio readers are off the mark. My readers are not insecure, they are curious, and they want to get better sound without breaking the bank.

And exactly what are your audio engineering achievements? Or even professional memberships? You are insulting some people with some real-world, non-snake-oil accomplishments.

BTW, I was at TAS when they were trying to keep The Perfect Vision alive as a print magazine. As far as I could tell, what was going on was a whole bunch of "Clapping for Tinkerbell"--that there must be some magic bullet that would make home theater buyers more like audio hobbyists. Nope.

I myself always chalked it up to the fundamentally different nature of the neurological, perceptual, mental, and emotional components of the experience of listening to serious music (of whatever genre; Coltrane and David Gray count too) versus "watching a movie."

Netflix is popular because most movies are only worth watching once. I am sure that I have heard Oistrakh's Brahms Concerto with Szell and the Cleveland at least 100 times in the past 35 years, and I still want to get more deeply into it.

It's a matter of a compulsion to experience spiritual enrichment versus, "watching a movie." But based on the content and tone of your post, I have little confidence that such a distinction will mean a lot to you.

Have a nice day,

John Marks

es347's picture

I've read a number of your reviews and must hand it to you...you have a talent.  Bravo!  I also agree with the point you made regarding HT vs 2ch audio.  I have a full blown HT in my lower level and it sports some of the best AV eqpt available.  I also have a $60K +/- stereo system in a dedicated room.  I have no desire to upgrade anything in the HT unless something explodes.  But with my 2ch system I am hopelessly hooked, reading all the audio rags, visiting countless audio forums daily, etc.  You are correct sir.  The 2ch crowd is comprised of true devotees to the sport.  Again, well said John!

Ken Harley's picture

"An unexpected benefit of Stereophile's reporting on Ted Denney's products at shows is that it attracts all the trolls to one place so they don't contaminate the rest of our show coverage :-)"

 

I have noticed that the rest of the coverage has very few to none in responses. Without the side show that is Ted Denney's products, it looks like no one cares much. Also why do you use the term troll when you don't allow anyone else to use it? I agree that calling people who disagrees a troll is being small minded.

ChrisS's picture

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrzMhU_4m-g

You assume JA and Stereophile are witches because you dress them like one...

SergioLangstrom's picture

Thanks for proving our point. You do realise that at the end of the sketch that she is shown to be a witch? Perhaps you should watch what you want others to see beforehand next time.

ChrisS's picture

SergioLangstrom's picture

What ever you say pal

ChrisS's picture

Now you think you're someone else!

(While not understanding the paradox of the Monty Python witch sketch...)

[flame deleted by John Atkinson]

jeffca's picture

It's interesting to see that, unlike when I asserted that Wilson Audio's $200,000 speakers were drastically over-priced, that the general readership isn't buying into this crap and that, other than the clown who made the post, the rest of the writer's at Stereophile are avoiding this subject like the Ebola Virus.

Let's state one thing up front: a transducer is a device that converts a signal from one form of energy to another form of energy such as a microphone or speaker. What exactly are these HFT's converting? Acoustic foam turns sound energy into heat but it's not considered a tranducer in the strict sense since its function is to absorb sound not faithfully convert it.

I'd be interested in finding out exactly what it is that these things do and how they do it. At the Synergistic Research web site, they offer no explaination.

It seems, though, that these are like those little ceramic cups that were being sold a few years ago that made your room sound better in spite of the fact that there was no physics or physiologically based proof that was the case.

The biggest mistake made in the audio press is presenting the falacy that everything that can be heard can't be necessarily measured or quantified. In actuallity, it can. Where the science starts going  a little sideways is in its understanding of how the brain perceives it. Using the case offered by Synergistic Research, smoking weed is a valid way to condition the air in the room so that it more acurately represents the sound waves recorded by the engineer. No wonder Snoop and Willy partake!

On a somewhat different subject, I just got the latest Steven Wilson album on Blu-ray. While not perfect, it is the greatest rock recording I've ever heard when it comes to pure fidelity. Any of you LP nuts want to explain to him what he's missing by not ruining his work by putting it on vinyl? Please tell Steven Wilson and me how it would sound better. That would be a hoot! Fremer? Atkinson? Serinus?

I didn't think so.

Cheers,
jeff

audiodoctornj's picture

To the doubters reading this, I have not heard Ted's latest series of tweeks,  but becuause you haven't heard it or it doesn't seem rationale to you, is no reason to bash his or any other product.

We are all on a journey to make real music appear in our rooms, a difficult and demanding task. 

I will tell you about five years ago, my neighbor Clement Perry, the editor of Stereotimes, came knocking on my door, by the way, the likelyhood of a mega audiophile reviewwer, living within 200 feet of a major audio retailor, Audio Doctor, was a bizzare concidence. Clemment wanted to introduce me to Frank Chang, the creator of the Acoustic System Resonators, long story short, we were given a demo of this amazing product, and even my incredibliy sceptical wife heard the dramtaic difference this product makes. A resonator for those who don't know is a thimble sized piece of precious metal on a wooden block these things sell for $300-$3,000 a piece, a basic setup sells for $3-5k. 

Now for those who don't get it, the resonators made my $150k plus reference system sound dramatically more like real music, without the resonators, no magic, it was only when you heard a system with them could you grasp the magnitude of this discovery.

In fact a German Lab was hired to do an analysis of the product and they concluded these little devices did indeed influence sounds in the room.

After the resonators came out Ted came out with a more affordable version of the original French product, and came out with many more influential products that work on absorbing emi/rfi and removing them from a system. 

Ted is  a pioneer, and his products do indeed work, his cables are breathtaking, and if you ever get to hear an active vs in active demo of active shielding the difference is startling, 

Back to increduality, go back in your minds to the discovery of radiation, or the concept of a rounded earth, or the fact that  a particularly adept astronomer proposed the outragous concept that the Earth revolves around the Sun and not the other way around! We know now that invisible rays can kill you, the Earth isn't flat, and we are part of a much larger Galaxy and an even larger Universe, all truths that were considered at the time to be radical if not prepostorous heritical concepts.

We live in a world filled with newly discovered concepts and products which seem to the rational mind that they can not work or affect the outcomes of our systems, in fact can and do,  I personally use:

Three different brands of acoustic resonators,

Shakti Stones

Shakti Hollographs

Stillpoints, racks and vibration devices

a  black body 

Stein's magic boxes 

Walker HDL, Walker Talismens, and many other tweeks.

I bought all of these devices and wouldn't think of using any of my many demo systems without them, and if you think that I would have purchased $50k worth of these products if I didn't hear a meaningful difference you are crazy, and given the fact that I don't sell some of these products is proof positive that they work.

So before you get on the snake oil diatribe, go to a store that sells these products and see for your self if they work you might even learn something.

Sincerely,

 

Dave Lalin, President, Audio Doctor

SergioLangstrom's picture

Flat earth idiots? So anyone who questions snake oil is not only a troll but also devoid of a brain? Haha funny stuff coming from someone who lists all the obvious snake oil as being valid then signs the post as president of Audio Doctor. [text deleted by John Atkinson]

Sorry but just because you say it works isn't proof.

Archimago's picture

Interesting reply Audio Doctor.

Realize too that some of us have tried the stuff you list but have noticed no improvement.

Who's the "Flat Earther"? The ones who bother to run measurements and blind tests, willing to consider the complexity of mental phenomena including subtle biases while considering > 100 years worth of scientific understanding, or those who seem to partake apparently only in sighted listening with apparently little curiosity to find empirical confirmation to their own impression of some ephemeral experience? All the while spending significant resources.

I wonder what position Copernicus or Galileo would have chosen...

es347's picture

Dave, you failed to mention Mpingo discs, Clever Little Pebbles, the Tice Clock...and countless others.  The power of suggestion is a powerful tool.  Seems that you are skilled in its use.  Happy listening!

Fivel's picture

I have no issue with readers requesting information on how these products work. It's just that their attitudes are way out of line.

Where I come from, snake oil refers to a product that DOES NOT perform as advertised. It appears that these products just might be doing what Synergistic claims they do. Real reviews and audiophile listening in true high end systems are necessary before all of this condemnation is warranted. 

SergioLangstrom's picture

Being gullible and considering these fraud products is a sign of being none too bright. It has nothing to do with attitude.

Fivel's picture

A silly response indicative of a Hydrogen Audio devotee.

SergioLangstrom's picture

Buy some of Ted's stuff and let us know how it works out for you then, you can be the one to set us straight.

Music_Guy's picture

This audiophile thing is pastime.  It is not "real."  It is not curing cancer or creating world peace.

The cool thing is that we all get to play with our music sources and our equipment to the extent our time and money allows.

I can scrape together, maybe, a thousand bucks a year to spend on this without eating into more important stuff.  Maybe every five years or so I can justify two (?) grand.

If I had the time and money, I'd love to play with all these "treatments."  I'd love to have a $10k or even a $100k system.  I do know, for me, that when you go from gear in the $100 range to gear in the $1000 range you hear a big difference...single blind, double blind you name it.  $1000 - $5000, yeah definitely better again.  $5,000-$10,000, maybe.  $10,000+ you're beginning to lose me.

If you have $100,000 invested in gear, these couple-of-thousand dollar trinkets are nothing relatively speaking.  Do they work?  Probably?Maybe/I doubt it?  Are they worth it?  That is up to YOU!.

Keep the "dialog" going, I love the show.

audiodoctornj's picture

to Archimago

There is no bigger skeptic then myself, if I don't hear a difference I don't buy the device. 

The fact that so many people have heard what these tweeks do to improve their systems, as well as verified by reviewers is generally all the proof I need.

The fact that some people haven't heard improvments doesn't mean that these products don't work, there are numerous reasons:

1: Listener doesn't know what to listen for.

2: Listener's system is compromised and doesn't have great resolution

3: Listener has compromised hearing.

4: Listener won't give in  to admiitting that he can hear the difference  but won't reconcile the fact that he shouldn't be. 

SergioLangstrom's picture

So everyone that thinks these devices work are right and those that hear no difference are wrong? Yeah that's using logic as entended.

1  Listener knows what to listen for, a change in the sound

2 That Bose demo sure isn't compressed and has great resolution huh?

3 Use some Q tips and stop listening to rock at volume 11

[text deleted by John Atkinson]

4 User doesn't hear a difference since the sound didn't change

es347's picture

Really?  So much for the 1st amendment..

John Atkinson's picture

es347 wrote:
So much for the 1st amendment.

First, you don't seem to realize that the First Amendment doesn't apply to private corporations. Second, while I apply a light hand to moderation on this site, I don't tolerate flames and personal insults expressed by posters who disagree with something someone else has expressed. Address the argument, not the arguer, is the golden rule on this site.

When I delete text that is nothing more flames or insults, I always indicate that I have done so, as in the instance you note. When I block someone from posting to our site, I always warn them first that their behavior - not their opinions - won't be tolerated. If they continue to flame and insult despite that warning, I block them, as I have had to do to several posters to this thread.

But I repeat: none of the actions I take as moderator concern people's opinions.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

 

Archimago's picture

Sure, those are reasons why someone might not hear something...

I was simply replying to your comment on "flat earth idiots" as referred to those questioning the value of these tweaks. I just find this ironic given that logic, mathematics and science helped hypothesize then later prove the spherical nature of our planet. I am unclear upon which logical, mathematical, scientific, or engineering principle the tweaks you speak of including Mr. Denney's demonstration draws from.

If you are as you claim - "no bigger skeptic" - then I would like to know what you have done to verify your impression? Would you say the tweaks your speak of resulted in major changes? How did you test out those Shakti stones or Hollographs for example?

You see, I'm happy to be proven wrong and don't mind listening to some of this stuff that audiophile friends have in their setup (many moons ago one of the first tweaks I borrowed was a set of Totem Tuning Beaks). I have yet to be convinced by tweaks that do not have clear principles of how they modify the sound waves in my room or change the electrical signal through the audio system.

eugovector's picture

I find the “flat earth” (I’ll be omitting the idiot part from here on out) analogy a bit misplaced. I mean, weren’t the flat earthers the one who believed only what they could perceive their senses in the most convenient setting possible, refusing to seek and trust scientific data (the measured curvature of the earth), or to broaden their sensory experience by personally testing their hypothesis (hopping in a boat and sailing to the “end of the earth”). Which camp does that sound more like? Are you in the boat, or are you sitting on your throne, relying on your positional authority, waiting for others to test these hypotheses at their own expenses so that you may reap the benefits of their labor? Who wants to get in the boat? PS. My analogy completely ignores that most of the explorers turned out to be conquering jerks, and while their contributions to the knowledge of the world are undeniably positive, their overall impact skews from neutral to bad depending on which indigenous perspective you adopt. I’m hoping we’ve moved beyond that point.

DPM's picture

I sat through one of the demonstrations of the HFTs and FEQ.  In short, they work as advertised.  Ted's explanations was these devices work on the ultrasonic noise in the listening environment.  Though this noise is too high in frequency for humans to hear it does negatively impact those frequencies we do hear.  Taming said noise results in better system performance by removing another impediment.

Scott Walker informed me that there is a 30 day trial period for purchasers to ascertain for themselves if the products improve the sound in their listening rooms.  I would have bought several of the cylinders (HFTs), but I had already overshot my budget in the music vendor's room.

SergioLangstrom's picture

"I sat through one of the demonstrations of the HFTs and FEQ.  In short, they work as advertised.  Ted's explanations was these devices work on the ultrasonic noise in the listening environment.  Though this noise is too high in frequency for humans to hear it does negatively impact those frequencies we do hear.  Taming said noise results in better system performance by removing another impediment."

 

Uhhhhhhhh sorry but NO. This bogus explanation by Ted is pure BS.

Sleight of hand is easy if you don't know what is going on.

Ultrasonic noise hmmmmmm?  Did Ted show you this noise that was in the room?

I'd have to say that it's a poor explanation for a snake oil product but then again he is reaching for straws to begin with.

Don't get him started about quantum anything by the way.

Audio Legend's picture

Synergistic has been in the cable business since the 90s, so they are definitely not fly by night. Unfortunately, TD has gotten into these comical mad scientist products. He has accomplished his goal..to creat a stir...45 posts!!!!!!

As they say in Hollywood, it does not matter what they are saying about you as long as they ARE talking.

eugovector's picture

Hmm, 30-day trial.  My brain is spinning towards a single blind listening party.  Heads, the HFTs are placed in the room, tails they are removed.  Listeners are escorted in, literally blindfolded, and a familiar track is played.  They mark whether they believe the devices are present, or not, and then we repeat from the coin toss.  20 times should suffice.

30 days should be more than enough to get that done.  I may just be contacting Mr. Denney to take him up on his offer.

 

Edit: As an addendum, I just realized that I may have left out a valuable step: Letting folks do a sighted listening first so they know which is which.  Gah, my research profs would be so disappointed.  Anyone else that wants to chime in on experiment design is more than welcome.

...and one last step.  If anyone from Stereophile wants to join, you are welcome.  You'll need to get to Portland, but I'll pick you up at the airport, drive you to my home, put you up in the guest room, serve your drinks, and cook your meals.  Seriously, I will.  Even if you've called me a "troll", I'll make you breakfast and let you bask in the greatness that is Oregon beer, or even my 17yo Balvenie.

SergioLangstrom's picture

Make it happen. I am curious as to how many if any will take you up on this. I would come but I live on the east coast  sad  Serinus could do it doesn't he live in San Francisco? Also I'm sure there are others on the west coast that could if they are willing to that is. Some might be afraid they might just discover that sighted vs blind will show them how wrong they are about what they think they hear.

eugovector's picture

Okay, my other post got deleted, so I'll sumarize here.

The way I approached this was unbecoming, and 2 wrongs don't make a right.  I was a jerk and I apologize.

I'm going to flesh this out a bit more, but to summarize:  I am prepared to be proven wrong and willing to work at it.  Seriously, I would love to believe in magic again.  I'm inviting any member of Stereophile to join me for a test of audibility on this product.  You can even pick the terms.

I realize this is a lot like a big time football team being called out by a regional lower-division team, but that's what exibition games are for.  And, the big guy hardly ever loses, so how big is the risk here.

Just like a football exibition game, someone has to get paid.  Here, I'll turn the tables.  While it's usually the little guy that make a check, I'm willing to extend al the hospitality I have to offer.  If it's going to take cash, I will put up some of my own, and fundraise the rest.  Stereophile, let me know what it will take to make this happen, and I will meet your terms with the caveat that my job doesn't really allow me to travel, so if this needs to happen in NYC, we may need to put it off a while.

As these comment systems are unruly, I'll start a thread on a home theater foum and post the link so that folks fan follow as we progress.  My preference is Audioholics, would that work for you?

John Atkinson's picture

eugovector wrote:
my other post got deleted

Because you posted a comment about the Synergistic devices in a thread devoted to the Music Hall exhibit at the RMAF. We don't like such thread high-jacking and will delete such a comment without warning.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

John Atkinson's picture

I have just deleted a bunch of postings of yours, SergioLangstrom, in which you gratuitously insulted other posters to this website. Please address what is said, not who is saying it. If you disregard this warning, I will block you from posting, as I have done with GeorgeHolland and JohnnyR, both of whom preferred flaming to debating.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

SergioLangstrom's picture

Will you or a representative of Stereophile be attending eugovecto's blind testing of Ted's product? Ignoring his invitation is being quite rude and avoiding the issue.

[flame and meta-discussion deleted by John Atkinson]

Ken Harley's picture

JA will you or someone from Stereophile attend the testing and if not why not?

dalethorn's picture

Reading the negative comments here, I can almost feel the heat of the fire, hear the painful screams, and even catch a whiff of the odor of burning flesh. How far are we from the Dark Ages after all?

eugovector's picture

Back when people believed in magic?  Not very far it seems.

joelha's picture

I am blown away by the arrogance of those who have never heard Ted's devices and not only don't believe they work but are sure they're snake oil.

Your skills of reasoning are so superior that they trump the first hand experiences of those who heard the devices at the show?

Say you don't believe they'll work. Say you don't understand how they could work. But please, don't tell everyone you know they can't work.

Or if you do believe you know, please state your credentials to make such an assertion.

When did this hobby stop being about audio and start morphing into a pursuit which values (often very poor) philosophizing over experience?

Joel

Fivel's picture

Well stated Joel !  Thank you.

eugovector's picture

I'm ready to believe.  Joel, if you can make it, you're invited to the listening.  Location will be Oregon, Monmouth preferably.  Date TBD.

joelha's picture

Thanks for the kind invitation, eugovector. Please post the date when you know it. Candidly, I doubt I'll be near Oregon when the event is held, but you never know.

All the best,

Joel

eugovector's picture

Maybe we can get a couple tests going around the country.  It can't cost much to ship those little buggers.

ChrisS's picture

Tweaks, new components, cable arrangements, etc. work for you and your system or they do not. If they work, then you decide to buy, or not. If they do not, then no loss. What's the fuss?

Richard Blade's picture

Do a search of "Synergistic Research" on Stereophile's website. You see a handful of people who waste no time spaming any positive mention of Synergistic's products through a parade of sockpuppets that all speak in one distinct voice. The real question is why? Why do they feel compelled to single out Synergistic Research? Is Synergistic Research the only company that builds high end powerconditioners, tweeks and cables? Why do they feel compelled to ridicule everyone who has heard Synergistic Research and likes their products? Do they feel they are the only ones who can discern quality from crap? Do they presume to think for us all?

It's as if they Google "Synergistic Research" on a daily basis looking for any mention of SR products that also has a comment section to poison. No matter the fact they have zero experience with the products in question, they know better then those with first hand knowledge and are hell bent on throwing as much shit as possible.

Now to Synergistic. Their actions show they have absolute confidence in their products as they offer a 30 day no risk money back guarantee. No matter. The spoiler(s) must administer a "blind" test as presumably only their findings are valid. And what of the fact anyone who wishes can apparently audition SR products for 30 days risk free?They seem to be saying, "don't trust your ears, you don't know how to listen, trust us, trust our ears". All of this begs the question; why the fuck would anyone purchase anything for their personal enjoyment if their personal enjoyment cannot be trusted?

Sorry for this rant but SR bashing on Stereophile blog's is long in the tooth, and the motives behind what amounts to years of violent attack from the same malcontent(s) seems suspect.

Whoo, now I feel better :)

eugovector's picture

Well, since you asked...

I put myself in the place of speaker designers whose products are featured along side products like SR.  Now, I don't have to feel to bad for Dr. Bose, or now MIT, as I think they'll be just fine, but folks who are putting their blood, sweat, and tears into the science behind designing great core components: spearks, amps, and source devices.  Their busting their humps to drive the quality of sound forward while feeding their family on the knowledge and expertise.

Imagine the pride one of these designers must have in seeing their work featured in a dealers room, and the hope that they will sell a few pairs so that they can take care of their families and keep building speakers.  Next to their speakers sits one of these little silver buttons, which all their education and expertise tells them should have no effect on the sound of their speakers.  Then, the people come in...

"Wow" they say as the huckster uses his syrupy tones and slight of hand to convince the audience that the great sound they hear is atttributable, not to the great speakers and core components, but to this shiny little buttons.

The buttons sell, the speakers sit, and the engineer starves all because of the huckster.

No, maybe that's an extreme, but find me a speaker/core component engineer who endorses these and I'll start listening.  How about Andrew Jones?  Paul Barton?  Floyd Toole?  Sean Olive?

What would Amar Bose have said had he been sitting in the room, or any of the MIT grads who will benefit from his generous gift?  I mean, his company embraced marketing mojo like no other, but every one of his products actually made sound.  Even Bose hasn't gone so far as to sell silver buttons.

It seems the only acolytes are the end user, and the only evidence anecdotal.  You can't claim your own brand of science (claim: these effect ultra-high frequencies) while dismissing every other brand.  It flys in the face of reason and deserves examination.

Look, it's not all altruism.  Yes, I want the folks who are designing equipment that matters not to have their efforts eroding by do-nothing products that are far from a trivial expense.  But yes, some of it is the blatent disreagard for reason and science.  I don't have faith in this product.  I don't believe.  But I'm willing to try.

Richard Blade's picture

Excellent post Joel

Richard Blade's picture

Dear eugovector and SergioLangstrom

Question: Do you believe all cables sound alike? Do you believe all power cords sound alike? Do you believe all digital cables sound alike? How about solid state amplifiers, do they all pretty much sound alike? How about DACs do they pretty much all sound alike? I think before we go any further it would be helpful for all concerned to know where you stand on the aforementioned items.

Also what brand of cables do you have in your system? Ditto for power cords.

eugovector's picture

Various JBL Studioii Speakers, SVS PB12 NSD, Onkyo TX-SR706, Stock power cables, 14AWG Copper Wire, Homebuilt HTPC connected via HDMI, Belkin PF60 Power Distribution.

I don't believe that all cables sound a like.  I do question the effect that the last 3 feet of power cable can have when there is miles of cable before that point.  I don't believe all SS Procs/amplifiers sound alike, though I de question audibility within their distortion-free power band with all excess processing turned off (which still leaves a lot of room for variables).

I also reject Satan and all his minions, if that matters.

The point is, I'm confident enough in my beliefs to back it up with non-sighted listening (unless you need your eyes to listen) and am willing to admit when I'm wrong.  Are you?  If so, you are also invited.  I will treat you warmly and hospitably as a guest in my home, provide food and drink, and look forward to your listening impressions.

Richard Blade's picture

eugovector,

Thank you for your straight forward answer however I still need to know where you stand on digital cables, do they all sound alike? How about DACs, do they all sound pretty much the same (to you)? It's important we establish a frame of reference before we can engage in a meaningful discussion. Otherwise we will simply talk past one another without ever understanding where we really stand. Two people of different minds joined by a common language with ambiguous definitions, if you will.

eugovector's picture

Digital Cables:  Yes, either they pass the ones and zeros, or they don't.  If they sound different, that is a flaw and should be a noticable one.

Re: Digital Audio Cables, I'm not dismissing the existance of jitter, only it's audibility.

Dacs:  The results of different designs will be different, but not audibly so unless something has gone terribly wrong or someone has gotten "creative".

Also, You can call me Marshall, if you'd like.

SergioLangstrom's picture

"Dear eugovector and SergioLangstrom

Question: Do you believe all cables sound alike? Do you believe all power cords sound alike? Do you believe all digital cables sound alike? How about solid state amplifiers, do they all pretty much sound alike? How about DACs do they pretty much all sound alike? I think before we go any further it would be helpful for all concerned to know where you stand on the aforementioned items.

Also what brand of cables do you have in your system? Ditto for power cords."

YES unless the manufacturer has intentionaly designed the product to alter the frequency response in some way like the certain tube amp Stereophile recently tested and reviewed that JA thought had horrible specs (and it did) yet two reviewers loved it. So much for relying upon the reviewers opinions when they can't even tell when the high end is rolling off and the distortions were terrible.

I have listened to numerous components side by side and when they are adjusted for loudness so that they match and aren't over driven and have resonable distortion, I have never heard a difference.

Speakers, room acoustics and vinyl playback cartridges have always sounded different though.That's because the frequency, phase and distortions are large enough to be heard.

My cables are what I made myself, nothing exotic and not made with some "quantum" BS label. Power cords are power cords. They transfer power to the components and that's their job. They aren't going to do anything else.

Some one else I talked to online summed up Ted Denney's products pretty well, he said:

"Always good to get your retaliation in first, so when peddling snake oil you need both an 'explanation' of how it works and an 'explanation' as to why the effect can't be detected using normal science. If you can combine these two so much the better. Alleged ultrasonics (or infrasonics) are possibilities to explore.

Round it off with the usual customer-ego-polishing of 'people with normal ears/brains/equipment/rooms won't hear the effect so don't listen to the naysayers; you are superior to them and have proved it by having so much disposable income that you won't mind sharing it with me'."

Oh and by the way calling those that oppose Denney's snake oil as sockpuppets doesn't help your cause. If you like spending monsy on his snake oil then please do so but don't try to convince those that hear no difference and know his products are snake oil that we are sockpuppets. You'll just come across as being pushy and representing the company which I'm sure you wouldn't want.

joelha's picture

"If you like spending monsy on his snake oil then please do so but don't try to convince those that hear no difference and know his products are snake oil that we are sockpuppets."

 

And your proof for knowing these products are "snake oil" is?

 

Joel

 

P.S. By the way, I own none of Ted Denney's products.

SergioLangstrom's picture

If you have proof I am not Sergio Langstrom then please show it [flame deleted by John Atkinson]. I do not know if I should be afraid or just laugh my ass off about this inquisition . I do not know this David L but thanks for the links It seems there are plenty of others that think this snake oil mess is plain silly.

If you cannot prove I am David L then don't make accusations. Similar to if you can't prove Ted's products work then don't claim they do wink

Richard Blade's picture

"I do not know this David L but thanks for the links It seems there are plenty of others that think this snake oil mess is plain silly. If you cannot prove I am David L then don't make accusations"

You don't know who DavidL is? OK here goes...

Several posts up you posted the following in italics under the name SergioLangstrom

"Some one else I talked to online summed up Ted Denney's products pretty well, he said:

"Always good to get your retaliation in first, so when peddling snake oil you need both an 'explanation' of how it works and an 'explanation' as to why the effect can't be detected using normal science. If you can combine these two so much the better. Alleged ultrasonics (or infrasonics) are possibilities to explore..."

Someone else YOU talked to? Your words, not mine. The next step was easy. I simply Googled the following text string from your above post. Google: "Always good to get your retaliation in first, so when peddling snake oil you need both an 'explanation' of how it works and an 'explanation' as to why the effect can't be detected"

And this is what you find: http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/lounge/234829-funniest-snake-oil-theories... see post #2716

Now scoll up from post #2716 to post #2714 and guess who we find? None other then DavidL. See: http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/lounge/234829-funniest-snake-oil-theories...

You can actually read word for word the conversation they had including the above quoted text from DavidL aka SergioLangstrom

Now that we have established DavidL is also SergioLangstrom what to do? If I'm not mistaken DavidL was banned from Stereophile a few years back for excessive abusive posts.

Frankly bullies with an agenda are not the readers Sterephile should be concerned with.

SergioLangstrom's picture

Oh look we have another "Columbo" on here.  *sigh*

For your info [...] the person I talked to online wasn't on that forum. I spoke to him and he directed me to that link.He did say it word for word but he was quoting the other person cheeky

[flame deleted by John Atkinson]

Oh and while we are at it look at this link http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/lounge/234829-funniest-snake-oil-theories-273.html

Post # 2722 by DavidL . Maybe you should take him up on the invite and explain to them all why Ted's products are all so swell wink

Ken Harley's picture

and Mr Blade never bothered to make an appearance on that forum. I would have thought he would have wanted to prove his point, oh well.

Richard Blade's picture

Thank you Marshall.

I now feel I have a pretty good understanding of where you stand regarding audio components and cables, digital and analog. One last question. What do you set your components on? Do you use any special stands or attempt to control or dampen mechanical resonance, or do you find most components sound pretty much alike regardless if they are set on special footers or stands? In particular I would like to know what steps you take, if any, to control mechanical resonance or to drain mechanical vibration to ground.

By the way, it's refreshing to carry on a conversation with the "other side" without all the vitriol. Hopefully we can have a meeting of the minds, even if we don't exactly see eye to eye.

eugovector's picture

IKEA Besta furniture.  I'll leave it to you to determine what you see as the relevant mechanical properties compared to other furniture.

Center speaker sits on Auralex MoPads.  HTPC has a few styrofoam bits to keep audible noise due to vibration down.  No other moving parts in the system but the HTPC drives (fanless design, and the Onkyo fan never kicks on).

Richard Blade's picture

Marshal here's the thing, you and I approach audio from two very different view points and with very different findings (I suspect). In my experience I have found interconnects, speaker cables, digital cables and especially power cords to make up at least half of what my system will ultimately sound like, acoustics aside. I also hear a significant difference when comparing DACs as well as different pre-amplifiers and amplifiers. Ditto for speakers and for the record, my system is comprised of YG Acoustics speakers with a full loom of Esoteric electronics, both digital and analog.

Additionally I have found what I set my components on plays a major role in what I hear every time I drop the stylus into the groove, or select a file on my iPad that controls my server which in turn feeds my DAC through an Active digital cable; all of which effect the sound (iPad excluded).

As you can see, we approach audio differently and this is important for others who read this site to understand. For people who relate to audio and audio equipment and accessories as you do, your findings and opinions will hold more weight then someone who views audio as I do. On the other hand people who share my experiences will likewise hold my opinions in higher regard. I honestly don't know if the average Stereophile reader is more in the camp of everything in the audio chain seems to matter, or if the majority of Stereophile readers are of the view that so long as components measure the same, or very nearly the same, then they should sound the same, or very nearly the same. Personally I have never found the latter to be true nor do I think Stereophile was founded on such a premise but I digress.

The real point is the way in which different people, who hold different view points, treat one another. I frankly do not understand the tone or tactics of some from the objectivist camp when discussing topics or when addressing those of us on the subjective side of the equation. But I am certain most readers, and this includes people on both sides of the debate, would prefer not to have other peoples opinions shoved down their throats or to be ridiculed or have their favorite brands belittled regardless of circumstance. It is one thing to state one's opinion and quite another to engage in a campaign to squelch debate and participation.

Look at it this way, were this a forum for Ferrari enthusiasts would it be acceptable for people, most of whom do not even own a Ferrari, to consistantly shout down Ferrari owners simply because they think their Corvettes or Mustangs are just as good and a whole lot cheaper? What would be their rational for doing such a thing? Are they trying to hurt Ferrari's sales or do they simply hate Ferrari owners? Personally I have always seen Stereophile as a "Ferrari of audio" magazine, not a cheerleader for mediocrity nor a refuge for the abusive.

eugovector's picture

I would agree with you about the tone of the argument, and have admitted my own part, but let's face it, your first post in this exchange was no better, and I won't even begin to adddress some who should know better, insulting Stereophile subscribers (SHOCK!) with the label "troll".  Fact is, I've attended audio shows.  I've compared tube and solid state at said shows.  I've even interviewed Michael Fremer (double SHOCK!) agreeing with him on many points re: the superiority of vinyl (I just SHOCKED my pants!), though for different reasons I suspect.  So, let's not put all the blame in one camp.

As for squelching debate, I'm suggesting quite the opposite with a blind test.  The question is, "who will get in the boat?"  Wouldn't someone looking to read about Ferrari's want to have the 0-60 times measured?  When a certain engine additive promises more power, or a spoiler promises better handling, wouldn't they want to see these variable proven rather than just told by the manufacturer.  It seems to me that an enthusiast would explore the many options rather than trust what is convenient.  The fact is, this isn't Ferrari vs. Corvette.  This is Ferrari vs. Red Ferrari, and the claim that red is the fastest color by the folks that bought the red one and the guy that sells the paint.

Richard Blade's picture

Marshall I do appreciate the new tone so I am responding in kind but, and please do not take this the wrong way, in my book JBL speakers with whatever amp and DAC have the "right specs" is not a Ferrari vs. Red Ferrari. More like a Mustang vs a 458 where the Mustang driver thinks he is in the same ball park as the Ferrari due to specs (horse power, torque, power to weight ratio, etc). As for conducting a blind test knock yourself out. Hell you could even do it with your significant other if you want to make it really interesting :0)

The thing I take issue with is your belief that people who are spending their own money, and are doing so with a 30 day money back guarantee, are somehow not going to reach a valid conclusion because, presumably, they lack your test methodology. That is pure bullocks in my book and goes against everything I value in audio and life in general. I've never felt the need to blind fold myself before making any purchase, audio or otherwise and I am 100% confident and satisfied in my purchases for if not, I don't purchase in the first place. But for fun I do perform non sighted tests for my friends. Things like turning off the Active Shielding on my Synergistic Research cables, or the Active Tranquility Bases in my system. Hell they don't even know what I'm turning on or off or when but they always reach the same conclusion- it works.

So what do you want to prove with this test of yours? A test that is being performed in a less than high end system? That people who have 30-days to reach a conclusion of whether or not they want to spend their money on a product can't be trusted to make the right call? That they should instead trust you? Going back to the car analogy, I would think the average enthusiast would rather test drive a Ferrari for 30-days on their own terms and not for a limited time on someone else s track, especially when that track is of lower quality than the track they normally drive. Not trying to be a dick but yea, my first name is Richard.

eugovector's picture

So, what class of Audio would you put the Bose Waveform Radio in?  The HFT worked there, without question, didn't they?  Sure my JBLs are as good as the Bose?

SergioLangstrom's picture

[flame deleted by John Atkinson]

Go ahead and set up the blind test and invite as many people as you wish. You can post the resluts on another forum

[flame deleted by John Atkinson]

eugovector's picture

I'm no evangelist, and I'm not trying to "save" or "be saved", but I am on a shared subscription and lament the demise of quality publications in our hobby.  I think Stereophile could be that publication again, which is why I'm a subscriber (well, shared subscriber) to Stereophile and Sound and Vision, among others.

As previously posted, I also have the upmost respect for the manufacturers of core components (and competent installers/room engineers) and hate to see their hardwork be over shadowed by magic talismans.  Notice, I wasn't asked any questions about my room or acoustic treatments, because those are seen as secondary to convenient treatments like little metal bowls and fancy power cables.

Because I love analogies:  This would be like saying Usain Bolt's morning shave is responsible for his world records.  His nike shoes have the equivalant of "inaudible" effects on his performance.  His heart is the source system, his lungs the amp, his legs, the speakers.  His shoes are the cables, his shave is the decal.  Doubt that?  Put on his shoes and try to set the world record.  It'll never hapen, but for a moment, you might think that you could.  That's like trying to make a Bose Waveform sound like JBL Everest Speakers with the HFTs.

For what it's worth, I think everything makes a difference, but is the composition of my couch, the thickness of my carpets, or the gloss of my paint less consequential than a tiny disc?  And, is any of it truly audible, or is it all psychological chicanery?

Did I mention I like magic?  I love David Copperfield, but he didn't really make the statue of liberty disappear.

 

 

 

Richard Blade's picture

The point is not that your stereo is lower than a Bose Wave radio, far from it. The point is people with higher end systems than yours (or not) hardly need to drive or fly to you in order to find out if these devices work for them. Why would they need to do this? Doesn't Synergistic Research offer a 30-day money back guarantee? Anyone interested can draw their own conclusion in the privacy and comfort of their homes on the only sound system that matters, the one they listen to every day.

Your harassing posts show a long pattern of ill will for not only Synergistic Research, but for those of us who enjoy SR products. Clearly you have an agenda.

To anyone reading this, simply search "Synergistic Research" on the Stereophile website and you find the same bad players engaging in the same smear tactics we find here, article after article. This latest attack is nothing new, nor sadly will it be the last.

eugovector's picture

I'm sorry that you feel my posts are "harrassing", and won't make any other points in direct relation to our conversation.  You are welcome to have the last word.

Regardless, you're still invited, and I'll be happy to provide food, drink, shelter (if needed) and an unbiased listen.  I encourage you to check out audioholics as I try to make this listening test happen.  I'd post the link, but I don't want to be accused of anything.

Richard Blade's picture

Why should I or anyone else drive to you when we can perform the same experiment in the comfort of our own homes? Isn't the real test the test that shows us how a product performs at home in our listening rooms?

Again Marshall why would anyone need to go to your test when the real test is how a product performs in our homes with our systems? This is not a rhetorical question by the way.

eugovector's picture

If you're trying to assert results free of psychological bias, and are willing to do blind testing to limit this bias, then there is no reason.  Have a friend, neighbor, stranger switch out your variable, and you can be the subject.  Of course, multiple subjects would give a broader more reliable data group.

But, as soon as you do sighted listening, you are introducing psychological bias.

http://seanolive.blogspot.com/2009/04/dishonesty-of-sighted-audio-product.html

 

Be sure to read through to the quote at the end, and I think you'll have a better understanding of the Stereophile that I grew up with.

Ken Harley's picture

It's a shame so many audiophiles refuse to belive in sighted bias and can't enjoy their music unless they are looking at all the expensive components.

June McArthur's picture

This is my first post here. Normally I stay out of controversial subjects due to the nature of the internet and the arguements that develope but since I do have experience with at least one of Ted Denney's products I wanted to tell you my opinon.

I read online a couple of years back about the Acoustic Art bowls and was curious as to the claims.Having a modest but good sounding system I borrowed a set from a local audio dealer. Local meaning they were sadly 80 miles from my home. I set them up and listened to music both before and after installing them. I removed and installed them about 10 times but I couldn't tell any difference at all. Not wanting to think I didn't know what I was supposed to be hearing or not hearing, I invited friends over and they also heard no difference. Needless to say, I returned the bowls. When the dealer asked me to take home another product made by the same company I declined. He did demo it at the showroom but again I couldn't tell any difference at all. I think it was called a power cell or something like that. I understand the reluctance of those on here to accept these new devices as anything that does change the sound. Perhaps Stereophile can test these?

eugovector's picture

An excellent question.  The speaker measurements done by Stereophile are really quite wonderful and beyond what many other publications do.  I think they are universaly applauded in this regard, and it would be great to see the same scrutiny applied to other products before they are recommended.

SergioLangstrom's picture

Sorry you had such a bad experience with the magic bowls but no one has tested those on here and they may not ever. Not any of Ted's products in fact, just raving reviews instead that do not require any proof. I know the frustration you must have felt being led on like that and finding out for yourself that they do nothing.

ChrisS's picture

Would you be as upset finding out that Ford doesn't make the best pickup trucks in the world? And then not being able to get a full refund for this used truck?!

Really...

SergioLangstrom's picture

It's one thing to have a truck that didn't meet your expectations (maybe the engine only lasted 60,000 miles) yet it at least WORKED unlike Ted's products that DON'T do any work other then making your bank account lighter.

[flame deleted by John Atkinson, who after warning SergioLangstrom a final time about flaming others, has blocked him from posting to this site]

June McArthur's picture

I want to bring up your banning Sergio because of "flames"  I saw what he posted before you deleted it and all he asked was why ChrisS was always defending Ted's products yet he hadn't even tried any of them or owned any then he suggested that he put his money where his mouth and was. That is not flaming in the least. [flame deleted by John Atkinson]

John Atkinson's picture

June McArthur wrote:
all he asked was why ChrisS was always defending Ted's products yet he hadn't even tried any of them or owned any then he suggested that he put his money where his mouth and was. That is not flaming in the least

You're being disngenuous, "June." Yes, there was one comment where "Sergio" asked ChrisS to put his money where his mouth was. But I also deleted many postings from Sergio in the past 24 hours where he was insulting and belittling others, even after being warned not to do so. I am not bothered by criticism but if someone doesn't want be blocked from posting to this site, then they need to respect requests from moderators.

Regarding ChrisS, I also deleted some postings from him that were provocative and warned him not to respond to posters like "Sergio." He respected that request, so can continue to post.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

ChrisS's picture

I don't recall defending Ted Denney or any SR products in any of my posts...

Curious.

tarquineous's picture

I don't believe you have done much of any testing of Synergistic Research products.

John Atkinson's picture

SergioLangstrom wrote:
no one has tested those on here and they may not ever. Not any of Ted's products in fact, just raving reviews instead that do not require any proof.

For the record, Stereophile has not formally reviewed any of these Synergistic Research products. What we have done, as in this posting, is to report on the Synergistic dems at a show.

I warned you yesterday that if you continued to flame other posters, you would be blocked from posting. We have no problem with you expressing your opinion on products like this; what we do object to is you insulting other posters with whom you disagree. I have just had to delete more recent flames from you; consider this your final warning.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

Ken Harley's picture

June I also tried out the Acoustic Art bowls and did not hear any difference no matter how many times.I also tried the Tranquility Bases. I fail to understand how they get such good reviews on here when they don't change the sound one bit.If they won't test Mr Denney's products then we will never know why all the subjective hoo ha.I'll not bother with his other products. I get the feeling he's not making anything that works as claimed.

ChrisS's picture

They're popping up everywhere!

es347's picture

...the bowls have been relegated to popcorn duty. Hey at least they aren't totally useless.. :-)

Richard Blade's picture

"Not all comments and reviews online are genuine, that much is certain. And the profiles used to post disingenuous feedback are known as sock puppets: fake online identities used to criticize, defame or create the illusion of discontent for a company. In most cases, these profiles are maintained by those on the receiving end of criticism within online communities"

Hmm, DavidL, Fiji555, SergioLangstrom, Tiny Lil' Weeenir, and now it seems, June McArthur and Ken Harley. So why would any1 go to so much trouble to attack products that, according the "them" do nothing and also come with a 30-day money back guarantee? Don't such products simply die in the marketplace all by themselves? What are the odds that a company founded in 1992 could build products that do nothing and yet grow year after year, let alone stay in business for over 21 years? LOL

http://vanillaforums.com/blog/community/how-to-deal-with-sock-puppet-and...
http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2013/04/the-fair-trade-commi...

KennithH's picture

[Flame deleted by John Atkinson and user blocked from posting]

es347's picture

I should first make it clear that I am not a troll.  We've all seen them...the "cables all sound the same" crowd that employs the seagull approach: flying into/over an audio forum, crapping on everything within sight then flying off to yet another "beach" to carpet bomb other cable threads.  I happen to believe that cables do indeed make a difference having driven myself crazy here in my listening room, swapping and reswapping until my wife threatened divorce.  But I am more than a little skeptical when it comes to things like the Tice Clock, clever little pebbles, Mpingo discs and now little apparently inert, skittle-sized doodads stuck to my walls.  The engineer in me sounds the BS warning for this lunatic fringe sort of thing.  Frankly I do agree with the poster who suggested that Stereophile (John Atkinson perhaps?) apply the tried and true scientific method to these little bad boys and hopefully be inscrutably honest with its findings.  I also agree that when one of Stereophile's journalists spends a handful of minutes at an audio show with a product such as this and effuses about it's positive effects, does indeed compromise the magazine's credibility.  I can't help but think the owner of Machina Dynamica, Geoff Kaitt, is having a good laugh posting his ads on A'gon (clever little pebbles and the like) and perhaps making a few bucks in the process.  But it seems odd that Synergistic Research having some real world products could be shooting themselves in the foot by venturing into the May Belt twilight zone.

drblank's picture

I don't know what else to say other than has anyone done any room measurement tests to prove either way if they work?  that's the first thing I would lke to see, so there would at least be an objective measurement.  If the difference can't be measured using a room measurement test that acoustic engineers use, then this would fall into the snake oil category, but if there is a test measurement that can show a significant difference, then there is some validity to it.

I would personally like to see some proper room measurement tests before and after conducted by a unbiased third party to validate or invalidate the claims.

 

Please.  room measurements before/after would make this product(s) credible if that's the goal.

kana813's picture

How do you measure soundstage air and dimensionality or the leading edge attack of low frequencies, mid-range?

John Atkinson's picture

kana813 wrote:
How do you measure soundstage air and dimensionality or the leading edge attack of low frequencies, mid-range?

As I said in the section on reviewing in my 2011 Richard Heyser Memorial lecture to the Audio Engineering Society: the audible effect of measurable defects is not heard as their direct effect on the signals but as changes in the perceived character of the oh-so-fragile acoustic models. And that is without considering the higher-order constructs that concern the music that those acoustic models convey, and the even higher-order constructs involving the listener's relationship to the musical message. The engineer measures changes in a voltage or pressure wave; the listener is concerned with abstractions based on constructs based on models."

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

es347's picture

is no doubt the result of him thinking "let's see...$40 msrp each for these little aluminum doodads...my cost @ $0.20...hmm that's a profit of 2000%...(big grin)"...or perhaps "this is gonna be a hoot reeling in all these gullible dorks, let the show begin" cheeky