The 2003 Products of the Year 2003 Joint Accessories
Echo Busters Decorative Room Treatments (review) ($165-$235 each; reviewed by Brian Damkroger, Vol.26 No.9, September 2003)
Rives PARC parametric equalizer (review) ($2800; reviewed by Kalman Rubinson, Vol.26 No.7, July 2003)
Runners-Up (in alphabetical order):
Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II interconnects, Gargantua II AC cord, & Satori Shotgun speaker cables (review) ($$948-$998/m, $1488, & $1188/8' pair, respectively, reviewed by Paul Bolin, Vol.26 No.1, January 2003)
AudioQuest Anaconda interconnect & Gibraltar speaker cable (review) ($1250/m pair & $850/10' pair, respectively, reviewed by Brian Damkroger, Vol.26 No.6, June 2003)
Grand Prix Audio Monaco equipment stands (review) ($2495-$4495, reviewed by Paul Bolin, Vol.25 No.12, December 2002)
Monster AVS 2000 Automatic Voltage Stabilizer (review) ($1500, reviewed by Chip Stern, Vol.26 No.6, June 2003)
Symposium Ultra Isolation Platform (review) ($599, reviewed by John Marks, Vol.26 No.3, March 2003)
This photo finish captures two winners as each attempts to tame the untamable—room acoustics—from very different directions.
When plants and rugs just couldn't cut it anymore, Brian Damkroger found Echo Busters' trio of absorbers, diffusers, and bass traps to be invaluable resources in setting up a new listening room and getting the space to work well with his audio gear. With some Bass Busters, Echo Busters, and Double Busters in place, his room went from being "essentially unlistenable" to having excellent bottom-end balance and articulation with improved image focus, a wider soundstage, and greater density of images. Brian wouldn't live without them.
But what if impractically large acoustic absorbers become...impractical? When adding more panels and traps is no longer an option, the Rives PARC line-level three-band parametric equalizer provides an alternative by attenuating resonant frequencies in a more selective—and fashionable—fashion. Similar to the Echo Busters, the results of the PARC were subtle but undeniably worth the effort. High frequencies seemed a bit brighter, deep bass was unmuddied, and the pulse and meter of complicated passages of music were enhanced, while the midrange and treble range remained untouched.