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judicata
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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements?


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it would probably be very bad for the moderators to go too far in content-based censorship. Someone has to decide what is an insult, what is un-civil, etc.


I mostly agree, but at this point Jan Vigne and Steve Stammers and The Frog have all shown that the bulk of what they have to offer is personal insults and attacks. Not only against me, but against anyone who disagrees with their particular brand of Kool-aid. I happen to think this forum would be better off with more moderation in that regard. They banned DUP and all he ever attacked were BS products and pseudo-science. DUP never attacked people except once in a while in his own defense. Same for me. I'll take a shot once in a while, but only in defense after extremely aggressive personal attacks. Look at all the insults SAS throws at me, then he has the gall to say I'm the one that has only personal attacks. Amazing, no?

--Ethan

This illustrates my point. People obviously have a different view of what is extremely offensive and what isn't.

andy_c
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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements o


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Some of those things remind me of the products on this page

Those are brilliant!

Yup. Nathan is one funny guy .

Benonymous
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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements o

While I've been having fun on the Furutech thread I've completely missed this one up until now.

Just look at those room resonators! MMMMMMM they look niiiice. I wonder how they work? I know I'll check the manufacturers site. Surely with such devices they'd have some supporting data, maybe some sweeps with a spectrum analyser. Here's a nifty device for doing that sort of thing

http://www.bksv.com/doc/bp1691.pdf

What's this? No data? But wait a minute .... here are the hard facts we are looking for.

Quote:
Ted visited Buddhist Temples and observed how Tibetan Prayer bowls altered temple acoustics. These singing bowls affected a sudden shift in acoustics whenever they were activated, and when additional bowls of varying tone were also activated, the acoustics continued to change. Ted reasoned that a system of resonating bowls could be developed to discreetly treat room acoustics without the need for large unsightly tuning devices.

Of course! When the bowls were "activated" they went BONNNNNNNG! I can see how this would affect the room acoustics.

Wait! there's more.


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However, it wasn
Jan Vigne
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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements o


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All the tweaks in the world would not equal a professionally set up and constructed floating listening room.

That's your argument?

Brilliant! Simply brilliant.

Buddha
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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements o


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All the tweaks in the world would not equal a professionally set up and constructed floating listening room.

That's your argument?

Brilliant! Simply brilliant.

Agreed!

Cool!

Jan Vigne
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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements?

Did I mention Winer will display the maturity of a grade schooler in the little boys' room?


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I think you and Jan should go find a nice quiet corner and make out. You have so much in common.

Benonymous
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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements?

OK for you Jan.


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All the tweaks in the world would not equal a professionally set up and constructed floating listening room with magic bowls mounted on the walls.

Stephen Scharf
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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements?

Okay, well, we've some comments on these thingys so I think I will jump in with my observations/experiences.

I heard the ART "prayer bowls" at Music Lovers in Berkeley. One of the sales guys was waxing enthusiastically about how they improved the main listening room. I should point out that this is a professionally designed listening room, well-damped, with all the trimmings, tube traps, those Shakti Hallographic jobbies, in my personal opinion, the main listening was a quite a good room (not the very best I've heard, which is at Audio Visions in SF, but quite good).

I asked him to show me what he was talking about and he led me over to these little bowls. I looked at these thingys and rolled my eyes...yeah, right.

He insisted I try them out for myself. So, with them set up by the Synergistic rep, I put Melody Gardot's Worrisome Heart in the CD transport and hit play.

I was listening to the music through a pair of Sonus-Faber Amatis, a purdy dang nice speaker system if there ever was one. I think the amps were Spectral DMA360 monoblocks. The CD player was a Luxman, and the preamp was a Spectral, also, though I don't know the model number, but likely it was a DMC-30SL, as this was the high high-end room. Cables looked like really expensive Transparents, or something of that elk, er, I mean ilk.

So, gotta say, Melody sounded pretty darn good, very airy, spacious, natural-sounding. Great imaging and soundstage, big, wide, and open. Her Worrisome Heart album, BTW, is killer, you should all rush out and buy it, it is absolutely superb, and a great recording/mastering job, too.

I listened to the first two tracks, and then got up and took all the prayer bowls, down including the Vibratron, which looked like it was a part missing from Robbie the Robot of Forbidden Planet fame. Or maybe it was something Robbie would have whipped up, along with some booze for Earl Holliman, but, I digress...

Anyway, with all the bowls taken down, the same music did sound different. For one thing, the imaging changed. Melody was right in the middle between the two speakers with the ART system set up, and she was over to the right speaker with them taken down. Also, the soundstage seemed to be smaller vertically, and the overall sound quality was darker and more compressed-sounding; it sounded like the sound was scrunched-down a bit, if that makes sense. It also was not as musical w/o the prayer bowls.

But, the changes were, for the most part, fairly subtle.

The price: The ART system will set you back a mean 3 large, that's $1000 more than my Arcam AVR280, folks.

Was the improvement worth the price?

Well, everyone has their own definition of what comprises value for money, but IMHO, nope, nada, niente, zilch.

Make no bones about, the system most definitely DID sound better with them in place. But in my mind, there is no way they are worth $3000.

But, if somebody gave them to me, I would use them.

andy19191
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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements?

> This illustrates my point. People obviously have a different view of what is
> extremely offensive and what isn't.

I would agree that with a bit of effort the said posters could be even more offensive but isn't that missing the point? They are being personally offensive, they intend to be personally offensive and they have an established history of being personally offensive. The question is should the moderation do something about it?

Having observed audiophile belief vs. scientific belief discussions on various sites it is clear that no moderation is not an option for a commercial site. No moderation results in what one sees on the unmoderated usenet groups.

At present the unwritten rule appears to be that audiophile believers, the people this site is intended to attract, can be personally offensive but not, I assume, extremely personally offensive. A scientific believer on the other hand must not respond to personal attacks in kind but must stick to the facts and ideas. For example, Ethan succumbed to provocation in the snake oil thread and he and one of the people trying to provoke him have been mildly rebuked by the moderator.

Personally I think this might be about the best that can be done. A rule of no personal attacks would cripple audiophile believers trying to defend their beliefs and both sides being personally offensive is not really on for a commercial site. If one of the sides has to be upset then it ought to be those that choose to purchase cheap Pioneer receivers instead of proper audiophile products.

tomjtx
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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements?


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> This illustrates my point. People obviously have a different view of what is
> extremely offensive and what isn't.

I would agree that with a bit of effort the said posters could be even more offensive but isn't that missing the point? They are being personally offensive, they intend to be personally offensive and they have an established history of being personally offensive. The question is should the moderation do something about it?

Having observed audiophile belief vs. scientific belief discussions on various sites it is clear that no moderation is not an option for a commercial site. No moderation results in what one sees on the unmoderated usenet groups.

At present the unwritten rule appears to be that audiophile believers, the people this site is intended to attract, can be personally offensive but not, I assume, extremely personally offensive. A scientific believer on the other hand must not respond to personal attacks in kind but must stick to the facts and ideas. For example, Ethan succumbed to provocation in the snake oil thread and he and one of the people trying to provoke him have been mildly rebuked by the moderator.

Personally I think this might be about the best that can be done. A rule of no personal attacks would cripple audiophile believers trying to defend their beliefs and both sides being personally offensive is not really on for a commercial site. If one of the sides has to be upset then it ought to be those that choose to purchase cheap Pioneer receivers instead of proper audiophile products.

I assume this is a snark ?

Jan Vigne
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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements?

I find your post (un)interesting in that the problem in your mind rests totally with the "abusive audiophiles". That Ethan "succumbed" (succumbed to what?) to insulting someone's system simply because he dislikes its description is completely ignored. And that Ethan succumbed(?) to furthering his insults is willfully dismissed.


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A rule of no personal attacks would cripple audiophile believers trying to defend their beliefs ...

Why would that be? What's wrong with sticking to facts and beliefs that relate to the topic of the thread? Why does one of the participant's music system become fair game for the insults of one of the "scientists"? Why do the childish comments of Ethan that I posted here, become tolerable in a forum that is about audio? There are two members who I see constantly making rude and insulting remarks to May Belt, who to my knowledge has never posted anything personally insulting on this forum. Her comments are always intelligent and calm, a point that must be conceded even if you disagree with her view of how audio works. But they persist with the direct personal insults because that is how they choose to "debate".

Why shouldn't the moderator make some attempt to put a stop to such personal attacks of this type? Why don't the other members make comments when they see such poor behavior? Instead, if the "insulter" is on your side of the thread, the comments are ignored and sometimes even encouraged.

Just this weekend I was told I am incompetent because I no longer read a specific journal. Why does this constant, "Well, if you have not done this, then you are ... ", have to come into this forum? We all have different experiences. Why not share them instead of holding them hostage as if your possession of one thing makes everyone else inferior to you? Why not just talk to people who share what should be similar interests??

I ask this because anyone with a history of reading or participating in one of the alternative treatment threads knows exactly how it will proceed, just as I have laid out here.

I do not, repeat, do not wish this thread to turn into a discussion of anything other than the ART's system. Please, think about this and, if you think you must comment, start a new thread rather than destroy this one.

(I say that knowing full well this thread has seen its last real discussion of the ART's system. The positive comments have already been ignored because they do not fit how the rest of this thread will go. I've just been called a "smarty pants" by someone who just had to have a last word on the "Fresh start" thread and that thread is now closed. How typical of the way things happen around here.)

judicata
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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements?

Jan, this discussion on moderation started because you proposed certain posts/individuals be moderated and I responded. Sure, perhaps you felt compelled to make these comments as a response to something something else said. That's fair - it's a discussion forum.

As far as being accused of incompetence because you don't read a particular journal - I don't see how that is extremely offensive and thus worthy of moderation. I didn't make the comment, so I don't know the context. Several of your posts, Jan, can be said to have a condescending tone to them. Should that be moderated as well? Or just posts that you personally find offensive?

I can confidently predict that if this forum is moderated much more than it is now, the coversations will be fewer and less interesting, and will eventually die out altogether (or close to it).

Part of the solution is to grow some thicker skin. As for users "controlling" the conversation -- The thing about discussion forums, especially one that has relatively few posts in a day like this one, is that you can keep a conversation about a topic going as long as there is a sufficient number of people willing to participate.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements?

I think you've misread my point. I am not interested in specific individuals being censored or heavily moderated. I'm for keeping threads such as this one and the "Fresh start" thread on track.

But I am not interested in doing this on this thread so, if you want to discuss this, please, begin a new thread.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements?

Thanks for the report, Stephen. Without trying to be snarky or argumentative about it, how did you know what you would perceive in the listening room without hard to data to rely on? That seems to be the prevailing opinion on this forum that without a machine telling you how to think and what to think it is impossible for anything to be effective in doing its job. If you don't have data, it cannot happen!

We've been told on the ART's web page ...

Quote:
We began our research by studying Helmholtz resonators, which have been used for over a century to tune low frequencies in an acoustic environment. We worked to modify Helmholtz resonator principles to incorporate the full spectrum of sound - not just low frequencies. We found we could tune music with a system of resonators working together in harmony at key acoustic pressure points.

To that end we've been shown a picture of a Helmholtz resonator. Not that that Helmholtz resonator is the only HR in existence but there's a picture for those of us assumed too uninformed or too incurious to find information or already possess some knowledge of HR's. So we have a picture to guide our thinking and one picture should be sufficient proof to lead us to the conclusion the ART's system cannot work as stated.

And the question was asked ...

Quote:
Those bowls have big open tops on them.. how can they be Helmholtz resonators?

That would, of course, ignore the issue of ART's never claiming their devices are Helmholtz resonators. All ART's claims is ...

Quote:
We began our research by studying Helmholtz resonators, ... We worked to modify Helmholtz resonator principles ... We found we could tune music with a system of resonators (emphasis mine) working together in harmony at key acoustic pressure points.

Nothing there that says the ART's system is a HR system. I have noticed, however, that on this forum sticking to the facts of what is stated by the manufacturer is not even necessary if you are trying to disprove anything on this forum. All you need is to "know" something cannot work.

In fact, I have to say I'm surprised to find anyone who already "knows" the ARt's system cannot work has even bothered to read the ART's page. So, good on FC for at least doing that much even if willingly misinterpreting what is said is the result of his time spent there.

So, SS, cost aside - we all know how much some cable manufacturers charge - how do you reason the ART's system does its job?

SAS Audio
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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements?

Hi Jan,


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Why shouldn't the moderator make some attempt to put a stop to such personal attacks of this type? Why don't the other members make comments when they see such poor behavior? Instead, if the "insulter" is on your side of the thread, the comments are ignored and sometimes even encouraged.

That is quite true Jan. One of the problems is that if an audiophile demonstrates, with scientific evidence, that anything is flawed or poor, by specs, immediately that scientific proof is considered a "personal attack".

Otherwise, it appears the objects simply disffuse sound to some small degree, esp at higher frequencies.

Benonymous
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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements?

WOW! Stephen Scharf had demoed the magic bowls in a real listening room. Excellent, for once the conversation moves ahead instead of degenerating into a schoolyard squabble
In a properly constructed listening room I would expect the magic bowls to do what any hard, reflective surface would do. The sound would reflect off the bowls, scatter into the room and cause nulling with the frequencies which are reflected the strongest. In addition to this, the bowls could resonate in sympathy with some frequencies. This effect would be fairly imperceptible in my opinion. As the bowls have wide open tops, they would not support column of vibrating air like a Helemholtz resonator.

These are the ONLY effects that could occur in a physical universe such as ours. These devices may affect the sound in a room but not improve it. In fact the nulling effects of the reflected frequencies would actually represent DISTORTION of the signal. This brings me to a salient point with all these tweaks. Reviewers seem to have taken the position that "different" equals better. That is where I believe they have strayed form reviewing to endorsing every product they come across. This has opened the floodgates to all of these silly, pointless baubles that proliferate and raise the product noise floor to ever greater heights.

Who does this benefit? Only the charlatans that make wild claims for these worthless products. It's YOUR money they've got Mr Audiophile.

For Jan: Why mention Helmholtz resonators in the brochure unless it was relevant to the magic bowl design? They may as well have thrown in some mention of chaos theory and superposition of states too! No, the reference was there to give the impression that Helmholtz resonator principles were involved in the design of the bowls. Even these fakers wouldn't leave you with just "Tibetan prayer bowls" as a design source. Some pseudo-science has to be involved for credibility.

$3000 for this junk! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

Jan Vigne
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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements?

Which "HA" did you edit?

Nice to see you kept your remarks "fair and balanced" there, FC. You must cherish your autographed photo of Scooter Libby as the poster child for non-partisan viewpoints.

But at least you didn't rely on any made-them-up-this-morning numbers to make your case. That's a blessed relief in your posts.


Quote:
In addition to this, the bowls could resonate in sympathy with some frequencies.

Isn't that what Helmholtz resonators do? So you don't believe in HR's either? Then why did you bring them up?

I'll reserve comment until a few others have given their thoughts.

However, if you've read the "Fresh start" thread, think back to "killing the music".

Jan Vigne
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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements?

May I ask at this point, how many of you have ever heard or owned a Tibetan Singing Bowl? How many of you have an idea of the complexity of frequencies produced by such an item? How many of you have any idea how a Singing Bowl is used in Oriental culture?

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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements?


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May I ask at this point, how many of you have ever heard or owned a Tibetan Singing Bowl? How many of you have an idea of the complexity of frequencies produced by such an item? How many of you have any idea how a Singing Bowl is used in Oriental culture?

Are we to assume you will answer your own questions?

Not a flame, just curious.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements?

I'm not sure why you simply can't answer the questions or why questions seem so difficult for a certain group on this forum but, yes, I'll tell what I know.

"If you meet Buddha on the road, kill him."

RGibran
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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements?


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... but, yes, I'll tell what I know.

When? After another 20 pages of crying about us not answering your questions and proclaiming your the only one advancing the thread?

Not flaming, but by all means puleeze tell us how YOU think these devices work. Or are YOU waiting for Frog and May to tell you when to jump?

RG

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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements?


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I'm not sure why you simply can't answer the questions or why questions seem so difficult for a certain group on this forum but, yes, I'll tell what I know.

"If you meet Buddha on the road, kill him."

I hope we can meet there, Jan. That would be fun.

So, you're answer to your own questions is, "No."

Getting back to people who can discuss Hi Fi...

Interstingly, someone who does answer questions, Michigan J Frog, has noted an effect from a glass of water in his listening room. It would be interesting to compare effects.

I was joking around about my stemware earlier in the thread, maybe I can come up with a Riedel Vinum Extreme tweak!

andy_c
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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements?

So did this thread remind anyone of The Magic Bowl Movement from Symphony in C Minus by Johann Amadeus Matetsky?

Buddha
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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements?

I have a pair of these sitting around.

Perhaps strategically placed...

I think Michigan reported he could hear differences from different fill levels, not to put words in his mouth.

Trouble is, I keep lowering and raising the fluid levels!

Michigan?

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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements?


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Interstingly, someone who does answer questions, Michigan J Frog, has noted an effect from a glass of water in his listening room. It would be interesting to compare effects.

Can I play? I've got a large goblet of wine in the listening room with me at the moment. I've noticed improved performance with the glass half full. Whenever my wife takes it out of the room to refill it the soundstage completly collapses. The same damn thing happens every time I leave the room to take a piss!

Anyway, I went over to You Tube (you know how our type like YouTube) to sample some dem der Tibetan Bowel syndromes! OMG! My fucking head is throbbing and my ears are ringin' like a MFer! I'm screwed for at least a day I'd swear! No way any dem damn things goin in da lisnen room!

RG

Buddha
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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements?

Too bad DUP isn't here for this thread. He could tell us about the sonic enhancing effect of his Precious Moments figurines!

Really, we are just arguing along a continuum.

Even Ethan agrees that large things can affect the sound in a room. We just have a schism about what the minimal size and composition attributes are.

In all seriousness, your drinking glass should have an effect in the context of discussing those bowls.

In fact, a good wine glass is shaped more like a Helmholtz resonator than the bowls.

Lick the tip of your finger and rub it along the top of a good wine glass if you don't believe me!

Cheers!

Jan Vigne
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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements?


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In fact, a good wine glass is shaped more like a Helmholtz resonator than the bowls.

What does a Helmholtz Resonator have to do with this thread?

Jan Vigne
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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements?


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When? After another 20 pages of crying about us not answering your questions and proclaiming your the only one advancing the thread?

Have you ever noticed how the pages add up when no one is discussing the topic of the thread?

No, I didn't think you did.

If you want less pages, fill them with a discussion that actually dicusses something. The original topic of these threads is always a conversation stopper.

And, of course, I know how this will be met.

Is there no one else out there who has even a guess as to how the ART system might operate?

Buddha
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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements?


Quote:

Quote:
In fact, a good wine glass is shaped more like a Helmholtz resonator than the bowls.

What does a Helmholtz Resonator have to do with this thread?

Look up in the thread, McEinstein.

Hay-Zeus, Jan, where's your answer about your extensive experience with Tibetan Prayer Bowls?

Your diarrhea of the keyboard seems to have stopped right about where you anser your own interrogatives.

ncdrawl
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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements?


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And, of course, I know how this will be met.

well if you know how it will be met, resign yourself to it, and quit bitching about it, for fucks sake. about half your posts are you bitching about people not answering the questions. Christ.....

Jan Vigne
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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements?

Helmholtz Resonators don't have anything really to do with this thread, Buddha.

Why don't you give us your idea of how the ART's system works?

Jan Vigne
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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements?


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about half your posts are you bitching about people not answering the questions. Christ.....

Brilliant! Just brilliant!

No ideas how these work, ncdrawl? Nothing? C'mon you must have something that is in tune with what SS reported. He's one of your own, even if he heard an improvement with a graph or chart in sight. It's not just me saying these should work.

Why not make a guess, ncdrawl?

I find the lack of imagination on this thread to be staggering.

Benonymous
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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements?

Jan NEVER answers questions. He only asks them. This way he can maintain his lofty position as the 'defender of all HiFi tweaks'!

Just to refresh everyone's memory on the Helmholtz resonators. The drivel err literature provided by the manufacturer of these magic bowl products makes reference to Helmholtz resonators as having some bearing on the design process. As Jan pointed out, they do not claim that these devices are Helmholtz resonators.

The reference is spurious though, as is the product itself. A true Helmholtz resonator is a ported vessel. The port is a smaller surface area than the body of the vessel and when a stream of air passes over the port it can cause a resonant column of air to vibrate in the vessel. Like blowing across the top of a bottle. The neck is smaller than the body of the bottle so resonance can occur if the stream is at the right angle and of sufficient velocity.

This is what makes the reference to Helmholtz resonators spurious. The magic bowls lack the fundamental structure of Helmholtz resonators.

I have never had the pleasure of being serenaded with Tibetan Prayer Bowls but I'm guessing they're basically inverted bells. Just why you'd want a resonating bell in your listening room I can't imagine Would it "improve" the sonic qualities of the room or cause some unwanted ringing noises in sympathy with resonant frequencies in the music. I favour the latter statement while also recognising that this effect would be minute.

I certainly don't see how you could market these devices as a room 'treatment' however. They are simply another answer in search of a question.

I can ask questions too. How would they be arranged? How many would be needed? Would more be better (it would be for the vendor) Why does the largest unit have an ornate brass protuberance on it? Is this part of the acoustic design or is it purely ornamental? Can the mounting blocks be made from Mahogany to suit my decor or will that destroy the acoustic properties of the devices?

What questions would you like to ask now Jan? I'll do my best to answer them.

mjalazard
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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements?


Quote:
I'm not sure why you simply can't answer the questions or why questions seem so difficult for a certain group on this forum but, yes, I'll tell what I know.

"If you meet Buddha on the road, kill him."


I've tried...it cannot be done! Maybe a stake through his heart or 24 hours straight of Yoko Ono music at 110 dB could do the job. If you want to kill him in person, you can find him at Room 2001 Alexis Park Hotel at the 2009 THE Expo here in Las Vegas, Jan 8-11.
You'll have to go through me to get to him, however! As Jack Palance eloquently said in City Slickers: "I crap bigger than you!"
We'll still pour you a drink or two!

Buddha
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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements?


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Helmholtz Resonators don't have anything really to do with this thread, Buddha.

Why don't you give us your idea of how the ART's system works?

To boldly go where Jan dares not tread...

If I were to give them credit despite their utter bullshit pricing...insulting pricing, I should say.

Anyway.

Pretty much everything has a resonant frequency. Hence the porcelain in Jan's nook screaming for mercy at the 120 Hz lower limit of his rig beamed right into the Hummel.

If one were to pick objects with what one considered to have an advantageous resonant frequency to enhance some part of the sound in a room, one might pick objects that 'ring' at very high frequencies.

I say this because, especially with digital, we end up kind of 'clipping' off the top frequencies that may give rise to lower frequency harmonics that give us spatial clues.

Of all the things out ears can tell us, they are poorest at actual location at certain higher frequencies, as compared to gauging loudness, frequency, etc. (Before jan bitches this out, he should look his shit up.)

If the bowls have a high enough reactive resonant frequency, they actually may be able to possibly aid with creating the illusion of the music providing missing high frequency information and aiding and abetting a listener's sensation of space or location.

We played with a super tweeter once that just made 'pink noise,' so to speak, from 30K to 100K and let it sit on the speakers. It did make for a sensation of enhanced space - when they were on alone, the room sounded "bigger," and when they were on with music, they made the music seem to come from more central images, even when the recording did not originally include images in that location.

The sound was very quickly fatiguing, however, with a component of that ear stuffing feeling you can get with out of proportion high frequency signals. These bowls, being passive, may not produce that part of the fatigue as quickly.

So, it would be neat to measure the resonant frequencies of these way too pricey gimmick toys and see what they are really up to.

I wish Stephen had had some to try to live with.

The people I've met who went with those original ridiculously priced precious metal bowls that were marketed about a decade ago fell quickly into and then pretty quickly out of love with them. There is a certain monotonousness to the repetition of certain tones over and over no matter what the material. (Much like the sound of Jan's typing.)

So, there is a measurable answer to a subjective question, and a past listening experience with a related product.

Now, jan, time for your update on your journeys to the Zen Temples.

Stephen Scharf
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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements?


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Thanks for the report, Stephen. Without trying to be snarky or argumentative about it, how did you know what you would perceive in the listening room without hard to data to rely on? That seems to be the prevailing opinion on this forum that without a machine telling you how to think and what to think it is impossible for anything to be effective in doing its job. If you don't have data, it cannot happen!

I didn't go into the listening room knowing what I would perceive up front...though I was quite skeptical about this whole ART system. And I certainly don't need data to know for my own experience if something sounds better or not; my listening experience is enough.

And if you think about it, this understanding is the basis for how publications like The Stereophile came about in the first place. J. Gordon Holt realized that there was typically no, or poor, correlation with how an audio component measured in slick mags like Stereo Review, or Audio, and how it actually sounded (with respect to conveying musicality, that is...). These magazines were measuring parameters up the wazoo, but the measurements taken often did not have any correlation with conveying verisimilitude with respect to reproducing music.

This is does not mean that measurement does not have it's place, or cannot be correlated with perceived audio quality, certainly there are measurements that could be. But, I think we still do not fully understand completely how our perception of reproduced music and measurement are related.
By this, I mean, that even as a professional scientist, I understand that reductionist science cannot explain everything we know and experience. And it is difficult to measure things that are not accounted for by reductionist science.

For example, how does one measure the sensation of being stared at? And yet, we have all experienced this phenomenon. It is very real to all of us that have experienced it, just as our perception of music is, yet reductionist science (hypothesis based, measurement structured) cannot explain it. Yet, we know it is real. I think that our perception (and I think it is insightful of Jan to use this word in his question) of music is the same on some level.


Quote:

So, SS, cost aside - we all know how much some cable manufacturers charge - how do you reason the ART's system does its job?


I'm workin' on that. The closest thing I have found is this, but I have just started going through it, so I do not know if there is any real basis to it...yet.

http://www.virtualdynamics.ca/uploads/files/Resonator_Pro_Link_Test_Report.pdf

This whole "purifies the sound..." comment has me concerned, though...but, it has graphs, so that should make Ethan happy!

Stephen Scharf
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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements?


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I have a pair of these sitting around.

Perhaps strategically placed...

I think Michigan reported he could hear differences from different fill levels, not to put words in his mouth.

Trouble is, I keep lowering and raising the fluid levels!

Michigan?

I say, what the hell, give it a shot.

Do an experiment and let us know what you find out...

Stephen Scharf
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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements?


Quote:

I certainly don't see how you could market these devices as a room 'treatment' however. They are simply another answer in search of a question.

I can ask questions too. How would they be arranged? How many would be needed? Would more be better (it would be for the vendor) Why does the largest unit have an ornate brass protuberance on it? Is this part of the acoustic design or is it purely ornamental? Can the mounting blocks be made from Mahogany to suit my decor or will that destroy the acoustic properties of the devices?

FC, I will try to answer your questions with respect to how they were arranged in the listening room.

The listening room is almost square, per my guess, roughly 20 feet wide, perhaps 25 feet long. The ceiling is about 10 feet in height, I would guess.

The speakers were about 5 feet from each wall, and about 1/4 of the way into the room from the front wall, so about 6-8 feet from the front wall. The Vibratron was on the front wall directly behind the center of the speakers, about 1/2 the way up the wall or thereabouts. The bass widget was on the carpeted floor with the spikes set into the carpet, in line with and just about directly below the Vibratron, maybe a skosh forward from it a few inches.

The two side bells were mounted on the side walls, about 1/3 of the way back from the front of the room, and also about 5 feet in height. The rear bell was on the back wall, and at the same height (approx 5ft) as the Vibratron and side bells, but in line with the center of the wall. There was masking tape demarking where the wooden platforms should go, likely placed there by the Synergistics person, and indicating that precise positioning was quite important. Both side bells are the same distance from the front wall, on each wall, right and left. The wooden wedge thingies were mounted by velcro attached to the wedge and wall. The bells are made of steel, appear to be anodized, and are fairly thick, like perhaps, 3-4mm. They are held on the little wedge-shaped platform by a fairly weak magnet that is set into the wedge.

bifcake
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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements?

Single Helmholtz resonator:

Many resonators strategically placed as to satisfy the WAF:

A supporting resonance choir underneath the strategically placed Helmholtz resonators:

Stephen Scharf
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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements?

Re-reading the ART website, there are number of comments about how the Magentron(s), Gravitron, and Vibratron (what silly names, they really are like something out of a B-movie) affect image placement and soundstaging, and from what I remember, these were the most notable changes I heard when taking them down, for example, my comment that Melody's voice shifted from the center between the two speakers, to over to the right speaker when I took the bells down for the second listening session.

Benonymous
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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements?

Thanks for the fine details Stephen, you are very observant.

How was the seating position in the listening room? Did it allow you to go back exactly to where you were for the first audition (with ART devices) when you had the audition with the devices taken down? This is one of the most overlooked factors in auditioning/reviewing equipment. A seemingly minor alteration in your listening position can have very significant effects on the perception of the sound. Less so in a properly designed room with correct acoustic treatment however as the standing waves and reflections are reduced considerably.

AlexO !! Excellent post and so seasonal! Wonder what all those magic resonators would do to your favourite LP??

Stephen Scharf
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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements?

FC,
Yes, there was a single chair in the "ideal" position (set up by the store), I sat in the same position for both listening "sessions", if you can call them that (each was about 10 mins.)

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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements?

Post deleted by Michigan J Frog

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Every time I try to get OUT, they pull me back in!

>>>Interstingly, someone who does answer questions, Michigan J Frog, has noted an effect from a glass of water in his listening room. It would be interesting to compare effects.<<<

I wouldn't say it was interesting to compare the two, because the water is having no acoustic effect. IIRC, the ART bowls do (although that doesn't quite explain why they are also purported to work outside the window of the room). I know that because the small bottle of water was later placed inside a closed-door A/V cabinet, and its effect was still present (over a year later, I might expect it to have diminished by now to some degree, but not completely). A couple of minor corrections: a) I never tried it in my listening room, or at my place at all. Rather, it was a one time experiment I tried at a friend's house, where it still remains, to good effect. But I've done other, somewhat different experiments on water at my place, which were more comparable. b) I don't ever recall talking about "fill levels", so I don't know where that comes from.

Although I respect those here who are real audiophiles, who genuinely care about advanced sound and don't have all these hang-ups about whether things adhere to their scientific prejudices, I'll be honest with you guys: from all I've seen here about how impossible it is to even discuss the viability of commercial audio products that bend the norms (ie. Synergistics ART, Furutech), without having to don armour and go into raging battle mode (which doesn't get anyone anywhere anyway), I don't think my experiments with water are fodder for Stereophile forum discussions. They were a springboard for me; something I know I will get back to later. They show me a small degree of what is possible in the realm of percpetion of sound in audio. As much as I might wish otherwise, they are for mine own ears only.

I say that because if people can't wrap their heads around the idea that tiny brass bowls might have a significant effect on in room sound, despite positive reviews by professional critics, then there's certainly no point "discussing" a hifi experiment that as far as I know, only I have ever engaged in. (Not that Peter hasn't experimented with water, but the ones I did were from a combination of alternative sciences). As soon as I tried to explain how I treated the water, the predictable mockery morphing into disparagement would take about .00007 seconds to materialize, and someone would yell the word "placebo" in even less time. Like you, I sure as heck ain't subjecting -my- children to that, in order to virtually compare them to a commercial product!

Once upon a time ago, I spent a goodly amount of hard work creating an audio forum so that people could have a place on the web to discuss alternative audio products and ideas, in ways that were productive to understanding and advancing audio. Whatever they thought might have an effect on sound, or perception of sound. Be that "magic glasses of water", Tibetan singing bowls, hifi grade fuses, audiophile quality punk rock safety pins, improving the sound of bedroom alarm clocks or xmas cards that make your hifi system sound better.

Before I ever got around to spending time advertising it, the host dropped off the face of the earth without warning, taking my entire project with it. I haven't had the heart to recreate it, since. The odd thing is, I would have thought that even if my forum doesn't exist yet, Stereophile would at least be a safe haven where people like Jan would find plenty of like-minded folk who could debate the relative merits or doubts of alternative audio products of the high-end audiophile variety in a productive way. (In fact, to someone named "Buddha", I would think Tibetan singing bowls to be right up your alley!).

Well, no, not in the f'ing slightest. From what I've seen of this thread, it's been just a big football pile on. Demanding that he explain the scientific workings of a product he's never seen, never tried, and who's company he doesn't work for, simply because he's not ready to dismiss it out of hand, as the rest are, based on the positive feedback it's gotten.

Neither am I, btw. I read a review on the singing bowls last year, and found that impressive. Like Jan, I've never tried the product and know (or remember) little about it so I don't have too many strong opinions on it. But I'm also not going to dismiss the positive press its gotten, not to mention the positive experiences of people in this thread who've heard its effect, because the armchair "scientificists", self-professed experts who've never tested the product, claim with 100% certainty that it can't do what people who have tested the product claim it can. Knowing me, if were able to test it, the first thing I'd want to do is see if the bowls have any effect on headphones. Then I'd proceed from there.

Stephen Scharf
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Re: Every time I try to get OUT, they pull me back in!

I would like take a page from Jan's notebook, and suggest that we make a concerted effort to keep this thread on-topic.

Welshsox
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Re: Every time I try to get OUT, they pull me back in!

A little healthy banter and even aggession is fine of its on the topic being discussed. I dont view the comments made against me by frog or Jan as a problem, they attacked me on the issue not as a person.

This incessant crap about whos got the biggest audiophile penis needs to stop, every thread seems to degenerate into the same few people name calling.

Alan

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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements?


Quote:
Re-reading the ART website, there are number of comments about how the Magentron(s), Gravitron, and Vibratron (what silly names, they really are like something out of a B-movie) affect image placement and soundstaging, and from what I remember, these were the most notable changes I heard when taking them down, for example, my comment that Melody's voice shifted from the center between the two speakers, to over to the right speaker when I took the bells down for the second listening session.

Vibratron

Transformers, more than meets the eye...

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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements?

Frog, you seem a little peeved that the Furutech thread was closed. I'm quite glad it was because it put an end to the ridiculous squabbling that was going on there. However, I notice you have brought that conversation into this one for the purpose of having "the last say".

Good for you, that's the spirit.

This thread has almost managed to stay on topic for the last few pages. We have all resisted the temptation to call each other names and have been exchanging information and ideas on the efficacy of the ART devices.

Stephen Scharf, who started this thread, has provided us with his experiences after a live test of the product. Very illuminating. Certainly much better than them "prove it doesn't work!!" attitude seen on these forums recently.

I am skeptical of the claims made for these devices and I have advanced some opinions and theories on why they might make a 'difference' to the room acoustics. Notice I didn't say 'improvement' That is my stance and until proven otherwise by some reasonably easy to gather data (a simple room sweep with an analyzer) I will remain skeptical.

Do you have something to contribute here that will
forward the conversation? I ask Jan the same question.

If you can't handle a bit of robust debate on the subject of audio devices of various kinds, maybe you should take up lace-making or something.

In all of my debating and contributing here I have never sunk to name calling or personal insults directed at forum members. I don't intend to start either. There's no point, it's just a web forum.

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Re: Every time I try to get OUT, they pull me back in!


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A little healthy banter and even aggession is fine of its on the topic being discussed. I dont view the comments made against me by frog or Jan as a problem, they attacked me on the issue not as a person.

This incessant crap about whos got the biggest audiophile penis needs to stop, every thread seems to degenerate into the same few people name calling.

Alan

Name calling ? I'll give you name caling:
Alan , and just for good measure: Alan

So watch it , there's more where that came from

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Re: Synergistics Research Acoustic ART-real sonic improvements?


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I think I hear him calling, even.... "Join me Ethan, my love! Join me, and let us never be apart!".

Frog, sorry to say, I find that just as insulting as Winer's remark to sas. And I find it quite unsual for you, you are not typically prone to this sort of personal dig. While a lot of what you have said here needs to be said, that remark isn't going to keep this thread on track.

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