Tice R-4 TPT & Coherence ElectroTec EP-C "Clocks" Sam Tellig January 1991
Just when I thought it was safe to open the mail, someone else sends me a tweak. This time, it's TDK. That's right, the tape people—the last company from whom you might expect to receive an audiophile tweak. The world is no longer safe for Len Feldman, Hans Fantel, and Julian Hirsch!
The product is TDK Digital Noise Absorbers and should be in stores by the time you read this—$10/pair. If the product were distributed by one of the wire bandits, perhaps a pair might cost you three to five times as much. And if they were distributed by Amanda, the lady in Iowa who sells the $500 alarm clock—more in a moment—who knows what they would cost?
Mention of the $500 alarm clock (and its $24.95 Radio Shack look-alike) brings to mind an incident that happened at Definitive Hi Fi a few months ago. The Brass Ear was there. So was Lou...and Miles Asteroid. You haven't met him yet.
Miles blazed in with this alarm clock from another manufacturer—it wasn't The Electro-Tec, the clock being sold by the lady from Iowa. I shouldn't reveal the manufacturer, as the clock was, ah, experimental. [The manufacturer was Tice—Ed.]. The Asteroid called it a prototype, but it looked like an ordinary alarm clock to me—something the "manufacturer" might have purchased for $20 in K-Mart.
Anyway, Miles suggested this test. I would listen to the Wilson WATT/Puppies while he plugged and unplugged the new clock. I would close my eyes so I couldn't tell whether the clock was in or out—no cheating (I didn't). But Miles Asteroid would tell me when he had made a change.
Well, I listened, and wouldn't you know, I could hear a difference. One way was "better" than another—the system had less grain, less grit, more air, more focus, greater clarity...all that stuff I've just been talking about with the TDK ferrite clamps (I didn't have the clamps at the time).
Only problem was, the "better" sound was with this new, prototype clock out of the system, not in. The Brass Ear thought so, too (footnote 1). True, there were already two Iowa clocks plugged into the wall elsewhere in the store—so maybe the clocks started fighting each other...on a subatomic level, of course.
No, I have not succumbed to alternative physics. But I'm very pleased with my $24.95 Radio Shack Micronta Jumbo LED Alarm Clock (Catalog #63-766)—particularly when I think of a certain Swede having purchased the look-alike Iowa clock! In the words of my grandmother, the lady in Iowa may have seen Lars coming.
The day after my collision with Miles Asteroid, I met Michael Goldfield, of Euphonic Technology, in line at the bank. He's into power-line conditioners these days—actually, something he's been interested in for a long time. I told Michael about all this business with the alarm clocks and the Asteroid, and Michael said that almost anything you plug into your house wiring could have a sonic effect. Kind of mind-boggling when you think about it—enough, in fact, to drive a person insane.—Sam Tellig
Footnote 1: As did Guy Lemcoe.—John Atkinson