A Win-Win from Fidelis AV

It’s no surprise that Sam Tellig likes Harbeth’s Monitor 30.1 loudspeaker ($6490/pair in rosewood; seen here on Resonant Woods stands) as much as he does. (You can read about that in our November issue.) The speaker is handsome, understated, and it just looks right. Driven by Bret D’Agostino’s Bully Sound Company BSC-60s, a 60Wpc power amp built around a 1300VA toroidal transformer, the Harbeths sounded right, too. Bricasti’s M1 DAC ($8495; a favorite of both John Atkinson and John Marks) accepted signals from a Music Vault Music Streamer ($2495). Tellurium Q cables tied everything together.

What else was in the Fidelis AV ("Real World High-End Audio") system?

Oh, yes: The Stein Music Harmonizers. And, I almost hate to tell you this, but:

They made a difference. A positive difference. A positive and dramatic difference. Or so I believed, after just a very quick demonstration. I would need more time with them to be fully convinced, but, in the few minutes I spent in the room, I heard a stable soundstage, taut bass, focused imaging, and excellent articulation. That familiar Boz Scaggs track, “Thanks to You,” was flying all around the room with speed and precision and authority—as it should.

With the Harmonizers removed from the room—a careful process which took some effort—the sound became less distinct, the soundstage less stable, the imaging less precise, the bass somewhat loose. The sound was still very enjoyable, but the difference was there.

After that, I enjoyed a very nice conversation with Bret D’Agostino, who shared an interesting idea, and one I’d happily support: D’Agostino believes hi-fi manufactures should work together to get their products into schools, thereby promoting music appreciation and building awareness for the high-end audio industry, while breaking down barriers of intimidation and exclusivity so pervasive to the high-end. A “win-win,” I think they call that.

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JohnnyR's picture
Oh So Here is The BS

Stein Music Harmonizers ......was wondering when the silly moronic tweeks would show up and once more you have not let us down Stereophile. Typical "review" where  "They made a difference. A positive difference. A positive and dramatic difference" and "Or so I believed, after just a very quick demonstration. I would need more time with them to be fully convinced," .........*eyeroll*..........so you can't be SURE but at the same time you were so SURE at the beginning? So which is it? Will these ever be tested, I mean a REAL test not a silly review like JVS gave them a couple of years ago?  I can assure anyone reading this 100% that they will NOT be by Stereophile. Thanks for the laugh and oh.....were they cool cool cool? xD

Now onto the last bit about "D’Agostino believes hi-fi manufactures should work together to get their products into schools,"  Are you F****** serious!?!?!  What school could afford any of this oeverpriced stuff when they are hurting for funds to teach even the basics? Talk about being out of touch with reality!      "promoting music appreciation and building awareness for the high-end audio industry, while breaking down barriers of intimidation and exclusivity so pervasive to the high-end."    Words escape me at this stupid idea. Really? Sounds like they just want to brainwash the young into believing this "High End" clap trap at an early age. Are they also going to be teaching these same children the BASICS they need to get a high paying job so they can AFFORD these same products? Un-fucking-believeable. *shakes head* What about supporting the schools with money for BAND instruments and instruction and learning instead of putting their audio equipment on display. Or how about classes teaching basic electronics so the students can make an EDUCATED opinion of their own about the "High End"? I know some schools teach how to build your own speakers and do a great job at that but I suppose teaching kids how to BUILD something using their own hands wasn't what D'Agostino had in mind huh?

Oh almost forgot, those speaker stands are UGLY and look like bar stools.

Stephen Mejias's picture
thanks to you

Hi Johnny.

First of all, none of these posts are "reviews." They are show reports. We report on the products in the room and our experiences with those products. I heard a positive difference with the Stein Harmonizers. However, as you'll see from my next post ("Audio Alternative take 2"), I had a second opportunity to hear the same track ("Thanks to You") in a completely different system, and the result was completely different, but equally enjoyable. Under show conditions, there are too many variables to make definitive judgements. You should know that.

To address your second concern, the idea is that hi-fi manufacturers would team together to make available at negligible cost, or even DONATE, the gear to the schools.

JohnnyR's picture
Yeah Right

Typical response when the questions get hard. Prove me WRONG about Stereophile never doing an in depth TEST with those silly tweeks. You WON'T

You hearing the same song on a different system in a different room means sqaut. Of course it will sound different, please take a course in acoustics.Even moving your head a couple of inches in the same room listening to the same system will sound different.

I'm so sure they are going to donate free to the schools their products. Negligible cost? I suppose ignoring all the reasons I posted is par for Stereophile as usual. COOL COOL COOL!

philipjohnwright's picture
What one person says a hundred are thinking?

Do you think you could possibly climb off Stephen's back please Johnny? Said politely to counter the tone of your comments, whether on this post or the others you've made.

The daft thing is I agree with some of what you are saying (tweaks etc), but you managed to alienate me because of the way you said it. Or is it just Stephen's style you don't like? If so fine, we disagree on that one; not sure of the benefits of castigating him publicly though.

Happy to debate the issues you raise (or strongly agree with some of them) if done in a reasoned way (like Stephen's measured response)

Rgds,   Phil

JohnnyR's picture
Measured Response?

His "measured response" is just ignoring all relevant issues like al the Stereophile writers do. Good luck getting them to answer any serious questions. I goad them into responding which is the only thing they know how to respond to.

POW_WOW's picture
Where's the Stein Music Harmonizers

I can't see the Stein Music Harmonizers in the photo. Is it that thing in the corner wearing a lampshade?

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