I Hate When That Happens
One of the first rooms I visited at RMAF was the one shared by Luxman and Vivid distributor On a A Higher Note and cable manufacturer Synergistic Research. Auditioning the South African Vivid Giya speakers ($58,000/pair) had been a highlight of the 2009 CES and I wanted to repeat the experience before the speakers wended their way to Wes Phillips' place for a forthcoming Stereophile review.
The sound of the system, with the new Brinkmann "Bardo" magnetic-drive turntable ($7990) and Luxman CD player and preamp sitting on a Stillpoints rack, driving Luxman monoblocks via Synergistic's Galileo multi-conductor, actively shielded cablesthose are the cables supported by acrylic discs to the front of the photowas impressive on a DIana Krall cut. (I love Diana Krall.)
But the disturbing thing was when Synergistic's Ted Denney (photo) removed the tiny ART room-tuning devices that were fastened to the walls. I know these cute little metal bowls are too small to affect sound with a frequency below 10kHz or so. But without them, the system sounded more confused and lumpier in the bass. Replacing the ART devices brought the soundstage back into focus and the tonal balance back into coherency. I hate when that happens!