Tweaks for Days—Tweaks to Daze

I love this stuff. Ultra System's Robert Stein (pictured right with Bernd Alne of HiFi-Tuning left) greeted me with an entire array of 12 audio enhancement products, a host of which are just entering the US market. One that will surely attract Michael Fremer's attention is the Audio Desk Systeme Vinyl Cleaner. This German wonder, which retails for $3495, delivers the world's first, fully automatic ultrasonic as well as mechanical LP cleaning bath. The baby treats both sides of an LP to an ultrasonic cleaning, then to a liquid bath, and finally to a blow dry. The only services it doesn't offer are tints and highlights.

Germany's HiFi-Tuning has announced a host of new and revised products. First and foremost are changes to their oft-reviewed HiFi-Tuning fuses. Containing a 3Ns pure silver burn wire that does not degrade in quality even as it slowly oxidizes and 3N silver endcaps, the company has removed the gold plating on those caps to increase performance. The result is a $5 price drop. Don't forget to burn in these babies for a good 72 hours.

The company has also issued a CD/DVD demagnetizer ($399) that is claimed to improve on existing models from other companies by zapping the disc with two different frequencies. Each zap is eight seconds in duration: four seconds to ramp up the charge, and four more to reverse polarity and ramp it down. The treatment corrects the low-level magnetic effects caused by metals in the inks and dyes used to print labels on the CD.

HiFi-Tuning also has a brand new IEC plug ($139) whose contacts are 98% copper/bronze with 24 carat gold plating on the 1.5 mm clamps. Over three years and $100,000 was invested to perfect the plugs, I was told. HiFi-Tuning's schuko plug is the plug most commonly used by American cable manufacturers (including Kimber, Shunyata, JPS, and I believe Nordost) on the cables they export to Europe.

Last but not least, the Audio-Animator Ultra ($599) is a magic gold wand from ArtKustik of Austria that is said to improve the sound of CDs as well as the taste of whiskey and wine. Containing quartz crystals and God only knows what else, it is said to refresh music when waved over CDs as much as it improves the taste of food if you store it in the refrigerator (which is where your body may end up if you pretend to buy the spouse one for Valentine's Day). While the basic Audio-Animator has been around for 10 years, the Ultra version is brand new. There are also smaller versions that attach to cables ($299/pair).

Ultra Systems is like a candy shop for those unafraid of thinking outside the box. I hope I have the opportunity to try some of these products out at home.

Stephen Scharf's picture

A magic gold wand that sells for $600 that improves the sound of CDs when it is waved over, riiighhttt. Is this Stereophile or The National Enquirer I'm reading? This reminds me of PWB Labs Meta Morphing foils and X-pen sharpies.Jason, I know you're a scholar and a gentleman, but, c'mon, cut us a break here....posting stuff like this isn't doing anything for the credibility of high-end audio. People are having a hard enough time with SR's Acoustic ART system.

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

Stephen. My assignment was to report on cables, tweaks, power products, and low-cost amplification. That's what I've done. If I ever receive a magic wand to try out, and I find it effective, you as a fellow BAAS member will be the first to receive an invite to take a listen. If you find yourself needing to eat your words, I'd be happy to treat them with the Audio-Animator Ultra first to make them more palatable.

Stephen Scharf's picture

It's a deal, Jason.Just as long as we can do it as a double-blind test.

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

Few people are willing to risk being blindfolded in my presence. Perhaps you'd like to reconsider...

Stephen Scharf's picture

Jason, I used to race motorcycles at Sears Point, and drag my knee through Turn 10 at 100 mph. I think I can deal with the risk in this case. ;-)

suits_me's picture

"... a magic gold wand...." Readers are reminded that sex toys are still illegal in Alabama, or illegal to sell, or something like that in one of those states or other. Seriously, it went to all the way through the court system. And imagine the snickering of the airport screeners when you're caught with that thing in your carry-on. (Well, hopefully it's stowed in your carry-on and not somewheres else.)

oscar's picture

Now now Jason -- this is not a simple matter of reporting. Did you try any of these tweaks and what did you hear? Your job is not to repeat what the marketing dept claim but to tell us how you hear it....we await your impressions, sighted or better.