Steinmusic Harmonizer's American Debut

Midway through Axpona, Norbert Mundorf, maker of the fabled Mundorf capacitors, flew in from Germany to bring the Steinmusic Harmonizer H2a and H2b to the Jaton room. Although I had already blogged the room, I happened to be in the right place to learn what was going on.

Making their show debut, presumably before they appear at the Munich High-End Show at the end of March, the Steinmusic Harmonizer, Magic Stones and E-pads are room acoustic optimizers that have been engineered by Holger Stein. Although I did not have the opportunity to take a before and after listen, as I have done countless times with room treatment products that include the Shakti Hallographs, Synergistic Research ART system, and Acoustic Resonators, the Jaton folks were mighty impressed with the improvements Stein's products made to their sound.

Attempting to describe what the electric cube does, Mundorf said that it alters the molecular structure of the air. "There is something in the air," he told me in the best English he could summon up on jet lag. "We were really surprised and satisfied with the performance of these products. They affect airwaves, clearing up and removing echoes and distractions caused by reflections. If, for example, you put it next to a window in a reflective kitchen, it will affect your ability to hear things clearly."

Stein's literature, whose awkward English suggests that Stein values clear music over coherent translation, says, "The air molecules inside of the listening room are 'jogged' trough [sic] the loudspeaker and thus transmit the sound information." It goes on to hypothesize that the Harmonizer works at the etheric level, charging airwaves to enable them to transport sound more effectively.

Stein calls this a working hypothesis. In other words, he hears it working, and is trying to figure out exactly what it does. To my mind, that's a legitimate approach. Did people hold off eating until they could figure out exactly how food was transformed into energy?

The black cube shown in Mundorf's hand either plugs into the wall or is powered by a 9V battery. The Magic Stones are triangular elements with a diameter of around 30mm, and are said to increase the Harmonizer's effectiveness.

Also available are E-pads, self-adhesive elements which "have a radical impact on the reproduction of music if placed a the right position. They work at the level of interaction of molecules and thus produce profound and measurable changes of the material properties. This may be related to the spectrum of resonances as well as the torsion force, the elastic modulus [sic?] and the conductivity. So it is kind of resonance control, but working by the capacitive influence on the interaction between molecules What happens wherever you use them is that music becomes more intense and detailed."

Having previously written about products that fly in the face of what we believe to be bona fide reality, I can just see the dismissive comments starting to appear moments after John posts this. Of course, everyone debunking these products will have yet to take a listen. In fact, the majority of debunkers will probably never bother to take a listen, lest their experience contradict what they believe. I for one look forward to the opportunity to take a listen. Hopefully that will come when Jaton holds a demo of their products for the Bay Area Audiophile Society.

Sloober's picture

I think that is the coolest thing I have ever seen! It changes the molecular structure of the air yet the inventor doesn't know how it works. I have to have one!

robert's picture

Yes it's just like eating food and if it works that all that matters. I wonder if Jason will put his money where his mouth is ...

Dave in L.A.'s picture

First the Lexicon BD-30 scandal, now this drivel? I'm sorry, but "high end" audio is losing it's credibility. And audiophiles lament why the younger generation shows little interest in quality music reproduction? Look in the mirror!

Dave F's picture

It works, because I say it works~!

Felix's picture

The Munich HIGH END is from May 6th to 9th 2010 and NOT at the end of March.

lexicon fan's picture

what is the lexicon bd-30 scandal?

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

The Lexicon scandal is the subject of JA's As We See It lead editorial in this month's Stereophile.

GEORGE's picture

And yet another bunch of blather, and blither. I say sell it for $299.99 Since audiophools will not think it excessive, and will of course find the slightest bit of improvement. and consider it not bad for JUST $299.99. It's not about high performance audio, it's all about scams, and more scams. Does the FTC ever look into anything? They make claims, unsupported by anything called science, or reality, and it goes on sale. Where is Mapingo, or ByBeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee?

Bauer's picture

"the Harmonizer works at the etheric level, charging airwaves to enable them to transport sound more effectively. Stein calls this a working hypothesis."I call it fraud. This would be a great joke if the was April 1. Do people really buy into this crap?

AlexO's picture

"This would be a great joke if the was April 1. Do people really buy into this crap?"Apparently, Stereophile does.

David's picture

Listen before you dismiss. Even in a double blind test the presence of this thing can be heard and felt. I own a system designed and built by Holger, its sound is remarkable and in selling my old equipment to pay for current setup I had money leftover to buy more music.Many things we take for granted in daily life are possible for reasons we can't understand.In the case of the H2, demo the units in your listening rooms and decide for yourselves if they are snakeoil or not, but listen first.I have finally come to the point where I've stopped thinking about my equipment and just enjoy my music.

Claude's picture

I just demo 4 pieces of these. Until now I have 2 in my system and I am very impressed. I have tested various roomtreatments (none of them had the right waf) and the effect of the h2s easily betters them. The last time I heard an equally big improvement, was when I upgraded my Pre to a Octave HP500 SE Limited. (costs about 10.000 $). These babies cost 1100 Euros (dont know the price in $). Unbelievable. Try them. Dont expect anything and be overwhelmed. At least I am. Greetings from Germany

Mike Silverton's picture

Ken Ishiguro's company, Acoustic Revive, produces among other sometimes strange products the RR-77, a Schumann-Resonance Generator -- a small, unprepossessing box that weights nothing and costs a fair amount. It would be easy, as do many of those who comment here, to dismiss the RR-77 as yet more audiophile snake oil. The problem is, when installed according to directions, the thing works. The stereo image improves in several respects. Moreover, the RR-77 amenable to a simple A/B test. I do believe that this Stein device is also easily tested in situ. Rather than dismissing something out of hand, give it a fair trial and then draw your conclusions, negative or supportive.

soulful.terrain's picture

The one's that dismiss a product BEFORE they ever demo it, are hypocrites.

Why? Because they say people are fools to buy into something that doesn't work, BUT Yet they dispel a product based on NOT actually demo'ing said product.

...the irony of it all..

Rule of thumb.

Don't knock it until you have tried it.