Of Gravity, Clocks, and Audio Dragons Letter

The letter that triggered this "As We See It":

Suckers & Peter Belt's crap

Editor: Not more coverage of Peter Belt's idiotic crap! ("Industry Update," January 1991, pp.53-57) I thought—prayed—we had heard the last from him in the pages of your wonderful magazine. Your continued reporting of Mr. Belt's "improvements" would be taken as a joke if it had appeared in the April issue. As it is, Ken Kessler suggests "The best way to find out whether or not Peter is on to something important is to try the stuff."

I find this to be very irresponsible of Mr. Kessler. If he thinks the products are worth trying, then the staff of Stereophile should do a review of these "improvements" before the public shells out their hard-earned money on them. I should spend $98 for Mr. Belt's "Electret Tweezers"? No thank you, not even if I won the Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes tomorrow! I would be much more happy listening to the seven or eight CDs that $98 would buy than feeling like the horse's ass I would be if I had bought anything from Mr. Belt.

Why oh why would anyone who didn't fall asleep in grade school science class give their money away to Mr. Belt? Let's see now...the "Rainbow Foil" at $58 is supposed to rid us of "adverse 'energy' patterns created by the interaction of gravitational energy with every object within the modern home."

Is it any wonder that the public at large tends to have problems justifying high-end audio? This sort of stuff belongs with the Tooth Fairy, Ocean Front Property, and the New Age movement. What next, plastic pyramids to focus the power of the ancients into the power from our amplifiers? How about some healing crystals to fine-tune our woofers with the Dog Star Sirius?

All these "tweaks" from Peter Belt fall under the classification "Bullshit," pure and simple. For Mr. Kessler to suggest that anyone purchase this stuff will only encourage Mr. Belt to come up with more crap, and why not? "There's a sucker born every minute."—David Long, Dalton, GA

Though JA also comments on Peter Belt's "idiotic crap" in this issue's "As We See It," my feeling is that it is important to remember that, in the history of science, theories usually come after the facts to explain otherwise inexplicable events. If Peter Belt's tweaks work, then it is the responsibility of professional audiophiles to first investigate and report that fact (or, at least, that opinion as informed by experience, however subjective), then speculate as to its cause. Rejection of alleged phenomena on purely theoretical grounds—as Mr. Long seems to be doing, regardless of how "common-sense" his position—is indistinguishable from the cant of orthodoxy.—Richard Lehnert