Stereophile's Products of 2007 2007 Accessory

2007 Accessory

RealTraps MondoTraps (MondoTrap, $300; Corner MondoTrap, $350; reviewed by Kalman Rubinson & Jim Austin, Vol.29 No.11 & Vol.30 No.8, November 2006 & August 2007 review)

Runners-up (in alphabetical order)
Audyssey Sound Equalizer ($2500; reviewed by Kalman Rubinson, Vol.30 No.3, March 2007 review)
Ayre Acoustics L-5xe Power Filter ($1500; reviewed by Michael Fremer, Vol.30 No.7, July 2007)
Cayin Audio HA-1A headphone amplifier ($795; reviewed by Sam Tellig & Wes Phillips, Vol.29 Nos.6 & 11, June & November 2006)
Furutech DFV-1 Disc Flattener ($1480; reviewed by Michael Fremer, Vol.30 No.10, October 2007)
Ray Samuels Emmeline The Hornet headphone amplifier ($350; reviewed by Wes Phillips, Sam Tellig, & John Atkinson, Vol.29 Nos.9 & 12, September & December 2006 review)
Shunyata Research Hydra V-Ray AC power conditioner ($3995; reviewed by Michael Fremer, Vol.30 No.7, July 2007)
WallyTractor universal alignment gauge ($149; reviewed by Michael Fremer, Vol.30 No.10, October 2007)

Six different components earned first-place votes in this year's crowded competition, but the RealTraps MondoTrap led the pack with 17 votes overall. How excited can a guy get over a large panel of rigid fiberglass and some sound-transparent fabric? Let me tell you: pretty darn excited when it gets you closer to the music, which is exactly what the MondoTrap did for Jim Austin. It lifted a veil from his room, making music even more involving, while taming room modes and giving bass instruments a fuller, clearer, more palpable sound.

If that sounds like some sort of magic, well, it is, but it's the sort of magic we audiophiles most appreciate—a magic deeply rooted in science and designed to serve the music. The MondoTraps' rigid fiberglass works to absorb sound energy and dissipate it as heat. Their large size is due to the fact that they work on the lower frequencies, where size really does matter. But it wasn't the Traps' mondo size that stood out in Jim's mind—it was the mondo effect they had on the sound.

The WallyTractor universal alignment gauge came in a distant second place with nine total votes, while the lovely Cayin HA-1A headphone amp and purposeful Audyssey Sound Equalizer earned seven votes apiece. First-place votes were also awarded to Ray Samuel's bijou Emmeline The Hornet and Shunyata Research Hydra V-Ray AC power conditioner.