Scott Walker Audio Showcases Synergistic Research at T.H.E. Show

Synergistic Research had the opportunity to display its magic in the first of five rooms sponsored by Scott Walker Audio. There were at least six new Synergistic Research products in the room: the Network Router UEF ($2995), UEF Ethernet and USB Performance Enhancers ($295), Master Fuses ($595 each), Galileo Active Ground Block MkII ($7995), Master Tuning Modules for use, I believe, with cables ($425/each), and, on static display, Active Ground Block SX ($2995). Add in at least Synergistic Research power conditioning products, headed by the Synergistic Research Galileo PowerCell SX ($27,995); six acoustic room treatment products; four racks and shelves, headed by the Synergistic Research Tranquility Rack ($24,995); another grounding product; and six different cables, the most expensive of which was the SRX Interconnect ($12,995, presumably for the pair). Add that all up, and you had quite the Synergistic Research lineup.

There were other significant products of course. From Berkeley Audio Design came the Alpha DAC Reference Series 3 ($28,000) and USB Module ($1995). Sonorous contributed the ATR 10 Reel to Reel ($19,950). McIntosh was represented by the classic looks and sound of the C1200 preamplifier ($14,000) and MC611 amplifiers ($16,000/pair). From Magico, S3 Speakers in MCAST Black ($45,500/pair). And, to me, an award for typing all of that.

Listening to the remastered version of The Beatles singing "She's Leaving Home" was a revelation. It never sounded remotely like what I heard on this system when I first heard it, stoned in the late 1960s, played on a turntable unworthy of the back room in a thrift store. The silence around the notes floored me, as did the beautiful warmth in the system's midrange. I even think I heard what sounded like a splice. Who could hear a splice in 1968 in the midst of all that distortion, which sometimes was so harsh that it drowned out all those crackles and pops?

On a showcase track named "Japanese Roots," the absolute silence between notes again stood out. Bass was fabulous and the midrange was smooth and warm on a tape version of Kraftwerk's "Radioactive." Color me significantly impressed. This was one of the standout rooms I visited at the show.