Unknown Unknowns

To paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld, it is the "unknown unknowns" in audio that scare the pants off me at times. Synergistic's Ted Denney pulled me into his room. "Sit down. Listen to this."

We listened to a track called "Fade to Black." Was it Bob Dylan, was it Mark Knopfler? No-one knew. But the sound of the Thiel CS2.7 speakers was full and enveloping. Ted flipped a switch. The low frequencies became a bit boomier, but the soundstage expanded even more.

"Okay, I heard a difference. What did you change?"

Ted pointed to the Synergistic Enigma Transporter Active Shielding Power Supply, which sported two antique tubes on its top. "I changed from a 1943 Western Electric regulator tube to a 1932 Tungar 4B27."

This tube is the series-pass element in the power supply for the DC bias voltage used by the Synergistic cables. It is not in the signal path. There is no reason why it should change the sound. But change the sound it did!

Ted then showed me the effect of Synergistic's forthcoming AC conditioner, which he says uses opposed, balanced, electromagnetic fields and which will sell for $2500 with six outlets. But all I could think about is what I heard in the first dem.

Monty's picture

It was Knopfler...and it's a very nice recording on its own. It's off their "On Every Street" album. Widely panned by the audio press, it's a beautiful album. A nice mood disc. Just in case anyone reading this cares;)

Ted Denney's picture

It was great having JA in our room and we all got a good laugh in response to his answer to

Jason Smith's picture

Kudos to Ted and thank God the audio press is opening their minds to the REAL future of audio. Ted's new cables/power conditioner/active shielding(w/tubes!) certainly isn't the SEAMINGLY CONSTANT re-invention of the wheel that we see so often in the cable world. This is a giant leap as I heard these items the week before he brought them to the show. I was speechless. The power conditioner is the must have for all components, but then so is the cable, but then so is the active shield supply w/tubes...by the way, it's not a subtle EQ, system tuning kind of cable thing either. It indeed is like someone pushed the "BIG" button, but also the "timberal correct", "shared sense of space" and the "I'm hearing this music again for the first time" button as well. Wait 'til you see what the power conditioner does for computers & plasma tv's! Keep going Ted, you're ideas are truely gifts to us all. Jason Smith(JHS Enterprises)

Alex's picture

Well, if I may I would question the "nice sound" of a system, where you cannot tell is it Dylan or Knopfler singing.

John Franks's picture

Alex,I heard the demo at RMAF and the track was obviously Knopfler so I am not sure what JA was talking about. As to the "nice sound" I think a better characterization would be "frekin-amazing-sound." Switching between the tubes on the active cables, and then turning on and off the power conditioner were the two most powerful trade show demo I have ever heard. IMO Synergistic Research is really onto something.