TweekGeek Does Real Good

Oh my, did Muddy Waters' Folk Singer sound good. I hadn't heard this audiophile classic in many a year, and my time in Mike Garner of's room convinced me that it was time for an extended revisit. Garner achieved gorgeous clarity and marvelous quiet on this recording. As I wrote in my notes, "A very special moment."

The system, which was emailed to me without prices, included the Vivid Audio V 1.5 loudspeaker that John Marks recently reviewed in Stereophile; Modwright KWA 150 amplifier and LS 36.5 preamplifier; Luxman D-05 CD/SACD player with digital input; M2Tech Evo USB to S/PDIF converter with unnamed PC as a source; Bybee Power Purifier AC conditioner; Kaplan GS power cords and GS speaker cables; Wireworld Platinum Eclipse interconnects; Stein Music Harmonizer A&B (two of each—see the little black box tucked into the right corner on the photo) plus Magic Stones; and Synergistic Research Universal Speaker Cells and Acoustic ART.

A word about some of these components. While I have yet to unpack the Bybee Power Purifier AC conditioner that awaits review back in Oakland, my experience with some of Jack Bybee's other products convinces me that his conditioner had a lot to do with the marvelous quiet I experienced in this room. Similarly, I have four Stein Music Harmonizers and the Synergistic Acoustic ART system at Casa Bellecci-Serinus, and would never want to be without them. I have no idea how either works, but the magical Stein boxes, which will be new to most blog readers, somehow increase the sense of air and ease in a room to an amazing degree. I've invited a few dealers to my home, and played the listen with/listen without game. The difference is quite noticeable. Mike didn't have the boxes set up correctly—I gave him some pointers—so I expect the sound will be even more inviting on the final days of the show. They mate very well with the Synergistic ART system, which in my home gets a further boost from Shakti Hallographs. Definitely worth checking out.

Patrick Dillon's picture

This was one of the best sounding rooms I heard in a very busy day. I can't figure out what those H20 pods and various treatments contributed, but in a small hotel room, those little Vivid speakers made music that surpassed the much-vaunted Magicos and Avalons etc. An oasis indeed.

Mike Garner's picture

Thank you for the kind words Patrick. A little hard work, some great gear, and a lot of luck made for a good sounding room, and a great show. Many thanks to my friends and their ears for making it happen.

Mike Alazard's picture

I completely agree! Mike you had a wonderfully musical room. I even bought a pair of the Reference Ground Controls for my Apogees. They are uncanny! The detail and quiet background these little tails provide is just terrific. I forgot that I bi-wire. I should have bought two pair!

Bill's picture

Having first heard the B-1s at RMAF 2008 I'm more convinced than ever that they do something just fundamentally RIGHT. They sounded great yet again, rivaled IMHO only by the Sanders electrostats, the Wilson Sasha W/P, the Vandersteen 7 and the Magico Q5 - all speakers going for orders of magnitude more than the price of the V 1.5s on display here.To be fair, they, like all Vivids aside from the Giya G-1, lack the ability to reproduce low, low bass but the rest of the audio spectrum is reproduced simply beautifully.

Reg's picture

If you happened on the Vivid G2's in the OAHN room you'd find no lack of "low, low bass" there. In fact, OAHN's neighbors were complaining that the Vivids were too loud and the LF was interfering with their own demo's!