They look like spittoons for insects to me. It's hard to imagine how you could possibly justify their cost...
Spittoons eh! Them's fighting words.
It is I the infamous, Audio oracle with Acoustic system resonators inside info.
Yes these things work, in fact they are scary effective!
I discovered the resonators from my good friend Clemment Perry who has been in love with these things. He did a demo for me and the sound with them was amazing, he took one Platinium away from the middle position and the image just collapsed.
The inventor of the resonators came to my house and did a setup and lo and behold even my non-audiophile wife heard a dramatic difference with the resonators.
These things have been scientifically tested and they work, so well in fact that a full resonator setup may be one of the greatest improvements in musical involvement that there is!
A system setup with resonators has a palpable realness and the soundstage is both wider and more focused.
The resonators work because they are based on real acoustical theories.
Kal many of the top reviewers are buying the resonators in droves, Clemment Perry is a believer so is Sarjan and his reviewers and the list is growing.
The French paper clearly shows the resonators are affecting the space they are in and are absoribing and redirecting other frequencies. The French test was a quantative test and not a qualatative test, for that you go to the reviewers.
All I know is I heard em, and I didn't want to, I purchased them when I clearly didn't want to, and I believe because they work.
I had a well known recording engineer who works for Sony over to my shop and I did the demo and he clearly heard how well these things work.
I have also tried Margio dots and many other things over the years and very few of those things work, the resonators are magical.
A certain amount of skepticism is a healthy thing, but too much can make us blind to new things. Ah, where is the balance grasshopper?
These things may work, I will not judge them until I experience them myself. A priori judgements only reflect prejudice and preconceived notions.
Those of you who are closed to the idea, have experienced the resonators?
Rja wrote: "I know absolutely nothing about them, but is a show environment the best place to critically evaluate anything?" Of course not. The only reason I responded is to indicate that this discussion is not my first exposure to the devices. I did get a chance to speak with someone from the company, as well.
If I believe only things that I understand then my belief system would be very limited. The reality is; we all believe things we don't understand all the time. I don't know if these things work or not. I'm only stating that I will with hold my opinion until/if I experience them. It just seems to me that prejudging them is meaningless. Now if you've experienced these things and feel that their effect is voodoo then that's another matter so my apologies to Kr4. There are others however that found them effective. They are pretty little things though.
A brilliant and incredibly advanced human summed it up many years ago:"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
--From Hamlet (I, v, 166-167)
There are many things in this industry which defy rational of empirical reasoning, like a 1 m interconnect making a difference or power cords, or vibration isolation devices.
To Kr4 try them you will be amazed or try not, they work!
I have the halographs, 2 pair, Shun Mook mpingo disks, Brilliant Pebbles, and the H-Cat line stage with its WTC. All of these interact. I will not spend time talking about when I had RoomLens, diffusors, TubeTraps, etc. They are all gone. I have largely removed my Shun Mooks and now only use a pair of the Halographs. This was the result of my removing everything and setting the WTC for its best and then reintroducing what was removed one at a time. This all took a long time and thus I am hesitant to redo this with the resonators. I have many friends, however, who swear by them. Hearing their experiences, I don't really care whether present science can explain how they work.
As a scientist (and one involved in the study of the brain), I am very aware of the perceptual mechanisms to which we are all subject. Thus, my belief system is very restrained. People who believe these things work are right: They perceive it as real. OTOH, that does not necessarily mean it is.
Kal (who will reserve judgement until there's proof or demonstration, both of which he is unlikely to see)
Kal, as a scientist also, I am ever mindful that every discipline sets its own paradigm as to what is true, and tends to disregard contrary evidence until it is overwhelming.
I am also mindful that believing something can make no difference also predisposes one to not seeing or hearing something showing a difference. Perceptions of reality work both ways.
I am unaware of any evidence to ignore. I see lots of anecdotal reports, none of them any more convincing to me than my own. Aside from that, have you any evidence? (And, yes, I have read the puffery in that so-called lab report.)
Your statements about the symmetry of predisposition are well taken but those are partly defined by our personal philosophies. Mine, as I said, is conservative in these matters but I am fully prepared to change, given cause.
Kal, we are dealing with what we hear, not with what a sample hears. This is not science but rather preference. If you don't like what you hear with the resonators assuming you can overcome your predilections, that is fine and were I to hear of it, I would have to weigh it against what others have said.
I sought an experiment at the RMAF in which the resonators were removed so that I might hear with and without, but owner of the suite was unwilling to do this as he was primarily selling electronics and speakers.
03-17-07: Audiooracle +++ There are many things in this industry which defy rational of empirical reasoning, like a 1 m interconnect making a difference or power cords, or vibration isolation devices +++
The items you mention do work and have very sound scientific backing why they do. The resonators, like pebbles and clever clocks, have zero scientific backing. I think you are reaching somewhat comparing the resonators with cables and isolation devices.
For every tweak that works, there are ten that do not. I cannot say whether these resonators work, but at $400 odd I will never find out. $400 can buy a good capacitor that really does work
This is not that hard to test. Blindfold yourself. Drag a willing or unwilling participant into the experiment. While listening, have them walk the resonators in and out of the room - and this is important - on a random basis. See if you can choose, with your blindfold on, when the resonators are present and when they are not. Don't cheat. Leave the volume constant. Please report back. Jeff
Jeff. It is really not difficult to place something a room that will effect sound. I can do that for a few bucks simply buy a sheet of corrugated iron sheet and place it on the wall behind you speakers. Believe me, if the sheet is big enough, you'll hear it.
The issue is, do these things make sound more accurate and natural? Does the piano coming out the speakers sound more natural with these resonators in place or without?
Paul, I agree with everything you said.
Perhaps I was unclear. My suggestion was not so much intended to ask whether you hear a difference or not, but was intended to discern whether you actually prefer the resonators or not, making some less than perfect effort to control for bias. If the buyer likes the "blind" effect, it seems to me that is what counts.
Also, if the resonators do make a piano sound more natural, it should be measurable at the speakers. I'm not talking about the perpetual argument over measuring THD or the argument about measuring a single component without regard for its interaction with the system in which it resides. If the resonators make a piano sound more natural at the speakers, the effect should be measurable. Has anybody done this and published the before and after measurements? Perhaps I am alone in this, but I'd really like to see the measurements.
In fact, I'd love to see somebody: a) record various piano strikes on an actual piano and record them and measurement them with something that measures transients, decay and specturm, and b) play it back through their system with and without the resonators in place. It would be interesting, at least to my compulsive audio mind, to compare the measurements of the three. Testing the system without the resonators would tell you how the system differs from the actual piano (of course, you would have to measure the decibels of the actual piano and set your volume control to same when testing the system). Testing with the resonators and comparing it to the measurements of the actual piano and to the measurements of the system without the resonators would tell you what, if any, sonic attributes of the actual piano were restored by the resonators.
Lastly, this would be a lot of work, so I imagine its easier to argue about the whole thing. Not that we wouldn't argue about the test results. Hmmmm. Jeff
Physically these may alter the sound in the higher frequencies by adding harmonic overtones that ring well after the orignal excitation. (Studios use all kinds of tricks such as reverb etc. to give richness and provide hearing cues as to the location of elements in a sound stage...reverberation of higher frequencies provide detail on location of an instrument or voice)
Is this additional coloration better than the raw mix?...that will depend on your perception.
yesterday I got 6 resonators - 1 basic, 4 silver and 1 gold special.
I installed as suggested by sending the designer pics of my room, and based on reading the 6 step outline.
SInce I am just getting over a cold and my head is a bit stuffy, I'll have to reserve judgment for a few days.
So far I am not getting the huge soundstage as other have reported, (I am going to put the 2 outer units further apart to see if that helps)
Tonally, I am getting good results, and on the Athena Rachmanoff LP I seem to be able to make out instrument seperation and detail that I dont recall hearing before.
The real test will be in the next day or so, when I listen to a cut - then remove the bowls from thier bases (putting them in another room) and listening again. I think this will be the best telltale test.
I have no emotional investment in wanting this room treatment to work. If they work, fine, they will be a welcome upgrade. If they don't that's fine too
they are quite expensive, and I can use the money elsewhere, or just heaven forbid, save it. (plus I ordered an expensive full front end that will be here soon, so I don't want to spend needlessly)
One thing I have found so far is that bass seems to be better integrated, but a bit less. I recently changes my system to have the tubes powering just the mid/high cabinets, and a remote SS amp poweing the woofer units. I love the adjustability to be able to dial in via remote just the right amount of bass for each song/listening volume.
With the resonators in the system, I find I am adjusting the bass much less than before, as if the bass is better integrated and on many LP's needing no adjustment. One of the caveats of this biamp setup is I always felt their was a slight discontinuity in the bass, (though my atma MA-1's powering the full spectrum sounded more coherent, the SS controls the bass a bit better)
I was planing an adding 2 Velodyn SMS1 units to tame nodes (which I will probably still do) but I am suddenly very happy with the bass.
I'll definitly post back soon, when I do the test where I pull the resonators out of the system.
Emailists, I should warn you that the resonators, Shun Mook mpingo disks, Halographs, Brilliant Pebbles, etc. all interact with the WTC control on the H-Cat.
I just realized this again yesterday when I came to the conclusion that I just could not find the right setting on this control with any degree of confidence, even though others seem to have no difficulty, at least after the H-Cat is broken in. Today I am once again going to remove everything of the resonant nature and build up slowly as I had done with the previous, H-Cat P-12B X5.
Let me start out by saying that I think I decided I really didn't want these to work. I would be happy to send them back and get my inordinate amount of money back. Yesterday I did a power upgrade (Oyaide receptacle and plug) feeding my main Romex extension cord from the wall, that was only about $200 and made an amazing improvement.
Okay so tonight after listening to Bill Evans at Shelly's Manne hole (jap. pressing) I pulled the 6 resonators off their bases and put them in another room under a sweatshirt.
The bass bacame woolier and more pronounced, and the drum kit/cymbols got flatter and localized to my speaker. I can't characterize the piano differences.
I put them back in and listened to the same cut. Now I could hear what the resonators were doing. Tiny details of the recording seemed to pop out, and I thought I almost heard some phasing. The bass become better integrated, the piano took on bit more of a life of it's own, and the drum kit fell a bit further back- and sounded more realistic.
I am still not getting a huge or deep soundstage from the resonators, but either with playing with position, or getting 2 more for the side walls (where I have none) maybe soundstage will come.
I feel like perhaps my ear is not fine enough to discern what the resonators are fully doing. At this point I would characterize them in the more subtle of upgrade areas, at least in my system.
I must say this though. A number of months ago I was auditioning the Tron Seven phono pre against my current GCPH phono. I had to switch back and forth a number of times (I could do this in about 20 seconds and with the record playing) before I really started to hear what the Tron was doing differently than the GCPH. At first I was shocked how similar they were (cudos to the bargain priced GCPH - the Tron at 4X the cost has been catagorized as a Steelhead beater!!), but as my ear became more refined to the differences, it became easier to hear. I truly think by the end of the session I had become a better listener. (and a bit poorer as I opened up my checkbook)
The resonators make me think that in a few months from now - I could even more clearly identify when they were in and out of the system, because I will have really "learned" what kind of contributution they make.
So that is my "still early on" response.
It will be interesting once my H-cat preamp gets here in the next 2 days (hopefully) if more or less is revealed about the resonators, and if I find Like Norm that they have to come out to set the H-cat (I have little other room treatment though - just roomtune cornertunes to tame corner loading)
I am still not 100% convinced. I want to do several more rounds of removing/replacing the resonators with different types of music, and see what occurs over the next few weeks. I'll certainly post back.
Emailists, I increasingly think great music reproduction is like pornography. I know it when I hear it but I cannot say exactly what defines it. I have had several instances where initially I love a tweak or component in my system, only to some time later give a sigh of relief on removing it.
After being somewhat uncomfortable with the new H-Cat P-12R relative to the earlier P-12B X5, last weekend I decided to remove all resonance control in my room other than the Halcyonics platforms. I also removed the Stealth Dream power cords. I was shocked at how good the system sounded after adjusting the WTC to its correct position. This was much easier with everything removed.
Then I gradually reintroduced each of the Dreams. Each improved the attach and stayed. It did require some readjustment of the WTC, but not much. Then I introduced the Brilliant Pebbles. I first put one on the floor between the speakers on 3 4x4 tiles on cones. The image dropped about three feet and I removed it. I tried it on the amp where I had also gotten a nice improvement. It now made the bass thick and boomy. Out it came. Presently I have none of the Brilliant Pebbles in my room, although in the past they greatly improved my sound.
Finally, I introduced a pair of Halographs, putting them initially behind me as they had worked well there in the past. Not this time, however. I decided to try them in the corners behind my speakers which is the first recommended position. In the past I could not use them there as they really muddied the bass. Once again I had this result initially, but I persisted and canted the array toward firing at each other, which was one position from the 45 degree center mark. Bang! Even while I was still behind the speakers, I could hear the great improvement.
So right now I have one set of Halographs and nothing else in the room dealing with resonance.
I would make several observations. One, all of these devices have an impact. And two, there are many ways to reach the best musical reproduction. Finally,
a change in your components can change what works, but it is entirely trial and error to find the best. Perhaps, I should stop this adventure and stick with what I have to avoid this lengthy readjustment needed to accommodate a changed component.
"I have had several instances where initially I love a tweak or component in my system, only to some time later give a sigh of relief on removing it." - TBG
I have trouble with the same experience. A friend of mine calls it psychoacoustics. My theory is that no reproduction system is without fault and that after we get to know a system we want to plug its specific fault or faults. So, we look for a component to plug that fault. Initially, we love it because it plugs the fault while we carry the bias of what the preceeding component did well. A month later, we hear the faults of the new component as it stands on its own.
One time I read an article that said you will statistically maximize your selection of a good mate after dating seven different women. If that applies to each component, I've got three cd players, two amps, four preamps and one set of cables to go.
Jj2468, if you are right about maximizing your best component, I am well overdue.
In my case I often think it is the interaction of tweaks and components. If so, it certainly would discourage trying something new. I also think most components and tweaks have positives and negatives. Initially we may optimistically focus on the positives only to be later disturbed by the negatives. I think this is the same idea that you suggested. This suggests an element of psychoacoustics.
Speaking of psychoacoustics, some friends came to my apartment and saw the resonators.
I now have to sumbit to a long psychiatric evaluation.
If the true cost of the resonator package were revealed, the evaluation would be skipped in favor of of an involuntary stay at a local facility, of course only after they stopped laughing.
"I now have to sumbit to a long psychiatric evaluation.
If the true cost of the resonator package were revealed, the evaluation would be skipped in favor of of an involuntary stay at a local facility, of course only after they stopped laughing." - Emailists
That is hilarious! Yes, I like to tell my friends that I'd probably be better off putting my money into therapy for my audio addiction. But, that would not be nearly as much fun and then I would have to comparison test therapists, determine whether I like them with feedback on or off, and gradually ramp up the input to determine how much they can take before the noise they make begins distorting. I've heard that our brains are a lot more foregiving of therapists with proper room treastments, like leather or persian carpets, which absorb some of their odd harmonics. Jeff
I have been using a set of 2 silvers and one copper resonators since the beginning of the year.
The copper is placed on the wall, centred behind the speakers, 10 cm from the floor. I was battling a boomy midrange in my room, but after installing just this one resonator, the midrange was cleaned up.
One of the silvers is placed around chest level on my TV rack directly above the copper resonator. The effect of the resonator in this position is richer tonality, akin to more wetness and image density. My LCD TV has also acoustically disappeared, with the soundstage seemingly stretching many feet behind the TV.
I placed the last resonator on the front wall in a straight line directly above the other 2 resonators, near the ceiling.
This had the effect of spatially opening up the soundstage, seemingly making my room sound bigger than it is.
This stuff look like voodoo, but performs like magic...
Audiooracle,your 03/16 post begs the question,so please indulge me.That is not the first time I have read a similar statement that without the 'device-x' in place the image collapsed,etcetera.Why would one retain a system indefinitely that apparently lacks redeeming qualities,i.e. image,soundstage,etcetera,waiting for a miracle 'device' to come along and rescue the system,instead of implementing changes in the system?Sincerely,and Cheers.
Dear Double4w your logic is specious at best. There are many changes you can make to a system which will enable that system to come alive. You are not speaking to a neophyte, but a professional audio designer who has been doing this for 20 years! I make my judgments based on what I hear. The fact that much of what makes this hobby interesting is that there are many instances of a particular product making a system sound better and there is no empirical reason why.
Power cords shouldn't make a difference on a low power draw component, but they do, CD mats shouldn't make a difference but they do, in fact electrically there is probably no measurable difference in audio interconnects but we can hear the difference.
A system outfitted with Resonators makes the music come alive in way that the same system without them doesn't.
The only way you know the difference is to hear the system both ways, I did and now I own the resonators.
In fact I would say that the cost of the resonators does seem ludicrous for what you get, but the sonic difference makes them a relative bargin. I have heard people changing components which can be more expensive and not getting the results which you can get with the resonators.
Science can not always explain the ways of the world, and many discoveries have been by accident.
+++ A system outfitted with Resonators makes the music come alive in way that the same system without them doesn't. +++
I do not disbelieve you, but a sheet of corrugated iron on a wall will more than likely have similar results. Corrugated iron costs a little bit less though.
If I may ask, have you experimented with items such as diffusers that have a scientifically tested effects on acoustics at all? It just seems somewhat out there to endorse acoustic treatments that have zero scientific backing if you have not bothered to look into treatments that are well tested, proven and documented. (Diffusers also cost significantly less than these resonators)
Again, I don't think they do don't have an effect. I am simply pondering the fact that change is not always for the better, and since you do not have any scientific data as to what exactly they do, I dare say you cannot elude they improve sound.
I have tried many resonance tweaks. Some I have liked, some I have liked for a while, and some I have disliked. I have not tried the Resonators but I must say that several friends' whose ears I respect love them. In the case of the Behold suites at both the RMAF and THE Show, the sound was excellent and had the Resonators. At the RMAF I inquired whether I could hear the system without the Resonators to consider their unique benefits. Unfortunately, they were using Resonators not selling them and could not humor me. When I asked at THE Show whether they always used the Resonators, I was told they would not do without them.
I have tried other small resonance devices, such as the Shun Mook Mpingo disks and the Brilliant Pebbles. They both have powerful effects that have to be assessed very carefully. There is no question that placing them wrong can hurt the sound. Small does not mean ineffective or at least this is my experience.
Will I try the Resonators? Only if I can hear a demonstration. They are too expensive to take a winger.
Dear Audiooracle,I am confused by your contention that my 'logic is specious,at best'.If you will carefully re-read my posts,I in no way attacked the validity of the device/object in question.My 2 posts on the subject spoke to, firstly,the questionable fact that one would retain a 'system' that needed a inanimate device to instill in that system some redeeming qualities.Secondly,my subject was your use of the absolute epitome of cliche hyperbole,line after line.It was,pardon me,quite amusing.As to your talents and expertise as a seasoned,professional audio designer,well,I offer respect due you for that. Manuia,(cheers, in the language of my favorite people on the planet,Tahitians).
Placement is key for best results with most resonator devices, at least the one that are intended to reduce standing waves in the room, such as room lens, tube traps, even mpingo discs. Arbitrary placement can lead to, well, non-optimum results. While the ear can often achieve pretty good results, much better results are achieved using test tone and sound pressure level meter, so the precise location of standing waves (high sound pressure zone) can be ID'd. The resonators should be placed where the exceptionally high sound pressures are observed.
For example, a tube trap might actually hurt the sound when placed directly in room corner (as is often suggested); but when placed according to test tone/SPL meter a couple feet from the corner, the sound is much better.
If the accurate reproduction of the music contained on discs is the goal, then the resonators should not be used in a system. I have no doubt that they can effect a system's sound, and for some people they might like the sonic change, but the arbitrary addition of metallic overtones is not a step forward in high fidelity sound reproduction.
In effect, the resonators are plate reverbs, but without any adjustability. If you really like this sort of processing effect, then why not get a Lexicon PCM91? It has dozens of different types of reverbs and spatial programs and massive adjustability. Virtually all audiophile would consider the Lexicon not suitable for high end systems, but that same judgement should also apply to the resonators.
Not even close onhwy61,
electronic processing masks details instead of uncovering them.
The Resonators were tested an they actually absorb certain emi and rfi frequencies. They do add overtones which are audible but the effects of the resonators is much more complex. Resonators do so many things, tighten the bass, increase the width and depth of the soundstage and makes the system sound faster and more clear.
Onhwy61, where did he say anything about RFI absorption?
Why should he provide you with evidence? Why don't you listen to some or attend a demonstration?
You are probably right that most audiophiles would not consider all of the electronic circuitry in the Lexicon PCM91, but why should this logic apply to the Resonators? Because you say they do the same thing?
On 4/14/07 Audiooracle wrote:
The Resonators were tested an(d) they actually absorb certain emi and rfi frequencies.
I read the phrase "absorb certain emi and rfi" as Audiooracle saying something about RFI absorption.
Tbg, I suspect the resonators do exactly what Audiooracle and others describe, I'm just arguing that it doesn't contribute to greater sound reproduction accuracy. I went to the Acoustic Systems website and read their description of their product. They state that it vibrates and adds overtones. These overtones are not in the music signal. Therefore I reason that their product is adding distortion and by definition not a high fidelity product. The effect may be very pleasant sounding, but it's not accurately reproducing the music signal.
I could be wrong. Maybe it's not akin to a Lexicon reverb, but more like the Aphex Aural Exciter. Go easy on the big bottom knob!