Thanks. I just ordered a sample. I'll post my results here once I get them and have time to try them.
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I got mine yesterday and will report back later this weekend. I'm looking forward to see if this free version of the tweak is effective enough to warrant getting the big boy version.
I've yet to see or hear of someone who's willing to give out free samples until now so my curiousity is peaked.
All the best,
This is the hardest thing I've had to write about. It's made me doubt, for the first time, as to whether I'm susceptible to placebo. Being consistent in my preference with the Black Discus in place I'm inclined to believe it works for the better but there will be those who say I'm imagining things.
Sitting down to what at first appeared to be easy enough to do (they go on and off quickly and easily), differences, or lack of differences should be easily observable. They weren't. The effects were all too subtle for me to reliably say one way or the other. It was only when sitting off axis, at my iMac that I really enjoyed the sound. It was more analogue in nature, more relaxed, yet it lost nothing in the way of detail.
Imagine being able to shift the focus on a lens of a camera. All the detail is still there but the equivalent of a tonal shift of the music occurs. A kind of glassy, leading edge is toned down ever so slightly allowing the balance of the note, or music, to rise up ever so slightly.
This is not to say that some kind of digital artifact is being negated. I've had bigger tonal shifts that amounted to actual smearing with ICs, SCs, and PCs. This is a different animal we're dealing with here. It could be that there is no actual digital glare in the actual signal (freeing the medium from most of the blame) but rather, technology catching up to the way it should be properly transmitted, adding further to the debate about cables being all they can be.
I don't know how it's done. In my system the results were subtle but welcomed. An ease of presentation leading to a better balance making it seem less digital and more analogue could only be noticed while not paying serious attention to it leads me to believe that something is at work here. I've never experienced listener fatigue with my system but this seems to be a more relaxed version of what I thought was fine to begin with.
I've yet to experiment with more recordings and may even change my mind about the discs efficacy or I might go and order one of the bigger versions to see if they have a more pronounced effect. This one's a puzzler.
All the best,
Now that I've had time to listen to more music, lower mids to bass are a tad more pronounced, a bit fatter, if you will. No loss of coherency or detail, but a bit more meat on the bone, or maybe a better sear since the effect is minor but the result is more flavorful.
Lordes' new CD has lots of electronic beat bass that's in vogue nowadays but now it's not so offensive, or mechanical sounding. It's still a studio recording but not a bad one.
On the other end of the scale, Quadro Nuevos' Mocca Flor (which I know inside and out) is purely acoustic and showcases what fun talented musicians can have. They can be everything from subtle to bombastic and still hold my rapt attention. Gone is the shrill bite of a horn leaving only a fluid, melodic sound no matter the level which is quite an achievement. Everything on the disc is a tad more expansive and clearer (maybe a lower noise floor?) and it's the old 'am I hearing more?' thing all over again but I've heard this CD so many times and yet it sounds more open and clearer, especially in the lower mids and bass.
To keep with the non-critical listening aspect that caught my attention the first time around, I kept the TV on with the volume off so I'd not over analyze the sound and even with my attention on the TV, aural clues of new insights to the music kept interrupting my attention.
In my first post I neglected to mention where I put these little buggers. The are supposed to work on the amps' +speaker posts, the end plug of a PC to a CDP, the input jack of a headphone and on a headphone. The only difference I think I could detect was on the +speaker post of the amp and nowhere else.
My Marantz is robustly built with lots of shielding and component isolation factored in so maybe the effects aren't as pronounced as they'd be in other makes. That could be why the effects aren't as apparent or nonexistent. It could be why the only difference I think I'm hearing is where the amp hands off to the speaker cable.
The bigger versions are claimed to work on/over the transformers of amps and CDPs and the casework of DACs and so on. It will not work on optical cables and I can't offer a clue as to why but so states the designer of the discus.
I think I just might try the bigger version.
All the best,
I tried some BlackDiscus free samples. I gotta buy more of these!
My first holy S#!T moment was from placing a small BlackDiscus on the XMOX chip of a WaveIO USB to IS2 board. The music was more real and flowing. I'm going to cut up one these to fit them on some DAC chips.
Putting the large BlackDiscus on the parafeed transformers of my DIY 12B4 SET amps cleaned up the sound so much that I no longer have to convince my wife that I need to install "ugly" room treatment pads in the corners.
I also placed them on flat IEC power cord connectors with a smoothing and cleaning up of the sound without any loss of detail.
Either they help or do nothing. While the entire musical spectrum is benefited, the bass is especially brought into focus. This is an affordable no-brainer tweak.
Ozzy how can the Black Discus be pricey when what you are using were free!. Two medium size discs are $80.00 including shipping from New Zealand. The bigger the disc the greater the effect. On my audio system the two free sample discs placed on the front of my Marantz SACD player made a dramatic improvement in soundstage quality. Trying the other locations mentioned at the Black Discus Audio website, the effect was excessive. However on my home theater system a teriffic improvement was seen and heard. Medium discs were placed on the IEC end of two Pangea AC 14 power cords ( powering the sound bar and TV), one on the HDMI cable going into the TC connection ( major visual improvement), and finally one disc on the circuit breaker to the room with the home theater.
As the web site states the effect is hit or miss. At certain spots the effect can be stunning and I think the possible improvement is worth the time and money to try them. The cost to try them is $20.00 in round trip postage.
Part of their cost is sending "free" samples to audiophiles.
...and here is my take.... I tried putting the discs all over the system. When I placed one on the power cord input of the CD player, it made an appreciable difference. (Ayre C5xemp). There was more 3 dimensional presentation...an elimination of tizzy highs (although I didn't know they were "tizzy" before....it was kind of like putting on a new prescription pair of glasses where you were satisfied with the old ones. I was sent 2 discs, and try as I might, I could not find another place that in the system that would want me to buy more. I eventually stuck it on the back of the case of the preamp (Ayre K1xe)...and it was maybe a bit better, but not demonstrably so. I tried them on speakers, power amp, cable, anything I could, but the best place was on the CD player.