Halcyonics Accurion Silencer
So this past Saturday I received one of the 2 Silencers I purchased. I found out the other is at home waiting for me as I type this. So, here is my take on what it does. The unit is HEAVY to the tune of about 70 pounds, you can easily see that this is a professional piece of lab gear with a pretty face-plate for the audiophile market. I placed the unit on my Bassocontino rack and then set the AMR DP 777 atop the Silencer. Next I unlocked and level adjusted the unit. I played a couple of tracks (with the unit on, but NOT in Active Isolation mode(Jane Monheit, Diana Krall, Eva Cassidy, Peter Belasco...etc) in order to get a baseline.
The key word is focus focus focus. The Silencer focuses the sound akin to a fine Leica lens. My system already sounded pretty awesome (to me :), but with the silencer a continuity and flow that I previously had NO idea was missing appeared. Also, think of the movies from the fifties when a close-up of a woman was shot, usually it was with a gel to soften her face and make the lady of interest appear more effeminate. The music without the Silencer is much akin to the gels of the 50's movie industry, with the Silencer everything is brought into sharp relief.
Not harsh relief, simply more information and a far better communicative expression from those ones and zeros. Now at first I wasn't sure it was doing anything (this was before I played music as I was trying to eyeball the operation of the unit) as we are talking about a device designed originally for AFM (Atomic Force Microscopes) with resolution in the nano-meter range. So, like any good audiophile I took a glass of water and placed it atop my AMR Dac which was atop the Silencer. I then place it in inactive mode and used my index finger to tap my rack forcefully. I easily saw ripples in the liquefied grapes. Next I placed the Silencer in Active Isolation Mode and repeated the procedure... NOT A SINGLE RIPPLE, NOT ONE and this is with the rack visibly being rattled.
One curious think I noted is that while I liked 99% of the songs I listened to FAR better with the Silencer in A.I. mode, I did note a couple which were less involving when the unit was actively isolating... Guess there really is no audio panacea.
In my opinion it is like a refiners fire and one must possess a high resolution system to fully appreciate the unit.
I placed the amp (modified Graaf OTL Modena) and pre (MFA Reference TVC) on the Silencer but was not overly impressed. I thought it was subtractive under the amp and the pre offered minimal gains. The Dac was the main reason for the purchase and it works very very well in that position. I am building an active (analog) crossover which will most likely occupy the second unit.
So, am I glad I bought the Silencers? Absolutely!!!! For the amps, I had planned to buy Minus K passive isolation units, however, after the less than dazzling test of the amp on the Silencer I will forego that route. The Minus K units are designed for AFM units as well and are the real deal. Some like them more than the active systems and they are not as crazy expensive. The 50BM-8 is like $2695.00.
Now another surprise...the AMR fuse for my Graaf arrived.... OH MY GOODNESS!!!! I would not have believed a fuse could make such a difference. I have some HifFi tuning fuses and I was not impressed at all, I really didn't hear a lot of difference with the Hifi tuning fuses... but these were not the latest and greatest Hifi tuning options. I think they were about $50 each (the HiFi tuning fuses). It (AMR fuses) totally makes the unit sound like I replaced it with a Modena which cost $20k more. More body, no glassy sound.... Yes I know; the Graaf does not sound glassy but in comparison to the unit with the stock fuse it does have a glassy quality. The AMR is one of the biggest improvements I have EVER made to my system..., go figure.