has anyone else tried Lloyd Walkers latest tweak

Lloyd Walker has a new tweak: the black diamond crystal for cartridges. It's a crystal you put on either the tonearm or the cartridge that [I KID YOU NOT] transforms the sound!
I know, I know, [don't ask me to explain it,I can't] it can't be all that, but i'm tellin you try this thing [if you don't like it you can return it] for less than half the price of a really good cartridge you get A REALLY GOOD CARTRIDGE!!!
Please post your experience
Sounds like a big joke if cartridge is great why would you need this!!
Yet another high end manufacturer jumps on the crystal bandwagon. I thought crystals went mainstream about five years ago.
It matters not how great the piece of equipment. There will always be room for improvement, until SOMETHING exactly replicates the original performance, in every regard(timbre/dynamics/sound stage/imaging/etc), or(at least) the original tape/digital master.
How much does the "crystal" cost, and by what means is it secured to the arm or cartridge?
I am sure that the crystal cost is commensurate with it's sound altering ability. There simply cannot be a crystal that uniformly fits every system and room. Prices may end up tiered I haven't looked I am still trying to assemble the glory of my old set up, which may require a more potent tweak than a crystal I am thinking acoustical geode but they would be ultra high end.
Don't laugh guys. LLoyd Walker is the real thing. Probably no snake oil here, just unconventional thinking that works. No, I haven't heard the thing and I bet it isn't cheap, but I'd be surprised if it didn't change the sound, and probably for the better. Once I wanted to add some weight to my tracking force without messing up the settings. Takes too long to get it back just right. So, I a placed a stainless steel nut on the cart with a speck of tape. Just like we had a quarter on the family's old Zenith console's arm as a kid. I found that the nut improved the sound even when tracking force was compensated for it. Probably if you put your Wife's diamond on the cart the sound would really improve!
The crystal is $325
The improvement priceless!
It is glued to either the headshell or cart body ( visit Walker audio web site for more info )
Maybe geoff and lloyd can partner up and market a rose colored crystal. New company:

Pink Fraud
If in fact the crystal works by "reducing the EMI/RFI and static electrical noise at your cartridge and record while it is playing," as stated at Mr. Walker's website, a point that occurs to me is that it is likely to not be as effective with high output cartridges as with low output cartridges.

That is in part because in the case of low output moving coil cartridges the inductance of the cartridge and the capacitance of the cabling and phono stage input form a resonant peak at RF frequencies, which will greatly increase sensitivity to some of those frequencies. And it is also because the bandwidth of LOMCs generally extends to much higher frequencies than the bandwidth of high output cartridges.

The results can also be expected to be phono stage dependent, because the effects at audible frequencies that will result from RF frequencies that are input to the phono stage will vary greatly depending on the design of the particular phono stage. And also, for that matter, depending on the value of the load resistance that is being used.

-- Al
Al, interesting theory. It's also possible the crystal does no such thing and is simply a very efficient vibration absorber. If it were absorbing RFI/EMI I imagine the crystal would have to attract the offending electromagnetic fields like a magnet. No?
Yes, I have actually purchased the Black Diamond Crystal. I have installed it on my cartridge and I am very pleased and surprised with the results.

First, my rig, TTW Momentus turntable, with the latest Graham Phantom Supreme II tonearm, Benz Micro LP'S cartridge, Sutherland Hubble phono stage.

Because the cartridge mounts way past the end of the headshell of the tonearm it is necessary for me to mount the crystal on the cartridge body itself. And because the body of the cartridge is made of wood it is necessary to used the copper tape that is supplied with the kit to cover the front of the cartridge.

Once all of that was completed I was ready to mount the crystal on the front of the cartridge. I decided to use a small piece of double sided tape to mount the crystal so that I could quickly remove the crystal to A-B the results with and without the crystal.

The first album I played with the crystal installed brought a smile to my face. This was not a slight improvement is sound. The soundstage much much bigger, micro details in the recording were now details. The air around the instruments was bigger and quieter and more focused. An improvement in bass.

I popped the crystal off and the music sounded flat and dull, sound stage got smaller and the bass a little muddy. After that I see no reason to A-B the cartridge with and without the crystal. This thing works!

This is the best $325 I have ever spent on a tweak in my 40 years of being an audiophile. My system always was revealing and spacious but now it is on another level. If I am getting this kind of improvement with a Benz LP'S (which in my opinion is one of the best cartridges made today) I can only imagine what kind of improvement lower end cartridges will get with the Black Diamond Crystal.

I don't care about the science of the Black Diamond Crystal, or the electrical theory behind it. All I can say is that it works!
Wow! only $325 for a quartz crystal that probably cost the better part of a dollar. Seems reasonable, but wait, why don't we just go to a mineral or gem shop/show and buy a bunch of different size crystals for peanuts and then try different ones and use the one that works best. It may be $300 of work or intellectual property to have it pre-sorted for us and Lloyd is a most enterprizing guy... I think I'll opt for DIY on this one. Thanks for the tips Almarg and Perditty.

Perditty, you should go for the pretty light green peridot crystal. :)
Yea it's the old joke about fixing the pentagon computer buy hitting it with a rubber hammer, for hitting it $2 for knowing where $9998
08-17-13: Geoffkait
Al, interesting theory. It's also possible the crystal does no such thing and is simply a very efficient vibration absorber. If it were absorbing RFI/EMI I imagine the crystal would have to attract the offending electromagnetic fields like a magnet. No?
Geoff, yes it seems conceivable to me that vibration absorption could be a key factor that is involved. And perhaps also its effects on tonearm effective mass, which of course can make a difference even when tracking force is adjusted to remain constant.

But note that the RFI/EMI/static theory is not mine. I quoted that explanation directly from the Walker Audio website. And note the "if in fact" wording at the beginning of my post.

I myself take no position on how it may work, or even if it works. But if it does work via the electrical means that are stated at the Walker Audio site, I believe that its effectiveness would vary considerably as a function of the various dependencies I cited.

-- Al
would be great if someone who has the walker crystal could run by the hippie shop, grab a similar $5 crystal and compare the resultsÂ… heck, maybe i'll try it...
Ah yes, the clever little crystal.

Here it comes from Machina Fraudius.
Bengie was I kidding or what!
Laugh all you want ( healthy skepticism is the basis of the scientific process ) but how long ago were we saying the turntable had no effect on the sound, that wires were just wires and that all that measured the same must sound the same!
Try the thing and report back on how wrong I was.
Perditty, I think you have me mixed up with someone else. I have no idea what you are talking about.
You use the term "scientific process" in relations to this hocus pocus?

All should google "placebo effect" and "the power of suggestion".

But no, it is not snake oil. After all, snake oil is liquid.

Once we had Ed Villchur, Henry Kloss, and the like. Now we have guys whipping up magic points for hundreds of dollars and crystals. And we wonder why high end is dying.
Observation is the first step of the scientific process, having observed something you then form a hypothesis.
Listen first then speculate.
Benjie if you didn't make the 8/18/13 post I apologize for the confusion
Perditty, I suspect that what is behind the confusion in your exchanges with Benjie is that your 8-19-13 post gives the appearance that all of the post is being addressed to him, but you probably meant only its first sentence for him.

-- Al
The word Crystal triggers the skeptical part of the audiophile brain, the part of the brain that figures anything new or not in High School textbooks must involve ritualism, psychoacoustics, psychological effects like expectation bias and placebo effect, subliminal advertising, new age mysticism, or hypnosis. I suspect it was for this reason Lloyd refers his little black thinggie as a "crystalline structure," you know, so as not to scare or upset the skeptics.

And the word geoff triggers the skeptical and intelligent segment of the audio community to avoid snake oil salesmen.
Al thanks for clarification
Judyazblues : there are none so blind as those who will not see
Your skepticism is well placed, I know it sounds ridiculous but I can't deny what I'm hearing
Right and it's human nature to expect an improvement when spending money on fantasies such as this. IOW, you're hearing what you want to hear.
Really, Geoff. Is it not legitimate to ask questions about such a claim (the notion that certain crystals can absorb RFI or EMI to a significant degree that would result in an audible effect in the average living room)? Or is it you, in fact, who wants audiophiles to behave not like high-schoolers but like pre-schoolers? "Open up wide now, and eat your crystals." I don't say it can't be true, but there must be some support for it in peer-reviewed scientific literature, if it is true. I can find none. Or are you also saying that science has nothing to offer in these matters?

And to those who hear a difference (Perditty): Be aware of the power of the placebo effect. A good test would be to bring a friend into your listening room who has no idea what the subject is, and test him or her for differences in sound with vs without the crystals. By the way also, RFI is detectable, and a reduction in RFI should be measurable.
Lewm wrote,

"I don't say it can't be true, but there must be some support for it in peer-reviewed scientific literature, if it is true. I can find none. Or are you also saying that science has nothing to offer in these matters?"

I suspect audio applications of crystals has not been peer reviewed. Any more than Mpingo discs, Schumann frequency generators, Shakti Stones, the Tice Clock, holographic foil, WA Quantum Chips, tiny bowl acoustic resonators, coloring CDs, and a bunch of other things have been peer reviewed. I suspect two reasons crystals haven't been peer reviewed are the science community is unaware of this application of crystals AND if they are aware of it they might be just a tiny bit apprehensive about tacking such a subject, if you know what I mean. If you think some organization such as AES is going to run out and sign up to look into crystals any time soon, I wouldn't hold my breath.
I put the post out to see if anyone else WHO HAD ACTUALLY TRIED THE THING heard what I did and it seems one other person has had a similar EXPERIENCE.
As I have repeatedly said skepticism [particularly in this case] is a good thing, but to dismiss, out of hand, with NO experience is nether helpful OR scientific. Again first observe then speculate.
I'm generally not one to blow my own horn but I was the first to use crystals in comprehensive ways for audio applications. My crystals debuted at the HI FI Show in London in 2003. As I showed ten years ago Crystals can be applied in many locations, including power cord plugs, RCA jacks of interconnects, near small vacuum tubes, room corners, on top of transformers, on top of speakers, on top of CD players, and many other locations.
Perditty, I meant no slur. Sorry.

Geoff, There has been a LOT of published science on the behavior of crystals in electronic applications. It's actually quite an interesting history dating back to the 1920s. By WWII, quartz crystals were already being used in the defense industry in electronics, and since the method for growing such crystals in a lab had not yet been developed, natural quartz was highly prized and sought after. There is no occult force in commercial audio that could or would suppress research into this area or any other area of science. You greatly exaggerate the power of the industry, and/or you don't quite understand how basic research comes to be done. I have to think that if free (meaning "not in-circuit") quartz crystals (or any of many other kinds of crystals now available) could absorb RFI, there would be a published paper describing this phenomenon. On the other hand, I agree that my failure to find the papers (so far) is no proof that such work has not been done. I will keep looking. There are EEs lurking here. Perhaps one of them knows.
Lewm, I have a good feeling you will get to the bottom of this thing. That's exactly what I think we need, more folks that are determined to find out what in the heck is going on with these devilish little crystals. If you find something somewhere out there in cyberspace regarding crystals and their use in audio systems, I mean other than in clocks, please be so kind as to provide a link. You would think NASA, DARPA, IEEE, MIT, AES, ASA - somebody! - would have at least done some sort of preliminary investigation. I would even settle for the Amazing Randi. Lol
What works in one system may very well not work in another. Stereo systems benefit from tweeking to eliminate resonances, and correct faults. That's what the joy of this hobby is....enjoy.
Geoff, I sense your sarcasm, but I am immune to it. Another computer search today reveals mainly that Google finds either confirmation from many sources that crystal oscillators are a source of RFI OR it finds references in the Tweakers Asylum and elsewhere in audio fora, many of which are to your past postings, when I search on any combination of words that include "crystal" and "RFI". I see that you previously denied the probability that Cardas Caps block RFI from entering into an audio chassis, and on Tweakers Asylum you wrote this in 2010:

"I therefore propose there must be some other mechanism in crystals, when used individually or in groups - besides piezoelectric effect - responsible for the change in sound -- at least when discussing RFI/EMI absorption. I also propose that - in almost all cases - the actual operation of a crystal or group of crystals in an audio system has nothing whatsoever to do with RFI/EMI absorption - rather acoustic/mechanical energy absorption!"

So, we agree (because it's come to be my view as well) that crystals are unlikely to have a beneficial effect via blocking or absorbing RFI, unless you've changed your tune in the past 3 years.
Lewm wrote,

"So, we agree (because it's come to be my view as well) that crystals are unlikely to have a beneficial effect via blocking or absorbing RFI, unless you've changed your tune in the past 3 years."

You need to read what I said again. I didn't say crystals were unlikely to have a beneficial effect via blocking or absorbing RFI. What I said, or at least what i intended to say, was that in most locations audiophiles use them crystal(s) are acting as resonance control devices. I did not say, nor did I intend to imply, that crystals cannot act as RFI/EMI absorbers in certain locations.
Forgot to add a response to Stringreen: This is not about whether crystals "work" or not. This is about the simple question of whether a crystal can absorb and eliminate or reduce RFI or EMI, at all, to any extent.
Lewm, if you are that concerned about how the Black Diamond Crystal works, why don't you just call Lloyd Walker and ask him how the crystal works. I am sure he will be able to answer all of your questions and concerns.

Then after talking with Lloyd you just might purchase a crystal for you turntable and then you can share your experiences with all of us.
I don't want to get into this too deeply on a personal level. I have known Lloyd for years, and I like and respect him highly. In my experience, every one of his tweaks works, but I have not tried them all (as you can tell vis crystals). I think his turntable is one of the finest I have ever seen or heard. The Walker Motor Controller, which I do own, made a sea change for the better in the sound of two of my turntables. It is difficult for me to engage in this discussion without seeming to be disrespecting Lloyd, but I assure you that is not my intention. So Benjie, do you think Lloyd can refer me to a paper in the scientific literature that describes absorption or dissipation of RFI by inert crysals? If so, I will call him. It would behoove him or anyone else making such claims to post the supportive references. I don't by the way deny that you or Geoff hear differences with crystals in or on or near your equipment; I am only wondering whether the given explanation holds water. In other discussions and on other websites, crystals are said to act by controlling "resonance" (as Geoff says in the quoted passages), not by absorbing RFI. Who can argue with something as vague as "resonance control"? Not I.

Geoff, you did write, "I also propose that - in almost all cases - the actual operation of a crystal or group of crystals in an audio system has nothing whatsoever to do with RFI/EMI absorption - rather acoustic/mechanical energy absorption!" I guess you can cling to the fact you used the word "almost".
Again I say, why don't you just call Lloyd and ask him.
And what about pyramids? Try this DIY tweak.

Pick up 8 straight balsa wood strips at a hobby shop. Glue 4 pieces of exact length together and make a perfect square bottom base. Then glue 4 more pieces together to form the pyramid. The bottom ends of each piece used to form the pyramid should be glued to the 4 corners of the square base and then co-joined to form the pyramid tip. The length of each piece should be the same length as the pieces used to form the square base.

White glue work perfectly well.

Make two pyramids. Place a large pyramid over your turntable. Place a smaller pyramid over your head.

Your friends and family be amazed by the results!!! You should see my wife's facial expression when she comes into my sound room to see what's going on.

Total cost -- less than $25. I have no idea why or how this DIY tweak works, but trust me, you will see and hear amazing reactions when you play your vinyl rig.

Bifwynne, slow day. Hard to believe that you spent the time to post something so stupid.
Benjie, Why don't YOU call Lloyd and ask him, and then tell us what he says.

Bruce, Everyone knows that a pyramid blocks RFI. That's why the Egyptians built those huge ones. The Pharoahs were buried with kick-ass audio systems.
Lewm, as I said before. I don't care about the science behind the crystal. All I know is that it WORKS! I have heard a big increase in the quality of my vinyl playback.

You are the one who has posted about you need to read some paper written on the subject or if any laboratory research was done by scientist about the crystals. Personally I don't care. You are the one who said that you have know Lloyd for many years. I don't know the man other than from the purchases that I have made for some of his products. So call your friend and ask him to explain how the crystal works.

Better yet, why don't you support your friend Lloyd and get off your wallet and purchase the Cartridge Crystal and start enjoying even better playback of your vinyl through your stereo system. You will be a much happier person for it.
Lewm ... remember the Seinfeld piece when George went to a pyramid doctor to save money. We shouldn't underestimate pyramid power. Hopefully, our EE tech members Almarg and Ralph (Atmasphere) will chime in and explain the science. I'm surprised that EE designers haven't used pyramid power in amplifiers.

Bruce, check out the Nagra amplifiers linked to near the bottom of this page. :-)

Lew, Benjie, et al, my initial post in this thread, dated 8-17-13, quoted in its entirety the explanation provided at Mr. Walker's website. Which was that it works by "reducing the EMI/RFI and static electrical noise at your cartridge and record while it is playing." Not sure what the point of calling him would be.

The only comments I can offer are the ones I stated in that post and the one I provided the following day in response to Geoff.

Best regards,
-- Al
Microwaves and all manner of RF are everywhere in the room. In order for a crystal to have an audible effect wouldn't the crystal have to act like a giant magnet for RF? If the crystal worked by absorbing RF it would have to continuously absorb all the electromagnetic waves in the room, which are continuously entering the room from outside or being generated in some cases by electronics. Because the electromagnetic waves are everywhere in the room, if the crystal didn't absorb all or most of them, the RF problem would remain. It doesn't make sense and Judge Judy says if it doesn't make sense it's not true.
Benjie, I've never known a little humor, such as Bruce often brings to these forums, to be either stupid or harmful.

-- Al
Thanks Al. Look, back in the 80s, pet rocks were the rage. I still have my first pet rock. Some people like rocks, some like crystals. I like pyramids. ;-')
Pet rocks were all the rage in the 60's not the 80's. Simon and Garfunkel even wrote a song you could sing to it, "I am a rock"
The Pet Rock was invented in 1975 and became extinct in 1976.