High End Novum MKT

Did anyone notice the use of MKTs in lots of the listening rooms?
(little brass bowls with three pod like feet)

I'm about to commit hari-kari here by saying this but crazy as it sounds and with my reputation (for what it's worth) on the line, I heard the difference with them in place and when not in place.

In one of the larger demo rooms, there was a set up that was conducted like a demo and part of the spiel was they were only using a $250 storage device streaming to their product and around the room were these MKT bowls. Centered behind the speakers were closed twin doors with these bowls on the wall on either side of them, on the rack with the equipment, and one on a small plinth in front of each speaker.

While waiting for the demo to start, the MKT bowl in front of the right speaker was knocked over by one of two men standing next to it. Music started playing, people were else wise talking about whatever and it was apparent the demo wouldn't start right away.

Just before the demo started, the two men separated and one of them righted the bowl on the plinth and the demo began a short while later. All the while this happened people kept on talking.

What happened when the bowl was put on the plinth shocked the hell out of me. It was like a low level snap, very short in duration and amplitude, accompanied by an aural shift of sorts that brought the music out and into greater focus. All the while the guy was talking I just sat there, looking at that damned bowl.

Afraid to mention it for fear of being marked or tagged as one to avoid, I listened to what he had to say and left, all the while keeping an eye on that bowl. I've seen it before in reviews and thought, yeah, right, whatever.

It was soon after that I went to room after room and quite a few had them in their set ups. It was when I got to a room with no one else save the proprietor, the bowls and me that I asked him about it. He just kind of half smiled and said he didn't know how they worked, or why, but that they just did.

Lest anyone think I'm promoting these bowls, let me say I was not prepared for what I heard. I simply witnessed it. No A/B ing. No expectations. Just happenstance. The act of seeing this person righting the bowl was just as nonchalant as any other activity going on at the time but it was the accompanying aural improvement that caught me by surprise. And it was only on the right side and felt/heard with my right ear. Like a concussive effect but so low level as to go unnoticed if looking away at something else. It would make you look but having no reference, you'd simply dismiss it and move on.

I only feel comfortable talking about it now.
What did hear?

All the best,
No mystery - you heard a piece of resonating bronze. As an ex-drummer, I can tell you that a drum kit sounds dry and dead without (bronze) cymbals placed around it, which add a shimmering ambience to the kit. I even went as far as to purchase a cheap gong from gongs.com and tried placing it on the coffee table in front of my speakers and it definitely made an audible difference. No different than any other room treatment. Anything placed in the soundfield will have some degree of effect on the sound. If you put a resonating piece of bronze there, it adds its overtones to the sound. Is it better? That's up to you.

Thanks for the explanation and the fact that they are bronze, not brass.
And I forgot to mention this was at the Newport Audio Show, if it wasn't apparent by those who attended and recognized the setting I described.

I was simply unprepared for the difference. It was not at all subtle. I'm just not sure if spending over $300 for three bowls is worth it so I'm going to go through my deliberation process (which usually leads to purchasing). Or maybe I'll try to find something made of bronze, on the cheap, to see if the results are worth it.

Thanks again Chayro for clarifying that I'm not going crazy.

All the best,
Try Gongs.com. They have a nice selection, although the cheaper ones are brass, not bronze. Of all the tweaks i've seen, this one actually makes some acoustical sense. Plus, you'll have a nice dinner gong if you decide not to use it. I do think that 2K for the big resonator seems very steep, although good cymbals and gongs are quite expensive.
For the life of me I can't dredge up gongs.com but gongs-unlimited.com seems to be the site you mention. It has lots of different styles and a good selection under $37. Granted, at those prices they are brass, but if there is something to it then I'll hear it and not spend a small fortune.

Thanks for the tip.

All the best,
perhaps you should consider other forms of room treatment.
I have. This is just another, low cost aspect that I'd like to tinker with.

On the gongs-unlimited site they have some audio tracks on some of the gongs and though it's not top notch, it gives one a good idea of which type and size gives the sound that I find most pleasing.

I've settled on an 8" concave plate type as opposed to the ones with the centered nipple or with the deep dish frizbee look. There's also a 9" one that sounds great but it's over my budget, for now, and until I deem it worth getting.

I guess it's all about the pitch or tone that it gives off and how harmonious it sounds to you. From that, I'll see if it aids in any kind of air or extension and whether it reacts sympathetically to certain tones without overdoing it.

I'm reminded of a Mapleshade recording, Portraits In Ivory And Brass, where on one track, a trumpet plays some sharp notes close to the sounding board of a piano and you can hear the piano strings vibrate in sympathy with it.

I'm not after that intense a reaction, but rather a much more subtle effect like Chayro says having extra gongs or cymbals on a drum kit adding something to the sound. Or, the effect I heard at the Newport Audio Show that I started this thread with.

Time will soon tell.

All the best,