It looks like an electronic version of Brilliant Pebbles. If anyone has first-hand knowledge of this thing, please share.
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just stumpled upon this thread. I posted some impressions on computeraudiophile.
I own 3 of them now, for about a month. Have tried various settings and am using them in conjunction with Mac, Amarra, Ayre QB9, Octave HP500SE (Pre), HMS Sestetto ICs, Lessloss Signature PCs, ADAM Audio Pencil (active).
I bought them because, the Powercords of lessloss had such an profound effect in my system and trusted, that the blackbodies have an equally profoundt effect. Well the effect is profound, but in another way than the power cords.
With the blackbodies I now hear the slightest details. Details I havent heard on other systems costing 2-5 times as much as mine. Spatial clues, slightest decay, more naturalness and more 3D.
The effect on well recorded acoustical records did transform my listening experience. Some recordings sound like they have been remastered. The overall size of recording venues on some records is doubled!!! When closing my eyes on some recordings it feels, like I can hear the boundaries of the room, hall, church. Not all records benefit from this!
Very interesting, was the experience I made, when I just upgraded my preamp (am still trying various). Without the preamp (running the qb-9 straight into the active speakers and using Amarras dithered volume control), the effect was there, but the difference was not as profound, as when using the blackbodies with the new pre. Without, the sound is excellent. With them, you suddenly hear, that e.g. on a jazz recording, the interplay of the musicians. It might be the microdynamics? This you hear easily when you focus on a hihat. Without the bbs I already hear the weight of an hihat (in most systems hihats do not sound like hihats) but with the bbs it is like you hear exactly where the hihat is hit. On one recording with Jack De Johnette, I was sitting there in astonishment. I allways thought, that he is a genious. But just how good he really is, with how much feel and how well he varies rythms, I can only hear with the bbs. Am I exaggerating? A bit.
A recording engineer (my brother), said the difference is night and day. Well on some recordings yes on others not. Probably depends on just how much information is in the recording. Night and day is an exaggeration!
What it does not make: It does not give me more weight. It does not transform a radio into a highend music machine (tried it with our kitchen radio ;-) ). It did not improve the picture of my TV (well but then again I am all ears!).
My recommendation: If you do not have a very good system, dont try them. If you have not yet invested in good powersupply do that first. If your system sounds thin and parched out and you want more weight, dont buy them (s.o.).
If you are interested in hearing things (not believing) you have not heard before, try them. Although I have not done any double blind tests, I am sure, I would have no problems discerning the difference (there is other stuff I bought, where I would be sure, that I would not pass this test. So if you are just after tweaks and dont know in which directions you want to go, I would not use them. I still have to get used to the clarity the bbs impose on some records!
At Rja, why did it get nasty? People probably asking for scientific prove? I actually do not care about that, I trust my ears. You all trust yours. I spend a lot of money until I learned how to trust them (e.g. abing is not a good thing to find out, if a component is musically satisfying in the long run).
if you found the Lessloss PCs to be superb, then try the blackbodies.
Greetings from Germany
I purchased 6 Blackbody units and have been enjoying the results since Jan 1, 2010. I am using Lessloss Signature power cables, a Lessloss Firewall, and Lessloss DAC 2004 Mkll. I have a CEC 51x transport slaved to the DAC with Lessloss Digital cables. I am using Nordost Odin cables to the Jeff Rowland model 6 amps and Nordost Valhalla Cables to the model 5 Wilson/WATT Puppies. The addition of the Blackbody units has brought a new level of listening enjoyment I never dreamed possible. I have positioned a blackbody on top of each speaker and behind the amps, DAC and transport for best effect. I can only say the sound is a close to live music as I have ever heard. The treble is completely clear; no shrill distortion as I have heard with soprano voice and piano. The bass is rock solid and sometimes feels like it comes through the floor. I actually have a sense of the space in which the music is being played. I've never felt a dimensionality to the music such as this. I was thinking about getting new amps but have put that on hold due to the enjoyment I am now experiencing. I hope you find this helpful.
If I hadn't had a positive experience with the Lessloss DFPC I might have suspected that the Blackbody was "Black Magic" in the same category as pebbles and rocks. Instead I purchased 2 of these units and have tried them in many different places within my system. After experimentation I have confirmed Louis' advice of facing them to north. Maybe it has something to do with magnetic north - I'm not sure.
The effect of these units is not subtle but is not immediate. It seems to take 5 - 10 minutes to affect whatever it affects. After this the music is clearer with more dynamic punch. Although it makes a favourable improvement to my PS Audio PWT & PWT, it is the positive change to the phono stage that is incredible. The true test of a great component for me is if I remove or replace it, I feel that something is now missing and no matter how long I listen into the future, I alsways feel the loss. This is what happens when I remove the Blackbodies and now I can't live without them.
I am presently using only one Blackbody. I have it under my Cd player and also under my amplifier. The results have been outstanding! The sound attains a quality that is for all intents "lifelike". I am a former musician and I listen to electrostats. I am used to fine musical presentation. This device somehow has gotten me closer to an actual performance. It seems to enhance all spectrums. The cymbal hits are cleaner! the bass is more definite (quite a surprise for an electrostat),and the is mid range is beautifully enhanced. I plan on buying two more to apply to the transformers of my speakers. It is a unique product and I appreciate that Louis has given us an real explanation for how the Blackbody works. Its not magic! But its effects can be magical to your ears.
I purchased 5 Blackbodies, and have had similar experiences with a change in soundstage and an improvement in the air surrounding instruments to render a more live musiacal experience. I think there is a less prononced effect on my system than the others above as I have already had a similar change in sound with the use of 3 Quantum Resonant Technology Qx4 modules. When these units are turned off the effect of the Blackbody is more pronounced.
I agree with the comment above, that the power conditioning with LessLoss Signature power cords had a more pronounced effect on my system's sound, and this should be the starting point for the audiophile who wishes to have the gratest impact on to the overall sound (in my humble opinion).
Many people who dismiss the effect of the Blackbody as nothing more than a "placebo effect" should remember that any scientific study conducted, where a placebo has been used, has ALWAYS showed improvement in the range of 20% in the placebo treated arm of the study, whereas active therapy is usually a "crapshoot" as to whether there is a benefit or improvement. Even the "placebo effect" naysayers should therefore notice a 20% improvement in their systems.
Once again everyone has to make up there own minds, and with the 30 day money back guarantee from LessLoss, there is nothing to lose with at least trying the Blackbody with your system. Chances are most people will see a dramatic, and positive change in the sound reproduction of their systems.
In my previous deleted thread most posters declared that these could not possibly have any effect other than imaginary. My contention was that perhaps we should keep an open mind.
I should point out that, at the time, no one posting had any experience with these whatever so all postings were "a priori" opinion, some of which were quite vociferous (or should I say, down right nasty?). So nasty in fact that Audiogon shut it down.
I have no idea how these things work, but I got 3 of them and the improvements in my system were not subtle. I have one aimed toward my preamp and cd player(Exemplar XP2 and Cary 303T) and the other 2 take in the crossovers for the Nola Baby Grand Reference speakers and the nearby Oasis S-400 monoblock amps. I noticed an improved clarity, greater sense of placement in the soundstage, better pacing and a much more involving sound. These things have made one of the larger impacts of any tweeks I have tried.
I have one Blackbody located on the wall behind my AMR CD77.1. I was very suprised with Bazza's comment about locating them facing north. This happens to be the orienatation of mine and where I found the Blackbody gave positive results. I have no idea why this should be so, and perhaps it is just co-incidence. I would have to concur with the findings of the posters above in general. It is one of the few ' tweaks ' I have found without the presence of a downside, such as skewed frequency response. The soundstage is simply more open and clearer in all directions. Within that soundstage, details are clearer and hence one is drawn more easily into the musical performance. A sort of unforced naturalness is present that makes music sound less digital and more like music. One gets the impression that some sort of electronic grunge is being cleared away. The nayesayers are typically those that have a closed mindset and unwillingness to accept anything that challenges the boundaries of their belief systems, claiming science is on their side when the reality is it is just scientific bias. An open minded individual may correctly voice skepticism, but reserve his judgement until he actually hears something for himself. Whether one is prepared to do this is a personal choice.
For my part, I found that most claims made by high-end dealers and manufacturers are exagerrated or fundamentally flawed. This comes from 10 years of serious investigation and exploration of cables, resonance control, AC power delivery enhancement, stands and components themselves. I treat anything that most paid reviewers write with the greatest skepticism, or for that matter even private reviews. This comes from experiential knowledge that system and system/room interactions have a profound effect on outcomes. Value for money will be a personal judgement, even if the system interaction is positive. I chose to keep the Blackbody because I liked what it did. However, I don't think it is for those that have not already reached a satisfying level of transparency to source in their systems. It won't correct serious system deficiencies and colourations, it simply expands upon what is already there. The more well tuned and transparent the system is, the more clearly the differences will be heard. If you find the sweet spot, it is difficult to be without it.
I treat anything that most paid reviewers write with the greatest skepticism, or for that matter even private reviews. This comes from experiential knowledge that system and system/room interactions have a profound effect on outcomes.
Interesting comment since reviewers are not paid for their reviews. I suspect you have taken skepticism to new heights.
Yes, it truly must be a miracle. People hear improvement yet there is no explanation for how or why! If that is not a miracle what is? For only $1000, that would seem to be a reasonable price for a true miracle! Buy two and twice the miracle! That's a miracle as well!
Imagine if someone bought 10 for a small room! Or is there a point of saturation? Is there a limit to the miracle?
Using only two lessloss blackbody's
1. At first don't try and hear what you've been missing. It's the opposite!
2. The silence between notes is what was missing.
3. Next I noticed improvement in decay. This is why I said "At first" in point 1 above
Subtile at first I thought but if you listen for an hour then remove them you will be upset!
I have two only two blackbody's; placement is very important in general and apparently you will get the best results if you place the Blackbody facing due North i.e pointing due North through the gear.
My physical constraints are such that I can not get it totally right without more!
Assuming you have your dream gear, room, power, cables, interconnects sorted out this is the final tweak; but after vibration isolation.
btw I was real happy with the lessloss DFPC Signature power cords. Got two then just got 2 more!
Shunyata Taipan Helix Alpha -> Hydra 8=> 4 * lessloss DFPC Signature =>
Just threw out my dCS P8i, tried a Esoteric P03/D03 and settled for a radically modded OPPO by David Schulte (www.upgradecompany.com) -> BAT REX -> Balanced XLR Valhalla -> Plinius SA Ref -> Valhalla -> Dynaudio Evidence Masters.
I've heard one or two power conditioners (I know we're not discussing power conditioners, but the effect I'm going to discuss is similar) that created "blackness" between the notes. What I found was that this blackness between the notes sounded unnatural to me. In a live performance, or even in a recorded performance, there is seldom silence so lacking in ambient sound that it sounds "black".
Some tweaks I've tried have also resulted in this "blackness" between notes. I've never favored the result.
Music has room ambience. Without it, the recording seems artificial.
Rja makes a good point about the owners of the Blackbody.
My point was that sometimes a certain sonic characteristic is initially interesting and may seem to be an improvement, but upon further consideration it is not preferrable.
I dont know if this applies to the Blackbody, but its a phenomenon to consider when evaluating products.
It seems to me that some members that replied to this post don't have any experience with the Blackbody and wanted to push the Blackbody to the esoteric absurd voodoo tweak. Louis explained nearly every little detail on the creating process, theory and technical details extensively that no other company would do. So it's all particle physics and a lot of brain work gone into this product. You can only judge it by trying it yourself. And Louis gave you the opportunity to try the Blackbody and give it back, if you are not satisfied. You can't go wrong. I purchased one Blackbody and don't want to go on, listening without it. The differnce is not subtle or belonging to your imagination. With only one Blackbody the complete sound reproduction shifts to a new reality. Especially on records or CDs that sounded excellent before, the improvement was sort of, yes... unbelieveable. With my first try i invited a second person with bats ears, very critical to such tweaks. We sat there for hours listening, back and fourth, with or without the Blackbody. Approved, it is no illusion. Any sound aspect thinkable was improved, wonderful! Also you don't have to have equipment in the 100K or above range to realise the difference. You probably won't go for a device at this price when you have a 2000 $ stereo. But i'm sure even there it would make a big difference. You can spend a lot of money on tweaks, and some will only affect a special frequency range. Think of all those room treatments available. Corner traps, bass traps a.s.o, how far will you go with these, when you can reach similar or better results with one device like the blackbody with it's modest size? Anybody out there who expected a new product by Lessloss that is untrustworthy? I'm gladly looking forward to the introduction of the Tunnelbridge and the new Firewall power distributor.
I sent a response to the curious posts which followed my earlier submission of 03.20.10 but it didn't get past the moderator. It may have been a bit challenging and therefore personal but I thought it was civil enough. Perhaps the moderator suspected some sparks would fly. I will make a further point. This is the same old story you hear over and over again on Audiogon. If someone doesn't understand how something works, it becomes a topic of ridicule. Sarcasm becomes the order of the day. The fact that actual users fairly consistently report some sort of benefit with the Blackbody is of no consequence and ignored. Their credibility and collective experience is discounted by implied superiority, even when the critical person/persons concerned have never physically seen or heard the item on topic. Haven't we all heard this before ? It seems to be the rule rather than exception in audio. It is fine to not believe in something. But leave it at that or offer constructive rather than destructive comment. As Stani explained correctly in his last post, Louis Motek at least offers a detailed explanation for his product on his website, for anyone to critique, if they are capable of it. Anyone can say ' I don't believe it works. ' But that's all it is, one more opinion amongst the millions of opinions out there that really don't count for anything. An opinion backed by homework and some logical argument would at least carry more significance and serve some purpose.
I don't believe that every single person that tries the Blackbody will hear the same level of improvement, or perhaps it could go the other way . This holds for any piece of audio gear. In my gear, I was ready to write it off till I placed it behind the CD and away from my weight-sensitive GPA Monaco shelving. Its not that I didn't hear change in all positions tried, its that the change included a skewed frequency response which could have been explained by the considerable mass of the Blackbody on the GPA shelf. On the wall behind the CD player, this ruled this out as a factor. Tvad makes a valid comment about a ' blackness ' between notes a user observed, that one could consider unmusical. My observation ( and that of an audiophile friend who dropped in for a listen ) was that there was an overall greater musical involvement and not the reverse. Relatively speaking, the presentation was more subliminal or more like real music. One distinctly noted the absence of something, not of ambient detail, but of less smudging of the ambient detail. Like Tvad, I have used products in the past that led to a greater ' blackness ' of the background but were actually robbing micro-detail in the process, leading to a less engaging sound. It's all there with the Blackbody, but everything is clearer. I stand by my comment that the benefit will be most noticeable, the more transparent to source your system is.
I have just trialed a beta pair of interconnects that are about to retail at $5000 a pair, that outperformed and replaced the Indras in a fellow audiophiles 'state of the art' system. In my system which tends to a lean presentation, these cables didn't quite work. The perceived value for money factor simply wasn't there, even at half the retail price. The point I am making is that system and system/room interactions are the ultimate determinants for the success of any piece of audio gear. In the real world, there may be interactions with the Blackbody with other resonance control or AC power devices. Louis claims that it works independently of powerline filtration or enhancement. If you take him on his word, it must at least be the case with the Lessloss line of products. If you judge Louis credibility on the basis of performance of his previous offerings, then you need to take his word seriously, or at least offer it some respect. If you look at the gear that some of the posters here are using, you can see there is some serious stuff. There would be a typical history of rejection of some major pieces of kit on the search for the ultimate in hi-fi. The fact that the Blackbody finds a place in many of these systems must be of some significance to an enquiring mind, unless one claims a superior musical ear based on nothing more than strong opinion.
I don't own a Blackbody, but I borrowed one for about 3 weeks. I share the experience of others above. I heard more details, less noise, bigger soundstage. Strangely enough the music also sounded louder. I'd say its performance is in line with all other Lessloss products all of which I have tried or own. Ultimately, I didn't buy it as I'm not sure whether that is where I should put $1000 if I wanted to improve my system now, but I may buy it in the future.
There is some truth in what you say but I don't think that is how these things are advertised to work. They supposedly address EM noise problems but in a different manner than say Mu Metal, according to the vendor site. I don't see any claims to effect how the room resonates per se.
How it accomplishes any of this is shrouded in mystery, so I suppose anything or nothing is possible.
One question. All devices have a limited lifespan. How do you know when a Blackbody is working and when it is not? I suppose you have to rely on your ears telling you?
This thread and the impressions posted are truly interesting. I am shocked that some people have bought 3,4,5,6 of them. At a cost of $1000 each this adds up to quite an investment. You would think that that extra cash would make a bigger improvement going into a real equipment upgrade. Unless of course those systems are already at that $40-50K price point already and this is just icing.
Still, not an insignificant amount of money for each black box. There's lots of products being offered these days that seem to address these "quantum" effects. Some are fairly cheap and some are fairly expensive. All seem to do something positive for the sound (based on first hand reports) and all can't truly explain what is really happening.
It's a leap of faith or, in the best world, an experience that you can hear for yourself before judging whether the cost justifies the change. For $25-100 I can make that leap of faith. For $1000 I would need to hear it for myself first.
I purchased and installed 2 of these wonderful devices and was immediately struck by the new level of spaciousness and clarity imparted to my system. A skeptic 'friend' (who still foolishly claims he can't hear my Pear Anjou speaker cables)asked me to close my eyes and judge when the blackbodies were removed and replaced. Of course i could not tell because his negative energy completely swamped my system! Double blind testing be damned! I have ordered 3rd which i shall mount over the listening position so it can affect the ambient fields of my body. Thankyou Lessloss
can someone explain in summary form WHY they work? i can understand why everything, except bybee devices, work.
(incidentally, i find the explanation for why bybee's work to be comical. nevertheless, i'm using 6 in my system, as they do).
i do not wish to rely on manufacturer copy. creates the audio equivalent of 'stockholm syndrome' for those already afflicted w/ audiophilia nervosa.
my I introduce myself? My name is Rainer Weber and I am the Technical Director of Kaiser Acoustics (see www.kaiser-acoustics.com). Maybe you have noticed the Kawero! speakers we produce at RMAF or CES.
My system consist of the following items:
Oyaide Power distribution block
VertexAQ Platforms and Power Conditioners
Holger Stein (www.steinmusic.de) tuning feet and auxillaries
GTE Trinity DAC and AMP
Weiss Vesta Firewire to SP/DIF converter
dedicated music PC
Mastersound 845 Monobloacks signature edition
Absolare Pure Tube preamp
Kuzma Stabi XL4 with 4point arm
My Sonic Lab cartridge
Kaiser Kawero speaker
and a lot of room acoustic treatment. You can see a pic on our webpage (I have to update to a recent one)
Meanwhile I have 7 Blackbodies in the system. The work fantastic and I have to admitt that even the step from 6 to 7 is very cleary audible.
In my system they work very well in the vicinity of the power section of the devices I use. Also near the power distribution block is a very good place to set it.
Even on top of our external tweeter housing (made from very rigid and inert bullet proof "tankwood" the improvement was audible. I removed it here because of design issues.
With 7 BB I achieve now a more equally improvement, that means just moving one BB does not completly disturb the effects:
Coming to the effects:
-Less shouting on high volumes
-No loss of staging, articulation and involvement on lower levels
- sound stage is incredible increased in the depth and has very solid focus in the depth
All this is typical for less RFI and EMI interference.
Everybody who wants to listen to the system and the Blackbodies is welcome to visit me in Regensburg/Germany.
I have 7 Blackbodies in the system. The work fantastic and I have to admit that even the step from 6 to 7 is very cleary audible.
$815 x 7 = $5705
Am I alone in thinking that's an awful lot of money for tweaks? Or am I out of touch with the amount of disposal income available to people on this website?
Its only about 10% of a $60,000 system, reasonable tweak territory I would say. I think there are probably more than a few of those out there.
IS it the most effective way to spend that 10%? HEy if you have those kind of bucks, who cares?
Let's do our best to keep this thread from getting wished into the cornfield!
thank you for the nice response concerning my showroom.
Regarding the PC:
I run xxhighend (www.xxhighend.nl) as a software memory player. The PC is a tweaked laptop with 1TB harddrive and no other services but music. All USB, WIFI and Ethernet is shut down. I will design a proper power supply soon for this(linear regulation no switching anymore)
I have 4 Steinmusic H2 (two variant A and two variant B) in the showroom. I think the Lessloss BB is better in optimazing the "tone colours" or "secondary harmonics" whereas the H2 are phenomenal in improving the soundstage.
In general both improve a lot and I would not like to remove one item. The steinmusic effect is adjustable by a pot. Be careful: Too much is too much and the sound is a little artificial then.
The Lessloss performance increases and increases when you add another BB. Until now I have not seen the limit of BB units where you say whne adding another one it is not an improvement or even worse it is too much of the BB.
I hope this helps.
I thought I would update my initial impression of the Blackbody units I commented on from 3/17/10. I would like to confirm the reviews recently posted on 6moons. I had repositioned the units to face North through my amps, DAC, and transport with marked improvement. I noted even less harshness in the music, more defined base, and a greater sense of the space in which the music was recorded. There was a more relaxed, natural feel to the music. More recently, I had the privilege of participating in a trial addition of more Blackbody units to see if " the more the better" was true. To get the best sound is truly a trial and error process. I first added a 2nd unit to the DAC again facing North. To my amazement, there was a very noticeable change in the music for the better. I have a Lessloss Firewall positioned in a North/South plane. I pointed a Blackbody, again facing North, at the end of the Firewall. I couldn't believe the improvement I heard! I tried a 2nd Blackbody on the Firewall and again noted a change, but the effect was not for the better. In fact the sound, although very smooth, seemed thinner. I added a 3rd Blackbody to the DAC with more improvement, although not as great as with the 2nd. I tried adding a 2nd Blackbody to the transport with a slight improvement. In total I added 4 units bringing the total to 10. I next subtracted 2 units, one from the transport and one from the DAC and placed a 2nd unit on each mono-amp. I really like the sound with this combination!!!! The music just locked in! Dynamic, clear, pure, detailed, natural, spacious, just a joy to listen to. The music was so smooth I tried turning it up pretty loud. The result was a really visceral experience without hurting my ears or giving me a headache. I just can't believe I'm getting this kind of music out of my 14 year old speakers and amps. I now own 10 units. I purchased them on the spot. In summary, I have one on the transport, two on the DAC, one on the Firewall, two on each amp and two on top of each speaker pointing down (I couldn't position the speaker Blackbodies North). The sound is amazing. I have upgraded my system numerous times since I became an audiophile in 1995. I have never had such an improved sound with upgrades as I have experienced with the Lessloss products. I am looking forward to the "Tunnelbridge."
Having stumbled into this fascinating debate, I am willing to consider the benefits of this device, but in the spirit of objective analysis, I notice the following:
1) "C breaks", 2) "Bazza", 3) "Variety", 4) "Rezabib", 5) "Stani", and 6) "Burningpanda"
I notice that for all six of these seeminlgy unbiased, friendly and helpful Audiogon participants, their gushing testimonials are THEIR ONLY POST on the forum.
This is in sharp contrast to the skeptics who are well known to anyone who has spent time on this forum, and some of whom have been participating for years.
"Dietcrush" has two posts, yet both, or 100%, are praising this manufacturers products.
"VVW" also scores higher credibility with his staggering output of two posts, but nonetheless a full 50% of his written efforts devoted to praising this company's products.
Can you say "stuffing the ballot box"?
How about "CHUTZPAH"?
This thing makes Shakti stones look like the all time bargain in the history of high end audio.
As for the slightly more credible sounding Mr Weber, to my ears, his posts have joint venture/revenue sharing written all over them.