I thought that for the amusement of all (and principally my own), I would endeavor to scour the AudioGon ads and pick what appears to me in my purely unscientific way to be the "scam of the week," which typically represents overblown claims of wonderment coupled with a silly price. A couple of weeks ago, I highlighted some snake oil that I think will be difficult to beat . . . the $5800 Dalby D7 record clamp.
This week, there are a number of contestants ranging from the "Shun Mook Audio LP Clamp" yours for only $3,000. Here is what the seller claims about the Shun Mook Audio Clamp:
"This extra heavy century old ebony root which were immersed in the swamps of Africa has a unique power that no other wood possesses. The vibration generated by the diamond stylus in the vinyl groove besides inducing an electroflux through the phono-cartridge also excites the ebony molecules, causing it to resonate. This in turn is feed back through the stylus and is reproduced as expanded sound staging, enhanced separation, sharpened focus and enriched tonal balance of the music."
Century old ebony root that has received a "unique power" from the swamps of Africa? That gets excited by a phono cartridge's "electroflux?" Give me a break.
But in good conscience, the BS claims of the Shun Mook were already referenced in my prior thread on the Dalby D7, as deserving as this bit of nonsense is for "Scam of the Week," I will award that coveted distinction to . . .
The "HighEnd Novum PMR Premium MkII - Room Acoustic Resonator hand made in Germany" which is essentially a stepped bronze wok on a display stand, for $2,490. Now, as usual, I haven't heard the Room Acoustic Resonator. Maybe it is a miracle worker. Logic says it is total BS. Just read the numerous claims parroted by "reviewers."
"By overlaying the music with a full scale of multi-vocal overtones, more detailed sound is produced [by this bronze plate]. The music gets more momentum and energy, the presentation of the instruments is more realistic and more solid. The spatial imaging is increased in all directions. The result is again a natural and authentic sound experience with beautiful sounds."
Sure it does. The secret to this miracle plate? (1) Creation of a two-sand mold by means of a "primitive model" (2) Heating the bronze alloy to about 1200 ° C (3) Casting of liquid metal in the form and the all-important (4) Controlled cooling off the casting for the production of a fine crystalline structure of metal. It must be the production of that "fine crystalline structure of the metal" that overlays the music with a full scale of multi-vocal sounds. This screams for a legitimate double-blind test.
Those are just some of the reasons that I call out "HighEnd Novum PMR Premium MkII" as the Scam Of The Week.
Note: there is apparently a miniature version that is only $649. That is really too cheap to qualify as a "scam of the week," but it is possible that such a puny bronze plate must be used with the big daddy bronze plate to "tune" the music even further, which would probably qualify, LOL!
Resonators are one of the oldest ways of acoustically treating a venue: So- there are centuries of proof that they work. There are also examples of ancient metallurgy, that have yet to be explained or replicated. ie: research Damascus Steel swords. Perhaps these guys hit on something authentic and were able to duplicate the technology and effects. Without experiencing something firsthand, I reserve judgement. But- that’s just me. (http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/dav/aaua/2013/00000099/00000001/art00010)
I have heard this product demonstrated, and it utterly failed my Law of Efficacy. What's more astounding is that it was sitting on a cardboard box at the time. One might think that better foundation would aid the performance. Imagine this product on its stand, on a cardboard box; one of those incredible moments I mentally shake my head and think, only in audiophilia. It is an example of a product I would suggest a person is more advantaged putting money into products which are involved in the shaping of the signal path.
Moto-man, you obviously are not afraid of offending others, which I would suggest is not necessary. Merely pointing out the discrepancy would suffice. You seem to assume that those selling and making these devices are charlatans; I am not assured of that. I have spoken with many manufacturers and distributors who are not B.S.ing and do believe that such products are useful. Your disdain is not necessary and it is very divisive. If your goal is to start fights, then you may succeed, but it's not necessary. People will make up their own minds, and someone offensive will not sway them typically - often it has the opposite effect.
Unless you have used or heard demonstrated a product, you are in a weak position ridicule it. You do no favor to yourself by mocking it from ignorance - that is inexperience. People who have heard it or own it can simply dismiss you as a loudmouth without experience. I'm with you on the conclusion that this device is fairly useless. It is possible that it does alter the sound in certain environments, however, I see no advantage to it, as the sound added would be alien to the room and unnatural. i.e. ringing of a device would produce noise, a conflicting wave, etc.
Another condemnation of a product by someone who has not heard the product. What total nonsense. I know record clamps work by altering the resonance characteristics of the record. I have heard this with my own $50 TTW clamp. If the Shun Mook was $50 you would not be writing about it. Discredetig products based on there cost or by technical info on how it works is a waste of time. If you heard the device and it did nothing that you could hear that would be much more useful Alan
Sympathetic vibration I think is the term you’re looking for, which explains why tiny little bowl resonators like Franck Tchang’s gold, platinum and silver bowls, his even tinier Sugar Cubes, Synergistic Research’s tiny little bowls, my tiny little ceramic bowl resonators, the recently mentioned tiny little Mpingo bowls. What is interesting, and less mentioned is that there are two, count em, two things involved with the tiny little bowls which, by the way, are directly descended from Tibetan Singing Bowls. One is the acoustic waves, which makes sense, right? But also microwaves, since the tiny bowl diameter (of around an inch) is not only an acoustic wavelength or half wavelength, whatever, but also operates in the radio frequency domain.
We spend so much money on sympathetic vibration (mostly trying to kill it...tone arm design, speaker cabinets, component chassis, etc)...and then to turn around and say that injecting more of it (even if in an attempt to control it) is somehow better than none. To me simply ’adding’ resonance, no matter how pleasant it may appear to be on **most** musical material, will almost certainly add something that is clearly undesirable to the sound at least some of the time. Far better off to stay with the original signal, IMO.
"We spend so much money on sympathetic vibration (mostly trying to kill it...tone arm design, speaker cabinets, component chassis, etc)...and then to turn around and say that injecting more of it (even if in an attempt to control it) is somehow better than none. To me simply ’adding’ resonance, no matter how pleasant it may appear to be on **most** musical material, will almost certainly add something that is clearly undesirable to the sound at least some of the time. Far better off to stay with the original signal, IMO."
More sympathetic I could not be. Lol But seriously, these devices are not adding resonances as you so alertly suspect. Recall that waves, even acoustic waves, interfere with each other, thus by interfering with unwanted resonances one can eliminate or reduce them. Far better off to get rid of bad resonances, no? It’s not really like banging a sauce pan with a spoon whilst music is playing. You know, things like standing waves, room echo, reflected waves...the choice is up to you. Of corpse, it all depends on where you put them. You can put them in the wrong place.
Nothing wrong with the idea of a resonator affecting sound but much cheaper to buy run of the mill Tibetan singing bells for under $50 a pop,. Place a few around the room, maybe even on top of speakers and resonate to your hearts content if that's what turns you on.
I don't disagree that room treatments (usually absorbent) can help room acoustics. But that being said, I would like to see the difference between this HighEnd Novum PMR Premium MkII and a bronze wok or maybe one of my copper serving bowls . . . by someone with golden ears and a blindfold on. Its not that room treatments don't help bad acoustics, its that I smell BS when a bowl is coupled with grandiose "must have . . . amazing . .. blows you away" claims and a silly price. @mapman nails it . . . scatter some Tibetan singing bowls around and let's have an honest assessment of the so-called "benefits" uncolored by expectations.
I mentioned this before on another thread about the very same thing: the brass resonators. It was a couple of audio shows ago down in Newport and there was a big room with rows of chairs fronted by a system and the room had lots of the smaller brass bowls placed all around. The front walls, the tops of the equipment, the side walls, and directly in front of the equipment were placed these small resonators.
While the room was readied for the demo, people were talking, music was playing, and I noticed that one of the resonators was knocked over right in front of one of the speakers. Before the demo started, one of the presenters righted the bowl and the sound "snapped" into place like nothing I've experienced before. The focus changed as did the soundstage and the overall sound. It was like someone snapped their fingers and startled me awake. What was diffused and so-so sounding took on a more advanced presentation.
To this day I can't explain it but I know, firsthand, that something is at play here.
Moto_man....either you have or you haven't you experienced the products you vilify. Which is it? I have no objection to one's criticism of a product one has direct use of. Otherwise, you might be better off in politics.
Well, if you've ever been on the job market for a position in big city orchestras, you'll notice that they have some very specific rules governing their blind auditions. All of the rules are designed to keep the playing field level. In addition to the rules preventing disclosure of gender (no coughing, perfume or cologne, that could give it away), and excluding amplification devices, they also exclude the use of brass, aluminum or magnesium "resonating bowls," since they offer such a large acoustic advantage. The exclusion dates back to the late 90s, when it was discovered that a young performer by the name of Chin Housin Crepier had won a series of auditions largely due to his use of what he claimed was a "spirit basin," but was nothing more than a brass resonator. A few years later, he was at again--not with a resonator, but with some exotic hardwood shims, which he would place under the feet of his audition chair. It turned out that by slicing several rounds off of a super high end record clamp, he'd vaulted his way into the Berlin Philharmonic. Look it up!
Synergistic research module to super modules for starters read all thd possible ad on just yo play music. Their total Disgrace of even using the biggest Genius of our time In Electrical Nicola Tesla.The Tesla coil. Synergistic Research makes a mockery Of this marvel they have made $Millions on putting a heavy DCcharge on a cable if it were that great in their implementation It would be best cable hands down, and all the bells and whistles . I owned the Element cables and the magic bullets filters nothing more ,and the live shields counting power cords say 10 wires for example now is 16 when you have to plug it inplus the active shield a 20 0outlet power strip is crasy and messy.To me and others it is the biggest hype of the decade.when you spend $ 100 k or more advertising Per year the reviews are better and better sort of like running for president if we give you owe us. Collectively the $1,000,000 Slight of hand. There are a number of cables better iIn my experience for donic purity.but does not have the $$ press accolades . Please remember it is just what is the most in your opinion and how you see fit. Take all their gadgets even a 50k loom just for s few cables Are they Gold ? This is collectively by far the most expensive. Collection of ?? Questionable goods !!
I was a skeptic too... until... I recently was fortunate enough to have picked one up on Audiogon for a reasonable price.
I must say all of the reviews are true and accurate - greater clarity, detail resolution, timber... as well as... a more realistic, expanded soundstage. Brass and strings have more bite, shimmer, etc. Bass seems more solid, better defined. Just a much more "live" sound.
I'm pleased it is most definitely not a scam - placebo, or not - it works. Definitely worth the price I paid... and... I'd probably agree even at the MSRP.
Recommended to others... including other skeptics.
Necessity is the mother of invention. Mpingo disc, tiny little bowl resonators, Walker Black Diamond crystal for stereo cartridge, the Red X Coordinate Pen, Morphic Message Labels, Lessloss Blackbody, SteinMusic Harmonizer, Schumann frequency generator, Graphene coated fuses, beeswax filled fuses, artificial atoms, you name it.💡
I purchased one of these with trepidation, first about it's cost, and second about my wife finding out that it's more than the $350 I told her it was. I like tweeks but like some others who have purchased this, I sleep better at night considering it a component. In any case, it works as advertised. I would say that the improvements bassdude describes are spot on. I would add that vocals become 'in the room" real.
Before you disqualify my opinion because I said I like tweeks - I don't automatically endorse all tweeks as some clearly don't work. This thing deserves even more scrutiny because of its high cost but I cant see myself ever removing it from my system.