I just experienced one of those amazing moments in the land of high end audio when you hear something superlative and yet you find it very hard to believe what your ear's are telling you is true.
One of my best audiophile and music lover friends, on my recommendation, had ordered four sets of the AetherAudio Black Box speaker wire tweak for his very high end and terrific sounding system. His rig has some very highly regarded gear: Magico M6's, Nat Audio Symmetrical Balanced preamp, PS Audio Perfact Wave digital combo, Synergistic Research Power Cell 10SE. I have been listening to his system over the last two years as he tried out different gear, until he got it to the point were it just did not seem it could get more musical and enjoyable. Why he needed four sets of the Black Box tweak, for a total of eight boxes, was his Magico M6's have four drivers, each with its own set of monoblock amps! Why I had recommended this device to my friend was because I had auditioned a prototype in my own system for only a couple of hours and was shocked what they did in my system. For certain reasons, my friends order, which was my request, were built first and I'll be recieving my two pairs in the very near future.
The Black Box speaker wire tweak is the most recent design of Bob Smith, who I like to refer to as the "Mad scientist/Sonic wizard of Hobart, Indiana. His new company is AetherAudio, he put SP Technology to rest, he still is building his wonderful sounding wave form speakers and now is in production of this new revolutionary device.
Each Black Box is attached to the end of your speaker wire with a high end binding post of your choice and then there is another set of binding posts that you attach another set of speaker wire jumpers to that go into your speaker posts. Each Black Box is a small/dense relatively attractive black metal box about 2" high, 4" wide, and about 6" long. Please don't ask me what the heck is inside these damn boxes, to quote from AetherAudio website, " the "heart" of the Black Box is a component called the "Smithcell" which is a proprierary design. Just like I won't pretend to really understand how what a very similar device, Bybee Tech Speaker Bullets, really works, I just know it works very well indeed. Bob does have a white paper and a theory section on his website and if you would have any questions regarding his theory, I'm sure he would be glad to try to answer them.
As soon as I sat down to listen to my friend's system, always with music I use to audition any new gear with either in my system or his, I heard the following and understood why my friend was still being amazed after listening the last five days to his own rig:
1) The soundstage front to back, side to side had totally increased and opned up. Not only the size of the soundstage, but the location and layering dramatically improved.
2) It seemed that the total noise floor was decreased at least by 20 to 30 precent so microdetails just floated out of more black background. It reminded me of what happened when I put my MG-20's on Myesound stands.
3) Much richer/organic/natural timbres then this system has ever had, and it was not to shoddy to begin with.
4) Bass became faster with improved pitch and speed.
5) Greater clarity/transparency, yet the whole system seemed to relax and breath in an easer way then before.
6) The leading edge of the harmonics was more defined, without any etch or Hi-Fi sound, and the body and decays sounded more natural and realistic.
This was heard and experienced by my friend and myself in a system that was top notch/reference level to begin with. I don't know if Bob's Black Boxes offer better performance then Jack Bybee's Speaker bullets, which I have heard and admired, but at least on the same level in very similar sonic ways. But here's the punch line, the Bybee Speaker Bullets retail for $4200.00 a pair, Bob's Black Boxes for a pair start at $400.00 to around $700.00 for special upgrades regarding binding posts/wires.
Even if you take out the cost vs. performance ratio, this new tweak is an amazing device for its effect on the total sonic performance being taken to a much higher musical level in your system. Heck, I have spent much, much more on power cords, IC's, without this much of a total improvement towards musicality and ease. I can't wait to get my own pair of these in my system, and I highly recommend you GON members to contact Bob and set up an audition and decide for yourself. Associated gear Click to view my Virtual SystemSimilar products
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