Review: Blue Circle Audio MR1200 AC filter

Category: Accessories

G'day all -

This is both my first review and my first post so don't expect much....

I just wanted to share some of my thoughts on the MR 1200. Perhaps someone will find this review useful.

First of all, let me describe my rather modest system:

Source: Shanling CD- S100
Power: Sugden Optima Line 80 (50 wpc integrated)
Speakers: Monitor Audio Bronze B4's (Monitor's entry level floor stander)
Speaker Cable: Ecosse C23
Interconnects: Mapleshade Whisper

I have had this system for nearly three years, and have only recently added the MR 1200. Why did I add this to the system? Well, my amp was (and has been) acting up and during my trouble shooting I noticed how horrendous my power bar was. I mean HORRENDOUS -as in you twist it and the power cuts out and everything shuts off. I also started to question the power coming through the outlets given that my house was built in 1919 and I live in the 'burbs of Detroit where there is all kinds of electrical activity going on given the proximity of the auto industry. So I figured, since I have to get a new amp anyway, (this one has been repaired thrice now) I may as well get a nice amp and some clean power to boot. Moreover, when I start demoing other amps (most notably the Blue Circle NSCS and the Portal Panache) I would like to try and eliminate uncontrolled variables such as noisy power and a potentially intermittent POS power bar (aforementioned).

So what about the results? In a word, fantastic! I was very surprised to hear the differences that I did as I was really expecting a subtle change. I know the phrase "night and day" is not only clich├ęd but also difficult to qualify; is that AM radio to FM or FM to a CD or a CD to a XRCD? My qualification is that the change the Music Ring imparted is analogous to comparing a good amp to a great amp. By that, I mean the silences were indeed silent and the music was far more detailed and focused. For example, while listening to The Chemical Brothers (first track from Dig Your Own Hole: Block Rockin' Beats) I heard background sounds that I had NEVER heard before. Many notes that were previously hidden are now clearly audible; I now actually hear more of the music and it sounds "complete" - much closer to the way the artist had intended. I realize that not everyone is a techno aficionado, but techno is often very complicated and highly revealing (besides I love it!). The results for acoustic music was similar, both the strings from Ben Harper's guitar and Harry Manx's mohan vina sounded so much sharper and clearer than I have heard on my system before. Ditto for jazz: Art Blakey (from the CD "The Big Beat") came off much clearer and his mastery at the drums is so much more obvious now. The Music Ring's effect is similar to that of a focusing ring; eveything becomes a little clearer and crisper. Needless to say, I am suitably impressed and strongly recommend this product.

I would conclude that even on my modest system the differences were obvious. Again, please note that the benefit that I realized maybe more pronounced than others due to my location (Detroit 'burbs), household age (again, 1919) and the POS power bar that I was previously using. I also cannot say that other power conditioners are better or worse than the Blue Circle since I have not made a comparison of any sort. Nonetheless, I would still assert that anyone who does not have a power conditioner should seriously look into one and that this addition may result in a more significant improvement than changing or improving other components. I would also suggest that the addition of a power conditioner should not be limited to mega-buck systems; a person with a mid-fi system (like myself) would be well advised to audition a power conditioner of some sort. In fact the sonic improvement from power conditioning may be more marked on a mid-fi system than a hi-fi system, as the hi-fi system may have some level of conditioning "built-in." That's just me pontificating though...I really can't back the preceding statement up.

I hope someone finds this helpful! And Vic, thanks for the great Xmas gift!



Associated gear
Source: Shanling CD- S100
Power: Sugden Optima Line 80
Speakers: Monitor Audio Bronze B4's
Speaker Cable: Ecosse C23
Interconnects: Mapleshade Whisper

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Sorry - this is my maiden review and post
Good, well written review....Thanks.

As this was your first post, welcome aboard!