Review: Harmonix equipment feet vs. Shun Mook
In January a hi-fi friend of mine visited me with his top of the line Harmonix equipment feet. We placed 2 sets of RF 900 speaker feet (200$ each set) under my Watt/Puppy’s and a set of TU-210 ZX and TU-220 MT for power amp and CD transport (~ 800$ each set). Each step was improving the sound, the most significant single step was when the power amp got its feet, and with all those feet my system definitely reached another level. I thought that the feet were too expensive but going back was hard to do.
Next week another hi-fi friend left for a business trip and sent me his set of Shun Mook Ultra Diamond Resonators (UDR) to try in my system during his absence. I understand that he didn’t want to listen to his system without his UDR. First I used the UDR with my Wadia 27ix. The result was fantastic. With that one set of UDR I was even happier than with all the 4 sets of Harmonix, which I had tested one week before. With the 4 sets of Harmonix maybe the sound was more precise and very clean, but with one set of UDR it sounded more natural with fantastic spatial information.
My tests with my Chord amp and my Wadia 270 were as convincing as my first test with the Wadia 27ix. It works everywhere in my system with similar results.
In addition the Shun Mook feet offer a wide array of tuning. By varying the position of the feet you can widen the sound stage or sharpen the focus, you can strengthen the bottom end or the highs, so that it optimally fits your system and your taste.
Next day I drove to my friend with the Harmonix feet and we tested the UDR in his system against the Harmonix TU-210 ZX and TU-220 MT. At his amp the UDR clearly won. At the CD player it was not easy to find an appropriate even place for the huge Shun Mook feet as there were many screws and other obstacles at the bottom of the player. I was lucky to find a place for the UDR, but there was no chance to optimize the Shun Mook sound. Nevertheless to my ears the UDR won.
The above experience was absolutely convincing. The Shun Mook UDR retails for 800$ - comparable to the top Harmonix products. For me and my system Shun Mook is the way to go.
Now after 8 months my system is fully equipped with Shun Mook Diamond Resonators – mostly Giants. The Giants are even better than the wonderful Ultras.
This lifted my system to a level, which I thought would not be possible. Each step gave
- a lower background noise floor
- more bass detail and energy
- better separation and inner micro details
- improved spatial information
All these improvements build the foundation for more listening enjoyment. It’s not more hi-fi, it is more music, a very natural sound, a feeling of being closer to the real thing. Image objects are like solid, each is a 3D sound object and you can hear the spatial relation between these objects. Very impressive!
The significantly increased bass information and energy revealed limitations of my room. I faced room resonances that needed to be addressed. Shun Mook has a zero cost solution for this (the cardboard boxes trick), but my wife won’t accept this ugly looking method to its full extend. I finally was successful with small adjustments of the placement of my speakers.
To locate Shun Mook products to buy is a challenge. Production is short, especially since Shun Mook changed its priorities away from hi-fi towards professional optimization of concert halls. So Shun Mook may stay an old but very well hidden secret in High End Audio.
In the net I’ve found many comments about Shun Mook. Some heavily negative comments; interestingly from people who never tried it. People don’t want to believe what they don’t understand.
At first view Shun Mook is expensive. 800$ for a set of Ultras and 1500$ for a set of Giants are high numbers. But it’s cost effective. The sonic improvements are huge and you may not be able to realize these improvements by other means.
Shun Mook prices stayed the same for more than 10 years. Unlike other hi-fi products the value of Shun Mook products is surprisingly stable, no obsolescence.
To me Shun Mook is a good investment.
The design of the Diamond Resonators is old, and has not changed for more than 10 years. Nevertheless they are still the best – by far (as far as the Giants and even the Ultras are concerned). Do you know of another product that stays world class for such a long time in our fast changing hi-fi world?
But is it hi-fi? It’s the superior resonance behavior of rare ebony, combined with Shun Mook’s technology to exploit this for better acoustics results. It better compares to the technology of violin or piano makers or designers of great concert halls. This is not a fast changing world.
With the wonderful experience of the Diamond Resonators, I did my first steps towards Shun Mook room tuning. The first impression is very promising, but it’s too early