The whole idea seems to defy physics and the laws of sound waves and acoustics to me. How can some teeny little things address all sorts of sound waves and reflections all over the room?
That being said, I would love a chance to hear them in a double blind setting in a room that is poorly designed accoustically and void of all sound controlling devices. The Stereophile review said one could replace thousands of dollars of accoustical components with five little itty bitty metal cups and magnets for a better affect!
Consider me a skeptic but would be happy to be proven otherwise. If they offered them with a 30 day trial, I would consider it. Have somebody sneak into my room and install them. If I hear a noticeable difference immediately (not with super careful listening for some barely audible affect) I would buy them.
The cable company offers demos of the ART system. All Synergistic
Research products come with a return policy as stated on their website
under the Synergistic Research Challenge.
I agree with you Ckoffend - I think Synergistic makes fantastic cables, top notch in all the cable swapping/comparisons I have done.
But this apparatus (and the COST!!!!) has me baffled. Some of it is set up at my local dealer. They say it works, I did not investigate it.
I understand how you could feel the Acoustic ART System's ability to tune a room's acoustics unlikely however I would never have spent the time and money to develop it nor the political capital to market it if it did not perform as I say it does. It is in fact the single most important product I make for improving a systems overall performance. Since you have a dealer who can demonstrate it for you may I suggest you audition it or better yet send me some photos of your room and I will mark them in PhotoShop for placement of the ART pieces and you can audition them in your system and decide for yourself?
As to cost the Acoustic ART basik system is very inexpensive- less then the cost of just one Bass Station from the full blown ART System. The difference is that the basik system is just that, basik and does not require the significant amount of time to tune each individual resonator and several other labor intensive steps that contribute to the original ART Systems price. It also (the basik system) does not have the same performance potential but absent the full blown ART System in your room, you'd never know.
Joeyboynj is correct, all SR products are made available through authorized SR dealers for in home audition. There are many reviews and personal testimonies from people who have long established posting records on numerous audio discussion groups all claiming to hear significant improvement with the ART system in place, and a degradation when removed. There are also a few posters claiming to have tried the system and to not hearing any benefit but they are almost always first or near first time posters and many times, users who's only posting record is to detract from the ART System. At the end of the day the ART System is just like everything else, you need to audition it for yourself and then decide.
OK back to CES :)
Yours in music,
Lead Designer, Synergistic Research Inc.
The Sell-A-Thon is on.
Led by the Pied Piper.
Play that tune big boy.
Well Bill at least he is here not pushing the same old crap that kills the music... convoluted foam and fiberglass. Some text books need to be set next to the toilet and there pages put to some good use. People should listen and think beyond the proverbial dictates of a shoebox they listen within. Much can be done with hard material angled devices that can redirect and refocus pressure within the confines of a listening room. These devices can be mounted on walls, ceilings and even set on the floor. A little creative thought and geometry may be involved. After all the highest pressure points are along the room boundarys. Why not use the energy generated and redirect its focus and adjust its phase. Smaller devices can be simply constructed to sit atop speakers or attached to their sides or back. None are made of soft materials that suck the dynamics and air out of the music. None cost more than a hundred bucks to make. So if someone cares to think outside the confines of the dark ages I'm all for it. I wouldn't burn them at the stake. Tom
Theaudiotweak, I agree. It's all about resonance. The principle of resonance applies in many ways in the world of audio. After all what are receivers? They are resonance devices. Various room tuning devices are simply the other side of the same resonance coin. Shakti and SR ART are the first that come to mind at the high end of resonance devices. Others that come to mind are SR MiGs and Totem beaks. There are many more. Those whose attitude is "look at those little things ... how could they possibly ... where is the science ..." have no idea. In an earlier era they might be heard saying the same thing about the quartz crystal.
Ted, since you have chimed in I will pose a few questions directly to you, if I may.
I came across the ART system in researching your cables, including some of my non-industry "audiophile" friends that have or are using your cables, as part of a decision to determine if I should pursue said cables.
Ted, which would have a bigger impact on performance, installing your cables or the ART system? FYI - for interconnects and SC I run Transparent (not Reference or Opus). My room is lively. My speakers are highly resolving/detailed (Wilson).
My experience with cabling is that rarely do I find performance changes being "significant", but typically only noticeable with very, very careful listening and typically over a notable period of time. Is the ART system supposed to be notably obvious upon installation or removal of the components? Almost equivalent to changing out speakers?
There are some of us around who used the original Audiopoint's 2.0's for resonance dissapation on the top of loudspeakers and some chassis's. You simply turned it up side down with the point facing up. That was 10 or 12 years back. I also wall and ceiling mounted Sistrum Sp004's. With this set up you could adjust the tension of the device to the surface for both resonance collection and dissapation. You had to use the coupling discs between the surface and the points and use a long brass bolt and washer set for tuning purposes. Of course you only used 3 points and not 6. Very effective. No one else promoting this use or a product for such purposes. You can also terminate drivers in a similar method. Tom
Theaudiotweak, I use my Harmonix SYN-100 footers the same way and also have Totem beaks on top of components other than speakers.
You could hear the difference from the ARTs at CES when you entered the SR room. I use both the original ARTs and two sets of the Basiks which I also use in my NM listening room in the summer. It is only 13 x 10 x 8.' They help it greatly. Still not like my 18 x 26 x 11.5' room, but definitely improved.
There are a lot of self-proclaimed scam police out there who never listen to what they condemn.
I have eliminated a lot of room treatments and tweaks and added others since I posted to this thread. But ART stays put. I just fine-tuned the placement which is crucial for optimizing the ART system. I am using it with my own DIY HFTs. The interesting thing is that most of these treatments and systems are complementary and synergistic even if they are mixed and matched from different companies -- with DIY thrown in for good measure.
Is anyone out there still impressed with ART? Are there folks who are using additional Gravitrons and Magnetrons with good results?
The Synergistic research is still the foundation of accoustic treatments to my listening room. In addition to the Vibratron, I do use the full compliment of Gravitrons, Magnitrons, and Bass stations. Front wall has 4 Magnitrons and 2 Gravitrons. Near the first reflection point on each side wall is a Magnitron. The wall behind the listener has a Gravitron. In front of each speaker is a Bass Station.
And you are absolutely correct, you do have to positiom them with care.
Thanks for this valuable information. I have a couple more Magnetrons and one more Gravitron coming. Regarding room treatments, there is a lot going on in my room with Schumann devices, Steinmusic Harmonizers, Symphony Pros and various Audio Magic devices also in place. But the ART is definitely a major contributor to the SQ.
I really think that those who say the laws of physics disprove any benefit from these devices totally misrepresent our scientific understand of the properties of nature. We only know some of the patterns that can be used for our proposes to build bridges, circuits, vibration dampening, etc. If we make observations that cannot be understood by our understanding, it is incumbent on science to do experiments and explanations of what we see happening.
I have heard the benefits of SR Arts in demonstrations and there are obvious benefits. I have heard demonstration of supertweeters that begin to perform at 15k Hz that clearly improve sound. Such devices also are unwarrantly rejected by pseudo scientists.
Many things that are heard are difficult to account for with our limited understanding of nature.
I wouldn't think the tiny little bowl devices are any more difficult to explain than say Helmholtz resonators or smokey quartz crystals from Acoustic Revive. There are weirder things, that's for sure.
When you say "Many things that are heard are difficult to account for with our limited understanding of nature." You hit the nail on the head. There is so much that we do not know that we can only speculate and theorize about. From my point of view. what matters is the improvement in SQ. As long as whatever I am trying out delivers explanations are beside the point. Others may put a high value on explanations and understanding. I do not. As long as my ears understand that's good enough for me.
"If we make observations that cannot be understood by our understanding, it is incumbent on science to do experiments and explanations of what we see happening."
If one hopes to make the sale, then its up to that person to make the case somehow. Otherwise, right or wrong, there is no case. You might have a long wait if left to others, especially if the case is not readily apparent.
Of course saying "I hear it so it must be" alone is not much of a case. Anyone can say that any time for any reason and be right or wrong. Just words.
Without an understanding of what's going on we cannot progress to the next level. I think that's generally true in any endeavor, no?
Geoffkait, yes early scientific inquiry focuses on mere observation, then on data, then on experiments, and then on explanation. There is little motive for manufacturers to move along scientifically.
Glad to read you are experiencing what I am, in that the Synergistic Research ARTS works well with other room treatments. I use Acoustic Revive unit at each end of the room and the IPC energisers (5) units in the room. In addition I have the Synergistic FEQ unit and the HFT bullets in the room. I am sure your room has a wonderful sound. I am very happy with mine.
ART works well with all the other room treatments in my system. I have 10 Schumann devices, DIY HFTs, Audio Magic PEAs and Wave Stabilizers, QRT products, Steinmusic Harmonizers and some other things. I auditioned the IPC energizers but did not buy them. Can you isolate what they are doing to SQ in your system?
David, I'm sure that many conditions that cannot be held constant in listening rooms affect the sound we get as much as do tweaks. Certainly my experiences differ from yours as I have constantly found alternative room treatments badly interact with each other.
This was true of the Roomlens and the RPG diffusors, the Shatki Halograph diffusors and the Syn. Res. ARTs, and the Shun Mook Mpingo disks and everything else.
I have found that placement of accessories and tweaks is crucial in my system. If one element is not in the right place or not at the right height then the SQ reacts, often unpleasantly.
The IPS Energizers create the sensation that the music extends farther into the room and there is a sense of the music being more palpable. Turned off the music is "over there" where the speakers are located. They were fussy in getting optimal placement. Then things snapped into this better type of focus. I tried to add the Audio Magic to this system but at the 7 locations I tried the sound was always less focused. That was trying to add two PEAs to the IPS system of 5 units.
I find it facinating that some of these devices do interact so well. Each element adding a different component to the improved room- speaker interface.
As you very well know it ia a lot of time, trial and error, and critical listening, but the results are worth it.
Yes -- each element covers a different aspect of SQ. Most of the time these various devices interact well together in my system. But not always. It is interesting that you could not get the Audio Magic PEAs to interact well with your IPC Acoustic Energizers. I was impressed with this product when I heard it a while back -- in a triangular configuration. But, after reading your observations, I am disinclined to add IPC products to my system because I have 3 Audio Magic PEAs and 2 Wave Stabilizers. My system is so sensitive at this point that one new element could throw the SQ out the window if it did not integrate well.
Yes -- this is all based on trial and error. Last night I changed the location and height of my Wave Stabilizers, with a big improvement in SQ as a result.
It is frustrating during the process but oh so rewarding when the sound harmonizes with the room. It seems that the IPC Energizers and the Audio Magic products are similar but maybe just slightly different so they interfere with each other.
It will be interesting to hear the newest devices from Synergistic Research at RMAF at the end of this week.
I am especially interested in the Headphone Optimized Transducer (HOT) for my separate headphone system. I have tried the Acoustic Revive 77 schuman generator in my headphone room. You can hear a change but I am not certain it is helpful.
When I heard the IPC Energizers in Singapore they did exactly what you say -- moving the music more into the room and making it more palpable. The bottom line is a sound that is more "real".
I am going to take a gamble. I just got an excellent deal on 3 IPC Energizers and will see if I can get them to integrate with the Audio Magic products. If not, I will have to choose which products to keep. I will not receive the shipment before early December.