Synergistic Research ECT

Many years ago, I'm going to say about 20, a fellow named Michael Greene came out with a rack that purported to improve performance by clamping components between the shelves. Preposterous, I thought, and wrote a letter to the editor telling him so and asking to please not waste my valuable time with such nonsense. A letter I soon came to deeply regret. Because within a year I had heard for myself what vibration control can do. Today the value of vibration control is (or should be) clear to all audiophiles.

So that's Preface Part One: Don't knock it if you haven't tried it.

Preface Part Two: Don't be so sure its not there just because you can't hear it. Learning to recognize and describe what you are hearing ain't necessarily easy. I used to drag my wife along to audition CD players, because I wasn't entirely sure myself if what I was hearing was there or in my head. When time after time she said, "yeah it sounds better, I can't say how or why but this one definitely sounds better" I knew it was for real. Now I'm able to hear in a flash what I used to agonize interminably over. But it did take time. And effort.

And so with that out of the way and everyone understanding this review is for those who either have the listening skills or at least would like to develop them, my recent experience with the Synergistic Research ECT.

Now according to Synergistic, and a ton of reviews, these things work pretty much everywhere. Well, to a guy like me, them's fightin' words! Nobody ever said anything about using them on a turntable motor. So that's right where the first one went. Right onto the top of my Teres Audio rim drive Verus motor. Just stuck the thing on there. Its not gonna work. No way it can work. On a motor? No way. Waste of time. Sat back down and... what the.... dang... seriously? Its on the bleedin' motor! How's that work?? BS! Witchcraft! Got up and removed it. Uh, no, bad idea. Put it back. Ahh. Much better.

With the ECT stuck on the motor everything in the soundstage took on a more palpable reality. There was a greater sense of depth, and air or space around each source. Not wider or higher, nothing moved around from where it had been. When I say greater depth, its not like anything moved closer or further away. The feeling of depth is hard to describe. A lot of it comes from a greater sense of being more immersed in the recording space. Bigger recording space, bigger room, greater depth. Something like that. Removed, the presentation went flat and grainy. Funny, never seemed there was any grain or etch before. One New York minute with ECT and remove them though, yeah, there's grain. Stick that thing back on there. Inner detail. Sense of ease. All better now.

That's just one. On the one place nobody said they would work. What about where they ARE supposed to work? I stuck one close to the base in front of the D101 power supply tube on my Melody Integrated. OMG, here we go again! Same thing. Here I also noticed improved dynamics and a lower noise floor. Heard this with the one on the motor too, and its hard to say which location had the greatest effect on which. I guess, to be really systematic about it, you could move one around trying a dozen different spots, looking for the biggest effect. Actually did that a long time ago with a Shakti Stone. Overpriced waste of money, that. Not so these. When something works this good, you just want more.

But first, I did of course try removing it. Just to be sure. Still hard to believe. Putting it back, this time I placed it behind the tube. Same result. What about transformers? The power transformer on the Melody is big and heavy, and encased in some sort of shiny black stuff, plastic or whatever I don't know. For sure there is no way a tiny little dot of aluminum (for the record, I have no clue what its made of) gonna have any effect on something that big and massive. Only, it did. Same. Exact. Results.


For those keeping score at home that's 3 ECT's deployed. They come 5 to a box. Only used about half, already happy. Which gets us to, what's it worth? My longstanding Gold Standard for tweaks is Black Diamond Racing Cones. At $20 each and needing 3 per component they coincidentally come in at the same $60 per ECT. Comparing apples to oranges I would say one ECT comes very close to three Cones. Not quite there. But close. Considering nothing I've ever heard comes close to BDR for the money that's pretty high praise indeed.
Millercarbon i've got one near the motor and another on the arm near the bearing ,the one near the motor is more effective. Still experimenting.
Thanks for sharing about your mom, David. That generation would listen to tubed radio broadcasts and 78s. When CDs first came out my father-in-law hated them because they didn't sound natural, took me years to realize he was right!
Absolutely. I purchased a 1935  Philco console radio after finding out it was the same model my Mother listened to as a teenager. Very enjoyable indeed after restoration. 

Thank goodness we have learned how to improve digital music since the 1980's. Audio-grade wall outlets and fuses, The Synergistic Research ECT's and  HFT's,  Perfectpath Technologies Omega E-Mat and their Total Contact product all have greatly helped to make my digital systems sound most engaging and satisfying to listen to.

There is just no way my Mother could spin vinyl with her limited eyesight. But her love of music is not limited. With today's technology, she can stream music 24/7 on a system that is never turned off. Her PS Audio DAC has a remote that she can operate by feel.

It is most moving to sit in her room listening to a Benny Goodman song ("Your Father and I loved to dance to Benny when he played live") or notice her softly singing along to a Neil Diamond of  Karen Carpenter.

All of the above-named products are also utilized in her system.

David Pritchard
I read somewhere that Benny Goodman performed live to more people than anyone else, ever. Or Duke Ellington. Not in monster stadiums like today but clubs with a few hundred to a few thousand at a time. Night after night, 6 nights a week, 50 weeks a year. Playing live instruments. Think of that. All those people listening to, not an amplifier. Not a speaker. A clarinet. A saxophone. Trumpet. String bass. What they couldn't hear live they heard on the radio, and from the mike to the radio it was tubes and point to point soldered wire all the way. What they played was records, many of them recorded with such a high regard for quality they are admired to this day. Even the archaic phonograph, have you ever heard one? I have. Mostly limited to midrange, but with a captivating quality of presence you have to hear to believe.

Today it takes a whole lot of time and effort and money just trying to get back to what they had in every nightclub and living room.