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.
Fantastic that you are using the Synergistic Research HFT speaker Kits. I also agree that they give an impressive upgrade to one's speaker's sound. Finally we have a way to fine tune our own speakers in our room.
 And it is nice that if you latter move or sell the speakers, the HFT Speaker Kit is removable and stays with you for the next room or speakers you own.
I do think they are worth trying on any speaker as they are easily removable and returnable if you do not like them.

The Wide Angle HFT's do have a powerful effect and so I had to experiment to find the optimal location. This was with all the HFT's previously mounted on the wall and on the speakers. 

For temporary placing of HFT's I prefer to use Blue Stick By DAP sold at Home Depot stores. The temporary adhesive that comes with the kit is fine but the DAP product is even better. After I am happy with all locations, I then used a hot glue gun to get a more permanent adhesion. I still can remove the HFT's without damaging the surface they are stuck to. HFT's that are hot glued on have an even greater sonic effect than when using the adhesive putty.

David Pritchard
Blue Stick? Or Blu-Tack? Because there is a Blu-Tack, a slightly stiffer version of the White Tack Synergistic sends. I already have Blu-Tack.

So far with only the one Speaker Kit split between the two speakers, and 10 HFT's, already my system sounds so good I can hardly believe it. I mean the imaging is just freaking amazing! Gonna have to get the other Speaker Kit soon, which will get me the Wide Angles free, then stop and enjoy a while.

Put one on the other night I haven't heard in a while, Francis A and Edward K, and the palpable there-ness of the brass, room ambience, to say nothing of Sinatra, was just insane! Never realized before but it was like the sax was one speaker, horns the other, with Sinatra and Ellington in the middle. Now its like the whole friggen orchestra spread out clear across the room! Ellington's faint little tinkling of keys still soft and low but now clear as can be.

Seriously doubt there's any component on the market can do this, it has to be the room. What lies buried in crappy room acoustics people have no idea until they try this stuff!

And yeah I do want FEQ too. Subs first though.... 
Yes the removable adhesive I like the best is called Blue Stick manufactured by DAP. Blue Tack is good buy I prefer Blu Stick after comparing both products.

I absolutely agree with you that treating the room acoustics with the family of HFT products gives impressive improvements to the sound.

 I also think treating the room should be done before an audiophile flips more components while searching for that special sound they desire.

David Pritchard