I look forward to the reading and entertainment! :-)
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Bigjoe...I guess I agree that I am "into" digital, and I will use a digital amp, as well as a conventional solid state one, or two.
As to speakers, I will try some conventional box speakers (Madisound Odin 7" MTM, or Dynaudio Gemini) as well as the MG1.6.
I am only "into" vinyl in the sense that I did it for many years and still have what I consider a good playback system. I had not planned to use it as a source, as my digital sources are (IMHO) cleaner. However, the phono preamp is an outboard unit (PS Audio II, featuring super low noise transistors and passive RIAA equalization) and I can easily plug this into the Cryo'd outlet and give it a listen.
In general I intend to test using stripped down simple systems, so as to not confuse the Cryo/nonCryo comparison.
No biamping or subwoofing. Minimal interconnects.
I have a question for AudioGon. Why did the thread that started this "test" get removed?
I am only posting here so I can follow this one more easly from "my page".
I didn't think the previous thread got out of control.
P.S. I do weigh in on the pro cryo'd outlet side,just to state my bias. Thanks again to Albert!
Any results yet? I recently installed my first cryo-treated Hubbell 20amp IEC (from Jena Labs) onto my passive in-line power conditioner that connects to my amplifier.
This cryo-treated Hubbell 20amp IEC replaced my stock non-cryo-treated Hubbell 20amp IEC connected to my passive in-line power conditioner.
I'll save the results 'til later.
With all due respect.The thing I already question about your proposed method of testing these outlets is that you are going to introduce new components into a system and then make a judgment about the outlets? The "only"(this is my opinion) way to to it "right" is with a consistant system as a "reference". That's why over half of the guys here on AudioGon can't seem to put together a system that works to their satisfaction. They change components like most people change their underware. Due to being overcome by exhaust fumes from the UPS truck pulling in and out every few days, they get confused and forget to do any real set up and system tuning. It never results in anything but a mess.
Even with your questionable method it should be hard not to hear an overall improvement. If not, might I suggest a good place to get a hearing aide cryo treated?
I am looking forward to the results.
Maxgain, I would tend to agree with your statements. I only came across this thread earlier today and without careful reading it seemed as though some overly complicated 'A/B'ing was about to occur.
With my little test case, I have three Foundation Research LC-1 and LC-2 passive in-line power conditioners. One for each component. Each with a Hubbell IEC connector (LC-2 has a 20amp IEC Hubbell).
I simply replaced the stock 20amp Hubbell IEC with a Jena Labs 20amp cryo-treated Hubbell IEC two. Took about 20 minutes to install. I noticed a bit of improvement immediately. However, within about 20 hours of burn-in time the performance gains became quite substantial especially in the higher frequencies. The cymbals just took on their own air and as if to become completely(?) seperated from any associated percussions.
This $80 mod was surprisingly far above barely audible sonic improvements.
The prior thread that led to this point where Ed is keeping us all on the edge of our seats he gives us the 'ol thumbs up or down, was deleted by AudioGon for some reason.
I am just a curious observer.
If you are interested in my observations, mind you, comparing Porter Port Cryo Hubbell's to junk contractor Levitons you can read it in "Albert Porter only needs 50".
I maintain a very slowly evolving and stable system. I am very familiar with it's sound, and thus it makes a great test bed for new set up tools and tweeks.
Ed, your credibility will wither away if the results aren't what the believers expect them to be; you will thus be labeled resident doubting "Thomas" :)
There is a certain characteristic I immediately notice with every component/part in the system that has been cryoed. You should readily pick up on this, but my guess is its something that can't be measured, too bad you'll just have to trust your ears on this one. I look forward to your results and impressions.
Maxgain...As a "scientist" whose specialty has been the design of tests for complex military electromechanical equipment (missile guidance systems) I am really anxious to do a fair and objective evaluation. This is to satisfy MYSELF. To hell with what anyone else thinks, although it would be nice if they agree.
I would think that differences would be most clearly heard in a simple system, and my rig does not fit that description.
It is multichannel
Fronts (three MG1.6) are biamped with 3 subwoofers systems.
Each subwoofer system has two drivers, each with their own amp.
Rears are Madisound Odin speakers, driven (at the moment) by Kenwood LO7M monoblocks.
Using this equipment, and a range of other stuff (which audiophiles tend to accumulate) eg: Dynaudio speakers, B&W speakers, Adcom amps...) I can put together several straightforward stereo systems, covering a variety of equipment types. For example, we will look at digital amps as well as conventional ones. Sorry, no tubes. Each system will be compared using the cryo'd outlet and the identical non-cryo'd outlet, that I have mounted side by side in a box. I will also try to make some electrical measurements, but I don't know if my home test equipment is good enough.
I do have a second system, for HT, a Panasonic SA-XR25 digital receiver and some reasonable inwall speakers. I can easily plug this into the Cryo'd outlet and see what happens. I will try it, but I don't think that this system is good enough to resolve any small improvement.
Thanks. You have a cool set up going on yourself. I'm envious of your AC installation. I'll get around to upgradeing mine someday. Real life is lurking. Let's see, do I replace the 50+ year old steel windows and my lame 200K+ miles rust bucket, or.....?
Science is quite often "crap". Setting up a good sounding system is an "art", and as an "artist" I question your technique.
Have fun with your "test".
I tried a cryo'd HBL8300 (Porter Port) and a normal 8300 in my system, first with the EMC-1 UP and then on my Aleph P. Couldn't hear a difference. I then simnplified to just using the EMC-1 alone, fed DIRECTLY to Senn HD600 cans through the RCA outs via adaptors (surprisingly nice match, yet a bit loud), and STILL couldn't hear a difference. Thought I'd at least catch some difference in the top octave somewhere, but nope.
All circuits are discrete 83803EST dedicated lines, 35' long, via my PCKs. Again, my mind's open to cryo's possible effects, but I remain believing that it's the possible reduction of dielectric effects of the INSULATORS consequent to cryo-ing their adjacent conductors that yiels a possible improvement. Yet for some insulators (especially Teflon), there are better ways to accomplish this "curing", but my intent isn't to bend the thread here.
El, I too would REALLY simplify the test systems, to the point of allowing at least 48 hours gravitational settling and isothermality before swapping the test objects. Using cans directly from a source might at least reduce other variables in the chain, too. Bigger problem is going to be the implementation of at least single-blind methodology, preferably in the dark, unless you can recruit your wife with a bribe of some sort...and how to categorize your results, and their interpretation. (PS Jewelry usually works with Ellen!) Have fun.
Maxgain...I wonder why you think that being a scientist prevents one from being an artist? I consider myself an artist who likes to eat. Also, remember that an artist must be first a technician. How many fine paintings have been lost because the canvas was improperly prepared or the paint was inferior quality.
Subaruguru...Glad you agree with my thought that a simple system would be the best test.
I agree that "double-blind" would be good... too good, I fear, for some "believers". However, as stated previously, I am doing this experiment for myself, not to convince others, and I will try hard not to fool myself (which can be a problem, but I know that).
One idea that might interest people is to ship the electrical box that I put together with the cryo'd and non-cryo'd outlets around the group of interested people, and have everyone vote as to which outlet (labeled "A" and "B") is the cryo'd one. I don't think there is any way to tell them apart by looking, and at the moment only I know which is which. After everyone votes I will let the cat out of the bag.
I am curious to see the outcome of this test. However, Ernie's opinions are more than good enough for me, and I will simply go with a regular old Hubbel 8300.
El, your system is much more complex than the average audiophile's, but I really admire your spirit. You are doing it for your own sake, and sharing it with us secondarily. I hope you find a definitive answer for your system which will provide YOU with the most performance!
As an aside, as a former R&D chemist/material science engineer in the electronics field, I am of the VERY strong opinion that a scientist who is not also an artist is not a very good scientist. Sure, you can do analysis, but you could train your 8 year old daughter to do just as good a job. To create something requires a person who blends his theoretical and book knowledge with the ability to relax, think clearly, be creative, and most of all, be willing to fail.
Not everything works the way they tell you it works, and you use this to your great advantage. It is exactly like being a chef. While the proper course of study is required to build the foundation, those who achieve possess a definitive artistic streak of greatness.
I did an initial round of listening tests, and, not to keep you all in suspense, I did not (so far) hear any effect attributable to the cryod outlet. Following is a description of what I did.
1. Some say that ac power is most important for low level source equipment. The first test was simple: just power the Denon 2900 DVD player and Rotel 1066 with the cryod outlet, and play my best disc through the whole multichannel rig. (The Rotel circuitry is almost all bypassed in discrete multichannel mode: it serves only as volume control). I could hear no difference with the cryod outlet.
2. I realized that I could cut my rig down to stereo without rearranging a lot of equipment. I turned off the rear amps and the center front amp. I used the cryod outlet to power the two CarverPro ZR1600 digital power amps for the left and right MG1.6 and their associated subwoofers. Then I played the Stereo programs of several SACD. Repeated the exercise with regular outlet/ cryod outlet/regular outlet etc. No difference.
By the way, neither outlet warmed up enough to be detected. Temperature of both outlet boxes was measured while they were being used with a thermometer 62 degrees which was the cellar temperature at the time.
3. Next, I turned off all the front amps, and fed the front L and R signals into the rear amps, Kenwood LO7M monoblocks that are fairly conventional ss amps. The rear speakers are also conventional MTM boxes, Madisound Odin. I powered the amps with cryod and non cryod outlet. No difference.
I selected discs to play as follows.
Multichannel test Tacet DVD D107..Mozart Flute Quartets. Awesome audiophile quality.
Stereo SACD Pentatone PTC 5186 024 Beethoven Piano Sonatas. Good clear recording appropriate for stereo.
Stereo SACD Telarc SACD 60579 The Sound of Glory
Massive Chorus, Orchestra, Organ.
CD, Eva Cassidy, Live at Blues Alley Female vocalist. Recording with good ambience and low level detail.
I would still like to do one test of the scientific variety. I will feed the two monoblock amps with the same signal, and tweek gains so as to minimize the difference signal between the two Hot power amp output terminals. (Ideally there should be no difference). Then I will plug one of the amps into the cryod outlet, and see if the difference signal changes. I will also listen to the difference signal, (with earphones) as the spectral content might change without affecting the voltage measurement. This test will plainly determine if the cryod outlet affects the electrical output of the power amp.
So I dont think that a cryod outlet would be much use to me. Perhaps my 115 volt power is nice and clean. Maybe there is no RFI where I live. (I know that cell phones dont work at my house). And maybe, just maybe, the cryo effect is psychological.
Now, now, Eldartford. If you were truly objective in your observations (are any of us really?), you would also allow for the following potential scenarios/conclusions associated with your findings:
1. Your hearing is not what you think it to be.
2. You are not the scientist you think you are.
3. Your equipment is not what you think it to be.
4. The product tested was not cryogenically treated.
5. You had too much chili the night prior to the testing.
6. Eldartford really does not exist. He is only a figment of our imagination. (Hey, it's a possibility!)
I'm not saying any of the above are true or not true, but any one or any combination of the above are very distinct possibilities and if mentioned would at the very least demonstrate greater objectivity on your part.
Stehno: As the sender of the outlets, I know that #4 and #6 are not true.
That being said, Ed has drawn his conclusions and so be it. One thing I do have slight problem with is that Ed, in this situation seems to be doing the listening in a re-configured system that is quite a bit different than that which he normally listens to, and then doing quick A-B comparisons. I would feel more comfortable with comparisons being made in a system and room that is identical to which the tester normally listens to. I also feel that quick switching (sepecially within the context of a system that the listener is unfamiliar with) is less than ideal and that the system should be listened to for a considerable period of time fully powered up, perhaps even 2-3 days with one receptacle and then switched over to the other. Ideally, as I've said before, but not possible in this case, comparisons should be made with a system drawing entirely (no mix and match) from one type of receptacle. I don't consider myself to be a true scientist, but there are a lot of variables here.
I'd be curious, Ed, if it is easy for you to do, to compare either of the outlets to the stock outlet you are using to see if you could discern any difference between your stock and what I sent you. If it's too much trouble, don't bother.
But, I'm comfortable with Ed's conclusions and would only point out that one can argue just as vociferously that his conclusions are just as "psychological" as those arrived at by the pro cryo camp. Kind of an endless circle of an argument. At least we've gone through the process.
Eldartford, hopefully my previous post was taken tongue-in-cheek. At least that was the intention. Sorry for any offense.
But it is interesting that you noticed no difference. My experience with cryo-treatment only started two weeks ago and that was with just one 20amp cryo-treated Hubbell IEC connector from Jena Labs for my amplifier. And I was quite surprised at the improvements.
Thanks for not beating up on me too much because I don't hear an effect. This was an initial report. I ain't done yet.
1. The initial multichannel test, with the cryo powering only source electronics, was an attempt to do a test with minimal change to my regular (well known) system.
2. If it takes several days of operation on the cryo outlet for a difference to be audible I can't do the test. My auditory memory is not that good.
By the way, on one cut of the Eva Cassidy CD I did find it necessary to go back and forth a few times before I finally concluded that there was no difference. It is not easy to make this kind of subjective decision. That is why a definitive answer would require extensive double-blind testing.
3. As yet, to my surprise, no one has complained about use of a digital source. I intend to play some vinyl, and I will experiment with power to the outboard phono stage.
Any other suggestions?
Just to clarify things Ed, my suggestion regarding playing things for a few days did not have anything to do with the cryoed outlet needing to "warm up", but had more to do with the fact that your system for this test has changed, even if it is minimal, and the subsequent change in sound due to that change (even without a change in outlet) may be something you have to adjust to. Under these circumstances, it might be adviseable to listen for longer periods of time(even if it's 10-15 minutes) to adjust to those changes, then perhaps listen to the same piece of music on the different outlet right after that. How about having your wife listen?
Good luck and keep us posted. Even if you hear no difference, I'm happy you've done this and don't feel that anybody should be "beat up" here. We all have to come to our own conclusions. You're to be commended for the experiment.
I have a close friend who's a piezo-transducer wiz, making what are arguably the best pickups for acoustical instruments, and OE supplier to the guitar giants, too.
He told me there was a cryo-craze back a few years ago among the guitar string manufacturers...but it proved to be not real to ANYONE after awhile. And there's where you'd REALLY expect to hear a difference. He's also tried cryoing his ultrasensitive pickups somewhat, but has no positive expectation. His engineers and test people obviously have sensitive ears, always listening for not-yet-measurable artifacts that nevertheless sound "better" in transducing an acoustic vibration into an electrical one to his staff and the large group of pro musicians who endorse his products (Fishman Tansducers). Cryo is certainly NOT on the list of manufacturing tricks....
I'm willing to make up a couple of my PoBox9 with one each cryo and non-cryo duplexes, unmarked, to send around for trials. Hard-wired PC will be my PCK9. The problem, of course, is that we're only adding MORE hardware in the chain, and since performance WILL be determined partially by duplex and circuit line upstream, the additive hardware itself may slightly mask any diffs between the test objects (the dupes). In other words the dupes may get duped....
I think I stated in a previous post that I noticed barely audible improvement immediately after installing the one cryo-treated ICE. It was not until perhaps 48 hours later (24 hours of system uptime/burn-in) that I noticed the surprising improvements.
There were no other changes to my system at all within days of before, during, or after this install.
Psych's comic comment has an element of usefulness (!).
It's my belief that isothermality has a good deal to do with assuring stable performance of many sensitive instruments. I'm of course biased toward thinking so after spending a decade calibrating lab measurement products in an isothermal environment. It's certainly the case that many audio components sound best, or at least consistent, at an operating temperature plateau. I notice that Nelson Pass designed the Alephs (my monos) to run at +25 above ambient, up to a cutoff at 175 if I remember. Certainly they sound "better" after an hour or two's warmup...some say days! Is this because a SPECIFIC temperature is reached? Probably not...just a STABLE temperature, as intimated by "25 above ambient". I keep mine in a WAF-friendly position hung under my rafters in the basement under the speakers, probably about 55 down there. Would they sound better in a 75 degree livingroom? My best guess: probably not, as the heat-cycle they operate at is simply +25 above ambient, and stabilizes there....
But I think it's not always that simple. With PCs and duplexes the hope is both to NOT have a consequent voltage drop associated with increased electrical resistance as a function of conductor temperature fluctuations...or even stable reductions, perhaps....
We all know that heavier gauge conductors have lower electrical resistance, all other things equal (inc. metal composition, geometry, insulation, etc.), and assume that greater dynamic expression occurs because the heavy conductors can somehow "pump" more current. I believe the use of heavy gauge conductors can benefit performance not because of actual increased current handling per se, but only as a function of vltage fluctuation due to tiny temperature changes due to changing resistance of the conductors when large current swings occur. These current demands will be governed both by design paramenters of the component, but their FLUCTUATIONS are more a function of power supply design. Hence one reason why some components sound better with big PCs and some don't. Regulation and "damming", I guess....
(To finish the PC analogy, and yes, to get my plug in, Psych, any means used to STABILIZE the temperature of a PC or duplex, switch contacts, etc., can only be a good thing.
I've learned that heat-sinking a modest sized PC can make it "sound" as dynamic as a larger one, yet, due to lowerinductance, also sound more transparent. Hence my Prelude & Fugues....)
But back to the duplexes: it certainly is an attractive idea to believe that a "rearrangement" of the brass metal matrix of the dupes' contacts due to a process like cryogenic cooling yields a change that at ambience might result in less "resistance" of sorts to current flow, and thus less heating of the contacts. This could be measured, but maybe not easily enough...especially with normal audio componentry. The reasonably-heavy contacts used in Hubbell and Pass & Seymour 5000 and 8000 straight gauge dupes will handle kilowatts of constant power without getting VERY hot. But if the spec is +10C, for example (+18F), then a simple contact thermometer may be useful if implemented carefully to compare two dupes when used with constant kilowatt loads. It would be postulated that the cryogenic treatment results in "cooler" running....
Further, and more practically important for our purposes, the hope is that cryogenic treatment somehow reduces the FLUCTUATION of tiny temperature changes around ambient steady operating temperature, which perhaps could be associated with audible differences. Certainly with a low-current front end component, for example, the difference between a 10AWG and 14AWG PC, ALL OTHER THINGS BEING EQUAL, is NOT audible (this is very hard to test because inductance changes with size and geometry). So there's something else that matters here. Could it be that cryoing the conductors results in improved isothermailty even at miniscule levels? Since I have yet to hear a difference with cryo'd contacts or wires, but hear BIG differences depending upon the different DIELECTRIC involvements associated with various insulations...and their geometry, to a lesser extent, I'm temped to simply deduce that possibly a cryogenic treatment can perhaps "cure" the cheap insulations used in some PCs, and especially duplexes. Again, if violin strings and ultrasensitive piez0-electric transducers don't sound different after cryoing I would suspect more that it's the "curing" of the plasticizers in cheap insulations that might be accelerated by ANY thermal treatment process...perhaps including cryoing. Yet most "curing" of "plastic" materials is performed by relieving residual manufacturing stresses by reheating...not cooling. But maybe metals are different, and since I have no background in metallurgy, I haven't a clue. I just "cure" Teflon. If someone would make a duplex out of PVDF or another nice hard fluorocarbon my EST process could cure it for good, and THEN we'd all have a pretty remarkable duplex! Stable Teflon and high-copper content brass contacts. Anyone got $50k for a mold? Cheers.
Quite apart from my cryo evaluation project, let me point out that the notion that cryo treatment might affect sound generation began with treatment of brass instruments, like trumpets. Now cryo treatment is just another form of heat treatment, extending to lower temperature ranges, and heat treatment has been used for thousands of years to modify the properties of metals. It makes perfectly logical scientific sense that cryo treatment would change the timbre of a brass instrument. Where we went off the scientific tracks (IMHO) is to think that elements of an audio system that are not making sound by vibrating, but merely performing an electronic function can introduce sonic changes when cryo treated.
Interesting, El. But then why don't STRINGS sound different after cryo? As well, my Steinway took TWO years for the stretchier Swedish strings to stabilize, requiring tuning every couple of months. Now, after 4 years, it's held a tune for 13 months (to MY ears...uh oh!). Other strings atabilize more quickly, but don't apparently sound as good...or aren't favored for another reason. Wonder if cryoing piano strings could change their elasticity curve somehow. Doubt it, though.
If you ask Dean Markley, strings DO sound different after cryoing. Their Blue Steel line of bass and guitar strings are cryo treated. I do find that their bass strings do have a fairly unique sound (and I have used them on and off for about 12 years), but since even strings without cryo treatment have very different sounds, I cannot say that the cryo treatment actually contributed to their sonic character. All that I do know is that Dean Markley markets them as having unique sonic characteristics as a result of their cryo treatment.
I wouldn't hazard a guess one way or the other about strings. Their properties would be changed by cryo, but the sound is emitted more by the sounding box of the instrument than by the strings themselves. The strings excite the box (or other resonant element of the instrument). Perhaps the string tension would be affected by cryo, but the retensioned string would perform the same.
Ed: When you are finished with the receptacles, if you want to send them to Stehno for some testing, that would be OK with me as long as Stehno then forwards them back to me after he is finished.
It would be interesting to see if Stehno can identify any differences in the outlets, as he would have no way of knowing which was which as they come from you (one box is marked cryo but there is no indication on either receptacle, could put them in the same boxes they came in-can't even remember if I shipped the 2nd one in a box, or choose not to-a true blind test). I do, however, know which one is definitely cryoed and for the sake of true science, could inform a couple of other members prior to Stehno's "test" and see if he correctly identifies the cryoed outlet.
Hdm...Sure. Will ship to Stehno if someone gives me an address.
The Cryo'd outlet was in a carboard box, the other was not. I have mounted the two outlets in two electrical boxes, marked "A" and "B". One outlet had all four terminal screws, while the other had only two. I removed the extra screws (and put them in a plastic bag) so I don't think that anyone can tell one outlet from the other just by looking at them. I will ship the whole rig on to the next guy. When all the testing is done Hdm will have a handy heavy duty extension cord!
Of course I know whether the Cryo'd outlet is "A" or "B". I guess I will put this info in a sealed envelope and send it to Hdm to do what he likes with it. Obviously, people who test the outlets should not know. (Hdm might like to test his ears before opening the envelope).
Of course, if many people ran the test, guesswork would produce 50 percent correct choice. But perhaps more, or less. It would be interesting to take a poll without anyone listening, so that what you are guessing is eldartford's frame of mind, and whether he would tend to label the cryo'd outlet "A" or "B". This might introduce a significant bias into listening test results.
Ed: If it's easier, just send the receptacles (I certainly don't need the extension cord or boxes) to Stehno without the box that the one outlet came to you in. As you point out, anyone will have a 50% chance of identifying the cryoed versus non-cryoed. Before I sent the cryoed unit off to you, I did something that would allow me to identify it as the cryoed one anyway, so I'll be aware of which one it is and be able to confirm whether someone has identified the cryoed unit in a listening test. Stehno, where are you?
E-mail your address to Ed and prepare to be snake oiled! Perhaps these receptacles can do an Audiogon tour of duty!
Is this a test? Hdm, I'd be happy to try the outlets. But first let me share the electrical setup I have:
I have three dedicated lines going to two seperate FIM non-cryo-treated outlets. One outlet has been split so that my 20 amp line (amplifier) is plugged into the bottom receptacle and a 15 amp (cdp) is plugged into the top.
This outlet used for the amp and cdp is ungrounded at the outlet.(just not connected the grounding wire)
The second FIM outlet is a 15amp grounded line used for the preamp.
In addition, I've consistantly noticed the biggest electrical-type sonic improvements when changes are made to the amplifier's line/connectors/conditioners.
With that said, Hdm, if not done already, would you have a problem my severing the contacts between the lower and upper receptacles for the purposes of this test?
If that is not a problem, then I'll send Eldartford my address.
If you do not prefer my altering the outlets to maximize the differences, I can still A/B compare with the preamp outlet. But the differences (if any) simply would not be as evident.
Stehno, there may be a problem in that both these receptacles are 15 amp versions. If you have a 20 amp male plug on your amp or Foundation cord, it will not fit the receptacle. If you have a 15 amp plug on either, you will be able to use it on your amp/CD receptacle. You may only be able to use these on the preamp line.
That being said, these receptacles have not really been in use for a while and I don't see much use for them in the immediate future, so, what the heck. Ed, send them off to Stehno, and Stehno, feel free to break the tabs off for separate wiring (if you don't have a 20 mps male). You're missing one set of screws, but you can simply change the screws over from one receptacle to the other.
Hdm and Stehno...Ok. I will dismount both outlets from the boxes, put the extra screws back into the outlet they came in, and ship the outlets, and the box (empty) on to Stehno. He will not know which outlet is Cryo'd. Of course I do. If I had claimed to hear an effect, my claim would be suspect. I don't think that knowing which is which has any significance in context of a claim to hear nothing.
I still have a bit more to do in my evaluation. Will let you know when I ship the stuff.