August 1, 2009

A Little Black Box Can Make A Difference?

This is an old post of ours in the blog we previously contributed to.

Maggielurva passed me a little black box, he told me it is locally made and the distributor was showing great enthusiasm for it (but of course :-) ).

The black case is rather sturdily made. It has no connection except an IEC connector. There is a switch at the back and a little blue pilot light at the front. Those are all the things you can do and look at. From this description, I think many of you would have clued on the fact that it is a power conditioner and that it works in parallel to your equipment. I can't tell you anything more about its workings as there is no manual or literature that come with it.

It is devoid of any label except a little sticker at the back proclaming 'Quantum Tuning'. Seeing the 'Quantum' word set a few bells ringing. Is it one of those 'quantum' emf/emi filtering devices that purportedly do wonders at the atomic particle level? Well, whatever I read about these 'quantum' devices' application in audio, I could not understand, so I am not going into that here. I once had a dealer trying to explain the workings of another 'quantum' device from an European brand, he said that it made the 'electrons all flow in one direction smoothly', that set off my BS detection meter. Anyway, I'd keep an open mind, probably one day there will be a plainer explanation for me :-).

I previously had only one listening experience with a 'quantum' device in my system. Used in parallel with my Shunyata Hydra 8, that device had an effect on the sound. Basically, the sound became cleaner, but to my ears this cleanness caused the loss of some harmonic richness and the music was also robbed of some of its emotional content.

That device also ran cold. Not so with this little black box, it runs very warm, so probably it is working under different principles.

I have this little box for only two days, but its effect was clear to hear. It was quite pronounce at the middle of the night, when a lot of lights and air-conditioners were on in the neighbourhood. Its effect was less during early evening. I'll also test it out during daytime this weekend when the electricity is not so dirty and see its effect.

I got an idea to do a blind listening test Friday evening to confirm I could really hear a difference. Admittedly what I did may not be totally scientific, but I just like to relate this experience. To start, I asked my children to switch it on or off as they please, without me knowing, I then listened to a track, then they switched the device to the opposite position, then I listened to the same track one more time. I did this for three cycles. For each cycle, I guessed whether it was first on or off. My guess was correct for all 3, confirming that this little black box did make a difference. (I admit that this probably would work for me in my system with
my own music choice only, as I have the required familiarity)

With the device on, the harmonic richness in the sound came through more, there was a little grittiness in the treble that was reduced , the entire sound was a little more relaxed, more composed and cleaner. The sound quality difference became less between the good electricity / bad electricity time, i.e., sound quality was more consistent. I'll continue to listen to it and report any new discovery here.

The device was installed on its own outlet on the same circuit that powers my entire system. In my opinion, the result is impressive, especially when there is a Hydra 8 in the system already at the same time.

Contact: Happy Audio Visual 04-2260179 Hp : 012-4703365

Posted by hifikaki 20 December '08

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