October 20, 2010

A Thinking Audiophile's Tweak? Harmonix RF-900 Tunning Spike Base.

A set of 4 pcs Harmonix RF-900 Tuning Spike Base.

Any experienced audiophile worth his salt would agree that any thing you put below your hifi equipment will have an effect on it's sound, some more so then others. It's called isolation.

Harmonix offers many options for isolation tweaks, the RF-900 Tuning Spike Base is one the more economical models. It's designed to be placed under one's pair of speaker spikes. It serves dual purpose in this instance. First, it prevents your speaker spikes from ruining your beautiful floor surface, second it tweaks the sound of your system.
Nice packaging!

A set of four Harmonix RF-900 TSB as pictured above will set you back RM$800, that means you'll need to spend double that to cover a pair of speakers. The tuning spike bases are actually very well made and finished from alloy. It weighs substantially more against the regular grade of spike bases. The bottom of the TSB is lined with a layer of felt material, which allows one to easily pull or push the speakers about, if sitting on top of the Harmonix.
The RF-900 in the back ground VS Clearaudio supplied TSB.

The RF-900 in fore ground VS generic brass TSB.

I used the Harmonix RF-900 below my pair of PMC Fact 8 speakers, replacing the generic brass made ones that I bought from Am Corp Mall. For the duration of the review, my hifi system set up remained unchanged. I felt with the Harmonix spike bases brought about some subtle changes to the sound of my system.

First up, the sound of my system was already leaning towards the darker side of the tonal palette. Adding the Harmonix in to the mix made the darkness even more readily apparent. I thought the sound took on a slightly warmer tonal balance yet still maintaining it's transparency factor, which I so prize. Imaging outlines appeared softer and more organic than usual. The Harmonix did not change any other sound properties in my system.
The PMC Fact 8 speakers resting on generic TSB set.

Does the Harmonix work with other hifi equipments too? You bet! I had the Clearaudio Solution turn table with me at the time, and it had 3 spikes resting on Clearaudio provided bases. I replaced them with the Harmonix TSB and found an interesting change in sound too. The Clearaudio had highly extended and exacting high frequency characteristics, with an neutrally open, uncoloured mids. I found the Clearaudio turn table gave a richer if softer and more organic sound with the Harmonix. The whitish haze in the noise floor drop too, making an already quiet Clearaudio, dead quiet! Now, this would not be notice able without a direct A/B comparison. I played this trick on to 3 unsuspecting visitors and they all shared my findings with amazement.
The PMC Fact 8 speakers resting on Harmonix RF-900 TSB set.

Like all tweaks, there's always a win some, lose some result. I've yet to find a tweak that wins on all counts! The Harmonix RF-900 is no different. While I found my self enjoying more audiophile technical parameters in the sound performance, over time I also taught my system to start sounding a little less musical too. The result is a less emotionally engaging listening session, despite the hifi pyrotechnics. I know musicality means different things to different people, and the one inexplicable trait that bothered me may actually not be felt by others. My advise in such a case is to try it out for your self, in the context of your own system. Your mileage or experiences may vary.
Nice shoes!

I guess here's a tweak that appeals to the thinking audiophile's sonic needs. Or perhaps you're an emotional audiophile? Go ahead, try it out and see which camp you belong to!

Harmonix is sold by Nova Hifi, contact MK Lai at 019-2226129.

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