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Best Sound at Show: AV Showrooms Peter Breuninger

Stereophile’s John Atkinson: “Synergistic ART Acoustic bowls on the walls and Synergistic Tranquility Bases under the electronics. To paraphrase Bob Dylan, something is going on here, Mr. Atkinson, and you don’t know what it is…”

Jeff Talmage of NAD: “We weren’t happy with the sound in our room at first. Then we added these [pointing to the Acoustic ART system].”

Stereophile’s John Atkinson: “My left brain knows these silly little bowls can have no audible effect… my right brain was busy telling my feet to tap!”


Peter Hansen - Synergistic Research, Dick Diamond - YG Acoustics, and Eliott Nommensen - Synergistic Research, setting up the system in Crystal Ballroom D

Set-up started Wednesday May 30th and once again, we were faced with the most acoustically challenging room on our annual trade show circuit. It was a positively frightful 30 x 30 foot  square room, with temporary walls on two sides and hard-fixed walls opposite. It was not until after midnight that we finally got the system up and running, leaving it to warm up for 12 hours before beginning the “dialing in” process the following day. At first it seemed we would have an easy go, as the sound was better then it usually is at this stage of set-up, with a holographic soundstage and reasonably tight bass. Our lead designer, Ted Denney, seemed to pull the rabbit out of the hat with regards to speaker placement, by following a very simple formula: the speakers were placed 25% of the way into the room, with the drivers positioned 25% away from the side walls, as measured from the wall to the middle of the bass woofers. Then just a few hours of subtly toeing in an eighth of an inch here, and a quarter of an inch there. We left to get lunch. When we returned, someone had moved the speakers and the sound was a mess; confused imaging, bright, and with ill-defined bass. We tried to replicate the exact speaker placement, but as is often the case, locating optimal placement is like locating the proverbial needle in a haystack. Not even our Acoustic ART System seemed to help, so we enlisted Dick Diamond of YG Acoustics, roughly an hour before the show was set to begin Friday morning. Ted and Dick pushed the opening of the room back an  hour, and got to work. Together they did the impossible and by Saturday, it was one of the very best rooms we have ever assembled under trade show conditions. Our hats are off to the boys from YG Acoustics, and a very special thanks to Dick Diamond for helping us pull everything together.

Johnny Gomez & Laura Biggie jammin’ on the Fender Stratocaster and the Fender “Stradivarius”

On Saturday night we held a live demonstration featuring two identical American-made Fender Stratocaster guitars, purchased only the week before. The first Fender was left untouched and bone stock, while the other had been treated with our proprietary 2 million volt Quantum Tunneling process. Basically everything in the guitar that could conduct electricity was “zapped” with 2 million volts, including the pickups, all internal wiring, the truss rod (in the neck of the guitar), screws, string tuners, string trees, the pickup selector switch, the tremolo assembly, capacitors, the bridge, the output jack, and the strings. Local guitarist Johnny Gomez then played various riffs without telling anyone in the live audience which guitar had been “zapped”. In the end, everyone picked the Quantum Tunneled guitar. One person even commented that it was like listening to a Fender Stratocaster vs. a Fender Stradivarius, with the latter having a more pronounced decay and fleshed out harmonics, and overtones that seemed to better compliant the overall sound of the guitar. Johnny even reported he was able to better express himself without straining to sustain notes. Most excellent!

T.H.E. Show Newport Beach 2012 System:

  • YG Acoustics ANAT III Signature Professional Loudspeakers
  • Esoteric A-03 in bridged Mono – Amps
  • Esoteric C-03 – Pre-Amp
  • Synergistic Research “The Music Cable” 24-192 plug-and-play computer audio DAC solution
  • Western Digital 2 TB hard drive
  • Musical Fidelity V-Link 24-192 USB to S/PDIF converter
  • Synergistic Research Element Series Cables
  • TESLA SE Hologram A & D AC Power Cords
  • Galileo PowerCell LE
  • Galileo Universal Interconnect Cells
  • Galileo Universal Speaker Cells
  • Acoustic ART System
  • Tranquility Base XL’s
  • MiG Isolation Devices

We wish to thank our industry partners and Southern California dealers who worked so hard to make this year’s T.H.E. Show in Newport Beach a smashing success: Scott Walker Audio in Anaheim, The Home Theater Experience in Carlsbad, The Source AV Design Group in Torrance, Affordable Audio in Playa del Rey, and highend-electronics in Apple Valley. Industry partners included: Sim Audio Moon, Magico, NAD, Cary Audio Design, McIntosh, Apple Computer (Mac Mini), Grand Prix Audio, Esoteric TEAC, Soulution of Switzerland, Ayon and Lumenwhite of Austria, Tannoy of Scotland, Totem of Canada, and a very special thanks to YG Acoustics and Dick Diamond.

Notable coverage for Synergistic Research at T.H.E. Show Newport Beach 2012:

AV Showrooms

By Peter Breuninger • Posted: June, 2012

Best Sound at Show

Gold Show Award - T.H.E. Show Newport 2012

Scott Walker Audio - YG Acoustics, Simaudio Moon, Synergistic Research

Best Sound at Show Certificate - AV Showrooms


By Jason Victor Serinus • Posted: Jun 9, 2012

“Eight exhibitors pulled their sound together thanks to the controversial Synergistic Research Acoustic ART system.”


By John Atkinson • Posted: Jun 9, 2012

“Now he (Ted Denney) was talking about his series of Tranquility Bases. Ranging in price from $995 to $2995, these powered platforms have a ground plane and generate beneficial electromagnetic fields that are said to condition the signals passing through the components sitting on them and drain away the bad fields to ground. Yeah, right! …

Ted turned off the Bases. Both on a Bach Cello Suite and Bela Fleck’s “Flight of the Cosmic Hippo,” the sound became muddled and the relationship between the direct sounds of instruments and the surrounding ambience became less clear. To be honest, this was what I was expecting from these terrific speakers set-up in this poor room.

Ted turned the Bases back on. The sub-optimal room acoustics seemed to recede, the soundstage acquired better focus, the music flowed more easily.

At my request, Ted repeated the comparison. With the same effect every time. I have no explanation for what I was hearing. I left this room shaking my head.” Stereophile’s John Atkinson


By John Atkinson • Posted: Jun 9, 2012

Soulution/Magico/Synergistic Research System


“The sound in this room was tight in the bass yet without losing warmth, with an uncolored, detailed midrange, and smooth, clean highs. Given that the Soulution and Magico products have similar sonic signatures that can sometimes be too much of a good thing, I was surprised by how well-integrated this system sounded. Then I saw the Synergistic ART Acoustic bowls on the walls (see next story) and the Synergistic Tranquility Bases under the electronics (see previous story). To paraphrase Bob Dylan, something is going on here, Mr. Atkinson, and you don’t know what it is.” Stereophile’s John Atkinson


By John Atkinson • Posted: Jun 9, 2012

Ayon/Lumenwhite/Synergistic Research System

“Sharing a Hilton ballroom with Legacy and AVM, the Austrian Ayon tube amplification was being demmed with Lumenwhite Artisan speakers ($40k/pair). Source was the new Ayon Music Server and two-box preamp. Listening to Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall,” I thought the sound was better than it had any right to be given the suboptimal acoustics. Then I spotted some of the Synergistic ART Acoustic bowls on the walls—my left brain knows these silly little bowls can have no audible effect on room acoustics in the audio range; my right brain was busy telling my feet to tap!”

“I don’t believe Legacy and AVM were using the ART Acoustic bowls in their half of the ballroom—that system’s sound on the same Pink Floyd track didn’t have the focus and coherence that it did on the Ayon/Lumenwhite (Synergistic Research) system.” Stereophile’s John Atkinson


By Jason Victor Serinus • Posted: Jun 9, 2012

Sim Audio/YG Acoustics/Synergistic Research System

“YG Acoustics paired its excellent Kipod II Signature loudspeaker ($49,000/pair) with Sim Audio’s Moon Evolution 700i 175Wpc integrated amplifier ($13,000) and 650D CD player ($9000)—both products that have been highly praised in Stereophile‘s pages—and Synergistic Research’s Element Series cables, PowerCell 10 SE Mk III, and full complement of Acoustic ART devices. The latter were doing an excellent job, because the two Kipod II’s powered woofers were in firm control in a room that rendered many other speakers’ bass boom city. “Beautiful triangle. . .wonderful midrange. . .good three-dimensionality” I wrote in my notes.” Stereophile’s Jason Victor Serinus


By Jason Victor Serinus• Posted: Jun 9, 2012

Cary Audio/Tannoy/Synergistic Research System

“One of my favorite visits at T.H.E. Show was to the Tannoy/Cary/Synergistic Room. As luck would have it, 40-year industry veteran Tony Weber, a sound engineer on many of Delos’ early recordings and currently Regional Sale Manager for Cary Audio, was at the helm.

When Tony found the ideal volume for the small room, the sound was lovely, with excellent, warm bass complementing the liquid highs. The natural resonance of the piano was especially impressive. According to the sheet I was handed, this was a CD, but the sound had all the warmth and expanse of vinyl.

Just as seductive was my Yarlung Records CD of Antonio Lysy playing Ginastera’s Triste. Doing the honors was Tannoy’s handsome, 96dB-sensitive Kingdom Royal Speaker ($55,000/pair); Cary Audio’s CAD-805 50W SET monoblock power amplifier ($12,000/pair), SLP-98P preamp, CD-3035 CD/SACD/DAC; and Synergistic Research’s Element Tungsten cables and Synergistic’s Acoustic ART Room Tuning System. The latter undoubtedly helped control bass and convey detail in rooms that were challenging to control.” Stereophile’s Jason Victor Serinus


By Jason Victor Serinus • Posted: Jun 9, 2012


NAD/Tannoy/Synergistic Research System

“Okay, I’m running out of clever titles, but NAD had no problem producing beautifully controlled, welcomingly sweet sound from its all-new Masters Digital Suite. The M50 Digital Music Player ($2500) and M52 Digital Music Vault ($2000), a combo that can stream, store and manage your digital music collection, was performing wonderfully with the M2 Direct Digital 250W digital-input amplifier ($6000 and a John Atkinson favorite), Tannoy Glenaire 10 loudspeakers ($7500/pair), and Synergistic Acoustic ART resonance control system.”

“We weren’t happy with the sound in our room at first,” Jeff Talmage of NAD told another visitor to the room. “Then we added these [pointing to the Acoustic ART system].” Now there’s an endorsement if ever there were one.” Stereophile’s Jason Victor Serinus

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