Set up started on Wednesday when we walked into one of the most difficult rooms in terms of dimensions: 30 feet by 30 feet, with a 15 foot ceiling. The Crystal Ballroom D was an audiophile’s worst nightmare, and we couldn’t wait to get started.
Our new Galileo PowerCell LE would find it’s debut to be an exciting one, sharing the spotlight with the Magico Q3 West Coast debut. Scott Walker from Scott Walker Audio provided all the components for this dream system, including the Galileo System interconnects and speaker cable.
We set up the Q3s approximately 17 feet apart, with no toe-in. In an attempt to “take the room out of the equation,” far too often speakers are set-up with radical toe-in, losing size of soundstage and the ability to hear spatial queues beyond the boundaries of the speakers. Synergistic Research has always strived to set-up 2-channel audio systems that place the listener in the seat of the recording engineer, and this is precisely what we did at T.H.E. Show: Newport.
The challenge of a completely square room was met head-on by our Lead Designer Ted Denney, using new set-up guidelines for the the Acoustic ART System. For this composition of room and equipment, Ted installed 5 Bass Stations, 11 Satellites, and 1 Vibratron, for a total of 17 Acoustic ART pieces. After set-up and tuning, we had transformed this room into one of the best sounding “show” systems ever, with perhaps the largest soundstage we have ever recreated. Given the challenge we faced, this was quite an accomplishment.
For our demonstrations, we first queued a classical piece to acquaint the audience with the sound of the system and it’s ability to recreate a massive soundscape. We then de-constructed for the audience the Synergistic Research building blocks step-by-step to highlight how they contribute to the amazing sound we were getting. By playing a piece of music, then pausing and turning off the Active Shielding, we were able to demonstrate how it delivers holographic resolution without fatigue. Next, we removed the Acoustic ART System resonators from the walls (and from in front of the speakers), leaving the room acoustically untreated. The result: booming bass, and a confused and somewhat harsh sound, especially at higher frequencies. Likewise, low-level information was gone; micro dynamics and ambient detail, along with air and delicacy in the upper registers (so abundant with the Acoustic ART System in place), were also missing. We turned Active Shielding back on (but without the Acoustic ART System), and the sound immediately improved, taking on a more holographic and relaxed sound. Finally, we re-installed the Acoustic ART System resonators, and with Active Shielding powered up, the magic was back. Goose bumps & good sound; absolutely one of the very best systems we have ever had the pleasure to work with under trade show conditions.
Below you will find links and quotes from various forums and magazines covering the show.
“Keith, your report pretty well sums up my impressions also.
However, I didn’t see Magico Q5’s I did see the Magico Q3’s which were being demo’ed in the Synergistic room using the Esoteric gear as front end and an unknown Korean ss mono block as the amps. The cables were the Synergistic Gallileo’s with other Synergistic room treatments included.
Ted Denney did the honors and the sound was IMHO the best at the show. I even got to talk to Alon Wolf about his upcoming Q1’s.( he had sat in the demo while I was in attendance).”
“Magico Q3’s in the Synergistic Research room; on ground level; with the $40,000 Galileo speaker cell wires; sounded very good; but was amazed with the effect of the acoustic treatments; the little wooden sphere hanging above them in the center; and tiny base ‘cups’ and side wall cups; they played a track with these diffusers in place; then removed them; I didn’t believe the big difference in sonic improvement with them in; but it happened in front of me.”
“Synergistic Research cables and power cords, and the Synergistic Acoustic ART Room Treatment System ($3150). I noted “rock-solid” imaging and a crazy level of micro-detail. “If Dianna Krall had even the merest hint of a cold, you’d know it,” read my notes”
“Around the room you’ll also notice the Synergistic Research Art devices inviting comment.
I noted a very strong center image, lots of body/weight, and a physical yet nimble presentation.”
“All cables and room tuning were from Synergistic Research. Yes, another room using the ART acoustic treatments. Hmm.”
“I’d never heard Lumenwhite loudspeakers until this show, and I was quite taken with the superb sound from the Artisan model ($35k per pair). Not only was the sound beautiful, but the cabinetry was stunning. The three-way, five-driver column features inverted-dome ceramic drivers and is reportedly time-and-phase-coherent. The Lumenwhite Artisan was driven by the Ayon Orthos 150W Class A triode monoblocks (280W in pentode), Ayon CD-5s tube CD player/preamp, Synergistic cables, PowerCell 10 SE Mk.II conditioner, and Synergistic Acoustic Art room treatments.”