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  1. #1
    Suspended atomicAdam's Avatar
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    Nordost, Naim, Dali, HRS and QX-4 at AudioVision in SF opinion

    Image: Large room, Naim and Dali presentation which we missed.


    Image: Small room, Nordost and QX-4, HRS presentation.


    Wife and I went to the AudioVisionSF hosted event last night which showed off Naim, Dali, Nordost, Quantum Resonant QX-4, and HRS.

    I only stayed till 9pm, which means I missed the Naim/Dali presentation but we were able to sit in on a very interesting, but poorly presented, Nordost/Quantum Resonant QX-4/HRS, power line, cable, stands, presentation.

    The short of it is that power cords, interconnect, speaker cables, all have an effect on the way your system sounds. Obviously we all know that. The point of this presentation is that Nordost can now measure the sound out of your system and compare it to the sound bits from the CD to determine the amount of faze shift in your system.

    Nordost hooked up with some English MOD sonar expert in wave analysis who basically ripped a song from a CD, bit perfect, and graphed the wave along [y-axis = amplitude] and [x-axis = time]. What you see in any computer sound recording software.

    The two versions of the song were then laid on top of on another and the waves where compared. From this they were able to tell the faze shifts. Which they say aren't constant across all frequencies but rather vary depending on the hrz. So a 40hz wave from your system might have a +0.3 faze shift and a 15,000hz might have a - 2.0 faze shift.

    ( If you need an image I can whip one up in photoshop. But if you all get this then I wont. )

    The point being is that due to noise in the electrical power waves the audio waves will faze shift and the sound from your speakers starts to become muddled and isn't a true representation of what is on the CD.

    Or think of it this way. You have a cymbal, snare, and bass kick all going at the same time. For simplicity sake we'll say the cymbal has a 15,000-20,000hz range, the snare a 500-15,000 hz range, and the kick a 0-500 hz range.

    The drummer hits all of them at exactly the same time, but when the those sounds come out of your system the cymbal could be faze shifted - 2.0hz, the kick + 0.7hr and the snare something else, all over a graph of time. (fyi, I'm just making up these numbers as examples.)

    The point being, that you aren't actually hearing all three go off at once, Aand you aren't actually hearing the wave form as it is on the CD, but rather as it is coming out your fazed shifted analog outputs due to noise in the electrical line.

    I hope this is clear. It seems, to me, to be much more clear then the presenter presented last night. Nice guy, don't get me wrong. But he needs to figure out what he really wants to say, and not use most of the graphs he did. Anyways....

    So what does this get you? A clean and constant electrical wave form will cause less faze shift in your system. The demonstration was clear to our ears that this is true. Though I'm not sold on any expensive power lines, or interconnect/speaker cables. There are a lot of questions and conditions that were not answered due to lack of time.

    So lets assume that what is said above is fact, and that a clean power wave makes for clean, dynamic, deep sound stage, full body, and better representation of the music on the CD.

    Here are a couple questions.

    1) If the power wave is constant, say 60hz, would it not then faze shift some parts of the song, and if that is the case, wont any constant power wave shift some part of the audiowave?

    2) If question 1 is true, what is the ideal power wave hz? Can there only be one?

    3) Is it the power cord that actually matters, or maybe the power out of the wall and a cheap cord?

    Anyways, I'm sure there are more but I'll relax for now.

    The other part of the presentation was the Quantum Resonant QX.-4 and HRS equipment stands, speaker and interconnect cables.

    Let me be quick and say the wife and I, in this environment, with the set up of Naim amp and Cd player and Dali (concept 6 I think, they were cute little things, price i think is $3400) anyways, we noticed no change with the HRS equipment.

    The Quantum Resonant QX-4 was interesting, though we didn't get a A/B test with it. In other words, with it and with out it.

    The QX-4 is an electro-magnetic field generating device that is suppose to harmonize all the different electrical equipment you are using. The concept was said to be taken from electro-magnetic microscopes. I'm not convinced this works, but it could. Magnetic fields can interact with electrical fields, but to what extent? And comparing it to clean power what is the return?

    I could maybe see this helping speakers with multiple drivers, getting all the magnet in sync with each other would clean up the sound out of the speakers.

    more info here.

    Overall though, the difference in sound from the standard power cable to the Nordost power cable was pretty amazing. Now I don't know specifically if it is just their cable, or if the cable before it was made to extra suck, or what, I'm not a believer yet, but we were amazed.

    One thing this has made me really consider is that PS Audio Power Plant should be my next big purchase. Start with clean power, and upgrade from there.

  2. #2
    Phila combat zone JoeE SP9's Avatar
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    More than once I've suggested that looking at the incoming AC on a scope could be very illuminating. I nice clean sine wave (which I get) is not always there. The only way to correct for distorted AC is a "Power Plant" type device.
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  3. #3
    music whore Happy Camper's Avatar
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    Thank you for your post. I've always felt the differences are not being measured properly. Every cable can deliver current, voltage and timing. Measuring magnitude isn't the only way to analyze a signal. Seeing how a cable impacts a dynamic signal by analyzing every part of the signal is what's needed. I can see how phase timing can impact PRaT and diffuse the micro-details of decay and ambient noises. I can also see the 3-D presentation being skewed and throw off soundstage. It's these areas that have to be investigated for differences.

    Really looking forward to further studies with this as Sonar technology has the ability to give 3-D information analysis.
    d HC b

  4. #4
    Ajani
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    What I like about what Nordost and Verdex have done is that they are attempting to apply proper science to audio magic...

    For decades audiophiles have claimed that the existing measurements don't tell the full story... blah, blah, blah.... Cables make a difference (even though we can't measure it)... tubes are better than solid state (even though existing measurements show otherwise)... I've always found those arguments to be weak and lazy on the part of so many brands/scientists and engineers... instead of trying to convince us all that the existing measurements are inadequate by telling us about differences you claim to hear, why not just present more accurate measurements?

    I am just hoping the tube and vinyl lovers will follow the path set out by Nordost/Verdex and show us what SS/Digital is missing, that only Tube/Analog brings to the table... Audio is science, not witchcraft!!! Differences can be measured...

    Stereophile has a good blog about Nordost's presentation at the RMAF:

    http://blog.stereophile.com/rmaf2009...o_measurement/

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