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Positive Feedback ISSUE 36


An Alternative Look at Sound and the Perception of Sound (Part II)
by May Belt


Continuing with the basic theme from Part One—that people are beginning to realize that there could be far more information already available, in a room, which is not being resolved correctly—I would now like to introduce the recent review of the Acoustic Revive RR-77 device in 6moons by Jeff Day, Audio Asylum moderator Stephaen's confirmation that he also heard a similar effect as Jeff when trying the RR-77, and the review in 6moons (April 2006) of the Franck resonators by Marja and Henk.

The SURPRISE at the improvements in the sound that they all heard comes over from all the journalists involved.

Marja and Henk, on the Franck resonators in 6moons:

But the strangest—and for the likes of James Randi & Co. most nonsensical—place to put a resonator was still to come. Franck asked where the refrigerator was. He placed a resonator inside on the bottom ledge.

Call us crazy, all you naysayers, but until you experience it, keep your comments to yourselves.

So what can we say about these little contraptions that when mentioned in audiophile surroundings cause a lot of eyebrows to wrinkle? Frankly, they work exactly as advertised. Maybe our homebrew explanation of how and why they work is not covering all bases but there is neither voodoo at work nor snake oil magic. It is pure Physics based on resonance distribution, partial cancellations and human perception.

With all these positive effects and our profound satisfaction with the results, the big question naturally remains. How the eff do these things work? One side of our brains doesn't give a damn. Of all things in life, science does not begin to touch a fraction of how and why things work.

Jeff Day in 6moons :

I had actually plugged in and started using the RR-77 before I had read up on it or done any background research so I didn't really know what to expect. The first time I powered up the RR-77, I had some music playing and was shocked by the transformation. "What the hell!" I mumbled as the RR-77 made everything more natural, smoother and more musically lifelike—a music lover's dream come true. Space opened up in the recording acoustic, notes decayed in a much more natural fashion and what little edge, grit or glare I was hearing on lesser recordings over the review system became more tolerable.

The non-musical elements of the recording process such as soundspace, soundstaging, imaging, extreme detail recovery and so forth all have a dollop of naturalness applied to them.

With the RR-77 doing its little magic act, I can listen all day long with zero listening fatigue.

Stephaen of 6moons and Audio Asylum:

But, I never experienced the sense of relaxededness that the RR-77 Promotes.

Both Jeff and Stephaen are, however, beginning to seriously consider that it may be us (human beings) who were being affected and, in being so affected, were in turn affecting the resulting 'sound information'.

So, I will choose to use their responses as indicative of an experience of the sound improving after trying a 'tweak', still using the parallel of the basic theme as in Chapter One, but where the 'tweak' in question may not have any acoustic (as in altering the air pressure waves) explanation.

I shall choose one person as the person doing the listening for us all: Jeff Day.

Singled out

Starting last Sunday, Jeff put on a disc, played it and heard enough information coming from the loudspeaker cones to identify the music as Dvorak's From the New World. As before we will identify the original information as ABC + DEF.

Then, on Monday, Jeff connects the RR-77 and listens. He hears an improvement in the sound, which means that he is now hearing additional information which allows him to create a better 'sound picture'. Let us again adopt the earlier technique of using letters to denote additional information i.e. information GHI. But, now that Jeff is hearing the additional information GHI, one must perforce ask the question, 'Where has information GHI come from?' The RR-77 has not altered the acoustic air pressure waves in the room (like the engineer's chair did), so how and why is Jeff now hearing information GHI?

Again, logically, information GHI must have been in the room on Sunday, so why did Jeff not 'hear' it then? If information ABC + DEF + GHI is recognized as acoustic air pressure waves on Monday, then surely information ABC + DEF + GHI was exactly the same acoustic air pressure waves last Sunday? If the RR-77 is not having any effect on the actual audio signal traveling through the audio equipment, then what is it having an effect on? It is claimed to be producing the Schumann resonance—so what is that doing, what is that affecting? As the device has circuitry and components and is connected to the AC supply is that relevant or something of a smokescreen—masking its true effect?

So, let us now have a look at the review by Marja and Henk of the Franck resonators which do not have circuitry, and do not connect to the AC supply, just sit in the room—and yet the description by Marja and Henk of the improvement in the sound is practically identical to the description by Jeff Day of the effect on the sound created by the Acoustic Revive RR-77 device—one has circuitry and components and is connected to the AC supply, the other has neither circuitry nor components and does not connect to the AC supply! 

And there is more

Then one has to bring into the equation such as Geoff Kait's Clever Little Clock, because if you read various people's descriptions of its effect they are again practically identical and if you further bring into the equation such as our own (P.W.B) Creams and Foils etc, the descriptions of the effect by such as Greg Weaver (Soundstage) and Roger Gordon (Positive Feedback Online) are again practically identical. (You can find links to Greg Weaver's, Roger Gordon's and many other journalists' Internet articles through our Home Page.)

Even though Geoff's Clever Little Clock, or our Creams and Foils, cannot, in any way, be having any effect on the audio signal traveling through the audio system, cannot be having any effect on the acoustic air pressure waves, have no circuitry, are not connected into the AC power supply, one therefore has to ask 'What on earth is going on?'

Similarly, using the basic theme, last Sunday the journalists Marja and Henk will have listened to a disc before the resonators were in position and heard enough information (ABC + DEF) to identify the music as the Dvorak symphony. Then, on Monday, some of the resonators were placed in position and they were completely surprised at the improvements in the sound, now being able to hear the additional information GHI. Also, as they progressed in the listening experiment—having more resonators positioned in the room (say, hypothetically on Tuesday and Wednesday)—then they began to 'hear' even further information—JKL + MNO!

Working from all the observational descriptions, one can presume that if the engineer, on the Tuesday, had then connected the RR-77, or positioned some resonators, or introduced the Clever Little Clock into his room, and then listened, that he would now hear further improvements in the sound, i.e. additional information JKL + MNO. Which, logically, would mean that all this additional information JLK + MNO must have been in the room all along—but the engineer had not been aware of that fact last Sunday!

Just where had all that information GHI + JKL + MNO been, last Sunday, the week before that, and the week before that?

So, we are now left with additional information GHI + JKL + MNO being heard after the various 'tweaks' had been applied, but with no understanding as to why this same information had not been heard last Sunday. If it was there, available, already in the room, supposedly reaching the ear drum as air pressure waves, then why was it not heard last Sunday?

We shall attempt to answer that in Part III

Belt Home Page:

Part 1, Part 3