Rightness cannot be gauged as an outward phenomenon. What I mean by that is that the multiple feedback systems that comprise our awareness easily let us know when things are on the right track. In Tai Chi practice when we are engaged with our opponent, the energy we receive from him flows through us into the floor, is compressed and then uncoils outward back into him through our point of contact. Allowing the full natural trajectory of the movement insures the appropriateness of the response. In the most advanced forms this practice goes back-and-forth like a long, thrilling tennis rally. When the movement is executed as a perfect response there is a feeling of elation borne out of the effortlessness of it all. This sense of rightness is an internal phenomenon. It is not something that can be imposed from without. It must be felt.
In the same manner, the rightness of a Hifi system is gauged by our own personal, physical relationship with it. The system is playing us. When there is no truncation of the roundness (or saw-toothy-ness), decay and direction of a recorded event, we enter into a relationship of ease, which gives rise to feelings of awe, wonder and elation. And, like the “long boxing” of Tai Chi masters, this phenomenon only occurs at the very highest levels. There are no shortcuts to mastery.
Here, a new balance has been achieved, the result of every single step we have taken on the way. Our job is to continually polish, applying principles we have learned and uncovered. Knowing that the system is at its very highest level of evolution in this moment, I see the steps that still need to be taken. And, as I have said on many occasions, I can never know in advance what the sound of the next breakthrough will be as it is always a venture into the unknown. But each time I experience something I have never heard before, I can recognize its rightness instantly.
Today marks another breakthrough in my understanding of the Granada loudspeaker and its ability to show us every last thing that is behind it. It is an actively crossed over, open baffle loudspeaker with real time DSP crossover and room calibration functions. Having taken it to many shows and having set it up in many circumstances I have been able to understand that the character of a given cabinet and set of drivers is very largely variable, and that slight changes to the crossover network can emphasize one side or another revealing a rainbow of equally valid variations in demeanor (and some not so valid).
As I have discussed before, I view calibration as an art, but it is only recently that I have learned to execute it myself, and while my initial attempts at refining the calibration were on the right track, there has still been some distance to cover. Behind each new step is a voice telling me where we need to go next, be it the insertion of a footer or the application of TA102 to electrolytic capacitors (see my previous blog, 'Mishap Equals Opportunity') or to an adjustment of the calibration. I’m sure this is just the sum total of years of experience, but it feels like I don’t know how I know what I know. I just do.
What precipitated today’s certainty for the need to re-calibrate was the insertion into the system of a Linebacker Sovereign that we have just completed building for a customer. While we do have two prototype Linebacker XEs in the system, I’ve never had the opportunity until now, to listen to a Sovereign here. Each time we completed building one in the past it had to be immediately shipped off to the customer. (I have, of course, auditioned them in my customers’ systems). This new level of clarity was simply stunning, and once again the system spoke to me. I have been aware for quite some time that adjustments were in order; however, it became an urgent matter upon hearing this newest breakthrough.
With the re-calibration the system snapped into balance in such a way as to nearly give me whiplash. Recovering from the shock I saw a room filled with treasure. Individual and massed sounds fairly leapt into the room, each part shining like a diamond, each event quenching a deep thirst.
Once the Sovereign is shipped, there is no question that we have to bite the bullet and build at least one, if not two for here.
The PranaWire Method
This system in its entirety is the manifestation of a way of thinking that can be rightly called ‘The PranaWire Method’. New products are on the way that are part of the ecology we are developing in our attempt to refine every possible aspect of our reference system, our laboratory. This includes but is not limited to, new cables, power conditioning (both at the wall outlet and at the entrance to each piece of equipment), our Super enhanced Ground Plane Boxes, collectors and noise collecting/vibration absorbing platforms. These last three when connected together form a network of noise absorbing and shunting devices that substantially shield each piece of equipment, working in concert to keep them as free from environmental noise as possible. I include the Granada and G2 loudspeakers as central to our efforts, but customers with other speakers will nevertheless reap profound benefits if they opt to employ any or all of the peripheral equipment we provide.
Shown below is our latest creation, the Cloud9, purely passive power conditioner. This was a heroic undertaking. It uses massively oversized Bocchino Elektra outlets (choice of either two or three) and the equally massive Bocchino Mariner10 IEC inlet, pure silver internal wiring and pure silver oversized Super Enhanced Ground Plane with Duelund Cast Silver Capacitor tuning. The box is 18.75” X 11.5” X 11.5” and weighs approximately 60 lbs. A smaller, more affordable version, the Apsara, is in the works and will be available in 2020.
We conceive of, design and build devices that can become part of the arsenal that you may wish to employ in your own personal assault on the upper end. I am happy to answer any questions you may have. Please get in touch. Thank you.