Reader David Zigas sent me this quote after reading yesterday's post titled 1+1=3. "As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to realityâ€Albert Einstein. Thanks David, you gotta love Einstein quotes. What I was referring to was our new product concept piece called the PowerBase - which is a new idea that combines two essential elements together - an isolation base and a power conditioner to build a unique product whose sum is greater than its parts taken separately. Over the last week or so we've given you a better understanding of what and why power and microphonics matter in our high-end systems and today I will start to share with you the process of how we got to this idea of the PowerBase and then we'll wrap up the discussion and move onto a new subject. Most inventions happen out of necessity and the PowerBase is no different. While at the Munich high-end show a few years ago I ran into a fellow who was building an isolation base for equipment and he was very excited about what he had built. Formed from multiple density pieces of wood in a unique pattern that he had designed over a few years of experimentation, this heavy wooden base was touted as "blowing away any cones or feet". We've all been to the "mine blows away yours" party but being the polite fellow I am I heard his pitch and agreed to a shootout that very evening in our booth after the show closed. Come the evening it seems I had forgotten he was coming by - all that was on my mind was a cold Hefeweizen beer of which the city of Munich is famous for. Not much can deter me from a cold German beer in the evening after standing on my feet all day but in he walks, isolation base in hand, and ready for battle. As this was a few years ago all we really had to display at the show was our Power Plant product - the PerfectWave DAC still in engineering - and he was anxious to show me how much of an improvement it would bring. The Power Plant Premier was on machined metal cones more for looks than anything else as I had previously auditioned it both ways and didn't hear a significant difference between on and off cones. But hey, it's a show and we're there to impress. Once we listened to a good orchestral piece we were all familiar with we left everything exactly the way it was, lifted the Premier off the cones while he slid his base underneath and down came the Premier ready to go. We played the same piece again at the identical level and jaws dropped - most notably mine. We repeated the test multiple times and I was simply stunned and mystified. This was a Power Plant not a preamp, amp or DAC. It produces a pure sine wave from the wall and should be immune to what it sits on. Over beers that evening (finally) we talked about his theory of why it worked, which boiled down to diffusing the vibrations with both mass and different density materials and - unlike hard metal cones which had the same density and little to no mass - the platform "just worked" and I had to admit he was right. I bought several from him and have used them ever since to great advantage. The story continues tomorrow.
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