Laminations, Magic Bricks and Shakti Stones

I was minded to write this, as a result of the appalling “Thread Crapping” and piss taking on the wanted advert that Anthony K posted in Private Exhibitions.

In the late 1970s an engineer working for a Matsushita electronics company in Japan was changing the transformer on a prototype amplifier, by chance he placed the old transformer on top of the case and he noticed a discernable change in the sound quality. This was a repeatable effect and readings taken from the tails leading out of the now passive transformer showed that the effect was to a degree measurable. So here we have an effect that is DISERNABLE, MEASUREABLE and REPEATABLE. A paper was written on the subject, which was published and discussed at, amongst other places, meetings of the AES, hardly a forum for purveyors of foo.

Further tests were done, including some I took part in in ’78 and it appeared that the permeable core of the transformer was responsible, literally sucking up spurious fields and allowing more dynamic and phase coherent signals to get to the speakers. I should point out that this was using the devices on he mains transformers of power amps. This was not new even then, it was a rediscovery of what was common knowledge to HiFi fans in the 50s, that a block of iron near the transformer would improve the coupling of the primary and secondary and hence the dynamics. The first commercial version was I believe, the DB-5 “Magic Brick” from VPI and then the UK’s HiFi News Accessories club brought out the Flux Dumper. Both these products have been positively reviewed by non foo friendly reviewers.

The Shakti stones are just a highly permeable extension of this basic idea, I’ve heard them work and the do indeed add dynamics and clarity to the sound and I hope Anthony enjoys the result. The fact that people are willing to have an opinion on these matters, without any experience of them is, in my opinion almost as ridiculous as getting upset over Anthony’s entirely correct grammatical use of the word ignorant, when he used it in an accurate way. The only way to find it unacceptable in fact, is if one ascribes to it the the inaccurate meaning i.e. rudeness, that people tend to do these days.

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