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Becoming aware of two separate but interconnected announcements in the same week so much as forced the virtual pen into my hand to suggest a few parallels that might send intrepid audio explorers on a specific path of inquiry. After all, nothing is as boring as dull repetition. These new products from Synergistic Research and LessLoss promise to shake things up a bit and trigger discussions, preferably among those with first-hand experience.

I first heard of Ted Denney's resonators from our own Jay Fisher. He had visited the Synergistic Research facilities prior to his Tesla cable test, then expressed an interest to review Ted's upcoming room tuning system. Both Ted and Jay had used the Acoustic System resonators before. They were familiar with the concept and felt the Synergistic versions to be exciting alternatives. But the Synergistic website at the time hadn't been updated yet. I didn't know just how Ted would contribute to this emerging sector.

A recent e-mail with an embedded link from Franck Tchang then alerted me that Synergistic had now entered full production. Franck quipped that "I think the success of the acoustic resonator is imminent. This is the second copy of the year. Continued like this and the world will soon have every kind of resonator imaginable. The first copy in France used Inox steel, the Germans followed with ceramic and Titanium and now Ted uses carbon steel."

Curiosity piqued, I followed the link to the Synergistic Research website. I began with Ted's descriptions of what inspired his resonator development: "The inspiration for the Acoustic ART system came to our lead designer Ted Denney four years ago while sailing the South Pacific. During his sabbatical, Ted visited Buddhist Temples and observed how Tibetan Prayer bowls altered temple acoustics. These singing bowls affected a sudden shift in acoustics whenever they were activated, and when additional bowls of varying tone were also activated, the acoustics continued to change. Ted reasoned that a system of resonating bowls could be developed to discreetly treat room acoustics without the need for large unsightly tuning devices."

Where the Synergistic Research resonators differ from the strangely uncredited originals is in the resonant material; the reliance on one rather than five different metal formulations; the absence of wings on the cups; and the addition of magnets. Hence one would expect different effects, particularly from the introduction of small strategic magnetic fields in the listening area. Apparently Ted also runs his 1,000,000-volt Tesla coil through the carbon-steel resonators to alter their molecular structure. He mentions parallel experiments on French horns he treated for orchestra musicians. Check out the above web link for further details.

A few short years ago, acoustic resonators were still such a contentious subject that their inventor Franck Tchang refused to launch his own website with the expected explanations and performance claims. He instead preferred to slowly build up a solid
base of satisfied owners. Their word-of-mouth infiltration of mainstream audio discourse has now rendered this a 'talkable' subject. It's inspired other manufacturers to enter the fray, with initial debunkery behind us. Mr. Tchang's assessment of imminent resonator success -- i.e. more widespread acceptance as one credible solution for room acoustic enhancements -- thus does appear quite realistic. During his visit to Casa Chardonne, he made an interesting statement which ties to the next product launch and how both seem connected: "Music is just a feedback mechanism for the action of my resonators. If you're not sensitive to their effects through your other senses, how they impact audio playback becomes the window through which to observe certain aspects of their functions."

No doubt, the modern world has become a very noisy environment. Because human audibility is bandwidth-limited to ten octaves, we're shielded from hearing just how saturated and loud the higher bands have become. Just because we don't perceive GigaHertz radiation directly doesn't mean we're not affected. Future medical research might show how certain diseases -- brain or lymph cancer, environmental sensitivities, immune system deficiencies and more -- are directly linked to constant exposure to cellphone, wifi, satellite, radar, military and other radiation.

Passive devices like acoustic resonators have observable 'intermodulation' effects with these otherwise inaudible bands. This allows the curious a new pathway to personal experiments and perhaps even an intuitive grasp on certain self-help solutions which begin to tackle protection from the ever-increasing ultrasonic pollution that surrounds us.

Enter the forthcoming LessLoss passive BlackBody device. It too uses the window of audible effects to demonstrate the interactivity of wave exposure. Inventor Louis Motek chronicles a number of unusual experiments which led to the development of the BlackBody. For example, he experimented with intense blue-light exposure in the listening room and observed definitive effects on sound quality. If we think of light as inaudible sound, it's intuitive to believe that the deliberate creation (or cancellation) of specific ultrasonic frequencies would show up within the audible window of our ears as well. The ancients believed that all celestial bodies emit particular frequencies or rays. A change in proximity (constellations) created forever changing patterns and mixes of these rays. Humans, knowingly or not, would react to these patterns in predictable ways. The associated art is astrology of course.

For those open-minded and curious enough, passive devices like acoustic resonators and the new LessLoss BlackBody can serve as more than audio tweaks. They can become tools for personal experimentation into the interconnectedness of things. The medium of interconnectedness are frequency bands so high as to permeate all material matter. These frequencies bathe all of us in a common field of very high oscillations. In such a context, our audio systems can become laboratories in which we can observe certain effects and, over time, perhaps come to certain conclusions. These conclusions need no scientific base, proof or validation to reap personal benefits or at the very least, simple enjoyment. If your audio system sounds better to you; and you listen longer and deeper; let the white-coated experts concern themselves with explaining how and why. Unless you're of a more scientific bend. Then you could end up as a manufacturer of strange audio devices which are initially greeted by derision and mockery. Is that a career path your post-graduation advisor bothered to ever mention? I didn't think so...