I had the opportunity to test the Synergistic Research Black Box during last weeks.
Let me thank Al for his precious advice, I’m not a big fan of SR products but I trust in our mentor, as many others here.
Here my thoughts.
The best result was easy to find after a few experiments on the corners of the front wall and on the side wall. In the center of the room, between the speakers, a little bit forward the baffle line.
This is the most relevant area where the box can bring improvements. Pretty obvious because is designed for this purpose. Bass became tight, very tight and speed. The box removed boominess creating in that area a refined texture, more distinct, clear and with lots of informations that were unheard before. Basse are now going deeper easily and pleasantly.
But I’m not so sure that bass are the only area that I’m liking now.
It was unexpected the result that better bass have brought to other aspects of the music. Looking at the 3 soundstage axes I can hear pretty the same width, a little higher image and certainly a different depth. Here the difference is not subtle. Live albums for instance sound so real, providing a feeling of the dimension of the space very distinctive. The distance of the performers and instruments on the stage is incredible, so easy to perceive.
It reminds me the laser light penetrating throughout the smoke fog wall on a concert. You get the depth, you see the depth, you feel the depth with all your senses. You breathe the layers of the air.
All the changes above described have also enhanced the realism of the image projected in front of the listener. The color and tonality are unaltered but the intensity of the music got a step up, lifelike and involving, realistic. The so called “to be here” effect is one of the quality that impressed me more. The scene is more three dimensional, credible and coherent as it should be in high fidelity experience. The evil is in the details: the movements of the head of the singer (what? Yes!), the shape of the instruments depending on their position and distance between each other, the perspective from where the second voice comes and how far in respect of the main singer.
I love the improvement that cables can make to the system, I heard difference from fuses and tubes, I experienced how a blacker background can elevate the sound quality and the pleasure of listening to music, thanks to switch/filter/ground tweaks.
Here there is a different result, maybe the room itself seems to sound better, more in harmony with the music. I had the same idea when I got that late at night it was more enjoyable than during the day, if it makes sense.
I noticed also that I could easily play music for hours with the volume two steps above my usual level, without any distortion or loss of naturalness, warmth or relaxation. Only pleasure.
I need to test the black box in many other positions but I’m liking so much what I’m hearing that I don’t feel the urgency to do that, for a while.
ONE MORE THING
I’ve also started experimenting with the SR HFTs (AKA Funny Buttons) and I have to admit that they work fine, too. Mainly in conjunction with the Black Box. But this should be the next review to come.