Synergistic Research

Is this company for real? I have watched several youtube videos that seem to have customers who have high end systems add these little tiny devices around their room and say they could hear a difference in sound quality!
Sounds like “snake oil” to me. I wonder if the owner of this company some how hypnotizes his customers to hear something that is not there.

Synergistic Research makes cables, interconnects, power cables, isolation products, power conditioning, fuses - all sorts of things audiophiles, including here, find make tremendous improvements.

I suspect their skills in inducing third-party self-delusion are no greater than any other manufacturer offering tweaks.

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The whole radio frequency generator they have, Atmosphere, most likely really works.

Don’t ever put a wireless router next to your gear, it really changes the sound. I had a netgear router next to my gear and the 2.4ghz and 5ghz bands changed the sound differently.

Atmosphere is the same concept except you change the frequency to make it sound better.

Also the fuses absolutely work… sometimes not for the best. I find the SR fuses to be a little edgy, etched, and lacking natural tonal balance.

The dots and little gizmos you place on the wall have been independently tested and do measurable things.

They induce phase changes right in the 2-4khz which is where we’re most sensitive (intensity wise). They are small measurable changes though.

Call me cynical. I’m always shaking my head at the price and the justification for some of these treatments. The HFT transducers amaze me. A metal lathe and a dollar’s worth of metal rod and you can have several dozen of these. They start at $50 each. I don’t know that my old ears would hear the subtle, if any differences to the sound.

I’ve heard exactly nothing with some of their tweaks and definitely something with others. I tend to think that the more DIY oriented among us can get most of the gains of their useful products with simpler, cheaper implementations, but for many a prebuilt product is preferable…

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Nah you have reasonable concerns.

The issue is when people focus on these little tweaks without putting in dedicated AC lines or other power treatments.

The marketing can skew the priorities.

You almost certainly would not hear a difference.
I personally also find that the SR fuses are money wasted.

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The only product of theirs I have tried are the aluminum hemispherical isolation feet. They actually work quite well, and you can get at least two different “sounds” with their placement and orientation.

Another whose ears I trust has had great results with the frequency device.

I own some of their Blue fuses and I do like them. However I’m hard pressed to hear the difference between them and the HiFi Tuning Supreme fuses of which I probably own a dozen. They fall into the category of harmless tweak with no downside. And if you use logic, the fuse is the gateway to your device. So yes they in theory they could make a difference.

I’ve attended three or four demonstrations of various Synergistic products at AXPONA and have, for the most part, heard no significant difference. This past show it was in a fairly large room with about twenty other people so not the best of circumstances for a demo, but almost all the folks in attendance said they heard a difference. I know I don’t have the best hearing, but I wonder if all these people are really hearing something or if some are afraid to admit they don’t hear the difference. For comparison, I have heard the IsoAcoustics Gaia Speaker isolators demonstration a couple of times and the change was significant and easily heard. While I won’t dismiss the Synergistic products for others, for me they are not of interest. I’ll add that, for me, tweaks are hit or miss and if they offer an improvement it is a fairly small one. But … it is those small improvements that can get just a little bit closer to making the sound more enjoyable. You’ll never know if it works for you unless you try it!

I also heard the Demo Ted (not OUR Ted) gave at Axpona this year. I’ve heard/seen him demo stuff before. My issue was that he started out by requesting/requiring that no one leave during his presentation, then shamelessly leads his audience, telling you what you will be/shoud be/are hearing - whether you are or not. There is a bit of crowd psychology going on there, because if he can get everyone nodding and oohing along with his directions, everyone starts to feel better about it. Just as the effect of someone leaving in the midst is disruptive and a clear “no” vote to the spiel.

But hey, it was only about 10 minutes and was a very impressive setup. Just heard nearly none of the claimed effects.

They do make stuff that does stuff, and stuff that doesn’t, in my own personal experience - agreeing with OUR Ted here : )

Perhaps the most voodoo-y thing I’ve heard demoed that Synergistic made a version of were Frank Changs little tuning bowls, in the admittedly crappy sounding room our Chicago Audio Society often meets in. They put up $5k worth of them, mostly in the corners, and we listened to the setup, which sounded great. They quickly removed all of it, and replayed the same track and the image had collapsed and the life had gone out of it. We were turning to one another saying, “Did you hear what I think I just heard?!” and most had. Of course that’s not unlike the above situation as far as reinforcement of beliefs goes.

So I figured Synergistic’s version of that would be good - it was bigger and way cheaper. Did not work at all as far as I could tell, in my system/room. Same with the tiny dots of stuff of various sorts. My guess is that they focus your attention. You know it’s there. Little tiny cube of cork (for example) stuck dead center in your eyeline. Hard to separate that from your hearing process unless you were to randomly have someone else apply and remove it in the dark.

So when Ted Denney applied a tiny tuning dot on the wall in this huge demo room (would seat probably 80 for dinner) probably 30+ feet from the listening position and proclaimed it amazing, I was duly amazed, but not for the reason he was hoping.

Sounds like I’m dumping on them generally, but I am simply suggesting that, perhaps more than some other types of equipment manufacturers, they are definitely things you have to hear (or not) for yourself in your room and system, and try to simply listen to them, and without expectation. A lot of their bits are about creating expectation in advance of the experience.

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Great report, BB.

Thanks, man. Kindof a long-winded version of pmotz’s post, now that I look at it, but hey : )

While I’m Driving Out The Demon Snake Oil, I would register one other complaint about demos (TD is not unique in this regard) where something is being changed and rather than restarting the track or section of the track we just heard, they just pause and unpause it, and we have gone from verse to chorus, or new instruments have come in, or it’s a sax solo or vocal that was not in the bit we were just listening to.

How the heck are you supposed to objectively evaluate a tweak when it’s not even the same piece of the track?

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OK–Start rant::: I needed a power cable. The “expert” with 120 years of experience from a company that sells cables told me that with my system, I need a Synergistic Black power cable—made on the left coast, by real rocket scientists (exchange students) and each with it’s own serial number and if I buy it and connect it to anything in my system, but especially my dac, I would surely be finally, truly enlightened.
It sucks. He said it needs more burn-in. Not even if I set it on fire.

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Thank you for the enlightening comments!
I especially liked the last sentence…


Dude - it IS Fab, but only when you set it on fire. So it is the Best in the World for one track. Choose the track well. I have found that if you soak it in lighter fluid like Jimi at Monterey… Admittedly an expensive musical experience, but…WOW ; )

I have SR’s blue fuses, power cables, PowerCell 12 UEF SE power conditioner, 30 or so HFT/HFT2.0/HFTx, Black Box, Atmosphere XL4, and isolation footers. Cumulatively, they provided many benefits, easily identifiable in my listening room. Believe or not, you can identify the change just a couple of inches difference in positions of HFT/HFT2.0 on the speakers. Their recommendation is to use 2 HFTx on each speaker, but I use one since I found two HFTx made the treble too revealing. You can also hear the difference between 2 HFT vs 2 HFT2.0 on sides of speakers. Atmosphere XL4 really has the ability to change the soundscape. It created a much bigger soundstage, however, some settings sacrificed the image focus a little, too forward sometimes, I had to adjust the positions of HFT/HFT2.0 on the side walls to compensate. These are just a couple of examples.

You don’t need a lathe to make 2" chain-link fence post caps to put under your gear or hang on your wall. SR gets them from Home Depot, and so can you for $0.99 each. Home Depot doesn’t sell snake oil, you can trust them. But stay away from Ace Hardware’s Four-Dimensional Hypercube indoor house paint. It only works if you’re completely mental. You can get decent SR fuse knock-offs from China on eBay. The Chinese manufacturers “Quantum Funnel Cake” their fuses and it’s basically the same process but for a dollar more you can get strawberry topping and a wink from a carnie with a nasty herpes outbreak. There is truth and lies in my comment here and forever thus in hi-fi, real estate, and kilo coke deals.