If you've hustled 'round the square audio block a coupla times, certain designers are bound to develop into personal heroes. Yes, heroes, not friends - though the latter can happen too in which case you'll eventually have to pass on certain review requests. Heroes are designers who, like Tibetan trance runners, defy the steadily mounting dangers of their own track record. The law of averages predicts their first misstep, a dud that won't perform as claimed. This can turn into a very entertaining game. In one corner, the charismatic maker endowed with potent native selling skills and infectious enthusiasm. He's proudly wearing a jacket with "undefeated champion" emblazoned across its back while he flexes his well-oiled pecs. In the other corner, the jaded reviewer in crumpled sweats acting fidgety like a deer caught in the headlights. From too much late-night lead sucking, he looks pale like bloodthirsty Nosferatu while he wearily calculates the staggering odds of this miserable rematch.

How many rounds before he'll go down this time? Any chance the champion could be disqualified for steroids? For unfairly non-disclosed circuits ? For some aural trickery messing with the infallible six judges of the senses?

Lloyd Walker of Walker Audio is one such hero while your reporter's the sorry bastard in yonder corner running out of options to get one over him. But hope's a diehard sucker. So I jumped at the opportunity to review Lloyd's latest marvel, the Velocitor, hoping against hope to finally disqualify him: Show him to be just another over-promising, under-delivering huckster. Used to abuse, Lloyd entered the ring in customary no-bullshit mode, i.e. stark nekkid - no surge protection; no capacitive, inductive or transformer-coupled filtering; no on/off switch or idiot lights; just designed-by-ear what-you-see-is-what-you-get power line enhancement by way of superior materials, integral resonance control, cryogenic treatments and -- aha! -- a heavily modified Q.R.T. module licensed from Quantum Products Inc.'s William Stierhout.

Hope gathered momentum. Audio voodoo. Q.R.T. Walker was finally going off the deep end. Just to be sure, I re-checked the meager explanation on Combak's website where the Reimyo ASL-777 is marketed, a device I had reviewed for EnjoyTheMusic a good year ago. Then lightning struck. I remembered. I'd reviewed the Q.R.T.-driven Reimyo very positively, merely balked at its high designer tariff. Damn. My chances of kicking Lloyd's butt were dwindling like dreams of tax refunds. "... Quantum Resonance Technology is a material treatment system that employs electromagnetic field theory to correct the erratic behavior of AC current and thereby enhances the transfer characteristics of conductive materials..."

Sounds kinda kinky - but then I already knew it to work. (I'm that type of guy - kink works on me.) Lloyd wasn't being very helpful either. He buys the modules from Stierhout and modifies them but isn't quite sure how they work - except that they do. Great. No snake-oil, no phony explanations, just the plain facts. Which include: The hand-made solid maple body; a complete 10-piece miniature Valid Points Resonance Control system compression-fitted inside the box; three cryogenically treated Hubbell duplexes sourced from Jena Labs; a mix of precisely spaced long-crystal cryo'd silver and copper wires 9 of which connect each individual outlet back to the power inlet to avoid buss bars; an external copper screw for star grounding; a side-mounted power inlet; and three integral Ultimate Valid Points filled with Lloyd's customary lead mixture encased in gleaming brass, to be seated in his resonance control discs of the same basic makeup. $2,695 takes it home.

To test my rising incredulity further, Walker also had included a hard-maple butcher block platform ($425) equally outfitted with gleamy, heavy, pointy things, to rest my review Velocitor upon. If nothing else, I was certain to get him here. Surely this honey-I-shrunk-the-kitchen-chopping-block affair couldn't make much of a difference to justify the expense. Rubbing my hands in victorious expectations of carefully conducted A/Bs (off the rocker, on the rocker), I plugged Velocitor into my cryogenically treated WorldPower outlet via Jerry Ramsey's older Audio Magic Clairvoyant cord, transferred six of my eight HMS Gran Finale power cords from the Furutech RTP-6 into the Velocitor's sockets (the two leads to the DUOs' subwoofers remained plugged straight into the wall) and let things cook for a few days. When I had gathered enough courage, I plunked down into my Afghan Kilim chair and took my big rig for a spin.