20 seconds into the first track, the hairy hammer fist of knock-out approached. Before unconsciousness flipped the circuit breaker on the upstairs lights, Walker aphorism # 3 exploded for final illumination. "How do you keep from loosing an erection? You don't f**k with it." Once again humiliated -- and even faster than before on the Omega Mikro cables, Ultimate High Definition Links and Vivid CD Treatment -- I called BK, my trusty ear of Austin's Sound Mind Audio shoppe. Misery loves company. More than I could know. He had installed his Velocitor in place of the customary Accuphase P1200, a stout power regenerator retailing in the neighborhood of $8K. "Lloyd's box trounced it" was his terse assessment. That from a guy who loves his Accuphase and makes a living selling it. Can't get emotional support when you need it. Here's what I heard: Greater acuteness of focus to enhance the illusion of physical presence.
|This did not come about by greater harmonic density the way valves intensify presence. Rather, leading edges -- the instantaneous materialization of sounds out of silence --were stripped of a degree of wavering uncertainty. If you envision sounds like tiny Klingon birds of prey de-cloaking (I assume you've seen Star Trek) the Velocitor depicted them in all their bristling glory from one cineastic frame to the next - one frame empty space, the very next the complete object.|
By comparison, the Furutech's second frame and third frame still showed partial de-cloaking, only the fourth revealing the fully manifest object - a more gradual, softer transition in the time domain. Softer? The Velocitor's removal of the transitional delay thankfully avoided the other well-known trick to fake presence - the zippiness of artificially etched outlines. Rather than causing an astringent dryness -- which has nothing to do with transients but results from shortened decays in general and less audible ambient context in particular -- the accelerated system rise times had the same effect as proper horn-loading. They resolved greater immediacy and appreciably raised heat in the boiler room of rhythmic incision. Complicated, densely staggered percussive impulses arrived more precisely on time, maintaining beat cohesion and separation of clusters into tiny individual events. The comparative softness of the Furutech was a minor blurring, a slight fuzziness in the pace and rhythm department, not a more attractive timbral condition one aisle over.
The Velocitor had greater suchness. Imagine looking at the world after a brisk uphill run. The adrenaline has burned off perceptional lethargy and fogginess. Now even faraway things seem more coincident and "louder". Everything's more articulated. More keen. More alive. Yet in this circumstance of physical exhaustion, the inner feel of this greater surrounding intensity is peaceful and abated. It's not tensioned, hyped or willfully stimulated. Consider too this coincident effect. Details buried in the farther reaches of the soundstage become as apparent as close-up ones. It's a slightly altered state of more profound perception, a more complete and comprehensive assessment of what's present.
The Audio Magic Stealth's distinctly energetic brio seems partly tied to its use of silver wiring. It creates excitement by emphasizing upper harmonics. The Velocitor produced this excitement in the time keeping domain. Simultaneously, it remained far more relaxed in the harmonic realm - a very mean trick. It meant having your cake and eating it without the concomitant sugar rush effects. Based on Walker's understandably careful giveaways concerning constructional details, I can only assume that his mix of cryo'd copper and silver distribution wiring is a two-copper-to-one-silver blend, marrying the parallel benefits of copper's greater weight and warmth with the more crystalline top-end purity of silver.
Enjoying the brushed cymbal work on Laverne Butler's "A Foolish Thing" [Blues in the City, MXJ 105; Andy Narell's heavily syncopated steel drums on Live in South Africa [Heads Up 3060, 2001]; Gary Burton's vibes trading riffs with Eddie Daniel's brilliant Benny Goodman impersonation on "Stompin' at the Savoy" [Benny Rides Again, GRP 9665, 1992] - that's what it sounded like: The moonlight mist of silvery glistening overtones hovering 'round the fuller body and greater ease of copper.