If you see dead people, they will surely inform your after-life notions. If you're a psychotherapist who successfully applied techniques to stop himself from seeing ghosts, anyone else seeing them will be viewed as hallucinating and treated accordingly. Should a hallucinator proceed to relay to the therapist detailed messages from his long dead grandmother only she could possibly know about, our shrink could be in serious trouble - especially when his techniques vaporize grandma's specter before she could finish describing to the hallucinator where the lost family treasures were buried.

While this sounds humorous, the underlying principle of how perception patterns beliefs and vice versa is serious. Sometimes unusual perceptions are applied to inventions. Then the connection between results and explanations need not be iron-clad. Even fully accredited scientists can develop useful solutions based on theories which eventually are overturned. The upshot is that something can work even if the explanation for how it works might be incorrect or simply incomplete. Much of what Nicolas Tesla did still isn't fully understood. It's when an inventor from the creative rather than scientific sector presents an explanatory framework for his invention that clashes with accepted notions that commercial success for his device might be at risk. He could be much better off to explain nothing and let the results tell their very own story.

Something of the sort is going on with Franck Tchang's Acoustic Resonators. For a lot of open-minded people, they work wonders. In my personal experience, what they do for the Feng-Shui or meditation energetics of a dwelling is even more profound than their sonic benefits. Regardless, the Acoustic Resonator subject is volatile and attempts at explaining their effects don't exactly overlap with accepted acoustical theories.

That hasn't prevented their inventor from applying his personal view on these matters to equipment platforms and racks and, of late, loudspeakers. Having seen the man in action, I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that he is exceptionally sensitive to air compression and sees problem areas while knowing experientially how to release them. Observing him is like a crash course in a foreign language. You don't understand the grammar one bit, why things go where they go. But the results are poetry so you're inclined to believe that the language creating them must be based on logical concepts and rules - if only you could learn the language.

Franck's speaker is called the Tango. It's a 5-driver three-way with three paralleled woofers. All drive units are on a vertical baffle so there's no conventional time alignment. Still, Franck claims that the combined surface area of these drivers acts as one across the entire bandwidth. The fruits of his secret language -- Franckenese -- reside inside the box. It's neither exactly ported nor does it operate as a conventionally sealed alignment. The discrete chambers behind the three driver groups -- tweeter, midrange, woofers -- communicate with each other by way of decompression bores of the smallest imaginable diameters. Needless to say, Acoustic Resonators Inside could be a bumper sticker on the Tango because there are a few hard-mounted units inside. Once again, Franck didn't design and build the Tango
to be a commercial product. He built it for his own amusement and gratification. Since the development on the Tango completed, however, orders continue to arrive. If history repeats itself, there'll be listener claims conflicting wildly with the galleries of self-styled speaker designers and upholders of text-book acoustics which say, "impossible". And there'll be those who actually own Tangos and could car less about not understanding a single word of Franckenese. There'd be a strange sense of justice in that - audiophile style, where the innocent are guilty until proven otherwise.

There's more. "I will bring my prototype interconnect cable to the Munich show. It is very dynamic, especially great at modulation and I use all metal as resonators." Once again, Franck's world view -- how his perception and ongoing experiments inform each other -- is applied to a new product category and the likelihood is exceedingly high that the outcome will be both unconventional and efficacious. Reports Hakan Cezayirli, Editor of Turkish online audio magazine Stereo Mecmuasi: "I'm very pleased to inform you of two interesting Turkish language reviews by Stereo Mecmuasi. The first is about Mr. Franck Tchang's Acoustic System Resonators. After the influential reviews of 6moons, we decided to experiment with these little magic toys and the results are amazing. This was the first formal review of the resonators in our language. I'm also listening to Mr. Tchang's Tango speaker. It's really amazing to hear that kind of speaker. It's a big speaker in mass but it work like a near-field monitor. The soundstage is just incredible and the tonal balance is really good. I listen to the basic model of the speaker, I can't imaging the improved ones. Next month we will publish a review about the Tango..."

To wrap up, another example of Franckenese, this one Franck's very own credit for the Tango photo below: "Resonators inside the port where the concept of my interconnect cable came from - metal alignment." What the hell does that mean - metal alignment?

And how do you get from there -- an array of resonators fronting a small port -- to cables? If you think your writer protesteth too much, you're quite right. I've spent far too much time with Franck's creations to worry about justifying them or my use and enjoyment of them.

It's simply fun to observe the initial gamut of reactions to whatever this highly gifted individual launches next. The latest on-the-moons attempts to discredit our writers came at the hands of the so-called Sugar Cubes and Marja & Henk's review thereof. I feel compelled to give you an example of just how powerful this whole resonator subject is without pretending to understand how it really works:

During Mr. Tchang's stay in Cyprus where he treated our entire dwelling, we had music playing while he strategically placed his devices in the room proper, in adjacent rooms and outside in the yard. Laugh if you must but once outside to place a resonator just so, the air pressure inside the house altered radically. Not only did we all feel it -- the physical impact on our breathing and perception was odd and uncomfortable -- the mid/woofers on my Zu Definitions flapped out of control with much exaggerated cone movement as though the air resistance in front of them had precariously diminished to no longer act as the usual restoring force.

"Whatever you just did, undo" we all yelled at Franck as he came in from the yard. I sometimes wish some of the naysayers had been there. They'd have been stumped, incapable of denying the effects, incapable of explaining them away as hallucinations or wishful thinking.

Here's something else that would stump these folks. The different grades of Tango speakers are identical save for the kind of resonators inside. And the resonators are always identically sized, just composed of different metal alloys. Should you have an opportunity to A/B two or three different Tango iterations and hear any differences -- people who've done so already tell me it's quite obvious -- we'll all be sorry to tell you that those differences were due only to those mysterious resonators' metallurgy.

That doesn't imply that Mr. Tchang's explanations for why or how they work are complete. It only means that, in his own way, he has learned to manipulate air pressure with various innocuous devices -- their smallness compared to the wavelengths they affect is just one of the mind benders -- and that he now simply continues to apply the same principles to new applications like cables. For me, it's not the results that are in question. It's the conceptual framework surrounding them which still suffers holes.

Perhaps one day soon an intrepid member of the scientific community will see fit to collaborate with Mr. Tchang to learn his language of Franckenese and translate it for all our benefit into 'proper Physics'. Until then, I'm afraid that the Acoustic System products will continue to polarize people and make easy mockery targets of those writers who give them the coverage they deserve. On account of which, kudos to our Turkish colleague Hakan Cezayirli for joining those numbers; and to Marja & Henk on our team for reporting on the Sugar Cube matrix (I have one installed as well)!