Country of Origin
Reviewer: Srajan Ebaen
Financial interests: click here
Main system: Sources: Retina 5K 27" iMac late 2020 with Ventura 13.4, 40GB RAM, Audirvana Origin, Qobuz Sublime, Singxer SU-6 USB bridge, LHY Audio SW-8 network switch, Sonnet Pasithea DAC; Active filter: icOn Gradient Box at 80Hz/4th-order hi/lo-pass; Power amplifiers: Kinki Studio EX-B7 monos, Goldmund Job 225; Headamp: Cen.Grand Silver Fox; Phones: HifiMan Susvara; Loudspeakers: Qualio Audio IQ w. sound|kaos DSUB 15 on Carbide Audio footers, Audio Physic Codex, Cube Audio Nenuphar Cables: Complete loom of Allnic Audio ZL; Power delivery: Vibex Granada/Alhambra on all source components, Vibex One 11R on amps, Furutech DPS-4.1 between wall and conditioners; Equipment rack: Artesanía Audio Exoteryc double-wide 3-tier with optional glass shelves, Exoteryc Krion and glass amp stands; Sundry accessories: Acoustic System resonators, LessLoss Firewall for loudspeakers, Furutech NCF Signal Boosters; Room: 6 x 8m with open door behind listening seat
2nd system: Source: Shanling M3 Ultra, Soundaware D300Ref; DAC: Cen.Grand DSDAC 1.0 Deluxe; Preamp/filter: Vinnie Rossi Signature L2 + icOn 4Pro + 4th-order/40Hz hi-low pass; Amplifier: Enleum AMP-23R; Loudspeakers: MonAcoustic SuperMon Mini, Dynaudio S18 sub; Power delivery: Furutech GTO 2D NCF + Akiko Audio Corelli; Equipment rack: Hifistay Mythology Transform X-Frame [on extended loan]; Sundry accessories: Audioquest Fog Lifters; Furutech NFC Clear Lines; Room: ~3.5 x 8m
Desktop system: Source: HP Z230 work station Win10/64; USB bridge: Singxer SU-2; Headamp/DAC: iFi iDSD Pro Signature; Headphones: Final D-8000; Active speakers: DMAX SC5
Upstairs headfi/speaker system: Source: smsl Dp5 transport; DAC: Auralic Vega; Integrated amplifier: Schiit Jotunheim R; Phones: Raal-Requisite SR1a
2-channel video system: Source: Oppo BDP-105; All-in-One: Gold Note IS-1000 Deluxe; Loudspeakers: Zu Soul VI; Subwoofer: Zu Submission; Power delivery: Furutech eTP-8, Room: ~6x4m
Review component retail: €149
Akiko's tuning disc "gets energized by natural particles during a proprietary irreversible 7-month process". The 6mm thick 540g stainless steel disc is the size of a CD with a felt protector on the underside. It "should be placed on/under equipment or speakers. Direct contact isn't needed." Akiko state that the disc's operational principle is very different from their existing noise-absorbing compounds but can be used in conjunction to make listening "more relaxing". The new discs are said to be particularly effective wherever we suspect stray radiated fields to interfere with our equipment's best functioning.
That was my news flash of the day.
I subsequently asked Marc and Sanders van Berlo whether their process is similar to Tachyonics.
"I just read up on the Tachyon phenomenon and do see similarities but of course don't know how others treat an object. The tuning disc pleasantly surprised us. We have already distributed a number of them to regular customers in our area and they are enthusiastic about what the disc adds to a high-level system. If you want to experience it for yourself, we could send three or four completely without obligation." I accepted; just not the no obligation bit. My motto is noblesse oblige from the French notion that "nobility extends beyond mere entitlement, requiring people who hold such status to fulfill social responsibilities. A primary obligation of a nobleman could include generosity towards those around him."
I don't see hifi reviewing as any noble pursuit at all. It's mostly nerdy entertainment. But where the old definition applies is that being a reviewer comes with responsibilities. First amongst those is to actually work for a living so review properly. Here we are then because of that most basic of all mandates; and my own curiosity. A bit of generosity to extend review coverage beyond the usual 'play it again Sam' isn't a bad thing either. At least that's my excuse.
Let's briefly rewind to Tachyonics. I was introduced to the concept in California. Certain often wearable objects get deliberately irradiated by cosmic particles to permanently hold their vibrations or energy. Though I never saw the equipment used for it, my wife knew the founder of the company. As it was explained to her, the process involves a specialized kind of 'oven' in which objects are 'baked'. This can only be done at certain dates and times which correspond to the celestial constellations and their particle influx which the process means to seal inside the objects. By now flat earthers have already logged off to once again warn a gullible public that their desire for better sound is being exploited by new charlatans as promoted by evil press members on the take. If you're still here, the next obvious stepping stone is astrology as the notion that the constellation of planets and stars at our birth imprinted our personality and psyche with certain patterns or influences that play out across our lifetime as assets and liabilities.
Rock people at gemstone fairs collect crystals and semi-precious stones not as building blocks for jewelry but because they enjoy their energetic presences. As plant-based medicine knows about the healing properties of flowers, roots, berries, mushrooms and other organic matter, so New Age practitioners tune into crystals. The hifi sector has already met and embraced Schumann resonators; Bill Stierhout's original QRT and its successors at Nordost and Ansuz; sundry EMI/RF absorbing compounds in noise traps from Akiko to Furutech and Shunyata; cosmic radiation traps from LessLoss; and crushed crystal or tourmaline powders in devices from Audio Magic to Acoustic Revive. Cryogenics are well accepted. Even innocent bystanders must have come across cable conditioning processes like Synergistic Research's which involve extreme voltages generated by Tesla coils [see left].
Be it from the aerospace, IT, medical or military sectors, once the first informed hifi maker learns of new parts or processes, it's only a matter of time until we see more such exploits in our hifi niche. Routinely first sightings are met by ridicule and derision. That's when explanations still fall beyond accepted learning. As sufficient user/owner feedback collects and more manufacturers hop a given train, it becomes ever more acceptable to talk about such products without being labeled a loon. A few years later it's the fashionable new status quo and the stone throwers chase new targets. Yawn. Where discoveries fail to gain sufficient traction, they disappear. The market decides. On which score, Akiko Audio of the Dutch lowlands have been around. The market clearly decided that their stuff works to keep going strong. Darwin said that only the fit survive. Today we'll inspect their latest. As a proximity device, the disc seems to be a constant radiator of a sonically benign force field of sorts. As a 500g disc, it also ought to double as basic if minor mass damper.