For audiophiles and music lovers who love to read...
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Reviewer: Srajan Ebaen
Financial interests: click here
Main system: Sources: Retina 5K 27" iMac (4GHz quad-core with Turbo, 32GB RAM, 3TB FusionDrive, OSX Yosemite. iTunes 14.4), PureMusic 3.02, Audirvana 3, Qobuz, Tidal, Singxer SU-6 USB bridge, LHY Audio SW-8 network switch, Sonnet Pasithea DAC; Active filter: icOn Gradient Box 2; Power amplifiers: Kinki Studio EX-B7 monos, Goldmund/Job 225, Electrocompaniet Nemo 800M [on review]; Headamp: Cen.Grand Silver Fox; Phones: HifiMan Susvara; Loudspeakers: Qualio Auido IQ + sound|kaos DSUB 15 on Carbide Audio footers, Audio Physic Codex; Cables: Complete loom of Allnic Audio ZL; Power delivery: Vibex Granada/Alhambra on all source components, Furutech RTP-6 on amps, Furutech DPS-4.1 between wall and conditioner; 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 SD transport, Cen.Grand DSDAC 1.0 Deluxe; Preamp/filter: icOn 4Pro + 80Hz active filter, Vinnie Rossi L2 Signature w. ER50; Amp: Enleum AMP-23R; Loudspeakers: MonAcoustics 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; Active DSP speakers: Fram Midi 120
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: $250/ea. incl. VAT & shipping
Neodio's B2 is a stealthy bomber of a different sort than 1997's fighter plane of $737 million. Whilst looking like just another component footer, 2023's French version takes aim at water and costs €250/ea. But let's start at the beginning, an email from founder Stéphane Even. "I'm contacting you because my company is taking a new direction towards ecology and at the same time launching a new range of products. Those result from my long-term research to understand the physics and mysteries of hifi products. Our Origine B2 acoustic purifier is the first product in our new Blue Program. There will be others like our TMA integrated aka 80wpc The Minimalist Amplifier coming in June priced at 1/5th of the A2. I thought that you might be interested to review the Origine B2. There are many applications for it and many things to talk about my research and Neodio's new commitments."
As the companion PDF unpacked, "In 2017 Stéphane Even, founder of the Bordeaux-based brand, launched a research program aimed at obtaining more precise identification of the physical phenomena involved in high-fidelity reproduction. This field that abounds with scientific anomalies and unexplained effects such as the sound of cables; the importance of supports; the lack of correlation between measurements and the actual listening experience; or variations in musicality depending on the day or even time of day. We carried out more than a thousand experiments to understand and develop a theory that could explain such observations. This research revealed that water molecules naturally present throughout our environment are responsible for these phenomena. Their collective behaviour follows unknown laws and interacts with the operation of hifi systems."
Shazam. With one short paragraph, this B2 claims to be rather more than just one more component footer. And water? Are our systems dehydrated or too fluid? It's all too easy to make fun of things we don't understand. Clearly this warranted more than knee-jerk reactions. The device is 65mm across and 32mm tall with an M6 thread in the upper center. Optional is an M6 headless screw and M6-to-M8 adapter. Delivery and VAT are wrapped into the €250 ask. Roy Gregory published a rave review of it in November of last year; and a news announcement about Neodio having ceased production of the S2 CD player and A2 amplifier, with Stéphane Even having "decided to switch his emphasis to the more affordable market sector with an impressive budget amplifier and his first speaker design already on the way." That's all I had when the above email arrived.
Time to play nosy reviewer and ask questions. As always, the need to protect IP conflicts with potential desire to show off one's engineering smarts so "the less said the better" might just be the most prudent thing. But since Stéphane had specifically mentioned "many things to talk about my research", chances seemed good that we might learn more about why he calls the B2 an acoustic purifier not resonance attenuator or vibration controller. The B2 product page promises a broadband effect that enhances timbre over the entire spectrum without a marked tonal signature; a more faithful dynamic rendering characterized by better definition of micro information and absence of saturation on loud notes; a soundstage that extends substantially beyond the framework of the speakers; the sensation of reconnecting with the essence of a recording and the pleasure of sound quality that focuses on the music rather than analysis of sounds. As to applications, "the Origine B2 can be positioned under or on top of equipment, furniture and on the floor." For example, "one centered at the front top of each speaker face down; one on the floor in front of each speaker face down; on the floor as cable support; under the power distributor; on top of hifi racks near their uprights; on top of electronics at the rear's IEC; under electronics or speakers". Relative to the latter, each B2 is good for 30kg and warrantied for 10 years. The B1 precursor launched in 2015 so the concept is eight years old but purportedly already back then solved 90% of the molecular water problem. Based on the most recent experiments, the B2 becomes more effective yet. Sets of three originals can be dismantled at the factory to upgrade to current status.
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