"The white stone I had brought with me as souvenir from a European country. I took it to Timpani and kept it on my work table. One day I looked closely and noticed a few crystals in its structure. Then I remembered that Holger Stein, a good friend of mine, had mentioned having quartz and other crystals in his Blue Diamond tweaks that we have at Timpani and find beneficial. So totally out of the blue I wanted to test my souvenir stone to see whether it would have any sonic effect. I remember how strangely my colleagues looked at me that day. I did not expect it to work but it surprisingly did. The result was even better than with the SteinMusic tweaks. Holger hides his stones under a cone-like body to not show them which I think reduces their efficiency. Our stone is different than his crystals and totally exposed. You will notice that it still performs well with the lid on but with less efficiency. This is why when testing, we take it out of the room to cancel its effect. By exposing the stone we risk revealing its identity. So be it. I chose not to sacrifice its performance. Before launching it as a product we wanted to be 100% sure about its added value to not have some psychological bias at play. So all three of us working at Timpani subjected ourselves individually to blind tests. And there wasn’t a single mistake by any of us. So we said okay, let’s give it a go just for the fun of it and as the only product of our own that celebrates our twenty years in business. Timpani was founded in 2003 and the name Timi combines Timpani and Yirmi which means twenty in Turkish. Incidentally, size didn't matter. We tried a large block of this stone, later ever smaller pieces with no difference to the effect. So we decided to produce small cylinders which was the easiest shape to make."

click to enlargeWhen one overhears connoisseurs of spirits describe sundry samples, one comes across descriptions to the effect that a particular tipple went down particularly smooth. In and of itself that says nothing about taste. It's about a purely textural sensation. Not drinking alcohol I still relate. Even different non-alcoholic drinks present varying viscosity; a subtle oiliness that coats the gullet as the liquid goes down. It's how I experienced the Timi effect. It didn't change the actual sound one iota. Instead it seemed to subtly modify my intake of it. It's how I can relate to Adnan's pointing at air's permeability. It felt as though moisture content was slightly higher, a tad more humid to create that "linked-up" oilier feel. It fell entirely outside basic bass/mid/treble analysis, even soundstage comments. Anyone keyed into those aspects won't hear any difference at all. They should write off Timi as boutique bunk, secure that even expecting anything other would be livid lunacy. But a mechanic can listen to our car at idle and diagnose an ailment where we hear nothing amiss. Intense engagement with anything refines skills and perceptions. Careful music listening is no different. The more of it we do, the more our ear/brain discerns. Some of us get real enjoyment from that deepening process. Others happily remain at more of a distance. This engagement spectrum is broad. It reflects many levels of interest, involvement; and sufficient spare time to indulge this crazy playback hobby at any depth in the first place. In those terms Timpani's Timi aims at sonic explorers who trust their own perceptions implicitly; don't need explanations to justify their perceptions; and can wax poetic over subtleties that might leave others entirely befuddled. For the price of a fancy 3-course dinner for two, upscale bottle of wine included, Timi offers some inexplicable aural amusement. How my nervous system wires, I experience it like a subtle sonic humidifier. It reads odd but is a lovely small effect.

"If you're not satisfied, you can of course return Timi." According to first feedback on Adnan's site, some people are already most impressed. Some hear more than I did; or other things. That's par for the tweak parcour. We all key into different aspects; and are deaf to others. To conclude with another Irish joke which transcends the glass-half-full routine, says the barkeep to Paddy, "your glass is empty, fancy another?" Looking puzzled, Paddy asks, "why would I be needing two feckin empty glasses?"

And there's this. On an Irish golfing tour, Tiger Woods drives his beemer to a petrol station in a remote part of the country. The pump attendant knows nothing of golf so is utterly oblivious to who he is. He greets Tiger in the typical Irish manner. "Top of the mornin' to yer, Sir." Tiger nods a quick hello and bends forward to pick up the nozzle. As he does, two tees fall from his shirt pocket to the ground. "What are dose?" asks the attendant. "They’re called tees", replies Tiger. "Well, what on the God’s earth are dey for?" inquires the Irishman. "They're for resting my balls on when I'm driving," says Tiger. "Fookin Jaysus" says the Irishman, "BMW think of everything."

PS: Timpani's site currently is in Turkish only so Google Translator is your pal. Also, their shopping cart doesn't seem set up for international orders yet as a reader pointed out so contact them through their 'communication' page.