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: Stephæn
Financial Interests: click here
Analogue Sources: Nottingham Analogue Studio Space Deck driven by Walker Audio Precision Motor Controller. String Theory™ Woody™ Tonearm from Pete Riggle Engineering and Audio. Dynavector 17D2MKII, Dynavector 20xl, Denon 103, Audio Technica OC9 cartridges.
Digital Sources: Wavelength Audio Cosecant USB DAC v3 (Transcendental 16/44.1 DAC module) fed by MacBook with dual 500GB LaCie Firewire drives; Tube Research Labs fully modified Sony SCD-2000ES (for SACD playback). Secondary: TRL-modified Alesis ML-9600 high-resolution master disk recorder.
Preamps: deHavilland UltraVerve and Tutay-modified/upgraded Eastern Electric Minimax (larger power supply, 12FQ7 ready, gain cut to 9dB) preamps; Allnic H-1200, self-modified Jolida JD-9A and Herron Audio VTPH-1MC phono stages.
Amplifiers: Wright Sound Company WPA 3.5 monos and Melody i2A3. Secondary: AudioSector AMP-1 integrated amp, Sophia Electric S.E.T.™ Music Baby integrated amp, MiniWatt integrated amp and Outlaw Audio RetroReceiver.
Speakers: Three-way Po' Lil' Things—a furniture-grade variant of the venerable Po' Boys—built around B&C 8PE21-8 (for throat horn), RCA model 9584A (permanent magnet midrange compression driver) with 1" throat and 1.34" opening to conical horn, and BMS 4540ND tweeter compression driver mated to tractrix horn; active crossover using hot-modded Behringer DCX2496 ripped down to the AKM chip. Coax Altec 604 drivers mounted in 9.1 cubic foot enclosures strongly influenced by Jay Fisher's MLTL design (plus our Dial-a-Vent and Dial-a-Height features). Crossovers incorporate XTC-grade oil-filled capacitors and other tweaks. Secondary: Zu Audio Druid Mk.4; Sound Dynamics RTS-3; Customized REL Strata III utilizing a properly-designed outboard amp (SA1000) that's not compromised by the obviously under-spec'd resistors chosen by REL.
Cables: Cardas, DIY WM-XTC, Audience, and Zu Audio Libtec cables; Cardas Golden Cross, Audience Au24, Audience Maestro [on loan] and Bob Crump custom copper interconnects. Secondary: Analysis Plus cables and interconnects.
Stands: Two three-tier Grand Prix Audio Monaco units on GPA Apex footers
Secondary: Lovan Affinity Pro6 Series rack, Acoustic Dreams Dead Ball Isolators; Neuance platform
Power line conditioning: BPT 3.5 Signature; cryo'd Pass & Seymour wall outlets; Audience, T.G. Audio Lab SLVR, Analysis Plus Power Oval, and Zu Audio Birth and Bok power cords [both on loan]. Secondary: Brick Wall PW8R15AUD
Sundry accessories: HAL-O® Vacuum Tube Dampers, Herbie's Way Excellent Turntable Mat, VPI 16.5 record cleaner, Shun Mook Valve Resonators, Auric Illuminator, and Walker Audio Vivid CD & DVD Enhancer
Music makers: Epiphone Dot (Gibson ES-335 knock-off) and Chet Atkins CE (nylon-strung classical) electric guitars; Fender Blues Jr. amp; Privia PX-555 keyboard and 1906 Ellington upright piano.
Office system: Soundquest R601 Tube Hi-Fi FM/AM Classic Radio and a Gibson J-100 acoustic guitar
Room size & treatments: 26' x 19' x 9' (a fractured 'L', nominally 16' x 19' with 12' feet of the 19-foot dimension opening to the 20-foot section of the 20' x 12' kitchen/eat-in area); concrete slab, sheet rock walls. ASC Tube Traps and Sound Planks, Echo Busters absorbers, Shakti Hallograph Soundfield Optimizers and Acoustic Revive RR-77 Ultra Low-Frequency Pulse Generator.
Review Component Retail: $3,995

What have we here?
[All italicized text is from promotional literature unless otherwise noted.]
Premise: All audio signals contain hidden and buried information lost in space and time. Hence such signals have been rendered incomplete. At best we may hear a hemisphere of sound. The present invention provides a complete sphere-o-sound signal, which is like sound as it is rendered in nature. The conventional audio signal path consists of three fundamental stages: capture, storage and playback. As simple and elegant as we would like these stages to be, at present and since the birth of audio electronics, information is missing when playback is compared with the original sound content. Hence an additional fundamental stage is both missing and required in order to provide a complete audio signal: the signal completion stage.

It is clear that phase is the fundamental element in the physical processing of sound. bsg technologies, through our understanding of the importance of phase, has developed an approach for revealing content buried within all recorded signals from a perspective that does not alter the signal through processing but rather simply opens the signal in a manner that is independent of the listening space – a technique which, in contrast to prior audio technologies, is not at odds with the way our brain interprets the sound heard within an acoustic space. This physical approach to audio can be implemented through analog or digital methods, thereby completing the audio signal and providing a round as opposed to flat experience. No longer is the listener confined to the 'sweet spot' for stereo recordings. No longer does a monophonic recording sound 'hollow' or one-dimensional.
Relative phase is the key to sound and our understanding and experience of an acoustic space. bsg technologies has capitalized on this understanding to provide a complete audio signal from traditional recordings made in monophonic, stereophonic and beyond – elegantly simple yet infinitely rich.

Sounds cool, huh? Actually the fundamental technology driven by bsg technologies’ understanding of physical acoustics is qøl™ (pronounced "coal"). qøl is derived from Hebrew and ancient Aramaic. It is a word that means all, everything and sound. qøl represents a complete audio signal. The complete audio signal affects everything in space and time captured through measurements and reproduction of magnitude, frequency and phase. Unlike signal effects processors, which add and/or subtract information from a signal, qøl simply opens up the signal revealing what’s already locked away inside all audio signals.

While qøl™ is the driving force for the all-analog device under review today, it is also available to licensees in both digital and analog formats. The technology is reported to require little processing power, to use relatively little electricity and to be adaptable for every product that carries audio signals—monaural, stereo or multi-channel—from cell phones, MP3 players, headphones, home and automobile audio/video equipment to large public address systems. If this technology could trickle down (into a preamp, say) and eliminate the need for another expensive separate audiophile component, I’d say bravo. In its current iteration I can’t say it’s a bargain though others will—and rightfully so for them—think that it is.

Though the technology is said to be available in a digital format (which presumably will require little processing power and be adaptable to very small devices such as cell phones), today’s all-analog device is by no means small. It's 17 x 13 x 3.3" WxDxH and weighs 17 pounds. A peek inside suggests considerable signal routing what with the plethora of Burr-Brown op amps (whose high feedback might presumably provide its own phase augmentation) and Omron relays.

It is an addition to existing systems, not a replacement of any equipment. Built to the highest standards*of audiophiles and music lovers, with features that make it versatile and compatible with all components, cables and systems. A huge step toward realism, naturalism and enjoyment, our patent-pending qøl™ technology is the most significant advance in audio in decades. For the first time, fundamental elements of sound, previously hidden and buried in all audio signals, can now be retrieved and reproduced.


Some of those audiophiles might wrinkle their noses at the widespread use of push-on connectors and opamps inside the unit – Ed.