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The small bowls
: Michael Jungblut’s passive multivocal resonators had been in residence for nearly a year to have visiting relatives and friends used to their presence. They did however move from sitting on my Mudra monaural amps to end up on ca. 1-meter tall stands placed to the sides between my listening seat and loudspeakers. This increased the potency of effects. All attempts to remove these bowls from my room invariably had me put them back in those two final locations. The loss of relaxation, brilliance and musical flow was simply too high.

For many months, I’d left the PMR undisturbed. I stopped listening to their effects analytically and simply enjoyed the music as a relaxed pleasure seeker thinking myself quite satisfied. Then Jungblut checked in with a new development. This was smaller, much smaller than the PMR. It was a three-legged critter christened MKT or Musikalischer Klang Tripod (musical sound tripod). Intended applications included replacement footers for components and power supplies; support for the PMR; and even mini PMR if the big bowl was impractical or one wanted to increase its performance.

Reacting with suspicions of ‘strong tobacco’, the last few months had also taught me to take Michael Jungblut serious. I thus protested little when he offered to dispatch a few MKT without obligation. What arrived a few days latter was a wooden crate of not inconsiderable weight. Unpacking it netted 15 proudly gleaming golden MKT or tripod mini bowls that were polished to a sheen and unexpectedly solid. Attractive to the touch, each device seems fabricated from the same or similar bell bronze as the PMR. Hadn’t the developer mentioned something about naturopathy practitioners being interested in this particular alloy for their patients? Having studied formal medicine, I wasn’t going there and returned to the music instead.

Whenever one adds new toys to a system, it’s of course advisable to not make multiple changes at once. Hence I kicked off with just one MKT underneath one of my two PMR to test the designer’s claim that it would make for the ultimate footer for his big bowl. What happened is hard to describe. My first attempt simply muttered something about a higher sensation of rightness. The second attempt defaulted to the audiophile equivalent of the triplicate real estate mantra: synergy, synergy, synergy. The third attempt gave up on descriptions altogether and has simply left one MKT under each PMR from when they first arrived.

A few days later I added three small bowls to my LP rack. This runs nearly the entire width of my back wall and doubles as effective diffusor to eliminate that back pressure on the ears which hard reflective surfaces behind us and in close proximity cause. This disturbing energy should be scattered with a diffusor like a shelf system stacked with LPs or otherwise absorbed with a thick curtain or similar. I put two MKT atop this rack at about two meters apart. The third ended up at approximately head height between the other two. The first musical accompaniment became Cara Dillon’s album Hill of Thieves. Hers is an unpretentious female voice with mostly acoustic instruments on handcrafted tunes with Irish roots that don’t descend too deep into folksiness.

“The verdant braes of skreen“ starts with piano and has Cara Dillon enter a few bars later. I listened attentively and heard… nothing. Nothing new that is. Had Jungblut finally succumbed to exaggeration? To be fair, I repeated the cut a few more times, sometimes with the MKT on the shelf, sometimes without. Did anything change? Likely imaginary. Really? I was very familiar with the voice and the piano didn’t alter its timbre either. Nonetheless I was suspicious that something had shifted and that ultimately the presence of the MKT was more right and involving. In such instances I tend to walk away from auditions to avoid hypnotizing myself with auto suggestions.

The next day and one Cara Dillon tune later, I suddenly grokked what had changed – the spatial context between vocalist and pianist. Without the MKT the limitations and expanse of the venue were very clear as any good system should portray them. Cara and her keyboardist husband simply occupied the same level. With the MKT back on the shelf, madame Dillon moved toward me by one step.