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Reviewer: Stephæn
Analogue sources: Nottingham Analogue Studio Space Deck driven by Walker Audio Precision Motor Controller. NAS Space Arm with The VTAF® from Pete Riggle Audio. Dynavector 17D2MKII, Dynavector 20xl, Denon 103, and Audio Technica OC9 cartridges.
Digital sources: Wavelength Audio Cosecant USB DAC fed by iBook G4 with dual 500GB LaCie Firewire drives; and 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, modified/upgraded Eastern Electric Minimax (larger PS, 12FQ7 ready, gain cut to 9dB), Dodd Audio Battery Powered Preamp [in for review], Herron Audio VTPH-1MC and Monolithic Sound PS-1/HC-1.
Amplifiers: AudioSector Patek v2 and Wright Sound Company WPA 3.5 monoblocks. Secondary - Outlaw Audio RetroReceiver.
Speakers: DIY Altec 604 MLTL. Secondary - Zu Audio Druid Mk.4, Sound Dynamics RTS-3 and REL Strata III.
Cables: DIY WM-XTC, Audience Au24 and Zu Audio Libtec cables; Audience Au24, Audience Maestro [on loan] and TG Audio Lab custom copper interconnects. Secondary - Analysis Plus cables and interconnects.
Stands: Two three-tier Grand Prix Audio Monaco units on GPA Apex footers
Isolation: Main: GPA Monaco. Secondary - Acoustic Dreams Dead Ball Isolators and Neuance platform
Powerline 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 [both on loan] power cords. 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 Gibson Jumbo 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, sheetrock 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
: Various items, prices detailed in narrative.

After sitting in on several evaluation sessions and concurring with Jeff's assessments regarding the performance of the Acoustic Revive RR-77, I subsequently purchased one for my own use. Naturally, it wasn't long before the bug that nibbles at all of us tweakers bit yet again.

I was following some discussion on the Tweakers' Asylum and the Isolation Ward and found other twisted souls like me who were searching for experiences, explanations, procedures and whatever else we could learn to augment the positive impacts of the RR-77 - or, at the very least, get the same buzz on the (comparatively) cheap.

Don't worry. Nobody in this article has gone to the dogs and no animals were hurt or abused during its creation.
On the Tweakers' Asylum alone, you'll find a lot of ideas ranging from sticking an Acoustic Revive QR-8 near the LED lamp, to using multiples (I've seen pictures of one system with four!) of the RR-77s, to having one sandwiched with a KingRex power supply unit and a Shakti Stone, to combining the AR device with Alan Maher's Power Enhancers. And more. But it's not my intent, in this article, to provide a full survey of the field. So I'll toss out one more nugget and then get back on track: There seems to be a strong consensus among users that placing a CD, label side down, over the RR-77 for 10 seconds (not five or 20, but 10) induces everything from "a not so subtle" to "significant" effect.

Before trying any or all of that, I wanted to see what else was out there in terms of the basic box. The first non-audiophile-targeted device I tried was the EarthCalm Scalar Home Protection System. At $285, it's not in your basic box but looks to be well thought out and easy to deploy. As expressed by its name, it's designed for whole house 'protection'. I won't drag you through the specs or detailed technological descriptions on this or any of the other products discussed today. You can learn all you care to know by following the related links. My goal today is simply to report on my observations and experiences following three months of looking beyond the RR-77.

The EarthCalm system, it should be noted (in case you won't follow the later link), does much more than electronically generate the SR. It utilizes the principles of cyclotronic resonance and scalar resonance, too. This combination of approaches impacted all the humans in our residence as well as Kyli, our Australian Shepherd, significantly within two days of installation. Everyone appeared to be more energized yet calmer. The phrase clearly focused springs immediately to mind. The effect stabilized over the next three weeks. About a week later, I removed the device and noted no changes from the stabilized state I had experienced personally or
detected in others. After sharing this observation on-line, AA inmate MMasztal replied, in part, "I'd hypothesize the reason nobody noticed the removal of the device may be that the deleterious effects of EMF are cumulative and may not become symptomatic until a certain level is reached." A plausible point supported by the extant and admittedly meager research. It leaves me wondering: How long it will take before we again become toxic? How will we know when that threshold is crossed? Can we then get a fix by hovering near an SR generator for however long it takes?

What MMasztal mentioned is in harmony with the existing literature, should you care to delve deeper. I had already wondered out loud, in dialogue with Jeff and others, whether the effects of these devices had some sort of 'half-life', as there were several times when I could not discern whether they were on or off. So, the answer posed above is that they don't but it is easy to think about it that way. What seems to really be going on is "... that the deleterious effects of EMF are cumulative and may not become symptomatic until a certain level is reached." And, that we don't benefit as much from the SR when we are 'well'. That all assumes, of course, that the devices actually address EMF and that EMF is bad. I think we know with some certainty about the veracity of the latter concern.

Thoughts abound when discussions of these various devices ensue. One opinion that was offered by users both on-line and in the real world (such as it is) basically suggests that the RR-77 leaks EM to simulate the effect of the Schumann Resonance. But here I am beginning to stray from my goal, which is not to explain how or why these devices work but whether or not they address my interests as a listener. In spite of my positive experience with the RR-77, I remain curious and somewhat challenged by the task of accepting that some things do work even if I don't understand how.

Getting back to the EarthCalm device: The immediately relevant point was that it did nothing for my experience of the music via my harmonic hypnosis machine -- nothing good or bad -- that I could discern at any time over the three-week period. Interestingly enough, during about the same time frame another inmate, Paul_A, was experiencing positive effects in his system. Go figure.

He wrote, in part, "I have been using the EarthCalm device for about a month now and I have some results that I consider reliable. In other words, I believe that the changes I hear are not due to changes in mood, weather or some other factor but due to the device's influence - it works. The soundstage opens up considerably and the music becomes more relaxed. I would think that the effect on the soundstage would be less likely due to any mood changing effects of the device but the relaxed presentation of the music might be."

Inmate hotbird, however, had the same experience as your reporter here: "Tried the EarthCalm before, does nothing much for audio. But some have better luck with another brand called EarthSafe, check [it] out [on the] Iso forum." So I did. And after reading a second, very positive report from inmate kavakidd, I ordered one. The EarthSafe (at $250) is another 'whole house' device unlike the RR-77 (which I'm told by the U.S. distributor, Joseph Cohen, has an effective area of about 150 square feet). As you can see from the accompanying pics, the RR-77 [upper] and EarthSafe [lower] devices look nothing alike inside. The EarthCalm unit discussed above did not lend itself to disassembly.

from the instruction sheet of the EarthSafe device

Once the EarthSafe was set up, I began to shuffle through a pile of mail and reading while one of the grandkids was watching something or other on PBS. While not paying attention, I noticed (actually, I was distracted by and drawn in by) a real improvement in the stock sound (especially diction) and quality (spaciousness and frequency extension of the accompanying soundtrack). When I looked up, I found that the picture on my Samsung 46" HDTV seemed to have improved slightly as well.

The next week, I A/B'd the EarthSafe unit against the RR-77 in a friend's system. It was easy to tell the difference between the two. Each device had a unique character with repeatable, physical impacts on our bodies yet similar impacts on the music. Oddly enough, one week later, in my own home, it would have been a stretch to say that I could discern any difference when alternating my RR-77 and the EarthSafe device or using neither while listening to music. At the time, I was also evaluating some tubes and a couple of preamps and had no issues with spotting some rather subtle differences and characteristics with them so I must just have been in a state where the devices weren't impacting me, or the gear. Had I gotten my fill? Was I detoxed? Or had I finally come to my - erm, senses? "Not likely," opined my lovely bride. I think I know which option she was ruling out. And I once again made a mental note to stop talking to myself (out loud).

As I reflected on this phenomenon, I thought back to AA Inmate MMasztal's remark but got sidetracked by another thought that kept popping into my mind (a first clue as it were): I am much more casual about my TV watching than I am about listening to my system. I am also, for the most part, more casual when listening to others' systems as my goal is to appreciate them, not pick them apart. I was becoming increasingly aware that the effects of some of these devices sneak up me when I'm not looking for them. I had to remind myself to stop trying so hard. Maybe next week.