Audio electronics treated with MusiCoat no longer sound harsh and artificial, because MusiCoat cures the artifacts of multiple reflections (hard glare, bright edge, chalky white haze, and clinically lean, thin tonal balance). All music (instrumental and vocal) sounds more tonally natural, with the excess brightness and glare tamed, and natural warmth restored. Most importantly, the musical details so important for realism are heard more clearly, against a blacker background of silence, since the obscuring glare and white haze have been eliminated. For example, eliminating solid state's harsh metallic clang on a piano lets you hear the piano's true sound, with felt hammers and wood sounding board -- and better hear the music itself too.
Solid state devices treated with MusiCoat combine the practicality of solid state with the natural musicality of tubes, giving you the best of both worlds. They sound more like tubes, more like real music, but they act electrically and physically just like solid state devices.
With MusiCoat you hear music's natural harmonic balance, its rich body and warmth, with a quieter background. Gone are the brittle midrange glare, sterile thin coldness, excess brightness, and whitish background noise that all solid state devices intrinsically have. Devices treated with MusiCoat are more accurate -- more transparently revealing of the input signal and truer to the sound of real live music -- than today's solid state devices, whose sonic glare actually blocks musical information. Meanwhile, solid state devices treated with MusiCoat still have solid state's best qualities: wide bandwidth, speed, articulation, low distortion, high power, compact packaging, reliability, zero maintenance, lower cost.
We trust our own objective listening judgements, but we wanted to make absolutely sure that the sonic benefits we heard from MusiCoat could actually be appreciated by the vast majority of audiophiles, and would be relevant even to modest systems. So we dared to put MusiCoat through a trial by fire, proving it by a public A-B comparison. We publicly demonstrated an A-B comparison (in two otherwise identical D-A convertors) for four full days in our own exhibit suite at CES, to hundreds of listeners, all high end audio pros. Everyone responded with amazed smiles, wide eyes, and dropped jaws, saying MusiCoat is "the Holy Grail of audio", "the most important audio breakthrough since the vacuum tube". We intentionally conducted this A-B comparison through an inexpensive 40 watt receiver, to prove that the sonic benefits of MusiCoat are relevant to all audiophiles and music lovers, even with modestly priced systems.
The test protocol was simple. An Audio Research CDT1 transport fed one of two identical modestly priced solid state digital convertors (McCormack Deluxe). We had first verified that both convertors sounded identical in stock form. We then had treated all the solid state devices (including purely digital chips) in one convertor with MusiCoat to become Tubistors.
In the A-B demonstration, both convertors fed inputs of an inexpensive 40 watt Denon receiver through identical interconnects. To compare the two convertors, we simply switched the input selector of the Denon receiver, and manually changed the output interconnect from the transport to feed the digital input of either one processor or the other.
To conduct the A-B demonstration, we simply played a musical selection through one digital convertor, then the other. Sometimes we played the stock convertor first, sometimes the MusiCoat treated convertor first, and we repeatedly went back and forth on the same musical passage if anyone requested it.
It's worth describing some of the highlights of the sonic differences observed. An important feature of a good A-B comparison is not only that sonic differences be audible and characterizable, but also that one of the versions be clearly perceivable as more right, more musically correct. Then, and only then, can one objectively say not only that a process (e.g. MusiCoat treatment) makes a sonic difference, but also that the difference it makes is for the better, towards musical truth.
One key recording in this regard proved to be Reference Recordings' masterpiece RR-25, Nojima Plays Liszt. Track 1, Mephisto Waltz #1, contains some killer upper register piano notes, very cleanly and transparently recorded, which bring out the flinty brilliance of the Steinway.
Heard through the stock solid state digital convertor, these notes had a brilliant metallic clang, the epitome of what many listeners have come to accept as 'hi-fi'. But there's something wrong with this picture. A piano is a percussion instrument, true. But there is no metal-to-metal contact in its percussive action that could possibly produce such a metallic clang. The physical reality of a piano is that a wooden hammer, covered with felt, strikes the metal strings. Thus, the true musical sound of a piano is wood and felt hitting metal, not the clang of metal hitting metal, as was heard through the stock solid state convertor (most other solid state products do this too).
The sonic contrast on these same piano notes was dramatic when played through the digital convertor that had been treated with MusiCoat. These upper register notes still had their flinty brilliance, but now they clearly had the sound of wood and felt hitting metal strings, not metal hitting metal. The artificial midrange clang was gone, and in its place the more natural, musically true sounds of wood and felt could be heard mixed in with the sound of the metal strings being struck.
Moreover, it became obvious not only that the metallic clang of solid state was an artificial coloration -- but also that this dominating, lingering clang was actually obscuring true musical information contained in the recording: the subtle textural sounds of the wood and felt hammer mechanism, and even of the piano's wooden sounding board. This important timbral information, occurring after the strong initial strike transient of the piano note, was obscured by the lingering multiple reflection shadow of solid state (sounding like a metallic clang) -- but then was
(Continued on page 12)