Saturday, July 20, 2013

A Customer writes...

Today a customer wrote:
"I have a very high end rig which I use for CDs and vinyl (Burmenster, Metronome, Zellaton etc). I would like to use my Mac as well to stream MOG via Pure Music. I am currently using an Audioquest Diamond USB cable which is decent. In your view, would an isolation device under the Mac improve matters? How you compare three Stein Naturals to the Synergistic research Basik platform, both of which I note you carry. Any other suggestions?"

I respond:

The Synergistic Research Tranquility Basik ($995) and The Stein Naturals ($289) are two completely different products. But If you are comparing bottom line sonic improvements, then the Tranquility Basik is the hands down winner for your Mac. Currently Synergistic Research has a promotion with the purchase of the Tranquility Base ($1995), which is a step up from the Tranquility Basik. They are giving away a one meter USB Active cable valued at $595.

The differences between the Tranquility Basik and the Tranquility Base are:

The Tranquility bāsik has the folllowing: Synergistic's Level 1 Active Signal Flow Control, 7 layer laminate mechanical isolation, one set of MiG resonator footers, and one Enigma bullet.
The Tranquility Base has Synergistic's Level 2 Active Signal Flow Control, Level 1 Passive Ground Plane, 9 layer laminate mechanical isolation, two sets of MiG resonator footers, and the Synergistic Enigma Bullet tuning system.
Sonically The Tranquility base drops the noise floor even lower, and that seems to improve dynamics and soundstaging over the Basik. 
The iFi USB
Last, I know you didn't bring this up, but I am excited about this new product and feel I would be doing you a disservice If I didn't mention it. If you are streaming audio to a USB DAC, your computer is corrupting the audio signal with it's noisy switching power supplies. The USB System carries power along with audio, and there is a lot of cross contamination. The ifi USB ($199) is a super regulated USB power supply that improves the sound of the USB signal into ANY USB DAC, no matter what the cost.  I guarantee you will love this product for what it does to the sound of USB streamed audio. It totally cleans it up, makes it less thin, harsh and grainy, and brings it to a level of sound quality that you would not expect from streaming audio.