Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Liquify your AC

The Akiko Audio Tuning sticks have gotten much well deserved attention lately. They are highly effective, and the price is very reasonable by high end audio standards. I myself have been living with the Akiko Audio tuning sticks for over a month now. What I have learned is that they are extremely system dependent, and  every iteration, Universal, RCA, XLR, and AC, must be experimented with in each system. In my reference system, the only tuning sticks that benefited the sound without altering tonal balance were the AC devices. In other's systems the Universal,  RCA or XLR Tuning sticks worked wonderfully.

Akiko Audio AC Tuning Stick
Akiko AC Tuning Stick
What worked well for my system was placing one AC Tuning stick as close to my system as possible. This meant placing one in one of the vacant AC receptacles in my Bybee Stealth Power Conditioner. I immediately noticed a sense of ease and flow to the music that was less electronic, and a tiny bit more low-level detail coming through. I have had customers tell me that they benefitted even more by adding more AC Tuning Sticks to the same AC circuit by placing them in empty outlets adjacent to their system.
Akiko Audio E-Tuning Gold
The E-Tuning Gold works great when attached to the
AC conduit feeding your audio system's AC receptacle

I was also experimenting with the E-Tuning Gold AC Tuning Stick, which is about 4 times the diameter of the Universal Tuning Stick and meant to attach to power cords specifically. With my Onda Rapture power cords, I was not getting much of a benefit. The E-Tuning Gold seemed to overly smooth the sound. Sort of a Gaussian Girl effect. I had an idea for an experiment with the E-Tuning Gold. I have access to the wiring that runs to electrical outlet that feeds my system. I strapped the E-Tuning Gold cylinder directly to the conduit with the supplied velcro straps, and went back to the listening chair to evaluate.

This was the ideal setup for my system. I had an improvement in low level detail and dynamics (no more Gaussian Girl effect), and the music became even less electronic in nature, and more organic. There was a liquidity and flow that sounded much more like real music in a live venue.

If you are curious about the Tuning Sticks, I recommend experimenting with ALL of them in your system. Tweek Geek offers in-home trials of all of the Akiko Tuning Sticks, and can arrange to send you a system tuning package for you to experiment with over the course of one or two weekends.