Jonathan Valin on the Synergistic Acoustic ART Tuning Bowls

December 16, 2010

This from JV’s Magico Q5 blog:

As I think I’ve said, I’m currently using a combination of traditional room treatments (such as ASC tube traps, RPG Skyline, and AV Room Services Metu panels) and non-traditional ones (Shakti Hallographs and Synergistic Research ART resonators, which are here on test). The “magnetically-tuned” bowls of the Synergistic ART system are not made from ultra-expensive materials and, as these things go, are fairly affordable. They certainly do “something positive” to the sound of the room, but then applying any object to a wall is likely to change the resonant signature of the wall–these things simply do this in a predictably mellifluous way.I, too, have done a lot of reading about room treatments, and the use of resonating objects to reinforce fundamentals and reduce confusing echoes and increase articulation is as old as the Greeks, who used bronze vases of various sizes on their stages to do this very thing. So did the Romans, so did medieval churches (for their choir lofts).I kinda resisted the ART system for a long while, although I’d actually heard it make positive acoustical differences all over the world–in Belgium, in Turkey, in Japan, and, of course, at CES in Vegas long before I finally tried them. When I review the ARTs, I think I will be able to show (via RTAs of the same speaker taken, with exactly the same mike in exactly the same position, before and after the ART system was applied) that they do have a demonstrable and entirely salubrious effect, smoothing frequency response, particularly in the midrange and treble–at least they do in my digs. This is not to say that everyone should run out and buy an ART system, just that it’s not as “smoke and mirrors” as some might think.

I will be very interested to see his RTA measurements.