6Moons.com vs. Stereo Times

I was looking for RMAF 2012 reviews today and my search led me to the Synergistic Research site. I noticed their Home Page announcement that "6 Moons.com just reviewed our Tranquility Base." When I clicked to read more I found that the review in question is of Ed Meitner's EMM Labs XDS1 SE SACD Player with the Tranquility Base being used in the context of the EMM product. Let's have a look at how 6Moons.com reviews this audio equipment.

On the first page of the review there are two page-wide views of the Tranquility Base but there is only a single brief paraqraph about the Tranquility Base, highlighted by this statement, "The Meitner was tested in tandem with an anti-vibration/noise-reduction platform." The reviewer then defers to a lengthy explanation from Synergistic Research on page two of the review, accompanied by one more page-wide view of the Tranquility Base. So far, the only "review" here consists of quotes from Synergistic Research literature and prominent photos of the Tranquility Base. I used to be in the advertising business. So far, this looks more like advertising to me than a review.

But wait. On page 3 of the review the comments about the Tranquility Base finally appear. But, as is typical of many 6Moons.com reviews, where twists and turns and tangents abound, couched in florid prose and convoluted phrasing, the review introduces a third product to compare with the Tranquility Base. This third product is a Japanese platform called the RAF-48. At this point things become muddied:

"The Meitner atop the RAF-48 platform was more austere. It was perfectly audible that the Synergistic created a golden glow which clarified but also saturated the top end. This lacked with the AR. Meanwhile the bass seemed better articulated and differentiated with the Japanese platform. The difference was not significant but repeatable and audible with each record ..."

Until we arrive at the very end of the review where we read, "This platform [the Tranquility Base] is manufactured with unique attention to detail. It is not very high and its outer edges are trimmed out with aluminum banding ...", along with more information taken from the Synergistic Research site about the physical features of the Tranquility Base.

The most important thing that the review had to say about the Tranquility Base was found on page 3 of the review smothered by the accompanying prose:

"The Synergistic Research Tranquility Base is a very interesting product. It clearly influences the sound in a good way. It is prohibitively expensive but worthy at least a listen just to be aware of what’s possible. I think it will be very versatile and improve the sound for any type of component sitting atop it."

In other words, the Tranquility Base does something good but it is way overpriced for what it does. On 6Moons.com you often have to wade through the mire to get to the point. What took them so long to get to the point?

This review confirms why I am not a fan of 6Moons.com reviews. In my opinion, their reviews are characterized by florid prose that is ostentatiously literary. And their convoluted comments are pockmarked by comparisons, digressions and tangents that twist and turn, ending by often obscuring more than they reveal.

In comparison, I find Stereo Times' reviews a breath of fresh air. 6Moons.com reviews make me feel like I am trying to unravel a puzzle wrapped in a mystery couched in an enigma. How do you feel about 6Moons.com and Stereo Times?
WOw, I actually still had the email response from John Potis to my inquiry. I'd like to share it. I don't think he would have minded.

BTW I tried a Musical FIdelity A3CR amp first after this and that was pretty good but I then decided to splurge and move on to the Bel Cantos.

-----Original Message-----
From: John Potis [mailto:john.potis@comcast.net]
Sent: Thu 11/29/2007 8:02 PM
To: mapman
Subject: Do it Do it Do it Do it Do it

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Hi mapman,

Uhm, my initial thoughts are that, uh, you should do it. Do something. :-)

Of course, I would never suggest that you buy before you try, but I think
you could do better with the Ohms than the Carver. Carver amps are long on
watts and they'll play loud enough, but they don't have the current to
really *drive* a speaker; to take the bull by the horns. And Ohms love
current. My father-in-law has the 300s in a large open-architecture home
and it's a great testing ground for large amps. I've got the 1000 watt
Bryston amplifiers here and I can't wait to take them over there to put on
the Ohms. I wrote a piece when I was at Soundstage called "My
father-in-law's system" where I brought over a pair of Blue Circle BC8s that
awoke the 300s as never before.

However, I'm not sure that the little 150 watt monos have the current to
really drive the speakers. If you can try them locally, you can always try.
If you can find some Musical Fidelity stuff locally I'd love to hear the A5
power amp on them. I love my A5 integrated amp and the A5 power amp has
even more current.

If you promise not to tell anybody, I'll admit that I owned that 205 watt
Carver Cube amp... I can't even remember the model. It wasn't a lot of money
but it wasn't much of an amp either. I spent a couple weeks with your amp
some years ago and I thought it was OK, though nothing special. Of course,
special will cost a lot of money. If I recall, yours was modeled after the
old CJ Premier 5 monos. Some time after the Carver Challenge I recall
reading that Stereophile tried an off-the-shelf amp and found that it didn't
sound anything like the CJ.

I haven't heard the Series III drivers. But the Series II drivers aren't the
most transparent or the most highly detailed. I wouldn't suggest buying an
extremely expensive amp for them, but I think that a good high-current amp
will bring the best out of them.

If you can compare the series II and series III speakers for me, I'd
appreciate it. I'm considering turning my Ohms over the Bill Legall at
Millersound and seeing what he can do with them. They're wonderful speakers,
don't get me wrong. It's just that they don't stand up to some of the
speakers I have around hear which cost 2 to 4 times as much. So I'm curious
as to what can be done with them.

Anyway, yeah, I think you should try some amps out. As it happens my
father-in-law has my Bel Canto Ref 1000s right now. I haven't been over
there but he says it beats the heck out of his old Adcom GFA555, which I
think was in par with the Carver, if not better. (It's the amp I replaced my
Carver with.)



----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2007 6:05 PM
Subject: ICEPower for Ohms? Your thoughts would be much appreciated

Hi John,

I've read some of your reviews on sixmoons and thought you might be able
to offer me some insight.

I'm running a pair of Ohm f-5 series 3 speakers (Walsh 5 Series 3
drivers on refurbished Ohm F cabinets) I acquired from John at Ohm this
year with a Carver c-6 pre-amp and a Carver m4.0t amp that I've run,
well satisfied with, for almost 20 years now.

The Carver m4.0t is the SS model designed with the tube-like transfer
function based on a reference Conrad Johnson amp, as I understand it.
Very smooth and liquid, very tube-like with lots of power for the power
hungry Ohms...no problem. Sounds very good and natural to my ears. I
used the Carver setup with Maggie 1.3c's for years to good effect as
well prior to the Ohms.

The new ICEPower AMP design that is used in the Bel Cantos and several
other lines currently intrigues me. The description's + reviews I've
read of the sound + the documented high damping factor spec for the Bel
Cantos in particular sound like a natural match at reasonable cost,
perhaps worth trying.

In that you are familiar with both the Ohm Walsh line and the Bel
Cantos, I was wondering what your thoughts are on this combo.

Would 100-150W of ICEPower be sufficient with the Ohms in a medium to
large room (~27'X20', L shaped).

If you are familiar with the Carver equipment and could add anything
specific relating to how the amp switch might work and sound, that
would be icing on the cake for me.

Thank you for you time and consideration.

You can see my system including the Carvers and the Ohms (actually 3
separate pairs of Ohms that I own including the f-5s), "Ohm Sweet Ohm",
outlined on audiogon if you like.
The only thing I like 6moons reviews for are to see detaailed pictures of the equipment that they review. Other than that, I find their reviews to be overly boring, never to the point and full of BS.
On several occasions, I have read a 6moons review and thought to myself, "I'd like to meet their dealer."

And I don't mean their audio dealer.

I dont believe reviews anymore, unless comes from owners forums,
Since I started doing this, I saved headaches and money.
Ahhhhh no dealers saying w hat they carry is the best either....
Good luck biased ma gazines followers.....