Five years ago I read about the Bacch crosstalk elimination product when it was a $50K component. Now you can purchase the full effect of the science for 1/10th that (even less for a stripped down version). The $5K audiophile edition of Bacch4Mac does everything you need to achieve the highest sound quality, and you can take advantage of its head tracking capability by adding an optional $80 webcam that allows the enhancement to the soundstage and sound quality to remain unaffected by head movements over a region where you choose to have your head tracked.
The system I installed it in–or I should say the inventor himself, Edgar Choueiri, installed it in (which took about an hour including various demos to see how well it was working)--is comprised of an 432 Evo Aeon MKII music server, Playback Designs MPD8 DAC, D’Agostino Progression Integrated Amp, modified Magnepan LRS+ speakers on Mye Sound stands and a KEF KC62 subwoofer. (I know what you’re thinking: he’s got $1000 speakers in front of $55K+ worth of gear, what a waste. Trust me, it’s not! See my post How Much Do You Love Your Magnepan LRS+?) Listening to binaural recordings through the Bacch4Mac is truly a mind blowing 3-D experience and the degree this carries over to stereo recordings depends on the recording itself. But almost all recordings benefit from a more realistic soundstage, sometimes deeper and wider and higher, sometimes just one or two of those things, sometimes all three. Edgar says that you could even move your speakers together, virtually side by side, and you would hear this same extended soundstage, although the distance from the front wall would still impact depth. (A boon for people whose speaker placement is constricted.) Mine are 4’ from the front wall and the depth the Bacch gives to good orchestra recordings is remarkable, not an effect but totally natural. In fact, after some extended listening, I realized that I was being drawn into the music, seduced really, more than I ever had been. This naturalness was pervasive, a relaxed feeling that increased presence, separation, and tonal rightness, and it was every bit as powerful as the enhanced soundstage, sometimes more so. I could hear and understand lyrics more clearly, hear more wood, drum skins, guitar strings and frets, rosin on the bow, the shape of instruments, etc. I couldn’t figure out why this was happening, there didn’t seem to be a lowered noise floor, highs weren’t rolled off or heightened, there wasn’t an emphasis in the mids or lower mids, it was just this uncanny improvement that made every recording sound more alive and engaging. In all the reviews and feedback I had read in the trades and on forums, I recall only two mentions of this overall sound improvement I was hearing. One listener attributed it to the elimination of comb filtering and the other individual simply claimed everything seemed to sound better, more engrossing was his word.
So I shot off an email to Edgar asking about this. And he soon sent one back saying yes, crosstalk elimination also eliminates comb filtering, but he also said that was not the source of the sound improvement I was hearing. And he soon followed his email with a phone call, saying it was easier to explain over the phone. He said that the elimination of crosstalk not only purified the image but purified the sound as well despite the fact that the program doesn’t run in the frequency domain (it operates in the phase domain) and technically shouldn’t impact frequency response. He had heard my same comment about overall sound quality improvement from many other users. He proceeded to give me a scientific reason for this purification which has partly to do with the elimination of “spatially collapsed reverb” that normal stereo creates and ended by informing me that the sp in Bacchsp stands for sound purifier. While his full explanation seemed perfectly plausible, it was also a little over my head and I’m sure I’d muck it up by trying to repeat it. I suggested to him that he was under-marketing the Bacch product, that it did so much more than enhance sound stage. He agreed but said he would rather undersell the product than claim it was the best thing since sliced bread for audio. “After all I am a scientist not a marketer.”
As a consumer I have none of Edgar’s reluctance in telling you I found his product to do so much more than eliminate crosstalk and enhance soundstage–no mean trick in itself mind you. I’ll go so far as to claim that Bacch4Mac is the single most profound upgrade I’ve put in my system in 33 years of audiophilia. It took me less than two days to realize I didn’t want to listen without it–nowhere near the two weeks you get to decide if it’s a keeper. Kudos to Edgar Choueiri for his game changing invention, and even more kudos for bringing the technology within financial reach of many serious audiophiles. When you’re sitting on $5K and contemplating your next upgrade, I can’t think of a better piece of “gear” to trial in your system. Even if you just won the lottery and are sitting on 5 times that amount, the Bacch4Mac is where I’d head first. It’s that good. Love to hear from other users about what they think of the Bacch4Mac’s impact on overall sound quality. (I have no financial affiliation with this product, so don’t even go there :)