Novum PMR - I am impressed

Novum PMR

Audiogon has done some threads on this eccentric device before. I took a chance on buying one for my system and am impressed. It truly is like having a sort of center speaker when placed between the main speakers. Since my entirely vertical rack sits between the main speakers, and the placement suggestion for the Novum advocates for the "singing bowl" to be placed between and somewhat behind the speakers it took some doing to place the bowl correctly. The rack shelving had to be adjusted a bit closer to the components so that the novum could be perched on the vacant top rack about 5 feet high. This is not "ear level" relative to my listening chair but by tilting the bell forward somewhat I feel that much of the sonic interaction is reaching me correctly.

This sort of device reminds me how much of the audiophile journey is about exploring the more abstruse elements of sound and acoustic theory because this thing is hard to grok. It is not really a "singing bowl" in the classic sense because most of the tone emanates from the thin leading rim. The body of the thing is much thicker than the traditional singing bowl shape and rises in stages or steps rather abruptly from the base. There is some acoustic theory about resonance going on here that I would like to be more privy to.

What it does for sound is obviously beneficial for my set up. There is a slight gain in loudness at any given knob position, but the gain is not unpleasant. The treble is somehow restrained but gains in detail. Decay is extended but not unnaturally - there is no adverse "feedback" or "ringing." The mids and bass seem somehow boosted but with no distortion which was an apprehension I initially had when first unboxing it and just looking at it. Notes "seem" to linger longer but there is no sense of undue embellishment. A lot of the music I favor such as Deuter already has echo in spades, but the Novum does not just tack on extra echo - it seems to simply grab what is there and stabilizes it so that it "behaves" with more composure.

Very strange and delightfully so.