Comments from à la carte productions' David Sckolnik
Reflections by ADD-Powr's Bill Stierhout
It's been a long time since the introduction of a component into my audio system caused me to change my ideas of what was possible in sound reproduction. The last time: when I first plugged a DSA phono preamplifier into my audio chain. The Phono-ONE changed the way I listened to recorded music forever. That was in 2011.
January 5, 2020. I had little expectation that plugging in the ADD-Powr Sorcer x4 into the wall of my listening room would make much of a difference to my overall sound. I was very, very wrong about that.
So... here are the immediate impressions I noticed (one month later, they're still with me):
1. Climaxes wonderfully shattering without strain.
2. Humanness comes across more vividly.
3. Technicolor- like turning up the color on an old color tv set.
4. A velvet curtain appears and opens to reveal a new portal into the music.
5. Dynamics are robust and musically explosive.
6. Recordings previously unimpressive and not very listenable are transformed and now provide irresistible tonal beauty and engaging imaging.
7. Turn up the volume and get more of a great thing without any strain or compression.
Pretty impressive list of impacts. My action after writing these down: Ask Bill Stierhout to recount how he came to perfecting this seemingly bizarre technology. (Remember- all I did was plug the unit into the wall!) Here's what he came back with:
In the late 1970s an interesting initiative was born of the wellness/alternative health movement. There became a growing awareness of the electrical environment and its potentially stressful and harmful impact on human health and physiology.
The movement zeroed in on the electrical artifacts coming from the areas of 50/60 Hz 115/230 VAC electricity; how it was delivered into the home and office and its application to modern appliances and conveniences. “Electro-magnetic field (EMF) pollution” became buzz words for the threat posed by electricity to the health of the home environment. It was discovered that prolonged exposure to electricity could possibly harm one’s health depending on the strength of the EMF and one’s proximity to it. It was distressing to hear reports of babies incurring brain tumors over a short time period in a housing development in Colorado. Those homes were all located along a corridor of high voltage power towers and power transformers.
In the early 1990s, early computer monitor devices leaked unchecked EMFs into home and office environments with consumers having little or no awareness of what they were being subjected to. The meteoric rise of cell phones into the hands and ears of the general public eventually was distinguished as a genuine health threat and remains a concern to many, especially those who are EMF sensitive.
Solutions were sought and this is when I began to take note of some of these new investigations. Specifically, the bioelectric wellness health business community worked to mitigate the unhealthy effects from those early computers and cell phones as well as noisy, stressful electrical powered environments. Attempts were made to reduce the emf intensity (gauss); while others provided a shield using a protective material. Products were offered that created comfortable, stress-free electro-magnetic field environments for the home and office.
It was discovered that electrical field signal generators of varying low frequency waveforms could produce interesting effects on human physiology. White noise generators induced a calming influence and reduce insomnia. At the same time, it was reported that certain devices generating low frequency of digital design, such as LED clocks, could positively affect the quality of sound heard through a hi-fi system. That’s when these seemingly divergent disciplines shared some common ground.
In the 1990s, Coherence Industries and Coherent Systems manufactured “clocks” treated by a proprietary bio-field technology to develop comfortable, harmonious, healthy EMF environments. They were sold as commercial wellness products. I developed, promoted, and marketed such designs. Then, a leap of faith was taken.
When installed around hi-fi systems, the technology offered benefits to the quality of sound. The designer, George Tice, jumped on the bandwagon. He also developed his own “magic clock” and proprietary material treatment process.
This took the high-end Hi-Fi world by storm. Magazines and reviewers were astonished by the outrageous claims and found them to be real. They swore by what they heard.
I became obsessed with this technology. I became a manufacturer of emf protection products for both markets - the wellness health market, as well the hi-fi audio markets under Coherence Systems, Quantum Life Products, and Quantum Products.
The areas of frequency, resonance, and tuned electrical environments fascinated me. Along with this began a growing interest in the esoteric aspect of material treatments and processes whose outcomes are purported to influence electronic conductors in such a way as to lower electrical noise in audio systems.
At Quantum Products we developed a variety of products in the field of power conditioning- becoming a leader in the development of electro-magnetic field harmonic tuning devices. Quantum Resonant Technology™, QRT™, is a proprietary material treatment process developed and applied to enhance the performance of these devices. We struggled but did very well to reach the audiophile “tweak” market, enough to interest several high end OEMs to incorporate this resonant technology into their power conditioning products.
Nordost bit hard on these new possibilities and so began my first formal foray into high end audio. The collaboration lasted some ten years during which time several products were developed and marketed successfully.
Unfortunately, the acceptance of Quantum Resonant Technology™ suffered from poor marketing strategies. Pseudo-scientific babble produced confusion and doubt in the minds of many audiophiles. Nordost and I were to blame for this. Even still, reviews were published, and the product received “Recommended Component” status from Stereophile Magazine.
In truth, the ideas of power harmonics are not new. There are industrial filters that add frequencies to the AC line to achieve its stability and other desired results. The idea of adding noise or an external signal to an audio signal or system is not unheard of.
Now in a far more refined and more powerful incarnation, ADD-Powr™ endeavors to introduce low frequency square wave signals into the power supplies of electronic signals and systems.
Without getting into the theory behind the technology, suffice it to say that the ADD-Powr™ approach incorporates principles of resonance, the Fourier harmonic transform , and Tesla wave propagation.
Ultimately, the goal is to restore and boost harmonic energy in electronics audio, video, and communication systems.
When more harmonic content is added to any power supply reference (AC or DC), the signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) attribute of the signal (audio, video, data) will increase. Spectrum analysis shows that audio signal harmonic content increases by as much as 15 - 20%. Acoustical S/N measurements show a .5 - 1.0 dB or more energy increase.
Our latest products create a new reference, not only for the signal ground, but also directly onto the AC or DC voltage/power reference. The addition of ADD-Powr™ technology alters the AC standard as well as the DC small signal reference. This alteration does not negate or violate other power signal conditioning designs. Those approaches filter EMF noise/interference, isolate the power line, balance the power line, or regenerate the power line. We are compatible with all of those approaches.
So, we are a new brand under an old company moniker. With new resources, I am back to raise the bar of what is possible within the emf harmonic generator conditioning technology as applied to audio systems. Now, how we think of power conditioning or ground reference technology is being transformed!
- Bill Stierhout
I can't say I really understand what Bill's doing with the Sorcer x4. But I can say I've never enjoyed my audio system as much as I do now- David