Golden Sound Accessories
|Golden Sound Accessories|
A Little Help From Some Friends
13 May 2003
DH Cones: Super 1 1/2" tall, Large 1" tall
DH Squares: 2" × 2"
Golden Sound Pad: 12 ⅜" × 17 ⅝" × ½"
Acoustic Discs: ¾" Diameter × ⅜" tall
DH Cones: Super $100.00, Large $50.00
DH Squares: $10.00 per square
Golden Sound Pad: $150.00
Acoustic Discs: $120.00
(plus applicable taxes & shipping)
US Distributor: Golden Sound
Phone: (888) 811-5818
You know that guy where you work who has the body of a Greek God, 0% body fat, hard, sinewy muscles that just seem to make the stitching on his ultra-tight fitting mock turtleneck sweater teeter on the edge of exploding every time he flexes his … Oops, sorry. I think I was going to a really strange place for a moment. I've got to stop watching the Oxygen channel.
But I'm sure you know the guy I'm talking about. He's always in great shape and is always either going to or just getting back from a workout. The guy in my office's name is Thor (What? Did you really think that I was going to use his real name). I bumped into him in the elevator the other day and asked (in my most masculine voice) if he was about to go work out? "Yes," he replied in a voice that was surprisingly un-masculine. "I have to stay in ship shape. I race sailboats during the summer and you have to be a certain weight and be particularly strong to work the ropes," explained Thor.
I began thinking about how his attitude towards staying in shape and tightening things up could be related to the performance of my audio system. Was my system in shape? Was the base a little bloated? Had the highs gotten a little unruly? Unfortunately, they don't have health clubs for audio equipment. But don't despair, the thoughtful folks over at Golden Sound in McLean, VA have dedicated themselves to developing devices that can help tighten up your sound and get your system in ship shape. I recently had the privilege of using three of their products: DH Squares, DH Cones, and Acoustic Discs.
It Takes Two
The DH Cones are an extremely cost effective way of reducing the effects of vibration from your CD player, transport, turntable, DVD player, VCR, etc. The cones, which are painted with what looks like black enamel, are made from a ceramic material used on space shuttles and have a hardness rating of 9.5. Only diamond is said to be harder. The cones I used came in two sizes: the 1 ½" super and the 1" large. The cones also come in jumbo, medium, and small. The DH Squares are made of a graphite-based composite material that the company says reduces structural resonance and noise. I began by using three of the large cones under my trusty Electrocompaniet EMC-1 CD player. The EC player is a hefty unit weighing in at 44lbs. Part of the reason for its heft is to reduce mechanical vibrations. So when I installed the cones, there wasn't an immediately noticeable improvement to the sound except maybe a bit more focus on vocal recordings. But after I installed the DH Squares underneath the cones, baby!
When I played the Natalie Cole and Diana Krall duet, "Better Than Anything" from Natalie's wonderful new disc, Ask a Woman Who Knows (Verve, 314-589-774-2), the two sirens' voices were so well detailed that their respective positions within the soundstage were eerily defined. So much so that I literally found myself turning my head left then right just to look where the two distinctly different voices were coming from. Now I'm really starting to get on the healthy system bandwagon. I had just firmed up my midrange so now it was on to the bass. My Talon Audio Peregrine X speakers come with what Talon calls their "nest" stands that the speakers sit in on four little rubber feet. I installed the super cones and squares on top of the nests and under the speakers. Suddenly, an already deep and tight bass seemed to fill a much larger and deeper soundstage. An excellent example of this was on blues great, John Hammond's latest disc, Ready for Love. The eighth track is a Willie Dixon piece called "Same Thing." On it, Hammond's slide guitar supported by Marty Ballou's bass and Stephen Hodges' kick drum renders a classic blues tune with a low end that sounds as though it were made by instruments; bass this deep often just sounds like low-level energy and not music. The cones and squares take the boominess out and leaves well-defined musical notes.
Another wonderful product from Golden Sound is the Golden Sound Pad. It is basically a large DH Square measuring 19" x 17". It can be used with the cones the same way that the squares are but because of its size it really shines when used under a VCR, LD, or DVD player. I tried it and some large cones under my Sony DVP-N650V CD/DVD/SACD player. The improvement in music and film sound was expected but I was really floored by the improved focus of the video quality. One of my all-time favorite films is Mel Brooks' classic western spoof "Blazing Saddles." The Golden Sound tweaks gave me the impression that I had just cleaned off my glasses and was looking at this classic as it had appeared on the big screen when I first saw it almost 30 years ago.
Yes, my system was really in shape now. But could it get better? Oh yeah. The last tweak from Golden Sound that I played with was the one that got rid of that last pesky little bit of top end spittiness, the Golden Sound Acoustic Discs. The discs may look like miniature double-decker aluminum and foam Oreo Cookies but when strategically placed throughout your listening room and on various components and cables can transform it into the lean mean music machine that it should be. The discs are ¾" in diameter and come with a template that guides the user in placing the discs in spots where they will be the most effective. You use them in corners where they reduce corner reflection and on reflective surfaces that may influence the sound of what comes out of your speakers. You can use them on any component in your system where there is vibration. I placed them in each corner of my room and on my power cords and cables. The effect was immediate. It was as if the corners were now putting more top-end musical information back into the soundstage where it belonged. The edges around sound images were sharper and more airy.
Used individually, each of these products will make nice little improvements to your system's sound. But when used together, they are a revelation. So, if the bass in your system is a little chubby, if the mid-range has lost it's enthusiasm, and if Heaven forbid, your highs just don't get you as high as they used to, then you may be ready for a little Golden Sound workout.
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