Stein Music Blue Sun
Holger Stein, the man behind Stein Music has some understanding of quantum physics and advanced engineering. His passion for music has enabled him to create a range of rather unique and interesting products like his Stein Harmonizers, Speaker Match and E-Pads. Stein's goal is aimed at helping audiophiles achieve a more rewarding experience of their music systems. In my conversations with Stein he never attempted to hype or sell his products. He respects the work of other top designers and I always feel his enthusiasm and his sincerity.
This past winter, I was delighted to have Stein visit my New York home. He was carrying a small briefcase that held one of his latest new passive room tuning devices he calls the Stein Audio Blue Sun. These shiny hockey puck-like devices, like his other mysterious Stones are said to enhance the musical realism in a high-end audio system by merely placing them on your listening room walls. Made by a mix of the specially designed crystals contained in a carbon filled epoxy resin, a single Blue Sun is about six times more power than the Blue Diamond: his previous top of the line passive tuning device (which are terrific on their own!).
One would call it a tweak but that's deceptive.
Stein products lie a bit further out on the fringes of our hobby and as a result haven't been considered as important as conventional audio components like upgrading to a better amp, Dac, speakers, interconnect cables, power cords, sound absorption panels, or support feet, etc. These are the more accepted methods for improving an audio system's musicality. But Stein not only creates so-called conventional products like loudspeakers, amps and phono cartridges, he also creates interesting devices that alter the way sound waves interact with the oxygen. You know the stuff that keeps us alive.
Air is more complex than I realized, according to Wikipedia air is composed mainly of nitrogen, secondly oxygen and an assortment of about 15 sub-factors. Stein’s theory and approach involves quantum physics. He uses precision cut crystals arranged in exact configurations putting out fields that allow these sound waves from our loudspeakers and through air molecules with less resistance. This, Stein purports, sets off a cascade of improvements in how we perceive sound. The Blue Sun are designed to either work solo or in conjunction with the Stein Harmonizers. Originally reviewed (here) back in 2011 by Clement Perry, the Blue Sun is an example of Stein's newest devices that claim to push the sonic boundaries even further. Holger Stein's newest Blue Sun, the subject of this review, is the newest addition to the Harmonizer family of products that include Black Stones, Black Diamonds and Blue Diamonds. The Blue Suns however employ the latest technology designed to further increase the power of the Stein Harmonizers.
Back to his visit.
Holger Stein stood in the center of my listening room behind my couch, as Cantate Domino (Proprius label) played, shifting his head back and forth, analyzing the sound quality of my system and room. This went on for several minutes: long enough to make me nervous at what he might find (like a doctor telling his patient a prognosis). Stein felt my sound-stage's width needed to be wider. “Wider ?” I said defensively. I thought it was wide enough. He then opened his case and took out 3 of the Blue Suns which come in dark blue and/or white. Stein then proceeded to place the three Blue Suns in my room; one on the left listening room wall, 12” from the ceiling and about 20” from the front listening room wall behind my Apogee Stage loudspeakers. Stein then placed a third Blue Sun on the top of my doorway directly behind my listening seat.
I sat down and cued up Cantate Domino once again. My response was "what the $%*&!" If someone had blindfolded me and told me I was listening to a new, much bigger and more expensive loudspeaker I would have believed it. Everything got better, larger and more real. The soundstage, dynamics, harmonics - you name it.
I was in shock that these small passive devices could enhance the musical presentation to such a dramatic degree. Before I could ask him what would happen if you put more in the room, he already had two more out of his case and placed one on my ceiling in the center of the room and one behind the speakers on top of the fireplace. And again, I was delighted at the further improvements. These things were hard to comprehend. When you hold a Blue Sun in your hand there’s a disconnect that such a small device could create the level of improvement I experienced. After Holger left I started playing with different positions in my room. I found that moving them in small increments allows you to dial in the perfect balance as to your preference. This is great because it really lets you custom tune them for all kinds of different room and equipment combinations. There is no right place to put them although Holger has recommended positions for which to start your placement. The point is you need to be willing to spend a fair amount of time experimenting with them to find the optimum positions. Once locked in, the rewards were sonically outstanding.
I first experimented with using three Blue Suns and two Stein Harmonizers and five Blue Suns and four Harmonizers. Then I tried the Blue Suns without the Harmonizers. The results were very good using the Blue Suns on their own, but with the Harmonizers they create a noticeably more powerful improvement. Even two harmonizers did the trick, the combination of the two Harmonizers kit which includes stands or wall mounts and two black stones comes to $2,295 The Blue suns retail for $750 each. Three Blue Suns would cost $4,545 which is a substantial amount of money. If you already own the Harmonizers, adding the Blue Suns is a great addition if you can afford them. This combination was quite powerful at turbo charging my Harmonizer's performance and taking my system to a stunning new level of musical enjoyment with richer harmonics, greater dimensionality and better dynamics. I can’t recommend them highly enough. I bought the Blue Sun review samples to add to my 4 Harmonizers.
Steinmusic Blue Sun