Synergistic Research Acoustic ART Vibratron SX
Before there was UEF Tech there was Acoustic ART, SR's first foray into the field of sympathetic resonance as an alternate means of treating room acoustics. Vibratron is a handmade multi-frequency resonator which anchors the focal point of your sound field to your listening room, expanding and clarifying your listening experience. Vibratron works by resonating in response to acoustic pressure created by your speakers. When excited, Vibratron radiates even-order harmonics in a 360-degree wave pattern in sympathy with the music, focusing and expanding the soundstage. Additionally, Vibratron improves your room’s acoustic response to music creating a more organic and musical sound. Acoustic instruments sound more natural with organic timbre and the entire vocal range sounds more present and three-dimensional. To get the most from the Vibratron SX follow the "How to Setup" recommendations. Other SR acoustic components, like HFTs, Black Box and Atmosphere generator work synergistically together to create a whole greater than the sum of its parts.
How to set up Vibratron SX
- Place the Vibratron between the speakers, at a distance of 2-6ft from the back wall. (note, if the rod is not perpendicular to the floor, you can spin the entire stand until it is straight).
- Slide the gold Vibratron onto the stand, adjust its position so that it’s at eye level when listening to the system, and lock into place with the set screw and included wrench.
- Play a familiar song with a natural-sounding vocal in the center of the soundstage.
- Pay attention to the focus of the center of the soundstage. Then move the Vibratron up by 1 inch and listen. Then move the Vibratron down 1 inch and listen.
- Continue to move the Vibratron 1 inch at a time, in which ever direction is providing the best results, until the results are worse. Then return the Vibratron to the most recent placement.
- To fine tune, now listen to the Vibratron 1/2″ higher and then 1/2″ lower. Choose the position that produces the most natural, precise, and focused center stage.
- Slide the chrome Vibratron onto the stand and lock it in place at the very top of the stand.
- Play the same song and move the chrome Vibratron down 1/2″ at a time until you find the best position.
- Focus on soundstage height, extension, and overall tonality.
The inspiration for the Acoustic ART (Analogue Room Treatment) system came to Ted Denney years ago while sailing the South Pacific. During his sabbatical, Ted visited Buddhist Temples and observed how Tibetan Prayer bowls altered temple acoustics. These singing bowls affected a sudden shift in acoustics whenever they were activated, and when additional bowls of varying tone were also activated, the acoustics continued to change. Ted reasoned that a system of resonating bowls could be developed to discreetly treat room acoustics without the need for large unsightly tuning devices.
Rick Becker of Enjoy the Music.com writes (December 2023):
"...while 'Vibratron' relates to the physical action of the device, the visual design reminds me of the Space Needle in Seattle, WA. Performance-wise, it is a space needle that injects three-dimensional space from the stereo recording into the area between your listening chair and the speakers, and beyond into the soundscape we all cherish. It reduces subliminal awareness of the listening room and enhances the awareness of the musical performance and its venue. Call it a paradigm shift if you will... Personally, I like the Vibratron a lot; it is a paradigm shifter that puts me right in the cathedral with organ music and right in the mud at Woodstock. Yes, I could live without it, but why would I want to? It is a supreme indulgence..." CLICK HERE to check out the entire review
Reviews of the original Acoustic ART System:
Wayne Donnelly, Enjoy the Music.com (September 2010):
"This most unusual room-tuning system, using resonating carbon steel bowls inspired by Tibetan prayer bowls, has generated considerable criticism, especially by hobbyists who have never actually heard the system but "know" instinctively that it must be snake oil. Too bad, say I -- a more open mind might help those folks attain a far better-sounding listening environment without the clutter of baffles and traps. The improved in-room performance I have experienced after installing those little resonating bowls is as significant as any component upgrade I have made, and I urge any listener searching for significant aural refinement to audition this unique approach to room treatment. (BTW, Synergistic now also offers a low-priced ($500) starter set. I have not heard it, but it strikes me as a low-risk alternative that might well establish proof of concept.)"
Norm Luttbeg - www.dagogo.com reviewed Dec.2008:
"...I have experimented with many different room treatments from LEDE, etc. Some have given me substantial improvements, such as the Shakti Holographs, but none has been so overwhelmingly beneficial. In fact, after I reported what I heard to a doubting group at breakfast the day after my experience in the RMAF demonstration, they made their way to the Synergistic Research Acoustic ART demonstration and all but one bought show specials, even though some are quite frugal. Recommended!"
Jack Roberts - www.dagogo.com reviewed Feb.2009:
"...in conclusion the Acoustic ART system does some very special things for the sound of a room."