Copyright © 2003-2018
SYSTEMS AND MAGIC
M A D E I N I T A L Y
S Y S T E M S A N D M A G I C
function and emotion
[BlackNoise 500] The BlackNoises work! And from certain points of view they are really great. First of all that mysterious and invisible sludge that clearly gulps so much small and micro information, suddenly melts: the sound becomes clearer, alive, present. It gets a richness of timbre and an emphasis that stands out on a darker background, so that the first impression is to listen at a higher volume. You stand up, check the potentiometer and it isn’t so. This is very clearly audible if, after having listened just for a short time with BlackNoise, you remove them. Maybe because our ear is more ready to grasp a decrease of information than an increase of it. But I can make a real-world example rather than a general reasoning. I listened to a CD of Foné, at the track where it is recorded a wonderful, only vocals, live TE Deum in S. Petronio of Bologna. At a certain point, during the track, the Cathedral bells start to ring, very far and very weak, due to their highness and to the enormous filter of the church walls. The depth and the highness of the sound scene give the shivers (and this is also due to the wonderful Triangle Australe of which I am a lucky owner). So, having inserted the BlackNoise, I listened to them, for the first time, for what they really are: church bells and very big bells, even if weak and far. Once, it was something similar to bells, but it could have been small bells ringed ad hoc behind the altar. Amazing! And it is so for all the “pianissimo” , finally intelligible in all their harmonious richness, so that you can distinguish each instrument till the threshold of silence. By inserting the filters, a weak but very noisy whistle produced by the tweeters when the air-conditioner was on, completely disappeared. And this obliged me in the past to choose between freshness or warmth (depending on the seasons) and music. A "plus” that I really appreciated... the happy ending in the high fidelity world is absolutely not granted.
Nanni C. - Linaiolo (PV)
[BlackNoise 2500] Listening without BN, I have the sensation to assist to a visual distortion of sounds, it seems that the instruments and the singers, during their performance, vibrate producing a distorted image and therefore generating rather a difficult listening. And I had never realized this earlier. On the contrary, inserting the BN, the trembling has settled and the instruments and singers contours are stabilized. Everything seems firmer and consequently more clearly identifiable, leading to a lower listening fatigue.
Diego A. - Bolzano (BZ)
[BlackNoise Extreme + BlackNoise 1000] The result (with no break-in) has been really extraordinary: the tone opened at the extremes (with an even more articulated and controlled bass, without loosing anything in extension, more airy and extended treble, without loosing refinement and without becoming irritating, the middle range remaining clear and linear as before connecting the filters.) The dynamic did not suffer in any way (very much feared by audiophiles when talking about power filtering), I would even say that the micro-dynamic and black background (that was already great before) improved some. Summarizing, I got the impression of a higher listening volume, although I did not act on the potentiometer of the amplifier. In conclusion, I would say, a real triumph, respecting perfectly what I was told by anyone and what I red on the specialized magazines, either on paper and on-line.
Giovanni R. - Milano (MI)
[BlackNoise Extreme + BlackNoise 1000 + BlackNoise Eight + BlackWire(3)] I'm speachless! I would had never thought that those devices, actually very well built and having a pleasant design, might have given such strong emotions to my heart, hardened by decades of exaggerated audiophile passion! But it was so. I would like to explain in a few words my listening experience, but I don’t want to be rhetoric saying that these electronics, after many years of auditioning, made the last Salomé veil fall down, where, Salomè is the perfect listening and the veils are the many obstacles present between me and the listening I always desired. Transparency, clearness, focus and so on. And what’s more, they protect the setup from the voltage whims and, last but not least, you don’t spend much money to get them. An Italian product that makes us honour. My very best congratulations to Systems and Magic!
Claudio F. - Marsala (TP)
[BlackNoise Six + BlackWire] Good morning, please let me send you this email to give you my best and sincere congratulations for your products. Before receiving the device I was a little bit skeptical (I never had the opportunity to test directly what I was purchasing), but my astonishment for the quality of them let me soon forget everything… CONGRATULATIONS, CONGRATULATIONS, CONGRATULATIONS…
Massimiliano G. - Verona (VR)
[BlackNoise 500] So, I must say that I was impressed by this feeling of tridimensionality, of depth, …of SPACE… looking at the speakers while playing, it seems to open a window on the stage from that small black grille… really exciting. The most beautiful perception is that now the setup is working at 100%, that each component is working at its best and that all the money spent are now playing pretty well… I really think that a setup –of middle or higher quality- cannot avoid taking in consideration this component…
Cesare C. - Milano (MI)
[BlackNoise Extreme + BlackNoise 500] …even without concentrating too much on the listening, there are more than a few improvements! Listening to the piano is wonderful, actually the sound is more defined and more natural. I had substituted several cables, but among all the modifications, this was the best one... I was even rather skeptical at first: I did not realize that filtering the electric power led to such improvements.
Carlo C. - Rivalta S/M (MN)
[BlackNoise 500] I am simply amazed!! I don’t think it is suggestion… it is too many years that I make changes and tests on electronics, cables and accessories to make such a sensational blunder! I had never noticed such a clear improvement by inserting an optional accessory. The scene became granitic, the tridimensionality of the image simply wonderful, the sound completely independent from the speakers, that “disappear” more than before, extreme clearness and lack of distortion that makes you want to raise up the volume in order to increase emotion and involvement.
Luigi F. - Cento (FE)
[BlackNoise 500] Cleaning glasses, you can see very much better and in different ways what there is inside…but I have the sensation to be very close to what I am looking for! I have the sensation that without a BN filter, you make many modifications and spend a lot of money without being satisfied of the result... Like cooking, ingredients are very important, but you need first of all a good pot! Concerning the design and the quality manufacture, this is very satisfactory: discretion and strength sensation. So, in a world of merchandising, it is very satisfying to simply announce to the engineer its own satisfaction!
Jean-Marie B. - Strasbourg (FRANCE)
[BlackNoise 1000] For me it was an audiophile love at first sight! Now I would (paradoxically) give up to the amplifier or the cd player but not to the filter!
Stefano A. - Livorno (LI)
[BlackNoise 1000] It is amazing! It exalted the reproduction quality extraordinarily. It seems to have another system, it acquired great detail, a wide range of very well distinguished frequency bands, space precision and very good dynamic.
Ismaele M. – Piombino Dese (PD)
[BlackNoise 1000 + BlackWire] …more speed, more control, more dynamic = more emotion.
Giorgio A. - Castelvetro Piacentino (PC)
[BlackNoise 1000(2) + BlackWire(2)] The question I asked myself, just after one hour of listening, between the celestial and the telluric, was the following: “What on earth have I been listening to, till today?!” It was as somebody, probably moved to pity, finally decided to raise the “curtain”, made of wadding and filigreed coverlet; like, during a concert, I moved from the twenty-fifth to the third or second line, as I could touch the sound with my hand. It can seem strange, but I finally understood and tasted the space extension shown by each instrument, the air that surrounds it and that it moves at the same moment when it makes the sound. Yes, since this feeling went on with other tracks containing wind and percussion instruments. If the firsts were more brilliant and firm, with high frequencies that did not saturate the listening room, the seconds allowed me to better understand the meaning of “control” softly but, at the same time, firmly the low frequencies, a typical acoustic phenomenon of solid components of good quality. Obviously, also the human voices, radically modified their sound expression, since the average frequencies are much more detailed, deeper and more distinct. Also here the sound space extension and the sound image break out with a really surprising precision and with a sound that really allows catching the inflexions, the inspiration and expiration phases, the closing and the opening of the diaphragm. And also consider the natural reflection, inside churches or abbeys, that is much more evident and detailed, doing perfectly justice to the space depth of the sound waves, to their propagation in the surroundings, projecting the home listener inside the acoustic proscenium. I firmly believe that these are the money I spent better since I own this setup.
Some time later, after having added:
[BlackNoise 500(1) + BlackWire(1)] There is nothing to do. I must admit, with my astonishment, that the sound I obtained adding the BlackNoise 500 is even better. Telling the truth, the word “better” is too superficial, and does not explain the kind of refinement and sound precision that I can now capture. An additional improvement that can be defined with just one word: EQUILIBRIUM. Equilibrium of micro and macro-dynamics, of brightness of brasses, of sweetness of strings and of never intrusive woods’ presence. Soundstage much more homogeneous, definitely more shaded, but without loosing firmness and depth of sound. This equilibrium, that can be noticed first of all in the linear regression of some instruments, in their correct orchestral positioning, even allowed me to raise slightly the volume. Listening to the piano is amazing, the sound became more defined and more natural. And I think when I was so skeptical; telling the truth, I did not believe that filtering the electric current led to such improvements.
Andrea B. - Lecco (LC)
[BlackNoise 500 + BlackWire] …The sound is cleaner and I can surely listen at a higher level. I explain better: if once the knob of the pre was at 12 o'clock, now I have the same sensation at 13. And I can state this by an objective datum: my wife, so sensible to any variation of level, never interfered!!!
Mario M. - Milano (MI)
[BlackNoise Extreme + BlackNoise 500 + BlackWire + SUONOPoint distributor] ...looks like having changed the cd source with one of higher quality!! The resulting sound is incredibile... listening fatigue at zero, warmer and fuller sound, less sibilant and noisy highs, rounder but better controlled bass, great; I did not think that the treatment of mains power may lead to similar results! I am really satisfied of this “small and big” purchase of mine; my average quality system, nothing exceptional, can now play as I wanted it to play, or at least, it is very close to what my ears wanted to listen to.
Marco S. - Conselve (PD)
[BlackNoise 500 + BlackWIre] The functioning and efficiency of the filter is notable even in my earphone set.
Filippo A. - Villamassargia (CA)
[BlackWIre] I generally do not express any judgement before having tested the components for a while, but this time the result was so evident, over my expectations, especially taking into account its price range.
Luca B. - Fossa di Concordia S/S (MO)
[BlackNoise Extreme + BlackNoise 500 + BlackNoise 2500 + BlackWire(3)] ...well, this time you won’t apply your policy (money back guarantee). Why? It’s simple: I WILL KEEP THEM!! Satisfaction level: high. In order of effectiveness: the pre, the power amp, the “beasty” power supplier of my cd player. I still have to test it on the pre phono, but now everything is clear. Actually these filters don’t take anything away… ehm… well, they take away a lot! To put in order: actually they take away a lot of dirtiness, since the “black” among the acoustic figures raises, therefore the bodies and the instruments get a firm and definite 3D. The soundstage and depth improve a lot. I had a doubt and was sceptical on high frequencies: I would say it vanished!
Giorgio C. - Parma (PR)
[BlackNoise 500 + BlackNoise 2500 + BlackWire] The final result is a more complete and richer sound. A wealth injection for all parameters.
Valter G. - Ugolino- Impruneta (FI)
[BlackNoise 500 + BlackNoise 2500 + BlackWire] Installed your BlackWire power cord from the Naim CD5 CD player to the BlackNoise 500. Even though Naim claims that their power cords are the best with their equipment, the improvement in sound was amazing. Increased clarity of the highs, deeper bass, with no loss of presence or musicality. BTW; I tried it with the stock Naim power cord and I can tell you that your power cord made the difference. Then I Installed the PS-Audio Prelude cord and the BlackNoise 2500 to the Yamaha receiver in the game room system. Major improvement in both highs and bass. Much better than I would have believed possible. The final result is that both of my systems are much better as a result of your products.
Wally L. - Phoenix (Arizona) USA
[BlackNoise Extreme + BlackWire] I inserted the filter upstrem of my cd player and the result is astounding. To say it with musical terms, it seems that the recording quality improves substantially. The instruments timbre on the entire band gets a higher level of integrity, and the perceived details are more numerous: the global improvement is remarkable. One day (not now, since I am satisfied) I will purchase the 500 model, for the integrated amp (a Naim), even if the improvements should be lower, considering that the amplifier has a filtering section much better dimensioned respect to the CD player. My best congratulations, for a first rate and effective object!
After one month, after having added:
[BlackNoise 1000 (our advice: the 500 on the NAIM would have been too small) + BlackWire] Just after having connected the amplifier to the filter, I was not satisfied with the result. I made many comparative tests, with and without the filter, using the same song and not modifying the volume level. Although some timbre improvements were appreciable, in the same direction evidenced by the insertion of the other filter on the power supply of the cd, the sound with the filter seemed somewhat compressed, less free, compared to the sound obtained with the amplifier directly supplied by the mains.
In any case I left the filter on all night long, the day after I tried again and I had the same sensation. Therefore I thought it could be good to run in the filter with a remarkable load. I connected the filter to the pc and the printer. After a couple of days I connected again the 1000 to the amplifier, I started to listen again, and the compression sensation was somewhat reduced, even if not completely disappeared. I made many comparative tests, with and without filter: for what concerns the timbre, it is very much better with the filter inserted. But it is like loosing some vivacity: I think that I loose some information at high frequency that makes the reproduction more lively. Connecting the cd to the Extreme it did not happened anything similar. It is hard to understand the truth, since the filter cleans very much the medium-high frequencies, and stabilizes the low ones. The sensation of minor vivacity is first of all due to this cleaning. Keeping the volume at the same level, and trying to listen with and without filter, you can notice (in contrast with what you told me) that inserting the filter, the reproduction volume seems lower. Actually it is not lower, but probably the cleanliness of the medium-high and the minor global distortion have this effect on the ear.
At the end, I prefer leaving the filter inserted. For what concerns the improvements: they are very noticeable on the instrument timbre, in all the reproduced frequencies band, from the low to the high and very high ones. The obtained results seem to be in contrast: much more analicity and definition but preserving and also improving the timbre naturalness. For example the piano acquires firmness, loses some superfluous ring on medium-high tones and at the same time the arrangements are unravelled and accents and the different tones of notes are better perceived. Another interesting characteristic is the presentation of the sound image: spaces among the various sections of instruments increase. For example with the big orchestra, the various sections seem to be much more separate than usual. In some recording this leads to a particular result, maybe due to the way the recording is made (often the different instrumental sections are separated by phone-absorbing panels and recorded by different microphones, and then everything is remixed: in some cases, it is as the set re-created the function of these panels, a thing that I had never noticed earlier). Where the recording is good enough, the result is very natural: the orchestra plays with just one voice, it is very simple to distinguish the timbre of the different orchestras and at the same time each instrument preserve its identity, it is very recognizable and it is well located in the space: moreover, some instrumental details emerge for the first time. This helps very much to reveal the work of the composer and of the orchestra director. Also with recordings easier than the big orchestra, like chamber music, small jazz groups, acoustic rock, blues, pop, the improving has always been remarkable. I also connected the pre-amplifier to the 1000, obtaining an additional although small timbre improvement in the same direction. In conclusion, I would say that all the set made a noticeable breakthrough. I only have one doubt on that slight compression with the amplifier connected to the 1000 (only perceivable with a severe direct comparison), of whose nature I am not so sure (it could be an effective compression or a psychoacoustic effect of the minor distortion).
After three weeks, additional considerations:
The compression problems are solved, since, in my opinion the filter run-in was very helpful; run-in that is maybe somewhat longer compared to your FAQ (perhaps when the filter supplies amplifiers, while in case the cd is connected with the Estreme, there has been nothing similar). But they also “dissolved”, that is to say you must let your ear get used again. The perception of higher “vivacity” on the medium-high was undoubtedly due to some form of distortion. I am definitely convinced by a very simple test: I purchased (obviously not for making the test) the Fidelio of Beethoven, where there are numerous reproduction of voices and choruses. I listened to some pieces with and without filter, but there were many differences: the reproduction without filter was troubled by problems on voices (whistling, hardened, compressed dynamic). Voices are, in my opinion, the final test. I recently made the test removing the filter with a piece of big orchestra, and I came back after 30 seconds.
After another month, approximately:
[BlackNoise 500 + BlackWire (2, one of them in substitution of the one equipped with the CDP)] Hi Roberto, some listening impressions on the completely filtered set (+ substitution of the mains cable of the cd player). Introducing the third filter, I did not expect such a big improvement. To say it extremely simply, there has been a remarkable improvement of the micro-dynamic (I turned into a chattering reviewer…) that is very evident first of all in the separation of the instruments. I explain better: now it is much easier to notice even the smallest variation of timbre, with unusual results, first of all in the arches that are much more real (somewhat rough and never biting). The orchestration of arches is much more simple to be followed, also in the full orchestra, the melodic line of violas, violins, cello, contrabass is immediately clear, also in unison. This was also in part due to the changing of the supplying cable of the cd, clearly noticeable, and I would say “synergic” to the filters. Very beautiful are the merging in the chamber music, first of all with the piano. The big orchestra goes very well, as the jazz. I confirm you that I think that also the 500 needs a run in, I estimate of one week. No sooner had I connected to the pre, it was very good, but I could notice some improvements also in the following days. This autumn, I would like to take one of the filters, maybe the 1000, and let some friends of mine use it in their system: I think it is a (cheap and always effective) alternative to the indiscriminate upgrading of electronics. This experience modified some convictions of mine: for example, I have been thinking about one thing since some days, that is to say the vinyl superiority on the cd may be due to the fact that the signal of the head is not affected by power supply noises (although it is affected by mechanic noises of the base and of the engine). Another consideration: may the differences among the cd players be due to the power supply? All makes me think so: the mechanic parts and the converters are often the same, and I would be very curious to compare my filtered player (an ordinary Marantz cd 67) to a high quality not filtered player: I think they would fight at the same level.
Salvatore P. - Roma (RM)
[BlackNoise 1000] ...I think to understand the reason why it has been given the name "BlackNoise" to the line of mains filters of “Systems and Magic". Beying the noise "white", by definition, a noise having a constant distribution of energy in the whole range of frequencies taken into consideration, the “black” noise just can be its antithesis… a word is enough to the wise...
Gino C. - Genova (GE)
[Blackwire(2) - already owner of Extreme + 500] I received the BlackWire cables: very good plugs and manufacturing. Performances verified after one hour of listening: excellent immunity to the EMI interferences, improving the effect, already verified using the BlackNoise filters. Very good timbre neutrality, without any unpleasant musical emphatization. You obtain a pleasant sensation of general equilibrium that makes you rise up the volume level, without listening fatigue; on the contrary you can notice the higher intelligibility and enjoyability of the music message. At present the cables are connected to the CD (Marantz SA -11S1) and to the pre-phono (Sonic Frontiers P1), together respectively with the mains filter “500” (pre + CD) and ”Extreme” (phono + separate power supply for the record player VPI MKIII). A quick test with cables connected to the CD and to the line-pre (Musical Technology C1) with filter “500”, had relevant effects in the direction earlier evidenced, with an additional sense of liquidity and refinement of the reproduced sound message. In a hypothetic range of values, I would say that the most relevant improvement was on the line-pre; closely followed by the pre-phono and the CD.
Mauro T. - Savignano sul Rubicone (FC)
[BlackNoise 2500] Dear Roberto, I write to inform you that I will never remove the 2500 from my set! Actually I have been using it only since two days and the improvement, although not done “overnight” is very evident. In addition to the usual parameters on which these kinds of disposals are effective, that is to say major sensation of definition, more particulars, instruments that brood from a darker and less foggy background. So, in addition to these aspects (and other small undertones that I will not mention in order not to bother you), the aspect really improved noticeably in this case is the “readability” of the low frequencies, that is to say, some percussions that once (and I am talking about records that I thought to know very well) were very hard or anonymous clean blow, now are absolutely easier to be followed in their developments. It is the same for the bass lines. A rather surprising result (for me), that is to say I did not expect that the higher improvement came from there. Very good. Congratulations. Also because this is the first filter I try and that is really effective with the amplifications (moreover, no apparent limitation of the dynamic). A very surprising result, (for me.)
After approximately one and half year(!) after having added:
[BlackNoise Extreme] Dear Roberto, I think that the run in of the EXTREME is now completed and I can tell you my impressions. Similarly to what happened with the 2500 the result is excellent and tangible on EACH “parameter” so dear to audiophiles like us. In this case I was particularly surprised, first of all, by how the low frequencies acquired definition, “authority” and perentority. The silence of working increased further and some additional particulars emerged (and my system was not so bad in that sense) from the recording. No risk of loss of dynamics and something similar. Just as “feedback” I inform you that I had to make some changes in the cabling, that is to say, as you suggest to do, I used some mains cables rather neutral (VdH Mainstream that I already owned at home) since the cables I used before on the player, together with your filter, caused a slight loss of dynamics (of Xindak, of very good quality in other occasions) and a filtering maybe too strong (high frequencies too “closed”). With the VdH you have the impression to listen just and first of all the benefits coming from your filters. I send my best regards to you for the excellent quality of your product and the offered service.
Eugenio F. - Roma (RM)
[BlackNoise Six] I was very satisfied for the effectivness of your product that led to a remarkable sound improvement to my system. It was able to give more equilibrium to the exceeding medium-highs; I could notice this after having taken from the counter a dedicated distribution line. Now the sound is more balanced, as I said before, and warmer. So, with a separate line and this distributor, I reached amazing results. Superfluous saying that I sent emails to all my friends, promoting your wonderful and essential product. Very well, go on like this.
P.S. My congratulations for the packaging and delivery speed… ah, my congratulations are true!
Antonio S. - Avezzano (AQ)
[BlackNoise MiniBlack su tutto l’impianto] I am a very happy owner of one of your MiniBlack with which I filter the entire system; by now I can’t help using it! …my congratulations for an object with an exceptional performance, even if I was rather against using filters, since they always have negative aspects. With the MiniBlack everything is better, first of all the dynamics and the harmonics, but it is by removing it that you understand its effectiveness: the sound becomes lean, poor, not pleasant and soon tiring. Thanks to the seriousness of your company.
Silvano B. - Ventimiglia (IM)
[BlackNoise Extreme, 2500, Eight, Derive Gold, 4 cavi GoldWire, 1 BlackWire plus+] Yesterday evening I installed all your devices. They are fantastic!!! My congratulations to you and to your assistants. Thanks to people like you, our country keeps a glimmer of reliability and prestige. I take this occasion to send you all my best wishes for a Happy Easter.
Lorenzo C. - Roma (RM)
[BlackNoise Extreme] ...I wanted to inform you that the filter Extreme arrived safe and sound. Connected to it, I inserted the 10 watt Leak power amp and the pre Mc Intosh C22. I expected an improvement, but not so remarkable! The sound is better from any point of view and the dynamic is increased (and not decreased, due to the filtering effect). Moreover, the power and output transformers now work at a lower temperature. I also thank you for your professionalism and speed. Sincerely.
Dario C. - Castelletto Sturia (CN)
[BlackNoise Six] ...just to inform you that I received the Six and it is already at work. Connected to the mains by a good transparent cable (without filter), it distributes energy both to a USA passive “mains conditioner" with separate energy supply for analogical and digital components (record player + pre-phono and CD transport + DAC) and to the two energy suppliers of the “integrated” amplifier (actually 4 chassis) that works slightly better skipping the filter of the present conditioner. The mains cables are various pythons and anacondas of a well known USA manufacturer. The line is dedicated.
The perceived quality is excellent and the insertion of the Six at the place of an unstable “distribution panel" with adapters for American plugs, determined a noticeable improvement of all the classical listening parameters.
With my best regards.
Michele V. - Cannaregio (VE)