Don’t Believe A Word

Famous webzine hi-fi reviewer, Steven R. Rochlin of was on vacation in Singapore recently. He visited us briefly amongst many other electronics, hi-fi shops. You may read about his interesting trip [here].

In the short paragraph about his visit to Modular Audio, he mentioned a ‘mystical audiophile tweak’ that was demonstrated to him. Obviously, he wasn’t pleased with the tweak, alleged that it was ‘snake oil’ and implied that sellers of such are a part of swindlers and deserve ‘canning’.  Some serious allegations from a guest, albeit a famous one.

I would like to respond here what happened that day so that readers have a full picture. As the owner of TriTone, Mervyn and his business partner Edwin Teo were also present at that time, this story is easily verifiable.

The ‘mystical audiophile tweak’ in question was none other than IPC LP Energizer. Upon Mervyn’s request for a quick demonstration, I played Norah Jones ‘Lonestar’ (Side B Track 1 of Come Away With Me, Quality Record Pressings) on Funk Firm’s LSD/FX3 turntable. After some 30 seconds, I lifted the tonearm, stopped the platter and treated the LP with the LP Energizer. The same track was repeated after removing the LP Energizer from the record.

Shortly, Steven gave us his verdict. He said he heard a difference – “Her voice has become smoother, more space, not as coarse”. But he added that he could not say if it came from the tweaking device.  The difference, Steven said, could be due to the weight of the LP Energizer having ‘pressed’ onto the record making the smoother sound. He also pondered if this could be due to the pressing of the LP as her vocals become smoother as the song progresses. Due to the short test with just a single track, nothing was conclusive.

To be more certain, with repeatable result, I offered Steven to test the LP Energizer again using my other showroom turntable systems (we have 3 others, all ready to play) but the offer was not taken up due to lack of time as we were just one of his many brief stops.

So from nothing conclusive to accusing the device snake oil and (us) selling such a tweak, amounts to cheating, I find such comments unjustified and uncalled for.  I understood from him that he has had several past negative encounters with ‘quantum physics’ related tweaking products but isn’t it wrong to pass such blanket statements and condemning all? When such groundless conclusions could be derived in such hasty manner, what do you think of the other professional reviews?


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