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A beautifully straightforward email received via Audio Emotion in February 2011.
I received a Taga last week. Plugged in my CD player and amp with some trepidation - fearing marginal benefit. Five minutes later I was absolutely delighted. There was simply a significant improvement. I am listening to music at lower volumes and yet vocals are so much clearer and different instruments more distinct. Most importantly, many tracks that I would have previously skipped now make more musical sense. My music collection has "grown" as a result.
We received this email from Ben via the boys at Audio Emotion. We met Ben at the NAS at Silverstone in September 2010, and had an excellent conversation with him about the Vertex products, hi-fi in general and music too. We are very pleased that Ben has had such great results with our products, and thank him for writing such comprehensive feedback.
I have been lucky to meet Mark & Gary from Audio Emotion during the Heathrow hifi show in March 2010 where I got the chance to ask questions about mains cables and isolation platforms.
My attention was caught when I saw Vertex Hi-Rez mains cables, Pico Absorbers and Isolation platforms being used on ATC/Eastern Electric combo setup in the Audio Emotion room. Due to the price bracket at the time I chose to purchase Wire world cables which were a cheaper option at the time.
As the months went by I was in constant touch with Mark & Gary whose advice and support have been second to none asking more questions about the Vertex philosophy.
I made my first purchase of Vertex Taga distribution block and Silver plus Jaya to combat the EMI & RFI interference. I was astounded to say the least as it was clear music presentation sounded just "sweet".
I knew all along that this Vertex system approach was a continuous building process so I sought more clarification and upgrade paths from Audio Emotion who advised me on my next audible upgrade which was mains cables and isolation platforms.
I do agree that Vertex AQ products are not cheap but "boy" they make a huge impact in sonic presentation as Gary will admit, I like my music presentation uncompromised, funds permitting.
Upon further consultation I ordered a Vertex Roraima Plus and Silver Roraima Lite mains cables. The Silver Roraima Lite will be feeding my source (Bryston CD player), as I'm of the view that my more expensive mains cable should go to the source. It all flows downstream, to the extent you can improve the performance of your source, you can improve the performance the rest of the signal path. The Roraima plus will be feeding my preamplifier (ATC SCA2). I must emphasize here that Vertex AQ mains cables require more break in time but the effects are dramatic as such try not to rush judgment.
My dealer Audio Emotion have a 30 day no-hassle return policy so if you try any Vertex AQ products and you are not fully satisfied you can return it back for a refund. I have been very pleased with my purchases and the Vertex products in my system are staying put. Will I upgrade anytime; the answer is yes to Hi Rez option if funds are available.
The Vertex silver roraima lite has made soundstage more "fleshed out" with greater body and firmness. There is the improved cleanliness of signal, which equates to less grain, improved clarity.
In the same vein the Roraima plus on my preamplifier has resulted in lower noise floor allowing me to hear into the recording even more.
It may be useful to think of Vertex AQ products not in terms of just "improving" your system performance but in terms of "removing the harm" caused it by stock power cabling. The Vertex Taga in my system acts as a conditioner" on the power line, conditioning the electricity before it enters my setup. All Vertex mains cable have an absorption box which reject EMI/RFI pollution thereby providing cleaner transmission of electricity to your equipments.
I have also purchased Vertex picos in (gun metal finish) for my active ATC speakers. These are smallish dense boxes which sit on top of the loudspeakers and absorb vibration from the drivers built in the speakers. The result is a noticeable difference in clarity. As I write up this testimonial I have a Vertex Super Kinabalu platform (strange names) isolation platform on order for delivery as well as an Illimani digital cable to run between my CD player and DAC.
At then end of this upgrade it will constitute an all Vertex setup which has been progressively costly but very much worth it in the long term.
My utmost thanks goes to the Audio Emotion family (Mark & Gary Cargill) for all the helpful advice through the months and the good working relationship we have had and continue to; to John Cheadle a Director at Vertex AQ, whom I met at the Whittlebury show in Northamptonshire (Sept 2010), for his kind advice and progress update whenever I ordered a Vertex Product through my dealer.
I will encourage all audiophiles to give the Vertex AQ products a trial, knowing in the end that it will stay in your setup for the foreseeable future.
Ben from London.
Verter Silver Roraima Lite
Vertex Roraima Plus
Vertex Silver Plus Jaya
Vertex Super Kinabalu on order
Below is a very interesting letter received from Howard K in September 2010. Howard had already installed some Vertex equipment a while ago, then decided to take a further step and replace a fairly standard (non-Vertex) tone arm lead with a Vertex AQ HiRez Solfonn tone arm lead. What is very interesting with his letter is just how his hi-fi responds and improves dramatically - but in areas of performance that you might only think would be caused by traditional faults such as room problems or speaker placement. This is more clear evidence of how crucial the Systematic Approach is to a system's architecture, and how the true cause of limitations and faults may often lie in unsuspected places.
Dear Vertex AQ,
I confirm safe receipt of the Solfonn HiRez Tonearm cable on Friday last; the cable has been installed and "running in".
As a relatively experienced Vertex user, I anticipated that once the new cable was installed (on Friday evening) I would probably need to play around with both main speaker (Quad ESL 57) and subwoofer positioning. This proved correct - particularly in the case of the subwoofers, where I had found difficulty in getting them to sound right. They had tended to sound slightly too full when up against the rear wall (behind the main speakers) and too "flat" when moved out from the wall. This could not be properly cured by any of the available adjustments on the subs (crossover frequency, phase, room gain or volume).
I therefore readjusted both toe in and tilt angle of the Quads and placed both subs right up against the rear wall, about 2.5 metres behind them. Having done this on Saturday morning (after about 4 hours burn in) it was immediately obvious that the system was for the first time , from my listening position, now producing real, tuneful bass that fully integrated with the rest of the frequency range. The annoying "honk" in the upper bass had disappeared, along with an undefined boominess at certain frequencies.
Last night (Sunday), at around the 15-hour burn in point, I played my Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab vinyl version of "To Our Children's Children's Children", a 1969 Moody Blues recording. I have owned this record for many years and know it inside out. It is a fairly textured and congested recording, which seems to open out and reveal new sounds with each improvement I make to my system, so a useful fixed reference point.
Having listened to it in full, it occurred to me that it was as if the band had decided to re-perform certain of the tracks; whether it was because I could actually follow and make sense of the lower frequencies or for some other reason, the music shifted emphasis onto the sound of a whole band rather than, for example, a voice or keyboard. One example of this is a track which, for all the 20 years I have been listening to it, I had categorised as a sort of laid back "hippy" early Pink Floyd type sound (complete with Sitar). This suddenly took on an R&B bass and drum driven dynamic which seemed like a different (and far better) version of the original. I actually pinched myself to check I hadn't nodded off and imagined the whole thing (which I hadn't).
I followed this with a Kings College Chapel 1962 recording of Allegri's Misere (which Jeremy [The Right Note] has listened to with me). Again I know it very well and always enjoy the sense of space conveyed on the recording (as well as the music itself). This can really test a system as there are layers of voices in a choir coming from all directions, right, left, front and back, and some extremely high and low (in both volume and frequency) vocals, all at the same time.
With this piece the effect led me to question the aural distinction between being in Kings Chapel, and Kings Chapel taking up residence in my parlour room; given that the effect was broadly similar, the point is perhaps moot. Voices were natural and utterly unforced and the acoustic was more spacious and solid than ever before. Again, almost like a new performance of the music.
Suffice to say that I am very impressed with the HiRez Tonearm cable's effect on my system. I use a Koetsu Jade Platinum cartridge with diamond cantilever and, perhaps for the first time, I can see what all the fuss over Koetsu's is really about.