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Walker Audio Talisman Digital Disc Treatment Review

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Walker Talisman

I have previously used six Walker Audio products in my own system, and all but one gave me great “bang for the buck” results. The Walker Extreme SST, Ultra Vivid CD/DVD Enhancer, Silent Source power cables, Silent Source Silver Signature Interconnects, and the Velocitor Power Enhancer (yes, the Velocitor is great “bang for the buck” despite the fact that it’s not cheap.) I also use a Walker Valid Points/dedicated stand under the Velocitor. I will shortly be trying Silent Source speaker cables and Prologue Amp Stands. Given the winning record of Lloyd Walker’s products in my system, it almost seems negligent not to audition everything he creates, especially since you get thirty days to try them, and if you don’t like them, you get your money back.

So when I called Lloyd to tell him about the fact that he was absolutely right about the Silent Source Silver Signature ICs (yes, he’ll actually talk for hours on the phone about what works and what doesn’t in audio systems), he chuckled and said that he has a new “Talisman” I should try out – something you would wave around equipment, much like something a witch doctor might do to cure a deathly ill patient. I knew he was kidding, but I also knew that when Lloyd jokes about a new product, he’s also really serious.

Before I tell you more, I should tell you that I became a believer in demagnetization when I was first persuaded to try the Ayre/Cardas “Irrational, But Efficacious” demag CD. Dagogo readers who have digital front ends should be applying this disc (or one like it) once a month to your system – you are shortchanging yourself if you aren’t. Its effects will be the most obvious the first time you use it. Once you hear the positive effects the first time, you will never let your system go more than a few weeks without running the disc again.

Since I use the Ayre/Cardas disc on my system monthly, I have assumed that further demagnetization was unnecessary. Consequently, I have never tried the Furutech or other products that focus on disc demagnetization (although the Furutech is also used for cable demag). It may be that the Furutech is better – I just don’t know – but the Talisman is certainly “magical” on many CD recordings, and it is cheaper. As I discuss below, it works similar magic on LPs and DVDs.

I won’t describe the product here – just look at the Walker Audio website http://www.walkeraudio.com. It almost looks a little like a record brush that I used to use when I still listened to vinyl (although you DO NOT touch the disc with the Talisman). According to Lloyd, the Talisman consists of powerful magnets. While holding the CD, you pass the Talisman over the label side of a CD (or DVD) in a circular fashion, holding the Talisman 5/8ths of an inch to an inch away, then repeat on the data side of the CD. Load it into your CD player. If you have a front loader, pass the Talisman over the disc while it’s in the open tray, all the while touching the tray and CD with your other hand. Repeat on the underside. Press “Play” and enjoy.

Lloyd mentioned that the results can be maximized if you actually “ground” yourself before going through the demagnetization procedure. I verified this over the course of a few days. I have a laundry room with brass plumbing, and the Talisman’s effect was enhanced if I walked over and grabbed the faucets for a second or two before using the Talisman.

I’m not going to tell you that it transformed bad discs. Quite the reverse – in fact, the better the disc, the more noticeable the effect. A few really good discs became very, very good. For example, XRCDs (which I think are the best redbook discs you can get) sounded really wonderful. On the other hand, average and subpar discs sound better, but not as much. However, keep in mind that many component upgrades make some poor discs totally unlistenable, and the Talisman never made anything worse. Even really poor recording sounded a little better. I’m using it on every CD/SACD/DVD I have and am keeping count of how many it significantly improves versus how many sound just a little better. So far I’m running 2 to 1 on significantly better sound. As for DVDs, every DVD I’ve treated has resulted in a better picture.

Last weekend I took the Talisman over to a buddy who focuses on Vinyl to see what the Talisman does for that medium. The application procedure is a little bit different, but had the same effect. We played several LPs, and each sounded noticeably better.

So you ask: what is the effect? In a nutshell: smoother and more natural, with more depth and airiness to the soundstage, plus a bit more bass definition. The kind of improvement that some people spend $1000 or more to obtain. It’s like an upgraded cable or preamp which nudges your system to the next level. It also works on DVDs. DVDs looked cleaner and more vivid, with noticeable improved overall picture clarity and definition, as well as sound. However, it’s not a one-time application. You need to use it each time you play a disc.

That’s it.

Try it. I bet you like it.

If you don’t, you get your money back.

What are you waiting for?

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