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Synergistic Research Tranquility Bases, Transporter Ultra and UEF Tuning Circuits Review

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What I received

Before I initiated the review process, my room was already tuned and controlled via a complete ART system. Once Dagogo founder / publisher, Constantine Soo, agreed to a review, Ted initially supplied me with a PowerCell 4 SE ($1850) complete with an Element Tungsten power cable ($900/5 ft); one Tranquility Basik and two Tranquility Bases, as well as a second Element Tungsten power cable to pair with a 6-outlet QLS Quantum Line Strip ($399); a mixture of silver, gray, and black tuning circuits necessary for optimal performance of all of the above; and a mixed assortment of Standard and Galileo ($400) MPC (mini power coupler) wall-wart power supplies to power the active components in the PowerCell, Tranquility products, and active cabling. Along with these products came numerous packages of MIG equipment supports ($150 for set of 3).

At the same time, Ted loaned me Synergistic Research’s USB Active SE cable ($595/1m, $200 for each additional meter), Firewire 800 Active SE ($645/3 ft.), and Ethernet Active SE ($550/1m), as well as enough power supplies to keep them active. This ensured that my entire computer front end, from cabling to base beneath my Macbook Pro, would be enhanced by Synergistic Research products. 

System and Set-Up

Before the arrival of the Synergistic products, my reference system started with a dedicated four-prong outlet, supplied by 8-gauge wiring. Power treatment included a Nordost QB8 power distribution system, Quantum Qx4purifier, and a host of Qv2 AC Line Harmonizers. Save for my computer source, cabling consisted of a full compliment of Nordost Odin Supreme Reference power cables, interconnects, and speaker cables.

Disc source was a dCS Puccini CD/SACD player / dCS Scarlatti Clock combo, upgraded to play DSD. The dCS Puccini also controlled volume. Connecting it and the Clock were two Nordost Odin BNC digital interconnects, one of which used a BNC to RCA adapter on the Puccini end.

File source was an Apple 15” Macbook Pro with solid-state drive, 8 GB RAM, and Intel i7 chip. The computer was equipped with the latest Amarra, Pure Music, and Audirvana music players, and fed the dCS combo via a Synergistic Research USB Active SE cable. When music was sourced from an external 4TB HD, it flowed to the Macbook Pro via a Synergistic Research firewire cable.

Amplification was Pass Labs XA 200.5 Class A mono blocks. Loudspeakers were initially Wilson Audio Sashas, enhanced with Bybee Golden Goddess Super Effect Speaker Bullets and Stein Music Speaker Matches. Toward the end of the review process, I switched to the much smaller and less expensive Von Schweikert VR-4jrs.

In addition to a full complement of Synergistic Research ART devices, other essential components included four Stein Music Ambient Harmonizers and assorted Magic Stones, IsoClean and HiFi Tuning fuses, Stein Music DE2 CD Demagnetizer, Marigo Ultima High-Definition Signature Mat, Stillpoints amplifier stands, and a Michael Green Deluxe Ultrarack. Finally, I had equipment supports from Magico (6 QPods) and Nordost (an assortment of Titanium and bronze Sort Kones), and a number of sound absorbing pillows affixed to the high corners of the room.

First up in the review process were the Tranquility Bases and Basik. I went back and forth on where to place them. At first, the Basik sat under the dCS Scarlatti Clock, while the Bases supported the Puccini and computer / external HD source. I liked this set-up because the Base, which is larger and heavier than the Basik, better accommodated my computer and external HD.

Eventually, however, I figured that because both dCS components are active in the system at all times, it made sense to reserve the Bases for them, and the Basik for the computer / external HD. That was easier said than done, given the Basik’s smaller surface, which had less space for both computer and external HD. Eventually, with creative use of Nordost Sort Kones, I managed to stick the HD in front of and under the computer without touching it.

Synergistic Research Transporter Ultra


Synergistic Research Transporter Ultra back plate

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