Tweaks and Explanations

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Yesterday my publisher, Jerry Del Colliano, sent me a link to a new accessory product from the Dutch firm, Akiko Audio . They have a new product they call "The Tuning Stick."  According to Akiko, "The contents of a Tuning Stick cause a cleansing of the grounding near your hifi equipment. Its purpose is a cleaner and more analogous sound. 'The cleaner the ground, the clearer your sound!'"

I looked over the Akiko site for some more info on the how's and why's of their new product. This was the best I could find, "It all came to be by consistently applying know (SP) techniques and new insights, in the areas of crystal patterns, paramagnetic and piezoelectric properties of natural raw materials. This is all brought together in a stylish housing of woven carbon, a modern material, capable of enhancing the properties of these materials even further.

The Tuning Stick's contents are stabilized with black resin, a material which sufficiently suppresses micro phony (SP!!) effects. This is an important condition for a calm and pleasant rendering of the music.

On top of that the fine metal foil sticker is energetically treated, which causes it to contribute on a sub molecular level."

At this point some audio writers would go all "Dave Collins" on the Akiko Tuning Stick. By this I mean that the terms "snake oil," "sham" and "phony" would figure prominently in a diatribe aimed at the soft white underbelly of extreme audiophile tweakiness. But, that's not me.

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Akiko's prose doesn't even come close to the over-the-top excess of sales claims made by Joly, but it does leave them open for ridicule. Why? Although Akiko describes what their new tweak CAN do, they don't explain HOW it does it. And without the how and the why all the descriptions of wonderful sonic improvements are hollow. Audiophiles, even those prone to tweakiness, need the why's and how's, not just a list of benefits.

Obviously Akiko is not the only manufacturer of exotic tweaks who's long on the flowery descriptions and short on technical details. And while I can understand a company not wanting to reveal "trade secrets," some kind of generalized description of the physics, electronics, and overall guiding principals behind a product make it much easier for audiophiles to buy into a particular manufacturer's shtick.

Akiko has one last bit of verbiage I'd like to share with you, "It is striking that 90% of our orders come from Asia, Australia and America. Countries where real enthusiasts are serious about music rendering on a high level. It is time that we become known in more countries, so more people can become acquainted with our products."

If this truly is Akiko's goal, I would advise the inclusion of more down-to-earth technical descriptions of how it is their products actually work.

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