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
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
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.
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.