Stillpoints’ Bruce Jacobs dropped by this Wednesday to inspect my audio system, which is using a passel of the company’s resonance control devices. I’ve also installed several of its new Aperture acoustic panels. Overall, I’ve been very pleased indeed with the company’s products, whose effects can be quite profound.
The verdict from Jacobs was crystal clear: “That’s one of the best renditions of Leonard’s voice that I’ve ever heard.” Leonard? Yes, Jacobs, it turned out, has performed several times with Leonard Cohen as well as a number of other musicians. Next he began analyzing the various miking techniques that the recording engineers had deployed for the various black discs that I spun on the turntable.
The real surprise, however, came when Jacobs started lugging several big and heavy boxes into my home. They contained a passive grounding system called Entreq, which it imports from Sweden. The idea is that you create what amounts to a grounding station near your audio equipment by tying it to your audio equipment. You don’t, as is the case with power conditioners, plug your equipment into it. Instead you insert a cable into an empty RCA jack or affix it to a grounding post. It’s nifty idea and device. As near as I can tell, it did further lower the noise floor. Plus it looks quite handsome—the woodwork is exemplary.
At bottom I also enjoyed the opportunity to meet Jacobs in person. He’s an old-timer in the industry—forty-four years, in one form or another in the audio business, ever since Jon Dahlquist tapped him to represent his company decades ago. He’s definitely got good ears: when I switched the EZ81 input tube on the Ypsilon Ultimate SET 100 from Telefunken to Mullard, he immediately heard the difference—which was not what he (or you) might expect, which is to say that the Telefunken was actually fuller sounding than the Mullard.
But this feat of auscultation is probably what you might expect from someone associated with Stillpoints, a company that seems to be on something of a tear these days to produce and distribute innovative new products. Stillpoints, you even could say, is not standing still, and more power to it.