I will start this text in a different way than usual, with a low quality charade. So please concentrate and think about the response. What is red and bad for your teeth? Do you know? It is a brick. I know, this is not funny, and in addition a bit contrived, but taking into account the topic of my review, very fitting. But before I continue to the main topic, a short introduction is required. To date we have fought with vibrations at the basis, below the electronics, testing different platforms, supports, feet, cones, and whatever people have invented. But this time, we have the opportunity, to look at things from above and put … a brick to fight vibration. But not an ordinary brick, or even a more exclusive looking one, but a more “technologically” and most of all visually advanced version of a brick, in addition being a German product, the Thixar Eliminator.
In the section about the looks and technologies employed by the tested product, there is not really much to brag about. I mean, when we are talking about the looks of the Thixar, then we cannot say one bad word about it. Not only it comes in a nicely looking wooden box, with the company logo on top of it, and with the interior covered with grey sponge, it looks very elegant, you might say exclusive. The chromed carcass with rounded edges is a kind of cover, an external coat for a company created gel mixture with complicated composition, described by the manufacturer as matrix. On one hand it feels a bit like sorbotane, a material used in anti-vibration supports made by IXOS for example, but it is much harder and inside its rubbery structure you can see some particles of another material. But enough about what it actually is, what matters is, that it clings perfectly even to very rough surfaces, leaving no dirt or oily traces behind. In terms of technology and theory the influence of the Eliminator covers frequencies below 100Hz, where it lowers vibration by around 20dB.
According to the manufacturer the Eliminator is the third and last element of the fight with vibration, so you should take care of the first two elements beforehand. You should start with isolating the electronic device from the ground/support it is placed on. This was not so difficult, as together with the “brick” we received to sets of Thixar Silent Feet Basic (the test will be published shortly) – anti-vibration feet. So we can cross out one element. Another stage is to minimize the vibration of the support itself, meaning the rack on which our beloved stereo is standing. This was also easy, as I use the Rogoz Audio 4SM3 rack, as well as a very heavy commode made from solid wood, which has a decorative and expositional task, and both are not prone to vibrate. So we can start with the main ceremony of the evening and with the fanfares sounding place the Eliminator on the chosen piece of my equipment. In my case I could only use the amplifier for the test, as my sound source (or sources – Ayon CD-1sx / Ayon CD-35) do not allow to place anything on it/them, unless you want to have some toast. In addition, it turned out, that the biggest influence of the Eliminator was heard, when it was placed on top of the potential source of vibration, in this case the transformer, so it was the place I decided to put it for testing.
So how does the placement of the Eliminator in the system show itself? Well, the sound of the stereo becomes better, and that in a way, that allows to define it. This is not something on the verge of perception and self-suggestion, but something true and repeatable. Although… I might have exaggerated with the decisively positive influence, because I know people loving flowing, shapeless and mudded bass, and the Thixar is fighting exactly such pathologies. “The brick” disciplines, contours the lower octaves, and at first due to that it might seem, that there is less of it. However in a moment you will realize exactly the opposite, that there is more bass. A paradox? Not really, as due to squeezing the volume loses some content, the spongy nature is lost, but it gains on density and reaches deeper. To put it more picturesque – it becomes less fuzzy and undefined in the lowest registers. The same thing happens, when we are active during summer. Seemingly we weigh the same, but instead of sitting behind a desk and eating junk food we spent the days swimming, diving, playing beach ball, walking or cycling and our diet was full of fruit, fish and other healthy food, what burned our fat and converted it into muscle.
To feel the difference you do not need to reach for “Khmer” Nils Petter Molvaer, because the changes will be clearly audible even on the live album “Pulse” Pink Floyd. Thanks to the “brick” we will be able to feel the pulse of the crowd gathered during the concert. This is a kind of sub-sonic base giving us the feeling, that we are not lone listeners, but among a crowd of thousands more, evenly mad about music as we are. And David Gilmour himself can also sing a tad lower and enchant more with the timbre of his voice, what was a very positive experience, I must confess.
Also with recordings where bass is the lead and skeleton of the whole event the improvement cannot go unnoticed, as it was with the album “Afrodeezia” Marcus Miller. The precision of the presentation of how the leader plays his instrument, all the little things hidden somewhere in the back, everything gains freshness and palpability. But this is not artificial, there is no “sampler-like” sharpening, as I tend to call this effect, only an improvement of clarity, resolution of the sound picture, done not by interpolation, but by removal of the to date “almost” transparent layer of artifacts and distortions. The difference might not be big, but the effect is much better.
I am absolutely aware, that for the people wanting to stay firmly on the ground, the described accessory is pure voodoo, and just another try to gain money from audiophiles, to have them spend money on completely useless items. But before those of you, who are in this group, start to think of us as charlatans, fairytale writers and touts, like the legendary “Mr. Tambourine Man” from the Bob Dylan song, I propose you a small experiment. Please listen to your beloved piece of music, and then place on your amplifier (but not on a tube one!), or another device from your sound chain, a heavy book, like a cookbook or similar, and listen to the same piece again. If you hear any difference, then… please do not thank me, but please believe me, that the Thixar Eliminator will fare much better as an elegant ennobler.
System used in this test:
– CD/DAC: Ayon CD-1sx; Accuphase DP-410; Ayon CD-35
– Digital player: laptop Lenovo Z70-80 i7/16GB RAM/240GB SSD + JRiver Media Center 22 + TIDAL HiFi + JPLAY
– Digital source selector: Audio Authority 1177
– Turntable: Kuzma Stabi S + Kuzma Stogi + Shelter 201
– Phonostage: Abyssound ASV-1000
– Integrated amplifier: Electrocompaniet ECI5; Constellation Audio Inspiration INTEGRATED 1.0
– Loudspeakers: Gauder Akustik Arcona 80 + spike extenders
– IC RCA: Antipodes Audio Katipo
– IC XLR: LessLoss Anchorwave; Organic Audio; Amare Musica
– Digital IC: Fadel art DigiLitz; Harmonic Technology Cyberlink Copper; Apogee Wyde Eye; Monster Cable Interlink LightSpeed 200
– USB cable: Wireworld Starlight; Goldenote Firenze Silver
– Speaker Cables: Organic Audio; Signal Projects Hydra
– Power Cables: Furutech FP-3TS762 / FI-28R / FI-E38R; Organic Audio Power; Acoustic Zen Gargantua II; Acoustic Zen Twister
– Power distribution board: Furutech e-TP60ER + Furutech FP-3TS762 / Fi-50 NCF(R) /FI-50M NCF(R)
– Wall Socket: Furutech FT-SWS(R)
– Antivibration platform: Franc Audio Accessories Wood Block Slim Platform
– Ethernet cables: Neyton CAT7+
– Table: Rogoz Audio 4SM3
– Accessories: Sevenrods Dust-caps; Furutech CF-080 Damping Ring; Albat Revolution Loudspeaker Chips
The game with audio-voodoo products has a few levels of madness, different than you might think. Why? Well, for many music lovers, even something that seems the basis of the synergy of a system, juggling with cables, power or loudspeaker ones, is already a sign of mental disorder. So please imagine what happens, when we deal with more underground accessories, like fuses, power sockets, cable supports or loudspeaker spikes. And when someone thinks, that there is no bigger absurd than the list just mentioned – I am talking here about audio-sceptics, we come with a test of something, that looks like a heavy brick of metal, and according to the manufacturer, can influence the final sound of a system. Impossible? Not at all, as I have the pleasure to invite you to the test of a magic cube, coming from Germany, from the company Thixar and called Eliminator. Finishing this introductory chapter I will only mention, that the company is represented on the Polish market by the Lodz based company Core Trends.
The description part of the product will be quite short, as the construction is quite simple. The thing I received is composed of two parts, not very complicated visually. The main – internal – part is a rubber-like brick, with dimensions of 14 by 9cm, rather heavy, to which an external, chrome plated carcass is mounted. The final dimensions are 15 by 10cm. I must confess, that those two modules bring a significant weight on the counter. And this is what those two parts, combined together, should do, they should eliminate vibration using their significant mass, and by that perform some sonic wonders. What wonders? About that in a moment, as before I finish this part of the text, I must tell about the final visual finish of our “brick”, which is a perfectly milled logo of the manufacturer, and a nice wooden box which was used for transportation packaging.
Before I start ennobling the Japanese set with the received weight, I need to ask myself one question: “Can this contraption work, and if yes where?”. If it does not have any emitters/absorbers of magnetic fields, the only concept that seems feasible, is to place the Eliminator close to objects vibrating inside your gear, like transformers, or on top of not so heavy devices. Of course those are only considerations of a not very technical oriented representative of the homo sapiens, and might not be too close to the intentions of the manufacturer, so it might not be bad to borrow it from the distributor and put on anything we want. Maybe you will hear something, but having many better ideas for spending my free time, I tested the brick on the places I suspected of having any influence on the sound. So the first place I put the silver brick on was the DAC. I will not be very original when I tell you, that the list of further devices was closely related to their weight, so those were the drive, the preamplifier and finally the power amplifier. And what was the effect? Here I need a little introduction. It is about the fact, that not very resolving systems might experience the influence of the Thixar on the verge of perception. Fortunately, my Reimyo system, which I set up for years, has a substantial package of information at its disposal, so I heard a bit more, than in the Audiophile and Music Lover’s Club. It was not an avalanche of changes, but just a bit more of that, what I heard before. And what was that? Colloquially speaking, the performance became heavier. But please do not think that this was a derivative of putting a weight on an enclosure of a device – that would be an unauthorized malice; it was an increase of the amount of lower midrange and bass in the music reaching my ears. What was important, is that while in the club changes in drums and percussion were the only perceivable nuance, at home, I could hear, that lower vocals are gaining on that too. And this resulted in the music I heard becoming more to the point and putting more emphasis on the first plane. It was not that the breath of the stage suffered on that, but I felt clearly, that the vocalist – in this case John Potter in the compilation “Being Dufay” became more privileged. Indeed, all the electronic overdrives and low murmurs, there in the project – yes, this side of Potter is not well known – also gained on that. But as John was the front man, he gained most of the effects of the silver brick. Interestingly, this happened despite him being the vocal artist of the session, what placed his colleague, Ambrose Fiedl, manning the keyboards, to be only in an accompanying role. Frankly speaking, each change of repertoire brought the same changes, with the shortcoming, that the lesser quality of the source material, the less changes were heard. Finishing this review, a bit finger-pointing review, I will just mention, that the further we went, the heavier the device the Thixar was placed on, the lesser was its influence. So with the pre it was already minimal, while with the power amp it was close to none. Conclusion? As I mentioned, the weight of the device played here the biggest role. My DAC weights about 6kg, and when it was nailed to the rack with a brick weighing about half of it, then it started singing. However when the unit has the size and mass of a body builder, then things start to fade. Of course, when thinking about the pros and cons you need to consider the vibration cancelling of the device you want to put the tested German product upon, but this topic is very broad, and I stopped thinking about it quickly. Will there be more in-depth and longer descriptions of the changes introduced? As I am having lots of esteem for all of the readers I will not go that far, and I will finish my text here and now. I hope, however, that this will be a good starting point for you to dig deeper in all the nuances by yourselves. It is up to you.
I do not know if I encouraged any of you to play around with the Thixar Eliminator, but that what I heard might be an interesting experience for many. I will even say more, it might be the final touch of a system in the direction of its full synergy. But I repeat, a touch, and not a putting an anorectic on steroids. Why am I emphasizing this so much? Not that I want to defend myself upfront, but that what wrote is just a final touch. For some it might be worthwhile, for others not. But only if you check it for yourself, you can respond to the question, if the manufacturer’s claims are true, or just nice words, with which he tries to lure us. One thing I know for sure, borrowing the Eliminator for testing you lose nothing.
Distributor: CORE trends
Price: 1786 PLN
Dimension (WxHxD): 150x100x25 mm
Weight: 1,6 kg
System used in this test:
– CD: ReimyoCDT – 777 + ReimyoDAP – 999 EX Limited
– Preamplifier: Robert Koda Takumi K-15
– Power amplifier: Reimyo KAP – 777
– Loudspeakers: TRENNER & FRIEDL “ISIS”
– Speaker Cables: TRELLURIUM Q Silver Diamond
– IC XLR: TELLURIUM Q Silver Diamond
– Digital IC: Harmonix HS 102
– Power cables: Harmonix X-DC 350M2R Improved Version, X-DC SM Milion Maestro, Furutech NanoFlux – NCF
– Table: SOLID BASE VI
– Accessories: Harmonix Beauty Tone Milion Maestro, Harmonix TU 505EX MK II, Stillpoints „ULTRA SS”, Stillpoints ”ULTRA MINI”; antivibration platform by SOLID TECH; Harmonix AC Enacom Improved for 100-240V; Harmonix Room Tuning Mini Disk RFA-80i
– Power distribution board: POWER BASE HIGH END
Drive: SME 30/2
Arm: SME V
Cartridge: MIYAJIMA MADAKE
Phonostage: RCM THERIAA