Product Review

By: Jack Roberts

Reviewer Constantine Soo's Dagogo

A Little Extra: The Sistrum Speaker and Equipment Stands

A Little Extra: The Sistrum Speaker and Equipment Stands

A couple of years ago a friend of mine was going on vacation for a week, and had just gotten a pair of custom made Sistrum speaker stands and wanted to know if I wanted to try them until he got back.  We both have Audio Note AN/E speakers, although he has the SEC Silvers and I have the SEs.  Well, as it happened, I had just been on the phone with Jim Ricketts, then-importer of my WAVAC 300B amp.  He had just told me that he used the Sistrum platforms for all his equipment.  So, I told my friend sure, "I'll give them a try."


First, I put one under the left speaker. Then, I played some mono recordings and listen to each speaker separately.  Well, there was no doubt that the Sistrum stand tightened up the bass.  It also seemed that it somehow let the speaker play louder, and it was much more dynamic.


So then I put the other stand into the system and my jaw dropped.  If you think I'm exaggerating, Monday morning came and I ordered the speaker stands and two of the equipment platforms, one for the WAVAC and one for the Sony 777 SACD player.  While ordering these I learned from Robert at Star Sound (the Sistrum and Audiopoints people) some more about how to set up the stands.  I set up everything like he said and just couldn't believe the sound.


It is just amazing, and what did they do for the sound of my system?  First let me describe the stands and equipment platforms.


DESCRIPTIONS:
I had the speakers originally on Audio Note's 4 legged, mass-loaded steel stands.  They were filled with a lead and sand mixture as described by Audio Note.  The equipment had been sitting on DH Cones and Squares.
The Sistrum stands have three steel legs that are filled with "MicroBearing Steel" fill that they make and sell.  The three legs attach to a rounded, triangular-shaped steel plate that has a musical note in the center.  Audiopoints are screwed into them through a slot in the bass.  Then, there are steel spikes that screw into the top of each leg.


The Systrum equipment platforms are similar.  In fact, the one under the WAVAC amp uses the same plate and has Audiopoints that screw into each other to create three points going down into whatever you are sitting them on, and three that point up which the equipment sits on.  The one under the SACD player has a larger bass and larger points but is basically of the same concept.

THE SOUND
First, it is not subtle. My first reaction was, "where did that come from?"  It's much more like getting new speakers than new stands.


Efficiency: You can go to www.audiopoints.com and get a more technical explanation, but let me just say they play louder at the same place at the same volume setting then they did before.


Dynamics: In the review above I said the Audio Note AN/E speakers are the best of both worlds between horns and stats, but on the Systrum stands they are nearly as dynamic as any horn.  They will play much louder than any single driver horn loaded speaker or stat that I have heard.  A few years ago, people used to talk about a speaker's "startle factor", and that about sums up the sound of this combination.  I had to turn down the volume control several times as I learned that you can't turn up the quiet passages to the level I was used to.


Information, transparency, detail: These audiophile terms mean different things to different people but let me say there is simply a whole lot more information you can hear now.  It's not so much that the grunge or noise is gone, it's more like there's just more to hear.  You can more clearly hear the mics, the space, the phrasing, the subtle changes in pitch and tone.  The soundstage becomes more believable.  I don't mean in some "phasey", deep, deep, and wide, wide way.  I mean in a way where instruments and people have their own space and where you can more easily hear each of them.  The Audio Notes AN/Es were already the least boxy sounding box speaker I had ever heard and would not have believed that could have been improved very much, but I was wrong.


Bass: This was the only area I was actually looking to improve when I said I would try the Sistrum.  As amazing as the bass was out of these two ways, I had hoped that maybe they could be just a little quicker.  Well, boy was I right.  I have never heard bass like this before.  I can now hear subtleties in the bass I did not know were on the recordings.  I just wanted a little tighter and quicker bass, but what I got was all that, and a lot more quality in the bass.  It is now so easy to hear the differences in drums as they are being played.   The notes on a string bass are so articulate.  It's just a whole new world for the bass

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The biggest differences between what I had before and after with the Sistrum products came with the speaker stands.  I'm not going to try to explain in detail the difference the equipment platforms made.   Let's just say the platforms completed what the stands started.

Review by Jack Roberts,

Constantine Soo's Dagogo Review