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To provide some musical examples that really helped me understand what the adeptResponse was doing I will start with Nick Drake’s trio of sublime albums, Bryter Later, Five Leaves Left, and Pink Moon. Joy Boyd’s magical production is pure analog bliss, and the digital remaster is stunning. It’s a rather delicate mix of Drake’s voice, nylon string guitar, jazzy rhythms, and orchestration. There are many layers to this music and a refined system can make one lose all sense of space and time when listening to Drake. With the adeptResponse in the system there was no doubt everything sounded more organic, holographic, and even more analog like.
I then moved on to some classic John Coltrane, spinning his monumentally influential album Coltrane, from 1962. This CD was meticulously remastered by original recording engineer Rudy Van Gelder. Coltrane’s horn was naturally brassy, bold, and even piercing, exactly how he played live, as evidenced by loads of available authorized and unauthorized live recordings. The piano, bass, and drums were also superbly rendered with the natural woody tones and body one would expect. In a word, as good as I have ever heard this disc.
In the end, every disc I loaded up clearly sounded better with the system plugged in to the adeptResponse. I really could find no down side. Of note is the unit ran cool to the touch. The adeptResponse is also virtually maintenance free. Audience wisely suggests cleaning the outlets with a contact cleaners periodically, or simply plugging in and unplugging the power cords on occasion which will also work.
After spending several months with the Audience adeptResponse aR6 I can safely say, without hesitation that it absolutely works as advertised. Without a doubt, the adeptResponse removed electronic hash, line noise, and created a cleaner canvas for the music to take center stage. I have no doubts about how the adeptResponse positively affected my system. I certainly cannot say it will work with every single component out there, but I would bet it would benefit all but the most esoteric of designs.
Audience also offers a variety of power products, as well as several configurations in the adeptResponse line, along with their excellent power cords. I am very glad I got to hear what power conditioning products can do for my system, and If I was privileged enough to have the resources, I would invest in conditioners for all my systems, and maybe even separate units for amplification and sources. But I found one adeptReponse aR6 to be more than sufficient and would gladly make it part of my reference system going forward. I would strongly urge an audition if you feel the full potential of your set up has not yet been unleashed. Even though I have a dedicated 20 amp line and a premium AC receptacle in my listening room, the difference was immediate. I can conclude that in essence, the adeptResponse has no sonic signature of its own, rather it allows you to hear the true character of your sources and amplification. If you have invested a decent sum, I believe the Audience adeptResponse is the finishing touch. Well done Audience.
Avrev: Recently I heard an audio engineer state basically the quality of the AC power defines the sound. Can I get your thoughts on this, and what would you say to the "a properly designed power supply" is all you need.
JM: With regard to the relation of AC power defining the sound it is important to understand that all of our electronics are simply modulators of AC power. Transforming this AC power into useful forms doesn’t change this basic fact and the end result can only be as good as the power that we start with.
All but the very best power supplies will pass some line noise and generate their own as well. However, even the best power supplies will benefit from having AC supply with low impedance at high frequencies. This helps prevent high frequency noise from gaining access to the system.
Avrev: Looking at the AdeptResponse without the cover, the quality of the parts and workmanship is very impressive. What in the actual design and implementation sets the Audience conditioners apart?
JM: There is nothing mysterious or out of the ordinary about the basic design of the Adept Response. However, implementation is what sets the Adept Response apart from all other power conditioners. Extraordinary attention was given to every detail as well as selection of the very highest quality parts possible.
Avrev: As I stated in my review, I previously had no experience with high end power conditioners, and also no preconceived notions. I now believe it is an essential ingredient in allowing your system to perform at it's very best. Is the AdeptResponse one of those products you have to win over listeners one at a time?
JM: It isn’t different than any other product except that a great many people, probably most people, still do not realize the great benefit of using a good power conditioner. This is very understandable due to the fact that most power conditioners bring something negative to the audio signal. When designing the Adept Response, the first and foremost rule was to do no harm.
- Nick Drake: Bryter Later, Five Leaves Left, Pink Moon, 2003, Island Records
- The Church:Forget Yourself, 2003, Cooking Vinyl Records
- John Coltrane: Coltrane (1962 album),2007,Impulse
- Seal: Commitment, 2010, Reprise
- Junip:Fields, 2010, Muse
- Pharoh Sanders: Elevation, 2005, Universal
- Power Outlets: 6 Hubbell high conductivity power receptacles
- Dimensions: 10.5”W x 4.75”H x 8.25”D
- Weight: aR6: 9.8 lbs/4.5kg / aR6-T: 11.1lbs/5kg
- Finish: Grained and satin anodized aluminum Silver or Black
- Price: aR6: $3,100.00 USD / aR6-TS: $5,000.00 USD
- Main Power Cord Included: Standard 6 ft. 10 AWG powerChord by Audience with Neutrik 20A PowerCon® and Wattgate power connectors.
- Made in USA
- CD Player: Naim CD5 XS with Flatcap 2X,
- Preamp: Audio Research SP16, McIntosh MA6600
- Amplifier: Audio Research VS55
- Speaker: Thiel CS3.7, Spendor S35R
- Cables: DH Labs, RS Cables, Kimber/QED/Acoustic Zen (AC)/Transparent (AC)/Element Cable, Shunyata, Pangea, Audience AU24e interconnect and speaker , Audience powerChord e. AC cords.
- Accessories: Symposium Rollerblocks, Shakti Stone, Sound Anchors stands, Timbernation platform, CablePro Noisetrapper