We have received many comments from customers, delighted over the years with improvements made to their systems by installing Vertex components. Here is a selection.
Impressions of the Quiescent Streamer
“The streamer was used fed directly into Meridian 8000SE speakers. These are active speakers featuring 750 watts each. They also incorporate DACs and use beryllium tweeters for extended high frequency performance. In other words, the speakers should allow us to fairly assess the streamer’s capabilities.
First off was Bach’s Cantata BWV106 performed under John Eliot Gardiner for Archiv. It begins with recorders and organ in the foreground and then gives full scope to varied solo and choral contributions. The sopranos in particular sounded especially sweet with a very extended and unfettered range. Not only was the separation of the various elements outstanding, so that no detail was lost, but everything was also blended into a coherent whole. This may seem fanciful but the spiritual dimension of the music was fully present with a very atmospheric rendition.
Next came ‘Dub in a time of cholera’ by Dub Colossus from Dub me tender. The dub bass was remarkably deep but also fully articulate, with no hint of bloating. Notable too was the extreme width, height and spatial depth. All this combined to produce a very involving experience.
The largest scale recording was Berlioz’s Requiem performed by Colin Davis and the London Symphony Orchestra. This is a work of colossal size calling for a huge orchestra including augmented timpani, four additional but spatially dispersed brass sections, and a choir of mass voices. The impact of this was sensational, in a piece where, all too often, the timpani are not fully heard or felt.
After this, Jeff Beck continued the drama with ‘Blast from the east’ and ‘Space for the papa’ from the album Who else! The attack of his guitar and the unimpeded dynamics were astonishing but equally noteworthy were the transients from the drums to produce music of great excitement.
To turn to two acoustic guitars might seem to invite anti-climax but in the case of Rodrigo y Gabriela, where they treat their instruments like percussion as well as strings, the high-energy assault continued. On ‘Orion’ from Rodrigo y Gabriela it is easy for the two instruments to become blurred and the sound confused. Here though, an appropriate separation was established without danger to the integrity of the music, leaving us to marvel that two people could produce such complex and dynamic music from such simple instruments.
Finally came Ivo Pogorelich, playing a Scarlatti sonata, K. 380 on piano. The system gave full scope to his remarkable modulation and articulation which rendered the music with such character and fascination.
All told, this is clearly a streamer for all music types. We could not have thrown anything more extreme at it. All the hi-fi virtues of tonal accuracy, width, spatial depth, height, dynamics, rhythm, extended frequencies, sharply defined transients and presence were clearly present. But finally, what matters is the music and the virtuosity (not vulgar display) of the performers and their musical intelligence. This streamer allows us to hear and feel it as intended.”
This customer is an experienced listener and has developed an impressive-sounding Meridian system through careful application of Vertex vibration and RF absorbing products.
This customer has a sophisticated system and a significant number of Vertex AQ components. Then he tried the Pico Component Grounding Blocks …
“Dynamics are in a different league and, most of all, the mojo is back (with the cavalry this time). I think the Picos do profound things – certainly to my system. I’d say without hesitation that they have moved my system up by a full league – so much more presence and ‘touchable-ness’ to voices and instruments now.
Nice clichéd hi-fi things have clearly happened, like much blacker silences, but the overall outcome is much, much more music, impact and emotion. This is one of the best single upgrades I’ve ever made and certainly the most cost-effective one. I know Vertex make a lot of wonderful kit, but I think theres something quite magical about their Picos!”
Dave C Bristol
“Many thanks Jeremy for sending me the new Pico Component Grounding Block to try in my system. I can report that the result was very favourable indeed. Having connected it to my CD player, it was clear within seconds that the sound quality of the system had improved markedly.
In particular, I noticed a layer of ‘haze’ that I wasn’t aware of previously had been eliminated. The system was now significantly more transparent and much more pleasurable to listen to. A really amazing result!
Given the effect of a single Grounding Block on my system, I must try a second one before too long. A very satisfied customer.”
Roger C Leics
This customer asked about borrowing the Vertex AQ Moncayo Speaker Lead Extension Blocks at our Whittlebury Hall demonstration in September 2012. After discussions we suggested he should try the Taga mains distribution block at the same time.
“I was a bit sceptical about these but was blown away by the startling change they made to the sound of my system. With both the Taga and the Speaker Blocks connected, it sounded almost as if the electronics in the system had been by-passed and that I was listening right into the heart of recordings. The incremental effect of the Speaker Blocks wasn’t at all subtle, the sound being better in every respect. There’s no going back is there?
These Vertex products clearly demonstrate that the trick with hi-fi is getting it to work at its optimum performance. Based on my experience, the Taga and Speaker Blocks certainly go a long way toward achieving this.”
For several years we have demonstrated at the spring and autumn hi-fi shows, with different major components each time but always using Vertex AQ cables, supports and mains cleaning as the system foundations. You can draw your own conclusions why we regularly receive these sorts of written comments from visitors, this time from the Sept 2012 Whittlebury Hall show:
Consistently brilliant – again!
As usual, one of the best show sounds.
Stunning sound as always in The Right Note’s rooms. Thanks Jeremy.
By 11.45 Saturday it was the best sound I’d heard – if I hear anything better I’ll come back and tell you! (He didn’t return)
Sounded great again.
This is the best sound I’ve heard so far, 3.15 Saturday afternoon!
A very open, rich sound.
Epic speakers for an epic recording of Tchaikovsky’s 4th symphony!
Excellent sound at the show, as always.
Natural and unforced. To reproduce classical music successfully is very difficult, but this was a success.
Unforced, natural, calming but powerful when needed.
Clear, detailed, incisive, communicative.
Once again, best sound at the show.
A nice smooth, clear sound again.
Loudspeakers sounded fantastic.
And one really gratifying note regarding our show seminars on Room Acoustics:
Re last year’s presentation on room acoustic – thanks Jeremy. I changed my living room around, with speakers firing across, not down, the room and haven’t changed back. Great advice!
Show visitors’ comments:
A customer with an all-Naim system who bought a LeadingEdge platform, a VertexAQ Taga distribution block and a Roirama mains lead:
“Firstly, now after a week (in which I’m sure there’s been a little more time for it to settle in) I have to say that I am delighted with the results. To be honest I still find it difficult to reconcile how it all works, but it most clearly does, and I’m amazed at the sound. As you know, I was very keen to maintain the Naim sound, and probably because of their general philosophy of don’t add anything etc, I was a little nervous until you demonstrated the equipment.
Now, with all the CD’s I have, I really am amazed at the extra detail that I can hear. The way that sound of instruments, from cello, violin, cymbals etc just are so much more lifelike. More than this, it is the way the music comes together, and is more focused. I have always updated the electronics as I could hear the improvements with the old speakers that I have, but again with this Vertex and Leading Edge equipment, it shows how even more can be taken from the equipment and be delivered by the speakers.
I suppose as well as the above the most notable things are how the music is focused, with a good tight bass, smoother more refined top end, and how the vocals have moved “up” and forward rather than being too far back and low down in the soundstage.
Overall I am really very happy (and still a little bemused how it all works) and enjoying each CD I have (and there’s a fair few to listen to), so thank you for your help, demonstration, and advice. I know that this is all another journey in HiFi, but one I know will be amazing and enjoyable.
Many thanks again.
all the best……for now!”
Richard C Bristol
“Just about best system I have ever heard in 45 years of listening to hi-fi.”
– a visitor to one of our public shows
“Firstly, congratulations on your musical system at Oatlands Park. The term ‘hi fi’ hardly does such an homologous musical system justice and I’m sure that everyone that was lucky enough to hear such an evenly balanced sound would gladly take it home! It gives us all something to aim for.” – a visitor to the Oatlands Park show March ’12
From a long-term customer who fully understands the changes that Vertex AQ products achieve:
“…getting the fundamentals correct in the first place is just too important and for that, I can only thank you yet again for introducing me to the range of Vertex AQ products. I cannot over-estimate their importance as a vital part of any music reproduction system, AV (Blu-ray & plasma) included.”
Richard C, Bristol (different Richard!)
“Just wanted to thank you for your hospitality and generous time you gave myself & my wife at the recent National Audio show at Whittlebury Hall. I have been attending hifi shows all over the UK for the last 12 years and this was the most pleasurable with the range of equipment and dealers. As well as producing a really nice sound, what made The Right Note the best in show for myself was your knowledge and warmth. Even though I told you I was not purchasing anything, even in the future, you gave me the same time and hospitality as all your other visitors. I remarked to my wife if we ever win the lottery “The Right Note ” will be the first port of call when looking for hifi & guidance. Once again thank you and hopefully you will see me soon for the next upgrade!”
From a customer who took a practical and technical approach to his assessment, giving each result a numerical weighting – and then enjoying the emotional gains.
“Adding Vertex product to respective areas of my HiFi system was nothing short of a musical revelation. The results are astonishing. Whilst no product is what you might term as cheap, the addition of every single item brought something to the performance of each and every piece of music. To be perfectly honest, I was surprised that each successive addition into the HiFi chain released repeated improvements. How was there always more to give? And it’s the realization that these improvements are not tweaks in HiFi sound brought by characteristics of the add-ons, for the products are neutral by nature and simply succeed in allowing the system to realize its potential.
From my experience, the significant effects I heard were control of bass, improvements to timing and rhythm, an un-muddling of the mid-range and high frequencies, separation of instruments, vocal timbres changed to naturally sounding, the sound stage became more 3-dimensional and overall an ever improving clarity that really has to be experienced to be understood. It was jaw-dropping just coming to terms with what was actually there all along. The overall effect is definitely more than the sum of each individual part.
So back to cost, this is relative. The way I saw it, I was laying the basic, much needed foundation, to benefit my system long term. After listening tests with Vertex and LeadingEdge product, it became evident that they had neutral characteristics.
Unlike other products, there appeared to be nothing to indicate that they brought their own sonic fingerprint. This to me indicated that they were firstly not going to colour the sonic picture, so secondly, allow me to hear what my equipment could do in a natural manner, then thirdly, that later additions or changes to the electronics, when ‘up-gradeitis’ bit, would allow me to judge new items based solely on merit. This eliminated the potential for having created a complex combination of electronics, cables and interconnects that once one is removed and another inserted, that the whole balance is upset and the system is ruined.
I was reluctant to hand back the loan Vertex and LeadingEdge products. When I’d placed my order and everything had gone back, I turned the HiFi on to listen again. The dominant boomy bass had returned, the sound was flat, clarity gone and the music muddled in comparison. I’m very much looking forward to my order turning up. It won’t be a moment too soon.”
Andrew B, Chipping Sodbury
Andrew has just bought three Vertex items: the Taga distribution block, a Silver mains lead and a pair of the Moncayo speaker blocks:
“One word Jeremy – FANTASTIC!
System is really singing. A total transformation. And the best thing, with just 3 items, there’s more to come!”
Andrew B, Chipping Sodbury
“Just thought I’d let you know how delighted we are with the Focal Burgundy Cherry 1028Bes. They’re well and truly run in, of course, and are giving tremendous satisfaction.
I think the speakers are particularly well suited to reproducing piano recordings – music which I have always found the most difficult fully to capture. There seems to be no loss of timbre or character even at the highest frequencies. Might this be due to the Beryllium tweeters?”
Roger J – Management consultant
“In some respects you are your own worst enemy – I followed the simple advice you gave me regarding speaker placement and it has totally transformed what I thought was a superb-sounding system. That 3 minute phone call was the best upgrade I have ever made.”
“At your suggestion I put the HiRez Jaya on the Taga distribution block, adjacent to where the mains cable comes into the block. You were, of course, right – it is even better there than in the wall mains socket next to where the block is plugged into the mains. I think that when I first tried it in the block, the totally new and un-run- in cartridge was so “fizzy”, that the absence of fizz caused by the HiRez being in the block was dramatic to the point that I assumed it must be taking the top end off altogether.
In fact, with the HiRez in the block, the vestiges of tinniness from the very basic MM Goldring Electra cartridge are all but transformed into music, while the soundstage “architecture”, dynamism and “menace” are all improved even further. On my (bête noir) Moody Blues “test/torture track”, I actually heard a bass melody played completely which I have never heard in 20 years. So I have spent tens of thousands of pounds chasing insight and transparency, which ultimately took a £960 “add on” to unveil (our emphasis).
Despite having a £50 MM bottom of the range budget cartridge sitting in a £10k turntable/arm, I would now unhesitatingly say that the system is more enjoyable to listen to than it was with the £7k Koetsu Jade Platinum in the same system without the HiRez Jaya. The system, while obviously limited ultimately by the laws of physics insofar as they relate to a very basic budget cartridge, does everything with such joy that it is a pleasure to listen to.
You could say I’m impressed! Quite what will happen when the Koetsu is back, rebuilt completely, with an “upgraded” diamond cantilever, I have no idea.”
Howard K – Lawyer
“As regards the Vertex platforms, my scepticism (despite owning and being thoroughly won over by Vertex Jaya/Roirama mains treatment) soon evaporated when you mounted my valve phono stage onto the support. I could actually hear the space around Justin Hayward’s voice open out, on a track I know like the back of my hand, as you inserted the Vertex cones under the component when the song was playing. A similar improvement was rendered giving my Radford STA 25 valve amp the same treatment. Indeed, only space restrictions caused by a (temporary) rather small equipment support prevented me from having the entire 4 box Canary 903 pre amp combo similarly treated (which I will do when I get a bigger rack!). (My Comment: valves are vulnerable because they are particularly microphonic so valve-based components respond quite dramatically when given the Vertex treatment.)”
Howard K – Lawyer
“The revelation for me wasn’t really the dCS CD player (which is itself excellent) but the cabling and electro-mechanical handling products from Vertex AQ. It really is like lego; in that each time you buy something, you move the capabilities of the overall system on. I am particularly impressed with the Super Kinabalu and have completely fitted out my CD stack with HUGE performance improvements resulting. It doesn’t stop there, however, I am steadily working through cables and mains management getting an improvement each time I put another Vertex product into the system. Essentially, Jeremy is providing the “glue” that brings very good components together to make something that is nothing short of breath-taking! I now have a CD player which sounds as good as any vinyl I’ve heard in the past. Thank you Jeremy.”
Nigel P – Consultant
“I am writing to express my sincere thanks and appreciation for your extremely hard work when you recently attended my home in London to demo the pair of Audio Physic Luna subwoofers and Vertex equipment platforms.
First and foremost, the improvement made to what was already a high end system (as featured, prior to your visit, in Hi Fi World’s January edition in an article by Channa Vitara- who is copied in on this email) is nothing short of amazing. The One Thing Audio Quad ESL 57’s have been transformed by the Lunas into “full bandwidth” monitors, in the most subtle way. The Luna’s are all but invisible, both physically and audibly, until you switch them off! At that point, the sense of extraordinary poise, space and air vanishes – as if one has gone from widescreen TV to a bog standard old telly. All the midrange finesse, deftness of touch and sheer musicality of the 57’s are not only preserved when using the Lunas, but also are positively enhanced. As for “bass”, I can now hear bass detail that was not only, perhaps expectedly, absent from the 57’s, but also missing from a pair of Naim NBL speakers being driven by Naim’s flagship mighty 552/500 amplification combo, which I previously owned for 3 years. So, it might be said that I am rather impressed!!
Most of all, however, I want to thank you for the time and care you took in getting the system sounding right. Indeed, you spent the best part of 90 minutes completely repositioning the 57’s and adjusting tilt/ toe-in to obtain the best possible sound in the listening position. Thus even before you began to install the Lunas / Vertex, the system sounded miles better than it had before you arrived. That you then spent a further 6 hours (excluding a trip to B&Q to buy some bits to make a terminal) getting everything spot on, resulting in you arriving home in Bath at past midnight, shows how much of a perfectionist you are and, frankly, how superb a dealer you are too.
The system is, now, by far the best I have ever had and totally fills a huge listening room with music without any perceived weaknesses. It just plays music superbly, and is as relaxing on chamber music as it is exciting on Led Zeppelin. Much of this has come about as a result of the items you suggested I incorporate, and as a result of the extremely hard work you put in to getting them to integrate into a high end system.”
Howard K – Lawyer
“The experience of listening to such top quality products has been a revelation. I had expected the sound to be clear and free of distortion, even at high volume. What I had not anticipated was just how exhilarating the sound would be.
Take for example the percussion piece. The definition on the cymbals, and that snare drum (wow, that snare drum!) was so pointed that it was as if the drum kit was there in the room. I found myself flinching as one does with a live drumkit. Stunning.
The orchestral piece was remarkable. I am very familiar with the idea of a stereo spectrum where individual noises are located between the left and right hand speakers. But this was something else. You could clearly identify precisely where, within that spectrum, each orchestra section was located. What was truly remarkable however was the concept of height within the sound spectrum. To hear the timpani at the upper rear of the orchestra was incredible and left me quite giddy. I found myself actively listening to the music and the interaction between the sections, melodies and harmonies as never before.
The one characteristic that sticks with me is that the sound created had a physicality to it that I had never experienced or anticipated. Vocals roared with an exciting vibrancy or a hushed intimacy as required. Guitars being picked, strings vibrating, that snare like a drumstick on the brain. The plucked bass notes…
Finally thank you for a very relaxed environment. There was no hard sell at all. I suspect you know none is needed. The equipment certainly sells itself. I for one am reappraising my short to medium term plans. There will be a way to accommodate music of this quality in my life and I look forward to that day very much.
Thank you Jeremy. You have shown me something I had never imagined could exist.”
Neil D – Solicitor
“It must also be said that, through your demo, we have at last found a hi-fi dealer who brings skill and experience to the provision of a bespoke service, seeking to create truly satisfied customers. The combination of venue, a fine and broad range of equipment, and not least the systematic approach adopted to identify the client’s preferences was truly impressive. This, surely, is how all true hi-fi should be marketed.
We shall certainly be singing your praises to friends and colleagues in Norway who, like us, would welcome the opportunity to consider hi-fi purchase with the peace of mind that your approach and service provides.”
Colin T – Norway
“I have been frustrated with my inability to reproduce music from a CD source that was anywhere near as good as my turntable setup for twenty years until I met Jeremy and “The Right Note”. His approach to making sure that he understands what I am looking for, giving me time to and patience to try things out and moving ahead when decisions have been made is exactly what I need from a dealer when I’m spending this sort of money. Jeremy is very credible and his experience of what works and what doesn’t gives you the confidence that this is someone you can trust and isn’t just out to make a “fast buck”.”
Nigel P – IT consultant
“Jeremy’s demonstration of the equipment was a remarkable experience – not only for the astonishing quality of the sound, but also for Jeremy’s congenial and erudite guidance. I would thoroughly recommend The Right Note to anyone who loves music, regardless of their level of knowledge and the size of their bank balance. They will find there the state of the art in Hi-Fi equipment, and a guide of incomparable expertise. Jeremy brings no sales patter or pressure, but simply the wish to share what he knows and loves.”
Tim S – Solicitor