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Essence of Music CD treatment


ReMusic Spark AwardEssence of Music. An ambitious naming, I would say. Through the ages, the philosophers have discoursed on the concept of essence of music focusing on the relationship between the spirit of the music and the antagonism between Apollonian and Dionysian. According to Schopenhauer, the music is different from the other forms of art. It represents an exception. “Where other forms of art are imitations of things perceived in the world, music is a direct expression and articulation of the will. The effect of music is so very much more powerful and penetrating than is that of the other arts, for these others speak only of the shadow, but music of the essence”, from The World as Will and Representation. The world could be a personification of the music, not only of the will.

 

Hence, music as soul of the world, genesis of the arts. E.T.A. Hoffman in Schriften zur Musik states: “The instrumental music transcends other arts and languages to become the discourse of a higher realm”.

Eduard Hanslick, in On the Beautiful in Music, writes: “Since the elements of music-sound, tone, rhythm, strength, weakness-are found throughout the universe, man finds again in music the whole universe”.

 

I could go on and on about. Hegel and Nietzsche amongst all. I just suggest reading Rudolf Steiner’s The Inner Nature of Music and the Experience of Tone, where he states “that man attains a still higher stage when he is able to transform the completely unconscious state of sleep into one of consciousness. The student on the path of spiritual training learns to acquire continuity of consciousness for a part of the night, for that part of the night that does not belong to the dream life but that is wholly unconscious. He now learns to be conscious in a world about which he formerly knew nothing. This new world is not one of light and colors but announces itself first as a world of tone. In this state of consciousness, man develops the faculty to hear spiritually and to perceive tone combinations and varieties of tone inaudible to the physical ear. This world is called Devachan. If Devachan is higher than the astral world, then music is “higher” than art forms that use physical colors or sounds. Tone, however, is a direct expression of the will itself, without interpolation of the mental image. When man is artistically engaged with tone, he puts his ear to the very heart of nature itself; he perceives the will of nature and reproduces it in series of tones. Because man feels himself near to the essence in music, he feels a deep contentment in music. When the human being hears music, he has a sense of well-being, because these tones harmonize with what he has experienced in the world of his spiritual home”.

 

Therefore, the essence of music can be pursuit in the musical event or in its manifestation: instrumental/vocal playback or live performance. The ear acts as receiver or vector, thus as an instrument to lead the sounds in the areas of the human body that are sensitive to pleasure. The process is elementary: making of the sound, diffusion of the frequencies in the air, interception by the hearing system, stimulation of the contentment, extraction of the essence. In our age, the agents of technology have slot in between the stages of this path, with some primary role. I am speaking of the musical supports: mag tapes, vinyl records, compact discs, etc.

All of them make the music accessible but only if the playback is qualitatively exemplary. Nevertheless, we all know that they have ‘genetic’ faults that prevent from the faithful rendering of the original musical message.

 

Here we will talk of the Compact Disc only. I will start by saying that the imperfections of the signal reproduced by the CD have a double origin. The first one depends on the jitter, which denotes the phenomenology of the irregularity of the clock in all the digital signals.

It has nothing to do with the data extraction, meant as an event during which there isn’t any transfer from digital to analog. The second one depends on the CD manufacturing characteristics or materials. The CD is made of: a polycarbonate disc layer with the data encoded, a thin layer of aluminium applied to the surface to make it reflective, a film of lacquer to protect the shiny layer. The polycarbonate can be easily molded, but it is resistant and cheap.

It has, however, a drawback like many polymers. It tends to polarize the beam of light when it is crossed by it. The optical scanning system of the CD player is affected proportionally with the raising in temperature. We have the so-called birefringence that is the optical property of a material having a refractive index that depends on the polarization and propagation direction of light. Therefore, the scanner works in a condition of mechanical stress due to an error of extraction that cause distortion, harshness, sibilant sounds, tightness of the acoustical scene, loss in three-dimensionality, sound mud, lack of dynamics. The listening experience will result boring and annoying. A solution could be the substitution of the polycarbonate plastic with a layer of glass/aluminium or amorphous polyolefin (APO/APAO) which have no influence on the beam polarization, but, with these materials, the costs would skyrocket.

 

Even if I love vinyl records, I have never given up accepting palely the qualitative offer of the CD. I mean, in terms of sound accuracy of the recordings. From the birth of the CD, I have always tried to do something in order to valorize the disc as musical format. I started from the CD players by applying the techniques of acoustic damping of the chassis. Then, I changed the clock and the circuital implementations of the power supply, of the output stages and of the signal path. I have never tried the air suspension of the laser, but I will. Lastly, I have used accessories for demagnetization, cut or brownout of the CD borders, overlapping of stabilizing disc, etc. On every passage, I have noticed an improvement but I have never had that feeling of wellness and harmony whit the sounds that I was seeking.

Before going into details, I want to say that the application of the Essence of Music treatment has been shocking! ReMusic met the company owner, Mr. Robert Spence, at the last CES in Las Vegas. He asked to test the product and I was tasked. I have always been an enthusiast of the audio accessories that I consider very important refinements in order to get the balance in an audio system. Here, however, we are not dealing with a simple refinement: we are in the presence of a solution of huge impact in terms of effectiveness. Believe me…it’s devastating!

 

Essence of Music Original package contains:

  • a 20 ml plastic canister bottle 1 containing liquid hydrocarbons
  • a 20 ml plastic canister bottle 2 containing isopropanol
  • a number of nitrile finger cots
  • brown small microfiber cloths
  • one blue polishing cloth
  • adhesive post treatment identity stickers

The CD treatment is quite simple. Before starting, I suggest to verify the compatibility by spraying a small quantity of the product in an unrecorded area of the CD. Wear the nitrile finger cot on your finger and:

  1. check the record and spray the chemical in bottle 1 on the playing surface
  2. gently cover the playing surface for one minute avoiding radial movements
  3. without removing the chemical of bottle 1, spray the chemical in bottle 2 onto the playing surface. You will notice a white emulsion. Polish the disc for one minute
  4. use the light brown microfiber cloth to remove the emulsion
  5. check the treated disc
  6. spray the liquid from bottle number 2 onto the playing surface again
  7. polish the disc using the blue polishing cloth

Allow one minute before ripping or playback. The microfiber cloth can be used to treat from 5 to 10 discs. You can use the polishing cloth about 25 times. Both can be cleaned in a washing machine, using detergent only, on a gentle cycle, and then placing in a dryer for a short time, or air dry them. The finger cots, microfiber cloth and polishing cloth can be purchased directly from the company. I suggest putting the stickers as a reminder.

The fact that there is enough liquid to treat 400 CDs, does not mean that we are speaking of a cleaning treatment.

The action of Essence of Music is described as a double liquid formula that uses nanotechnologies with the aim of facilitate the formation of self-assembling membranes to make the disc surface transparent, highly reflective, polished and immune from electrostatic noises. The immediate effect is the reduction of the birefringence and distortion. To realize that, I suggest having two copies of the same disc – one untreated – and making a comparison.

Listening to the untreated copy of Anime Salve, BMG Ricordi, 1996 by Fabrizio De André was satisfying, it is a well recorded masterpiece. So I thought. The Essence of Music treated copy literally annihilated the first. The former was dull and lifeless (when) compared to post-treatment. In Princesa, drums, wood block, zabumba, shaker, double triangle, Jew’s arp, djembè, bongo, conga, bass, classic guitar, mandolin, mandola, cymbalon, bajan, clarinet, violoncello, seven singing voices, three narrative voices and many external sound effects are more present in the acoustic scene that is infinite in width and depth. Woodwinds and strings keep their original timbre and respect spaces and sound stages. Fabrizio’s voice is more vibrant and low. In Dolcenera, Luvi De André and Dori Ghezzi’s voices are beautiful and intelligible, amalgamated but free and cutting. They duet with a moving Paraguayan harp. If you want to listen to an authentic berimbau, a bansuri or, it is not a joke, a demijohn, weaved with a string orchestra, tone in to Disamistade. My conclusion is that the untreated disc is opaque and without life if compared to the disc after treatment. Second test with a record full of traditional instruments amalgamated with sequencer, sampler and synth. Arenaria, by Mario Crispi, Suono Records, distribution EGEA, 2007. A masterpiece of musical ideas and innovative acoustic solutions. Same perception after treatment. More details, controlled basses, clearness in the resonances of the strings and of their wood bodies. The balance of the sounds is extreme with an amazing focus. With Cala, a night recording in the fish market in Palermo, you are literally transported there. You smell the scent of an ancestral Sicily filtered through a modern sound. In the original version, the acoustic guitar appeared blurred and shy, almost hidden in the backstage. Now it is transparent, vivid, at the right place. Cuntu Ri Guerra describes an event made of war and escape using the cunto from Palermo together with Persian nay, synth, stick bass, virtual synth, sampler and piano. The helicopter is real, you can hear it above your head. A dialectal rap snakes into a hypnotic percussive rhythm. The clearness and the quality of the sound allow you to understand the drama of the story. Other charming sonority are in Iccari, a distress singing against the uselessness of the sought peace and the violence. The protagonist are flutes, human beat box and sequencer. The feelings are strong. I want more. The listening of the Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky, CBS Masterworks, with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra directed by Andrew Davis in 1961, is sublime. The glockenspiels are delicate and clear in the Waltz of the flowers, the strings are delicious in Tarantella and in the Final Waltz and Apotheosis, the dynamics is impressive. The sound impact is powerful. The Full Harmonized Chord of One by Steiner seems to realize.

 

But, most of all, something unique has happened. After the third CD I do not feel any listening fatigue. On the contrary, I want to go on. In all the other listening sessions, after the first CD, I have changed to the vinyl. The day after I have repeated the treatment on the same discs. A sidereal difference. A further improvement without comparison on the parameters.

EoM is a revolutionary accessory. Its cost, 149 US dollars, is affordable for all the audiophiles. If you own a substantial CD collection, it is a must. Alas, it is not distributed in Italy. So, you have to order the kit directly from the company.

 

After one month of testing, I have metabolized the changes in the musical weaves and the redefinition of the EoM musical message. I do not need to compare any more twin records to get the origin. After treatment, the CD has a better resolution and focus. Instruments and voices are well placed and delineated. There is substantial coherence in the entire harmonic weave. The mid frequencies are warmer and the high have no more the typical digital brightness and opacity. The low and mid low frequencies are refined. The sound scene is authentic in the dimensions, distances and empty spaces. My fulfillment is total.  

 

I am not sure if I am getting closer to the essence of music. For sure, I am in the right direction. There is a contraindication, however. I reject the normal CDs. I cannot listen to them anymore and considering the quantity I have, I am really desperate. I have to ask Mr. Spence to send me a giant kit of Essence of Music CD treatment.

 

A richly deserved ReMusic's Spark in the Dark.

 

 

For further info: to Essence of Music website

Official current price in USA:

the Original Package containing two 20ml bottles of liquid treats 300-400 discs - 150USD
the Professional Package containing two 80ml bottles of liquid treats 1200-1600 discs - 300USD

Associated equipment: to Giuseppe "MinGius" Trotto's system

 

Essence of Music Original Package
Essence of Music Original Package
Essence of Music Professional Package
Essence of Music Professional Package
 
by Giuseppe Trotto
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