SigTech TimeField 1020 Others

5/5 (2 Reviews)


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Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Paul a an Audiophile

Date Reviewed: March 13, 1998

Bottom Line:   
Most audio purists are suspect of any device that processes or equalizes the signal traveling through their highly-tweaked sound systems. The ultimate goal of these systems is to reproduce the music hidden in those little pits and groves with as little as possible in the signal path to distort or color the sound. This is a noble ideal, but one we are still falling short of with today’s technology. I used to cling to this belief until I gained an understanding on how audio equipment really works. The signal in the digital domain undergoes all sorts of filtering and shaping before it is converted to analog. The phono signal must be equalized so that it sounds as it should. Amplifiers and preamps push the signal through various resistors, capacitors, transistors, vacuum tubes, transformers, phase splitters, and feedback loops to make things work. All of these components impart a signature on the signal as it passes through them. On top of all of this, speakers leave their own mark with a myriad of offenders, from the inductors in the crossovers, to the materials that make up the drivers. When you really stop to think about it, it’s amazing that our stereo systems sound as good as they do. Luckily, there are really ingenious engineers and designers out there that, despite the limitations of what they have to work with, produce equipment that approaches recreating live music in our homes. But once that music leaves our speakers, it is at the mercy of our listening room to be bounced around like a superball before it reaches our ears. Everything from the positions of the speakers in the room, to where you hang the picture of your favorite aunt on the wall, effect the sound arriving at your favorite listening spot. This is where the SigTech Time Field Acoustic Correction Processor comes in to save the day.
I can hear what you are saying right now, “This thing is nothing but a fancy equalizer!”. Not so my friends. Comparing this unit to the standard parametric equalizer that we have all grown to loathe, is like comparing a top-of-the-line multi-processor workstation to a hand-crank adding machine. What the SigTech does is compensate for a good part of the interference and distortions caused by the speaker interacting with you room. It basically cancels out the room reflections that tell you ears that, no matter where the music was recorded, you are still in room listening to music at home. I won’t go into the gory details on how the SigTech does this. Visit the their web page at http://moose.sofgry/SigTech for a good explanation on how it works. I’d really prefer to tell you about how it sounds.

I was recently able to make an audition of the SigTech at a one of the handful of dealerships that carries it. Maybe someday I’ll be able to afford one these puppies and give you an in-depth review of it in my home system, but right now my hour of listening will have to do. In all honesty, it only takes about one minute to hear the difference between the SigTech in the system and bypassed.

Before I talk about the changes brought about he SigTech, I need to describe the circumstances in which I conducted an audition. The system that I was listening to certainly must be called state-of-the-art. The front end consisted of a Wadia 7 Transport with a Wadia 27 Decoding Computer. The Wadia 27 was used to directly drive Mark Levinson No33 Monoblocks (no kidding!). The Levinson Monoblocks delivered their juice to a pair of Thiel CS6 speakers. Tara Lab RSC Decade interconnects and speaker cables were used throughout. For the purposes of the demonstration, the SigTech was inserted between the Wadia and the Levinsons. The listening room was about 30 feet by 50 feet with a 15 foot ceiling. The speakers were placed well away from the back and side walls and about ten feet apart. These are certainly not would one would consider suspect listening conditions. I think one would be hard pressed to find a digital-solid state combination to beat it. The listening room setup is better than most people will ever be able to achieve at home (if they have a room that big!). That is why it’s perfect setup to demo the SigTech.

After the salesperson got the SigTech on line with the system, placed the chair in the optimum listening position, and armed me with a remote control to switch the SigTech in and out of the system, I was left to my own devices to do some listening.

I have been searching for the language to describe what effect the SigTech has on the music emanating from this system. First of all, I can address what is on the minds of a lot you. At no time could I hear any type of degradation of the sound. And believe me, I would have heard any degradation with the system used in the demo. In fact, when the SigTech was switched in, the opposite occurred. A new level of clarity was achieved. The music attained a new level of integration that wasn’t there before. I truly felt that I was listening to a musical ensemble, not a bunch of separate instrumentalists and vocalists. This doesn’t mean that there was blurring of the instruments into each other. But now it appeared that everyone was really on the same beat. Tempo changes acquired greater meaning. In other words, it felt more like live music.

For those of you into imaging and soundstage (I’m not, but who am I to rain on your parade?), you’ll need a drool cup to listen to a SigTeched (hey, a new verb!) system. The locations of the musicians lost their vagueness and the ambiance of the music was greatly enhanced. This was all the more astounding considering how the well system did these audiophile tricks without the SigTech.

I can hear some of you asking, “But what does the SigTech sound like?” My simple answer is this; it doesn’t sound like anything. I would characterize the system with which I demoed the SigTech as cool, clear, and crisp. In my switching the SigTech in and out of the system, I couldn’t delineate any alteration in the character of the system. That’s the beauty of this component. If you have a system that has a sound that you are happy with, the SigTech will not change it.

I have to give one example of when the SigTech blew me away. I was listening to Reference Recordings “Pomp and Pipes," a collection of classical pieces for woodwinds, organ, and percussion. The second track, Alfred Reed’s “Allelujah! Laudamus Te," opens and closes with series percussive blasts from a bass drum. With lesser systems, these drum strokes are simply booms seeming to emanate from the bowels of the earth. The Levinson-Thiel combination exhibited excellent control of these blasts with the SigTech out of the system. With the SigTech switched in, these drum strokes took on a whole new character. Previously, I had been unable to locate the position of the drum among the other instruments, but it was now clear that the drum was located at stage right. In addition, I could plainly hear the mallet striking the drum and the drum’s harmonics in all their glory. To say I was dumbstruck is an understatement.

As well as the SigTech worked in the cavernous room in which I demoed it, I’m sure it would make a bigger difference in most home listening rooms. I’m really curious to see how the SigTech would work with planar type or horn-loaded speakers.

So how much does this little technological wonder cost? That really depends on what you want to get. The base price is around $6,000. This includes the SigTech Processor, and a visit from the fellows from SigTech to come to your home to set it up. This is done using a microphone placed at your favorite listening position and running a test signal. You can save more than one listening position if you like. If you’re a real do-it-yourself kind of guy or gal, you can buy the whole enchilada for around $10,000. In addition to the processor, you get the microphone and a lap-top computer loaded with SigTech’s software that plugs into the processor to do the analysis yourself. This way you can play around to your hearts content with optimizing you system or be ready if you change speakers. If you are cautious type, you can have the SigTech people set up system in your home for a demo. In addition, while they are analyzing your room, they can advise you on how to optimize your speaker placement to get the best performance without the SigTech! This demo costs $500 and will go towards to purchase of the processor when you save up the clams to buy one. Just think about it, having audio engineers come in and do it right. No more monkey coffin dances! The salesperson who was helping me said that one of his customers tried this out; this customer said it was the best $500 he ever spent on his system.

Given its price tag, the SigTech Acoustic Correction Processor is not for everybody. There is no doubt that it would improve the sound of any system. I would assume however, that one’s system would have to cost over $15,000 before the SigTech would be considered. For those who own such a system, the SigTech would be well worth the money. Let’s face it, at that price point, you would be hard pressed to improve your system significantly with an upgrade of a component. I guarantee that the SigTech will make a much-larger difference than any upgrade.

Once I get my system to where I want it (I’m not there yet), I’ll probably be giving SigTech a call to have them come out and tune my system. Even if I never can buy the SigTech outright, it will give me chance to approach audio nirvana.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   an Audiophile



Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Paul a an Audiophile

Date Reviewed: December 5, 1997

Bottom Line:   
(Please note: I placed this review in the preamp section because it seemed to fit this category the best)
Most audio purists are suspect of any device that processes or equalizes the signal traveling through their highly-tweaked sound systems. The ultimate goal of these systems is to reproduce the music hidden in those little pits and groves with as little as possible in the signal path to distort or color the sound. This is a noble ideal, but one we are still falling short of with today's technology. I used to cling to this belief until I gained an understanding on how audio equipment really works. The signal in the digital domain undergoes all sorts of filtering and shaping before it is converted to analog. The phono signal must be equalized so that it sounds as it should. Amplifiers and preamps push the signal through various resistors, capacitors, transistors, vacuum tubes, transformers, phase splitters, and feedback loops to make things work. All of these components impart a signature on the signal as it passes through them. On top of all of this, speakers leave their own mark with a myriad of offenders, from the inductors in the crossovers, to the materials that make up the drivers. When you really stop to think about it, it's amazing that our stereo systems sound as good as they do. Luckily, there are really ingenious engineers and designers out there that, despite the limitations of what they have to work with, produce equipment that approaches recreating live music in our homes. But once that music leaves our speakers, it is at the mercy of our listening room to be bounced around like a superball on speed before it reaches our ears. Everything from the positions of the speakers in the room, to where you hang the picture of your favorite aunt on the wall, effect the sound arriving at your favorite listening spot. This is where the SigTech Time Field Acoustic Correction Processor comes in to save the day.

I can hear what you are saying right now, "This thing is nothing but a fancy equalizer!". Not so my friends. Comparing this unit to the standard parametric equalizer that we have all grown to loathe, is like comparing a top-of-the-line multi-processor workstation to a hand-crank adding machine. What the SigTech does is compensate for a good part of the interference and distortions caused by the speaker interacting with you room. It basically cancels out the room reflections that tell you ears that, no matter where the music was recorded, you are still in room listening to music at home. I won't go into the gory details on how the SigTech does this. Visit the their web page at http://moose.sofgry/SigTech for a good explanation on how it works. I'd really prefer to tell you about how it sounds.

I was recently able to make an audition of the SigTech at a one of the handful of dealerships that carries it. Maybe someday I'll be able to afford one these puppies and give you an in-depth review of it in my home system, but right now my hour of listening will have to do. In all honesty, it only takes about one minute to hear the difference between the SigTech in the system and bypassed.

Before I talk about the changes brought about he SigTech, I need to describe the circumstances in which I conducted an audition. The system that I was listening to certainly must be called state-of-the-art. The front end consisted of a Wadia 7 Transport with a Wadia 27 Decoding Computer. The Wadia 27 was used to directly drive Mark Levinson No33 Monoblocks (no kidding!). The Levinson Monoblocks delivered their juice to a pair of Thiel CS6 speakers. Tara Lab RSC Decade interconnects and speaker cables were used throughout. For the purposes of the demonstration, the SigTech was inserted between the Wadia and the Levinsons. The listening room was about 30 feet by 50 feet with a 15 foot ceiling. The speakers were placed well away from the back and side walls and about ten feet apart. These are certainly not would one would consider suspect listening conditions. I think one would be hard pressed to find a digital-solid state combination to beat it. The listening room setup is better than most people will ever be able to achieve at home (if they have a room that big!). That is why it's perfect setup to demo the SigTech.

After the salesperson got the SigTech on line with the system, placed the chair in the optimum listening position, and armed me with a remote control to switch the SigTech in and out of the system, I was left to my own devices to do some listening.

I have been searching for the language to describe what effect the SigTech has on the music emanating from this system. First of all, I can address what is on the minds of a lot you. At no time could I hear any type of degradation of the sound. And believe me, I would have heard any degradation with the system used in the demo. In fact, when the SigTech was switched in, the opposite occurred. A new level of clarity was achieved. The music attained a new level of integration that wasn't there before. I truly felt that I was listening to a musical ensemble, not a bunch of separate instrumentalists and vocalists. This doesn't mean that there was blurring of the instruments into each other. But now it appeared that everyone was really on the same beat. Tempo changes acquired greater meaning. In other words, it felt more like live music.

For those of you into imaging and soundstage (I'm not, but who am I to rain on your parade?), you'll need a drool cup to listen to a SigTeched (hey, a new verb!) system. The locations of the musicians lost their vagueness and the ambiance of the music was greatly enhanced. This was all the more astounding considering how the system did these audiophile tricks without the SigTech.

I can hear some of you asking, "But what does the SigTech sound like?" My simple answer is this; it doesn't sound like anything. I would to characterize the system with which I demoed the SigTech as cool, clear, and crisp. In my switching the SigTech in and out of the system, I couldn't delineate any alteration in the character of the system. That's the beauty of this component. If you have a system that has a sound that you are happy with, the SigTech will not change it.

I have to give one example of when the SigTech blew me away. I was listening to Reference Recordings "Pomp and Pipes," a collection of classical pieces for woodwinds, organ, and percussion. The second track, Alfred Reed's "Allelujah! Laudamus Te," opens and closes with series percussive blasts from a bass drum. With lesser systems, these drum strokes are simply booms seeming to emanate from the bowels of the earth. The Levinson-Thiel combination exhibited excellent control of these blasts with the SigTech out of the system. With the SigTech switched in, these drum strokes took on a whole new character. Previously, I had been unable to locate the position of the drum among the other instruments, but it was now clear that the drum was located at stage right. In addition, I could plainly hear the mallet striking the drum and the drum's harmonics in all their glory. To say I was dumbstruck is an understatement.

As well as the SigTech worked in the cavernous room in which I demoed it, I'm sure it would make a bigger difference in most home listening rooms. I'm really curious to see how the SigTech would work with planar type or horn-loaded speakers.

So how much does this little technological wonder cost? That really depends on what you want to get. The base price is around $6,000. This includes the SigTech Processor, and a visit from the fellows from SigTech to come to your home to set it up. This is done using a microphone placed at your favorite listening position and running a test signal. You can save more than one listening position if you like. If you're a real do-it-yourself kind of guy or gal, you can buy the whole enchilada for around $10,000. In addition to the processor, you get the microphone and a lap-top computer loaded with SigTech's software that plugs into the processor to do the analysis yourself. This way you can play around to your hearts content with optimizing you system or be ready if you change speakers. If you are cautious type, you can have the SigTech people set up system in your home for a demo. In addition, while they are analyzing your room, they can advise you on how to optimize set up to get the best performance without the SigTech! This demo costs $500 and will go towards to purchase of the processor when you save up the clams to buy one. Just think about it, having audio engineers come in and do it right. No more monkey coffin dances! The salesperson who was helping me said that one of his customers tried this out; this customer said it was the best $500 he ever spent on his system.

Given its price tag, the SigTech Acoustic Correction Processor is not for everybody. There is no doubt that it would improve the sound of any system. I would assume however, that one's system would have to cost over $15,000 before the SigTech would be considered. For those who own such a system, the SigTech would be well worth the money. Let's face it, at that price point, you would be hard pressed to improve your system significantly with an upgrade of a component. I guarantee that the SigTech will make a much-larger difference than any upgrade.

Once I get my system to where I want it (I'm not there yet), I'll probably be giving SigTech a call to have them come out and tune my system. Even if I never can buy the SigTech outright, It will give me chance to approach audio nirvana.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   an Audiophile




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