Decware w/UltraSonic Rx-40 and Rx-9 Dampers

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Name: Joe Bohan
Review: I got my RX-30 tube dampers today .I played one tune on CD , then again with your dampers on my new preamp . John Williams' rendition of Recuerdos de la Alhambra within 30 seconds was so transformed I can't live without these devices .You,sir are a genius ! Many thanks !

Name: Dave Radlauer, Jazz Rythm Radio Host
Review: I can never listen to my tube gear again without your damper rings.

I’m deeply impressed with the effect of your UltraSonic Rx tube dampers on my David Berning ZH-230 mono blocks and ZOTL Preamp. At each stage of adding dampers the system sounded more musical, and less electro-mechanical. Because this signal path is free of transformers, capacitors or transistors, the beneficial effects of your dampers were startlingly clear:

Stage 1 - Rings on 4 small-signal tubes each amp.
Improvement in dynamics, tone color, timbre and harmonics. Sound stage wider and more stable.

Stage 2 - Rings on 4 small-signal tubes in ZOTL Pre.
Richer tone color, improved clarity, intelligibility and placement cues, especially on harmonized human voices. Sound stage wider and cues more vivid. Better transients, improved harmonics and timbre.

Stage 3 - Rings on power “beam” tubes.
Vast improvements in all previously mentioned areas. Re-voiced the amps to a more natural, relaxed and musical presentation, yet with punchier transients and cleaner, fuller bass.
Dramatic improvement in sound stage width, depth, presence and stability. Much greater inner detail, especially on harmonized human voices. Subjectively lower distortion and greater sound volume without strain.

A remarkable achievement at a very reasonable price.

Name: Patrick N.
Review: Just wanted to say your upgrades were amazing. I've spent more money on NOS tubes that did only a small fraction of what your tenderfeet and tube dampeners did. My girlfriend is actually shocked that they made such a big difference, for something that visually looks so humble.

The tendefeet took care of all the vibration issues (the tube dampeners only got rid of some, but not all of the vibration pickup). The soundstage is more open now (probably by 20-30%?), there's much more detail and clarity around notes, and drums sound even more 3D. The liquidity I was complaining about earlier is finally gone. On my Stax, it just sounds like the music is just 'there' now.

Anyway, I'm still amazed at this. Tenderfeet and dampeners should be especially mandatory for anyone running tube gear, especially microphonic tubes like the 300Bs. I'm going to try to have some friends over in the next several weeks because the difference is just astounding. Ofc, now I'm a little depressed since I'm not sure what I can economically upgrade next, but otoh, it's been awhile since I could just enjoy listening to music and stop picking at the little things that didn't sound quite right to me.

Thanks so much. With the sound deteriorating from the microphonic 300Bs, I was really in a funk, and your products solved everything for me.

- Patrick

Name: Steve Hoffman, Music Restoration Specialist, West Hills, California
Review: Those little tube dampers with the wheels on them really work GREAT!! They work like a charm and really make the Marantz 8B even more legendary sounding. Tighter, more even, less cluttered tone wise. If you don't want to go whole hog, just try them on the input tubes first. Or just try them on the 6CA7's. You'll hear it. An inexpensive tweak for those of you who use your beautiful 8B as a full-time playback amp.

Name: Michael Girardi, The Stereo Times
Review: The eight Ultrasonic Rx-50 tube dampers on my KT-88 tubes (Ayon Audio Triton) add another level of improvements and match better with the smaller preamp Rx-9 tube dampers. All of your products in my system really made a big improvement. Highly recommended. Some of the best $ ever spent.

Name: Christopher Russo, Home Theater Systems & Consulting
Review: After using your products for a few months now, I wanted to give you some feedback. Back in May, I upgraded my SF Line-3 SE preamp from your original PTFE Halo's to your Ultrasonic-9 tube dampers. At the same time I installed another set of Ultrasonic-9 dampers in my EAR 834P phono preamp. I left the standard tube dampers that come with the Audio Research CD7 in place. The improvements included major improvements in transparency, soundstaging, and imaging. I did notice an edginess in the upper mids that had existed prior to the installation of your Ultrasonics, but still existed after the dampers were installed.

A couple of weeks ago, I purchased the new Ultrasonic Rx's, which I installed in my SF Line-3, and then installed the Ultrasonic-9's in my ARC CD7, and added an Ultrasonic-35 for the 5881 tube in the CD7. The improvements in the highs were amazing, as well as a further improvement in soundstaging, and the ability to separate instruments within that stage, but something wasn't quite right with the mids, and the bottom end. The mids seemed to be a little unfocused, and I seemed to lose a little bottom end extension.

So at that point I decided to change the location of the dampers on the tubes. I originally placed them on the top third of the tube, and now I moved them to the middle of each tube in all my components. Wow!! What a difference!! Everything just snapped into focus. The highs, mids and bottom end all were tonally organic sounding. There was a total separation of instruments on the stage, and the overall focus was amazing. This is the best my system has ever sounded, and is the equivalent of a major component upgrade.

Being in the business allows me to listen to a lot of music everyday, and I can unequivocally say that there isn't any upgrade that comes close to yours from a price/performance standpoint.

Name: Anthony Landry, Houston, Texas
Review: I bought three RX 9 damping instruments for my EAR Pre. I first place them in the default position 1/3 down from the top and something was wrong with the midrange as being slightly out of focus and also the base was slightly less. The highs were still there kicking nicely. So I changed the positions to the middle. The improvements were not subtle. Not only more base but tighter base. The midrange was 4-D and highs were even cleaner with better delineation. Man, I would not have believed it if I had not heard it myself. Best tweek for $75.00 I have ever heard. I wish I had tried them sooner. Get them, you will not only hear your music in 3-D, but 4-D well. Now, you have to have the right system and the right music to get to this level. It pays to discover.

Name: Greg H., Bay Area, CA
Review: Whatever golden ears I may have had, I fear I lost to too much live loud music, convertible driving, and other causes. But the impact of the Rx on my system doesn't require golden ears. I recently re-entered tube life with a Decware Taboo. It is fed by a Mac mini running Fidelia and uncompressed files, many at 96/24 and 192/24. My DAC is a Cullen-modded PS Audio DLIII. No speakers, just the Audez'e LCD-2 cans. Vibration, in theory, should be a modest issue. When I set up my new Taboo, just about 11 days ago, I put it through a burn-in cycle for the stock and the other tubes I had bought. Each tube had an Ultrasonic Rx on it during this cycle; sometimes I was listening, and sometimes not. When I did, I was blown away by the improvement of replacing my 3x priced RSA Apache headphone amp with the funkly Taboo. That of course was partly the experience of just getting back into tube life. But once my Taboo was broken in, I started seriously listening. Lovely. Now to some tube rolling. Swap tubes, but ugh, what happened? Something missing in the female vocals, a flatness, not quite a smear. And I realized I had swapped tubes but had not put the Rx rings on the tubes in circuit. Restoring the rings revealed Carol Kidd's larynx once again. This was not a case of setting out to test the effect of the rings; I am not set up for a true blind A/B test, and frankly I suspect the psychoacoustic suggestibility of a test in which I would be swapping the rings in and out and looking for differences would be difficult to overcome. This was an accidental test, and the Rx made all the difference. For me, the difference is more noticeable than the presence or absence of Tenderfeet. Worth every penny. Great product Steve. I have more Decware equipment on the way. Every tube gets a ring.

Name: Philippe, from France
Review: have been very busy lately and didn't really had the time to make thorough a b comparison with and without your gears! what is sure is when I am home I listen to more and more music..... with more and more pleasure what ever music it can be from deep purple and led zep to don giovanni and charles aznavour..... CD or LP (am in the process of upgrading the vinyl part of the system) it is more and more thrilling: lively, rythmic, real,..... and more musical! independantly of my listening room conditions (big room but nasty and nothing much to be done except move which I will do in a few week). Is it possible that the tube dampers "settle in" and improve with time? I then await to be settled anew to go on in the improvement which should be more tube dampers!

Name: John M, Newmarket, Ontario
Review: I recently purchased the UltraSonic Rx dampners and finally installed them on a pair of new 6H30DR. These are for an Audio Research LS16 MKII. I read mixed reviews of the performance of the dampners and decided to try them myself.

The short version is that the dampners had a significant positive effect. However I did have to work with them a little. I first installed them on new tubes as recommended on the instructions. I should have tried the tubes without the dampners first - I new better but...

There was an effect but it was not positive. So I repositioned the dampners higher on the tube. The position on the tubes was similar to the original dampners supplied by ARC on the original tubes, 6H30EL. The effect of this minor adjustment was a dramatic improvement.

Next I removed the dampners. The 6H30DR tubes without the Herbies dampners were slightly better than the original 6H30EL with the original dampners.

Then I re installed the UltraSonic Rx dampners on the new 6H30DR this time a little higher than ARC recommends on the original installation. This yeilded the best improvment and the improvement was huge in every respect.

I am giving you this rather long summary because of the mixed reviews that I have read regarding your dampners and dampners in general. I realize that the result will be case specific but I can't help wondering if the individuals are really spending the time necessary to find the right position for the dampners on the tubes for their application.

If I did not motivate myself to spend the time to get the best position for the dampners on the tubes I would have short changed myself.

Great product - Great result!

Thank you,

Name: Winston Follador, Sao Carlos, Brazil
Review: "I received today the dampers, and already installed it. I noticed a small but real improvement over the last generation of your dampers (Ultrasonic Standard). Seems that the mids and highs sound more natural, with almost none of the harshness of the previous dampers. The voices are more liquid. A little more "air" around the instruments. Let's listen a little more! Thank you Steve!

Name: Clint Wilson
Review: Well I've given the new r/x version of your tube damper a good workout. I've tried them with quite a few different tubes in my cd player and they definitely have a different effect on the sound from the ultrasonic version. I transferred back and forth from each version over the last few weeks (letting them settle in for a day before close listening) and have found that the r/x version has a positive effect on most of the tubes I have. (I guess this can be expected as tubes do vary in degree to their inherent microphonic nature.)

The r/x version definitely reduces a condition of "electronic" glare that has been persistent in my system. It does this while also creating both a more rythmic (bouncy?) feeling to the music AND seems to open up the sense of ambience or air around each instrument (I guess this also speaks to a reduction in congestion or compression). A good test for me as to a tube's resolving power is the prominence of sibilance in female vocals -- r/x dampers place this sibilance in perfect relationship to the voice behind it (i.e. taming it without masking it or reducing its part in creating the liveliness of the music). I have had a few early version of the Philips E88CC with the odd "pinched waist" construction for a few years now, but have never found them to sound quite right. They are raved about in audio circles but my experience never match the glowing opinion others had of this tube. I am happy to say though, that the r/x dampers bring this tube closer to what others are saying abut it. Of all of the brands of tubes I tried, this tube was improved the most.

With regards to positioning, the rings still seem most effective towards the bottom mica of the tube, with the effects lessening as it was moved up towards the top. The bottom line is that the r/x pads do help out the system (at least with most of the tubes I have) and don't seem to create any negative artifacts.

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