sig-sounds.jpg (17405 bytes)

pf logo

POSITIVE FEEDBACK ONLINE - ISSUE 16
hardware.jpg (10798 bytes)

 

bedini

Quadri Beam Clarifier

as reviewed by Bob Neill

 

 

 

 

BOB NEILL'S SYSTEM

LOUDSPEAKERS
Audio Note E/SPe's and JM Reynaud Trentes on Magic Stands.

ELECTRONICS
Audio Note M6/ Phono - tubed, single-ended preamplifier. Audio Note Neiro – 8 watt, SET mono-blocks with parallel 2A3's.  Audio Note P3 Silver – 9 watt 300B SET. Manley Stingray, 50 watt integrated push-pull with EL 84's.

SOURCES
Audio Note CDT-2 transport and 4.1x balanced DAC. Audio Note TT 2 turntable, Audio Note Arm 3/Vx, and an Audio Note IQ3 MM cartridge.

CABLES
Audio Note Sogon digital interconnect, Audio Note Sogon IC, Audio Note AN-Vx interconnects, Audio Note AN-SPx speaker cables, bi-wired.

ACCESSORIES
Bedini Quadribeam Clarifier, Auric Illuminator II, Nordost Eco. Mapleshade Samson equipment rack.

 

"All of us would love to have a plug-and-play system that would create the magic instantly, but that is not reality. To achieve excellence, you have to work for it and excellence comes with the details." Lloyd Walker

Tweaks are a pain, Clark Johnsen's uncanny ability to demonstrate their tangible worth notwithstanding. I have tried my share of them, with and without CJ's counsel. Most produce a difference, generally subtle but still real, for better and for worse. Over the past decade I have sometimes had the feeling that some were offsetting others to the extent that it was often hard to say who was doing what to whom. More through a passionate desire to simplify my audio life than out of any disciplined critical program, I have weaned myself from most of them. As of several weeks ago, I was down to applications of the new formula Auric Iluminator to all new CDs; occasional applications of Nordost Eco static inhibitor to my cables; and increasingly rarer spins of CDs before playing on my aging Bedini Dual Beam Clarifier. Sometimes the Bedini seems to do something subtly ameliorating, sometimes not. It was clearly about to walk the plank.

But. But the late Backwoods Barry way up in northern Ontario kept whispering sweet somethings in my ear about his new, ‘latest and greatest,' Quadri Beam Clarifier. Yes, Barry. Yes, Barry. And then finally I sent a note off to Gary Bedini asking to audition his new beast for a possible review at PFO, whereupon, a few weeks later, arrived something that looked virtually identical to my Dual Beam Bedini. Humph. Disappointed, I set it aside for a week or so… until Barry came at me again: "Well, what do you think?"

The Audition

So I put on Bach's Solo Violin Sonatas and Partitas (DHM) by Kuijken and heard its familiar power and eloquence on the new Manley Stringray integrated amp I'm trying out on my Reynaud Trentes. It sounded a bit warmer and a bit earthier than it does on my all Audio Note rig. But I am accustomed to the fascinating Reynaud/Audio Note difference, so no problem there. Okay, CD out, into the Quadri Beam for a quick spin, back into the Audio Note transport, and… oh. Not at all subtle. To begin with, it sounded like a better recording. Clearer. Clarified! Much more transparent sounding. The short ride in the fast machine had moved the sound of the Reynaud system a step or so toward the sound the Audo Note system. More openness and clarity without giving up any of its characteristic warmth and sensuality. It was if the system had cleared its throat!

More CDs. Madeline Peyroux's voice on her new CD, Careless Love (Rounder), is more present, its unique timbre clearer. On CPE Bach Cello Concertos (BIS), attacks on strings are clearer and the solo cello itself has more glow. The whole orchestra sounds less like one sound and more like instruments—it has more character. There is less congestion. On Gerry Mulligan's Big Band box set from Mosaic, the acoustic bass is clearer, brass seem less throaty, Mulligan's baritone sax is crisper, its bark more pronounced and dramatic, the whole band seems more present. The viols on Phantasm's Orlando Gibbons; Consorts for Viols are more articulate. Thomas Zehetmair's violin on Eugčne Ysa˙e's Sonatas for Violin Solo (ECM) has more hair on it! This CD coming out of the Quadri Beam makes my whole system sound better.

What is this all about?

I still hate the idea of tweaks, but this piece of equipment clearly demonstrates the truth of Lloyd Walker's remark. Based on my experience with the Dual Beam Bedini, I had come to feel that the problem it proposed to solve wasn't such a big deal. The Quadri Beam demonstrated that it is a big deal. But what is it a big deal about?

"As a result of the disc manufacturing process the disc has inherent noise distortion which becomes more apparent as the disc is played over and over again; coupled with the polymer ability to hold electrostatic charges, it acutely masks the true dynamics of the digital media."

Bedini Electronics

Okay? This is as satisfactory an explanation as most that I have heard, but I am not really qualified to assess it. I have heard similar explanations for years, beginning with the little piece back in Stereophile years ago about the experience of one of the writers degaussing discs with a tape degausser. There does seem to be some general agreement that there is a problem, about what it is, and more or less how to go about solving it. All I can say with confidence is that CDs spun on the Quadri Beam sound clearer, more alive, and all around better. A lot better. This tweak stays.

Quadri Beam Clarifier
Retail: $400

Bedini Electronics, Inc
6200 E. Commerce Loop
Post Falls, ID 83854
TEL: 208. 665 5553
web address: www.bedini.com

Bob Neill, in addition to being a reviewer, runs a small audio business called Amherst Audio in Amherst, Massachusetts. He is a dealer for Audio Note, Audience, Blue Circle, Elrod Power Systems, Manley Labs, TG Audio, and JM Reynaud.

 

POSITIVE FEEDBACK ONLINE © 2004 - HOME

BACK TO TOP