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Positive Feedback ISSUE 33
september/october 2007


acoustic revive

RIO-5 Tourmaline Negative Ion Generator

as reviewed by Robert H. Levi






Avalon Eidolon and REL Stadium III subwoofer.

E.A.R. 324 phono preamplifier, E.A.R. 890 amplifiers (ran as monos), NuForce Reference 9 SE V2 amplifiers, E.A.R. 912 preamplifier, and an E.A.R. 834L Tube Line Stage.

VPI Scout/JMW 9 tonearm, VPI SDS Controller, ZYX R-1000 Airy 3-XSB phono cartridge, E.A.R. Acute CD player, ModWright Sony 9100 Player with tube power supply, ModWright Sony 9100ES with Signature Truth Modifications, Mod/Bybee Filters and Revelation Cryo Silver Umbilical. Alesis Masterlink 24/96 Recorder/Playback Deck, and the Benchmark DAC 1 revised. Grado Statement Phono Cartridge. Pioneer DVL 919 LD/DVD Player, and a Marantz DV8400 DVD/SACD/CD player. Magnum Dynalab MD-108 Reference Tuner, Marantz 10B FM Tuner, Day Sequerra Reference FM1 Tuner, and Scott 350B FM Stereo Tuner, AQ 7500 FM Antenna, Stax 7t Electrostatic headphones, Grado Reference 1 headphones, and a Grado headphone amplifier.

Kubala-Sosna Emotion, Harmonic Technology CyberLight, Harmonic Technology Magic 2, Dual-Connect interconnects, Dynamic Design THB Nebula, Soundstring, Kimber Select balanced, Kimber TAK phono AG, Kimber Hero balanced and single ended interconnects, and Acoustic Zen Silver Reference II balanced interconnects. Kimber D-60 Digital Interconnects. Kimber Select 3038 Silver, Kubala-Sosna Emotion, and Harmonic Technology Magic Reference Silver speaker cables. Kimber Palladian, Tara RSC and Decade, Tice, Soundstring, and Kubala-Sosna Emotion AC power cords.

Monster Reference 350 Mark II v2 Power Conditioner, World Power Power Wing, Tice Clock, and Audio Prism Quiet Line IIs. Cable Cooker 2.5, Winds Stylus Pressure Gage, Bedini Ultra Clarifier, VPI Record Cleaning Machine 16.5. Audio Magic's Quantum Physics Noise Disrupters.


By far my favorite new toy and the coolest accessory of the Rocky Mountain Audio Show, I bought this cutie right after Brian Kyle of Xtreme Cables and Xtreme AV, demo'd it for me. I now have it in my system and can now formally report. It's $595, not cheap, but reasonably priced based on what it does. It make CDs and Hybrids sound more musical …noticeably and definitively more musical. Plus, its incredibly sharp to look at and fun to use taking only 28 seconds to work. This is the "chip shot" accessory for curing digititus and emphasizing textures and depth in your favorite digital media.

The Rio is a tall chrome colored chimney holding tourmaline balls heated by a light. You place the CD on the top and push a button. After 14 seconds the fan goes off and you flip the CD and push the button again. The fan blows only negative ions on the CD reducing what sounds like jitter and distortions. This is an additive fix complimenting Xtreme’s own Liquid Resolution™, and the demag process. It is a process all to itself. It is an amazing thing regardless of whether you do the other steps of not.

Once set up, I listened to The Bill Holman Band on XRCD, a CD I had not played. I then compared it to the CD with Finyl. I then demaged it and listened. The instruments were clearer, airier, sweeter, more dynamic, and just plain superior to the naked CD. What else could be done sonically …I was not sure. I then applied the Rio. 28 seconds later the CD was in the E.A.R. Acute and I heard it. Softer more elegant sound with a sense of analog was definitely more apparent. I don't like subtle and it was not! subtle. I heard significantly more air and a bit larger soundstage. Very, very nice folks, it was a solid improvement.

Next up I played Joe McQueen and Friends from Kimber, a hybrid recording, on my ModWright Sony 9100. The hybrid had been treated with L'Art du Son and demaged. The SACD layer sounded just lovely and intensely musical and detailed. Lots of great textures abound. I then popped it on the Rio and then back in the ModWright. WhoaMAMA, better!! More of everything was apparent including significantly enhanced textures, sweetness, and front/back depth.  This was a great surprise, but there it was.  Again, this is not, I repeat not, a subtle change!

Now for Haydn and the Fry Street Quartet from Kimber, an untreated hybrid. I played it naked…very nice but a bit sharp and etched on crescendos. I then did the Rio treatment. Solid improvement was obvious in every way. More musical and smooth, I could have lived with this treatment alone! I then applied L'Art du Son and listened. Boom, another improvement in every way …nice! I then demaged it and heard a small but added improvement again. Does not seem to matter how you do it though it is logical to do the Rio last. If you can do only one treatment, I heard more gain from the Rio alone than from the demag alone. Best was all 3 treatments! With all three, a top CD or hybrid sounds eerily like a good LP or master tape might sound…intense clarity, smoothness, powerful, and undistorted.

From the Rio website:

Characteristic of Tourmaline
Tourmaline is widely known to contain electric current (0.06mA) as the human and other living body. There is a report that tourmaline has an effect to improve the water quality, release infrared rays and other effects. One of the effect we paid an attention is that tourmaline releases negative ion, which is the same ion release from the natural world. This natural negative ions size is 10000/1 smaller compared with negative ion produced electrically. Natural negative ion is easier to penetrate into human body and other material, compared with electrically made negative ion.

Efficiency to release Negative Ion
We at ACOUSTIC REVIVE took a notice that tourmaline releases negative ion efficiently reacting from light, heat, vibration and other external stress. We succeeded to release natural negative ion efficiently from tourmaline by using halogen lamps ray and heat, furthermore using electric fans makes the air convec. For tourmaline catalyst, RIO-5 II uses the newly formulated ball which contains various ore to make sure RIO-5 II releases the maximum amount of natural negative ion.

Clearly the neatest accessory I saw at Rocky Mountain, it really is new and it really improves all digital reproduction. The Acoustic Revive RIO-5 Tourmaline Negative Ion Generator is the last and maybe the most significant step to great digital sound. After a liquid enhancer, the Rio is a wonderful compliment! It blasts the CD with negative ions and enhances the musical nature of the disk in about every way. Not subtle, I assure you. You try one disk and you are hooked. I heard improvements with both of my reference playback players. Highly recommended if you have an important digital collection like mine or are just plain sensitive to digital edge. Robert H. Levi

Retail: $595

Lotus Group
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Acoustic Revive
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