Associated Equipment:
Analog
Front End
Digital Front End
Amplification
Loudspeakers
Cabling
Accessories
 
 

WA-Quantum Supreme Chips

 

Easy to install...Easier to hear

 

 September, 2012

 


As I was at a loss on how to begin this review, I read everything I could find about these devices. The term “quantum” is obviously loved by manufacturers, and its use is largely unwarranted. Frankly, I take the same perspective of John van Polen in Quality HiFi. He said, “Quantum Physics or not, the sonic effects are so obvious that a discussion about whether it does not need to be fed.” To use the old phrase, “the proof is in the pudding,” is entirely appropriate. Those who need to have electrical engineering or physics explanations need read no further. I cannot even speculate on what explains how they work, but they do work.

HiFi Tuning Supreme fuses are also involved in this review. I bought several for my personal experimentation and the Cable Company recommended the WA-Quantum fuse Chips. These are tiny thin stickers about the diameter of the ends of the fuses. They readily stick to the fuses. It was immediately evident that they worked, but it is also difficult to place any of the common terms used in describing their impact. So there are two difficulties in reviewing the WA-Quantum Chips: first, I can say nothing about how they work. Second, it is hard to describe their impact.

With them on the HiFi Tuning Supreme fuses, there was an ease to the sound as well as openness. Their impact on these fuses extends from the bass to the treble and is more than just saying they add a holographic image. Perhaps they add to the holographic image an ease and musicality. You hear more of the character of the voice and the instruments involved in the music. The violin and women’s voices are most influenced. I must say that my characterization of the WA-Quantum Chips on fuses is much enriched by my experiences with the other WA-Quantum chips.

After my experiences with the Chips on the HiFi Tuning Supreme fuses, I asked for review samples. I got a pair of the loudspeaker Chips, five fuse Chips, two transformer Chips, and six cable Chips. I also got more HiFi Tuning Supreme fuses to use with the WA-Quantum Chips.

Listening Impressions
I listened to the six cuts that I normally use in evaluations plus several new cuts from SACDs transferred in DSD to my hard drive by Empirical Audio Legacy. I also added several new 192/24 HD downloads from HD Tracks. In the main, all the cuts yielded the same impressions. These cuts are:
• Frank Sinatra with Count Basie performing, “One for My Baby”, from Sinatra At The Sands (Vicy 94366 Japan SHM)
• Holly Cole, “Get Out of Town” and “Train Song,” from It Happened One Night (Metro Blue CDP 7243 8 52699 0 5)
• Ansermet’s, “Swan Lake Duo,” from This Is K2 HD Sound (UD! FIM K2 HD 078)
• Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis, “Stardust,” from Two Men With The Blues (Blue Note Records TOCP-70541 Japan)
• Rob Wasserman, “Stardust,” from his Duets CD, (MCA Jazz 42131).

The SACDs now in DSD on my music server are:
• Stan Getz and Joao Gilbert, “The Girl From Ipanena,” Getz/Gilberto, (Verve UCGU-9001)
• Diana Krall, “Temptation,” The Girl in the Other Room, (Verve B0001K9IJ8).
I also used the HD Tracks recording of Ella Fitzgerald’s, “A Night in Tunisia,” from Clap Hands Here Comes Charlie!, (HD Tracks, 192/24).

I had already found the HiFi Tuning Supreme fuses were smoother and more open than my IsoClean fuses when I got the WA-Quantum fuse Chips. The gap widened with the application of the WA-Quantum Chip. I should also note that my IsoClean fuses had been treated on the Synergistic Research Tesla coil and were painted the vibration control of the AVM paint. In other words, they were much improved IsoClean fuses.
 

       

I first turned to the WA-Quantum speaker Chips as quite easy to install. I used a technique that was recommended to me and used by another reviewer. I used tape to hold the Chips to the speakers. While you can remove the WA Chips from the backing and, at least a few times, experiment with their placement by peeling them off, I did not want to limit to just a few possible placements. This turned out to be a good decision, as I found the statement that you could place them anywhere for the benefits they afforded is not be true, or at least was not true in my case. I first put them on the back of the LSA1 Statement monitors, just below the ports. Next was on the bottom, then the top in front, and finally partially on the binding post plaque on the back.

My results in each of four placements were disappointing. They caused the loss of pace to the music and were too “polite.” Actually, I gave up on them. Fortunately, I relented and tried them later with all the other chips in place. This was a total of thirteen other Chips. My opinion of the WA-Quantum speaker Chip then changed dramatically. I should note that in this instance, they were directly attached to the speakers. This is my only explanation of the change I heard.

     

The first WA-Quantum cable Chips I tried were placed on the speaker cables. The cable chips are rectangles and were intended to have their long dimension run along the cables. I should note that they will not deform to allow placement around a bend in the cables. I also found that they ended up just hanging off one corner of the Chip. Ultimately, I used tape around the cables over the Chip stickers. This held them in place. I should note that I heard no impact of them dangling from the cables versus being secure to the cables. Perhaps it is proximity that allows them to work rather than contact. This also dismisses a hypothesis that they work by vibration control.

Since I applied all the cable chips at the same time, I cannot really say which cable Chip or Chips is most important.

I noticed that they settled down after an hour or so. Initially, I thought they too were harming the sound, but an hour later they were a substantial benefit to the sound. In particular, Marsalis’s trumpet had a better tone than earlier. The same was true of the drums and piano on the same recording. Similarly, Sinatra was more present on a sound stage with a big band and audience on his Sinatra at the Sands recording thanks to the WA-Quantum cable Chips. Hearing these benefits after some break in made me wonder if I needed to be more patient with the settling in of the speaker Chips.
 

     

Next came two transformer Chips placed on the transformers in the amplifier and the line stage. I have owned the H-Cat amplifier and line stage for a long time and long ago the benefited from my experiments with AVM (Anti-Vibration Magic) paint. This paint has a very substantial benefit in dampening vibrations. As at time I thought the WA-Quantum Chips were dampening vibrations and since the transformers in both the amp and the line stage were heavily painted, I did not expect much benefit. Yes, I was somewhat dubious of the WA-Quantum Chips applied to these transformers. But their impact on the sound was just spectacular! I just sat and listened to all my sample cuts as well as many, many other albums.

Sinatra at the Sands was just real and I had a great seat. I was on stage with Holly Cole. Willie Nelson and Winton Marsalis and their band were just captured so accurately in their Two Men with the Blues, album. I was sold on the WA-Quantum Chips other than the speaker Chips. On getting more transformer Chips, I applied one to my DAC. This transformer had no special treatment. Again I was awed by the improvement. Again, everything had greater ease, presence, musicality and sound stage accuracy.

Conclusion
This obviously means that with regard to the WA-Quantum Chips the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. I would not hazard a guess as to which of the chips is most important. I, of course, did not try all combinations in my listening. But I do know I will not be without these Chips and suspect that capacitor and cartridge Chips are in my future.

Since the HiFi Tuning Supreme fuses were responsible for my discovering the WA-Quantum Chips, I thought I would also endorse them here. With the WA-Quantum Chips on the HiFi Tuning Supreme fuses, they are in my opinion one of the two best fuses. The others are the Synergistic Research Quantum fuses. I would really like to hear the WA-Quantum Chips on the Synergistic Research fuse. At this point, all I can really say is that the two fuses sound quite different and I cannot say which is superior. Certainly both have endeavored make a “better” fuse and both have succeeded.



Specifications
Loudspeaker Chip (Pair) $129.95
20 mm Transformer/Transducer/Coil Chip (Single) $28.00
Cable Chip (Five) $199.00
5 mm Fuse Chip 20 mm $7.50
6 mm Fuse Chip 32 mm $9.00

US distributor, UltraSystems, Inc.
127 Union Square
New Hope, PA 18938
215 862 6570
800 724 3305
www.ultrasystem.com 
ultra@ultrasystem.com



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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