Controversial? You bet. And the differences are not night and day. But after doing repeatative tests I can confirm that the Wraps do work. The difficulty in asessing their merit lies in the amount of time that passes for the effect to kick in or fade off after application or removal. It is advertised that this can take a long time, but I found that it is more in the order of minutes, perhaps with larger effect over a longer period. But even after immediate removal I already feel that the sound is less luxurious and that feeling was only substantiated during further tests. Also, the more familiar you become with the effect they have, the easier you can spot the differences. I feel that the Wraps make for a more intimate, more emotional sound that is at once more relaxed and more focused. The soundstage gains size in all dimensions and presents musical instruments in it with more air and so provides a more entertaining, more holographic presentation. For me, the Wraps are a keeper. Let's just hope that the maker actually does let me keep them...
Update january 2012:
Indeed, I could keep them, and the maker even sent special Interlink versions! The Interlink Wraps have a more instant effect that is even easier to hear and should even convince critics. The effect is so large in fact that it may become overwhelming in cases where the sound is already very smooth. In my application, having both the interlinks and powercable wrapped proved too much and I prefer the Power Wraps for their more subtle but highly worthwhile effect. Given their modest cost, I'd advise everyone just to go and try them both for yourself!
These Miracle Wraps were supplied to me by Reference Tweaks, the company behind them, following the specially treated cotton sleeves. Like those sleeves, the Miracle Wraps contain a TTL-activated substance. What is TTL you ask? That's as much a mistery to me as it is to you I'm afraid. So, controversial? Yes. Do they work? Read on!
The first thing I did was to attach one of the wraps to the Furutech powercord going into the PS Audio PWD. I only wrapped the schuko connector on the powerblock side. Immediately I had the feeling that the wrap functioned as a filter, much like the filters inside my Transparent cables, in the sense that it made the soundstage wider and deeper as well as adding a silky smoothness. It wasn't taking away any treble but made it more fluid. There was also no loss of dynamics but the bass did become a little less well articulated, more vague if you like. In return, it was also less dry and somehow more musically appealing. That is, if you, like me, like your music slightly relaxed. Linn/Naim lovers may find the resulting presentation lacking attack and drive. But for me, and especially in combination with the already slightly dry PWD, it was just what the doctor ordered.
But when I listened again the next day, still with the wrap attached, I felt that I couldn't hear its effect anymore. I removed it and couldn't really tell a difference. Well, maybe, but it was too small to tell for sure.
At this point what you should know is that the maker warns for this. According to him, the effect builds up over time once applied and also diddipates over time once removed. Apparently it takes a couple of minutes either way and continues to build up over hours. That makes comparative listening a bit difficult. But I'm not one to give up with this sort of challenge. So, to enlargen the effect, I re-attached the wrap and now also applied one to the IEC connector going into the PWD and started listening straight away. I kid you not: again here was the effect that I heard the first time around: a silky smoothness and a rich tonality that is just very seductive and pleasant. It's as if the stage widens and give more space to the instruments in it. That's very nice but what I like even more is that it takes away some grainyness and dryness from the PWD.
Now, to be absolutely sure I wasn't fooling myself, I did various other listening tests with the same tracks and the same volume level every time, with the system well-warmed up but also at various moments throughout the day. I just made myself very well aquainted with the sound with the wraps in place. When I was sure that there was not considering variations elsewhere as affects of the Wraps, I felt it time to remove them both and listened at increasing time intervals.
Of course I started listening straight away and just like the first time I removed the wrap, I felt that the difference was small. Then I listened again 10 minutes later, an hour later and the next day. Now the differences started to be more clear and while I still didn't feel that the removal was as dramatic as the application, now it became more clear that the soundstage was definitely more compact, more pressed together, with apparently more drive and force throughout the entire frequency range. So, there was some mild compression going on after all with the wraps applied. Still, I favour the sound with the wraps in place. It is just more magical that way.
Early prototype versions: the left one was a finished product but the canvas turned out to negate the effect of the TTL-treated substance. The right one was a later nude version and here you can see the sealed pockets containing the mysterious substance.
A month has passed and now that I have done more tests, and the wraps have been in my system for a longer time, my feelings are substantiated and I don't want to take them away anymore! Keep in mind that we're talking very subtle differences though, in the order, and very much comparable in effect, to the Harmonix RFA78i Room Tuning Disks. Like those silly "coins" the Wraps are highly controversial but for me they make a large enough repeatable difference to not want to remove them ever again.
On the PS Audio PWD they provide just what I felt that was needed, and in this case applying Wraps at both the Schuko as the IEC connectors provided more of what I wanted. It is felt by the maker that doing so can often lead to too much of a good thing. I'm sure that this is true but not with the PWD in my main system that tends a little to the analytical. However, the effect of the Wraps can be overwhelming on components that are already on the warm, smooth side, such as the various Marantz CD players I have. I also tried the Wraps on the Levinson 390S cd player and in this instance their effect was just a little too much, taking too much expression and dynamic articulation from the already smooth-sounding player.
Update January 2012 - Interlink Wraps
Recently I also received specially sized wraps for interlinks and given that I had such success with the Power Wraps on the PWD, I also tried the Wraps on the PWD's interlinks. I wanted to hear what they did by theirself so I first removed the AC wraps and left the PWD "naked" for more than a week. Then I applied the interlink Wraps and then listening began.
Rightaway I could hear how the Wraps smoothed ragged edges in the treble, enhanced fluidity and made for blacker, more silent backgrounds. With some tracks it was again simply magical. But with other, more rhythmic tracks I found the effect a little too strong, instead preferring the more subtle effect of the Power Wraps. The two types of wraps do essentially the same thing, which is to calm digitalness and instill luxuriousness. While the Power Wraps don't affect dynamics or speed, the Interlink Wraps also don't reduce detailing or speed per se, but they can affect the liveliness and dynamic differentiation.
The large effect they have on the interlinks may also be enlarged by the fact that I use Transparent Ultra interlinks that already have a filter network incorporated. I will also try the wraps on more regular interlinks at a later stage and will report my findings here.
Some visitors don't much like the looks but I think they look super cool in a very feng shui kind of way.
Extended review from a client
I'm forwarding the email I sent to Nenno. There are actually two emails- the email at the bottom is the email I originally sent Neeno. The email just below (in green) is my email to Neeno after I added the Interlink Miracle Wrap. Without your website, without your review I don't know if I ever would have heard about the Miracle Wraps. Thank you Christiaan.
The results I got, in my system, are beyond amazing- and the improvements are consistent. My ears weren't fooled the first night, or the second night... it is amazing.
I didn't follow the instructions about how to tie the wraps but there is no questioning the results I obtained. I don't know why I got such an improvement in my system but I did, and I've listened to CD's each night since I emailed Neeno and every CD so far has sounded as though I've never heard the recording before.
Years ago I heard music played through Krell's top cd player (at the time) and a pair of Krell FPB 250 monoblock amps and to me, my system is now pretty close to the sound I heard from that system years ago. It's crazy, I know; and I'm certain I don't actually remember the sound of the Krell system after all these years- but that system was much better than the system I had/have- in every way; and now my system sounds like I have replaced it with components that are much better than what I had! This shouldn't the case; I realize it makes no sense-
but the CD's I've listened to since adding the Interlink Miracle Wrap sound as though they've been re-recorded. I added two new AC cables, and I added two AC Miracle Wraps but the last piece, the Interlink Miracle Wrap seemed to be the piece that made everything come together- like a team with good individual players becoming a great team, because the synergy between them changes the dynamics of the team. The players shouldn't be playing as good as they are, but something magical is happening because of the team's synergy.
Thanks Christiaan. I am so very happy I've added the Miracle Wraps- and I have you to thank for it.
First email to Reference Tweaks:
Good morning Nenno,
Originally I wasn't going to say anything about the missing wraps until I decided if I was going to return the wraps but at this point I don't see me returning the wraps-
As I've said, I haven't tried the interconnect wrap yet because I've wanted to focus on the AC wraps until the sound was the best in my system. I can't imagine how the wraps make any difference but they do. Simply amazing. I haven't wrapped the AC miracle wraps as snug as you've shown on your website, in fact, I've wrapped them very loose compared to the picture on your website, so I've got more tweaking to play with yet.
I have one AC wrap on the APC H15 Power Conditioner. I tried the wrap on the power cord at the ac outlet (which is where I thought the instructions said to place the wrap) and it was horrible, bright, loss of soundstage... but then I put the AC wrap on the power cord where it connects to the APC and the opposite occurred! It made a huge difference in the soundstage and the sound was much warmer, sexier! A great addition. The improvement in the bass was also amazing. How could that be? How could this little wrap make a significant difference?
I placed the second wrap on my Proceed Transport. This improved the sound as well. I then placed that wrap on my Proceed DAP DAC and the improvement was better than when the AC miracle wrap was on the transport. Again, I will restate- I have the wraps much looser than the picture on your website, so I may hear something different when I try wrapping the AC miracle wraps tighter around the AC cords. NOW- I thought the wrap on the DAC lost a little of the soundstage and it seemed I lost some of the dynamics, so I moved the wrap a few millimeters (away from the component) and I got the soundstage and the dynamics. The warm, sexy sound was still there but "more of it".
Because I have tied the AC wraps loosely on the power cords, I can turn the wraps on the power cords- so the "center portion of the wrap" is on the top, or on the bottom or on one "side" or the other. It probably won't surprise you that the sound changed as I rotated the wraps but the sound did change. SO, I had 4 options on each wrap as well as moving the wraps millimeters closer or farther away from the component.
You may be saying "my pictures are so clear- how could he have wrapped them loosely? Fair question. For one thing, I READ the instructions but I hadn't looked at the pictures on your website until this morning. My fault for sure but that is one of the reasons the AC Miracle Wraps were tied so loosely around the AC cables. My other reason for doing this was because the ends on my cables are so large, and the placement of my components are so fragile- the APC H15 Power Conditioner is sitting on two bricks- and the bricks are wrapped in aluminum foil; while the transport is sitting on 3 black diamond racing cones and the cone ends are sitting on black diamond racing pits. In other words, the components are not bolted into a rack. I was hesitant to pull on the wraps too tightly because the components might move and then I've have to spend time "resetting them".
LONG story to say tweaks abound at the Fisher household, but I digress, I'll try the wraps as shown on the website. Experimenting is always fun but I also want to try it as shown on your website. The sound may improve yet again.
Once I get the AC Miracle Wraps as ideally placed as possible (to my ears) I will try the interconnect wraps on my digital cable from my transport to my Monarchy reclocker, then from my reclocker to my Proceed DAC and the the analogue cables from my DAC to my preamp and finally from my preamp to my amp. WHEW! At that point I will know I've attempted to find the optimum setting for the Miracle Wraps for the interconnects.
I'll email you later, after I've tried the various combinations to maximize the benefits of the wraps in my system. For now I'll just say "thanks". I am amazed but the improvements are not subtle; they are substantial. My wife loves bass and in our system no one would think we had too much bass. With the AC Miracle Wraps, the bass in our system is much better- more detailed, more prominent. Very cool.
Now for the really good stuff Nenno-
I kept the first AC Miracle Wrap on the APC H15 Power Conditioner and I placed the second AC Miracle Wrap on my Krell 300i that I am using as a preamp. I left the wrap on the APC "loose" but I snugged the AC Miracle Wrap on the power cord to my Krell 300i so it looked like the picture of the AC Wraps on your website. The improvement was HUGE. I was absolutely amazed at the difference, at the improvement in the soundstage and the bass.
I then tightened the wrap on the Power Conditioner (I "snugged the wrap" like I had done on the Krell 300i) and, after playing some of the same songs I had just heard, I thought the sound was smaller, less dynamic. I "loosened the wrap on the APC Power Conditioner again. To me, it was clearly more open, more musical and more dynamic with the AC Miracle Wrap tied loosely on the Clarity Vortex AC cable. I repeated "my listening test" again. I heard the same difference. The AC Miracle Wrap tied snuggly on the Krell 300i (used as my preamp) and the AC Miracle Wrap tied loosely on the APC Power Conditioner was definitely the most musical I had heard in my system- ever.
Just prior to receiving the Miracle Wraps I had purchased two more AC power cords. I bought a Zcable Cyclone AC power cord for my new Cambridge Azur 840W amplifier and a Clarity Vortex AC power cord because of the great reviews these cables had received, and because I was able to buy them used, and at a great price. My Cambridge amplifier has a 20amp IEC and all of my power cords had 15amp IEC's, so after buying the amplifier I had to find a power cord for it. I love the Zcable Cyclone I purchased for my amplifier.
I was using a David Elrod Signature 3 power cord on my APC Power Conditioner and I thought I loved my system with the Elrod furnishing power to the APC, until I tried the Clarity Vortex! The music seemed more natural, less digital with the Vortex cable. This made no sense to me. The Elrod cost much more than the Vortex and the Elrod's physical size was HUGE compared to the Vortex. Regardless of price or physical size, the Clarity Vortex definitely made the vocals and the instruments more natural sounding, less digital sounding.
Over the next several days I tried the Vortex AC cable on my Proceed DAC and then on my Proceed Transport. I reinserted the Elrod on the APC Power Conditioner, then I tried an Audio Magic power cord on the power conditioner and finally I tried an Aural Symphonics power cable on the power conditioner. My system sounded better with the Elrod powering the APC Power Conditioner than the Audio Magic or the Aural Symphonics.... but the Vortex was the better still. It was more natural and less digital than the Elrod.
The Vortex made my system better. I removed the Elrod power cord and reinserted the Clarity Vortex. The Vortex between my dedicated wall outlet and my APC H15 Power Conditioner made my system more musical, more natural and less digital than the other 3 power cords. The Vortex sounded much better, but how could that be? The Elrod cost so much more than the Clarity Vortex, and the physical size of the Elrod alone would make you think it should be "better" but it wasn't. The difference didn't seem huge but I longed for the what the Clarity Vortex did to make the music more natural sounding and more musically involving. I was satisfied I had the best combination for my system! My heart felt better. The music was more satisfying.
Then I received your Reference Miracle Wraps and my search to improve my system began again.
The improvement to my system with one AC Miracle Wrap snugged tightly on my preamp (Krell 300i) and the second AC Miracle Wrap tied "loosely" on the Clarity Vortex, powering my APC Power Conditioner was a big surprise! It would be hard for me to overstate the improvement in my system. The music was much more natural sounding- on strings, on piano, on bass, and on vocals! The music was more dynamic and it was more involving. The CD I played during my "testing" was A Place In The World by Mary Chapin Carpenter. This CD was first released in 1996. I probably bought it shortly after it was released.
The AC Miracle Wrap on my preamp was placed as close to the preamp as possible, and then snugged tightly. The best position for the second AC Miracle Wrap was about 3/8" from the APC Power Conditioner and wrapped loosely around the Clarity Vortex AC cable (to my ears, in my system).
I was satisfied I had found the optimum placement for the two AC Miracle Wraps. Now I was ready to use one Interlink Miracle Wrap on my Kimber Kable D-60 Illuminations digital link (between my Proceed transport and my Monarchy reclocker). The improvement in my system was absolutely beyond belief!!!!!!!! The improvement was so large, it was as if a new system had been inserted where my old system had been! I still cannot believe the difference in my system after adding the Interlink Miracle Wrap onto my D-60 digital cable!
My system was much better after I added the Zcable Cyclone AC cord to my amp. My system became more musical and more natural when I added the Clarity Vortex cable to my APC Power Conditioner; and then I heard wonderful improvements in the dynamics, in the soundstage and in the bass, as well as being more natural and less digital after adding your Reference AC Miracle Wraps to my Krell 300i (used as my preamp) and to my Clarity Vortex AC cable between my dedicated wall outlet and my APC H15 Power Conditioner. I still wanted "more" even though these new cables, and your AC Miracle Wraps had made wonderful improvements to my system.
I was now ready to see what the Reference Interlink Miracle Wraps would do in my system. What I found was that wrapping the Interlink Miracle Wrap loosely on the digital cable connected to my Proceed transport, and placing the Miracle Wrap about 1/8th of an inch from my transport changed EVERY PART of the music- everything was better! I have heard this CD hundreds of times over the years (A Place In The World by Mary Chapin Carpenter) but I have never heard the music like I heard it last night. It was as though Mary Chapin Carpenter had re-recorded this CD. It was beyond my wildest expectations. I was hoping the changes to my system would do something like this, of this magnitude, but regardless of the improvements the AC power cords had made, the changes had not been anywhere near this magnitude; even with the addition of the AC Miracle Wraps. When I added the Interlink Miracle Wrap to the D-60 digital cable, the music in my system took a giant step- to a level I had hoped for but had begun to believe I couldn't achieve! It was breathtaking. This CD really sounded as though I was hearing a new recording of these songs. I "nudged" the Interlink Miracle Wrap to where it was touching the transport- and the music lost some of it's magic. I gently slid the Miracle Wrap back from the transport, about an 1/8th of an inch, and the music was absolutely startling it was so good.
I've tried to understand the changes in my system, and it's pretty easy to understand why the Zcable Cyclone AC cable made such an improvement over the stock cable that came with my Cambridge amplifier, but it's harder to understand why the Clarity Vortex sounded so much more natural and more "satisfying" than the Aural Symphonics, the Audio Magic or the Elrod Signature 3 power cords.
It's even harder to understand why the music became more dynamic, more natural, and more musical when the AC Miracle Wrap was tied loosely on the Clarity Vortex power cord (connected to my APC Power Conditioner). I don't have any theory as to why the dynamics of the music and the bass increased so much when the second AC Miracle Wrap was tied snuggly on the power cord to my preamp. Regardless of why or how these changes improved my system so much, they did! These changes/additions to my system made the music more natural sounding, more dynamic and more involving and much more satisfying than I had ever experienced in the years that I've had this system.
How could it be so different? How could a slight change in the placement or the snugness of a Miracle Wrap make so much difference?
The biggest question of all was why the music was so much better with the Interlink Miracle Wrap tied loosely, and about an 1/8th of an inch back from the transport? The words, "so much better", doesn't come close to describing how much better the music sounded last night.
I still have an Interlink Miracle Wrap that I have not used yet, and at least for the next several days I will not "tweak" my system any more. I will use the next several days to listen to other CD's I own; CD's I've listened to for years.... because I want to know if the changes I heard on Mary Chapin Carpenter's CD, (A Place In The World), will happen again with other CD's. How many will seem new to me?
How is it possible for these changes to make a CD sound as though I've never heard the recording before?
I have no doubt about the improvements the two new AC power cords made to my system; and I have no doubt that the music became more natural, more dynamic, more involving and the soundstage was much larger when I added the two AC Miracle Wraps...... but adding the Interlink Miracle Wrap made the "whole" of the system much larger than the "sum of its parts". The notes hung in the air longer; Mary Chapin's voice was sexier, and yet more articulate; the mandolins, guitar, piano, bass and the drums were more natural sounding. Everything was as if I was hearing a new recording. I was so tempted to stay up all night listening to my "new system".
I'll bet this is one of the longest "thank you's" you've ever received. I meant it to be long Nenno. I wanted to tell you how amazingly good my system was after continuing to tweak my system with the AC Miracle Wraps and then adding the Interlink Miracle Wrap to my D-60 digital cable! Last night was amazing. I can't wait until I can hear other CD's on my system tonight.
I hope you have a terrific night, and a wonderful week. Thanks Nenno. The "whole" is so much more than the "sum of its parts". Simply Amazing.
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