Stands, Racks, Furniture, Room Treatment

The Synergistic Research ACOUSTIC ART Real-Time Analogue Room Treatment


Does it really make a difference?

As anyone familiar with my other reviews for Secrets already knows, I have no problem accepting that electrical, mechanical, or acoustic phenomena that cannot be fully explained by existing scientific methodologies may nonetheless have a profound effect on our appreciation of music. After all, music’s affects on the human psyche and spirit are not fully understood, and remain essentially mystical in nature. I don’t need to prove that something exists before I can feel and acknowledge its effects. If I’m sure I hear a difference, that’s good enough for me.

This, of course, flies in the face of so-called “objectivists” who insist that anything audible can be measured scientifically. What the “objectivists” refuse to acknowledge, however, is that so called objectivism is in fact an a priori belief system that defies the principles of science. Unless the absolute and incontrovertible answer to the question, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it fall, did it make a sound?” is a vehement and absolute “No!”, we must acknowledge that auditory phenomena exist independently of our ability to measure them. Why apply a different standard to all things audio, or claim that unless something can be proven conclusively by blind testing, which is at best a faulty methodology, it cannot possibly exist?

When all is said and done (as if that were ever the case), those who want to maintain the false subjectivist/objectivist dichotomy, proclaim the absolutism of blind testing, and/or dismiss ART outright are free to do so. Those who wish to explore the Synergistic Research Acoustic ART system are invited to read on, and then find a dealer who can demo the system for them.

Bringing it All Back Home

The time I spent in the Synergistic Research room was so mind-blowing that I asked Ted Denney if he would do a presentation for the Bay Area Audiophile Society (BAAS) on March 14, 2009. He agreed, as did BAAS coordinator Bob Walters.


Six weeks later, Ted flew 450 miles north from his headquarters in Southern California to install the ART system at Casa Bellecci-Serinus in Oakland. At his insistence, the installation also included a nearly full complement of Synergistic Research cabling and the SR Tesla PowerCell line conditioner. Ted returned on Friday, March 13 to fine-tune the system and make sure that everything he had installed was performing optimally.

The next morning, Denney presented two back-to-back demos for BAAS members. This review will report on those demos, and offer observations on the continued effects of ART on my enjoyment of music.

At one of the demos, Ted explained why he created ART:

"For the vast majority of real world systems, this is the only viable way to treat room acoustics. I wouldn’t want to have a bunch of monolithic absorbing tubes in my room, and a bunch of ugly panels all over the place. I like to listen to music in an aesthetically pleasing space. I don’t like my room to look like a test facility."

BAAS Members