Thursday, July 18, 2019

First Impressions

In a nutshell, the Sorcer x4 conditioner transported me from an already wonderful, engaged and connected musical experience to one best described as an ear-opening mesmerizing musical experience.

Music is simply more beautifully expressed, delivered, understood, and experienced. The emotional power and energy contained within the recordings have been pushed to new levels and are felt physically and psychologically. The Sorcer x4 is A MUSICAL RELEASE MACHINE!

This 'experience' began after 10 minutes of the unit being freshly introduced to my system. In other words, the differences were readily and immediately apparent. They are significant and subtle, at the same time.

A few hours is all one needs to experience and "get" what the Sorcer does. I consider the unit fully broken in and effective after 24 hours of run time / energized time.

[For context, I have a 100% streaming based system]

I've been 'working' on my system since February, when the Cube Audio Nenuphar single driver (full-range) driver speakers were delivered. As I add to and change aspects of my system, system performance and sound quality responds and moves, sometimes not in ways I prefer. A recent upward tilt and focus was brought back into balance, in significantly meaningful ways, by the addition of a Keces P8 ultra low noise linear power supply... powering my server. That the Sorcer has improved upon an already balanced and thoroughly enjoyable system and it's sound quality is saying, not just something, but a whole lot of something!

So what's different and what's changed?

- Harmonics are richer, denser, with more weight and solidity.

- Resonances are more vibrant and lifelike and spatially dimensional.

- Musical energy (tangible/physical as well as perceived) has taken a leap upwards and forwards... the resulting impact is stunning.

- Transparency and Resolution have been unlayered, again! Ultra micro-details within the recording are expressed with more clarity, with more dimensionality, and they occupy and carve out their own time-space... all of it clearly heard and felt musically. Additionally, the degrees of expressions of all of the uniquely separate lines of musical information in a recording have increased. This is especially remarkable with respect to complex/dense recordings. Music bursts forth!

- The floodgates have been opened with low frequency information extraction. Bass is more dynamic, has greater impact and higher levels of physical / visceral / felt energy. Background and low volume bass information is now heard. Let me repeat myself: By now heard, I mean that on specific recordings, I HAD NOT heard this information prior to the Sorcer being in system. This information creates / contributes to the emotional expression of the music (much, much more than I expected it to)...having IT is a game changer on the recordings containing this type of musical information.

- Volume. I have been enjoying music at 2 to 4 clicks (out of a total of 34) lower on my preamp now (14 vs 18). When music is played at the original volumes (position 18) the loudness is not fatiguing to my ears. At the same setting prior to the Sorcer, I would have to limit the time spent listening at this level. In other words, higher perceived loudness at the same volume setting yet much 'easier' listening at the same setting. [Note: I have not measured dB levels]

- Imaging is slightly larger but not hyper precise. I like this as it leans more life-like, in my experience.

- Soundstage is much deeper, somewhat wider and slightly taller.

- Dimensionality [internal, small scale and large scale, as well as the perceived whole] is superior and with greater naturalism / realism when compared prior to (which was already very, very good in these areas).

- 'Edginess,' 'Brightness,' 'Leanness,' [in comparison] are reduced. There is greater sweetness and added smoothness, to voice and instrument YET no loss of detail or resolution. In fact, there is more of each.

The overall result is one of realism, naturalness, aliveness, sweetness, fullness, beauty, emotion, and connectedness. All to a greater degree than prior to the Sorcer AND much more significant when considered as a whole.

I have some additional changes in the works, primarily on the front-front end of my streaming components and peripherals, which I have started to apply. As these items come in system, I'll continue evaluating the system as a whole and the role of the Sorcer in it. Once these changes have been finalized and run in, I'll take the Sorcer out of system to determine impact IN vs. OUT.

I also need to evaluate different power cords, isolation, and position within the room/audio rack. I will not be evaluating the Sorcer in a position outside of the audio room, at this time.


- recording quality and flaws within will be exposed. I personally find this to be a realistic trade-off to all that is gained. I expect some may/will find this 'exposure' to be a positive.

- with respect to the above point, 'ripe' or 'overdone' recordings might be translated in ways that move that ripeness beyond acceptable. This was true for me and it may vary based on an individual's personal preferences. Leonard Cohen's 'The Essential Leonard Cohen,' already a problematic album for me, illustrates this very concern. I've noticed a general recording 'style' for his material...the Sorcer pushes that too far, especially on certain tracks (for my sensibilities).

- I don't take to overtly warm, dark systems. I know many do. I classify my system as highly resolving and transparent and one that is likely experienced as leaning too far the other way for those that love warmer, richer and darker systems. I mention this to alert you to the fact that I can only comment on the impact of the Sorcer in my system. Importantly, I do not know how the Sorcer may behave in less resolving, warmer and darker systems. Since my system is digital, I also cannot speak to how the Sorcer may behave in analog systems.

The above are initial and early impressions. As I develop my system, I'll share additional findings at later dates. If something unusual or significant occurs, I'll post an edit / update.

My System Details:   System Information

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