My first go round with Dezorel products was a few months back when Trevor, my recently found “audiophool” (aren’t we all) friend invited me to his home to review his system using a couple of the Dezorel filters. My original comments are over at HD but the Reader’s Digest version of that experiment was “it’s the type of component that gets you towards that last available 10 percent that you’re missing. The percentage is just a number and can’t be taken at face value as we can’t put a number or even a value on one’s own interpretation of getting the last “oomph” out of one’s system.
A few weeks back Trevor brought over his LF-A3 and a LF-A1 mk2 to insert into my system. Coincidentally I was using Trevor to help me audition a new source against my current one so I think half the day we lost our concentration on the “Dezorel effects.” We used some of the following material during the review and I used the same material after Trevor very generously left me the LF-A1 mk2 for 2 weeks:
- Bruce Cockburn’s “Anything Anytime Anywhere - SACD
- James Taylor’s “Hourglass” - SACD
- Patricia Barber’s from Nightclub - SACD
- Lyle Lovett’s “Joshua Judges Ruth - redbook
- Mark Knopfler’s Sailing to Philadelphia” – redbook
- Eva Cassidy’s “Live at Blues Alley” – redbook (killer CD!!!!!)
- Tony Bennett’s “Playing with my Friends” – SACD
- C. Hogwood’s Academy of Ancient Music playing “Brandenburg Concertos #3 & 4” and the “Four Seasons” both on L’Oiseau Lyre label on period instruments - redbook
Source – Modded Sony 333ES
Preamp - Rogue 66 Magnum
Amp - Bryston 4B-SST
Speakers – Tyler Acoustics Linbrook monitors
In point form here are my thoughts;
1. Did either nothing or seemed to slightly constrain the dynamics on the Bryston amp. Although on only a few songs, maybe 2 out of 20 I felt the amp’s “voicing” changed slightly and that in my mind was a no-no so on the Bryston is not where I’d use it.
2. On the preamp alone it didn’t do much. I expected it to negate some of the light hum that I hear at the speakers that is caused by the tube preamp. Its nothing you hear when music is playing but I guess an inherent issue with tubes. It didn’t kill the hum but then again maybe its not supposed to as it doesn’t sit in-between the interconnects going between the preamp & amp…
3. On the source alone is where I felt the largest loss when it was removed. The proverbial “veil” was removed when running the cdp into the Dezorel. Songs especially vocals just seemed more “organic” and “lifelike” with the filter in place. Is it because its “holding onto “digital hash” that sometimes gets kicked back into play – not sure? Decay is better – things would appear to hang longer – cymbals or vocal notes seem to go on ever so slightly longer. An extra “vibrato” if that’s the correct word?
4. Did the LF-A3 make a huge difference over the lower priced LF-A1 mk2? Not horribly and again it comes down to one’s application. I think the worse your conditions – power, digital hash, poorly designed power supplies, less than adequate designed transformers, etc. will bring about better changes when using the unit built with better components to tighter tolerances. If you’ve got a dedicated circuit, don’t live in an apartment building and the like, one of the lesser costly units just might be the ticket.
5. Did it outperform my Monster HTS-2000. Absolutely, when comparing the source into each “filter.” I feel the Bryston amp is even more constrained with the HTS-2000 but neither filter, in my mind, does anything positive to the amp so its back plugged directly into the wall where it shall reside until something better comes along. As a side bar I’ve never heard any benefits to using filters or even power cords on Bryston amps. Maybe others have but not this guy…
Like many products its only after it has been removed that you sense/know/hear that something has changed. That’s what my experience was – nothing earth shattering but then again we are talking about an accessory type component here. Its not like introducing quality separates into your system replacing a lower end receiver.
What’s my verdict? I think that at a price point of around $300 to isolate one component it’s in a competitive value zone. The PS Audio ultimate outlets run this much and is reported to only suppress 40 dB where as the Dezorels suppress more (at least that what their website advertises). What burns me up is that I have a hard time swallowing having to pay close between $150 & $200 to ship a $300 piece of gear. Regardless of its effectiveness this to me cuts seriously into the unit’s value. Now since the Dezorels are apparently going to be imported into the US by “Audionut” the prices that Miki quoted me some time ago no longer apply and won’t be published here. I really think I’ll have to see what the new “landed on the continent” and subsequent “at your door” pricing structure looks like before I’d make the jump. It comes down to how you want to spend your money – would I buy one, definitely but only if the price was right. I think it works and as stated above its effectiveness will be very system dependent. What may hurt the product is that introducing another mark-up in the chain at which we as consumers live at the end of, may bring these products into other competitive product zones such as the B-P-T units. Hopefully economies of scale will be realized for importing multiple units at a time and these economies are factored into the North American pricing structure.
In the end I’ll close by advising that I think the Dezorel does what it says it does or can do. Now how much am I willing to pay – sitting on my wallet awaiting the new prices. Lets not forget this “Canuck” has to pay 1.5 times what you guys south of the border pay! I’ve spent more on cables that realized the same perceived value in my system so I would buy it……… yup, if the price was right
BTW, I chose to not continue Nathan's thread as the unit I auditioned wasn't the exact same unit he did and as I'm not sure there are any differences between the 2 I thought it safe to start a new thread.