Does my head-line MagicTubes from Mad Scientist inflame and provoke you? Magic? Mad Scientist? Please read on, my dear friends, please read on. But if you are not prepared for some fun, and don´t have an open mind, just shut down your computer, and don’t think about this article anymore.
BUT if you´ve read this far, lets get on with these “things”. They are called Magic Tubes, mainly because the inventor Bob Prangnell does not have a 100% logical explanation to the why and why not with this his latest creation. Let me introduce (drum roll): The MagicTubes!!!
Yes they are small, (see my pictures), maybe 5 cm long, and 5 mm wide. And filled with some kind of “sand”. And as Mad Scientist Audio does some good work with other HiFi accessories, we´d of course wanted to try these ones too. And ready to send them back ASAP because we don´t believe in that sort of this kind of mumbo jumbo, voodoo and stuff. Honestly we thought this was not an HiFi item to do a thorough review of. How can some small tiny tubes do something to your sound?
As Bob Prangnell from Mad Scientist Audio writes, a very good way to test these Tubes is to mount them (preferably with some blue tack, or some tape or strips or whatever) for a day or two on your speaker, digital or power cables. And just listen as you usually do, and after a few days remove them.
That´s just what I did, and piewwwww my system went bonkers/bananas/whatever you call it when it´s not sounding as good as before without them small things. Strange. So I had to investigate more. Long nights and days went on, always with the same result.
Without the Magic Tubes:
It´s as your music suddenly just is… very unmusical to listen to. Like small fragments of sound all over the place, but not a complete sound picture.
Just take one of Rickie Lee Jones´ latest songs: Jimmy Choos. This song is recorded with respect to Jones earlier recordings, soft and acoustic. Her voice gets a little to harsh and blatant without the tubes.
Another example is from the first album by the Danish/American band Everybody's Talking. The singer Jimmy Colding performs very nice on the old 10CC track “I´m Not In Love”. And Bob Dylan´s former guitar player Billy Cross works together with Lars Maasbøll on the six strings and background vocals. From the same album,track four: “Man Of Constant Sorrow” shows Cross playing a vivid slide guitar. My notes from that evening: the sound is brassy without the tubes.
The link to iTunes is here: link
Ole Staveteig is from Norway, but transmigrated years ago for Australia. He is well known for his excellent guitar tapping techniques, and when we listen carefully to his album “Plays Jimi Hendrix” the before/after and the with/without the MagicTubes is clearly audible. Without the Tubes the sound does not flow as nicely as with these small things, and Ole´s guitar sounds a little bit to distorted - even for some Hendrix tracks ;=).
I also did some kind of blind test. One day while sitting and typing along in front of my system the sound was kind of muffled, and I could not understand why. But again, I was concentrating finding words for a review, so I thought the issue maybe was in between my good old ears. Just the next day to find that two of the four Tubes I had mounted, had fallen of my both ends og my digital cable.
The sound is kind of slightly mutilated without the tubes. I hear it clearly when I hit Play while the fab software Roon is doing its duties, and I pause the track, remove the Tubes and hit Play again.
But please, if you think this sounds to good to be true, do order some of these MagicTubes. I am pretty sure you won't regret it, and maybe you also don't give a s... about the why and how... and just enjoy the music and your HiFi system as I do.
Mad Scientist Audio gives away a free set of these small wonderful Tubes until the end of September. You only pay for the freight, that´s all. So if your HiFi system can be transformed to a much better sounding one, regardless of how and why, please try these small things. I am sure you cannot live without them; I know I can´t! And won´t!
Text and photos: ©Kurt Lassen 2015