Two Furutech Weapons Against Mortal Enemies of Vinylphiles 
by Richard H. Mak

Ever since Dark Lord Sauron and Saruman the White were defeated in the Lord of the Rings through the destruction of the One Ring by Frodo Baggins the half length, the people of Middle Earth were able to live in peace and blissful happiness. However, us Audiophiles of Middle Earth are not so fortunate and continue to battle many mortal enemies which can only seen and experienced by our kind. Unlike the Orcs and Uruk-Hais which are visible creatures with hideous physical appearances, the enemies of Audiophiles are invisible and they do not target ordinary civilians, which makes our struggle ever more lonely and often times, controversial. 

Our enemies come in many forms. Some are Evil Spirits which can be only be seen by specific clans within Audiophile communities. A few weeks ago, I was invited over to witness paranormal activities at an audiophile's house located in Richmond Hill, Ontario. Half a day on horseback later, I was greeted by the William, son of Leevite. Leevite's audio system was haunted by an evil spirit called "Vibratomous Terram" (An Elvish word meaning Ground Vibrations),  which only people from his clan can see.   The evil spirit sent vibrations from the earth to the interconnect cables upon which they rest, causing degradation to the audio signal.  To ward of the spirit, the Leevite deployed a weapon called Cable Risers, an intricate array of Macassar Ebony supporting columns which resembles the Batman Roller Coasters of Six Flags Theme Park in Texas, upon which the Vibratomous Terram Spirit  departed hurriedly and never returned. To this day, I remain unconvinced of the presence of such a spirit, yet the Leevite swore upon his elder's grave of its existence.  

(Cable Risers deployed at the Leevite Residence)

Just like the Leevite, I too have had my own share of invisible enemies which are unbeknownst to ordinary civilians of Middle Earth. A few years ago, I was haunted by an "Electric Gremlin" which caused my audio system to sound grainy and edgy. The Gremlin usually rear its ugly head during the wee hours where electricity consumption is at its highest. The Elves was certain that these creature are attracted to the LED lightings, but the Dwarfs argued that the culprit is the computer equipment in my house.  

I once sought the help from "Electricians", a type of Middle Earth people known to have powers to ward off the Gremlin. Yet, four out of five of the Electricians I consulted did not believe I was under an attack. I wanted to install five individual 20 Amp dedicated power lines, and I also wanted no breaks in each of the lines, wired directly to the fuse panel.  They dismissed my demand as utter silliness. The most they were willing to do was 2x 30A lines divided into separate 15A phases. It was not until I found an "Audiophile Electrician" who took pity upon my dire condition and exercised mercy upon my poor soul. Once he installed the five dedicated 20 Amp lines, lo and behold, the Electric Gremlin was cast back into the fiery chasm from whence it came.   

Unlike ordinary Electricians, he also understood and endorsed the deployment of the Equi=Tech Balance Power conditioner which once in for all, prevented the Electric Gremlin from ever coming back. But to this day, my attempts to convince my wife to believe in the Electric Gremlin have been futile, let alone convincing ordinary citizens of Middle Earth to acknowledge the existence of such a creature.

In December of 2016, I visited the Sensō-ji temple in the Asakusa district of Taito, Tokyo Japan. There I saw a plethora of lucky charms which supposedly can ward off all kinds of invisible evil spirits which haunt audiophiles. Just when I was about to purchase a Sensō-ji charm, my travelling companion suggested for me to look into a weapon called the Acoustic Revive Schumann Pulse Generator RR-888.  

Lucky Charms at Sensō-ji temple in Asakusa, Japan

According to Acoustic Revive, inhabitants of Middle Earth are accustomed to a naturally occurring frequency of 7.83 Hz, known as the "Schumann Resonance Frequency" which exist in Middle Earth's "electromagnetic" cavity, probably near Mount Doom, deep into the pits of Mordor. With the advent of the technology, this natural frequency became contaminated by the invisible evil spirits of Cell Phones, Radio Waves and various EMI (Electromagnetic Interference) and RFI (Radio-Frequency Interference). But most importantly, the greatest contamination comes from the spy listening devices implanted into our Microwave ovens as described by Lord Trump's senior counselor Kellyanne Conway, supposedly a very wise Wizard of the old order.    

When placed at a height of five feet or more inside an audio room, the RR-888 will generate an ultra low frequency of 7.83 Hz to mimic the naturally occurring Schumann Resonant Frequency. Theoretically, the generated frequency will form an invisible shield in the room which will ward off evil spirit of all kinds.

I was skeptical at first, but upon installing the device into my room, Gandalf the Grey be my witness, the device worked like magic. There was a noticeable increase in ambience and "air" which I could not only hear, but also felt. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up by an extra 2.3 degrees upwards, and my pupils dilated by an extra 3.69%. The invisible device must have warded off many unknown evil spirits!

"Those of you who want this invisible shield of protection, can contact Wynn, Son of Wong, an ancient Seer and Sorcerer of the North, in the land of Trudeau.  Locals refer to him as Wynn Audio."
(Acoustic Revive Schumann Resonance Generator)

Of all the mortal enemies of the middle earth, there is but one specific kind of ferocious creature which  targets all Vinylphiles indiscriminately, it is none other than the much dreaded "Static Goblin". The Static Goblin comes and goes without warning, but they seem to be prevalent more so in winter months when the air is dry and food is scarce. When an attack is launched, the Goblin will cause "Snap, Pop and Crackle" to the sound of vinyls during play, and it can also turn vinyls into a magnet for dust.  

The biggest danger, however, is when the Static Goblin causes the turntable mat to stick to the underside of a record when it is lifted from the turntable platter. I have been the victim of this type of attack on many occasions. The turntable mat stuck to the underside of the LP by static, slipped off without warning and came very close to snapping off the cantilever of the cartridge!    

(Rare photo of the Static Goblin)

One solution offered by fellow audiophile Don, Son of Corby, The Don of Freelton Ontario, is to deploy a hard wired electric ionizing generator which he bought off eBay, mounted onto a DIY swing arm modified from a desk lamp post. The device albeit effective, involves quite a bit of DIY ingenuity which may not be feasible by common audiophiles not skilled in the craft of metal.

There exist, however, a weapon made by Furutech called the Destat III (US$ 390). It is available through Audiyo.com. The battery operated curling-ball like device is essentially an ionizer with a build in electric fan.  It blows ionized air onto the LP surface which will ward off Static Goblins which have invaded the record surface. The weapon is quite effective, but its deployment resembles a religious ceremony which will draw puzzling looks by ordinary civilians of Middle Earth who may cry afoul of the process, mistaking as witchcraft.  
(Furutech Destat III )

Simon, Son of Au, from the lands of Audiyo.com, Canadian distributor of Furutech, alerted me to two newly invented highly effective weapons against The Static Goblin.    

The first is the SK-EX-III Disc Media Static Eliminator ($595USD). The weapon comes in a nicely packaged box, and the actual SK-EX-III device resembles a leather bound gatefold LP cover. I was puzzled at first but as I read the instruction manual, I realize the empty "gate-fold" itself is the actual weapon against the Static Goblin.

(Furutech SK-EX-III)

The SK-EX-III is made of a material which Furutech calls Thunderon®, a unique conductive filament material made by the Elves. It is made of a very fine acrylic fiber chemically bonded with copper sulfide. Simply place the LP (or CD) onto the gate-fold like device for 30 seconds, before and after playing the LP, and The Static Goblin will be warded off.   

Is the weapon effective? Quite astonishingly, Yes.

As long as I performed the ritualistic exercise before and after playing the LP, the amount of static seems to be reduced dramatically, at least I have not since encountered the scenario involving the stuck LP mat. To further increase the effectiveness of the SK-EK-II, once can recite the Elvish phrase "Vestibulum Lupites et abierunt, Ave ad deos Vinyl" which translates to "Static Goblin be gone, Hail to the Vinyl Gods", the effectiveness of the weapon is said to increase further by 26%.

If however, the Static Goblins are too strong in numbers, there exist another effective weapon which can be deployed to ensure their complete annihilation.Behold the Furutech SK-Filter (US$ 550), forged by the Elves residing in the the Land of the Rising Sun.

Furutech SK-Filter                          Rek-O-Kut Dust Bug Anti-Static Dust Remover
The SK-Filter looks remarkably similar to the Rek-O-Kut Dust Bug Anti-Static Dust Remover, but unlike the Rek-O-Kut, the actual Brush on the SK-Filter is set a level 1mm above the record surface and never comes into contact with the LP. Just like the SK-EX-III, the SK-Filter wards off the Static Goblin by using Thunderon®. The copper sulfide bonded arcylic fibers are said to be exhaustively tested and carefully arranged on the "Brush" in very specific length and quantity required for effective static elimination.  

Both the SK-Filter and the SK-EX-III seem to work extremely well. The SK-Filter, however, is my preferred weapon of choice as it can be installed on a permanent basis. It does not involve any repetitive rituals before or after playing an LP as to not arouse unnecessary attention, ruling out the possibility of having to answer awkward questions from non-audiophile civilians of Middle Earth.

While our battle with the Static Goblin, might have ended,  new enemies encroach upon the horizon. Audiophiles of the Middle Earth continues to be a species understood by very few. Before the next winter approaches, other weapons shalt be explored:  The Eurotube Tube Dampers, the Shun Mook LP Clamp, and the Shakti Innovation Hallograph...........