PMR Mk II Referenz by HighEndNovum

Stefano Bertoncello becomes a complete believer about the HighEndNovum  PMR Mk II Referenz resonators. You can enjoy his prolonged story…
I’m a believer, folks.
Call me a lunatic, easily influenced and always ready to ride this or that audio tweaks of the day… maybe it’s so, yet I much more prefer to call myself a truth seeker, humbly unashamed and braveheart enough to be unworried by critics.
It’s my journey… so I choose the rules, period.
Nuff said?
… well, ahem… hell, NO!
Last week, while going to Munchen by car, I was listening to some music on my car audio system when – after some heavy rain from Brennerpass to Munchen – a pale sun made its appearance.
I moved the parasole to protect my eyes from sunshine and the music sounded different while I moved the sunshade…
… as I moved the sunshade, I was sort-of able to move the music… I mean enhancing focusing with a a simple 40 x 15 cm “wing” and moving it up and down.
The surprise of noticing the above was superseded by reaching my hotel, looking ahead to reach M.O.C. etc.
It was 9,30 A.M. in Munchen.
When I entered the audio fair, only one hour later, something happened: first of all I headed to my vinyl pushers of choice – i.e. Fenn and Blue Danube… I found some VERY nice waxes, indeed: the three sought after discs by Pete Seeger, Willie Dixon and Memphis Slim live in NYC, 1962 on Folkways… a truly magic recording of unbelievable clarity and musical trueness.
… and one dozen of Harmonia Mundis’ and more goodies.
After saying hello to Axinia Shaffer, next to her booth, I got attracted, almost captured, by some strange standing platters which were blinking to me, shiny, friendly and antique looking, also if seldom seen.
Immediately stopped by… it was about one hour after the opening of M.O.C. 2015, the Press/Trade First Day at M.O.C. and there were only some visitors around.
I chatted with those young German gentlemen, Andreas, Christoph and Michael… they immediately appeared as very passionate and knowledged smart guys, yet almost apologizing for their weird goodies on display: premium quality fuses, for example and… yes…YES!
These large and smaller platters… cups… gongs… tibetan bowls… whatever!
They explained the mystic behind the bowls, carefully made by hand and tuned after Dieter Ennemoser’s teaching and theories.
“Herr C-37 varnish” audio/luthiery visionary rang a bell in my head… and the more I looked at the larger dish – i.e. the PMR Mk II Referenz, the more I not only thinked to resonance devices, like Andreas called the platters, but also to some ancient Archimede’s specchi ustori – i.e. the war mirrors conveying sunshine powerful rays against enemies and their ships and burning at a distance.
Cheating and chatting, I found myself discussing the loan of these finely made bronze handicrafts, which was not only accepted but also gladly trusted and praised.
Christoph Oester, the maker of this sculpture claimed to resonate and improve musical experience, really was plucking my strings, in the same way the empathy between Andreas and Michael and Christoph and yours truly naturally blossomed.
The next, second M.O.C. day, we arranged to complete the bona-fide deal and the heavy Referenz PMR and its smaller brother Initium, plus an LP One bronze clamp shaped like the larger resonators, were safely in my car trunk, carefully crated, bounding southbound to my studio.
Some foreword are necessary, at this point: no english literature was available at Munchen fair, so my interest was only coming from sincere attraction for these audio sculptures.
Love at first sight, I’d dare.
The more I think about the nice, elegant, weird PMR Mk II Referenz, the more I think to Sun Ra’s stage costumes and hats.
I chatted with some pals about my findings, but I got mild, so-so reactions from them, so I preferred to keep my experiment-to-come for myself, when back home.
… and so I did.
After the M.O.C. days of gathering and chatting, on last Sunday I carefully unpacked the resonators, using the safety cotton gloves found in the carton box, to avoid fingerprints on shiny PMR surface… whatever they were, they appeared extremely well made: the ringing of the Referenz was strongly reminding to me my old, trusty Tibetan bell, the one I use to perform my (only decent) harmonic, two tones chant in David Hykes and Tibetan tradition.
A nice tone came from the Referenz when gently hitted, with a quite short decay, compared to a bell, for example.
The shape of the dish is stepped in six inner/five outer different diameter rings and the platter holder is keeping platter someway loose, free to vibrate.
I was so curious to hear the claimed merits of these handicrafts which I simply didn’t read anything on Hi End Novum site… choosing senses vs. well informed/biased guessing.
I only read Clement Perry and Sam Telling already tried these, but the German-only leaflets only told me their names… you know, I don’t read or speak any German, shame on me.
Passive Multivocal Resonator… mmmhhh…
Back to my uncrating…
I mounted – as per easy instructions – the resonators legs and placed the Referenz centre between the Cabasse at ear level, as per maker suggestions.
The smaller Initium was placed at the side, behind the listening sweet spot, always following installations tips.
First disc I played on the Studer A 730 was “Sousedi”: guitar, cello and female voice.
I not so suddenly almost immediately noticed something going on: centerstage was rock-like and side and outer side speakers was broader I remembered.
Repeated a couple of time same track to better understand.
The room was so different than previous times.
Changed to an Harmonia Mundi’s of Zarb (Iranian drum) solo… I felt so silly, folks!
The overall sound was so focused, more, much more focused and direct and dynamics and even more natural than sans-PMRs’ system.
The drum was so rich in overtones and hands brushing the drum leather and several other recording venue noises blossomed… talking about a recording I often listen to.
Low end was slightly drier than I remembered but very detailed and various, non boring and untiring… not a note was a boom, but nuances improved greatly.
The installing/user’s manual was suggesting ear height for the PMR Referenz, but I began to move the resonator up and down, from say 50 cm to 100 cm.
The different heights changed scene height, as well.
Very easily, naturally…
No vodoo, no hypes… effective and well here, audible differences, no doubts.
After playing with the PMR in place for about three hours, I had to try to take them away.
I took off from center-stage and placed it on a corner, on the floor, covered by the brown blanket I found in the crate, and the aural beauty, the incredibly nice sensation of a 3D image and depth was simply back to the everyday one, as I know it to be my system voice.
… but not the same as only a few minutes before.
What was going on?
I turned off the 300B/Cabasse system and turned on the Gotorama… and replaced the PMR Referenz centerstage.
Same Sousedi’s disk and repeated the listening, almost hoping to do not hear the magic I heard before.
Same feeling of astonishment, surprise and enjoyment… an audibly improved listening experience.
Ennemoser… and you Jungblut Bros. and Christoph Oester, you made a Devil’s Pact… or maybe it’s plainly said we audiophiles aren’t aware of physic and acoustic laws and always surprised by the ineffable which seldom happens, unexpected as it can be.
What the hell: the PMR – acting like my car sunshade – isn’t only a resonator, but also and more, a music focus enhancer, keeping the music texture intact without coloring or equalizing it, yet transforming any recording into the ideal recording…
This appears to be true as when moving the PMR up and down also of some centimeters, the scene rises and lowers… something which isn’t related with resonance, apparently.
Also light and reflections are weird acting, while looking at center placed dish… a strobe-like interaction effect with room light, also in dimmed light, is strangely blinking, hypnotizing, too.
I felt like my ideal of The Perfect Recording became true and easy to get.
Both smaller and larger system improved to an extent I wasn’t prepared.
The Referenz PMR is not going to return to Germany, be sure.
Best audio pals whom I shared my findings ’til yesterday replied to my enthusiasm with mixed reactions from you’re a silly motherfucker pimp to yawn, another tweak for wealthy gonzos to uh, why not to cannot stand in my shoes waiting to join you in listening and experiencing your findings.
Me, well, the gonzo… ahem… the musical bliss seeker, I am as embarrassed as everyone reading above essay.
Take my responsibility deadly seriously on this, folks.
I’m a believer… a sincere believer and a scholar, unafraid of learning something new.
P.S. – only on last Monday – i.e. the day after the above described trials – I finally read on Audiophile Audio Produkte’s site some English and Google-translated German reviews about the PMRs… be assured that after reading Clement Perry and Sam Tellig’s reviews I felt much less alone… I mean I can also confirm their findings and highly praise and recommend these incredible, esoteric gizmos to anyone with sincere and mature experience and audio systems and open enough ears and mind to appreciate the final tweak which put to shame other audio craziness…
In the craziest of ways… working as promised, with no hypes and no need to smoke dope to be felt and appreciated.
Thanks to Andreas Jungblut, Christoph Oester and Michael Jungblut for trusting yours truly… and to Dieter Ennemoser for being the visionary he is.
All in the name of Music.
Stefano Bertoncello.