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REVIEW: Audio Magic Stealth Matrix Power Purifier Power Conditioner/Surge Protector

Model: Stealth Matrix Power Purifier
Category: Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Suggested Retail Price: $2699
Description: passive power purifier
Manufacturer URL: Audio Magic
Model Picture: View

Review by Jade (A) on February 23, 2003 at 14:09:54
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for the Stealth Matrix Power Purifier

I recently upgraded my Audio Magic Stealth Power Purifier to the new Matrix version. I’ve had my entire system hooked up to the Matrix for about a month now. The Matrix is plugged into a single dedicated line via a seven-foot Elrod EPS-3 power cord.

Initial impressions: The unit that I purchased already had a fair amount of break-in time on it so I expected it settle into my system in just a couple of days. I simply removed the Stealth and replaced it with the Matrix. Right away the Matrix sounded smoother with more bass presence. The sound was pleasant, but lacked the snap that I had become accustomed to with the Stealth.

First two weeks: I listened to the Matrix daily and for the first week the changes were minimal. Imaging and focus were very good, but the unit still leaned toward the warm side. Sure it sounded nice, but it still lacked some of the realism I’ve come to expect from my music.

It wasn’t until the second week that things really started to change. The first thing I noticed was the bass. Low-level detail in the bass region improved, and the bass became tighter and more definitive. I remember listening to one of my favorite piano pieces by George Winston. I could hear a low thumping sound in the background. I thought it was someone driving by with the bass cranked up so I hit the mute button on my remote. To my surprise the sound disappeared and everything went quiet. It turned out that what I was hearing was George pounding on the pedals of his piano. Additionally, the lower octaves also had more presence and authority than I was accustomed to hearing. A nice improvement!

My next wake up call came while listening to “Lonestar” by Nora Jones. During the song her and another female vocalist sing together in harmony. What caught my attention here was the separation of the two vocalists. I could hear each singer more clearly and distinctly. Something I never experienced so vividly on this cut. Now I was getting excited.

The final two weeks: Over the last two weeks everything has continued to improve. Piano music now sounds incredible. Bass authority is superb. Timing and presence are right on. Notes just seem to float away as they disappear into a black background. Focus and imaging are the best I’ve ever experienced in my listening room. Images are precisely positioned and for the most part the speakers have all but disappeared. Singers often seem to float out from between the speakers like ghosts hovering about. The improvements have been dramatic.

Conclusion: For me what makes music so wonderful is its emotional impact. Whether I’m tapping my foot happily to a musical melody or getting goose bumps from a female artist that’s singing from the bottom of her heart. Whether I’m being sucked in by one of Patricia Barber’s wild jazz sessions or listening to Lightning Hopkins sing the blues. The music should be emotionally involving.

The Matrix has taken my listening experience to a new dimension. Everything I play is more enjoyable and more musically involving. I would even go as far as to say that the Matrix has been the single most significant upgrade I have ever made to my system.

Many of my audiophile friends have asked me to compare the Matrix to the Stealth. These are really two different animals. I’ll just say that what I think distinguishes the Matrix from the Stealth and other power purifiers that I have tried is that the Matrix has the uncommon ability to do everything well. It lets you have your cake and eat it too. Nice deep rich smooth bass without loosing any speed or transparency throughout the frequency range. My congrats to Audio Magic on a great product.

Product Weakness: None in my system.
Product Strengths: Took my system to a new level.

Associated Equipment for this Review:
Amplifier: PS Audio HCA-2
Preamplifier (or None if Integrated): Tact Audio RCS 2.0
Sources (CDP/Turntable): Theta Data Basic II
Speakers: Vandersteen 2Ce Signatures
Cables/Interconnects: Omega Mikro Ebony Twin Tube Digital LCX, Audio Magic Clairvoyent XLR ints, Goertz AG2/Ag1 shotgun biwered speaker cables, Shunyata Cobra pc on transport, Audio Magic illusion pc on preamp/dac, Shunyata Viper on amp, Elrod EPS-3 to Matrix
Music Used (Genre/Selections): Jazz, Folk, and Blues
Room Size (LxWxH): 17 x 14 x 8
Room Comments/Treatments: Room correction done with Tact RCS 2.0
Time Period/Length of Audition: 30 days
Other (Power Conditioner etc.): One dedicated AC line
Type of Audition/Review: Product Owner

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Topic - REVIEW: Audio Magic Stealth Matrix Power Purifier Power Conditioner/Surge Protector - Jade 14:09:54 02/23/03 (6)

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