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AUDIO SCEPTICISM - ON TEST

Posted by Juan on 8 November 2017
AUDIO SCEPTICISM - ON TEST

LES DAVIS AUDIO 3D-2 Constrained Layer Dampers

Would you believe that a few discs, 50mm in diameter and each less than a millimetre thick can make a substantial audio improvement on any Turntable? And not just your turntable audible improvements can be heard on each component of your system thanks to the deceptively simple Len Davis Audio 3D(2) Discs.

Mechanical Resonance is a phenomenon in which an object or system is subjected to an oscillating force with a frequency close to its own natural resonant frequency. These added frequencies combined with the playback frequencies stored in the record groove then colour and add murkiness to the sound. Therefore, eliminating these resonances (or at least greatly diminishing them) can significantly improve the sonic performance of your audio system. Enter the 3D(2), a new product with advanced technology that promises to do exactly that.

The 3D(2) is designed and manufactured in Australia and has been developed by Les Davis over the last ten years. The 3D(2) discs are a composite layering of an industrial grade soft aluminium foil constraining layer and a pressure-sensitive viscoelastic polymer. This constrained layer damping (CLD) is what promises to suppress unwanted vibrations. It's worth pointing out that there are many products marketed for vibrational control in hi-fi. However, the 3D(2) is something quite different. Not least for their affordability. Each box contains 16 feet. To install them, they're simply placed in a stacked pair (for the optimum performance according to Les' highly-trained ears) under each foot of your CD player, amplifier, pre-amp, power supply, turntable, etc. So, typically, a box will treat an amp and a CD player for example. With speakers you can use it under the feet of a stand, but you need to be careful. It can be too much of a good thing, according to Les. Interestingly, there's even a new loudspeaker being developed by legendary Australian speaker designer Brad Serhan that utilises the same 3D(2) technology as a gasket to seal the drivers to the front fascia, resulting in dramatically reduced cabinet vibrations. Intrigued, I decided to put them to the test.

Sceptical at first thanks to the 3D(2)'s unassuming size and deceptive looks, I commenced the listening session with some vinyl curtesy of iconic Australian modern jazz artist Vince Jones, spinning via the Pro-Ject 2Xpression turntable (see below for full equipment list). For the control test, I started with opening track For All Colours from the album of the same name. Then, another pass through, this time with the 3D(2) dampers placed under the Pro-Ject 2Xpression. No sooner had the needle hit the groove when the immediate improvement hit my ears. Beautiful detail and clarity of instruments and voices, Improved imaging, cleaner soundstage - all culminating in an easier appreciation of the size of the musical presentation and allowing me to better envisage the instrumentalists and vocalists. Then, a moment of realisation; Listen to how much I've been missing before this test! Or to put it another way, so much of our music enjoyment has been taken away...

Conclusion: If you are (or even if you're not) an audio sceptic, I would highly recommend listening to the 3D(2) Discs. There's a very good chance you will become a true believer!  

This amazing product sells for only $99 and is available instore now!

For additional reading, also see:
http://www.tnt-audio.com/accessories/les_davis_dampers_e.html

https://www.lesdavisaudio.com.au/3d-2/

http://www.audiojunction.com.au/shop-product/av-furniture---accessories/les-davis-audio-3d-2-constrained-layer-dampers

Equipment used for the audio test:
Project 2 Xpression Turntable
NAD M12 Preamp
NAD M22 Power Amp
Focal Sopra No.2 Loudspeaker
Atacama Eris eco 5.0 Hi-Fi Rack
IsoTek Aquarius Power Conditioner & Premier Power Cables
Author: Juan
Tags: hi-fi

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