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Topic: NESPA Optical Disc Finalizer

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Posted by Romy the Cat on 02-05-2006

The visitors of my site who have read my observations about the CES 2005

are familiar with my very positive impressions about NESPA Optical Disc Finalizer.

It is defiantly a wonderful devise that I might from a certain prospective to be called revolutionary (people who knows me personally know that I do not throw the ejectives like this without reasons). The effectiveness of the NESPA devise is so high that any person who demands any more or less tolerable Sound from CD should have their discs to exposed to the optical “finalization”. Still, using the NESPA Optical Disc Finalizer for a while and preserving my reputation of a person who is not easy satisfied I would like to share with the readers of my site some concerns of mine regarding the NESPAnisation. Well, I do not have “concerns” but rather a concern as a half

The half of the concern relates to the current state of NESPA distribution and resale. It looks like NESPA’s devise is being distributed by Steven Klein, the “Sound of Silence” guy. Knowing the history and reputation of this guy and recognizing his infamies sleazy sales “techniques” it would not be mistaken to presume that your juts not overpay for NESPA but you stupidly overpay,

The sophisticated photographic flashes with power that zillion times more then NESPA, super sophisticated PS, smart voltage gain circuitries, and stuffed with logic that can drive a personal computer cost a couple hundred dollars. The flimsy little NESPA with funny flimsy flash form a disposable cameras, events counter and 50c-worth disk spanner Mr. Steven Klein wanted to self for near $900. Japan’s retail price for NESPA Pro is $400 and as we all know the street price in Japan even cheaper. Around US have already pop up resellers and the direct Japanese resellers who offer NESPAs for half of the Steven’s price . I feel that when the “freshness” of this devise will go aways it will settle with $300 – the price that it should cost. If the NESPA would sold in CompUS, or MicroCenter or  Radio Shack instead of Hi-Fi dealers then it would not be more then $70-$100. Sure, in the CompUS case it would not be a situation when next to a NESPA will be staying an audio-whore who would assure you that he loves you and music….. Well, I do not want to overly starch the price point. I do not mind to pay and practically for a good thing, but the situations with the NESPA’s prices make me intellectually disturbed. I personally paid for my unit much more then it should cost and I feel that Steven Klein well deserved my money as he informed me about the devise.  Still, if you are in a middle of night in your home looking for a cigarette then how would you feel if you neighbor offer to you a cigarette for $437?

As I said the NESPA’s dealer’s price policy is not a full point of my concern but rather a half point. The main point is the actual Sound of NESPA. Do not get me wrong: the NESPA optical finalization is superbly effective but along with the huge amount of overwhelming benefits that NESPAnisation offers there is an “issues” that I personally can not resolve yet. While NESPA strips all digital artifacts out of Sound it also slightly damps sound. This damping is very interesting. Initially I thought that I feel this damping as the side-affect of my hearing tuned to the artifacts of digital reproduction. Then, I began to look further into Sound I ended up after the optical finalization.  It is always; I mean always always always I felt that after the optical finalization my CD playback needed to add a very-very little at high frequency. It was not deception and not the residue of AB ceremony (I never se AB as any creditable reference, there are more objective methods). As you know I have a volume adjuster that allows me to set my tweeters at a very fine point of transition slope (and do it by very natural means)

My system uses no Eqs. None of the components, or cables, or other my things I picked using their frequency extension as a meaningful criteria. Still, my CD, Tuner, 3 different tonearms with 3 different phonostages produce pretty much identical sound with regards to frequency balance. It never come to me mind that flipping from my FM broadcasts to CD or to Analog I should make a few clicks on my tweeter attenuator, adjusting the tweeters level. However, with NESPA-treated CD I need to do it. It is absolutely essential to note that after the NESPAnisation and minor adding of HF Sound become WAY more interesting then without the NESPAnisation. But the necessity to change the HF balance after the optical finalization was finished is something that I do not like in this NESPA story.

I do not think that it would be a lot of people in audio who would agree with this finding of mine. Here is why.

There two reasons why. First of all most of audio people use fundamentally wrong tweeters, fundamentally wrong tweeter’s crossovers, and fundamentally wrong tweeter time alignment. Secondary, most of the audio people have completely idiotic perception how HF should be reproduces. Most of them do not expect or understand properly reproduced HF sound and their awareness chase in their heard the habituated sounds of HF distortions. Those low sensitively loudspeakers that demand the PP amplification with their typical HF crap, the metal coned tweeters, the high order crossover and many other things that are so popular in audio nowadays that the average audio Moron is completely tuned and addicted to artificial “attractive” HF. Pick any person from audio crowd and talk with him/her about the HF. As soon you hear from him/her morn mentioning of “resolutions”, “air atop” and etc then let him/her go labeling his/her as an Audio Moron. To aggravate the point further, “they” make live music to sound like titanium tweeters (quality and tuning of musical instruments, playing and recording techniques, acoustic design of concert halls and etc). Therefore, even after that NESPAnisation a typical Audio Morons still uses the faulty HF solutions, has faulty expectation and still welcome in him/her listening rooms the presents of the artificial HF Sound. I am pretty sure that this artificial HF Sound offset and mask the NESPA sound damping….

How else could be explained the HF balance difference between my FM, analog and NESPAnised CD in context of my alleged civilized HF environment?

Romy the Cat

Posted by drdna on 02-09-2006

 Romy The Cat wrote:
...always I felt that after the optical finalization my CD playback needed to add a very-very little at high frequency......Still, my CD, Tuner, 3 different tonearms with 3 different phonostages produce pretty much identical sound with regards to frequency balance...

I am very puzzled as to how this phenomenon occurs, as this device almost sounds like something Peter Belt would make.

If the finalizer really makes the disc more accurate, the HF information was extra digital noise, BUT comparison to the other sources say this is not true because they have the appropriate HF information.  So, then this suggests there is a loss of HF information with the finalizer.

THEN how can exposing a digital source like CD to bright light result in HF frequency loss?

AND since the exact frequencies affected by HF loss of the Finalizer and the frequencies covered by the tweeter adjustment are not likely to be exactly the same, then when the tweeter is adjusted to correct the HF loss frequencies, does it also boost up too much some other frequencies (perhaps in the lower HF area?) to create a euphonic result?


Posted by Romy the Cat on 02-09-2006

 drdna wrote:
…AND since the exact frequencies affected by HF loss of the Finalizer and the frequencies covered by the tweeter adjustment are not likely to be exactly the same, then when the tweeter is adjusted to correct the HF loss frequencies, does it also boost up too much some other frequencies (perhaps in the lower HF area?) to create a euphonic result?

I would say, yes, in a way…. The Optical Finalizer in away do EQ sound by reducing HF and slightly lifting up the rest of spectra. Ironically but THAT was the very quality that made me to buy it. At CES when I for a first time exposed to the Optical Finalizer I was in US AN Kondo room where they played their million dollars (at lest what they believe) amplification loaded with some AN Kondo small mini-monitors. I know those monitors and they should be poor, still the room kind of sound more or less OK for the results that might be accepted from any AN (UK or Japanese). Then, when my CD was Optically Finalized (completely against my will) and played again, I instinctually recounted that the very first accords of CD literately took the poor Audio Note speakers apart. I meant the CD suddenly pushed so prosperous bass and MF content that AN bass drivers literally clipped. I personally do not feel the “bass become better” but rather feel that the absent of HF digital noise conditioned my perception of harmonics making harmonics wonderfully slower, more convincing and the sound all together less annoying (in my semantic slower means better). Why the “relative HF phenomena” take place I do not know. It is very much might be that the Finalizer slightly rolls off the “useful HF”….

Romy the Cat

Posted by Antonio J. on 02-13-2006
I find the effect you describe about the "nespanization" of CDs very interesting and maybe worth trying it, specially in the context of my system, which has some of that "high frequencies syndrome" you comment elsewhere in this site. I've found a British reseller with acceptable prices (the manufacturer refused selling it directly to me and the don't have, thanks God, a distributor in my country). They have two models, the #1 and the Pro. Which one have you checked? The price difference is not huge, but can buy some good records with that cash, so if the cheaper is the one you've tried and works, I'd go for it.


Posted by Antonio J. on 02-24-2006
I must admit that the physical concept of flashing some powerful light on the playing surface of a CD to eliminate gas bubbles interfering with the laser reading, made very little sense. But on the other hand, especially since I have learned how to set up objectives for my system and listening priorities, and having tried Romy's suggestions that have been very instructive, the device and its effect raised a lot of curiosity on me.

I had tried other CD tweaks like green markers, mats and others, which some had some effect, but not really worth in the direction I wanted, so I've not being using tweaks for a long time and my interest for them was close to none.

I decided to purchase the Nespa Pro, in the belief that having a more powerful light than the #1 it would have more effect if any. I ordered the unit to the UK distributor, who was very helpful and had a sensible price compared to the prices it's sold in Japan and in the US or other countries.

The unit arrived three days ago, and I've just treated three CDs chosen from my collection for different personal reasons. I listened to all three complete before treatment and after treatment, not really in an A/B way, but just trying to focus in the things that now I consider important. The results have been clear with two of the CDs and less obvious with the third one, although some changes were present. I suppose that the effect can be different depending on the quality of the CD printing. Maybe the disc showing less changes after the treatment (I applied 120 shots to every one) might have more if I repeat it.

I'm not skilled to explain in English all what I have experienced. The Nespanization of the CDs makes them sound more in the way that vinyl or FM does, which to me is allowing a better focus into the music and the performance, forgetting about "the sounds". The gap of the interaction I experience with the music when listening to vinyl or to CDs, has been narrowed. Maybe I'm a victim of my own expectations and I'm hearing things that I'm just imagining, but if this is the way it works, it's very welcome anyway, at least has showed more placebo effect than other tweaks.

I'm glad Romy raised my interest for this device, it's sure that I had never tried it solely for the reviews it got.



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