Great for LP's, CD's, DVD's use on all your cables too. New in box.
See 6 Moons.com's rave review @
http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/walker8/talisman.html The devil has a name:
Walker. His mere mention strikes fear and terror into the hearts of the
Sunday churchgoers who think that tweaks are the work of the
cloven-hoofed one. Outside his massive and mondo expensivo Proscenium
Gold Reference turntable, the devil specializes in far more affordable
performance enhancers. Think outboard Zobel filter, CD/DVD cleaner,
contact enhancer, outboard motor controller, passive power center with
QRT, hi-mass stand. And now, the new Walker Audio Talisman destaticer
for CD, DVD, SACD and LP. Satan's lip gloss?
Walker. If he gets you on the phone, you'll be invariably regaled. With
tall tales of audiophile exploits. Predictably ending in home boy
victory. Though to be sure, he'll also acknowledge occasional defeats.
Those spoil his upstairs chicken soup. Admission, as you'll learn, is
mere setup for future revenges. Defeats make Walker retreat to wherever
tweakers retreat to tweak some more before they pull white rabbits out
of pointy black hats again. And you'll be the first to know when
Walker's next rabbit is due. The devil is wily and his workshop always
matter entirely is whether you can keep up with his nearly insatiable
appetite for leaving no stone unturned, no "good enough already"
unpunished. How I signed over my soul to accept the Talisman for review
is one of those mysteries. Perhaps the devil's at turns boisterous and
self-deprecating, eventually irresistible mixture of braggadocio, charm,
persistence and promise of five virgins? Probably. Walker would have
made one helluva travelling door-to-door sales man. I can just see him
hawking vacuum cleaners, health insurance and exterior siding. Which he
never did. But the bloody invention of the phone merely compounds his
effectiveness and reach. All the way across the Atlantic. (Lloyd doesn't
do e-mail. That's his wife's department). The only instance that'll
stop the devil is wood. "How do you keep an erection? Stop fucking with
it." With audio, however, he never follows his own advice.
I reached for my audiophool Viagra to dutifully inspect this latest
dispatch from the Walker factory of go-faster audio accessories. While
bulk-head erasers predate the Bedini, the Bedini can lay claim to
establishing the product category of the disc demagnetizer. Bedini's
general fringe profile allowed hard-core cynics to write off the
original as charlatanacious
without ever trying one. Furutech's
corporate bearings and insistence on laboratory corollaries have since
made that a lot harder. Their equivalent RD-2 -- and its latest
offshoot, the massive DeMag intended for LPs, shiny discs and cables
which none other than Michael Fremer found to deliver as advertised --
contribute to the genre what Furutech calls a ring magnet array and a
gradual ramp up/down of magnetic fields. This also keeps the CD or LP -
rather than turning as the Bedini did. Walker's take on the subject is utterly passive. There's no AC cord nor any batteries to recharge or replace. Ever. To apply the Talisman means the user herself has to make the requisite mesmerizing
passes. Physical contact with the disc or LP provides the necessary
path to ground. Low-humidity atmospheric conditions could mandate that
the human ground connection destatic itself first on the metal equipment
rack or any other suitable object.
to say, keep cartridges, cassette/video tape and other sensitive items
far enough away from the powerful nearfield effects of the Talisman.
(Its radiated field attenuates steeply beyond half a foot. Record
needles are perfectly safe beyond 6 inches). Refer to the Walker website
for precise usage instructions but essentially, you perform three
circular passes one inch above each side of a disc, starting with the
label side. Needless to say, the Talisman effects are short-lived.
Simply spinning a CD/LP during playback will recommence the
static-producing routine. To acquire a Talisman thus equates to a
forgone conclusion. You'll have to use it each and every time you hit
play. Else, its benefits will quickly vanish. If you own a top-loading
CDP with the ubiquitous magnetized disc puck -- the Zanden ingeniously
avoids this source of magnetization by mounting a merely mechanical puck
to the lid -- you could rightly wonder about the puck's ongoing
that's all the techno foreplay the Talisman merits. Why CDs and LPs can
get mildly magnetized to absorb a charge has long since been laid at
the feet of ironic - er, ferrite
and other impurities in
aluminum, colorants and inks. Whether you believe that their small
percentile presence could have an audible effect or not is open to
debate. Ditto for questioning whether the trouble is really worth the
payback. It does take a genuinely committed
character to chase
maximum sound pleasure with this level of permanent tweak wood. My
ill-disguised weariness in that regard is testament to the fact that my
present system gives plenty of pleasure as is. Being thus pleased with
myself nearly disqualifies me for being worshipped by the devil. But
I can appreciate his approach. He's only too keenly aware that his
go-for-broke turntable is merely for the very few. To put food on the
other table, he must sell commodities which the many can afford. The
general category of tweak has long since become his special expertise.
It fully overlaps with his credo about the devil and them details. It
implies that cheap components tweaked to the max can raise hell on
expensive components treated carelessly.
it surprise us to learn that dealers have built up intense resistance
to Walker's recipe? Most of them want to move expensive components. They
don't want to sell cheap tweaks to make cheap components outdo proven
cash calfs and sacred cows. Where's the profit in that? Of course, cheap
tweaks can also make expensive components sound better. Alas, then you
admit that expensive doesn't equate to entirely turn-key. Lloyd suspects
that most dealers simply don't want to open that door. They want to
sell plug'n'play perfection.
the remotest suggestion that there will be additional work required
from the new owner must be kept under wraps. Otherwise it destroys the
sacrosanct illusion -- or presumed implication -- that expensive means
the maker has taken care of everything
. Not. Money isn't the issue at all. Unpredictable component and room interactions are.
his at least is the dark one's belief: everything
can be made to sound better. If this advocates a permanent state of malcontent and unending tweaking ... well, whoever told
you that eternal bliss was the devil's work? I distinctly recall something about damnation.
let's get off our lazy butts and tweak before we're found wanting in
the diabolical department. That just wouldn't do. I'll put it to you
straight then. The Talisman works. Is it a fire'n'brimstone difference?
Not even close. When you take two identical CDs, one played a few times
to presumably be contaminated with residual magnetism and the other
freshly Walkerized, the latter sounds a bit crisper, cleaner, deeper and
. As you play the Walkerized disc, you eventually
wonder. Are the effects wearing off or did the improvement that seemed
quite obvious upon first cue-up hold? You go back to the first disc for a
reality check, same advanced track you'd gotten to on the demag'd one.
Less difference. At least that's what I
thought. That raises a
few questions. How much of a charge can a CD hold? In total? Is there a
saturation effect beyond which added play doesn't compound the issue any
further? If so, how many full playback cycles does it take to load up a
disc with maximum magnetized malady
? Are a few tracks enough to tip the balance?
purely on subjective impressions, even partial playback -- say halfway
through -- already dilutes the merry "Bingo!" when you first performed
the switch between treated and untreated discs. However, I also know
just how quickly our ear/brain mechanism adapts. We can take
improvements for granted minutes after the first encounter - especially
if the changes were subtle. Yet I don't think that today's device is
marketing malarkey. Nor that the initial improvements available from
disc demagnetizing are imaginary. It's simply that for my slightly weary
level of tweaker happiness, they're minor enough to soon be swallowed
up by the music as it continues past the first few tracks.
The devil has customers:
Talisman strikes me as a device for the man who has everything. What do
you buy a dandy for his birthday? His audio system is already all set.
Or so he insists. The Talisman is something he won't yet have. It does
wipe off a fine sheet of gray from the music. And to use it takes all of
5 second. Badabeep, badaboop - leave the gun, take the cannoli. Next
scene. Especially if you're in the habit of only playing select tracks
and routinely go through a whole series of discs in one session, the
Talisman is well worth your consideration. There is a demonstrable
difference when you first cue up the demagnetized disc. It'll only set
you back the price of 10 CDs. And it'll never wear out or break.
thers may echo Danny Glover's cop in the Lethal Weapon series. I'm getting too old for this shit
They already have addressed room treatments, resonance control, power
delivery, cable dressing and path length equality. They never turn off
their digital. In short, they've covered all the bases that are relevant
to their achievement of good sound. At what exact point should one call
it quits? ERS cloth? Marigo dots? Ceramic cable lifters?
CD circumcision? Intelligent chips? Magic clocks? You tell me. If your
tweak wood still points upwards, put the Talisman on your Wanted list.
It definitely works. Whether it works long
enough or offers too
fleeting a satisfaction is your call to make. Will you eventually resent
having to do it over and over and over again? Here's a confession from
the trenches. I own the Furutech RD-2. I only use it for audiophile
show-off demos. The Walker effect seems just a bit more pronounced than
the Furutech. Still, I doubt I'd talisman on a regular basis. I'm not
getting enough of a kick out of doing it. See, I am
getting too old. That's what it is.
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Making better Sound One
system at at a time,
Weinhart Design, Inc.
President & CEO
The Audio and Video Expert
2337 Roscomare Road, Studio #1 Showroom) 310-472-8880
Los Angeles, California 90077