CUSTOMER FEEDBACK ON OUR MIKROSMOOTH
I own a Marantz SA15S1 Reference CD player. It will not always play SACD's which, according to Pierre and others are not produced to a specific standard and are created with "hills and valleys" which the Marantz cannot negotiate. I sent this machine to an authorized Marantz dealer who replaced the transport. However, it still had difficulty with some SACD's. Applying the Mikrosmooth according to directions has enabled this machine to play these problem SACD's with excellent resolution, soundstaging and tight articulate bass. I am talking about recordings of RCA and Mercury recorded in the 1950's.Needless to say, I am delighted. - Tony M.
I tried your Mikro-Smooth after reading about it in your catalog. At such an inexpensive price, I figured what could I lose? So, I bought some and tried it on a few of my favorite CD's here at home. I immediately noticed an across the board improvement in the sound quality of these discs.
I am a professional recording engineer and I do a lot of recording direct to CD-R. Reading how Pierre was treating his master CD's with it, I decided I would use the Mikro-Smooth to polish some blank CD-R's before recording a local community orchestra. When I got home and played these CD's back on my reference system, I was hooked.
The next project I worked on was mixing the "Cast In Bronze" CD "Best Day Ever". I tried an experiment. I mixed a song to an untreated CD-R. Then I used some Mikro-Smooth to polish it. I then re-recorded the same mix to the same, but now treated CD. This would give me 2 mixes to listen to - one recorded without the treatment and one recorded with it. When I played both of these mixes for the producer, Rick Hall, and the artist, Master Carilloneur Frank DellaPenna (they do not consider themselves as "audiophiles"), they noticed the differences right away. We immediately decided that all the mixes for that CD would be recorded on Mikro-Smooth treated CD-R's.
When I took the final mixes to be mastered, I brought along the experimental CD. When I played the untreated and treated for the mastering engineer (who is a fellow audiophile), he agreed that the Mikro Smooth treated mix was much better. We mastered the entire project to yet more Mikro-Smooth CD-R's. He was so impressed that he started using the stuff himself and recommends it to his other clients.
Not too long afterwards, I purchased some Optrix. Once again, I figured at the price, I could easily give it a try. The improvement was, once again, obvious. Since then, I have not recorded, mixed or mastered a project to a CD-R that has not been treated with Mikro-Smooth and Optrix. On top of that, I won't play a CD for pleasure here at home that I haven't treated with these wonderful products. Thanks!!! - Christopher
Amazing!! Simply amazing!! THE most cost effective upgrade you can make. For the same price as one new cd you can treat all your cd's. I was skeptical of this product at first until I heard the first few seconds of the disc I had just treated. The sound stage opened up and everything made more detail. This little tweak had done more for my system than anything else. Like Mapleshade says it is like taking blankets off your speakers. Don't hesitate, buy it now. You will be a believer for life, I know I am. - Justin
Tweaks I've purchased from Mapleshade are: 5 sets of Ultimate Triplepoint cones, Clearview Double Golden Helix speaker cables, a Clearview Powercord, Optrix and Mikro-Smooth.
Everything sounds wonderful. I never thought a system could sound this way. Some CD's I didn't think I liked (e.g. one of Mozart's masses) now really catch me. The sound is three-dimensional, it jumps out at you.
By the way, Mikro-Smooth really works – I used it (and Optrix) on Bach's B-Minor Mass (Archiv, conducted by Gardiner), which sounded quite brittle, and it now sounds great. Thanks for all your help. - Chris Jay
Audio Syndrome, an NYC - Long Island audio club, recently (February 23, 2001) reviewed your CD Mikro-Smooth (along with Auric Illuminator) with very favorable results. The music genre tried with CD Mikro-Smooth included classical, classic jazz, modern jazz, blues and rock-n-roll. On every disc and selection played, every club member could tell which CD was treated with CD Mikro-Smooth and which (identical) disc was not. The consensus agreed that your product improved the sound of each disc. Some of the comments included "It sounded much smoother," "It has better depth," "It's nicer to listen to."
To sum it up, it appears that your CD Mikro-Smooth product helps to clear much of the digital haze to produce "audiophile-type" sound.
There were many skeptics before our meeting but none after.
PS - I also tried your Ultrathin interconnects. Very detail revealing characteristics! Please let us know if you have any "new" products that you would like us to audition & review
I recently received two sets of your smaller cones and two sets of weights as well as bottles of MicroSmooth and Optrix. In reverse order, I have been using Optrix for years to good effect but have to say that the combination literally has transformed my CDs (that have now been double treated, of course!!) to a much more than just listenable level (this from a diehard analog fanatic with more than 5000 records) - probably a bigger difference than going from the CD to SACD track on a dual layer disc.
I already use custom composite carbon fiber cones and pucks as well as Townshend air bases and wasn't expecting much with the brass cones. With only two sets of cones I could only substitute those under my turntable and Audio Note tube CD player and put the weights on the CD player and my (tube) SP-10 pre-amp. All I can say is "WOW" and won't bore you with the *details*! - Ken Ballentine
I am a professional musician performing internationally and with two award-winning/nominated releases to date. My field is jazz and contemporary Brazilian classical (I am originally from Brazil). I just tried Mikro-Smooth on Jimmy Bruno's "Midnight Blue" and I had to do a few "double takes" toward my speakers, as I noticed right away a very clear and marked unveiling of an amazing amount of detail in the cymbals and hi hat as well as a more physical presence in the low B string of Gerald Weazley's electric bass. The sax sounds more present but now I can also hear that it was not miked as well as the drums and guitar (or perhaps it was equalized poorly at mix down). You can also hear a lot more overtones in the piano chords 30 feet away from my system which is in another room! So not only will you be able to enjoy a well engineered CD but you will also be made more aware of any poor microphone placement and /or choices as everything is now revealed with much more implacable clarity. Quite a sensational upgrade for the money. You have to get this if you have trained or sensitive ears! - NEY MELLO
I would like to comment on an order I placed not too long ago...I have been around high end audio for a number of years and nothing much surprises me anymore. That is, until I played your CDs. Never has my tube gear sounded better. You are to be commended for your dedication in making state of the art recordings. All other CDs pale in comparison. Another big surprise was what your Mikro-Smooth did to the CDs I tried it on. I'm hearing things on those discs that I never knew were there. Keep up the good work- you have won over a loyal customer. - Robert DeSio
I recently bought the Warren Smith CD "Cats are Stealing my S---." Wow. Even over my mid-fi system, the clarity and power of the recording was amazing. Such presence on difficult instruments such as chimes and glockenspiel! I have ordered another four CDs at your generous bargain prices. I'm sure they'll be equally amazing.
And by the way, the Mikro-Smooth and Optrix combo does wonders. I treated my two most scratched and unplayable dics and my fussy CD player sailed past the glitches without a whimper. Thanks. - Anthony Fichera
My current system is headphone based (Sennheiser HD-650's, Musical Fidelity X-Can V3, Ah!NewToebe Supertoebe CD Player) and I am determined to get the best out of it. To help in this quest I decided to try Mikro-Smooth and Optrix on my CD's (expecting, at most, a very slight improvement). What I got was an improvement, all right,(and it was definitely more than "very slight")--everything sounded smoother, but not at the expense of detail retrieval or instrumental resolution, which were actually enhanced. In particular, cymbals, chimes, etc., took on a metallic sheen that was much more like the "real thing" and the low end (electric and acoustic bass, kick drum, etc.) had more impact and natural sounding "slam". These tweaks are an important (and cost effective) part of "putting the icing on the cake". Thanks!
PS--After evaluating Mikro-Smooth and Optrix I installed Tube Anchors on the 6550's in my CD player. The results were a further (easily heard) enhancement of the qualities listed above and another step in making that icing as tasty as possible. Thanks again! - Rick Waller
I just tried MS out on 2 discs and I thought I had spent $1000 on a CD player upgrade. Vocals were smoother, bass was deeper and better defined and the overall sound was greatly improved. I've listened to these discs 100's of times so I know the difference is real. I am absolutely thrilled with the improvement. - Marc Andes
I must confess that I normally do not write reviews or provide feedback, for lack of time or laziness or both. But these products are so incredible that I feel compelled to thank you. I was very skeptical about Mikro-smooth both before and after I bought it. When I first tried it I did not rinse it off thoroughly enough and also rubbed the CD so hard that I left some tiny scratches (I probably let the pad get dirty). Yet these tiny scratches did not at all affect the sound or performance; instead, the sound seemed to be significantly better. But was it really better? I have a Rega Planet and CDs normally sound great on it; so was Mikro-smooth really making the sound even better? Was I perhaps wanting to hear a difference and therefore imagining one? I could not be certain and my wife was certain I was crazy for buying Mikro-smooth in the first place. Then I thought of a way of deciding the question once and for all. I have some duplicate CDs and realized that this created the opportunity for a listening test. I asked my wife to play both a Mikro-smooth treated CD and the same CD without the treatment without telling me in what order; I would then have to guess which was which (of course, I would have my back turned to the player and my eyes closed). I was prepared to be humiliated, but fortunately that was not at all the outcome. During the course of several sessions, with test CDs ranging from solo violin to large orchestra and choir, I was able to hear in every case which CD had been treated with Mikro-smooth. And there was an easy way of determining this: whichever CD sounded much better was the treated one. Since overcoming my skepticism in this way, I have treated a large number of CDs and the results are always startling (to put a complete end to my wife's skepticism, I treated one of her Norah Jones CDs and her jaw dropped when the voice came alive as it never had before). How exactly does Mikro-smooth improve the sound? In general it brings the sound several steps (large steps!) closer to that of live music. Voices enter the room as never before; string instruments, whether violins, cellos or guitars, have a "pluck" and a body that simply was not there before the Mikro-smooth treatment. In short, the change is exactly what the Mapleshade catalogue describes it to be: there is truth in advertising at Mapleshade! I should add that I also tested the CDs with and without Optrix: Mikro-smooth provides the greatest improvement but Optrix does add to this improvement. Now I could not live without both. I recently bought a great turntable and was going through an "analogue" phase during which my CDs were collecting dust. Now thanks to these great products I am listening to all of my CDs again. The combination of a Rega Planet with the Mikro-smooth treatment is perhaps the closest one can get to analogue sound with none of the drawbacks. My Planet was of course near $1,000 while Mikro-smooth cost only $16.95! So thank you again, people of Mapleshade, you now have a loyal and lifelong customer. I just ordered some CDs and SilClear and cannot wait to receive them. I wish I did not already have a Zerostat, since I believe you when you say that your Ionoclast is much better at half the price (From now on I will believe everything I read in your catalogue!) - Francisco J. Gonzalez
Never hearing of your company before, I came to the conclusion after leafing through your catalog that you were either completely off your rockers or were on to something everyone else seemed to miss. Out of curiosity, I decided to try a few of the Free Tips. The most obvious improvement was getting my bookshelf speakers off thier $200 sand filled stands and onto the floor. This gave you immediate credibility in my eyes.
I decided to start with something simple and inexpensive, your CD Treatments. After polishing a favorite CD with Mikro-Smooth and then treating it with Optrix I dropped the CD into the drawer with an almost sarcastic attitude. I cannot express to you how I must have looked when the first few passages played out. I was absolutely dumbfounded. It made no sense to me, there is no way I just heard the improvement I thought I just heard? "This isn't even the same disc!" I thought. My wife was working on the computer in another room and stopped dead in her tracks to come in and listen. She said what I couldn't because my jaw was glued to the floor - "Wow! That's amazing!" The improvements across the board were nothing short of staggering. The literal timing, tune, and pitch improved-markedly! The result was emotionally engaging. I stayed up early into the morning treating disc after disc. It was like pouring liquid soul onto each CD as these performers came to life and played like I had never heard them play before. These products have literally resurrected my 20 year old CD collection. In fact, I almost called in sick today to stay home and keep listening! It's that good. By the way, my system is pre-owned entry level Linn and B&W and MAYBE costs a total of $2000. I now eagerly await my new Clearview Interconnects and speaker cables - please rush!!! Thanks again. - Michael S