TELOS DESIGN QUANTUM DAMPING MAT (TAIWAN)
It’s been some time since I last met up with Jeff Lin, the headmaster of Telos Audio Design, Taiwan. We rekindled at the recent Taiwan Hi End Audio Show 2019…and he started the conversation with ‘did you miss me?’. ‘Of course, I did’, I replied with a big giggle.
He then quickly got me a seat in his demo room at the show to listen to his latest creations; the “GOJIRA” Ground Noise Reducer (model name yet to be finalized) which is the ‘Big Brother’ of their famed Ground Noise Reducer (GNR was reviewed here), and the Quantum Damping Mat (of three different sizes at US$50, US$100 and US$200 per piece respectively).
He did not show me the improvement(s) in sound quality of the “GOJIRA” since it was plugged in constantly throughout my limited time in that room. However, he did play with the Quantum Damping Mat over the top of the chassis of a digital server and then removed it. Immediately, a guest at the room exclaimed that there were differences in the sound quality when the Quantum Damping Mat was on top of the digital server.
Jeff continued the demo with the Quantum Damping Mat placed over a Reuter and then removed it. Another guest there voiced out that he heard positive sound quality improvement when that Quantum Damping Mat was over that Reuter.
CURIOUS, I WAS, ABOUT THE QUANTUM DAMPING MAT!
Jeff was sure that my interest in Quantum Damping Mat (hereinafter referred to as QDM) was piqued. Therefore, he courteously passed three different sizes of the QDM for me to ‘play around’ in my audio system.
‘Play around’ were the apt words here as it represented my experience with the QDMs. There were no fast and hard rules with them.
Firstly, I placed the QDM on the top surface of the separate power supply of the Aries Cerat Incito S. I did not like the resultant sound quality. Here, I found the background to be darker, the images improved in density and palpability, with a clearer delineation, but sacrificing the soundstage’s width and height. I could have sensed a slight deeper depth.
Next, I placed the QDM on the top of the separate tube power supply of the Kronos Reference Phono Amplifier. Here, I did find the background to be quieter and slightly darker. However, the soundstage lost slightly its soundscape, atmosphere, and airiness.
The MOJO Found!
My enthusiasm for the QDM was restored when I placed it on the top cover of the FM Acoustics 268C preamplifier. I could not believe what I was hearing…the images’ density, palpability, definition, delineation and separation were improved.
Here, there was no sacrifice of the soundstage’s soundscape. Instead, the quieter and darker background highlighted the separation among the images, the air surrounding the images, and the atmosphere of the recording venue, especially an orchestra hall such as in Tchaikovsky; Nutcracker The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by Sir Charles Mackerras and The London Symphony Orchestra (Telarc TEL 00001 LP).
Next, with the earlier QDM on top of the FM Acoustics 268C, I tried the second QDM on the top cover (without covering the breathing holes) of the tube phono stage of the Kronos Reference Phono Amplifier. Here, the sound quality got further improved in terms of its background noise (which was originally extreme low), went slightly lower and the background got slightly darker. Therefore, I found the vocalization and the image of (Ms.) Kit Chan (New Century Workshop NCKCLP 001) have become more vivid and profound.
Even the background (tape) hiss was softer, more stable and balanced at both left and right channels. Therefore, the center stage and all its details, from micro to macro, panned across to the entire soundstage with certain improved solidity, weight and presence, as in Arnold Overtures (Reference Mastercuts/ Reference Recordings RM-1518).
Play Around…it’s a Hobby!
After the above experiences, I realized that there is no end to the tweaks available in the hobby and that no one audio component is fully done (or tweaked).
Fortunately, the QDM did not come at a high price (although some may coin it expensive?!), given the possible positive sound quality improvement…improved imaging, separation, soundstage, soundscape, atmosphere, and etc.
(Therefore) I heard the QDM and kept them!