TELOS AUDIO DESIGNS (since 2006) from TAIWAN needs no introduction here. Suffice to say that they have been very busy with their Grounding Noise Reducer (GNR) technology and products for more than a decade. They pioneered the GNR, an ‘active grounding’ unit with build-in CPU that constantly calculate and maintain ‘true zero potential ground‘ to easily and effectively ground away all unwanted electrical noise from the connected audio components. It took them five (5) years to develop and officially launch their first GNR product into the audio market in 2015.
Therefore, the GNR was no more a new item in the audio market.
This time around, they sent me their Standard Signature Flagship GNR designated the “MONSTER” (retail at US$40,000), a “monstrous Tour-de-Force in reducing ground noise“. I remembered that Mr. Jeff Lin, the Head Honcho at TELOS AUDIO DESIGNS, initially wanted it to be called “GODZILLA”. However, the invocation of copyright law would have cost the company and the end user. Instead, he decided to maximise the espenses on getting the best possible parts and manufacture of the product for the ultimate audio performance.
To me, whether it be called ‘MONSTER’ or ‘GODZILLA’, it already “impressed me by the sheer size, dimension, weight, parts, build and quality (as a GNR)”. The chassis was CNC machined from “one gigantic block of massive aluminum” in order to “absolutely” tackle any unwanted vibrations. Being the ‘Flagship and latest GNR’, the TELOS ‘MONSTER’ GNR incorporated all the latest circuitry and knowledge that the company has acquired almost a decade ago. The TELOS ‘MONSTER’ GNR is “forty (40) times more powerful” than the other current TELOS GNRs,…therefore, upgrading to it is “equivalent to upgrading from a simple Suzuki Alto to a Ford Mustang!” With 12 separate ground connections it can serve up to 24 devices. Included in it, the QMT wideband generator which could “completely homogenized the magnetic fields at every 15 minutes, after which the antennas would switch to the 7.83 Hz Schumann resonance circuit“.
The provided Specification;
- Provides an up to 1500 times lower grounding impedance in your system
- Significantly reduces your systems’ grounding noise
- Uses more powerful Grounding Noise Reducer (GNR) Technology
- Wideband magnetic module (QMT) incorporated
- Double Quantum Noise Reducer (QNR) circuit
- Available in two versions:
* Standard Signature Edition (full copper foil capacitor)
* RAW Power Signature Edition (silver foil capacitors,
silver plated capacitors, copper foil capacitors)
- 12 Ground inputs, max. 24 connections
- Including 12 Grounding Wires 1.92 m
- Weight 30 kg / 66 lbs
- Dimensions 43x40x15 cm / 17×15.7×6 inch
Note: Any Ground Noise Reducer won’t work properly if you have a balanced electricity grid or use a balanced isolation transformer.
THE LISTENING EXPECTATIONS.
Given that the TELOS ‘MONSTER’ GNR is the latest Flagship GNR, and the wonderful experience with the other TELOS GNRs in my audio system (that I bought after the review), I would say my expectation of its attributes and contributions to the total performance of my audio system is (at least) at ‘Flagship’ level. I may have (even) expected it to ‘change the entire presentation’ of my audio system…the ‘characters and coloration’ (like some Ultra End Cables/ Accessories?!).
NOTHING ‘BIG’ CHANGE?!
After more than a month having the TELOS “MONSTER” GNR connected to the same audio components as per my recent review of the TELOS 5.1 PLUS GNR, I did not hear that ‘change of the entire presentation,… or the character and coloration’. However, I continued my listening session with the feeling of ‘slight dissatisfaction and disappointment'(?).
As time went by, song after songs played, I did realise some improvements over the dimensions of the ‘images‘ of musicians, the vocalist and the instruments. There seemed to be audible air, space and greater separation between the ‘images’. There was heavier weight and clearer outline at the bass notes.
Still, I could not get pass the expectations of ‘change to the entire presentation,…character and coloration’…like some of the Ultra End Cables/ Accessories’.
Then I decided to removed the TELOS ‘MONSTER’ GNR from my audio system (and I did not replace the TELOS 5.1 PLUS GNR back into the audio system). Immediately, my audio system’s entire presentation fell to an Unbearable Quality…”WHAT HAPPENED?!”. My audio system sounded ‘dead‘…’lifeless‘…’soft‘…’muddy‘…’sticky‘…I have never remember my audio system sounded so ‘BAD!’.
I reconnected the TELOS ‘MONSTER’ GNR (only) to my audio system…the presentation quality came back, ‘alived‘, ‘energised‘, ‘delineated‘, ‘spaced‘ and ‘aired’…“SHAZAM!”.
I realised that my earlier preception of the TELOS ‘MONSTER’ GNR was misdirected by my expectation. The TELOS ‘MONSTER’ GNR was not supposed to ‘change the entire presentation,…character and coloration’, but it was there to allow the audio system’s native resolution to shine…“the devil is in the detail”.
In other words, it was there to ‘remove the dirt and the rock from the hidden diamond so that it could see the light to shine‘.
“THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAIL”.
I admitted that it took me some time to get past my earlier ‘misdirected expectations’ to realise the attributes and contributions (or values) that the TELOS ‘MONSTER’ GNR added into my audio system,…and I was glad to have found them out.
My usual go-to review track, ‘BALLAD OF THE RUNAWAY HORSE‘ rendered by Ms. JENNIFER WARNES and, led by ROB WASSERMAN with his double bass. With the addition of the TELOS ‘MONSTER’ GNR, I noticed that there were apparent audible subtle details in the voiceation of Ms. WARNES…clearer troat passage, breathing techniques employed and minute contrast in voice volume…which summed up to greater dimensionality in the presentation and character to her voice.
As for the double bass played by Mr. WASSERMAN, I could easily enjoy the dynamic and energy contrast from each enamation of vibration that traveled along the string plucked by the master. In my audiophile book, that were the distinctiveness of details that made the Ultra End Audio.
Here, I found Ms. Mika Nakashima‘s rendition of the song ‘Yukino Hana‘ was already intimate, emotional and expressive. The addition of the TELOS ‘MONSTER’ GNR allowed me to appreciate the above with greater transperancy,…thus added ‘freshness‘ and ‘life‘ at her voice…there was ‘breath‘ and ‘air‘ to her expressiveness of the lyrics. That brought about meaning and weight to the emotion that was required in the song. I felt that the TELOS ‘MONSTER’ GNR brought color (or life) into a black and white photo,…just like the album photo above (notice the blue rose?).
Ms. LiSA‘s rendition of the title song, “GURENGE” from the famed ANIME series ‘DEMON SLAYERS‘ was already energised and most satisfying even at demanding lyrics. Here, the vocal needed to be powerful, and behind a powerful and competing instrument, the piano! The key to a fantastic rendition was not to allow the power of the accompanying piano to drown out the vocal…here, the TELOS ‘MONSTER’ GNR allowed both the piano and the vocal to retain their respective power of delivery and at the same instance, their respective individualism and space…that was a ‘great class of refinement and resolution‘.
Ms. Barbara Padilla‘s rendition of ‘A Time for Us‘ (Un Giorno Per Noi) from Romeo and Juliet was always there on the mark. The TELOS ‘MONSTER’ GNR in my audio system allowed me to appreciate the subtle differentiation in her breathing (air passage) and the weight thereof as she expressed the lyrics. Even the accompanying orchestra sounded more relax, less forceful and intrusive against Ms. Padilla’s vocalisation. The whole presentation was more natural and refined,…that fitted well to the beauty and performance of an Operatic Soprano.
I found out that the more demanding the track was, the more I appreciated the addition of the TELOS ‘MONSTER’ GNR in my audio system. The title track of the movie ‘PACIFIC RIM‘ was hardly used to demo (even a mega) audio system’s prowess. It has proven to be a difficult track to some audio system, and not enjoy by some. Over time, I have learnt to appreciate and enjoy it. The TELOS ‘MONSTER’ GNR brought about the clear sensation and demarcation of rock, mechanical, electronic, percussion and orchestral in the track into the light for enjoyment…instead the presentation of a jungle of noise.
Here, at the track ‘WONDER WOMAN’s WRATH‘, the TELOS ‘MONSTER’ GNR brought out the clear segmentation of each section of the orchestra, allowed me to easily appreciate the flow and interaction between sections of the orchestra, and (even) follow the softest of passages…it was surreal.
Even though it was a Big Band presentation, with a number of musicians and multiple different instruments, the addition of TELOS ‘MONSTER’ GNR did allow me to easily appreciate their individuality, contrast, weight and intimacy…thus, the flow from one group of musicians to the next was easy to follow.
Next I played the above UHQLP 1 STEP vinyl through my TECHDAS AIR FORCE ONE turntable, VERTERE REFERENCE tonearm, ORTOFON MC ANNA phono cartridge and FM ACOUSTICS 223 PHONO MASTER, with the turntable only connected to the TELOS ‘MONSTER’ GNR. The album, ‘SAINT MIC‘ (1999 TIS Records/ Fung Hang Record Limited UHQLP 6038, at www.modernaudio.com and www.funghang.com) was by the gifted French-African American Jazz Singer, Mr. SCOTTIE WRIGHT. The album consisted of ten (10) “pretty and classic songs that would last until the end of the day” (which I agreed totally). Instantly, I was treated with one of the lowest noise analogue playback in my audio system. Thus, the transparency to the vocalisation and instrumentals was one that I have not experience in my audio system before the addition of the TELOS ‘MONSTER’ GNR. It was as if I was seated next to the pianist, Mr. BOB SWASKI on that piano chair listening to Mr. WRIGHT’s rendition of those ol’ classic songs, together with Mr. ANTHONY FERNADO (famed) brushing the drum and, Mr. SLIVIAN at work with his (best) ‘clear creamy bass’. It was a ‘sensational analogue playback presentation!’
Another UHQLP 1 STEP vinyl album that I have in hand, HI FI FLAMENCO (1999 Victor Entertainment/ Modern Records UHQLP 3112 at www.modernaudio.com and www.funghang.com) that I played for the review. Literally, that was the least noise level presentation of the album irrespective of types of media, in my audio system (I do have multiple version of the CDs and vinyl record). I was impressed with the audibility of the deepest boundary of the recording hall, the clearest reverbs from the bouncing floor boards, the clearest claps, instruments and voiceation of the artists,…and finally, the artists’ interaction. The whole analogue playback experience was more alive, energised, engaging and enjoyable, comparatively.
I already used three (3) units of GNRs in my audio/ video system. Therefore, I am already a believer in the attributes and contributions of a GNR into an audio system.
After I got over my ‘misdirected expectations’, I realised that the TELOS ‘MONSTER’ GNR was ‘devilish in the details‘ and that distinctiveness of details made the Ultra End Audio;…brought out the color,…great class of refinement and resolution, …naturalness,… surrealism,…flow, …sensationalism,…and ultimately,…enjoyment.
The final question is can one afford not to have it…especially in an Ultra End Audio System?