Synästec Audio Igniculus phono stage



  • I will personally explore the max potential of this phono at Divin Lab in 2020.  Strong demand in 2019 blocked me from using it.  
  • Piano Tuner
    edited July 2020
    The Igniculus (🔥火花)phono stage by Synaestec Audio of Germany is formally a permanent member at Divin Lab for its extraordinary achievement to the service of vinyl playback championed by a record breaking signal to noise ratio of more than 105db.  It is likely to be the most quietest phono stage in the world even the gain is set at 78db (max). 
    The Igniculus is partnered with Thales Extreme Exotics cartridge with Thales Statement arm mounted on the Hartvig Statement turntable.   Impedance is set at 470 ohm, gain at 67db, with RIAA curve selected (EMI, Columbia and Decca also available).  Tone arm cable is Skogrand Beethoven from the arm to the phono stage. From the phono to Robert Koda K15EX pre is Skogrand’s flagship - Stravinsky. 
    I have no words to describe the spatial/transient resolution of any symphonic score because I am in constant awe.  The Igniculus name is best exemplified by playing the Inferno Dance of Stravinsky’s Firebird. Brass and wind instruments drove full orchestral power to crescendo with ease. Tonality of brass/wind instruments remains extremely stable at crescendo. Transient behaviour of every instrument (should your mind want to focus on any in the suite) is vividly portrayed with a musician behind it.   
    The Mercury recording of Henry Synerg's interpretation of Krisler's violin pieces simply blow me away.  The realism of violin is attributed by precise tempo in the time domain alongside  “depth” resolution of the whole frequency range. The “elasticity of string" showcases once again the transient resolution. That is important because it demonstrates the articulation of the violinist.  They execute staccato, spiccato and pizzicato differently with respect to their style and character of the violin. 
    I further stress test this superb phono stage by listening to Side 7 - 劍合釵圓 - of 紫釵記, which is a famous Chinese opera (with acting). If the phono carries the signature of analytical sharpness, there is no way to play this Chinese classics properly.  
    It turned out I was “watching” a performance instead of listening.  The shape of vowel polished by each performer was so vivid.  The 唱腔 of 白雪仙 and 任劍揮 are uniquely differentiated.  I could visualise the stage extending beyond all the walls.  That is quite a “scene”.  
    任劍輝不會設計特別的唱腔;就算「度腔」,也只要求唱得流暢自然,不會「撚腔」的。任劍輝唱曲,投入感情,腔口乾淨,不造作,不賣弄,卻做到「聽聲如見人」的效果。由於任劍輝的唱腔沒有「獨特的藝術風格」,學者便不把任劍輝唱腔歸立為任何一派。由Igniculus 演繹的任姐,非常之真實,淨係聽她已經值回所有。
    白雪仙的嗓音尖细、吐字清晰、音域較任姐濶。白氏提出因應不同劇中人物而採取不同的演繹方式,強調唱腔須與劇情內容、人物特徵相互配合,不區一格,自出機杼,時稱「仙腔」。 Igniculus 同時表達白氏的口齒伶俐,唱腔多元。
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