SECRETS OF HOME THEATER AND AUDIO
3-D SIGNATURE MAT
Jason Victor Serinus
Journey to Another World
My most recent experience with the Signature 3-D mat was at the home of a well-known writer/reviewer for major audiophile print publications.
Our auditioned tracks included Patty Smith’s “When Doves Cry” and Susie Ungerleider performing “Sacrifice”.
After listening to both vocalists, I asked if we could replay the tracks using the Signature 3-D Mat. The difference was startling. All of a sudden, voices and instruments transformed from flat, mono-dimensional presentations to rounded sonic images that bore a far greater resemblance to the real thing. You could feel the presence of the drum, the roundness of the strings, and the different layers of undertones and overtones that comprise the human voice.
Equally striking was the additional air and depth. Voice and instruments were now realistically separated, resonating in different acoustic planes rather than sounding crammed together in mono-dimensional space. Where before the voice had seemed somewhat dryly miked, it now sounded like it was recorded in a naturally resonant space. And where sonic images had hung in space as though they were lovely pictures on a wall, they now seemed to live in the space between and around the speakers. The most important change was the additional soul that these women’s voices exhibited. An entirely new emotional component was revealed, one that allowed me to feel the heart that motivates their singing.
Life is the key
The transformation was anything but subtle. It made all the difference in the world. What had before registered as interesting arrangements of studio-processed sounds now touched me as living, breathing artistic statements.
The essence of music was for the first time revealed through this system. And that’s what it’s all about.
What about Video Performance?
The difference in picture and sound quality with the Signature 3-D mat is astonishing.
Picture: With the Marigo Labs Signature 3-D mat:
1. the colors have far more life and depth.
2. Images also have considerably more detail and clarity.
3. There is an extra weight and roundness to the images that renders them far more engaging.
Sound: With the Marigo Labs Signature 3-D mat I discovered a previously unheard midrange fullness and tighter, more profound bass that rendered voices and instruments far more substantial, colorful, and lifelike. For the first time, I was engaged by the singing and playing.
More on Sonics
After revisiting my audio set-up, I realize anew what a difference this Signature 3-D mat makes. One would expect Theta’s top-of-the-line transport and DAC to sound pretty satisfying without some mat sitting atop a CD. So it comes as a shock to rediscover just how much of my listening pleasure hinges upon use of the Marigo Labs Signature 3-D mat.
Take Reference Recordings’ issue of Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances. After playing the opening three minutes of this disc at least 350 times,
I think that I know what to listen for. Without using the 3-D Mat, I have a very nice sonic experience. Relistening with the Marigo Labs Signature mat in place, it’s hard to think of what’s not different.
1. The soundstage widens and deepens, providing a stunning sense of a full orchestra surrounded by an aura of natural hall reverberation. Much of this air and reverb was absent without the disc. What before sounded like a high-grade audiophile presentation takes on a life of its own, seemingly independent of all the boxes and wires arrayed before me.
2. The sound of massed double basses and percussion significantly increase, and is presented with greater focus. The additional mass and weight seem far closer to the real thing that I experience on a regular basis in Davies Symphony Hall.
3. The ring of the triangle, which seems suspended in space in actual live performance, lifts out of the disc and rings in my room in lifelike fashion.
4. There is far more life to highs, and significantly more detail to the entire presentation.
One single $199 Marigo Labs Signature 3-D disc transforms my system’s gestalt from “audiophile quality” to “musical.”
Every level of player I’ve tried the Marigo Labs Mat in, including five figure transports and players, the Signature Mat has taken the listening experience to another level.
Jason Victor Serinus