The Audiophile Voice
by Rick Taylor
MARIGO AUDIO LAB VTS TUNING DOTS
I have tried many resonance damping or tuning devices, from the totally obscure to the most well-known, with varying degrees of success. All did something, some good, some bad, but rarely what was promised or proposed! The Marigo V.T.S. Dots are, in that respect, exceptional. When applied correctly, they deliver the sonic goods.
The V.T.S. Dots (hereafter, I’ll simply referred to them as “dots”) are self-adhesive circles made from a proprietary damping material formulated by Marigo President Ron Hedrich. They come in various colors and sizes (2mm, 4mm, 6mm and 32mm), each designed for a specific application. Thorough instructions and guidance is available from Marigo or Marigo dealers.
I’ve had a pair of KOSS Model 2 electrostatic loudspeakers that, even after quite extensive modification, still had something of a resonance problem in the 200- to 400-Hz region. I had been trying everything imaginable to alleviate this cursed problem, but I had had very little success. With a lot of skepticism, I applied four 32-mm black dots to the back of each speaker. With a panel of three clients in the room, we gave a listen. Their consensus: Smoother, more dynamic, and cleaner.
I immediately went about applying four more 32-mm black dots to the sides of the loud speakers, and each time the response was uniform from my subjective listening panel. We felt we were definitely on to something. The speakers now had an extension into the lowest octave that was defined and solid, while the high frequencies were more extended, airy, and clean! With all this going on, I won’t have to spend pages upon pages describing the mids will I? The Koss speakers now had soul!
Next, I went about applying Marigo 3-mm white dots to the bottom of small tubes, and a 4-mm green dots to the phenolic bases of my output tubes. All in attendance agreed there was a solid improvement. The music came to life-cleaner, more air, extension into the highs, lows never before realized, and dynamics with all the expletives. I could go on, but enough already; all ears in the room agreed that the system had moved to a new level.
I applied the correct Marigo dots to cabinets, chassis, circuit boards, discrete parts (voltage regulators, IC chips, D/A chips, output transistors, electrolytic caps-even windows and stands-with great success. The transformation of audio equipment with the dots is astonishing. With dots applied, there is a major lowering of the noise floor from each item being tuned, and a great amount of previously hidden information is revealed.
Applying dots directly to drivers heightens detail, imaging, and dynamics, while enhancing sweetness and musicality. And once a few Marigo white dots are applied to the flange around tweeter domes and a few green dots are affixed to the cones of woofers of dynamic speakers, a whole new world of performance is unveiled.
Preamplifiers, power amplifiers, CD players, transports and DACs all benefit from Marigo tuning. For example, I gave a customer’s Audio Research LS2 preamp the following treatment:
A 3-mm Marigo white dot was placed on each of the 26 (yes, that’s right, there are some 26 of these guys!) voltage regulators; a 4-mm white dot was placed at each corner of the circuit board; 2-mm green dots were used on all of the large electrolytic capacitors; 4mm green dots were used on the chassis, bottom, and top plate; 2-mm black dots were placed on one very large heat sink and on four relay switches. A total of 56 Marigo dots, with a retail cost of approximately $150, were used in performing a full treatment on the LS2 preamplifier.
The Marigo-tuned LS2 now no longer had the cursed electronic signature my ears simply can’t stand. The LS2 showed its inner soul, exhibiting air, extension, detail into nirvana, and a warmth I never thought possible.
Finally, a world-class preamp. When I asked the preamplifier’s owner, he categorically stated the preamp now had to be worth at least a $1,000 more; I wholeheartedly agreed with him.
With each use of the Marigo dots, equipment has moved to a new level of performance. With the noise generated by or residing in the component removed by these little wonders, an abundance of information is released. The rewards are almost too much to comprehend. I can’t do a lot more to turn you on to these cast-effective tuning devices other than to tell you that nothing leaves my shop until a dotting demo has been done.