"...nothing gets you closer to the music."
Omega Mikro and Clearview
Audio cables, interconnects, speaker cables, power cords and accessories
by Ron Bauman of inSound Audio Inc and Pierre Sprey of Mapleshade.
Ebony ETHERNET Cat 8 Cable
QUADRADs in natural or deep walnut, 11 " or 18 " rise.
OVER/UNDER PROTECTION MODULE (with Tau Series AC plug upgrade)
Omega Mikro and Clearview products are the result of a 30 year collaboration between Ron Bauman of iINSOUND AUDIO INC and Pierre Sprey of Mapleshade Recordings. Omega Mikro products have earned the reputation as the best products available for reproducing the sound of live music.
We take our motto "Nothing gets you closer to the music" very seriously. To keep our ears in top condition we constantly attend live jazz, country, folk and classical music recording sessions at Mapleshade Records, the hard rock at CBGB's (when it was in NYC and we used ear plugs), the live jazz at the Blue Note and Blues Alley, and the best of classical performances at Trinity United Methodist Church in Savannah GA (truly a National treasure), Carnegie Hall, front row center at the Kennedy Center (a truly magical musical/sonic experience), Blue Grass sessions in West Virginia, and the National Academies of Science and the Castleton Festival in Virginia. We compare the sound of these live performances to the session recordings as we develop new and improve our existing products to assure that our products are getting you ever closer to the sound of live music.
The science of hearing is evolving and far from having any established testing that meaningfully addresses how we hear music. So most of what we develop is done experimentally and from those experiments we have developed tentative hypotheses that guide us as we produce or improve our products. Our goal is to help our customers achieve sound as close to the original source as possible.
Our job is to directly connect your listening experience to the recording/production team's capture of the performance with minimal loss of information. We don't color the music so what you hear is what is in the source material. Our ears are exquisitely sensitive in the time domain so we design our products with particular attention to time domain fidelity.
Omega Mikro's line-up has products to meet every budget from our $5733 top-of-the-line Ebony Planar Speaker Cable (Positive Feedback On-Line Brutus award 2003) to our Clearview Ultrathin Digital Ribbon interconnect at $70.88 to our ebony interface pucks at $31.50.. Each product is individually crafted by hand.
Your cables are as important to your audio system as your arteries and veins are to your body. They must sound completely clear for your system to sound as good as it can. To that end, all of our products share the same design philosophy and their sound shares a family trait: a transparency and live quality that our competition cannot match.
We have found that conventional measurements, like harmonic and intermodulation distortion and frequency response, do not correlate strongly with what we hear. So we developed careful listening test protocols, coupled with the latest knowledge from the fields of evolutionary neurology, the materials sciences and the physiology of hearing, with our core expertise in electrical engineering and mathematics, to guide our product designs. And what we discovered is that fidelity in the time domain is critical to live- sounding music reproduction: and it is in the time domain where our products excel and why they bring you closer to the sound of live music! In the process of capturing the time domain our products are extremely broadband, e.g., our analog and digital interconnects easily handle component video signals and do a better job at that than conventional coax.
We developed three processes to further enhance the sound of our cables and interconnects LCX (Lattice Crystal Alignment), Wave Treatment (WT) and PLUS versions for Clearview products. LCX is an extended immersion in a cryo refrigerator, with very precisely controlled temperature steps going down in temperature with equally controlled but different steps coming back to room temperature. After reaching room temperature we treat the cables and interconnects to a protocol of high energy electromagnetic pulses followed by a high flux magnetic field. These three processes significantly smooth the sound while bringing out the subtlest musical details. Many of our products come standard with the LCX treatment. Wave Treatment (WT) comprises the high energy electromagnetic pulse treatment followed by the high flux magnetic field but not the cryo immersion of the LCX process. The LCX treatment accelerates the break-in process so that treated products sound great right out of the box with only a small improvement over the first few hours of play.
The PLUS treatment, available only for Clearview products, is a shortened version of the cryo immersion process we developed for the LCX treatment. The PLUS treatment, after several hours of break-in, results in significant smoothing and detail retrieval compared to the same product not PLUS treated.
We focus exclusively on offering you the best sounding products at the lowest possible cost. We make every Omega Mikro and Clearview product one at a time by hand. Then we inspect and test each item and then we test again after our PLUS, WT or LCX treatments. To keep the selling price as low as possible we use very simple and low cost packaging.
All of our standard (not custom) products come with a 30 day money back guarantee.
We have between us over 100 years experience in the hi fi business. We invite our customers to call us at 202 965 5320, 10AM to 8 PM EST daily, for advice in installing and using our products and for improving the sound of their systems. If you plan to be in the Washington DC or Berkeley Springs WV areas we invite you to schedule an appointment to meet us and to hear our reference system now featuring our DIRAC and SHANNON Maxwell Digital Jukeboxes and Battery Powered V AMP: we are off the grid (in WV and soon to be in DC) and the sound is more life-like than we have yet heard).
Bring your favorite CD's and we'll rip them into .WAV or bring your .WAV files up to 24 bits 192KSPS format so that you can hear all the music and details you were not aware were there.
All products whether new, Consignment Shop or Warehouse items may be ordered by phone or email and paid for by check (5% discount on standard merchandise), phoned-in credit card or through PayPal. PayPal has essentially replaced our shopping cart and is even more secure because you share your cc info with fewer entities.
The New Jersey Audio Society sent Mike Pacholick to see and hear our reference system in great Cacapon WV. Both visits triggered a series of questions which may be of interest. Please click on the NJAS2 NJAS1 links in the navigation buttons above then scroll down towards the end of the news letters to read the interviews.
My friend, colleague, fellow audiophile and great recording engineer, Pierre Sprey, passed away 4 August.
The audio world has lost a giant.
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By popular demand we have developed replacements for most of the Clearview line of power products. OMEGA MIKRO Planar Power MkIII power cords, power strips and 4" thick solid natural maple STRATUM WT will replace most all of the Clearview power products
- at no increase in cost, including WT (equivalent to PLUS)-
and they sound better!
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The DIRAC (a joint venture of INSOUND AUDIO INC and Preferred Services, LLC). One variant of the MAXWELL DIGITAL JUKEBOX family of digital front end devices consists of two separate interconnectable (by I2S) chassis: the Combo and separate STREAMER is 13 3/4 " wide by 9 1/4" deep by 6" high. The DAC is 14 1/4" wide by 15 1/2" deep by 4" high. Both are made of solid 3/4" thick fancy maple in natural finish. Included are small brass footers that add about 1/4" to the height. And, most importantly, both are off-the-grid battery powered (rechargeable of course, and will operate for up to 10 continuous hours!).
Pictured above is the DIRAC STREAMER/DAC Combo and the separate DAC and STREAMER. The Combo and separate DAC and STREAMER are based on the same basic technologies and operate virtually the same. The combo operates similarly to the separate units with the following exceptions: The combo has ethernet and I2S inputs and a set of purist RCA jacks for audio output and a third RCA for SPDF out.
The separate DAC has four SPDIF selectable inputs, one set of purist I2S inputs and one set of unbalanced RCA output jacks.
The STREAMER is a highly modified LOGITECH DUET SQUEEZEBOX (with Controller) that outputs either one SPDIF RCA or I2S for the purist way to interconnect to the DIRAC DAC. A set of 4 purist 300 u-inch interconnects are included to connect the STREAMER to the DAC. A 200 u-inch set is available as an option. The STREAMER (in the combo or separate variants) links to the internet or your music files (in your computer or dedicated music storage device) through its built-in WiFI or a built-in ETHERNET port.
The included Controller has a small screen that controls the STREAMER and a volume control for streamed sources.. Alternatively, there are apps available for smart phones or tablets that accomplish the same function. We have verified that ROON recognizes our modified SQUEEZEBOX as an ENDPOINT and we have also tested it with TIDAL. DIRAC is compatible with most standard file formats up to 24 bits/192KSPS. (DIRAC does not unfold MQA and is not DSD compatible). A phase- reversing switch allows in-phase listening with your inverted phase files.
The time domain, as in all OMEGA MIKRO products, is where we focus our design efforts and in the case of the DIRAC we have eliminated major sources of correlated jitter. Here are a few of the design features that contribute to the extraordinarily pure and naturally musical sound you'll hear in the DIRAC:
--Ultra-low correlated-jitter oscillators
--I2S minimalist mode for the lowest possible jitter connection to the DAC (using Omega Mikro I2S interconnects provided).
--Elimination of major known sources of jitter, namely transformers and capacitors in the digital and analog signal streams
--A major advance in output circuitry: the DAC has the purist possible DC-coupled path to the output jacks for both I2S and SPDIF inputs, no capacitors, no transformers, no tubes, no transistors, no FETs to hype and jitter the sound
--The analog and digital portions of the DAC are galvanically isolated thus avoiding jitter from the two domains interacting in the ground planes
--Even the jacks play a role in helping convey the DIRAC's natural sound- they are Omega Mikro purist silver/brass compression- no- solder jacks connected with our pure ultra-thin copper ribbons
-- Batteries completely eliminate one of the toughest- to- deal- with and most -insidious sources of jitter; ac-power. In addition to avoiding the degrading effects of corrupted ac mains supplies, there are no electrolytic capacitors, transformers or diodes in the signal path (the hifi literature has confused this issue by separating "signal " path from "power" path but they are the same "path" - they cannot be separated).
- Our DAC is a binary weighted current- switched design - similar to a ladder DAC but because current sources are the main element there is no need for any output buffer stage that all ladder DACs need. So we eliminate OPAMPS, FET's, transistors and tubes that can only color the sound. Instead, our output is taken at DC directly from a pure metal foil resistor.
The result of this systematic elimination of correlated and non-correlated jitter is ultra-low time smear: that is what gets us even closer to the musical source.
A word about battery power. Battery powered components in hi end audio have generally and deservedly gotten a bad rap: the major complaint being slow attacks and lack of dynamics. The instant you hear the DIRAC you'll appreciate that we have not just solved the battery problem but have gone beyond what can be done with ac powered regulated or unregulated power supplies. DIRAC reproduces attacks, dynamics and decays in a natural way, without calling attention to these attributes, allowing you to relax and enjoy music while feeling its excitement! As a side benefit of natural dynamics, we can turn down the volume control thus better-preserving the most precious and fragile part of this whole endeavor: our hearing.
We now have a stock of low- cost high- end ETHERNET cables
and a new member of the !mpulse 200 - the AX (read A- ten) - family of interconnects.
Prices for our DIRAC family of digital file players are now listed.
Pics of the separate STREAMER and DAC can be seen below.
!mpulse 200 Shielded Phono Interconnects are now available (photos coming soon).
See PRICE LIST.
Customers with early versions of these fully shielded phono interconnects have been very pleased with the results when used with even very low output moving coil cartridges.
We have a new top-of-the-line digital interconnect: the Macassar !mpulse 200.
Considering experiencing the improvements from multiple LCX treatments? See the new LCX section.
The new !mpulse AX Series will replace the Planar AVI, AVII, AVIII and Ebony interconnects. (see Price List).
AC VOLTMETER INCLUDED
STRATUM Planar MkIII
Is a Planar Power Strip mounted on a solid maple 4" thick base
shown with Tau Series AC plug upgrade
(5 foot standard length cord)
LOGITECH SQUEEZEBOX and DUET owners
If you are a DUET/SQUEEZEBOX owner we will allow $200.00 discount off the list price for either the DIRAC STREAMER or COMBO (assuming DUET in perfect working order).
Planar Power MkIII Power Cord
(5 feet standard length)
shown with Tau Series AC plug upgrade
5% Discount on any order (not shipping and handling) using check or money order
Please make checks payable to: INSOUND AUDIO INC
We accept PayPal
To make payment easier, just tell PayPal to send payment for the order to:
This is a more secure method of payment than using a typical shopping cart.
Or just call us at
202 965 5320 (10AM to 10PM ET) to place an order by phone
Or send us a check (and save 5% off the goods (not s/h/i))
INSOUND AUDIO INC
3309 O Street NW
Washington DC 20007
We're proud to announce the addition of new products to our lineup:
(please see announcement above for our new line of Planar Power MkIII power products that replace our CLEARVIEW power product line)
We developed a replacement for the TRIAD speaker cable supports : we call them QUADRADs (the name change will be obvious when you see the picture below.) They are available in natural maple or deep walnut dye (better SQ than lacquer, stain, or varnish). Also, the support system is very straightforward and stable. You can choose from 2 lengths to raise your speaker cables off the floor by 11 inches or 18 inches. Prices are $18.90 each or 4 for $73.50 for the 11" risers and $23.10 each or 4 for $84.00 for the 18 inch risers.
ETHERNET cable quality has been a controversial topic since audio streaming first began. We and many of our customers could not hear a difference between various ethernet cables and (wrongly) assumed that ethernet cables simply don't make a difference. At a theoretical level, they really shouldn't since all the information that is passed by the cable is later reclocked and all jitter should then be removed. But, after careful listening to more advanced cables we find that cables do make a significant difference. So with that brief background, we introduce our Ebony Series ETHERNET cables. See Ebony Series Cat 8 Ethernet Cables for lengths and our PRICE LIST for cost.
Some of our customers live in areas with large mains voltage variations or frequent power outages. Variable mains voltages can damage or shorten the life of your electronics. To address these problems we are developing an OVER/UNDER PROTECTION Module (O/UPM). The O/UPM will detect a low voltage or high voltage or no voltage condition and disconnect the equipment plugged into it. After an over or under voltage event the user must manually reset the O/UPM in order to restore power. The price will be $372.75 with standard AC plug or $498.75 with Tau. The O/UPM will have an 18" OMEGA MIKRO 900 watt power cord attached as the connection to the mains. It will also have a 4 outlet protected power strip. We expect to have pictures in the near future. Because of its weight the shipping, handling, insurance charges are an additional $35.00.
Speaker cables and jumpers can be terminated in either spade lugs or banana plugs at the same cost. Spades are pure thin copper and banana's are thin-wall high- copper brass. Retrofitting an existing product costs $26.25 per termination ($31.50 for silver plate for either spade or banana). These terminations are the best sounding terminations we have heard (except for no termination).
By popular demand all Omega Mikro and Clearview interconnects are now available in balanced configuration at no additional cost (these are considered custom items)!
We developed a purist balanced interconnect system that avoids the heavy dielectric cylinder used in all other XLR plugs. Early users have been blown away by the improvement they hear in transparency, purity, dynamics, sound stage focus and three dimensionality. Our balanced interconnects truly bring you closer to the sound of live music than any other balanced interconnects. They are custom products but priced the same as our regular interconnects. If you 'd like to convert your Omega Mikro or Clearview interconnect to balanced configuration please call us for pricing.
We replaced the Planar Analog I with the Planar Analog II. The AII includes a short, 300 mirco-inch series section that gives more than a slight improvement in sound. The AII is priced the same as the AI.
Tau Series AC plugs are in stock! Upgrade your current Omega Mikro Planar Power Cord for $120 (+s/h/i).
The new Impulse Series 200, 200 micro-inch ribbon is the next step to even more natural sound
(see Price List).
We offer a purist BNC to RCA Adapter for $89.25. When we say purist adapter that means air is the only dielectric we add. The adapter is silver/brass and comes in two easy -to-insert pieces.
We now offer the LINE TAMER MODULE (LTM) in 220 V ac as well as 120 Volt ac versions. In addition, we have a version that uses an integrated IEC socket so that you can experiment with various power cords.
For even more detail and blacker granite backgrounds we also offer active versions for the non-IEC versions and also a 300 micro-inch ribbon version for the non-IEC. (see price list).
Just plug the 4.5 foot Planar Power Cord ( or with the IEC your power cord of choice) into any AC outlet, Power Central, or power strip that provides power to your HiFi components and you'll instantly hear more details and dynamics with blacker backgrounds. Most effective when plugged into the same outlets as your amps. The effects are additive: If you already have a STRATUM II with LINE TAMER a LINE TAMER MODULE will provide even quieter, blacker backgrounds, reveal subtler details and improve dynamics. The LINE TAMER MODULE truly allows your system to get you closer to the music.
We now offer solid ebony interface pucks ($33.60 each, six for $189.00) for interfacing your speakers to the floor, and for interfacing all your electronics with your equipment platforms. They are nominally 1 1/2" in diameter and 0.4" thick with three small brass washers attached to the bottom. Our ebony interface pucks sound better than any other non-attached interface device we have heard.
LINE TAMER MODULE Active version with Tau Series AC plug upgrade.