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This is the Black Ravioli investigation thread, it may be fun...

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chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
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paradiziac said:
Presumably he sells the product because he's a believer ...
Or because he/she runs a shop, a business, and stocks things that customers like to buy.

My local bookshop has a 'religions' section where there are books about lots of different beliefs.

Is it necessary for the staff (or even the owner) to believe in any of them to sell the books?

I am sure (actually I know) there are vegetarians working in places where meat is sold.

In every area of retail there are businesses that sell some products that their staff (and owners) may not have any liking for, or personal belief in.

Why does the hi-fi shop have to be an exception?
 

paradiziac

New member
Jan 8, 2011
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chebby said:
paradiziac said:
Presumably he sells the product because he's a believer ...
Or because he/she runs a shop, a business, and stocks things that customers like to buy.

My local bookshop has a 'religions' section where there are books about lots of different beliefs.

Is it necessary for the staff (or even the owner) to believe in any of them to sell the books?

I am sure (actually I know) there are vegetarians working in places where meat is sold.

In every area of retail there are businesses that sell some products that their staff (and owners) may not have any liking for, or personal belief in.

Why does the hi-fi shop have to be an exception?
Granted, I'm making assumptions that might not be true.

I'm assuming that the kind of hi-fi dealer who stocks this product is a specialist retailer in the higher end of the market. Normally these people are enthusiasts themselves.

I can well imagine a hi-fi dealer selling a product like a CD player that isn't their personal favourite, but it still plays discs and some people may indeed prefer the sound--everyone's taste and system is different. Maybe it even got a 5* review in WHF so everyone automatically assumes it must be the thing to have.

But in the case of BR, the accusation is that this product makes no difference and, indeed, cannot make a difference because no-one is willing or able to explain what it's made of or how it works (thus the people who have heard a difference are deluding themselves). I find it hard to believe, though not impossible, that a dealer would sell something that either a) they don't have a clue about or b) know that it doesn't work i.e. is a rip-off.
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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chebby said:
Why does the hi-fi shop have to be an exception?
The 2 specialist dealers I deal with, only keep stuff that they believe in and can demonstrate the improvement.....otherwise they would lose credibility and repeat business. Building trust with their customers pays higher dividends than a quick rip-off sale.

I can't speak for any other dealers of course.
 

steve_1979

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
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18,795
CnoEvil said:
- Was the Ravioli placed under the feet or the chassis?
Under the feet.

CnoEvil said:
- Which Ravioli did you listen to (ie. Original; Double; Big Feet etc)?
The cheap £30 ones.

CnoEvil said:
- Did you place it in three or four places, and did you try to put in under the power supply, and towards the outside?
No, just under the feet.

CnoEvil said:
- Was anyone from the shop with you, and were they of the same opinion......did they have an explanation as to why you heard no difference?
Hehe. Yeah the guy in the shop said he could hear a difference with both amps. I'm not sure if he was trying to convince me or himself but I got the impression that he was lying though.

CnoEvil said:
- Did you try it under the source?
No.

CnoEvil said:
- What was the system you tried it in, how long did you listen and were you familiar with the system/music played.
The valve amp was a Fatman tube amp and the solid state amp was a Sony AV receiver. An iPod was used for the source playing 320kbps MP3's that I know well. I only listened to each amp for about five minutes.

CnoEvil said:
-I'm sorry of the interrogation, but since every time I've tried it, I have got a change.....usually for the better, but not always. The company usually recommend starting at the source and working forward to assess the improvement.....though saying that, I would have expected you to have heard a change of some sort. I take it that the dealer themselves have a favorable view of it.

Anyway, thank you for reporting in and putting the opposing view (having tried it).

Cno
No need to apologise Cno. I welcome any constructive questions and criticism. :)

I do openly admit that the this particular test wasn't very scientific or thorough though.
 

toyota man

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Apr 22, 2009
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Hi Cno I have heard the difference that black ravioli makes and ai for one will be buying some when funds allow my dem was carried out using my audiolab 8000px connected to a cyrus preamp/dac and a cyrus transport the amp had 4 br pads £25 ones to start with and after 45 mins 3 x £25 br pads were placed under the preamp /dac the same music was replayed and much to my supprise there was a noticable difference a bigger sound stage and the bass tightend up 30mins later 3 x £25 br pads were placed under the transport and again another improvement so Cno you are not alone in I was going to say in thinking there was a difference but you know as well as I do there is a difference:cheers: :cheers:
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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toyota man said:
Hi Cno I have heard the difference that black ravioli makes and ai for one will be buying some when funds allow my dem was carried out using my audiolab 8000px connected to a cyrus preamp/dac and a cyrus transport the amp had 4 br pads £25 ones to start with and after 45 mins 3 x £25 br pads were placed under the preamp /dac the same music was replayed and much to my supprise there was a noticable difference a bigger sound stage and the bass tightend up 30mins later 3 x £25 br pads were placed under the transport and again another improvement so Cno you are not alone in I was going to say in thinking there was a difference but you know as well as I do there is a difference:cheers: :cheers:
Thank you......lunacy is less lonely, when there's more than one you!

Cno
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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Steve, thank you for the comprehensive reply.

The reason I asked, was the only time I heard no improvement, was when they were put under the feet of the component by someone who had never used them before. They are designed for under the chassis, lifting the feet off the ground, otherwise they have little effect. It usually takes two high of the original pads to lift the equipment off its feet.

The fact that the person in the shop let you test with them under the feet and then claimed to hear a difference shows he has little knowledge.

Anyway, you may still not hear a difference, but I'm afraid the test needs re-done (if you can be bothered). This time, start at the source and work forward, with the pads under the chassis.....or better still borrow some and experiment at home.
 

steve_1979

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
231
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18,795
John Duncan said:
I do have one - serious - question though; if you expect to hear no difference, are you more likely to hear no difference?
That's an exellent question John. :)

Is it possible for expectation bias to stop you from hearing a difference that you would otherwise have noticed if you'd done a blind test? :? Hmmm, yeah maybe.

As far a my test went I admit that I was biased against it not making any difference with the solid state amp because I wasn't expecting to hear any difference. With the valve amp I wasn't sure what to expect so I don't think that I was biased here even though I was sceptical.

It's also worth mentioning that the tests were sighted A/B tests with about a minute inbetween the comparisons. So all in all it was a very unscientific experiment really.
 

atticus

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Nov 18, 2011
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I may have missed a post, but what are these things made of? I did look on the (very pretty and very stylish) Black Ravioli website and there seems to be little or no reference as to what they are made from. Presumably someone makes them for Black Ravioli and from a pre-existing material. If it is EPDM foam, then this is available for next to nothing and one can do a very cheap try-out to see if they work before considering purchasing the 'Real Thing'.

Or not, as the case may be.
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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atticus said:
I may have missed a post, but what are these things made of? I did look on the (very pretty and very stylish) Black Ravioli website and there seems to be little or no reference as to what they are made from. Presumably someone makes them for Black Ravioli and from a pre-existing material. If it is EPDM foam, then this is available for next to nothing and one can do a very cheap try-out to see if they work before considering purchasing the 'Real Thing'.

Or not, as the case may be.
Nobody will be able to tell you what they're made of....they are not rubbery, spongy or foamy, but have a layered construction. Sailforth UK, who makes them, brought isolation tech that was developed for Nuclear Subs.
 

paradiziac

New member
Jan 8, 2011
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CnoEvil said:
The fact that the person in the shop let you test with them under the feet and then claimed to hear a difference shows he has little knowledge.

Anyway, you may still not hear a difference, but I'm afraid the test needs re-done (if you can be bothered). This time, start at the source and work forward, with the pas under the chassis.....or better still borrow some and experiment at home.
Thanks for the report Steve.

Looks like I was wrong about the professionalism of the shop assistant!

P.S. Cno, how is he supposed to test the BR with active speakers;) ?
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
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paradiziac said:
CnoEvil said:
The fact that the person in the shop let you test with them under the feet and then claimed to hear a difference shows he has little knowledge.

Anyway, you may still not hear a difference, but I'm afraid the test needs re-done (if you can be bothered). This time, start at the source and work forward, with the pas under the chassis.....or better still borrow some and experiment at home.
Thanks for the report Steve.

Looks like I was wrong about the professionalism of the shop assistant!

P.S. Cno, how is he supposed to test the BR with active speakers;) ?
First under the transport, and then under the speakers......though I have little experience of what will happen in this case, but it might be intriguing.
 

atticus

New member
Nov 18, 2011
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CnoEvil said:
atticus said:
I may have missed a post, but what are these things made of? I did look on the (very pretty and very stylish) Black Ravioli website and there seems to be little or no reference as to what they are made from. Presumably someone makes them for Black Ravioli and from a pre-existing material. If it is EPDM foam, then this is available for next to nothing and one can do a very cheap try-out to see if they work before considering purchasing the 'Real Thing'.

Or not, as the case may be.
Nobody will be able to tell you what they're made of....they are not rubbery, spongy or foamy, but have a layered construction. Sailforth UK, who makes them, brought isolation tech that was developed for Nuclear Subs.
I take your point, CnoEvil, but I still think it is high density EPDM foam.

EPDM foam is foam only in name. The material itself is definitely not squashy or springy in the sense that, say, a squeegee or a sponge is. A 10cm strip of EPDM foam 5mm thick is bendy but very hard to the touch. Several strips sandwiched together form a very solid block with greatly reduced commensurate flexibility. We use it at work and my MD is an electronics engineer who used to build audio circuitry and speakers. High density foam is used in a lot of places for reducing vibration so I think I will apply Occam's Razor to this one.

Don't get me wrong, if Black Ravioli can re-package it as a high-end niche product and make £LOTS, good for them - nothing wrong with enterprising capitalism, we wouldn't have forums like this for products such as the ones in our living rooms were it not for that. However, everything has its component parts and these are generally fairly ordinary, unexciting materials.

Of course, I could be completely wrong and it could be stealth foam from Venus. However, we've had nuclear submarines since 1955 so even that technology is becoming more mainstream.

atticus

Managing Director

International EPDM Foam Consortium
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
556
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atticus said:
I take your point, CnoEvil, but I still think it is high density EPDM foam.

EPDM foam is foam only in name. The material itself is definitely not squashy or springy in the sense that, say, a squeegee or a sponge is. A 10cm strip of EPDM foam 5mm thick is bendy but very hard to the touch. Several strips sandwiched together form a very solid block with greatly reduced commensurate flexibility. We use it at work and my MD is an electronics engineer who used to build audio circuitry and speakers. High density foam is used in a lot of places for reducing vibration so I think I will apply Occam's Razor to this one.

Don't get me wrong, if Black Ravioli can re-package it as a high-end niche product and make £LOTS, good for them - nothing wrong with enterprising capitalism, we wouldn't have forums like this for products such as the ones in our living rooms were it not for that. However, everything has its component parts and these are generally fairly ordinary, unexciting materials.

Of course, I could be completely wrong and it could be stealth foam from Venus. However, we've had nuclear submarines since 1955 so even that technology is becoming more mainstream.

atticus

Managing Director

International EPDM Foam Consortium
It certainly has some of the same characteristics.....but who knows.
 

steve_1979

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
231
7
18,795
CnoEvil said:
Steve, thank you for the comprehensive reply.

The reason I asked, was the only time I heard no improvement, was when they were put under the feet of the component by someone who had never used them before. They are designed for under the chassis, lifting the feet off the ground, otherwise they have little effect. It usually takes two high of the original pads to lift the equipment off its feet.

The fact that the person in the shop let you test with them under the feet and then claimed to hear a difference shows he has little knowledge.

Anyway, you may still not hear a difference, but I'm afraid the test needs re-done (if you can be bothered). This time, start at the source and work forward, with the pads under the chassis.....or better still borrow some and experiment at home.
It'll be another week or two before I get the chance to try again but I'll see if they'll let me have another go with the Ravioli under the chassis instead.

Athough I'm very sceptical now because even when the tube amp was moved from a solid vibration free shelf and put on top of the speaker it didn't make any difference to the sound. If that amount of vibration doesn't effect the sound quality than I can't see how the the Ravioli will make any difference. But I'll give it go in the name of science. :grin:
 

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
1,233
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19,195
steve_1979 said:
The valve amp was a Fatman tube amp and the solid state amp was a Sony AV receiver. An iPod was used for the source playing 320kbps MP3's that I know well.
Takes me back to my old home office system from about 6 years ago...



Monitor Audio BR1s, cheapo Atacama stands, Blu-Tack, and Fatman iTube hybrid valve/mosfet amp with dock.

Very, very nice at low - moderate volume in a small space. The BR1s were shockingly good (given that they cost me about £99), but not very fashionable. (The BR2 got all the stars and awards.)

It even had a valve gizmo that indicated power output. (Probably not at all accurate but very entertaining to watch.)

Now i've come over all valvey like. (Where's that Icon Audio website?)
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
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steve_1979 said:
It'll be another week or two before I get the chance to try again but I'll see if they'll let me have another go with the Ravioli under the chassis instead.

Athough I'm very sceptical now because even when the tube amp was moved from a solid vibration free shelf and put on top of the speaker it didn't make any difference to the sound. If that amount of vibration doesn't effect the sound quality than I can't see how the the Ravioli will make any difference. But I'll give it go in the name of science. :grin:
Good man, putting yourself out in the name of science is admirable.

I still can't believe the shop selling it didn't know how it should be used.......next time, get your hands on someone who knows what they are doing, and put the emphasis on them to prove it works.

EDIT. Tell them, if they can prove it to a self confessed sceptic (who will then post the result on line), that it could bring in some business!
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Exshopguy said:
The onus on proof should be on the manufacturer to be able to back up their claims, not on the public to "buy it and try it". In this case Steve_1979 has found no difference and he's the one being questioned about the validity of his findings, even if in the usual wind-up spirit as seems common here. I swear some Hi-Fi enthusiasts are just desperate to throw their money at something.
Hahaha, the "wind up spirit that seems to be common here" on a thread that was posted by someone who's beyond parody for doing just that? Please...
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
608
379
19,270
idc said:
nopiano said:
.......

You can guess I subscribe to the "if you haven't heard it..." camp. And besides, Cno is one of only a handful of regulars here whose advice/experience I'd be happy to trust.
".....That some here report a difference and others do not whilst using sighted testing also shows there is nothing inherant in the product which makes a difference. If there really was something the reports would be more towards, I heard a difference and liked/did not like it. That is what you get with the parts of the hifi chain which really do affect sound, like speakers."
I've tried to understand your point here, as you have clearly thought carefully about this. Surely a product that improves (or let's be neutral and simply say 'changes') one set-up but not another isn't fatally flawed because of that?

It could be:-

1. much the same overall sound as the standard item

2. a bit different, but too subtle for that listener

3. quite different and disliked

4. quite different and liked

Only 4 would possibly result in a sale. 3 would mean it did siomething. But 1 and 2 don't mean it is useless. Or is there a 5?

5. Does nothing

Hi-fi gear, being often hard to define in the way it infuences the music we play on it (in much the same way as we can both go to the same gig, recital or concert, and have different reactions) is almost always (in my experience) infuenced by many things you might not expect to make a difference. These include:-

a. What you stand it on

b. What you connect it with

c. How you set it up

d. How warm or damp the room is

e. How long it has been on

f. The time of day

It doesn't surprise me that not everyone hears a difference with a different support or foot (Black Ravoli or wooden cone for that matter). But that surely doesn't prove it does nothing, does it?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
iceman16 said:
John Duncan said:
steve_1979 said:
maxflinn said:
How, in the name of God, how, could placing an amplifier on little rubber ravioli, (or whatever they're called) have any impact whatsoever on the sound coming out of the speakers it's driving?
Q. Is it reasonable to assume that small vibrations could effect the performance of electronics?

A. Yes.

There's a reasonable and logical argument that they might make a difference.

Ravioli are very cheap so I'm going to put it to the test myself. My mate has a Marantz PM6003 amplifier with some B&W 685 speakers so I'll do some blind A/B testing using his system later this week.
But...I'd expect it to make no difference at all to a PM6003. A valve amp perhaps, where I could see how it might make a difference to the behaviour of vibration-sensitive tubes.
Hi JD, the BR works well in my system. I'm not sure why and how but they do. In fact I've spend about 2-3weeks placing them in and out of every Naim component I use. The most noticeable improvement is when I put them under cdp,power amp and power supply. The sound just became more vibrant and instruments are more defined. Then I've waited for another week and pulled them out once again and I felt I was hearing another system which was boring and somehow a bit lifeless.
Hi Iceman, I'd just like to address a few points you've made here if I may..

You say the most noticeable improvements you perceive are as a result of placing the BR below your CDP, power amp and power supply. Now these are all very expensive high end componants, made by a company known for their high quality construction, a company that I've read, go to great lengths to achieve very very small improvements.

So conversely, if you notice great improvements while using the BR under these componants, by definition, they are vibrating excessively, is that not fair to say? Now, why would a company like Naim not be able to design these componants so that there is no excessive vibration that you need to counter with the BR? Isn't it highly unlikely that given the resources Naim have, they wouldn't be able to do this? Is that really logical? I don't think so..

And secondly, how can putting BR under an external power supply unit help in any way? It doesn't matter if a power supply is vibrating, not that it would be, but if it was, and the BR helped to curtail that, then how could that result in better sound? There is no correlation between the vibration or lack of, of a power supply, and sound quality, none whatsoever.

So bearing the above in mind, are you of the opinion that the electronics you spent so much money on, are suffering from too much vibration? And if so, and they sound lifeless without the BR, why did you spend all that money on them?

Thanks...
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
the record spot said:
Exshopguy said:
The onus on proof should be on the manufacturer to be able to back up their claims, not on the public to "buy it and try it". In this case Steve_1979 has found no difference and he's the one being questioned about the validity of his findings, even if in the usual wind-up spirit as seems common here. I swear some Hi-Fi enthusiasts are just desperate to throw their money at something.
Hahaha, the "wind up spirit that seems to be common here" on a thread that was posted by someone who's beyond parody for doing just that? Please...
I hope that in the real world, RS, you don't take it so personally when somebody questions your authority? As since I've ruffled your feathers on here, by opposing the views of the cultured, knowledgable hifi buff you have cultivated as your persona, you've been consistently vindictive towards me, and that isn't a good trait in a person, IMO. Why not reflect on that? It's only a Hifi forum you know, people won't always agree with you..
 
T

the record spot

Guest
maxflinn said:
I hope that in the real world, RS, you don't take it so personally when somebody questions your authority? As since I've ruffled your feathers on here, by opposing the views of the cultured, knowledgable hifi buff you have cultivated as your persona, you've been consistently vindictive towards me, and that isn't a good trait in a person, IMO. Why not reflect on that? It's only a Hifi forum you know, people won't always agree with you..
Hi Max, nice to hear from you again. I've not taken anything personally and my post referred to exshopguy's comments and the underlying impetus behind this post. Nor do I have any authority on here. When I do speak with "authority" it's in line with my work and I'm pretty good at that - it paying the bills and all.

And, as you've continued to misinterpret me still (which is pretty impressive all other things notwithstanding) I haven't been vindictive towards you at all and I agree that would most certainly not be a good trait in a person. What I have been is questioning of your rationale in some of your posts in this forum, which perhaps aren't as innocent as you appear to make them out to be, given as you post not long after on the HDD forum with links, etc., to here. That often ends up with comments along the lines of "audiophools" being thrown in, though much credit to Ashley for suggesting that this kind of thing is dropped - it does neither forum much good.

I suppose, if you want to take the proverbial, do it somewhere else maybe? The need to post as you seem to want to do on here appears to be worthy of greater concern than anything I might think of you (which - for clarity - is something that never crosses my mind until you mention it).

I hope that's cleared that up for you.
 

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