Accessory Review

Aesthetix ABCD-1 Demagnetizer

I’ve heard of demagnetising a cassette tape head…but a cartridge? Paul Rigby reviews the ABCD-1 Demagnetizer

The general concept of noise produced by magnets and magnetism is not new. The effects of magnetic-derived noise are an insidious irritation for hi-fi users too, although most users don’t even know that it’s there: not until its gone, that is. I’ve even experienced how magnetic forces can effect CD and vinyl discs (there are gadgets on the market to remove it too). The stuff is sonically destructive as it restricts your sound stage and smothers detail. One of the most ignored sources of magnetic interference are from the magnets in your cartridge. Yes, they are tiny but don’t forget how much the cartridge signal (and, hence, magnetic noise) is amplified.

 Aesthetix ABCD-1 Demagnetizer

This is where Aesthetix (who make rather wonderful pre-amps — I use one for my reference system) and its moving coil cartridge Demagnetizer comes in. The petite ABCD-1 is a relatively heavy, solidly built, rather prosaically presented black box. On the rear are two RCA sockets. You insert the phono cables, from your turntable, into these. On the front is a push button power (with light) switch plus an activation switch (with light).

Aesthetix ABCD-1 Demagnetizer

Once you plug in your turntable, you power up the box and then press the Activate button once (or more, you may find the performance improves with multiples ‘treatments’).

SOUND QUALITY

During tests with various rock and jazz vinyl, the ABCD-1 removed a lot of noise from the soundstage as a whole as well as adding space and air around the central stereo image, giving the presentation an extra ‘epic’ feel. Low frequencies were also tightened while the very lowest bass offered more character and heft.

CONCLUSION

There is a scratch I have at the back of my neck which says that the price is too high but, because they’re the only real game in town, Aesthetix is milking this product a bit. I’d have been happier with a figure towards the £100. I do wonder how many people will take the plunge at this price. Which is a shame because I was impressed with the sonic results from the ABCD-1. Well worth a quick demo but, remember, moving coil cartridges only need apply.


AESTHETIX ABCD-1 CARTRIDGE DEMAGNETIZER

Price: £275

Website: www.coolgales.com

Tel: 01539 7973

 


GOOD: easy to install, simple to operate, improves sound quality

BAD: price

RATING: 7

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3 Comments

  • Reply
    Paul Findlay
    8th July 2018 at 12:18 pm

    Hi Paul,
    How often do you think you would you have to demagnetise your cartridge?

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      8th July 2018 at 12:56 pm

      Thanks for the question Paul and…it depends 🙂 Twice a month perhaps? 50-100 hours? Depends on how often you play vinyl and the design of your cart. You’d need to keep your ears open and experiment. I’ve just added an emphasis onto the feature – make sure you only try this on a MC cart, not MM.

  • Reply
    Paul Findlay
    8th July 2018 at 2:38 pm

    Ah – that’s good to know, thanks

  • Leave a Reply

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