There were a few bits, here and there, that just screamed for attention. One of my favorites, both for the outlandishness and for it’s sheer lust-worthiness, was the Stromtank, shown in the Audio Salon room, alongside some nifty gear from Audio Alchemy and Sabrina loudspeakers from Wilson Audio.
First, I should note that this … monster … is, essentially, a $30k power conditioner. There’s absolutely no reason to need a $30k power conditioner.
But boy-howdy, do I want one.
The point isn’t the price, which is high. It’s what it does. Most conditioners are simply filters, purporting to “clean” the incoming AC current of the noisy and sound-affecting clutter that might have accrued thereto. Some of them may even work. The most useful of the bunch actually rebuild the current coming in — especially useful here at RMAF, as I happen to know that the current draw from the AC plugs varied by almost a double-handful of volts during the day. Does that drop and variation matter? Well, yes — if you ran across a room that sounded less impactful, colorful, or otherwise happy-face generating, it’s quite possible that the gear was “just fine” … or would have been, had the power been “clean” and operating at nominal values.
Or if there’d been a Stromtank.
This battery-powered regenerator idea isn’t new. Several companies have products that do this. Most are more compact. Many are less expensive. But very few of them can do what Stromtank can do, and for as long as it can.
I remember the Living Voice room at Munich, where the mega-system featuring the megabuck Vox Olympians, were all run off of a bank of batteries, tucked tastefully behind a curtain. Kevin Scott, the Living Voice designer, was having absolutely none of this BS about “show conditions” — he arranged for a system that would generate all of the power he would need, and the convention center’s electrical system could go hang. He was all set. With about a ton of batteries, that is.
Shame he didn’t have a Stromtank.
The Stromtank (which really doesn’t get tiring to say, repeatedly) S5000, is about 235lbs. I’ts also 19″ wide, 23″ tall and 24″ deep. It’s big. What it can do is feed your entire audio system (and more) for at least 5 hours. Maybe as much as 8. All of it. With clean, perfectly tuned, AC power from ultra-clean and ultra-quiet batteries. No more grid. No more noise. Power outage? Ha! I laugh at your power issues! I am Stromtank, hear me roar.
I’ve seen some whole-house power conditioners and/or surge/spike protection systems. They’re big and they’re pricey — and they’re not necessarily any less expensive than a Stromtank, as you’ll not need to rewire your whole house (or just the main panel) to use it.
Look, I’m not saying you need something as nutty, as absurd, as utterly over the top, as incredibly marvelous as the Stromtank in your life, or in the life of your audio system, but I can think of a few pieces of strange and superfluous nonsense that could easily get the bump for something like this. Something that actually does something.
And did I mention it’s pretty sexy looking?
Stromtank, for the win.