“Die ComDevs führen zu einer gewaltigen Steigerung der Klangqualität. Sie produzieren eine riesige Bühne mit sattem Fundament. Wenn ich sie entferne, sinkt das Klangbild wieder auf Wohnzimmergrösse. Unverzichtbar und ein Preis-Leistungs-Hit! Vergleichbare Klangverbesserungen kosten üblicherweise 5-stellig.”
“The ComDevs result in a huge increase in sound quality. They produce a vast soundstage with a rich foundation. When I remove them, the stage drops back to living room size. Indispensable and a price-performance bargain! Comparable sound enhancements usually cost 5 figures.”
Marcel Kummer, Switzerland
“Ich bin wirklich begeistert von den ComDevs und möchte sie nicht mehr missen. Meine Kette klingt damit quicklebendig. Auch die räumliche Darstellung der einzelnen Instrumente ist beeindruckend.”
“I’m really thrilled with the ComDevs and wouldn’t want to do without them. My chain sounds lifelike with them. The spatial representation of the individual instruments is also impressive.”
Andi Netter, Deutschland
“As I visited the Boenicke Manufacture a few months ago, Sven proposed to listen to a new device he worked on. Unexpectedly the entire scene changed to a new much bigger direction. A few days ago I got the ComDev’s final version to test at home. The result is not only a wider and bigger soundstage, but also much more details are suddenly present. It seems the ComDev kind of increases the resolution in the music. At least I can say that it’s now much more fun to listen to the music and I cannot listen without the device anymore, because I know how it can sound with it…
Thank you Sven for creating a magical device!”
Efim Storck, Germany
Who doesn’t want better?
We don’t post new articles too often. The reason for this is, unless something worth saying we would prefer not to say it. Hope that makes sense!
However today, we received from Switzerland, the very first pair of Boenicke Audio’s ComDev sent to Asia. They are Sven Boenicke’s first external tuning device.
For those of you not familiar with Boenicke Audio they are a Swiss company, and the proprietor, Sven, exhibits a genius for in particular manufacturing extraordinary loudspeakers. I should just mention that he also builds a tremendous reasonably priced amplifier, and exceptional interconnect cables and speaker cables.
Anyway, on this occasion, we want to mention the extraordinary, inexpensive, easy to install and totally reliable upgrade namely the ComDev.
They are designed principally, I think, to upgrade Boenicke speakers. However, in our trials they appear to have the same uplifting effect attached to any loudspeakers.
That’s the importance of them. Anyone that has an audio system, and wants better, can immediately achieve that aim inexpensively and easily. What else is there to say!?
Jonathan Midgley, AudioEvidence
“Im Zusammenhang mit der Umkonfektionierung meines S3 Kabel hat mir Sven ein Kästchen zum testen beigelegt. So viel vorweg; das Kästchen Namens ComDev hat es in sich, wer die ComDev einmal angeschlossen und gehört hat gibt die nicht so schnell wieder her. ComDev wird entweder beim Ausgang Amp oder bei den Lautsprechern angeschlossen.
Meine ComDev wurde mit Kabelschuhen ausgeliefert, es kann aber sicher nach Wunsch auch mit Bananas geordert werden.
Was genau in diesem Holzkästchen drin ist bleibt Sven’s Geheimnis.
Im A/B Vergleich sind die ComDevs sofort hörbar – als erster Eindruck fiel mir bei der Abbildung auf, das ganze Bühnenbild vergrösserte sich nach oben, in die Tiefe und in der Breite, die Instrumente haben mehr Luft. Stimmen werden genauer und klarer, auch Saitenanschläge werden präziser dargestellt. Mit ComDev hören und fühlen sich die Instrumente besser und richtig an, alles wird livehaftiger. In Zukunft werde ich nur noch mit ComDev Musik hören.”
“In connection with the reassembly of my S3 cable, Sven has enclosed a box for testing. So much in advance – there is quite a lot to it. Once connected and heard one rather does not want to give it back any more. ComDev is either connected to the amp’s output or to the speakers.
My ComDev was delivered with cable spades, but it can certainly be ordered with bananas if desired.
What exactly is in this wooden box remains Sven’s secret.
In A/B comparison, the ComDevs are immediately audible – as a first impression I noticed the whole stage images expands in depth and width, the instruments have more air around them. Voices become more accurate and clearer, even string strokes are represented more precisely. With ComDev, the instruments sound and feel better and right, everything becomes more live. From now on music with ComDev only.”
Franco Gurtner, Switzerland
habe nun gestern Abend / Nacht doch noch ausgiebig mit dem «Wunderkästchen» gehört. Mein Feedback möchte ich in verschiedene Bereiche auftrennen.
Über Alles Bereich:
Die Veränderung (Verbesserung) ist schwierig zu beschreiben. Es ist als wenn es um die Instrumente, Instrumentgruppen oder Sänger mehr Luft hätte – eine gesteigerte Klarheit und «Sauberkeit» des Klangs. Die einzelnen Schallereignisse sind sauberer voneinander abgegrenzt, aber es bleibt trotzdem ein geschlossenes Ganzes.
Man hat den Eindruck, als wenn man einfach das Ganze auch lauter gemacht hätte – was ja immer einen besseren Gesamteindruck vermittelt.
Bei Klavieraufnahmen (Chopin reminescence, Alexis Ffrench «Reborn») sind die Abstufungen der Pedalarbeit besser zu hören.
Der Bassbereich profitiert wohl am meisten. Der Bereich wir nach unten um eine gefühlte Oktave ausgeweitet. Die Basstöne sind bis weiter unten wahrnehmbar mit einer gesteigerten Feindynamik. Aber es ist auch mehr Druck da – aber absolut dröhnfrei.
Mitten / Stimmen:
Die Mitten sind besser «Herausgeputzt», die Abstufungen zwischen den Tönen sind feiner, mit wesentlich mehr Details.
Bei Orchester und Choraufnahmen sind die Register oder Stimmgruppen besser voneinander getrennt und vor allem in der Tiefe besser gestaffelt.
Bei «Belle qui tiens ma vie» (Hesperion Carlos V) ist die Wiedergabe der einzelnen Sänger fast unheimlich genau – man hat den Eindruck das Halszäpfchen zu sehen – so nahe und natürlich wirken die Stimmen.
Die Feindynamik in den Höhen ist besser und man hört mehr Details (z.B. Atemgeräusche) ohne dass es grell wirkt. Anblassgeräusche bei Blasinstrumenten sind total realistisch, ebenso das Ausklingen von Klaviersaiten ist abgestufter und länger zu hören.
Die Unterschiede waren übrigens – wie so oft – deutlicher wahrnehmbar wenn man die Kästchen abhängte.
Das «Haben wollen» ist doch sehr stark – allerdings nicht ganz unabhängig vom Preis 😉
Ganz liebe Grüsse und schon mal vielen Dank für die tolle Hörerfahrung mit den Kästchen!”
I would like to split my feedback into different areas.
All in all:
The change (improvement) is difficult to describe. It seems as if there is more air around the instruments, instrument groups or singers – an increased clarity and “cleanliness” in sound. The individual sounds are more cleanly delineated from each other, but it still remains a cohesive whole.
One is under the impression as if the whole had simply been made louder – which always yields a better overall impression.
In piano recordings (Chopin reminescence, Alexis Ffrench “Reborn”) the gradations of pedal work are better heard.
The bass range probably benefits the most. The range is extended downward by a perceived octave. The bass tones are perceptible further down with increased fine dynamics. But there is also more pressure – but absolutely no booming.
Mids / Voices:
The mids are better “dressed up”, the gradations between the tones are finer, with much more detail.
In orchestral and choral recordings, the registers or voice groups are better separated from each other and better staged, especially in depth.
In “Belle qui tiens ma vie” (Hesperion Carlos V), the reproduction of the individual singers is almost uncannily accurate – one is under the impression of seeing the uvula of the throat – the voices seem so close and natural.
Fine dynamics in the treble are better and you hear more details (e.g. breath sounds) without it seeming harsh or brittle. Wind instrument blowing sounds are totally realistic, and the decay of piano strings is more graduated and longer.
By the way, the differences were – as often – more noticeable when the boxes were disconnected.
The “must-have” is very strong – but not completely independent of the price 😉
Best regards and many thanks for the great listening experience with the boxes!”
Peter Jahn, Switzerland
W11SE+ speakers, Audia Flight FLS 10 integrated amplifier, Aqua La Scala DAC, 432 Evo High End streamer, speaker cables and interconnects all Boenicke, mains cables are HiDiamond, USB is AF Audio.
We have had the W11SE+ up and running for 9 days now and they are starting to sound very nice indeed. This feedback is predicated on the fact that the speakers are probably not fully run in and therefore have not reached their full potential, however we (Liz and I) think we can make some valid comments that would provide you with a view, and hopefully valuable feedback, of what we thought about the ComDev.
What is the ComDev?
We are not sure, but from a visual inspection it looks like it may contain some filters to filter out noise in the system/ electronics and enhance sound.
The ComDev is built well and look every bit like a Boenicke accessory. Its re-assuringly heavy for its size and built sell with a lovely walnut box and what looks like S1 speaker wire for connection. One thing we did notice is that it was wired the opposite way around from the picture meaning that the logo faces inwards instead of outwards. This may be intentional or a mistake, but does not affect the operation of the unit.
We installed the ComDev to the rear of the speakers. White wire to the red terminal and black wire to the black terminal. I am not sure whether the wires are reversible, I was not brave enough to try, however installation was easy!
On installing and playing all types of music from classical to rock to rap, with the ComDev installed Liz and I agreed that:
Tone: We noticed the tone changed a little when installed and became a little more dark, taking a small amount of energy from the top end and giving a little more lower end. This does not mean the top end was not clear or detailed, but as Liz put it, it was less “jangly”. We favoured this, especially Liz, as they sounded closer to the more familiar W8SE+ that she loved in tonality, but retained all the attributes of the W11s that we knew we would get by purchasing this speaker i.e. detail and transparency. Definitely a plus for us.
Cohesion: It may be the fact that the speakers are not fully run in, but we found that the ComDev pulled the music together more and made it sound “more together” and “right”. This togetherness perceptively improved the pace and timing of music which was altogether fast and rhymic, but not to the extent of the music running away with itself. There was also a little more impact on classic pieces like the 1812 Overture where that cannons hit hard and fast with the edges of the music being tight.
Naturalness: With ComDev installed we felt that singers voices sounded more natural and realistic and less “hifi”. Voices were a touch softer in tone without losing detail. We were worried that this would affect music that was a little more “raw” in its nature i.e. live music and / or rock, however we were pleasantly surprised that this was not the case and live music sounded more realistic. On disconnecting the ComDev recordings did become a little brighter and raw in nature, however this was at the expense of naturalness and tonality so sounded a little more hifi to us.
Noise: Installing the ComDev seemed to further improve the “blackness” of the background (maybe the noise in the system that you cannot really hear?). This made music such as Blue by Joni Michelle sound amazing with the pauses between words sounding as impressive as her voice making the music more engaging and emotional.
Liz and I are not proficionado’s of music, we are just two people that love to listen to music and have an emotional connection to music that we love. Its our hobby and passion!
I am sure if you measured the speakers response, the ComDev makes absolutely no difference and could be classed as “snake oil” or “foo”. Liz and I have always let our ears decide when buying our equipment and from experience, the trust we have in Boenicke is second to none. Generally if you (Sven) say it works and sounds great, it never fails to impress, even when we are really sceptical that any improvements will really be heard. We keep asking ourselves the question “is it improved sound, or just different sound”. This was the case with S2 speaker cables we have, they just sounded right! I have bought many products that perceptively sound better, but after a while just sound different – never with Boenicke, it just sounds better and more enjoyable.
The proof of the pudding for Liz and I is “when you disconnect it, can you live without it knowing its there if you want it”? On most products the answer is yes, however on every product we have tried and are now using from Boenicke, the answer has always been no.
We disconnected the ComDev and within an hour we put it back on, breathed a sigh of relief and said “ah… that’s better, prefer that”. This is not to say that any of our equipment sounds bad, far from it. We think our equipment rocks and has synergy and could live without the ComDev, but when you have it available and you prefer the sound with it connected and consequently a much improved listening experience, why would you do that?!
Is it worth the money?? At an estimated £1k retail when you already have the W11SE+ speakers (that sound amazing), you may not “need” to spend that money, but is the improvement worth the investment…?? A definite yes from Liz and I, as it takes the sound to a new level of enjoyment with a smoothness and naturalness that you thought you had with the W11SE+ but never realised it could get even better, and it does get better, not night and day, but significantly enough to feel and hear like you have done something to improve the listening experience further.
Yes, the W11SE+ is a luxury item and we are honored and lucky enough to be able to afford a pair, and the system to go with it, but when listening to music is your passion, improving ones mood and mental health its a price we feel is worth paying. The ComDev does take the listening experience to a new level. Its our one main vice and we are humbled to be able to listen to music that moves the soul!
A definite “thumbs up” from Liz and I on this one.”
Shari Payne, UK