Now that I have had some time to engage with your components, I have reached a few conclusions. I had expected some very subtle improvements in my system. I was wrong. The changes are far from subtle — especially when playing vinyl. The Venom PS8/Defender combination has been a game changer for me.
As a documentary filmmaker, a visual analogy comes to mind. It’s like switching from an LCD television monitor to an OLED one. On LCD sets, black is achieved by masking white pixels. But there are always light leaks, so the blacks look muddy. On an OLED set, black is truly the absence of light: pixels are actually turned off and hence go black.
Listening to music with the Venom PS8/Defender combination delivers the sonic equivalent of “true black”. The drop in the noise floor and the increased clarity are dramatic — the latter especially at lower listening levels. It’s like someone flipped a magic “loudness” switch — one that truly conveys the music itself rather than crudely boost the bass. By faithfully rendering the spaces in between the notes — the true blacks — I’m feeling a greater emotional connectedness to everything I’m listening to, which right now, is Thundercat’s ethereal, beautiful “A Hard Time”.
Arthur C. Clarke famously observed that “[a]ny sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” That’s how I feel about your technology. I have no idea of how it works, but I know that it works!