How Hi-Fi Magazines Write about Cables, Part 19: Magic Rocks

Note: this series of articles, which first focused on how hi-fi magazines write about cables and other dubious elements of the music reproduction chain, has since morphed to cover all sorts of ludicrous elements. This latest installment is not about cables but about magic rocks.

A reader wrote in with an interesting link to a website selling magic rocks; well, actually, “Brilliant Pebbles.” Reading the website, I thought “This is a brilliantly written satire. The kind of thing I’d write for an April Fool’s article.”

Alas, it’s not. Unless this is a wide-ranging conspiracy to troll people, the number of web hits I get for these magic rocks suggests that they are, indeed, intended to have an effect on audio quality.

What the heck is it? Brilliant Pebbles is a unique and comprehensive system for tuning the room and audio system based on special physical properties of highly symmetrical crystal structures.

That sounds pretty scientific.

Brilliant Pebbles has been evolving since its introduction 6 years ago at the London HI Fi Show, especially the number of applications, many of which were discovered by our customers.

I wonder how many customers have fallen for this…

Brilliant Pebbles addresses specific resonance control and RFI/EMI absorption problems associated with audio electronics, speakers and cables, as well as acoustic wave problems associated with the listening room boundaries and the 3-dimensional space within the boundaries. Brilliant Pebbles comprises a number of precious and semi-precious stones (crystals) selected for their effectiveness.

All that’s missing in the above spiel is something about fMRI scans.

The original glass bottles for Brilliant Pebbles have been replaced by clear zip lock bags, which have a more linear response than glass. We employ a number of highly-specialized, proprietary techniques in the preparation/assembly of Brilliant Pebbles to enhance the crystals’ inherent characteristics.

Plastic certainly has a more linear response than glass. Paper bags might be more efficient still. Or no bags at all.

The fundamental operating principle of Brilliant Pebbles involves a number of atomic mechanisms in the crystals. Brilliant Pebbles will enhance the performance of your audio system so your favorite music and even your experience playing online fantasy games will become a mind blowing auditory experience.

That’s where things get weird. “Online fantasy games?” Do you get more lives with Brilliant Pebbles? Better skills?

The large Brilliant Pebbles seem especially effective:

On the floor in room corners, Large size Brilliant Pebbles reduces comb filter effects caused by very high sound pressure levels that develop in the corners when music is playing – as much as 3 or 4 times higher than the average sound pressure level in the room!!

I would actually think that the corners have the least pressure, because they are funnels, and the sound wouldn’t reach the corners as efficiently, but what do I know?

They come in four sizes, and cost from $39 to $159. For rocks. Magic rocks, sure, but rocks.

These are just ziplock bags full of little rocks. They’re polished, and they look pretty, but they’re rocks.

Brilliant Pebbles All

And the way they are applied to an audio system makes one skeptical:

Mikro pebbles

Seriously, that’s how they are used. You’re telling me this isn’t a gag?

Again, from the Google search I did, they’re not. I see comments from people who actually bought them and posted about them on forums, generally saying that they had no effect on their audio system. (Duh!) Some forum posts are more dismissive, but in general, there is a suggestion that audiophiles are willing to assume that anything that claims to improve the sound of their audio systems may actually do so. And cleanly a number of people have bought these magic rocks, though most are probably ashamed to admit it.