Cardas Clarifier App for iOS

Thanks to John Marks of Stereophile for the heads up on this tiny app-O-controversy. The Cardas Clarifier has been sold in CD-form through Ayre Acoustics as the "Irrational But Efficacious" CD ($20) and from Cardas in LP-form as the "Cardas Frequency Sweep Record" ($28) for years. Decades even. Now computer audiophiles can delight in the Cardas Clarifier App for iOS devices for just $0.99. That's right for under a buck you can purportedly degauss your gear and listen while you do it to what my ears sounds exactly like the sound my spaceship makes when it takes off.

Or so I imagine. Of course the notion of degaussing, or demagnetizing if you prefer, ones system for better sound is bound to unsettle the more charged objectivists and truth-seekers alike since the proof of this process remains, to my knowledge, unproven on paper regarding hi-fi gear (John Marks has a different theory as to why this app works). There's no doubt degaussing did its original job of making the British fleet invisible to Germany's magnetic mines during WWII.

Seeing as its my job to take one for the team and the other part of my job involves listening, I bought the Cardas Clarifier app at full price (mind you), downloaded it to my iPad, and ran the 71 second "Long Sweep" (the "Short Sweep" is for periodic maintenance) through my system by using the Apple Camera Connection Kit connected to the iPad and review sample Schiit Bitfrost DAC which was connected to my system.

Then I listened to what I was listening to before I swept, Bonnie "Prince" Billie's "Because of Your Eyes" from his lovely Hummingbird EP, and I heard...a difference. Mainly an improvement in clarity. But you probably saw that coming. Since I know of no way to un-sweep (except time), I did try playing the "Long Sweep" track backwards but all I heard was "Elvis is dead" (joke), this is a difficult thing to put ones ears on. But if you put my hand to fire which I agree should be done when any reviewer talks about things s/he cannot prove, I'd swear I heard a lower noise floor and improved transient response. On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd place this improvement around 1.5.

For 99 cents you'll have to decide if it's worth the risk and potential reward.

Available from the iTunes App Store.

Vincent Kars's picture

Nothing beats Machina Dynamica

Michael Lavorgna's picture

I am the proud owner of one vintage, unopened (and unused as far as I can tell), original Intelligent Chip (JSMR Intelligent Chip Model: NMB-20A from Golden Sound). Someone gave it to me years ago but I'm waiting for it to become a collector's item before auctioning it off.

You have to figure "quantum material" appreciates in value over time. Worst case scenario I can always use it to power my spaceship.

Sprice's picture

Just DL'd and ran the 1K test tone to adjust the level (as per the instructions) but there does not appear to be a way back to the main menu to run the sweep. Closing the app and relaunching puts me back on the 1K test tone page. Is it just me?

Michael Lavorgna's picture

On the 1k Test Tone page, there's a link directly under the large "Play" button that says "Main Menu". Did you try tapping it?

If that doesn't work, did you try forcing the App to Close? If that doesn't work, I'd contact Cardas (

Sprice's picture

Thanks Michael, it appears the "Main Menu" button disappears in landscape mode and I only tried it that way. Nevermind. As you were...

Michael Lavorgna's picture

It does disappear in landscape mode which is good to know. I'd say that deserves a re-think on Cardas' part.