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Thread: Grounding boxes - The real deal

  1. #261
    Join Date: Dec 2012

    Location: Sonnin Common - Oxfordshire

    Posts: 246
    I'm Bernard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duckworp View Post
    I have to say what a pleasure it is reading this thread. The previously mentioned taken down thread on the pf forum was horrible to come across. The thread was started with a post about how wonderful a particular grounding box was and inviting anyone to his home to listen to the effect. This was followed by a torrent of piss-taking and abuse, some even by dealers and manufacturers, who you would think would not want to ridicule potential customers. Of course no one with a positive experience with grounding boxes dared chip in. It is refreshing on AoS that Marco you keep the discussion cordial and thereby encourage debate.

    The arrogance and rudeness of some of the 'objectivists' remains a mystery to me. I simply cannot comprehend their motivation for expending so much energy on forums espousing negativity. And repeatedly telling people that they are not really hearing what they think they are hearing. It is such odd behaviour.

    On Grounding Boxes - I have listened to a few manufacturer's versions: I heard no difference on one, a minor difference on another, and a major difference on a third. The differences were real, I was not experiencing 'expectation bias' (which would have applied to all three had it been in existence - though to be truthful I don't experience this so called 'expectation bias' since I have no preconceived expectation of what will or will not improve or detract from the sound, so there is no bias to fulfill).

    And it is liberating to know I can post this without knowing someone will tell me I am a fraud for hearing the improvement a grounding box presents.
    Great ... Must say that this thread was on the verge of becoming a similar experience to the PFM’s.
    Glad that Marco put a stop to this heresy!


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Turntable: Garrard 401 modded by Classic-HiFi in Hammertone. Heavy oak plinth by Russ Collinson; Tonearm: Phonomac AT-1010 Mk6; Cartridges: SPU GTE / VDH Colibri XGP / Decca SC4E rebuilt by ESCO with Paratrace; Phono Stage: Shindo; SUT: Bob's Device Cinemag 1131; Pre Amp: Shindo Monbrison; Power Amp: McIntosh MC225; Speakers: Auditorium23 Solovox; CD Player: EastSound CD-E5 / Sony PS1; Cables: Yannis 423.5; Yannis 223.5; VDH The First Ultimate; Totem Sinew; Audio Tekne ARSP-500 / Auditorium 23.

  2. #262
    Join Date: Mar 2017

    Location: London N2

    Posts: 1,271
    I'm Edward.

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    Reading around this subject, and fully bearing in mind I'm not an electronic engineer or understand much about this subject, it does seem that (caveat: perhaps) the noise in the signal ground plane of audio equipment (noise from RFI etc) is somehow drained by the unique properties of ferroelectric materials (such as lead zirconate titanate, barium titanate) and other inorganic materials such as tourmaline. I'm guessing that some grounding boxes contain traces of such materials. If it is as simple as this then I can easily understand why grounding box manufacturers wish to keep their secret sauce secret.

    But then again I may simply be a dog barking up the wrong tree here. It's been known before - ask my wife!


    ,
    Source: Tidal/Roon
    DAC: Metrum HEX, Chevron Paradox, Perreaux

    Amp: Sugden Masterclass 2018 spec, Radford Revival STA25 V,
    Speakers: Tannoy Eaton, Kudos Cardea


  3. #263
    Join Date: May 2018

    Location: London

    Posts: 17
    I'm Peter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CageyH View Post
    Which one made a difference?

    What baffles me is that nobody can explain scientifically how they work.
    Do they only work on systems in houses with a noisy environment, only in houses with a ring main fitted? What situation do do you need to be in to hear a difference using a grounding box?
    The one that made the biggest difference was the CAD GC1 and GC3. CAD explain the science as follows:

    CAD believes that one of the key reasons so many digital audio products “sound digital” is due to this high frequency noise. From the very beginning of CAD we have worked hard to reduce unwanted noise in all our products. Materials and technologies that are used in our 1543 MKII DAC, USB Cables and CAT are included in the GC1, GC3 and GC-R Ground Controls.
    The Ground Control contains a mixture of materials that converts high frequency energy into heat. Our research has found that to achieve the best sound quality the GC1, GC3 & GC-R needed to be effective over a large frequency range. This was not easy to accomplish! The CAD Ground Controls will substantially reduce noise from very high KHz range up to over 10 GHz.
    There are two independent voltage references in any audio system:
    1) Signal Ground
    2) Earth
    Earth is what the third pin on your mains plug is connected to and what your copper pipes in your house are connected to. Earth is not typically (but occasionally is) connected to the Signal Ground in higher quality audio components.
    Signal Ground is the negative side of an RCA, XLR, USB etc. connector.
    Most audio engineers put a lot of effort into making sure the positive and negative rails of their DC power supplies have low ripple and noise, adequate bandwidth, etc. but typically not much thought is put into the signal ground plane.
    CAD believes that reducing high frequency noise on Signal Ground and Earth improves sound quality.
    Unfortunately there isn’t a common industry accepted technique for measuring noise levels on Signal Ground or Earth. A common measurement is Signal to Noise (S/N) ratio. S/N is the maximum output of a device (0dB) divided by the minimum output of a device (the noise). The reference for both of these measurements is Signal Ground. S/N measurement is not the whole story because it does not tell you anything about noise on the Signal Ground. You can have a very good S/N measurement and in reality the system can have considerable noise on the Ground side.
    The CAD GC1, GC3 & GC-R Ground Controls can be connected to any audio product that has an unused output or input connection. If your DAC, streamer, computer, phone stage, preamplifier, amplifier, CD Player, NAS, etc. has a spare output/input connector like an RCA, XLR, Spade, USB or BNC you can connect the GC1 Ground Control to that. We supply a range of interconnects with various connectors. The other end of the connector has a single 4mm banana plug that attaches to the Ground Control.
    There are two 4mm banana sockets on the back on the GC1 and six on the back of the GC3 and the GC-R.
    The GC1, GC3 or GC-R Ground Control can also be attached to Earth. If you have any type of Earth connection on your audio system or power distribution CAD can supply you a cable with an appropriate connector that will fit. The outside case of any audio component that is made from metal by law must be connected to Earth for safety. So another option is to attach a Ground Control to the case directly by loosening a case screw and inserting a Ground Control cable with a spade connector.
    We typically get the best results connecting the GC1 Ground Control to the device in your system that has the highest noise levels: components like computers, audio servers, DACs, CD players, NAS, routers etc. or by connecting the GC1 Ground Control to mains Earth. These are the best places to first try connecting the GC1 to. The GC3 & GC-R work exceptionally well connected to your mains Earth connection and directly to the cases of your amplification.
    We also have had very good results connecting a Ground Control to phono preamplifiers. The gain on these devices is large and the reduction of noise that the Ground Control provides has brought some amazing results.
    Note: Amplifiers
    We do not recommend attaching Ground Controls to the output of audio amplifiers unless you completely understand the technical design, or the amplifier can be damaged
    Our results have shown that better sonic results are typically obtained by connecting Ground Controls to source components, preamplifier or an unused input of an amplifier.
    But, if this is not possible and you wish to connect a Ground Control to the output of an amplifier (especially a balanced design) you must follow these rules:
    Never connect a Ground Control to a positive output.
    If you connect a Ground Control to the negative output NEVER connect the Ground Control to anything else. It is safe if you connect a Ground Control to the negative output of your amplifier only if the Ground Control is NOT connected to anything else. If you also attached the Ground Control to another component or to Mains Earth you may short your amplifier and damage will result.


    Paul Rigby aka TheAudiophileMan.com (online Hi-Fi magazine) gave the CAD units a very rare 10 out of 10. His summing up:

    The Ground Control might not be the first product of its ilk, either, but it’s the first product to do it right. In this respect, it changes how we listen to sound and, hence, is fully deserving of an ultra-rare, full marks, 10/10, Golden Groovy. This is only the sixth time that I have ever awarded this accolade. The CAD Ground Control fully deserves it too.

  4. #264
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 24,137
    I'm Martin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duckworp View Post
    The one that made the biggest difference was the CAD GC1 and GC3. CAD explain the science as follows:

    CAD believes that one of the key reasons so many digital audio products “sound digital” is due to this high frequency noise. .
    Since this is their starting point I think the first question to be asked is 'Is this really an issue?'


    I've heard some CAD equipment on a couple of occasions and both times it has impressed me. Neither application was using one of their grounding boxes. So no argument with CAD, they produce good, albeit expensive, kit.


    The issue I have is that I do not use any grounding products or in fact any accessories at all. Just CD player into pre-amp -power amp - speakers. No anti-vibration supports, special stands, mains conditioners, regenerators, balanced cables, balanced mains, cable lifters.... you name it I don't have it.


    And yet the sound, even from a budget player that would maybe cost £500 new in today's money, does not sound 'digital' in the slightest. Of course you would need to define what 'sounding digital' means, which CAD don't do, but let's just assume they mean 'slightly unpleasant to listen to.' The usual criticisms - 'harsh', 'hard', 'glare', 'fatiguing' etc.

    I don't get any of that in my system, although in the past I have had all of those issues with digital. Those problems went away gradually as I improved the amplification and I think that is where the real problem lies: Most amplifiers are rubbish. Either they are budget equipment and are consequently inherently compromised by limited build cost, or they are expensive but the bulk of the budget has been spent on blingy case and knobs and the glossy marketing brochure.


    (Edit: There is a third possibility in that the amp has been designed to have harmonic distortion to spice up the sound - but if you introduce harmonic distortion you also introduce intermodulation distortion and that always sounds bad with anything except a very simple music signal).


    Wheras vinyl - and analogue tape - is reasonably agnostic to this (my theory is that the analogue noise inherent to analogue sources and their replay actually ameliorates the problems of poor amplifiers) digital, in its near perfection, gives the amp nowhere to hide.


    Using a grounding box and introducing a little noise into the system replicates this analogue noise and softens the sound out so it is no longer hard, harsh, glassy etc. From the listener's perspective this is heard as a cleaner sound, a more open sound. (Consider also that it is theorised that the superior soundstage of vinyl over digital is entirely a product of noise artefacts).


    So yes, the box is subjectively improving sound quality but not in the way the manufacturers claim or users might want to think - but it is a sticking plaster solution. The real solution is to get better amplification.


    Okay so this is a theory I am just chucking out there, but to me it makes a lot more sense than the given explanations about 'grounding superfluous high frequencies' or whatever since any EE will tell you this is nonsense from the get go. How would the box know to filter out the superfluous frequencies but keep all the frequencies that make up the music signal intact? How can it differentiate? Of course it can not do this.
    Last edited by Macca; 01-02-2019 at 08:00.
    Martin



    Current Lash Up:

    Technics SLP1200 CD Player * Nelson Pass DCB1 Pre amp / Krell KSA50S Power amp * JM Lab Electra 926 loudspeakers *


    'You fool! To think that your ape-brain could contain the full knowledge of the Krell!'

  5. #265
    Join Date: Nov 2008

    Location: Suffolk

    Posts: 91
    I'm Gerard.

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    I can see the logic. In certain situations. This video shows how to make one and he makes interesting observations towards the end.

    Last edited by Gerry; 01-02-2019 at 14:15.
    Regards
    Gerry

  6. #266
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Forest of Dean, Glos

    Posts: 10,747
    I'm Jerry.

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    Awesome pontificating, Martin.

    But I think it would help if you had actually heard one.
    Jerry

  7. #267
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 24,137
    I'm Martin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jandl100 View Post
    Awesome pontificating, Martin.

    But I think it would help if you had actually heard one.
    Theorising not pontificating. And how would hearing one help explain how it works? How it works is what interests me. Obviously I'm taking the testimonials that it does work at face value.
    Martin



    Current Lash Up:

    Technics SLP1200 CD Player * Nelson Pass DCB1 Pre amp / Krell KSA50S Power amp * JM Lab Electra 926 loudspeakers *


    'You fool! To think that your ape-brain could contain the full knowledge of the Krell!'

  8. #268
    Join Date: Mar 2018

    Location: Home Counties

    Posts: 117
    I'm Joe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    Theorising not pontificating. And how would hearing one help explain how it works? How it works is what interests me. Obviously I'm taking the testimonials that it does work at face value.
    No-one with a vested interest will want to say though. Trusting your ears only means you are also trusting your ability not to be duped by soundbites and 'reviews', and a small improvement could easily be put down to that.

  9. #269
    Join Date: Dec 2018

    Location: Maidstone

    Posts: 25
    I'm julian.

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    Thanks Peter for posting that.

    full review here: https://theaudiophileman.com/cad-ground-control-review/

    I'm no scientist, but at last i think i understand how these things can work. It seems to be a development of some of the Bybee / Oriton Black Bullet type things, well similar principle anyway.
    If you lump these and isolation devices such as Black Ravioli feet, Harmonic Resolution Devices, even Hi-fi stands - as trying to reduce 'noise' - doesn't matter if it's RFI or vibration etc, then i can get my head around it.
    PS Audio Directstream DAC, modified Dennon DVD player.
    1980's Aloia 6L6 prototype, Definative Audio modded Rogue 88 Magmum 6550. CI Audio passive pre.
    Wilmslow Audio modified Chario Academy Millenium II's, Zingalis, Podium 0.5's, Frankenstein DIY's
    Ripnas etc

  10. #270
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 24,137
    I'm Martin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyrus View Post
    No-one with a vested interest will want to say though. Trusting your ears only means you are also trusting your ability not to be duped by soundbites and 'reviews', and a small improvement could easily be put down to that.
    It could but I'm happy to accept that there is something more than that occurring.
    Martin



    Current Lash Up:

    Technics SLP1200 CD Player * Nelson Pass DCB1 Pre amp / Krell KSA50S Power amp * JM Lab Electra 926 loudspeakers *


    'You fool! To think that your ape-brain could contain the full knowledge of the Krell!'

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