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Will be experimenting with adding ground box with analog (SE and balanced) and digital SPDIF cables. Directly attached to cable connector at output, like Entreq does. I am really curious how effective this is vs a ground box at a different output on the same circuit stage.
*** Looking for high quality XLR solderless connectors like the Furutech CF-602F NCR and CF-601M NCR. The original Furutech connectors at about $160 each is a bit too pricey for this experiment. Please post or let me know if anyone is aware of where I can acquire such connectors. To be clear, looking for set screw solderless connectors.
Thanks in advance!
You may want to look at this first. This paper is well received by the mastering and recording engineering people.
Does Entreq have any papers available on their technology?
I read this paper many years ago. I enjoyed reading it then and just now. My reasoning for using passive ground boxes have nothing to do with actual earth protective grounding or hum/ground loops in the system.
Awhile ago (maybe 15 years ago) I read about and had friends tell me about passive ground boxes. Passive meaning not being powered by a rechargeable or AC power source. Because of the name "ground box" and then explained theory of such a device, I thought it to be a ridiculous concept.
Fast forward to 7-8 months ago, when out of curiosity tried a simple experiment and was shocked at what I heard. I have been heavily experimenting with these devices since, trying to figure out how to optimize them. In a headphone system I currently have 11 of these devices that are DIY, and they have transformed my system to a sonic reproduction level that I did not know was even possible.
To keep this short, these devices are a lower resistance path or sink for noise on circuit ground signals or AC earth ground. They are passive, and not in the signal path. When optimized, they work spectacularly. At least in my system they have. As I understand, Entreq is the grandfather of this concept. The two main players or manufacturers of these devices are Entreq and CAD. I will include links and you can look into them if you so desire. Yesterday I tried the concept with a SPDIF coax cable (like what Entreq does), and was very pleased at the results. I will mod this SPDIF cable. I want to try the same thing for a balanced set of signal cables, that is what I need the 3-pin XLR connectors for.
Here are the links to the manufacturers of these "passive ground box" devices and that simple cable experiment I noted above:
* 1st post on page 11 is the cable experiment:
* Entreq ground boxes:
* CAD ground control:
So does all your gear connect to this box with a dedicated ground wire from it's chassis?
Does the box have a separate ground connection to your AC power ground (the third prong)?
I think you are thinking of a star grounding scheme. The name used "ground box" for these devices are misleading. They are not used as grounding devices. If one chooses they could be used as a single ground point, but that is not what they were designed for and is not how I use them. None of the individual boxes are connected to signal ground and earth ground at the same time. When filtering earth ground, they will have a dedicated box.
I currently have 11 of these DIY devices in my headphone system. I will provide link to a Head-Fi post where I recently commented on these installs. The pic is of one of my DIY ground boxes, it is installed on an unused SE input on the amp. How I use them is as a filter or noise drainage device. Here is how they are implemented:
* DAC - 4 boxes, 2 (L&R) SE RCA signal output, 2 digital outputs (BNC and RCA)
* Amp - 2 boxes, L&R RCA signal inputs
* Internet Coax connector at wall
* Modem/Router Coax connection
* Main PLC that distributes to audio system. AC Plug to ground box
* Balanced Isolation PLC that powers source (PC). AC Plug to ground box
* Balanced Isolation PLC that powers DAC, iFi DDC and modem/router. Ground box lead is attached to copper ground binding post I wired to star ground in PLC unit.
With each successive install of one of these devices the systems sonic capability is improved. The cumulative effect is stunning. To give you an idea the effect these devices have had in my system... You decided to replace a power cord on a specific component. Imagine on any of your components you have 5 very good power cords to try on your piece of gear. Each are different but one you prefer the most, enhances your system the most. The ground box I am using will increase performance of said component from 3-10+ times (depending where it is installed) what that cable upgrade provided. I am not kidding or trying to sell you anything. I was shocked and cannot stop experimenting with this concept. And the boxes (DIY) can be tuned to enhance specific sonic characteristics of the system. WAY cool!
Something I cannot explain or fully grasp yet. These devices are never in the signal path but every aspect of the design effects its performance. I just know of the cause and effect when different materials used and implementation.
So why then is there no commercial application of this technology beyond a few high end audiophiles?
I am an IEEE member. I get the journal. I have never seen this technology even mentioned?
You claim your boxes increased your system performance 10 times? So if I would listen with the boxes connected and then without the change should be obvious to anyone?
Do you have any scientific test data you can show us?
Because of the sonic improvement I have experienced, I willingly share or voice my experiences with these devices. Also am willing to discuss what I know. I originally was going to post my findings and build in the Tweaks section. But unfortunately I do not have the time to answer the amount of questions that will follow. I am already spending a lot of time assisting others privately with their builds and setups. Some of this info I post in that thread I linked you to.
I get it, the theory sounds like voodoo science LOL. I thought the same thing, first reaction years ago was the concept was nonsense. What I said was a single device in my system performs 3-10+ more than a good cable upgrade. For simplicity, I used a power cable as an example.
Ok, this is what happened to me or how I got started with these devices. Was researching something completely different (cap recommendations/mods for a tube amp) and ended up on a big Asian audiophile site that is only about DIY ground boxes. Was like 200+ pages of DIY and owners of Entreq and CAD products. One of them wanted to know if the concept was even viable? So I did what he tried and is what I am suggesting you to try, which is below.
Have been a audiophile for 25+ years, seen and played with most that is available to the community. Am a avid modder and like to tweak Hifi. Yes, having one of these devices installed and then removed is super obvious. No having to think about it. I have 11 I built and am looking to mod a cable to mate to one of these devices. Maybe, just maybe they do something.
There is a lot of science in audio. Tweaking audio is more art than science. Most audiophiles serious about tweaking hifi will agree.
Want to try a fun and inexpensive experiment to see if the theory is worth anything? After some experimentation I built my first ground box just before X-Mas 2022. Hands down the most enjoyable X-mas present I ever got!
I warn you mr. Engineer, if you try this it will elicit many questions you likely will not be able to answer. The experiment will give you 30% or so of the end results of a well built box and cable. Within a few to 10 mins you will hear what or if the device will effect your audio system. If you find such a device works for you and want to know more, go to the head-fi DIY ground box link I provided previously. It chronicles much of my journey through the project and how to fully build the device. There is also info to DIY power cable wraps (kind of like Entreq's cable wraps) for a few dollars, which do have a scientific explanation LOL. Here is the simple experiment:
1) From ebay get a 7lb bag of high purity magnetite
2) take a 3' to 5', min. 14ga, preferably 12ga to 10 ga. best quality copper stranded wire you have on hand. Strip 7" off one end of the wire which is to be placed in the bag of Magnetite.
3) Other end of wire strip off enough to wrap around the ground (outside surface) of an unused RCA input or output on your DAC preferred. Alternatively can try at pre-amp, source component. Use isopropyl alcohol to clean and remove any dirt, residue, etc off of the wire ends and the ground of the RCA jack. Use a plastic wire tie to secure the wire coming from the magnetite to the RCA jack. Alternatively you can use an alligator clip to secure the wire to RCA jack. Just make sure the wire is making very good contact with the jack.
That is it. You will know/hear the difference either immediately or within mins. No joke, try it. For $20 for the Magnetite you can test this theory you see these companies sell for thousands. Just remember this is to test theory, an optimized box works much, much better.
I want to remove the human bias from the experiment, be it positive or negative.
I propose to follow your construction guide. But then I want to induce HF noise into the ground of the audio system to where I can detect it on a scope or RF spectrum analyzer. Then connect the ground box as instructed.
If it's working I should see a reduction in the noise amplitude - right?
Any audible noise reduction should be clearly measurable on a scope or RF spectrum analyzer.
I have all the gear to do this at home.
Sir, you do you. After all these years in a hobby I love, I really just want to enjoy the music. I am not into plecebo. Either I clearly hear a difference or I do not. If you have the gear and can measure anything that is useful to know, that would be awesome.
Before even trying that experiment I suggested you try, I had to be convinced to try it. I spent about a week reading audiophiles and hobbyists from around the world discuss the ground box. How they use it, what they have tried, where they use it and so on. Then it dawned on me, just because I do not understand or have not experienced it, does not mean it can't be. How can so many people swear such good results by using such a product? How does a company like Entreq stay in business for 20+ years if they are selling a fantasy?
Obviously YMMV, but would like to know what your experience is after trying the simple experiment. One of the reasons why only select audiophiles are familiar with Entreq and CAD products is they are expensive. To outfit an entire system would run $15K+. The cables they sell for these devices run from $120 to $5K. IMHO the cable, connector used and connection make up for approx. 50% of the performance of the devices. Have fun and let me know how it goes!
Has been in my system for over a week. Inexpensive and good quality connectors you suggested. Was perfect for my project. Amazing performing cables after I modded them to accept a ground box.
Ahhh, yes. And are the audible results worthy of the effort?
Oh yah, worth the 8 hours I spent building the box and the modding. Here is where on head-fi I wrote about it:
If you don't mind buying Chinese made versions of said connectors?, I still believe that Viborg offers some of the best RCA type connectors | banana plugs | IEC inlets | RCA Chassis | Binding Post I've ever laid eyes on, yet I can admit a fondness towards the EIZZ connectors as well.
In said case, here yah go:
Just found this amazing item on AliExpress. Check it out! $42.07 5％ Off | XF202R/XM202R Viborg 99.998％ pure copper rhodium plated XLR Connector Plug Audio Cable Balance 3Pin
Just looked at the listing on Aliexpress and says soldered connection. Not solderless. Looks like a decent connector, just won't work for what I am using them for.
My bad, I once again missed that part, as I didn't read the full description | based it on the fact that I've their RCA types, which I was able to use the set screw method in attaching them onto a pair of bulk Neotech ICs used in the past.
Just be aware that the link above will take you directly to single unit pricing.
The design looks very (ahem) similar, shall we say, to the Oyaide Focus 1's which are replete and adorned with Swarovski Rhinestones... a rather exquisite touch I might add, for channel identification.
And if ya gotta have some audio jewelry, either the Viborgs or Oyaide will certainly do. But as the inquiry spec'ed: "solderless", that requirement would exclude the Oyaide (which I adore) from the running.
Is the Viborg edition solderless?
Great catch, as I didn't study the ad, and missed the pricing level on these, yet having purchased two sets of their standard RCA plugs, which are the ones using set screws, which look extremely well built, I too adore both stated Viborg | Oyaide connectors as well.
Just looked at the listing on Aliexpress and says soldered connection. Not solderless.
The XHADOWs are true set-screw types, and recently pulled a complement of them off an extended pair of Grover Huffmans. No problem mind you, just way overkill for the subwoofer amp role the GH's had been reassigned to.
So... the XHADOWs were replaced by EIZZ XLRs which I will suggest you consider. Where the XHADOWs will use set screws that require a flat bladed precision screwdriver to secure, I do not care for the prominent positioning of the screw head above the associated terminal after fixation. The EIZZ avoids this completely by using a slug that will be largely recessed when tightened down. They provide the required allen key to do this with each set.
The EIZZ's are what I use on my sub amp with the GH's now and are well above Neutrik grade.
The EIZZ platinum are what I am currently using on my XLR cables between my DAC and int amp. They are a quality connector.
Exactly what I was looking for, thanks!
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