Audio Asylum Thread Printer
Get a view of an entire thread on one page
|For Sale Ads|
|Suggested Retail Price:||$30.00|
|Manufacturer URL:||EVS - Electronic Visionary Systems|
|Review by Quint on November 04, 2010 at 14:08:47|
IP Address: 126.96.36.199
|Add Your Review|
for the Ground Enhancer
Even though Iím a self-confessed audio tweakerósometimes to my detrimentóI am capable of drawing a line in the sand . . . occasionally. One of the few times I was able to draw said line was when Audioprism released its controversial Ground Control grounding tweak. Even though it looked like a little piece of wire under a cotton jacket that attached to the negative terminals of oneís speakers, I was curious enough to audition a pair on my Definitive Technology Mythos STSís.
That audition didnít go particularly well. At times I thought I could maybe hear a slight improvement in overall dimensionality, but I couldnít consistently hear that difference, so I discounted it. Other than that, the Ground Control did nothing my ears could discern, so I wound up returning it and dismissing it and similar tweaks as snake oil.
Enter tweaker supreme Ric Schultz and his company, Electronic Visionary Systsems (EVS). Ricís work speaks for itself, so I wonít go into detail about his accomplishments, other than to say he is a respected member of a bunch of different audio forums, including this one. Ric now offers a device called the Ground Enhancer (GE), which bears a similarity to Audioprismís Ground Control. Iíll let other, more tech-savvy minded folks get into the technical nitty gritty about how they differ, but the one major visual difference that I notice is that the Ground Control uses spade terminations, whereas the GR uses simple bare wire that wraps around the negative binding posts of oneís speakers. This, in theory at least, should give the GE an advantage over the Ground Control.
Donít ask me how devices like this work, or exactly why I gave Ricís GEs a shot after my experience with the Ground Controls, but Iím glad I have an open mind about these things. At $30/pair, the GEs are a minor expense for many audiophiles, so I decided to take the plunge and check them out, fully expecting to take advantage of Ricís 30-day money-back guarantee.
I wound up not exercising that option. After a settling-down period of a few hours, I started to realize that these things were pretty special. I used just two of my most familiar discsóBadfingerís No Dice and Dire Straitsí eponymous debutófor evaluation. With the GEs attached to the negative posts of my Definitives, the music adopted a weight and vividness that startled me. From the opening bars of Badfingerís ďI Canít Take It,Ē guitars popped and snarled and bass throbbed like I hadnít heard before in my second system. It wasnít on the scale of a component change, certainly, but the improvements in dimensionality, rhythmic force, and soundstage focus were eye-opening. On the Dire Straits discóespecially on the bass-heavy opening of ďWater of LoveĒóthe low end was audibly tighter and more powerful, and Mark Knopflerís usually hazy vocals adopted a focus and dimensionality that left me smiling.
Simply put, the Ground Enhancers have elevated my enjoyment of music at least a full notch or two. Considering their price of $30/pair, what they do borders on the near miraculous. Iím one of the few people who didnít hear much if any difference with the Audioprism Ground Controls, so why I heard such a profound difference with a similar product baffles me. But I know what I hear, and EVSís Ground Enhancers are not being returned. They are very highly and unreservedly recommended. I canít think of a way to better spend $30 on this hobby.
|Product Weakness:||None for the price|
|Product Strengths:||Improvements in dimensionality, soundstage focus, resolution, and bass tightness/dynamics|
|Preamplifier (or None if Integrated):||None|
|Sources (CDP/Turntable):||Modified Oppo BDP-83SE|
|Speakers:||Definitive Technology STS|
|Music Used (Genre/Selections):||Rock|
|Room Size (LxWxH):||24 x 20 x 7|
|Room Comments/Treatments:||Nice blend of absorption and diffusion; all reflective surfaces covered|
|Time Period/Length of Audition:||3 days|
|Other (Power Conditioner etc.):||Jena Labs Platinum|
|Type of Audition/Review:||Product Owner|
Can You Build A Cable Approx. 2O inches Long Terminated On One End USB
And The Other For An iPOD.
Thanks For Your Time.
"I notice is that the Ground Control uses spade terminations, whereas the GR uses simple bare wire that wraps around the negative binding posts of oneís speakers. This, in theory at least, should give the GE an advantage over the Ground Control."
What possible "theory" could you use to make that assessment?
Direct contact compared to using spades perhaps
That's not a theory, that's speculation. A theory has to have reproducible results.
"A theory has to have reproducible results. "
Says who? It wasn't claimed to be a 'scientific theory'. But it's a passable theory theory. A postulate as it were.
There is a discontinued product called "Pigtails" by Creative Cable. Looks like the same idea, but is supposed to be hooked up to the positive terminals.
Anyone have any idea if this is the same kind of tweak, just reversed on the terminal placement?
Anybody try the grounded electrons tweak on the positive terminals?
Here's a catalog description: CREATIVE CABLE - PIGTAILS W - SPADES (PR)
Designed to eliminate the problem of back-EMF, a particularly nasty distortion created by the backward movement of cone and dome drivers, Pigtails will bring focus and clarity to your system you never thought possible. Sold in pairs or quads (for bi-wiring), the Pigtail simply attaches to the positive binding post on your speakers. The improvement is not subtle! Instantly, the image comes into focus; depth and transparency are revealed and all haze and grain are gone! This is a must-have tweak for anyone with a pair of speakers!
I e-mailed Ric about how to attach his EVS units to a maggie pinned (aka. banana plug) input only equipped speaker and he said he did not know. Anyone have any ideas about how we maggie owners can reap the benefits of his grounding product? I do plan on trying a pair of them on the pair of mono-block amplifiers negative speaker terminals (5-way binding posts) to see what aural benefits that will bring but, I want to wait and see what answers I get here before ordering so that, I place one order for four instead of two orders of two, if you know what I mean.
Anyone have any ideas about how we Maggie owners can reap the benefits of his grounding product?
You could replace the speaker-side bananas on your cables with a stackable plug, and use the extra hole for the Ground Enhancer. I've pictured WBT here because I've used their products in the past with excellent results (although not bananas). However, since they cost more than the EVS tweak itself, the logistics may be a little lumpier! There are cheaper manufacturers of similar designs.
I am one of the beta testers for Ricís devices and I can confirm that in testing we found:
Lower noise floor/more information, wider/deeper soundstage, more natural and dimensional reproduction of tonal qualities (ie realer instruments).
We tried many, different configurations (with different wire, thicknesses, etc) along the way. And also I did an eq test of the room at the listening point to see if the Ground Enhancers were altering tonal balances in anyway but the measurements stayed the same with the devices in or out of the system.
The difference with these things in the system and out is as noticeable as turning the light on and off in a dark room.
That's a huge statement! To me, it's like saying: The Ground Enhancers reintroduced life back into a corpse. I've ordered two pairs. I'm either going to be astonished, or bitterly disappointed!
Well... that certainly kicks "like lifting a veil..." down the list.
I have placed an order.
Nothing like trying out a new, affordable tweek and I'm
VERY much listening forward to trying out this one.
" Once this was all Black Plasma and Imagination." -Michael McClure
I have the AP version of this tweak, I took mine out last nite to see if I would missed these, my system sounded bad without them, no life, no dynamics, bass was weak, the highs sounded harsh, no depth, so back they went, life is now good! I have the EVS Ground enhancers coming soon to see how they are against the AP 's.
Hello to all:
I am wondering if anyone has tried using the EVS ground enhancer
along with those capacitor/resistor RF filters across the speaker
terminals that are being talked in the forums, like the Walker HD
They both work and they both work cumulatively, and in my system at least, they work synergistically.
If you can DIY you can do better than the Walkers, IMHO, by making a full R-C-R array. The instructions are here on Tweaks in various posts (mostly by Al Sekela and CDC). If you can't, then try Awe-d-o-phile's version that he sells, which I recall are cheaper than the Walkers.
As to the ground controls, again, the instructions have been posted. If you can't DIY, then buy these EVS midels cheaply at $30 each.
I'd suggest you might also like Alan Maher's CBF line too.
In what sequence do you attach all this to the negative post? Spade against the speaker end of the post, then the Walker or other RCR array and then the EVS GE next to the nut and tighten? I understand Lloyd Walker recommends the HDL be behind the spade between the spade and the nut, not between the speaker and the spade.
I am assuming the GE goes between the HDL/RCR array and nut on the post?
Closest to the speaker body: speaker cable spade.
Middle: R-C filter spade.
Top near nut: ground control spade.
Tighten down as much as is safely possible, and use CAIG Pro-Gold or similar contact enhancing and protecting fluid.
Great, that is exactly what I thought. Thank you so much! I use Kontak which is what I plan on using.
My GE's are due to arrive sometime mid next week. It will be most interesting to hear them compared to the reference AP GC versions I now have. I really do like the reference a lot from the standpoint of details and imaging which, in surround is quite astounding. However, I think they truncate "slam" a bit. I definitely do not note dynamic improvement over no GC in the speakers. I am hoping that the GE will be roughly the same with the Walker type RCR array attached to the upper posts. If so, the AP's go back as I have about 10 days to go or so on my 30 day trial and the cost differential between the reference GC and GE is quite enormous for 4.5 pair.
As I read here, they are not RCR arrays at all. They are simple R-C pairs.
The R-C and R-C-R arrays are posted here under Al Sekela and CDC, if you want to know how to implement a more sophisticated device. And Awe-d-o-file makes them under the Econotweaks line in a multicap R-C version too.
These are synergistic in my system with the ground control tweaks, so don't eliminate any of them!
Do you still hook this up to your negative terminal if your preamp inverts phase ?
Seems to me, yes. It is the ground which is involved, not the absolute musical phase of the electrical signal. Example - hook up your amp/spkrs with +/+ and -/- as normal. Invert your signal at the source, say a DAC and the phase of the signal changes but not the negative ground in the circuit. Same with an amp that inverts absolute phase. The negative terminal on the output is still the ground as far as I know. It is the input circuit that inverts phase at some point in the circuit.
I would email Ric and ask him to be certain, but from my meager, ancient, electronics class education in H.S. eons ago that is what I would expect from looking at a typical amp schematic.
Anybody have a link to the Awe-d-o-phile version of the walker array? I have read about them but so far have not attempted that tweak. How well do they work?
I have a full set of the reference GC from Audio Prism on my main 5 speakrs in my system now and ordered a full set of the GE versions on Sunday from Ric to add to the amp end of the system to try those out and see how they work in addition. So far, I have been very impressed with the reference version of the GC from AP. They were quite expensive as a set though since I bi-wire and bi-amp my speakers and needed a full pair per speaker which is why I stopped there so far until I found the GE version from Ric. Great find!
I understand Ric is inundated with orders so be patient. He was kind enough to inform me mine should be shipped in about a week due to backlog so it seems everybody is on the bandwagon. Good for Ric! That says something in my book.
At any rate, the AP versions (at least the reference) pretty much surprised me so am looking forward to these with great anticipation.
Oh, one last thought. Many people have added these devices to their amp speaker posts. I use two amps in my set up - a multi channel amp for my center and surrounds all bi-wired except the center and a separate stereo amp for the front L/R bi-wired (for now). Has anyone used these on the negative posts on a multi channel single chassis amp (i.e. one per channel negative post) or just one for the whole amp? Curious. Seems from what I read that one per channel on stereo amps is suggested so, logically, one would expect the same thought to work on multi channel amps as well.
one set on my puppy part of Wilson WPs, i'm noticing better bass articulation, more vividness to music (ie better projection of dynamics), clearly an improvement, much more dramatic than any CD treatment or contact cleaner.
and for $30? bargain.
has anyone tried using a set on both the amp end & the speaker end of the speaker cables? or on both sets of binding posts of a bi-wirable speaker?
Installed three sets on my Duos and one set on my M60s, both last night. Listened from 8PM to 2AM. Right out of the box they were good. About three cds in they were better. A "...clothen eared beet..." (Basil Fawlty) could've heard the improvement. More later...vinyl is up next. Ordered two more sets today.
Should have them by Wednesday. Will report back then.
Received 3 sets yesterday of the EVS Ground Enhancers.
These look very similar to the Ground Controls except without the spades or bananas. Mine have just a straight wire that I placed into the hole on my speaker spade lugs.
I am using these Ground Enhancers on my Home theater system along with several of the Ground Controls.
Well, immediately I noticed much more presence in the surround channels along with more weight and definition.
Thus far, I consider EVS Ground Enhancers to be the equal in sound improvement to the Audioprism Ground Controls.
Ozzy (System | Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)
the original Ground Controls didn't work as well for you, but good for you for locating an inexpensive version!
I did what B. Purvine (the inventor) suggested and tried it out first with simple lampcord. That worked so well that I constructed a set of clones of my own, using spades and RCAs and some straight wires too. Worked extremely well!
Now you've done it!
Look for posts by B. Purvine, then follow-ups. I know this is a lot to read through, but it's highly informative, and later you'll see illustrations and read about various ways to use this tweak. You can skip the theoretical speculations and just zero in on the construction technique posts.
I do not pretend that this is easy, nor that it is better than the commercially produced ones.
But it is extremely easy to test the concept using just some zip cord, as suggested in this thread. If that works, then making up a real set is worth the effort. Took me about an hour or two to do the set of 10 for my system.
I had to: buy the right Litz wire, cut to 6" lengths, strip the insulation from both ends of each strip using a candle to burn it off and a Dremel to sand off the residue (not easy!), then heat shrink as described and cut the tubing afterwards, then solder to my desired terminations (YMMV in this case). So it's a multi-step process but not complicated once you see the pix.
Works within 20 minutes and improves as it burns in.
I use them on both speakers, sub, amp, DAC, CDP. The more the merrier!
bartc, thanks for the diyaudio link. I just went to Radio Shack and bought some 100 microhenry, 2 watt chokes, crimped the wires to a spade connector and hooked them up to the negative terminals of my speakers. Subtley outstanding(or better). Like one of the others said, "Like turning the lights on in a dark room."
I'm sorry, but I don't recall the choke tweak on that thread. Where did you read this?
bartc I don't remember exactly what page is was on, but I would guess that on pages 4-6 of the posting. The gentleman stated that he had used what I thought were torrodial chokes and that they bested the DIY ones that were being discussed. I decided to use the ones that I chose only because they seemed easier to work with.
On page 8 of that DIYaudio.com thread on 'groundside electrons'. He doesn't specify anything other than "common mode chokes" with lots of wire.
You got stuff off the shelf at RS, huh? OK, I might try that one. I'm assuning you did the same thing: make a single lead from the two ends and put that onto the negative post of your speakers, right?
bartc, yes I simply crimped the two ends of the choke wires onto a spade connector. BTW, I later made another set on attached them to positive speaker terminals and got slightly more improvement. Maybe a little wider sound stage, definitely more pronounced and tighter bass response, slightly better transparancy, and more gain at the same setting.
Not better, not worse, on either pole. Too bad....
thought I would hear what a good implementation sounds like.
Luckily I have a small solder pot but have no idea where one goes to get the Litz wire.
Would you reveal your source?
See if you can find a loal place that sells surplus electrical/industrial parts. Here in Colorado Springs we have place in an old supermarket. I found an entire shelf of spools of magnet wire ranging in size from 20ga - 42ga. Quantities from Small (2 lb) spools up to large 16 lb spools. I paid $14 for 3 pounds of 36ga wire - more than I'll ever use. Or, you can buy it from Ebay and pay shipping.
While it is good to read the whole thread, the drawing in post #230 at the bottom of pg. 23 will show you what you want to achieve in the end.
the old picture being worth one thousand words ....
thought I would include the link
Mr. Purvine is quite a fellow.
I haven't tried his ENABL speaker cone treatment. But I suspect he knows whereof he speaks, even if some doubt his theoretical underpinnings. Fact is that his ground tweak does work very well in my system and in a friend's too, so I'm sufficiently convinced it's valuable.
I do not mind reading it over.
...and these things really work. Very good tweak. I think my stranded wire was/is 18 gauge or so. I may try the EVS (because they're cheap and I believe litz).
You will like the litz wire versions a lot I more I suspect. I was an early experimenter with Bud's idea and tried all sorts of versions. I found that fine magnet wire litz of at least 100 strands per loop brought the best results.
on the cics thread.
I saw that you had been onto this for awhile.
Can't wait to hear what they will do.
The fellow who made my DAC and linestage found that it does work and he is a very sober and sensible fellow. If there was nothing to it he would not equivocate.
Not different from when I saw that you had posted to the thread at DIY. I knew there was something to this. (I trust your ears!)
I love these little discoveries! I mean Mr. Purvine's discovery!
Now I want to try the ENaBL dots.
I probably should have but many here think this stuff is nuts. I get a bit weary also of the innuendo that I overstate effects of tweaks and new versions of cplay so I shied away from it. But this one is a keeper.
I just noticed this on his site and thought I might give these a try.
I always look to see what Ric is up to.
His products always strike me as offering good value for money.
Thanks for the notice. Now I have got to hear this fro myself.
This post is made possible by the generous support of people like you and our sponsors: