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I've known about Stillpoints ERS fabric for a while, the woven "paper" or "fabric" made of randomly oriented carbon fibers. I've tried applying strips of it to cables, or use strips of it around the rim of hard drives, amps, computers, etc.
It always changes the sound, but never in a good way. Usually suppresses dynamics and thins out the sound.
Well I heard that for proper use you need to ground it. I tried attaching a wire with a cold-soldered joint (silver epoxy) and running it to ground. Still had the problem.
For instance, I tried wrapping a strip of ERS around a hard drive cable a couple times. It was a fairly long strip (maybe 8") with the cold solder joint on one end, and about an inch on the far end wrapped around the wire. Then I realized that I should probably ground it much closer to the wire.
Now it sounds like an overall improvement. Transients are faster and the dynamics are better.
This is pretty neat. I'm going to have some fun with this stuff!
From the product description, it appears that this material is designed to "block" (actually, "attenuate" is the more accurate term) EM/RF signals, rather than to drain a charge to ground. This is analogous to the perforated screening on the door of a microwave oven, or even the simple screen on a window - in all cases, the goal is to minimize propagation of something either into or out of something else, and is unrelated to grounding.
That's what I gather from the product description, and especially since they list dB of attenuation at various frequencies.
With regard to your experiments, it could well be that you liked the sound with the added EM/RF "hash" - seriously - and preferred it over the sound when the hash was reduced. This is not unexpected. Certain types of distortion are subjectively desirable to many (most?) people, with some people preferring one type and other people preferring another type. This is well-known in the audio arena and is a VERY subjective phenomenon.
Look under Suggested Uses and you'll find......
"ERS does not operate under the same principles as a shield thus it does not require grounding."
Guess you could focus on the word "require".
That's an interesting finding. Carbon fiber as an electrical energy dissipator tends not to require a ground wire. Perhaps it provides an anti-static benefit. Do you have a link to what you heard about the method? TIA
The best use I found for ERS was to line the cover door of my breaker box with it. Reading your post, maybe I should go the extra half-step and electrically couple the fabric to the door. Thanks for the tip.
some other remote part of your house (remote from your audio system), I am wondering why that would make an audible difference. You are shielding the immediate environment around the breaker box, which presumably contains no objects that could affect the sound of your audio system. Of course, the breaker box might be IN your listening room, as well.
It's worse than that. I have no basement, and I have TWO breaker boxes in my listening room!
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