Mains / Cables

Peak cable module absorbs speaker vibration

Make your system sing

So many audiophiles buy the major system components first and then consider the ‘extras’ as an afterthought – if there’s any money left. Emotion takes over and the next model up the range zaps the budget. What a mistake! Why? – because major components chosen with ‘mirror image’ characteristics – brash paired with smooth to cancel colourations for instance – will ameliorate a hard sound but also suffocate musical detail in the process.

Unfortunately system pollution from vibration and radio frequency interference interacts with the music signal, changing it and destroying information – so ‘matching’ components is working with a signal already damaged and no amount of conventional equipment upgrading will recover it – it’s gone, destroyed.

Lay permanent foundations upon which you can confidently build

Read Vertex and Quiescent below.

Stacked Quiescent mains modules

Those extras – in a comprehensive hifi+ review of Vertex components Roy Gregory concluded: “At no point in the process did the cost of the upgrade seem expensive given the musical results. Indeed, translated into equipment terms, you’d be well pleased to achieve these levels of improvement from a change of electronics costing many times as much.” See the highlighted conclusions at the end. 

Since that review several years ago further development by Vertex and now by Quiescent, including new patents, has massively increased the capabilities of these components.

Read these sections:  Vertex and LeadingEdge to understand how all systems, at any price level, are downgraded by pollution.  But follow this advice and you’ll lay long-term foundations that will work with any future upgrades and always allow components increasingly to reveal their full capabilities.

Pollution destroys information and enjoyment

There’s pollution carried round the system from vibrating transformers and speakers and radio frequency interference from transmissions but also from internal high speed processing, especially in digital components.   The results are a loss of detail, hard edgy sound, lumpy bass, poor imaging and uneven timing that spoils the flow.

Mains distribution block

Quiescent Balanced Power Distribution Block with separate supplies for source components and power amplifiers.

All too often we hear, “I’ve had an incredible offer on an amplifier (or whatever)  – it’s saving me £xxxx. I think I’ll get this first then I’ll look at mains supplies.

First of all, what makes him think that a change of amplifier – sometimes unheard but bought because it’s a bargain (?) – is going to tackle whatever is unsatisfactory about the system?  AND, why is it being sold at such a low price?

Here’s another thought: What are you actually listening to? In reality it’s the mains itself – that’s your source. The signal, from LP or CD, is only modulating what is the real power, what comes out of the wall.

Understanding a system

We all talk freely about music systems but how many people really consider it as a connected system? – a complex set of components interacting electrically, mechanically and magnetically.
Change one item and the effect ripples throughout.

Part of the problem is that magazines often review items in isolation and without reference to a known standard. We believe strongly that this leads to ‘compartmentalised’ thinking about the performance of individual boxes, as though that box will always perform like that.  It won’t, in a different system.  Audiophiles lose sight of system integration.

In fact the benefits stemming from these so-called ‘accessories’ can be dramatic – without them you’re likely to ‘upgrade’ the wrong component in trying to rectify a problem, because you had not tackled the underlying causes first. A sticking plaster solution but not treating the wound.

Look at the Quiescent streamer as an example of these technologies applied inside the component to tackle pollution at the source, before it spreads. This is a brand we believe will revolutionise the hifi industry – astonishing products.

What about the room?

Create sound in a room and the room becomes part of what you hear. Please don’t think there’s nothing you can do about your room because it’s the family living room. There is a LOT you can do, some really simple things, and we’re glad to advise. Read under Room Acoustics .

LeadingEdge acoustic panels absorb excess room energy across the full range 

In other sections on the site we lay out our experience for getting the best from your system, gathered over 20+ years and from hundreds of systems in customers’ homes. Please look around and follow links for further information.

Read what some of them have found in What others say.

Equipment

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Ex-dem

Vertex and Quiescent

Vertex AQ built over more than 20 years a comprehensive set of components designed to improve system performance. Recently they formed Quiescent, with new staff and expertise to raise performance even further.

In simple terms the technology cleans out pollution from your system, some entering from outside but a lot that is self-generated, by the system itself.

Move a cable or a circuit in a varying magnetic field and it generates a current – the underlying principle for transformers, motors and loudspeakers.

Turning the principle round: components resonate and create spurious signals – ‘microphony’ – when they suffer vibration from loudspeakers and transformers, those signals are then carried throughout the system by the metal cables.

The other major bugbear is Radio Frequency Interference, from mobiles, police, radio, TV etc, that creeps in from the mains and is picked up by cables.

Their combined damage creates a hard sound, destroys detail and imaging and spoils rhythm and timing, that crucial toe-tapping response when you join the performance and become involved. No conventional upgrading can repair a damaged music signal.

Vertex technology has impeccable scientific credentials, filtering down from non-destructive testing of aircraft structures and minimising interference between tightly-packed avionics in fast jets.

For hifi applications their power supplies, filters, cables and supports were mostly applied outsidethe main system components for more than 20 years, to absorb vibration and RFI – much of it internally generated – to the delight of hundreds of customers. Both types of pollution seriously downgrade performance.

The superb performance of the Vertex Aletheia DAC and their Balanced Power Supply, fully-treated internally with their vibration and RFI/EMI absorption technology, triggered Vertex to form Quiescent to develop a full range of electronic components.

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"When love and skill work together expect a masterpiece".

John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)