Optimising your soundstage
Friday, 05 August 2011 00:00

Digital audio was formally introduced globally in the mid eighties in the form of the compact disc, a natural successor to its analogue counterparts vinyl records, open-reel tapes and
cassettes. Since then, sustained research and development has assured that some iteration of this new technology would eventually win the fierce battle for supremacy in both consumer and professional markets.

The obvious advantages offered in the digital domain are lower noise floor, increased dynamic range and streamlined editing of recorded material. Furthermore, music may be archived and retrieved through downloads, IPods or more sophisticated techniques. Clearly the backbone of future audio systems will be computer-based; with high-resolution soundcards and up-sampling ensuring that every possible musical nuance is eked from all recordings. Frontrunners such as HRx are already staking claim to become the new industry standard.

Apart from acquisition of a new front end, the question remains how does one optimise one’s system to minimise the need for costly investment? The answer is that one should consider simple passive upgrades like supplying clean power and tweaking one’s soundstage. A dramatic sonic improvement will be attained when power factor correction, RF/noise filtering and transient suppression are applied to your incoming mains. One such device that facilitates all these enhancements is the Audience aR2p Adept Response high-resolution line conditioner.

“It is hand built without the use of circuit boards or clip-on connections. The aR2p provides surge suppression up to 20,000 amps. Whereas surge suppression devices like the ubiquitous MOV (Metal Oxide Varistor) are sacrificial devices and wear out over time, the aR2p surge suppression does not deteriorate. We have also found that MOV devices introduce grudge to audio and video signals.” The aR2p is supported by a ten-year factory warranty and an interesting article is published here.

Soundstage tweaking after power supply filtering is a very interesting exercise. I always recommend the RR/XLO test and burn in CD as being a very proficient tool in this regard. Read
more in a previous article written for ultraaudio magazine. The ultimate reward is endless hours of listening pleasure from your system that is guaranteed to sound revitalised especially after you have meticulously cleaned all terminals, cables and interconnects.

Simeon L Sandiford
Managing Director