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Reviewer: Glen Wagenknecht
Financial Interests: click here
Sources: Audio Space CDP 8A CD Player
Luxman Brid CD Player modified by Audio Upgrades into a tube-less, zero oversampling machine with volume control
Preamplifier: Audio Space Reference 2S
Amplifier:Bel Canto 200.4
AV Receiver: Pioneer Elite SC-25
Main Speakers: Apogee Duetta Signature, Paradigm Servo 15 subwoofer
AudioSpace AS-3/5A
Stands: Charisma Audio Function Stands,Target Stands
AV Speakers: JohnBlue M3s
AV Subwoofer: Paradigm PW-2200
Desktop Audio Speakers: Swans M200 MkIII
Desktop DAC/Pre Headphone Amp: DA&T U-2
Cables: Audio Art SE cable loom, JPS Labs Ultraconductor 2 speaker cables, Signal Cable Silver Reference interconnects and speaker cables, digital optical and coax cable
Resonance Control: Solid Tech, EquaRack Footers, Weizhi Precision Gold Glory footers, Boston Audio TuneBlock2 footers, Superspikes, and Black Diamond
Powerline conditioning: Noise Destroyer power filtration
Accessories: TrueHarmonix Black Magic CD Mat
Main Room size: 12' x 17'
Home Theatre: 10.5’ x 16.5’
Review Component Retail: $199 Canadian/set of 4 plugs

Vibration management is a subject most audiophiles take quite seriously. Solutions run the full gamut from simple to extreme and are now employed in so wide an assortment of audio applications that one would assume there are no more sources of resonance to quell. Now a lone manufacturer claims to have uncovered a fresh cause for concern - the unused female chassis-mount RCA connector. While no one will dispute that the almost 7-decades old warhorse RCA connector has its weaknesses, the concept of low-level vibration in an unused socket would be commonly dismissed as too inconsequential to merit any—never mind serious—attention. That may be about to change.

The Silent Plug is an intriguing little device from German high-end manufacturer Audio Exklusiv. At first glance it strongly resembles an RCA shorting plug but that appearance is deceptive. The Silent Plug aspirations are considerably loftier. Although it does have the shielding benefits of a non-shorting cap, the white center plug is non-conductive and company chief Andreas Schönberg states that this product’s primary purpose is resonance control. The application of vibration management on the RCA i/o ports of a hifi component is unusual but consistent with Audio Exklusiv’s fastidious attention to detail. Schönberg believes that every choice of material and fastener has a sonic contribution. Hence he pursues each possible source of vibratory intrusion. The Silent Plug is simply a logical progression.

By audiophile standards Audio Exklusiv is an established veteran. The company was founded in 1979 by designer and audiophile Gerd Pütz who drew on his extensive technical background and industry experience to launch a dynamic loudspeaker called the Tubular Bell. This blossomed into a wide range of products that touched all of the major upscale audiophile bases including a turntable, electronics and eventually his dream electrostatic loudspeakers.

Misfortune struck in 1990 with the untimely death of Mr. Pütz at the age of 41. It left Audio Exklusiv in the hands of his wife and two sons who tended the firm until 2004 when it shut its doors. This could have marked the end of the company and this story but more chapters were to come. In 2009 Audio Exklusiv was rescued from oblivion by long-time family friend Andreas Schönberg, an equally dedicated audiophile with his own strong set of technical and industrial skills. He chose to leave the relative security of corporate life to resurrect and renew Pütz’s legacy. This re-established the company’s former eminence with Audio Exklusiv’s traditional approach applied to a new generation of products.

This lineup has seen rapid expansion in established areas. Already announced are upcoming forays into the digital realm with CD players and a DAC. Audio Exklusiv remains committed to vinyl with a reference turntable and dedicated phono pre plus offers an extensive range of electronics including their P7 tube preamplifier, a number of tube hybrid power and integrated amplifiers. They also manufacture the rejuvenated P3.1 full-range electrostatic loudspeaker. To complete the picture they offer a full range of accessories to combat resonance including the Silent Plug. All are designed and manufactured in Germany.