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For today’s review Gilbert sent along a pair of his, ahem, Sillycone Filters. It's them he calls the 12X and 6X. Essentially Gilbert took the basic design of his top-line BC6000 Powerline Filter and Conditioner I reviewed here and condensed it into silicone-packed ABS pipes. Keen to offer products for the less well-heeled, Gilbert started experimenting with placing components inside various diameters and lengths of ABS pipe.

It shouldn’t come as a shock to readers that a good deal of a component’s cost is its enclosure. By ditching the fancy brushed metal box the end user gets the performance of the more traditional design at a considerable savings. Granted bling is non-existent but don’t diss Gilbert’s drain-pipe products - at least not until you’ve heard them. The Fon Lo Thingee I reviewed here offered the guts of Blue Circle’s more upscale and traditionally housed BC703 and BC707 phono stages at a fraction of the cost.

The 6X and 12X nomenclature refers to the amount of filtering of each in relation to Blue Circle’s highly regarded BC86 MKIII Noisehound. The 6X has 6 times the filtering power of the BC86; the 12X 12 times and so on. Blue Circle also offers an 18X. The filtering method is similar to the BC6000 and the BC86, i.e. via a number of paralleled capacitors of varying values. You simply plug the X filters in an unused outlet on the same circuit as your system. Gilbert says the closer you plug the filter to a component, the better the filtering effect. Click here for a brief video.

Since the filters are parallel to your components, there shouldn’t be any adverse effects on dynamics or power delivery. However, since capacitors are reactive, sonic results can be unpredictable depending on the power supplies of your system. This is why I generally see power line conditioners as a form of tone control and not just as filters. I’ve had a number of Gilbert’s earlier generation Noisehounds over the years and found some interesting tonal effects depending on where and how many of them I installed.

Put a couple here and get a richer warmer midrange. Put one here and get a cleaner perhaps even brighter presentation. At the time I got optimum results by plugging a half dozen into a power strip. However there are only so many free outlets in a system. Who wants a half dozen little boxes strewn about the floor? The 6X and 12X address this by packing in far more filtering power per plug. Even though my system is fed from a single line, I noted greater effectiveness when I placed the filters adjacent to digital gear, especially my CEC transport. The same was true when connected next to the power supplies of my phono stage and turntable (I usually pull the plugs from all my digital gear when spinning vinyl).