Contacting me with a review request
was Paweł Czubryt, R&D director of CTG. Since 2014, their hifi products had changed name and ownership, he explained. Now they were marketed as Verictum. That's a Latin amalgamation of two words which arrive at real influence. And at the end of the day, that's what all audiophiles want from any tweak: demonstrable improvements of real influence. Since I didn't have to gamble any coin on whether this stuff's influence might be of the jaw-dropping or vein-popping magnitude—dead obvious or barely discernable—I figured I'd take one for the team of our more cautious readers. I'd sign up for a walk down Voodoo Alley. My mock tone implies no slight. It's just an à priori admission. Don't expect any real explanations on how this stuff works, exactly. We're merely told that it "diverts parasitic EMI/RFI" from our devices and "transforms it into heat". Best not to expect your utility bill to go down from any free heat however. For that, class A amps are a lot better. Not that their heat is really free.

With Verictum we note that Tech X is promoted as being purely passive. No electrical parts like chips, coils, caps, resistors, transformers or the like. It'll be a type of manufactured material or mix then. Remember Shunyata's original FeSi-1000 compound? Furutech's GC-303 EMI-absorbent coating? The LessLoss skin-effect coating? ERS cloth? Or the grand daddy of 'em all, ferrite clamps? Then there are companies like Delphi Aerospace who build cables for mission-critical apps like satellites and the CERN Large Hadron collider to hold eight patents in the fields of reactance cancellation and noise reduction. Some of Delphi's noise reduction in cables "is achieved by the use of metal powders impregnated into the innermost shield" and a conductor alloy "made of rare earth and precious metals plus ceramic ingredients". About today's devices we can say that their CTG compound/material was developed for industrial HF-noise critical installations. Verictum is simply a spin-off to exploit the same tech for audio applications. This is how the company put it themselves: "Within the scope of its research and development work, CTG developed and implemented, among others, innovative intelligent street light controllers with dedicated light sources. They enable control and full two-way communication of a road's surface state, for example for each lamp. The controllers enable two-way transmission of information via the lamp's power line thanks to innovative active interference filters developed by the CTG Company. It is a unique solution both in Europe and globally. The Verictum brand is based on research and experiments performed by CTG in the fields of signal and energy transmission, interference suppression and wave control propagation. They were carried out within the framework of projects related to energy industry and ICT. The CTG engineering staff consists of a research and implementation team. The team members specialize in the fields of electronics, telecommunications technology, IT and physics. They develop the CTG Company projects. They have made significant progress and produced results in the field of high technology. Verictum derives from those technologies and invents innovative solutions based on them whilst transferring them to audio products."

Their X material comes packaged three different ways. It's either enclosed in a flat 14x4x20cm wood box to be placed atop gear as you would a mass damper; in a forthcoming Carbon-fibre cigarillo with a spade pig tail to tap into speaker terminals in parallel; or in a free-standing wooden* cylinder with a wire. That wire terminates in various single connectors (an RCA, spade or power plug) to connect to an open RCA of a component, a speaker terminal, a chassis screw or a spare outlet in a power distribution box. These wired solutions are called X Bulk, the pure proximity devices X Block and the cigarillos X Band (no little green X Men as yet). They are all said to work in conjunction; and to be effective across different frequency bands. Special fuses complete the catalogue.

Miss Hooey's common sense would remind us. Of course they'd say that, silly. They want to sell you multiple devices and probably recommend at least one X Block per component; plus multiple X Bulk and a fuse for each device. Which indeed they do.

But our less cynical hubby notes the 18-day trial period. We've got nothing to lose, hon. In fact, doesn't the company exhibit real stones of confidence to extend such a satisfaction guarantee? Yeah, Miss Hooey retorts. But that's just a ploy. They know their shit works. It'll stick. What will they charge us for all these Xtras? C'mon, hubby, there's a terrific sale on at my favourite jeweler's. And I need some new shoes.


* This Merbau wood comes from a flowering tree species in the pea family that's native to the Indo-Pacific and inhabits mangrove forests where it grows to about 50 metres tall. It also goes by the names of ipil, kwila and taal.