DHL delivery from Japan was very fast. Graeme's box included a kit to lengthen the Booster unit's two 7cm uprights. Six additional 7cm screw-in segments per shaft, one of them in 3.5cm halves, allow up to 50cm of height to elevate the cradle. I'd use the Booster on the GTO's power inlet first. That'd spread whatever benefits it had to an entire system, no extra lift required.

I tried and saw that GTO's four rubber bumpers attach by standard M6 bolts. Resonance extremists can thus mount isolators like Hifistay's to go vigilante on vibrations.

Of course when manufacturers shoot hollow-point bullets… er, tamper-proof hollow bolts, my lack of safe-cracking hardware capitulates. My last white flag waved with Merrill Wettasinghe's Element 114 power amp. He really wanted nobody to see inside. With Furutech, I could still remove a duplex cover. But that showed no more than the opening image already had: a few wires with a GC-303 mat beneath. This box was simplicity incarnate. I rather doubted that it'd equate to simpleton, however.

That settled, the kit hoofed it upstairs into my secondary 24m² room. Its system then kicked off with a Soundaware D100Pro SD transport spitting S/PDIF at a Denafrips Terminator DAC which hit up a Crayon CFA-1.2 integrated by RCA. The trio floated on Hifistay's top X-Frame rack and plugged into a Furutech RTP-6 with twin Clean Lines. Those would have to go to not confuse the issue. Speakers were Cees Ruijtenberg's Acelec Model One, a 6.5" ScanSpeak two-way with Mundorf AMT, rubber-bonded aluminium cabinet and stacked 1st-order filters. Franck Tchang's magnesium super tweeters top those, LessLoss Firewall-for-Loudspeakers inline mechanical HF filters precede them.

For round two the RTP-6 would trade places with a Puritan Audio Lab PSM-156. That Brit was stand-in for properly executed still affordable active AC/DC filtering with surge/spike protection. Round three would go headfi and Raal-Requisite SR1a true ribbon headphones with a Schitt Jotunheim R amp. I'd do the Puritan/Furutech two-step again. At €1'450 with 2m mains cord and six outlets, the Puritan is a direct alternate option. Owners of elite headphones just might want to know whether/how whatever I heard in a speaker system would translate to their type transducer. With a good plan hatched, all systems were go.

Going active was clearly fatter and fuzzier. I felt like having transitioned to output transformer ringing, to lack of LF damping and extra warmth all from a legacy valve amp with limited bandwidth. Whilst the minor blur suggested extra spaciousness—think overdone DSD or a fractional damper-pedal release during a piano playing Bach—the effect was invariant with recording. It applied itself universally to be outed as a patina or lens distortion. The bass was thicker and bloomier, the top end grainier. Resolution and separation diminished. Added up, the most serious cutback of this minor-key litany was on liveliness. Both passives of old and new Furutech had brisker jump factor, crisper enunciation, more adroit and punchy bass, a freer vocal range and more informative treble. They maximized venue differences between recordings. I heard more flavor variety in audible space. The overarching shift from active power filtering to passive power distribution was a general quickening and parallel cutting of grease and energetic reluctance. Think of wading through water, soft sand or walking with steel-sole boots. Once you leave the water, sand or take off the weighted footwear, their drag disappears. Immediately your movements feel light and unrestrained again for that proverbial pep in your step. That was the primary gestalt changer.

With power distributors, I seat the most current-hungry component closest to the power inlet, then move down the line. Of course if Furutech wired these two duplexes in parallel not series, it wouldn't really matter.

What separated the two Furutech passives were mere degrees where the GTO-D2 went further away from the active signature. If you only heard the RTP-6, you'd already consider it a big win versus the AC/DC filter. With the newer NCF unit, the win would simply be a bit more. Here it's important to stress that the gains in clarity and articulation meant no hardening. These resolution enhancements were not of the pixilated edge-sharpened kind. With extra Clear Lines—I had one spare socket with the GTO to add NCF mass—that aspect of subliminal sweetness increased in particular.