Possibilities. While the visitor did its field-conditioning thing in silence for 24 hours, I itemized the kind of sonic changes I find plausible for devices which successfully lower noise even a little. With our volume control unchanged, peaks can't get louder. However, tiny stuff just at the edge of audibility can. It may not amount to hearing things we've never heard before. But it could amount to small details seeming a bit more important. They've actually detached more from our standing noise to grow in stature or relevance. What makes up musically relevant micro detail? To me it's mostly about two kinds of data: ambient recovery and harmonic content. The first covers nearly subliminal 'hall' sounds—real venue acoustics or artificial reverb—while the second is about higher overtones in instrumental/vocal timbres. In general, the higher the harmonic, the lower its amplitude relative to the base note. So it's logical that as system resolution improves from lower noise, we hear more of the homeopathic higher particles that make up individual tones. With soundstaging, width is primarily fixed by our speaker positioning. Depth too is impacted by how close/far the speakers locate to/from the wall facing us. But far more than width, depth is also impacted by a speaker's phase coherence and our system's resolution of micro detail. Think superior layering and distance differentiation.

If you have experience with different AC conditioner types, you're familiar with opposing effects. One type filter acts like a damper. There's great apparent background silence and because of it, high contrast of sounds fronting it. But musical energy, vivaciousness, spunk and jump factor all feel suppressed as though we were in an unnatural vacuum. Some liveliness and vibrancy have gone MIA.  Another type filter acts like an accelerator. Musical energy kicks up. It's as though the damper of the first kind lifted. If a track is 3'47" long, it takes exactly the same time to play back no matter what AC filter we use. Yet our subjective sense of musical pace and rhythm can still find one reading more mellow and lazy, the other more driven and spirited. Clearly that's not measurable in clock time. There's also the concept of fluidity. I hear it as an absence or at least lessening of edginess. It's very often a function of treble quality. There's clarity from low noise, phase coherence and absence of energy storage. There's bite, incisiveness and splash as facets of sharpness. In my experience with various noise filters, the more effective convert the faux clarity of crisp sharpness into a mellower clarity of pure fluidity. This may feed our perception of temporal motion. As treble mellows from superior resolution, we may sense that forward drive relaxes. To reiterate, the three areas I thought to be most likely touched by the BlackGround were soundstage depth and contrast ratio; more sophisticated timbre differentiation; and the subjective feel of musical timing. That's if whatever atmospheric noise it trapped registered similar to more familiar noise filters from Akiko, Ansuz and Furutech. If it was an entirely different ball of wax, I'd roam terra incognita looking for my bearings.

Some of the most sophisticated tone my present system has yet made came compliments of Raidho's TD-1.2. Its mid/woofer with compact wind-slip N52 neodymium motor had visited the Aarhus Tribology & Materials lab of the Danish Technological Institute. Their research isn't chemical but bombards materials with divergent atoms under high kinetic energy. For the Raidho driver this meant adding to an aluminum core with ceramic skins an outer layer of harder tantalum then still harder diamond. The layering process occurred inside a magnetron sputtering unit whose chamber's oxygen was first evacuated with high-vacuum pumps and heated before being flooded with argon gas. Argon atoms then fired at the driver's ceramic surfaces to eliminate all trace oxidation. Next the particle bombardment switched to tantalum and applied 1'000V. Finally carbon built a diamond layer which took still longer processing than the tantalum skin. Meanwhile Raidho's trademark planarmagnetic tweeter membrane with N52 motor weighs less than 0.02g to store no energy. Commanding a stiff €20K/pr for its favors, this 2-way monitor's claim to fame is exceptionally low driver distortion and absence of common breakup artifacts. In my listening seat, all this advanced material tech translated to top clarity suffused by sweetness, air and a certain very tacit golden glow. Before you wonder why a Raidho detour, it actually sets the stage for today's very obvious BlackGround action. 'twas all about tonality impossible to mistake or overlook.

The Raidho precedent also provides a possible clue as to just how the BlackGround might change the sound. It's a popular misconception that metal drivers sound hard because they are hard. In fact they're insufficiently hard so deform. As aluminium tweeters with a 23kHz first breakup mode become beryllium with a perhaps 45kHz equivalent then diamond with a 70kHz first breakup, their sound becomes successively sweeter. Though we can't hear to 23kHz much less 70kHz, artifacts of out-of-band driver distortion do bleed or reflect into the audible bandwidth. The mechanism responsible for it is usually called intermodulation. To varying degrees particularly in the treble, its signature is grit, glare and bite. We might think of it as embedded rust. It's a metallic quality like very fine glittering shards between or even inside our sounds.