After a full day of undisturbed presence, the BlackGround caused a wholesale removal of this treble dirt. Having for two years lived on the premium Cyprus beach of Coral Bay just outside Paphos, I know 30°C+ endless summers with azure skies and nary a cloud in sight. The light is incredibly white, contrast nearly brutal. The LessLoss turned that light far more autumnal. This aspect echoed Raidho's gold. What didn't translate was the Danish tweeter's 'zero-mass' airiness. The LessLoss makeover was oilier, weightier and texturally more voluptuous. Leading edges lost some of their edgy quality. They became simpler beginnings, less blade-cut stark splices between sounds and silence. It's why I view the BlackGround as particularly primed for a special type of aural gourmand. It's not for the lovers of super-spicy foods who pursue musical grit, glitter, sizzle, spit and aggro. The Blackground is for lovers of massed strings which have finally lost their version of intermodulation distortion. Think satin sheets and silk pyjamas, not dry saw dust and brittle straw. To my ears, this shift in tonality/lighting was accompanied by a mellower more leisurely or relaxed mien. Energetic forwardness laid back, sharpness morphed to viscosity. On my table of musical qualities, the lazy Susan turned rhythmic tension to the far side to have me face the beauty of tone instead. Textures felt ultra suede or chenille, not spiky or metallic. However the BlackGround actually operates, its powerful degritter action does suggests the removal of some form of intermodulation. That's because the sweetness which arises in lieu of the former metallic rust or splashiness recalled for me the Raidho tweeter's lack of ceramic-dome flavor. And the latter is well known to result from cone breakup modulating the music signal.

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The BlackGround's before/after was dead obvious. It's why I found it so baffling. If it's really about muons, quarks and other denizens of the nano realm, ignorance about those fellas can no longer be bliss. Just kidding. That part of an educated discussion is for real scientists. Listeners familiar with their systems need only give the LessLoss BlackGround 24 hours then hit 'play'. They'll be at a complete loss to explain it but will most certainly hear it. And that's enough. Now the question simply boils down to whether they find the effect to taste; or not. My gut instinct predicts that listeners of predominantly acoustic libraries and particularly classical in all its forms will absolutely love it. Those who partake mostly of hard electronica, techno & Co? They could find that it makes their music too damn pretty. Few men accuse their women of that. Just so I can readily imagine how listeners used to edgy noisy fare could feel quite alienated by this makeover to want the etch and noise back. Which is easy enough. Just remove the BlackGround and make certain that it really leaves your wider vicinity. How did Sven Boenicke describe his reaction? "It's that energy shift away from the glare and garbage especially in the top end into the organic, colorful and beautiful; the brown, red, orange and golden colors. That's what I so love. Plus it does something on the reach-out and communication level which is magic." I reckon that we very much heard the same thing. I also think that I get what Sven calls the reach-out communication factor. I experienced it as that more fluid viscous quality. It nearly made the air on which the sounds moved feel less dry so a bit more humid, oily or sticky. These are mere attempts to describe sensations and perceptions. As words they can sound poetic, obscure or esoteric. Now feedback from numerous people is helpful. Not only do we hear different and assign different values. Even where we hear the exact same things, our descriptions remain personal. Some may speak to us louder or clearer than others. Lost in translation and all that.

To translate to more audiophile terms, the BlackGround shifted emphasis away from the transient attack more onto bloom and decay. That's similar to how a plucked upright's bass texture differs from violently slapped e-bass which differs from pure synthesized bass programmed for maximum percussive damping. The leading edges get progressively sharper/steeper, bloom and decay shorter. Woody elements fade, metallic elements get more pronounced. The treble has is own equivalents. It's why the BlackGround's softening degritter action shares more with unamplified acoustic than edgy electronic music. It's why I highlighted classic music listeners as particular BlackGround admirers. Such concertgoers encounter large venue acoustics whose reflected sound dominates direct sound. That balance favors rich tone textures but softens attacks and rhythmic perspicacity. It's why on deliberately grungy zippy highly percussive overdamped electronica, its fans could find the BlackGround change less conducive; or indeed genre averse. They could find their needling robotic elements too tame, whitish splashy cymbal crashes too mellow, crackling synth beats and manufactured industrial noises too civilized. Putting three 'too' in series indicates the BlackGround's potency. This shift isn't barely audible like changing a DAC's digital filter. It's a very significant reset from an approach which cynics and cackling forum hyenas might insist couldn't possibly work.

This shift potential also reflects in ultra-feedback ultra-power class D switching at 800kHz vs single-ended no-feedback triodes. They're two sonic extremes with equivalents in specific music styles. If one primarily listens to one extreme, curating playback hardware to maximize its values is most sensible. If one looks for the middle to play back all music with all its possible sonic textures from banshee shrieks and cyborg bass to harpsichord and acapella, a compromise intrudes. One can't live in the middle and simultaneously walk both extremes in each of their most pronounced manifestations. It's why two listeners can 100% agree on the BlackGround effect—what it's doing and how strongly—then diverge on the value they place on it. Much depends on musical diet and what one views the most befitting playback style for it. As I wrote Louis, "I merely point out that different listeners, depending on what they listen to, will assign a different value to this wholesale removal of treble grit and everything associated with it." To which he replied, "I'm completely with you. I've had people return LessLoss products for exactly that reason. We live in a world where not everyone is Louis Motek. Oy the psychotherapy coming up!" Here's the upshot. The BlackGround injects elements from the DHT guild. Let's be crystal that I didn't say "will make a transistor system sound like direct-heated single-ended triodes". You won't change your electronics' bandwidth, damping factor, slew rate, output impedance, current drive, noise or THD. Still you'll introduce recognizable elements of the triode aesthetic. Unlike Vinnie Rossi's Brahma preamp which can not only run in DHT or buffered passive but 25/50/75% mixed mode, the BlackGround has no on-/off switch then locks its dose in at 100%. Or does it?