The Lithuanian pucks sat on my Franc Audio Accessories Wood Block 1+3 rack to replace the factory footers on my three amps and two DACs. As per the LessLoss suggestion, each product sat directly on their footers to bypass its own. Only Bakoon's AMP-13R didn't due to its power transformer and two inverted heat sinks doubling as taller footers than the LessLoss. With its compact footprint and light mass, that little integrated amp became my convenient starting point. Three Bindbreakers located on my rack's upper shelf strategically aligned to meet the AMP-13R's two longest heat-exchange nodes plus inverted transformer cowl. Enough space nearby allowed me to lift the amp off the Bindbreakers, set it on its own aluminium supports and compare. I imagined that such a quick and convenient A/B should net easily observed sonic changes. Not.

At first I suspected that tweaks like today's are too subtle and more effective under digital sources. It made sense to apply any signal conditioning as early in the chain as possible to magnify its effects. At least my experiments thus far said so when my source components respond more audibly to resonance control and various cable swaps than amps or preamps. I also couldn't exclude the effectiveness of my own rack or the strategic resonance attenuation Bakoon had already built into their design. My guess was that perhaps these combined conditions didn't leave enough room for the Bindbreakers to do their thing. Of course the AMP-13R fronted by LampizatOr's Pacific DAC into the Susvara headphones also happened to be my most revealing setup which removes the room from the equation to enlarge hardware effects more than speakers ever will. That's why I thought that today's footers should be most audible here. They weren't, at least not from the start.

The key to unlocking their mystery was my own ability to grasp the changes they made. My adaptation involved multiple A/B. It was clear that today's wooden pucks were subtle. At first I was clueless as to what my aural focus should be on. Tonal balance shifts and changes in imaging were my guess. However, any changes distinctive enough to map were different. The Bakoon on Bindbreakers was snappier. Transients rose steeper and more powerfully to make their action more palpable, involving, energetic and spicy. Picture successive hand claps as heard on Acid's "Creeper" and similar effects. I saw this shift as more extended dynamic range, thus a worthwhile upgrade followed by clearer bass and firmer more precisely sketched outlines. These changes would set the tone for my subsequent hardware shuffles.

The next step included two big amps and my W11 SE+ loudspeakers. Both EX-M1 and 925 scored extra points on clarity. Their virtual outlines were again penciled stronger and thus separated a notch better to gain in contrast. The Trilogy in particular sounded faster without any loss/gain on bass fullness. The already very smooth Kinki became a touch more buttery. Although subtle, these changes didn't involve any tonal balance shifts so registered as more universal. At first I thought that extra midrange clarity accompanied a slight slimming but this wasn't the case. Extra speed and energy happened without any heft or temperature makeover. The Bindbreakers beneath all three amps opened them up and extended their inherent voices in the dynamic and quickness axes at no real cost. Figuratively speaking, this acted like a shot of espresso. It woke me up but went down smoothly. Even though barely noticeable at first, the Bindbreaker effect morphed into something more pronounced over time to eventually have me question how I didn't easily hear it sooner. I simply had to get familiar with these footers to understand their effect. Once clear, tracks loaded with vigorous fully developed bass lines or female lips that nearly touched the microphone allowed me to easily notice the same behavior. It tracked from one device to the next. The two most promising machines were simply still to come.