Being invited to test this with just my bio sensors aka ears, I accepted. I didn't fully understand the mechanical low-pass filter of the Firewall for Loudspeakers either. Just so, it worked so well that an award wrote itself. Its afterglow maintained my adventurous mood. Across our hobby, attentive readers have noted an influx of UHF noise dampers. Many of these address EMI/RF pollution hitchhiking a ride on our gear's ground. This often involves material traps of undisclosed composition to absorb electro smog radiation; and umbilical wires which connect our components to their trap. Acoustic Revive, Akiko, CAD, Entreq, Shunyata, Synergistic Research, Tara Labs, Tripoint & Co. all work along similar lines.

Conceptually, the LessLoss Blackbody v2 differs. It doesn't connect to signal ground, just safety earth if you make that connection to your AC plug. It claims effectiveness far beyond the GHz range by targeting ionic energy. Once we return from outer space to our listening space, the concept isn't as outré as it might first read. And to square the circle on how LessLoss' views are systemic, we now mention their C-MARC Entropic cables. Those apply "a series of controlled conditioning processes" to AC and signal cables to accelerate break-in-related effects "to some 200 years of regular burn-in". So we see how a larger concept considers various ingress points for out-of-band noise—airborne antenna effects, AC grid/ground effects, intra-component effects, solar flares—and applies proprietary tech to close them off. The Blackbody v2 applies its cleansing to the air space surrounding our components. It and the Firewall [below] pursue improved conditions under which music signal propagates less disturbed. Hence signal conditioning; and today's ambient field conditioning.

Subtle stuff? If the Firewall for Loudspeakers was anything to go by, far from it. Falling for or rejecting any hifi kit on the basis of a fancy theory or compelling story is simply for chumps. Grown-ups listen to mint their own experience. Then they place a personal value on it. Or not. I had no preconceived notions about my own reactions. I'd have to wait and hear.

OEM Firewalls in Martin Gateley's atelier

We can appreciate what speaker designers like Sven Boenicke and Martin Gateley have heard to now offer OEM Firewalls inside their Boenicke and sound|kaos speakers.

In the meantime a Canadian client had commented on Louis' Blackbody theory. "I work in the tech industry for a large software company. About ten years ago, my job was leading the North American support escalation team. A customer had a massive data-center outage. Nobody could figure out why. During one of our conference calls with the hardware vendor, customer and CPU manufacturer, one of the lead CPU architects on call mentioned that they believed the causation of the crash and resulting outage had been an increase in solar flares. At the time we laughed it off. Interestingly, the server-hardware manufacturer agreed and added evidence based on other customers who during the same time period had experienced similar random outages. In later discussions with the CPU architect, I learned that many of their critical data centers are buried deep in the earth or mountain sides to mitigate the effects of solar flares on sensitive servers. This is absolutely real. I think you may be onto something about how general solar activity might de-stabilize the perceived quality of our hifi sound."

LessLoss don't claim protection from system failures by massive once-in-a-decade solar flares. They propose that minimizing our hardware's exposure to normal/constant ionic radiation has benefits which evolved listeners with high-resolution systems will appreciate. If so, was my system sufficiently resolved and my hearing keen enough to hear the effects of the Blackbody v2? For dramatized context on the subject, watch the first season of Sky's Cobra's series. A massive solar eruption's radiation is earthbound. Soon the navigational systems of aircraft misbehave. Next the UK's power grid shuts down because its massive transformers self destruct. It's entertainment by imagined catastrophe, with unusual solar flare intensity the villain.