It recalls a French research paper by Dr. Pierre Johannet from the French National Electricity institute. Simplified, his MDI aka micro discharge interference deals with extremely steep high-amplitude ultrasonic spikes during all electrical signal propagation. At frequencies relevant to audio, this discharge energy becomes modified to sufficiently resemble the sine wave component of the signal to cause audible distortion by intermodulation. MDI also creates positive Langevin ions. Those change the air to less effectively support sound propagation. Or so the late Bernard Salabert, widebander designer and cable maker of PHY-HP, explained it. "Whether it knew why or not, the old Japanese habit of water fountains in listening rooms neutralized certain MDI side effects instinctively." Today a negative ion generator could accomplish the same yet won't eliminate causes, just minimize symptoms. Is MDI related to Osh's micro-inductions de surface? When it comes to MDI, its few audio proponents like Ocellia's Samuel Furon are predominantly French since the relevant research papers are in French. They feel strongly that a systematic avoidance of synthetics is favorable. Our C-MARC cable walks a similar path perhaps for similar reasons. Just don't call its sound organic. Otherwise the expectation bias police might incarcerate you in the prison of imaginary listeners.

Then there's this from my parallel Aavik DAC review. "This makes a good pit stop to reiterate how these electronics have lost the virtually omnipresent metal chassis. A pioneer who considered how such enclosures impact the sensitive circuity within is Denis Morecroft of DNM Design in the UK [interesting 2004 interview by Art Dudley here]. He settled on low-mass acrylic cases, custom plastic-bodied connectors, even plastic screws. Under hifi's alternating current not constant conditions, they bypass the "extremely magnetic" behavior of typical metals whose eddy currents and stray fields interfere with the signal. For remaining metallic heat sinks, Denis decouples his transistors with 5mm ceramic aluminum oxide blocks of no magnetic properties. Aavik's wood-based composite pursues a similar path." Clearly an RCA barrel is an enclosure for a cable's contacts/conductors junction. It follows that a metal barrel of even mild magnetic properties under exposure to alternating current will have similar behavior to that which a DAC's or preamp's metal casing has on circuitry – the creation of eddy currents and their braking effects on the music signal. In that context, today's Wenge barrels aren't just pretty faces; though they're that, too.

For a glimpse into what inspires Louis' out-of-the-box thinking, "related to our Blackbody v.2, fantastic progress was recently made in the world of high-energy cosmic particle precipitation measurement. Very deep mines such as here help shield such measurements from most sources of stray particles.

"Recently technology developed for low-cost detection of high-energy particles using a scintillator which emits some photons only when struck by said particles. This mates with newly developed silicon photomultiplier chips which can register photon emissions from the scintillator and output a signal as a voltage. Using two such detectors, one can establish angle-of-incidence measurements and make meaningful comparative analyses. At LessLoss we are now taking steps to build our own lab tools to investigate and actually measure high-energy cosmic particle activity in and around the lab's sound system. If this works out, we'll be able to publish factual data on angle of incidence as a statistical chart. For a more popular framing on the subject, there's this video."

It really does make for fascinating watching. Set aside 23 minutes and imbibe. Brain waves or rain-man raves? You decide.

If you nod in agreement, you already have majority background on what LessLoss' Blackbody v2 purports to do. Today we aren't about esoteric stuff though without which our system continues to play just fine. Today we're about essentials in that if we run separates, at least one analog interconnect makes the difference of having sound or none. If we paid dearly for a DAC whose S/NR approaches the thermal noise floor of resistors, why would we not want a cable following it which in its own way works just as hard at not adding any noise of its own? "Well… if you put it that way." What way would you put it then?


Now we have proper context for this email from Louis accompanying his UPS tracker: "The wheels are turning. Now planes, trains and automobiles will transfer the material over to you. As the cables will fly high over the earth, they'll succumb to several times the particle radiation at either my or your location. This will have a temporary negative effect on the resulting sonics for a few days until using them in the normally lower radiation conditions causes this effect to radiate away. I'm pretty sure that we've pinpointed some of the strange burn-in aspects. If we were to ship all future cable products in extremely heavy 2" thick lead or bismuth boxes, I'm convinced that none of these initial burn-in effects would even be an issue. We of course won't do that but we're still free to conjecture.

"A recent experience lends even more credence to this. It can better explain cable and equipment burn-in as well other 'weird' perceptions with regard to moved objects gradually fading in and out of effect even if we introduce and remove them suddenly. This all may boil down to radiation of high-energy particles, in other words low-level radioactivity. Many smoke detectors contain a small amount of radioactive material plus a photoelectric sensor. They work by sensing the rate of radiated particles bombarding the detector. If smoke gets in the way, that rate changes and the circuit sounds an alarm. Smoke detectors radiate a small amount of high-energy particles and represent a simple household device that we can move around and experiment with.

The only intel these luxo barrels lack is a channel identifier. But the leashes are slinky as sin so feeling them up during routing will be pleasurable. It's only on RCA i/o that space 'normal' as they do in more mid-level gear that the girth of these barrels will cause the plugs to splay if they'll fit at all. I just managed on my Crayon CFA-1.2 by partially inserting the plugs then allowing one to be badly angled. Louis must presume that if you buy his cables, you'll have gear with more widely spaced sockets that anticipate fatter snakes and posher plugs. On 14mm center-to-center standard spacing, the LessLoss barrels are about 2mm too thick.

"Cosmic high-energy particles whose source we cannot move around are influenced by the earth's magnetic flux and bombard our systems and us at all times. Hence the Blackbody's effective angle according to location and direction. Several customers report hearing our Blackbodies burn in over time. As the Blackbody in no way ties directly to the signal, it can be discounted that electron flow through them is the cause. They certainly aren't changing in any way due to the system playing or not. Much more likely cause is that the constant random stream of cosmic radiation diminished for the first time. Since it diminished instantly when the Blackbodies were put in place, one clearly hears the initial effect. But over time exposure to radiation remains lower, too. Our already irradiated gear and other objects also give off radiation just like a cup of hot water gradually cools down to ambient temperature. After this, all objects share equilibrium temperature with all other objects in the room including the walls and air. Our gear in a sense was hot with the standard amount of cosmic radiation so radioactive at some very low level. Since Blackbodies lower the amount of direct bombardment over time, our gear has a chance to shed some nuclear ‘heat' hence the burn-in observation for Blackbodies. People hear this delayed effect whether or not the system is on. Of course for this to be true, we'd have to accept that on some level the gear's and stands' materials exhibit something like florescence. Is this a viable probability? If we recognize the infrared spectrum as just another wavelength of light, it sure is."