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Reviewer: Marja & Henk
Financial Interests: click here
Sources: PS Audio PWT; PS Audio PWD; Dr. Feickert Blackbird/Zu DL-103
Streaming sources: Foobar2000; XXHighEnd
Preamp/integrated/power: Tri TRV EQ3SE phonostage;  Audio Note Meishu with WE 300B (or AVVT, JJ, KR Audio 300B output tubes); Yarland FV 34 CIIISA; Qables iQube V1; Devialet D-Premier; Tron Seven Phono pre amp; Tron Discovery power amp; ASI Grand Stereo power amp; ASI LiveLine preamp [in for review]
Speakers: Avantgarde Acoustic Duo Omega; Arcadian Audio Pnoe; Vaessen Aquarius; Musical Affairs Grand Crescendo [in for review]
Cables: complete loom of ASI LiveLine cables; full loom of Crystal Cable cables; Nanotec Golden Strada #79 nano 3; Nanotec Golden Strada #79; Nanotec Golden Strada #201
Power line conditioning: Omtec Power Controllers; PS Audio Powerplant Premier; PS Audio Humbuster III;
Equipment racks: ASI amplifier and TT shelf
Sundry accessories: Furutech DeMag; Nanotec Nespa #1; Exact Audio Copy software; iPod; wood, brass, ceramic and aluminum cones and pyramids; Shakti Stones; Manley Skipjack
Room treatment: Acoustic System International resonators, sugar cubes, diffusers
Room sizes: ca. 14.50 x 7.50m with a ceiling height of 3.50m, brick walls, wooden flooring and ca. 5 x 7m with a ceiling height of 3.5m, brick walls and concrete floor.
Price of review item: € 3.068 excl. VAT

Sometimes we get opportunity to review an audio device that really puzzles us. When used in combination with our reference set the component works but we have no clue how. The only thing left in the face of such effrontery is discombobulation and the urge to—somehow!—get to the nitty-gritty of it. Here we have such a puzzle, the ‘analogic’ Neutral Audio X-DREI DeIntermodulator after-preamplifier or Harmonic Distortion Neutralizer. And that’s a mouthful.

We met José Manuel Jiménez and Alberto Ramirez, founder/designer and sales manager of Neutral Audio, at this year’s Munich High End show. They made for a very enthusiastic team from Spain who had what in their eyes was a revolutionary invention that culminated in the above product. It was the first time Neutral was showing their product in an audiophile environment. Until then they’d focused more on the pro side of things.

Before our review sample shipped from Sanlucar de Barrameda in Cadiz province we of course did our homework to find out what the secret of the DREI technology in the DeIntermodulator was all about. At the show the secret remained guarded behind smiles and ‘you should listen to it’. Snake-oil alarms? Not necessarily. So we turned our focus to the web. Might we find any information on the founder of Neutral which could hint at the secret? No, there was nothing more than the Neutral website, a Facebook page but no Linkedin presence. Dead end. Onto the Neutral website. A large portion describes how the X-DREI is used by some big names in the music industry from Tom Jones, Seal, Jamiroquai to Coldplay as Alberto confirmed in a proud email. These artists use the Neutral devices live on the PA stage and in the studio. So there is existing interest for this secret technology from that angle. Something had to be really really good to convince the professionals.