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Srajan Ebaen
Financial Interests: click here
27" iMac with 3.4GHz quad-core Intel Core i7, 16GB 1.333MHz RAM, 2TB hard disc, 256GB SSD drive, ADM Radeon HD 6970M with 2GB of GDDR5 memory, PureMusic 1.89g in hybrid memory play with pre-allocated RAM and AIFF files up to 24/192; Audirvana 1.4.6 in Integer mode 1, Metrum Hex, AURALic Vega SOtM dX-USB HD with Super-clock upgrade & mBPS-d2,
Preamp/Integrated: Nagra Jazz, Esoteric C-03, Bent Audio Tap-X, TruLife Audio Athena
: First Watt SIT1, SIT2, F5, F6 & M2, Job 225
Speakers: Aries Cerat Gladius, AudioSolutions Rhapsody 200, Zu Submission
Cables: Complete loom of Zu Audio Event,
KingRex uCraft USB cable, Zu split USB cable, Van den Hul AES/EBU cable, Tombo Trøn S/PDIF cable
Artesania Audio Exotyeric for front end, Rajasthani hardwood rack for amps
Powerline conditioning: GigaWatt PF2
& Vibex Two 1R DC filter on amps, GigaWatt
PC3 SE Evo on front end
Sundry accessories: Extensive use of Acoustic System Resonators, noise filters and phase inverters
Room size: 5m x 11.5m W x D, 2.6m ceiling with exposed wooden cross beams every 60cm, plaster over brick walls, suspended wood floor with Tatami-type throw rugs. The listening space opens into the second storey via a staircase and the kitchen/dining room are behind the main listening chair. The latter is thus positioned in the middle of this open floor plan without the usual nearby back wall.
Review component retail: €1.900 [incl. 19% VAT]

With such good results running a DC blockade on my amps—click here for previous review of the Two 1R—I got curious about Cliff's powerline conditioners. We thus arranged for a Three 11R to land in Villeneuve. That's his biggest baddest unit combining DC filtering, 11 outlets and inductive noise filtering for 8 of them. "Changing the subject slightly, Matthieu told me in Munich that Nagra's designer had been having serious problems with his laboratory equipment giving false readings due to interference. Matthieu decided to let him try a Vibex power filter block with DC filter to connect all his test gear to. The result? All the problems disappeared and he now gets the precise readings he relies on. I've seen similar results using Vibex on delicate hospital equipment. One hospital here in Spain has independent power lines to their scanners. They found that with a Vibex they got far superior images on their monitors, allowing them to diagnose possible health problems far more accurately. I know that these examples have nothing to do with hifi but it's still interesting to me how such a wide range of equipment benefits from better power filtering. If just one more life could be saved by better diagnosis, a Vibex would be worth its weight in gold to me. I've now been asked to design a DC filter for a hospital CAT scanner. I'm not sure if I'll do it as power consumption is around 60 kilowatts but I'm sure it'd improve the scanner's resolution by a large margin."

Measuring 32 x 13 x 4cm and again delivering 3.700VA with >100dB of RFI/EMI suppression, the Three 11R uses the same sandwich case construction here executed in five layers and Rhodium plugs. "Krion is a very resistant material capable of being machined to close tolerances with exquisite finish. Being a non-porous solid has many benefits including that any surface scratches can be easily polished out. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Krion is its ability to control and dissipate energy in ways no other material in my experience can. After many years of testing and comparing materials to secure the best balance of qualities, Krion has shown how limited nearly all other materials are in controlling and screening mechanical and airborne interferences.

A bar made out of Krion. Krion is a proprietary composite developed by Systempool, a subsidiary of Porcelanosa. It consists of 2/3rd aluminium trihydrate and resin binders. It can be machined, thermo curved or injection molded.

"Like any other material Krion works more efficiently for our purposes when combined with elastomers and internal labyrinths that avoid accumulated energy at any one chassis point. Our combination of hollow machining and elastomers is critical to not over- or underdamp and produce a sound that's too lifeless or overly energetic. Silence is the reference point from where to begin a power delivery design. The quieter it is, the more information we can retrieve above our system's noise floor. But a very low noise floor obtained by overdamping will destroy dynamic contrasts. Any final material combination must react extremely quickly to power line changes. It's essential that dissipated energy be controlled to avoid any partial energy return which would mix with the mains power we want to purify. Uncontrolled energy is clearly audible as smearing and lack of phase stability. Plus any micro detail lost can never be retrieved again."

"We also don't dump noise to ground as most filters do. We believe that the ground must be kept as pristine as possible. Testing quickly shows how important it is not to filter to earth. The earth connection is far more efficient when it doesn't become a garbage dump. The system noise floor is much lower if the ground is kept clean. We use a symmetrical power-filter coil* designed and manufactured in-house. As with every part in our designs this coil was fine-tuned by ear. We listened to many different ways of winding, then adjusted the best one by removing or adding half turns until we obtained the best results."

* Inductive filtering is also championed by Running Springs Audio power-line filters, a division of API Tech.