When we listen to certain systems, the process itself is tiring and stressful. It's an effort to concentrate, let alone enjoy what comes at us. Jitter can be one cause but so is ultrasonic noise. Try it for yourself. Switch off your WiFi router and any 3/4/5G device or send users away for a few hours. Then play some music. You'll get the idea. It was time for us to shift gear around. The Pnoe horns moved over to the Devialet for screen duty, the Zu subs powered down, the Avantgarde Duo Omega rolled into now vacant slots. The Soundgalleries SGM 2015 server with T+A DAC8 moved to the side, the Audio Note Meishu integrated took center stage. With this setup, we unplugged the Corelli for a while to get reacquainted with the sound and its character. Oh man, WE 300B into 109dB horns really are the best gig in town. We enjoyed a lot of Tidal streams which even included 24-bit FLAC at 44.1/48kHz. HQPlayer running on the SGM 2015 converted those files to 8 x DSD before passing it on to the German T+A converter. Tidal call the high(er) resolution content Masters just like Qobuz do. The difference is that Tidal stream this content as part of our standard subscription.

Once we'd refamiliarized ourselves with the sound sans Corelli, we inserted it into the passive Furutech power block which had the SGM 2015 and T+A on it [above]. The difference was immediate, irrefutable and merciless. Before the introduction of the Dutch black box, the sound already had been open, dynamic and detailed with a very nice soundstage illusion that was deep and wide. The Akiko Corelli maintained this notion but now with a vengeance. Had we compared its contribution to the Volya system to that of cleansed reading glasses, in combination with the unforgiving 109dB sensitivity of the Avantgarde horns, this metaphor no longer sufficed. What happened to the sound even at very low volume was that we felt inducted into a previously shrouded secret musical dimension. You may think this over the top since a few handfuls of crystals jammed into three carbon-fibre tubes couldn't possibly do this. Right? We thought so too; until we unplugged the Corelli again. Instantly the sound lost its extra-dimensional communion and returned to being just very good. We could live with this sound for years and be very content and proud of it. However, we now had experienced the substance, the instantly addictive potion that not only worked on our ears but also on our full-body perception. Once the Corelli was plugged back in, there was no short temporary rush but the sustained bliss which only untainted music can bring.

We must use another metaphor to underline the magnitude and gestalt of this effect. You surely know the feeling when poetry suddenly transcends mere words and morphs into pure emotion because you get a direct connection, an uplink as it were, with a poet who could be dead for ages or lives at the other end of the world? This is what the Corelli did for our music. It enabled us to capture that direct link to the heart of the music. Our conclusion is that the Corelli works on two fronts. Remember, nothing plugs directly into it. Au contraire, the Corelli plugs into your power distribution loom [see above]. 1/, it absorbs ultrasonic noise to affect the noise floor of the entire system which opens up a more detailed aural facsimile of the recorded event. 2/ (and this is for the less skeptic more open-minded music lover), the Corelli also absorbs ultrasonic pollution that's generated by our gear and/or radiated into our space from outside. Unattended to, this ultrasonic radiation interferes with our brain function to suppress glandular secretion of the secret bliss molecule. However you chose to look at it, whatever explanation of the mechanism behind it seems most rational to you; whether you're a diehard skeptic or an open-minded music lover… the Corelli is a must audition!

Akiko Audio website