Our beloved tunes are reproduced
by a stack of electronics all connected with a few metres of wire. Power cables, interconnects, loudspeaker cables; you name it, there they are often in abundance yet all necessary to excite the air around us, be it the air trapped in our ear canals by a headphone or the air in our listening den. As humans, our hearing depends for the most part on the interaction between eardrum and inner ear with the air that surrounds us. Additional stimuli come from our skin and bones. All this is essential for survival. We had to hear the sabre-tooth tiger in the high grass approach, sense its direction and distance relative to us. Today the tiger might be a car or a bicyclist on a sidewalk coming upon us from behind.

As with all nice things of course, we get easily addicted and want a lot more. With a little common sense, we manage not to overdo things. We eat until satisfied, then stop. We consume sex in moderation, too. If quality matters, for everything there is the right amount and equilibrium. Now consider what we all do to satisfy our cravings for the best sounding music in our house which should trigger our dopamine-secreting glands in just the right way to cause personal satisfaction. Along the road towards better sound, most of us tweak in and around our playback gear ad infinitum. Just look at the accessories aftermarket and the amount of money spent there. When priced attractively and joined by an equally attractive sales pitch, one might just have a hit. Over the many years that we have already indulged our music appreciation, we have seen many hypes, trends and fortunately also established tweaks that actually do what they promise.

Many of these accessories attack stray vibrations, be those electromagnetic or mechanical. The subject of today is supposed to tackle mechanical vibrations and more specifically, the influences of cable vibrations—any cable—on a complete system's sound quality. That's one of its goal. Another is to enhance the conductivity between components by improving the contact alignment of cables. Two birds with one stone so to speak.

The subject of this review is the NCF Booster with its byline "High-end Performance Connector & Cable Elevator". From this you already guessed Japan, more specifically Furutech. Only Japanese companies can possibly come up with such bylines. So let's consider the name. What is NCF? For starters, a trademark of Furutech Co. Then it's an acronym for Nano Crystal Formula. According to Furutech, this material can be used as an active resonance suppressor. Its microscopic crystals can be embedded in various compound materials, even plastics. The reason for embedding them are their two distinct properties. Once excited to oscillate, these crystals generate negative ions aka the piezoelectric effect. These negative ions can neutralize positive charges caused by static. The second property is that once excited, any heat generated in the energy-conversion process dissipates into the high infrared domain. Great, ain't it?