Short history of the Firewall. The LessLoss Firewall started off as a huge—and I mean huge—power distributor. It retailed for $5'000 and weighed a lot. It had 8 outlets and carbon fiber/aluminium frames made by Oyaide in Japan (the retail price of which alone reached $1'170). The product was expensive to ship due to its dimensions and weight. What was really impractical were its sheer size and investment proposal to the customer. Here one was sinking $5k into something which in most all real-world conditions would be delegated to some location behind a curtain or at least behind the entire rack, most likely on the floor. It would collect dust and be provided with further camouflage by a foot-thick layer of cable spaghetti on top of it. 

As good a performer as the large Firewall distributor was (and there are plenty of assessments on the web by satisfied large-system owners), its size limited its popularity and the cost proposition was not exactly destined to go mainstream. We went on to develop a more compact version, this time including only one outlet, and made from a superlative material called Panzerholz in German, the most dense type of plywood manufactured. It boasts some of the very best acoustic absorption characteristics of all wood materials. See our investigation here. We worked with a team of designers to really keep this device from being hidden behind curtains and the result was a beautiful and even more effective Firewall product, which sold for just under $5'000.
It was much smaller and more user friendly. Length was now only 30cm which meant that it could be put on the bottom shelf of many real-word racks. Still, it was heavy to ship and due to the cost of exotic materials and sockets, destined to wind up in only the most elaborate systems. Distribution was now delegated to other solutions, some of which had some 'funny' results. For example, the Furutech line of power distributors were found to go backwards in terms of sonic quality vs. price. When paired with a Firewall, it was completely obvious that the starter model coloured the sound the least. As one went through the line towards more expensive models, the fatter the aluminium enclosures, the more exotic and expensive the metal plating on the connectors and the more on-board traditional filtering these units contained, the less natural they sounded and the worse off the customer was. We had many customers who came out financially ahead by downgrading their existing power distributors to gain the entire benefit that the LessLoss skin filtering has to offer. During its several years of lifetime in this form, we continued to develop the skin-filtering technology behind the scene. We wanted more and more people to gain access to the pure, clear sound made possible through our tech. In this price league we were simply not reaching them with a product in this form. After efficiency refinement and figuring out how to get maximum effect from inexpensive materials, we came out a few years ago with the Firewall Module encapsulated in an inexpensive plastic housing using extremely hard-curing clear epoxy resin. The idea was to make it as low priced as possible and allow people to create their own housing from wood or any other material, wiring it up themselves with a simple screwdriver. The result looked like this and cost was now only $198/ea.

That was real progress: massively lower in price, infinitely more flexible to use. A lot more people all over the world could now custom build their own power solutions. Many installed the units into their gear directly. This bypassed the need for additional enclosures or space in their domestic environment. But during the initial pre-order sale for these modules, there came a wave of inquiries. Could we create a plug'n'play version? We didn't initially plan on this but it became obvious that more people wanted such a solution than were prepared to tinker with a screwdriver around power (scary proposition to many while others didn't want to bother). So we made the $268 plug'n'play version with mass-produced C13 and C14 connectors. People could now simply insert these between their IEC plugs on their power cords and their component. They looked like the photo at left and were very popular. Indeed they looked a bit funky but people were, at this price, certainly not complaining. And really, it was never developed to be used this way. But the quick improvisation we carried out with the C13/C14 connectors brought great joy to many. Most recently, we took this budget Firewall to an entirely different level. Up until now, we had been making each actual Firewall element by hand. This was a time-consuming operation. The epoxy resin was mixed in tiny quantities for only three modules at a time and required an entire day to cure. After several iterations of trials and experiments, we developed tech of even better performance into a package size which could roughly fit the well-established factory production flow of PCB manufacture. Though not as straightforward as a simple copper-traced board, through the use of customized techniques working closely with the factories, we managed to apply layers in the requisite amounts and special metals to fit our most advanced skin-filtering technology onto a circuit board. At this point we were able to offer our self-installable DIY module for as little as $178/ea. It now looked like this.
At the same time a parallel development into an upgraded version of the C13/C14 plug'n'play module quickly took form. We made an announcement to provide people with pre-order pricing if they would fund our Kickstarter-style launch of the all-new antique oak enclosed Firewall with LessLoss-modified Oyaide C-079 connector and our latest PCB-based skin-filtering tech. The fact that we had made the jump from hand assembly to factory-based PCB-style tech allowed us to spend the difference of budget and time on the beautiful antique oak enclosures with milled logo to finish off the design. Plus, hardwood sounds better than plastic. This campaign was a great success. As a result, over only a few sleep-deprived weeks, we shipped out over a thousand Firewall modules to customers in over 50 countries.

One sees from this progression of a $5'000 bulky heavy power distributor down to a few hundred dollar plug'n'play gizmo down again to a DIY user-installable module for only $178 that we are bridging the gap to become more and more of a tech company and less and less a boutique shop making exotic gear in one-off quantities. And this trend is not over yet. Current Firewall modules are built using a special 'quad' configuration of four separate sub modules which yield even lower noise and an even more natural sound quality, all at the same price as before. This is the solution now submitted for review.

We modify the Oyaide plug on these to create an even tighter grip on your electrical contacts. We do this by completely disassembling the unit into its constituent parts, then introducing special rubber inserts on the outer part of the twice-polished metal clamps which make up the contact springs with the IEC power inlet of your gear. This creates a tighter fit and less micro vibration at the contact points. It also enables heavier power cords to the Firewall module without fear of the Oyaide C-079 coming loose. The sound is thus even more stable and rock-solid in focus. The Firewall module shall continue to be refined but the cost won't go up. We are constantly striving to perfect our solutions to be affordable and at the same time perform over and above all expectations. The Firewall module has come a long way in this respect and we are happy to share the results with more people than ever before. 

We believe that today there is an over emphasis on exotic concepts in high-end audio. Expensive parts like nano particles, precious metals, precious stones, exotics woods and the like are more akin to nice colouration tools than core solutions. We believe that with the right thinking, amazing results can be achieved by using just regular tools that have the right composition to get the job done as efficiently and inexpensively as possible. I think in the near future we will have even more positive developments in this regard, all without breaking the bank yet providing the top performance everyone strives for. Thank you for this review opportunity and we look forward to learning about your results! [End of email from Louis.]