Reviewer: Srajan Ebaen
Financial interests: click here
Sources: 27" iMac with 5K Retina display, 4GHz quad-core engine with 4.4GHz turbo boost, 3TB Fusion Drive, 16GB SDRAM, OSX Yosemite, PureMusic 2.04, Tidal & Qobuz lossless streaming, COS Engineering D1, Metrum Hex, AURALiC Vega, Aqua Hifi La Scala MkII, SOtM dX-USB HD w. super-clock upgrade & mBPS-d2s, Apple iPod Classic 160GB (AIFF), Astell& Kern AK100 modified by Red Wine Audio, Cambridge Audio iD100, Pro-Ject Dock Box S Digital, Pure i20
Power & integrated amplifiers: Pass Labs XA30.8, FirstWatt S1, F6; Crayon Audio CFA-1.2; Goldmund Job 225; Gato Audio DIA-250; Aura Note Premier; Wyred4Sound mINT; AURALiC Merak [on loan]
Loudspeakers: EnigmAcoustics M1, Albedo Audio Aptica; soundkaos Wave 40; Boenicke Audio W5se; Zu Audio Submission; German Physiks HRS-120, Gallo Strada II w. TR-3D subwoofer, Eversound Essence
Cables: Complete loom of Zu Event; complete loom of Ocellia OCC Silver; KingRex uArt double-header USB; Tombo Trøn S/PDIF; van den Hul AES/EBU; AudioQuest Diamond glass-fibre Toslink; Arkana Research XLR/RCA and speaker cables [on loan]
Power delivery: Vibex Granada/Alhambra on all components
Equipment rack: Artesania Audio Exoteryc double-wide 3-tier with optional glass shelves, Exoteryc stands for amps
Sundry accessories: Acoustic System resonators
Room: Irregularly shaped 9.5 x 10m open floor plan with additional 2nd-floor loft; wood-paneled sloping ceiling; parquet flooring; lots of non-parallel surfaces (pictorial tour here)
Review component pricing: €550 - €1'100

Where does our trash go?
Most likely in a land fill; if we're luckier, in an incinerator. Where does our high-frequency garbage go? That's the question a number of more esoteric hifi products ask. Their general stance? Electromagnetic and radio-frequency energies interact with music signal. Our hifis become HF trash bins. And so they contend that removing or minimizing this trash reveals less hash, greater smoothness and better micro detail. Various such incinerator solutions work as mysterious 'black' boxes. In the bad vibes go to never come out again. I'm exploiting very casual phrasing. The exact workings of such devices and/or their materials/processes are rarely disclosed. Where hifi hubby thinks that's because of the need to protect IP, his better half calls it all a bunch of hooey routinely dressed up in quantum this, nano that and cryo what. And it's hard to blame the missus. The choices of tweaks in this area are broad. There are external ground stations from Tripoint, Entreq and Telos. There are Schumann resonators, acoustic resonators, quantum resonators, blackbodies, firewalls and things with antennae to be stuck to walls. There are HF traps, some of which seem to at least partially exploit crushed crystal or powdered semi-precious stones. There are Akiko Audio sticks, Synergistic Research wired-up platforms and quantum-tunneled acoustic treatments, Audio Magic's Pulse Gen ZX, Stein Music's clarifiers and Nordost's QRT boxes. For decades, Jack Bybee has promoted special filters to combat 1/f noise. This includes claims for quantum proton alignment technology. Even so, with him and today's devices, there's the additional cred bolster of very serious research in the military or IT sectors. Piling up on the other side's hooey, there's an easily verifiable fact. In many systems, unshielded signal cables sound significantly better than their heavily shielded brethren; or the latter no better. If being inundated in ever-growing HF radiation was as sucky to sound quality as we're told—and it makes for a compelling argument that's nicely illustrated with an oscilloscope—such unshielded cable behaviour is baffling. Just sayin'.

Cynics and those who've been had one too many times (where costly tweaks didn't deliver on their promise) have already blipped off. Objectivists who demand full scientific disclosure before lending a helping ear too will now hit their web browser to change URL. That's because the CTG Sp. and LCM firms which sit behind the Polish Verictum product cloaks their invention behind the Technology X name. Unspooling the first name's three letters nets us the Commercial Technology Group. This appears to be a think tank where a number of engineers create practical solutions to common problems. Visit their website to learn about some of their projects. Miss Hooey would remind us of course. Just because someone managed to secure contracts in the telecommunications, inspection & supervision, construction, IT and EE sectors doesn't mean they've got a clue about better sound. But we of calmer heads could probably agree that if not the Jedi mind trick, then the proper engineering force must be with them. After all, big industrial contracts aren't the purview of freaky tinkers holed up in garages. "LCM deal with the implementation of CTG's products intended for audio; the products' organization; and their sales & marketing."