Synergistic Research ECTs in the DirectStream


#1

I have been told that the best place to put the SR ECTs is in the DAC – I can’t even figure out how to open the thing… Has anyone tried this? The results of using ECTs has been additive to the sound in other area… how is this one working?


#2

Open the tab Download Software and Guides, the instructions for the installation of the DS kit include how to remove top.

http://www.psaudio.com/support/downloads/


#3

I was given 10 Synergistic Research ECTs to trial. I like tweaks. The post above gives the link to the instructions on how to get inside the DS. With the kit there was an earthing strap. I assume that it would be very wise if you are going to touch anything inside you should be earthed.

Initially I tried 5 ECTs on the digital board. There was an immediate definite noticeable positive impact. I am not sure what words to use to describe my impression. The ones that come to mind are more real, better sound stage depth and better mid and treble. For me it was quite noticeable. I then decided to try the other 4 on the bridge and one for the fuses. I could not detect a magnitude of improvement anywhere near what happened with digital board. Maybe it was just minor with the second 5. Since then I ahve moved them around but the first hit was the best

There are potentially so many places to try them but maybe the law of diminishing returns kicks in. The problem with trial is that I think that the lid needs to be on for best performance and taking it on and off is a nuisance. Sometimes I turn the lid upside down and gently fit it for easy removal.

NOW FOR THE VERY IMPORTANT ADVICE FROM MY EXPERIENCE. I thought I would try one on each of the transformers on the analogue board. The absolute degradation in SQ was amazing. Do not even bother to try! It does indicate clearly to me that they do something and it isn’t always for the better. It was as if the speakers weren’t just under a veil but underwater. I do not know why and maybe TED could explain. It does indicate that care needs to be exercised.

Synergistic Research say the ECTs are electrically non-conductive yet you do not want them to move so the amount of blu tac you use is critical. Not too much or too little if you want to move them around but you do not want them coming adrift and touch something that they shouldn’t.

I will be interested to read your impressions. I will definitely keep 5 but I am still deciding about the other 5. At one stage I thought that I might get another 5. But that is for the future.

John


#4

What does a set (of five ?) cost ?


#5

John, can you post a picture showing your final arrangement?


#6

The US price is $299. See link

http://www.thecableco.com/Product/ECT---Electronic-Circuit-Transducer

I understand there is a 30 day trial option. It is worth a try. For me they definitely work. I don’t understand why they work as they are so small and light. Almost bits of nothing. It just depends on where you put them. If you try them please make a comment.

John


#7
tony22 said John, can you post a picture showing your final arrangement?
Oh Tony it is like a a moveable feast. Initially I looked for the bigger chips on the simplistic assumption the the bigger ones were more important. Of course that may not be the case. At the moment I have only one on the Digital Board on the FPGA chip naturally. I have one on the chip under the cable from the digital to the analogue board. Fuses interest me and I have used two on the fuses because I thought that there was an improvement when I put in SR20 fuses. I live in Australia and at the moment there are none of the new Synergistic red fuses available. When there are I will try them.

I have an Acoustic Revive LAN filter and I have one on the filter which is outside the DS. I use the bridge so I spread the other five around the bigger chips on that board. Whether I chose the right ones I do not know.

As I said above I like tweaks and I have quite a number. Probably too many to work out what does what to what. However I can say with total confidence that when I put the first five ECTs in there was a reasonable wow factor and it is still there except for the transformer hiccup. The SQ seems definitely more real.

John


#8
assisi said I thought I would try one on each of the transformers on the analogue board. The absolute degradation in SQ was amazing. Do not even bother to try! It does indicate clearly to me that they do something and it isn’t always for the better.
This is particularly encouraging and increases the credibility they do something.

Very fun report. I hope others try them and report in.


#9

Just guessing in the dark, but if putting one on the FPGA works and putting them on the output transformers doesn’t I’d recommend trying the XMOS chip - the one near the USB connector. I’m a little surprised that putting one on the bigger chip just under the ribbon cable between the digital and analog boards is good, but hey, tweaking often involves hit and miss trials.


#10

When I put ECTs on the transformers I did not move or change anything else in the DS at that time. The sound was very muffled as if the speakers were under water bubbling away. It was not a sound that I thought would damage the speakers. My concern was the DS. So this morning I thought that I would take a risk and try again. I did and everything was perfect this time. I have no explanation as I did not change anything else at all on the previous occasion or this time. SO I RECANT MY PREVIOUS ADVICE. My apologies. I probably will not leave the ECTSs on the transformers.

Initially I did put an ECT on the XMOS chip as I assumed that it was important in the grand scheme. I thought that the XMOS was to do with USB and as I am not using USB I thought that I could use that ECT to better effect elsewhere. With ten ECTs it is difficult to do a definitive assessment with so many options. The possible permutations are considerable. As well one on its own may not have an easily discernible impact. Together though there is a noticeable impact on SQ.

As I have said previously the music seems more real. I have this bizarre feeling sometimes that I am ‘seeing the sound’ in three dimensions. As well as hearing the sound I can also see into the sound. I know I probably should be certified. It has been said before in the context of audio that I am mad. But it is fun.

John


#11

If they are absorbing HF noise/RFI then the XMOS might still be a good place. It’s one of the noisiest things on the digital board and curbing that noise might help everything. Just guessing.


#12

If you had 5 of these ECT’s as that are claimed to reduce noise /RFI as the DSD’s designer where would you place them?


#13

:slight_smile: I’d encourage everyone to experiment for themselves, some of the changes will be euphonic, i.e. good for some people and bad for others.

Personally I’d make sure to include in my tests two on the XMOS and three on the FPGA. If two don’t fit on the XMOS then maybe another one on the FPGA. I don’t know if it would help but if you haven’t tried it putting one on one of the four inductors near the power connector on the analog card might do something too.

There’s nothing wrong with running the DS with the lid off and just moving them around while you are listening. Because I’m a developer I have my DS on a table right in front of the sweat spot so I could listen critically while moving the things around in space to feel out the best places.

I guess I should stress that you should double check that they don’t have any conductive surfaces before doing it live.


#14

Assisi. How many ECTs did you end up using and where did you place them? I recently placed eleven in my Canary Audio M320 300b tube integrated with very positive results. Thanks.


#15

Hi nicknjan,

I followed Ted’s advice re the FPGA with three but only one on the the XMOS as it is small and at the moment I do not use the USB in. I probably will soon. I have one straddling the the two fuses which by the way are SR20. The other five are on chips on the bridge. As there are more than five chips on the bridge I selected what I thought were the most likely looking suspects. My impression was that when I put the first five on the digital board and none on the bridge that was when there was the most noticeable improvement. I could not say with certainty that more than five was much different to just five. Though they definitely did something for me whether it was five or ten.

I talked about seeing into the music. I think that it may be better described as I have subsequently learnt as lower noise floor and something called black. To listen to Julio Iglesias singing Crazy and the saxophone is special.

John


#16

I just added 6 ECT’s to my Direct Stream. I also added the SR Red Fuses with the quantum fuse chips.

So here is my take.

I found that placing the ECT’s on top of the IC’s was not as good as spreading them out evenly across the digital board.

I found no improvement placing the ECT’s on top of the fuses.

On the Red fuses the best direction was with the writing going from the back of the unit to the front.


#17

One more thing.

I also placed a regular HFT on top of the silver thing on the analog board. Its right where the ribbon cable plugs in from the digital board.


#18
ozzymilton said I just added 6 ECT's to my Direct Stream. I also added the SR Red Fuses with the quantum fuse chips.

So here is my take.

I found that placing the ECT’s on top of the IC’s was not as good as spreading them out evenly across the digital board.

I found no improvement placing the ECT’s on top of the fuses.

On the Red fuses the best direction was with the writing going from the back of the unit to the front.


Hi: I am thinking of ordering 5 of the ECT’s and I am curious as to how they worked out for you. Also while I have the cover off I was thinking of replacing the fuses with the Synergistic Research red. Did these work for you and do you consider them worth the investment? Also I cannot find in the manual anything about the size and rating of the fuses that are installed. Your response would be greatly appreciated!happy-132_gif

#19

The DS fuses are 1 amp, slo-blow, and are the smaller size.


#20

Are both fuses used or is one a spare?