This is a topic that would ‘fit’ in several different sub-forums all at the same time but the DS triggered it and it is aimed at where the DS is pointing.
Of course it can be moved if it seems best to do so…
So, here goes…
The elephant in the room…
I would suspect that all of us have experienced where the SQ does vary, seemingly randomly, sometimes it’s better, while other times it’s worse, yet it usually gets better late at night, when things are quiet and the electrical load is low.
I even have a realtime RMS AC voltage monitor close by just see when the electrical load is heavy (the voltage drops by a few volts).
But I couldn’t make any correlation between the actual supply voltage and the SQ at any point in time.
And I still can’t, but it may not be voltage fluctuations that are the main culprit, not if my latest fussing with the knobs and subsequent mental cogitations have any significance.
These WA-Q fuse chips sound like they increased the slew rate of my entire system.
This was among the 1st clues I noticed when I added them to the fuses in my dac and amp.
They also significantly increased the 3 C’s (cohesion, coherence, coupling) to the point where the sound became compelling (+1 more C, thanks to Gordon ).
These observed sonic effects baffled me to no end.
I mean how could a 0.013” x 5mm plastic ‘dot’ effect such changes as I was hearing?
I had no clue at all and the more I searched for some form of answer the deeper the mystery became.
Then I wrapped 3 of the bigger cable chips around the main feeder lines that power my electrical service for my house.
Holy SCHLAMOLIE the cumulative synergistic effects are stupendous.
All 3 C’s took a mother may I step WAY up and that 4th C got drug along for the ride as well.
While I was talking to Gordon he mentioned some experiments done many a year ago where a battery was simply taped to the ends of a cable and its performance near tripled. I mentioned that a similar technique is used by Synergistic research in several of their cable designs and is clearly audible.
So you can blame him for triggering this cascade discharge of thoughts and subsequent cogitation.
So my mind is churn’n and burn’n on the what and why etc.
And then it struck me…
In the AC service industry there is a phenomenon known as power factor…
Essentially it describes the relationship between the AC voltage and the current that is supplied and how they can get ‘out of step’ with each other. This is a bad thing for multiple reasons, most of which I won’t delve into here.
I mean unless you want to wrap your head around “imaginary power”, and the like, which usually just gives most folks a headache, I’d steer clear, but if you’d like a primer on this go here, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_factor
It does have some quite useful info to peruse and consider (hint, non-linear loads & switched-mode power supplies).
Basically the entire AC power grid that supplies us power, uses transformers as a means of stepping the voltage up or (mostly, on our end) down, so that we have way less of a chance of electrocuting ourselves.
We really don’t need 5KV (or WAY higher) fed directly into our homes, so they (the power companies) step it down to multiples of 120volts (±) using transformers.
Transformers are coils and coils add bunches of inductance into the AC power delivery ‘circuit’, and as such it alters the relationship of the timing of the available voltage to the available current at any point in time, such that in an inductive circuit the amount of available delivery current ‘lags’ behind the existing voltage.
The power companies counteract this shift by adding capacitance to the circuit which conveniently enough has the exact opposite effect as inductance in terms of which way the shift occurs. The optimal situation is a balance of both such that when the AC voltage is at a peak so is the ability to flow current.
This shift also becomes rather significant at the zero crossing when the voltage swings from positive to negative (and visa versa) which happens 120 times per second.
So imagine that your power amp is playing along and it sees sufficient input power voltage, so that it ‘demands’ current to fill the power supply caps. So it ‘asks’ for current to flow but there is a ‘lag’ between the amount of current that can flow and what is needed.
IOW when the power factor is not ‘perfect’, the out of phase relationship restricts the amount of current that can flow which also reflects back on the voltage during the actual flow of current (the voltage tends to ‘dip’ down or ‘sags’ just a bit).
This condition is not optimal for ‘efficient’ energy transfer and leads to a situation that can be described as ‘starvation’.
And as long as the power factor remains non-optimal, this ‘starvation’ situation will remain.
Oh and that zero crossing situation I mentioned above, well it alone doesn’t really have much direct affect our equipment, BUT it does affect motors, light bulbs (and dimmers), ovens, dishwashers, refrigerators air conditioning systems, etc… Mostly because these devices don’t have ‘power supplies’ with a diode bridge like our audio equipment and computers and network equipment etc. has.
But the noise that these non-switched diode devices make when they ‘demand’ power to run, when the power factor isn’t perfect, can and does dirty up the AC supply system, AND can also shift the power factor around all the more.
Also a good deal of the industrial power is used to drive motors, which just adds even more of an inductive shift to the power factor.
And to muddy the water even more, think about the case where the voltage is crossing thru zero but the current wants to flow at a greater ‘rate’ than the voltage in the circuit can permit during that zero crossing time. Can you say noise?
And so it goes…
So what does power factor have to do with these WA-Q chips, I can hear you asking?
Well consider this as a possible explanation or at the least some food for thought.
As I mentioned above the fuse chips resulted in a sonic change that sounded just like the entire system got a slew rate boost, which has similar sonic characteristics to when digital jitter has been improved.
But the fuse chips are ‘only’ messing with the AC supply into the amp and dac and not the actual circuitry that deals with either the digits and bits, nor the analog signal, other than thru the power supply.
So how could messing with the ‘efficiency’ of a fuse make a sonic difference? Well if the voltage and current were in perfect synch, not much, as in, they are already acting efficiently.
But in actual practice this simply isn’t the case.
And since the power factor is rarely perfect and the power companies really only pay attention to ‘correcting’ the power factor for their ‘big’ (commercial) customers, mostly because #1 it’s expensive to correct and #2 they make more money because the electrical power meter is also effected by an adverse power factor, as well as the added wear factor on all the equipment, and, and…
IOW we home owners are not even a blip on their radar in terms of correcting the power factor of the power delivered to our homes.
So I figure that these chips are somehow helping to balance out the power factor, helping to synch the voltage to current delivery in our power supplies.
They are after all called, “bio-energetic” devices.
Which means if my supposition is in any way correct, they are improving the efficiency of the power delivered into the power supplies in our amps and dacs etc. And the most effective way to do so is to ‘tweak’ the power factor, to help synch up the voltage to the current when there is a demand for power.
So when I added 3 chips to the main feeders into my breaker box (2 hots and 1 neutral) the resultant increase in the 3 C’s +1 was and is astounding. But what is equally as amazing is that the long standing pattern of break in behavior, I have repeatedly noted in my notes, has been majorly affected as well. It will be interesting to see if this new pattern remains when I continue to experiment with additional changes.
I suspect so.
And as others have noted the apparent volume has gone up as well. I now rarely get the volume control knob up to even 12 o’clock with the same source material and with the same settings as before the cable chips were added. To me this just adds even more to the mystery…
What in the world can cause this behavior?
And the only answer I have is an increase in the efficiency of the entire system.
Now as to how these chips could in any way effect the efficiency, or power factor, or any ’other’ explanation I can only surmise, and any grasping at straws here would be a act of political correctness, at best.
But the affect these chips have on SQ is plainly evident and this is the ‘best’ explanation given their impact and placement I can come up with so far.
And lastly all of this points directly at but one half of the ‘jitter’ equation, that being the ability to supply the proper voltage at the proper time.
The DS and other high end dacs are all attempting to reduce and control digital ‘jitter’ or as Ted more aptly describes it as, clock “phase noise” rather than ‘jitter’, as being the much more important factor to dial in, in the analog signal reconstruction process.
So by lessening the starvation syndrome, means the ability of the power supply to deliver the exact voltages needed any and everywhere, is helping by contributing it’s half to the ‘jitter’ improvement equation.
But the bottom line to all of this is the music becomes magical, and spooky/scary to the point that it doesn’t matter what the source of the music is, no matter how well recorded, or not, it is ALL compelling, and engaging, and captivating, and enthralling.
And as the music carries you away, you have no choice but to follow where it leads, just because…
Interesting times indeed. :thumb
ps there are additional followups to this, but this is enough for now.