The world of the audiophile is a truly intriguing one, one filled with possibilities and finer details as one seeks to ensure dynamic pure sound that brings them closer and closer to the ultimate expression of music, a place where you are literally in the very presence of musicians as they go about their craft. We spoke to our friends at Groove HiFi, who are one of the most respected stores for hi-end audiophile equipment in the region. And here are a few devices that will most definitely change and radically affect the output of those expensive speakers and amplifiers you already have on board.
So here goes:
SOtM sNH-10G High-End Network Switch
AED 3,300 – AED 6,980 incl. VAT, groovehifi.com
Specifically developed for audio systems, this network switch is developed to overcome low performance issues in a network environment, and overcome and resolve all variations caused by issues in the physical network transmission technology.
The input and output terminals consist of eight LAN ports and two SFP ports. And there is also an option to install the sCLK-EX and the 10 MHz master clock input connector to further maximize sound quality. With these options and high-performance network cables, such as the dCBL-CAT7, your network audio system will be able to perform with more realistic textures, wider sound stage and explosive dynamics without losing the detail of the entire range.
New cables often have very high levels of electrical charge caused by the production process. In addition, gases are often trapped between the insulation and the conductor during manufacture. This can often result in new cables sounding brittle, bright and lacking detail. These charges must be neutralised if cable is to ever achieve maximum performance.
The Nordost Vidar is a professional tool designed to condition audio and video cables for optimum performance, and combines three different functions:
- It neutralises charges that build up around the cables and the insulation.
- It provides a very wide band and deep conditioning into the conductor core, which produces changes in the way signals pass through the metal.
- It ultrasonically conditions the surface of the conductors.
PS Audio DirectStream Power Plant P20
AED 38,690 incl. VAT, groovehifi.com
Regardless of the quality of AC coming into P20, your equipment is guaranteed clean, safe power, with significantly lower distortion than ever before. Safe and regulated to within 1/10th of a volt, the DirectStream Power Plant 20 is PS Audio’s most powerful AC regenerator ever with 2000 watts of pure regenerated power, and the first to accept both 20 amp and 15 amp power cables. It comes with 13 UK- type outlets.
Nordost QRT QKore 6 Ground Unit
AED 19,350 incl. VAT, groovehifi.com
A great deal of the electrical noise in hi-fi systems is caused by imperfections in the power domain. These imperfections may be generated by airborne pollution on the AC line that are induced, in part, by increasing amounts of Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and cellular signals. Airborne pollution can take the form of high frequency interference, noise, and stray magnetic fields, which lead to AC line contamination.
The QKORE is a parallel grounding device, which provides an artificial, “clean” earth for hifi audio systems using both an electrical and mechanical approach. This unique product combines Nordost’s patented Mono-Filament technology with purpose-built, Low-Voltage Attractor Plates (LVAPs), constructed with a proprietary metal alloy and a passive electronic circuit, in order to draw stray high frequency noise and voltage-generated magnetic fields to a manufactured earth point, leaving a clean reference behind. By providing for a balanced and very “clean” ground point, by-products of electrical balance imperfections between voltage and ground are no longer added to other pollutants, dramatically increasing high quality audio circuit performances.
PS Audio Stellar Gain Cell DAC
AED 7,360 incl. VAT, groovehifi.com
Perfect for the DSD age [even if right now largely relegated to legacy acts], this fully balanced Stellar Gain Cell DAC marries a DSD-capable DAC with a complete analog preamplifier control center. Based on an upgraded version of PS Audio’s NuWave DSD, and anchored by a 32-bit ESS Sabre Hyperstream DAC with passive analog filtering, Gain Cell accepts inputs from any digital source – including I²S and USB from computers. Able to asynchronously handle 24-bit/192kHz PCM and up to 2x DSD, the Gain Cell doubles as a high-resolution server when paired with a USB cable and computer, operated with server software like JRiver, and controlled via your smart phone.