Shuffling my four-square dance at the XA30.8's power inlet wasn't as good as using them ahead of the Vibex had been. Despite the 5m power cord on the amp working against the proximity claim, doing the Firewall deed before not after it made the optician's trick of reading the tiny crawling ants aka remote letters and numbers on his test chart more powerful. That the additional moulded power connectors and short bits of generic AC cord restricted current vis-à-vis the long Zu cord pure reads like a very plausible argument; until you rebut it by pointing out that the same effect would surely have been at play ahead of the Vibex and then in even more global fashion. In short, I couldn't determine a hard reason why I heard what I heard. Listening simply favoured the earlier point of attack.


Now I moved my second quad to the iMac, leaving the first one on the COS Engineering D1 DAC/pre. This too was a clear improvement over using the quad on the amp. Time to split the difference and get a few of these back on the Vibex filters. I'll spare you the blow-by-blow account. Let's head straight for the punch line. In my system and to my ears, the greatest benefit derived from four modules on the Vibex, then two each on the DAC and computer. Translated that meant four close-proximity elements; and four which, relative to the three control components, inserted a 1m, 3m and 5m power cord respectively plus a global AC/DC filter for lower proximity. Clearly there's some additive math at work.


Weighing the lesser loss. As Marja & Henk proved in an earlier review, the LessLoss skin-filtering effect operates at very high frequencies well beyond RF. At AM/FM frequencies, it is entirely ineffective. (As control, our diligent Dutchies used a wall socket through which they receive a Christian AM station. LessLoss had no control over that undesirable cable-as-antenna broadcast). Whilst LessLoss may claim that filtering in their target bands is senior in import to the ranges traditional filters work in, I'd be hesitant to second any such claim. Whilst I can't separate out the influence of the jerry-rigged power bar with its long Builder's Emporium power cord, my results suggest that the LessLoss effect is a secondary far smaller if complimentary benefit. It removes a stain the other power-line detergents and bleaches don't get at. Yet it's not a substitute. It leaves other bigger defects unaddressed. It clearly couldn't replace my Vibex filter station. Neither could LessLoss offset the very deleterious effects of substituting a Zu Event power cord from wall to Vibex plus the entire Vibex stack with a generic cord and power bar tricked out with four FW modules plus another eight distributed across three components. My standard setup without a single FW module was far superior. This speaks to a proper order and sequence of things. Don't fret over roofing shingles. Lay a proper foundation first.


Yet removing my play set of eight modules to return to the earlier status quo missed out on that certain enhanced contrast which they had added. If perhaps a rather smaller success than first promised, a narrower performance delta and mere addition not wholesale replacement—but likely still compromised by relying on pig tails and basic power plugs rather than being hardwired to component transformers—the new LessLoss modules at a fraction of the sticker shock of former solutions in this catalogue seem like attractive circuit enhancements. Perhaps they belong into a similar category as Jack Bybee's 1/f filters or certain Synergistic Research models. The cost of admission is simply a lot lower. If that meant smaller sonic gains too, it'd be only normal. Again, the only way to truly test these modules is to hardwire them inside components. Until we get such reports from the field, my experience serves as mere appetizer, not main course or final word after the desert. D√©gustation time for all you DIYers out there!
LessLoss reply:
Dear Srajan, we are glad to hear that, in the form provided, the Firewall modules delivered plug'n'play means of clarifying the sound from the haze of noisiness not otherwise addressed by your existing power filtering system. Thank you for trying out the Firewall modules in the form provided. What we'd like to do in the future is make a better testing comparison available if you're up to it. What we need to do is set up the possibility for you to exploit, experience and describe the bang/buck properties of the Firewall module solution, directly. Yours being a magazine describing ready-made solutions only, this was not quite possible in the form they were provided in this review. For example, if we were to take a one grand ready-made amp and added some Firewall modules to it internally, which at $178/each are still clearly in the realm of any daily tweaker's pocketbook comfort zone, will it begin to sound like an otherwise megabuck amp in terms of clarity, tone quality, control and soundstage? But of course we did not provide you with the means to carry out such a direct comparison. This provides us with inspiration to organize this in the future, in the form of two otherwise identical pieces of equipment submitted, one containing the LessLoss technology, the other in stock form. Are you up to that some day? That way, you will then have controlled conditions and there will be no question about uncertainties in the test equation, such as added numerous sockets, plugs and cheap wires. We are happy that, even in conjunction with non-audiophile paraphernalia, the Firewall modules were able to strut their stuff. For us it's a big step towards the ultimate goal of providing means to plug something in, gain everything and miss nothing, at an affordable price. 
Regards,
Louis Motek

Deal. - Srajan


LessLoss website