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 3.01, Tidal & Qobuz lossless streaming, COS Engineering D1, AURALiC Vega, Aqua Hifi Formula, Fore Audio DAISy 1, Apple iPod Classic 160GB (AIFF), Astell& Kern AK100 modified by Red Wine Audio, Cambridge Audio iD100, Pro-Ject Dock Box S Digital, Pure i20, Questyle QP1R, Soundaware D100 Pro Deluxe, LessLoss Laminar Streamer and Echo's End [on review]
Preamplifier: Nagra Jazz, Esoteric C-03, Vinnie Rossi LIO (AVC module), COS Engineering D1, Wyred4Sound STP-SE II
Power & integrated amplifiers: Pass Labs XA30.8; FirstWatt SIT1, F5, F6, F7; Crayon Audio CFA-1.2; Goldmund Job 225; Aura Note Premier; Wyred4Sound mINT; Nord Acoustics UP SE NC500MB; LinnenberG Audio Allegro monos
Loudspeakers: Audio Physic Codex; EnigmAcoustics Mythology 1; Boenicke Audio W5se; Zu Audio Druid V & Submission; German Physiks HRS-120; Eversound Essence
Cables: Complete loom of Zu Event; KingRex uArt, Zu and LightHarmonic LightSpeed double-header USB cables; Tombo Trøn S/PDIF; van den Hul AES/EBU; AudioQuest Diamond glass-fibre Toslink; Black Cat Cable redlevel Lupo; Ocellia OCC Silver; Titan Audio Eros cords
Power delivery: Vibex Granada/Alhambra on all components, 5m cords to amp/s + sub
Equipment rack: Artesania Audio Exoteryc double-wide 3-tier with optional glass shelves, Exoteryc Krion and glass amp stands [on loan]
Sundry accessories: Acoustic System resonators
Room: Rectangular 5.5 x 15m open floor plan with two-storey gabled ceiling, wood-sleeved steel trusses and stone-over-concrete flooring

Pixie dust.
Have you ever wondered? What's it do? A maker cites their Roger ceramic substrate on a PCB. The talk is of extremely low permittivity. The dielectric constant is stable into the 10GHz bat sphere. Claimed benefit is ultra-low signal loss. Impressive. Bring on the surcharge. If you're wired for bragging rights and technocratic feelgood. What if you don't buy on faith and speaking in tongues? What if you need proof? You'd want to compare with/without. Chances are simply that our maker's specially sanctified model with the hi-tech circuit board has other parts upgrades, too. There's no way to meet Roger, just Roger, and decide whether he's worth the extra bread.

During my review of the LessLoss Echo's End, I had glanced in that direction. Its Roger was a stack of Firewall cards wired in series/parallel into the DAC's power path [left]. I'd described a very specific sonic signature for the deck but had no idea how much or little the noise-filtering cards contributed. I only mentioned that a special edition could install even more of them. What would happen as a result? I had no clue. Creator Louis Motek was sympathetic. He'd facilitate comparative isolation. He'd supply two decks identical except for his Firewall mod. Via email, we had a come-to-Roger meet. What would make for a great demonstrator? I suggested affordable class D. It tends to be very susceptible to powerline improvements. Plus, the breed is becoming more ubiquitous by the year. I pointed Louis at Colin North of Nord Acoustics who had £690 MP NC122 stereo amps. With their switch-mode power supply and oscillator outputs on the same nCore board, there'd be sufficient room in his enclosure for Louis to play his card game. Poker face set. Go? When Colin went incommunicado after initial willingness, Louis looked elsewhere. Pascal from Denmark to the rescue. The above photo from Louis' work table shows the stock modules. Wire up, drop in a case, screw shut. Next. With one bare-boned, the other Firewall'd, I'd listen to the difference now attributable concisely and exclusively to the LessLoss AC-filtering tech. To point out the obvious, Pascal amplification will not be a future LessLoss product. My pair was nothing but a two-up example for how affordable class D—or any active hifi circuit for that matter—might benefit from a Louis card trick. With off-the-spool C-MARC cable for DIYers, LessLoss even have very special hookup wiring to polish things up further.