The World is Changing.
Digital audio is all about timing. The further we press the limits of clock precision the better sonic results we experience. But with all that precision comes a real vulnerability to noise.
At the same time as we are pushing the limits of DAC precision, our homes are being cluttered with incredibly noisy items, from LED lighting, to multiple WiFi devices. At the risk of dating myself, I remember one year about 20 years ago when all the buzz at CES was a digital table clock that was supposed to improve the wall power. If you plugged it in any outlet in your listening room it dramatically changed the sound of your system. The promoters of this clock claimed an improvement, but detailed listening showed it to be a total loss of detail. That was our first exposure to high-frequency electrically induced noise in our systems. It was a novelty then. It is a fact of life today.
The noise radiating from a single 5 W LED light is shown here. A house lit with LED lighting could not only play havoc with all the systems in the house but effect the house next door as well. Add to this all the WiFi and Blue Tooth devices and the air is just full of high frequency noise.
Even the normal precautions in audio product design no longer suffice. More drastic measures are needed, this problem is getting worse, not better. As we travel from place to place we have tried many power conditioners, transformers, inductors and filters. The result is ALWAYS mixed. What works one place does not work best in another place. Not an easy problem to solve.
The Isolation Base
The Isolation Base is a solution we have designed that creates a barrier, not only for the DAC, but for the critical connection from the DAC to the Amplifier. The Isolation Base keeps the environmental noise out of the critical DAC conversion process.
We start with a really cool machined block of aluminum and build up a defense against noise, that protects the DAC and the critical connection to the amplifier. Every detail has been considered, from the medical grade 20A outlet to the specific inductor used. The Isolation Base is easy to use, but MUST be used exactly as specified. Only the DAC is to be plugged into the Isolation Base, not the transport, not a dedicated preamp, just the DAC. The ground wire supplied must be connected from the ground lug on the back of the Isolation Base to the chassis of your Amplifier. That’s it. No other connections are required.