What VertexAQ Say
After many years of Vertex R&D, we have become acutely aware of the large amounts of damaging vibration and RFI/EMI that exists in your typical electronic component. And we also know how badly these problems damage performance. Our challenge has always been to reduce these effects as much as possible. And one of our basic maxims at Vertex AQ is simple, but very important. It applies equally to unwanted acoustic vibration and unwanted electrical noise, it’s this: “Take the unwanted disturbance away from where you don’t want it, and deal with it somewhere else”. Okay, but that doesn’t always make sense initially, so here are a couple of examples:
– Take electrical RFI noise – if you try and stop it, with a ‘choking’ mains lead say, you still leave the noise one side or other of your ‘choke’. And because your component electronics generate their own noise, the choke effectively leaves the component swimming in its own dirty bath water. No, we believe it’s much better to syphon off the noise, as per one of our Jaya mains shunt filters, and deal with it away from the direct current path.
– Take the vibration in a component chassis. You can try and damp the vibration or isolate the chassis from its supporting shelf. But damping only reduces some resonant frequencies and does nothing for broadband conducted frequencies. And isolating again leaves your component suffering from its self-generated vibration. It’s much better to provide a matched acoustic path to take that vibration away from the chassis, then break the vibration down in another location. This is the basic principle of the LeadingEdge support platforms.
The Pico Binding Posts Grounding Blocks (BPGB) come as a pair with special leads and are connected to either the binding posts of your speakers, or the binding posts of your amplifiers. They are connected in addition to your speaker cables of course, and again provide an additional drain for vibration and RFI. The Pico speaker grounding blocks are simply placed on top of you speaker cabinets and their impedance matched feet drain some of the vibration out from the cabinets, bringing improved clarity and transparency to the sound.
Now, you may have thought, as you read through this description “hang on, these boxes aren’t a ground – they are not connected to an Earth for electrical grounding, or indeed the Earth for acoustic grounding”. True, they are not. But because they create a path away for vibration and RFI, and break them down by destructive interference and passive absorption, they behave like a very effective Earth.
What We Say
You’d be forgiven for taking all of this with a healthy dose of scepticism, but our experience is that these Pico products do work, and magically so, in enabling your existing equipment to play better, purer sounding music. Lift the fog of RFI/EMI and acoustic (vibration) interference from your system, and hear a more expansive soundstage, reduction in ‘edgy’ sound character, and generally a sensation of listening to the musical performance in a larger space. The Binding Post Picos work particularly well because they drain interfering energy from the speakers’ crossovers, entirely passively, and we have yet to hear a speaker that was not magically transformed by simply adding one Pico to each speaker – our own demonstration system uses KEF LS50 speakers, and these take on another octave of well defined bass, as well as a much broader, more freely breathing soundstage. We hate the term ‘lower noise floor’ since it’s so often misused but the VertexAQ Pico products do just that – background noise falls away leaving just the music. Clearly, the effects are system dependent but we are confident in what they do and we are happy to lend any VertexAQ Pico product out for a home demonstration.