I was talking to a customer on the telephone the other day about Entreq Ground Boxes. This was somebody who I have never spoken to before, he found my Facebook page and subsequently had a good read of my website. He is interested in having a home demonstration of a couple of ground boxes in his system to see what performance gains they will bring to his existing system. We had a good chat about Entreq and Hi-Fi in general, as a newcomer to the brand he was very inquisitive about how it worked and he made a really good observation during the conversation.
My website is littered with loads of excellent photographs of ground boxes in isolation and in customer systems and plenty of (hopefully!) enjoyable reading, but there were no photographs showing the business end of a ground box and it how actually connects up to a component in any given system.
As they say a picture says a thousand words!! The picture above shows a VTL IT-85 integrated amplifier and a Silver Minimus Infinity Ground Box, connected together by an RCA Ground Cable. In reality it’s as simple as that, everything else in your system (interconnects, speaker cable and mains power) wires up as normal.
Once wired up and with the component powered on this connection to the ground box essentially creates a path for the box to attract the unwanted noise and pollutants that are contained within the signal path. The benefit this can bring to the presentation of a system can be fairly substantial, but I must stress the effect is rarely instant, it is quite commonplace to connect a box up, get some music playing and a customer to comment within a minute or so “I can’t hear any difference”, it usually takes a good 4 or 5 tracks to play (20 minutes or so) for the ground box to start to do its thing. It generally takes a good 24 hours for it to settle down and really get to work pulling away the noise/pollutants.
This has the benefit of lowering the noise floor, which is where all of the subtle finer detail is buried. By unmasking this you get to hear a lot more of what is going on in the music, but in a totally refined and natural way. You get greater detail, better ebb and flow and it makes the music more cohesive and essentially more real sounding.
In terms of the ground cables you are almost spoilt for choice with termination options, you have RCA, XLR (male & female), USB (type A), Ethernet, 5 Pin Din (for Naim), there is also spade connectors and 3.5mm plugs (used specifically for Entreq interconnects, speaker cables and power cables where appropriate). So you take a cable of your choosing, RCA as pictured above for example and you connect it to any unused RCA socket on your amplifier, the other end of the cable has a hook on it this attachs to the back of the ground box as you can below.
There is obviously a whole range of boxes (Minimus Infinity, Silver Minimus Infinity, Silver Tellus Infinity, Tellus 2 Infinity, Olympus Ten – the list goes on) and they perform the same role, but how they do it can vary quite dramatically from system to system. More expensive is not necessarily always better, the same applies with the ground cables, as well as all of the termination options listed above there are 7 different grades of ground cable, starting at £90 each, going up to £1500 each and they are all quite different to one another. In some system a Challenger or Atlantis is best, in another an Apollo is perfect. It all hinges on what you like ultimately, if you want more insight into the music and greater resolution there is a combination that will do that, if you prefer a more rounded presentation again there is mixture of bits that will do exactly that.
The bigger the box you use the bigger the impact as well, the larger boxes offer more capacity so essentially they can remove more noise from the signal path and offer an even larger step forward. The Poseidon for example is 3 individual posts in one large box, huge capacity and the impact it can have in a good system is a real eye opener.
The Entreq raison d’etre is all about naturalness and refinement, yes it raises eyebrows and many people are sceptical, but those that take the time listen are consistently impressed and rewarded with better music.
I carry the full range of ground boxes on demonstration and have an extensive selection of cables as well, so if there is something you want try please get in touch. If you are an existing Entreq customer who wants to move up the ladder part exchange is no problem.