So late last year we added CAD or Computer Audio Design to give them their full name to our portfolio, now I am fully aware how important good quality mains is for a HiFi system but I must admit that I had never explored the area of grounding as having to stick earth spikes in your garden seems like a lot of hassle to be honest but at the Ascot show last year Nic Poulson of Trilogy and Isol-8 introduced me to the guys at CAD, as he himself is a big fan of their products, so I thought if Nic likes these then I must take a listen, now they do a High End DAC and Music Server but it was their grounding products that intrigued me the most.
So we arranged a day where Scott and Isabel came over from CAD and we would have a play, first trying their Ground Control 1 on various equipment then me moved onto the Ground Control 3, so the million dollar question is what do these products actually do? well if I am 100% honest I don’t really know how they exactly work but I know that they definitely make a real difference.
So at their most basic description they are passive boxes, so they don’t plug into the mains for their power, the GC1 as an example has 2 connections which you can connect to 2 components, you can try them on anything other than power amps, so as an example on a music server like our Melco had a real positive effect, also on phono stages, pre-amps, DAC’s etc, basically it is a bit of trial and error but generally they will make a difference on whatever they are connected to.
So let’s try again, what do Ground Control boxes actually do? So from what I understand they convert negative energy and high frequencies in your system to heat which dissipates through the ground control boxes but I guess you really don’t need to know how they work other than they really do, for a more detailed description I would check out Jason Kennedy’s review on the Ear below as he makes a lot more sense of it than I can.
Ground Control 1 Below
For our test day with CAD we used a pretty Highend system but the Grounding Boxes are just as effective on smaller systems, we started with trying the GC1 on our Melco which instantly made a difference, everything seemed to open up, then we put another GC1 on our dCS Rossini which again bought another improvement then finally we added the 2nd connection on the GC1 to the Rossini clock which again made a positive improvement but not as much as when going into the Rossini but for the cost of another cable it was a worthwhile step, by the time we finished we all agreed that the music became more fluid and rhythmic with a lower noise floor, greater dynamic and transient response but for me I just found myself tapping my foot more, everything just seems to move along faster and was more captivating and enjoyable.
Talking of cables, basically a GC1 is £1995 with one cable and each additional cable is £300 but there are a large array of different cables so they will fit all types of products, eg RCA, XLR, Spade, USB + another aspect I should mention is that you can plug it directly into a mains socket which basically grounds your mains as far as I am aware and that also has proved to bring positive gains in performance.
So to sum up If you love your music and you want to get the very best from your system then I strongly recommend that you borrow either the GC1 or CG3 from us to try at home to see how much better your system can sound with one installed, the problem is that I actually don’t think one will be enough hence why I bought 2 GC1’s for demo and a GC3’s as CAD tell us that a lot of their customers run multiple GC1’s or GC3’s once they have heard the benefit, a telling story is that at the Munich High End show last year when the Air Force Zero turntable was launched which cost £450,000 they used a GC1 to help maximise its performance which says it all to me.
Anyway please find a link below to the range but any questions or to arrange a home demo please feel free to give me a ring.
It is fascinating this HiFi lark as just when you think you have experienced everything something new comes along which really can help get more from your system.
Ground Control 3 Below
CAD Audio Transport + DAC Below!