Special Grounding

Special Grounding

Postby Golear » Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:45 am

I came across info on Nordost's grounding system here:
https://www.stereophile.com/content/nor ... ccessories

The prices are quite high. And I don't know what Nordost does, or what chemicals they use. However, I strongly suspect that they're building on an idea that's been around for a while. And it's something that doesn't cost much.

The idea is this: take a wire and attach it to the chassis of a component. Alternatively, you can solder a wire to the Common of an RCA plug (which is to say, not the pin, but the collar/body), and then plug the connector to an unused RCA socket. (In many (most?) components, the Common of the RCA connector is connected to the chassis - it's a safety thing, I think.) Then attach the other end of the wire to the (-) terminal of a battery. That's it. A battery holder can be had for very little money off eBay. I used a G-clamp to hold the wire against the (-) terminal. The type of battery might make a difference. I tried a 9V Energizer battery (which was quite run down) and the effect was not too great. I got a big improvement with a Rayovac 1.5V D battery. Others have written that the best sound comes from a 6V "lantern" battery.

The (+) terminal of the battery is not connected to anything. (As a precaution, I put electrical tape over the (+) terminal of the battery, just so that there's no chance of me making a mistake in attaching the wire, or if there's a conduction path via the clamp or holder.) There's no electrical connection, so the component cannot be damaged.

Does it work? Oh yes! The noise floor is lowered, the soundstage is more transparent. The more units you add, the better. (That's what led me to think Nordost has a similar system.) You can do this for your hifi system, and for your TV system. I'm sure the improvement in image quality can be measured with a screen calibration device. I just saw "Oceans Eleven" off my DVR last night - wow! The audio is also better - just slightly. (There could be important implications for screens that show X-rays, MRIs, etc.) You can put this into a system and leave it for a while. Then remove it, and listen/see if there's a reduction in quality.

How does it work? Well, firstly, who cares? You can try it out for.... almost nothing and if it works, then great! If not, then you have some spare batteries. There are some ideas on the internet - such as extra electrons (ha!) to a "parallel Earth". I suspect that some of the AC leakage voltage that is on the chassis flows into the battery and is converted to chemical energy and heat. But the "why" is really not important for us audiophiles.

I'm going to experiment with different batteries and brands. I'm also going to see if the type of wire has an impact. It's possible that different components may benefit from different batteries. I'm also going to see what effect there'd be with a run-down battery.

There's another company named Entreq, that seems to make a similar device. Entreq goes one step further - the make a connection to the (-) terminal of the speaker, too!
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Re: Special Grounding

Postby Brf » Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:15 pm

Golear, keep us posted on your findings. As an aside, for the wire, try using the lowest impedance wire/cable you can find.

Grounding and grounding boxes have been all the rage in past couple of years. I will not argue the merits or the benefits, but the cost of these (simple) products IMHO has been the biggest barrier to entry.
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Re: Special Grounding

Postby jonathanb » Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:29 pm

The Granite Audio Ground Zero #502 is pretty affordable at ~$660. It works well in my system.
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Re: Special Grounding

Postby Golear » Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:43 pm

I hope my post shows that we can get improvements, for far less than the price of an LP.

I did an experiment on the wire. Good call Brf. I compared a device made with cheap, thin single core wire to a device made with some thick, multi stranded, silver coated, copper wire. There was a much better result with the latter.
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Re: Special Grounding

Postby Mr_Putty » Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:19 am

Golear,
The negative battery terminal is a source of electrons (in a good battery), that flow to the terminal potential difference that is positive. I don’t know what is happening with your tests but find it interesting. And (not trying to confuse you), current flows from positive to negative!

Where are the professors?
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Re: Special Grounding

Postby Golear » Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:21 pm

Hi Mr Putty

I think it is very complicated. There are different levels of explanations. For example, an electrician is going to think about bare wire as a conductor of electricity and the plastic covering as an insulator. It's quite black-and-white. But in other contexts, it may be less clear. For example, inside a semiconductor, an electron can be in the conductor, then "pop up" inside the insulation, then "go back" into the conductor. It's not black-and-white.

And may be we need new levels of complexity when it comes to hi-fi. But luckily, until then, we can just trust our ears, and not worry about the why. :-)
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Re: Special Grounding

Postby Stringreen » Tue Jan 22, 2019 7:38 pm

Tried this yesterday.....absolutely no difference at all....maybe my setup (totally balanced)
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Re: Special Grounding

Postby mike_ » Tue Jan 29, 2019 12:15 am

Is this really what those super expensive audiophile grounding boxes are doing? I just set it up in my system and can't tell if it's placebo or not, but I think the noise floor may be reduced slightly. Even if it is placebo, doesn't seem to be hurting anything... so, why not?
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Re: Special Grounding

Postby Golear » Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:48 pm

@Mike_
I'm not suggesting that the expensive grounding boxes have batteries in them. I've never looked inside.
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