3d sound stage via ground control

Hi All

Bartok owner here interested in small and big steps to a bigger or better soundstage.

I was wondering if anyone had looked into ground boxes, additional units that don’t strictly ground as such but somehow lower the noise floor or alter the sound for the better. The gist I think is that instead of shielding the IC/power/data/speaker/clock cables, an additional wire which is not directly connected to the earth, chassis, or signal ground connects to the ground-box which is either drains unwanted sounds away or adds something to the signal which makes the sound different but better.

The consensus seems to be that most systems except the very best would benefit from this and whilst there are doubters there are many accounts of dramatic improvements.

I am super happy with my Bartok, I have heard a Rossini which has noticeably superior SQ. I thought this was solely detail however I’m now wondering if the Rossini/Vivaldi’s have other qualities, are the higher-up products also producing a lower noise floor, and is that is part of what sounds better, or is their offering exclusively more detail. As far as I understand the circuit boards in a DCS are the same throughout the range but the chassis, power transformer setup, and software mapping are different.

The grounding route is not a cheap route and I wondered would going higher up the DAC/Amp and standard cable route trump trying to improve things though added solutions like vibration control and adding noise-reducing systems such as ground-boxes pound for pound.

I’m not desperate for improved resolution as what I have is far superior to what I could have hoped for and whilst what I have is 3 dimensionally very impressive, if it could be even more so that would be great, I’m just not sure which aspect of the system would best improve the imaging.

Many thanks for any thoughts.

I started down this path until I sketched out what it would require me to wire and the precautions to wire correctly. Too lazy, I guess, and the visual was not appealing. Or maybe I’ve gotten to that point where some of the audiophoolery seems like the wrong way to spend my time (even if it works).

I also confess that my skepticism goes sky high whenever anyone tells me their product adds to or changes the sound. Draining to earth I completely understand. But then they just can’t resist that extra bit of hucksterism. Ever read the Synergistic website? What a load (even if their products work—it’s still a load).

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The Black Ravioli web site is not bad too…but they stay light…so light that my 6 years old girl could almost write the same…but she would trade the products against Pokémon cards…Black Ravioli don’t do that :laughing:

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It is difficult to answer that question as there are so many variables of which grounding is only one. It may be good or irrelevant depending upon your individual circumstances.

The basic start in respect of good imaging is with speaker placement. If you play a mono recording and the image is placed exactly centre of the two loudspeakers and has zero width ( it can exhibit depth) then that is a good start. As I have also mentioned elsewhere building a hi-fi “altar” of rack and audio equipment between the speakers will diminish imaging. There is no remedy (aside from not doing it) as the result is a combination of physics and psychoacoustics.

One thing I can impart from over 50 years in this hobby is that any real improvement is an improvement period. Not just an improvement to a single aspect of the sound. So, as you move up the hierarchy of the dCS range it yields not only an improvement to the resolution of detail but to every single aspect including, IMO, the most important of all; musical communication.



If only the Emperor had had the foresight to come the the DCS forum before investing in his new clothes, how different his legacy could have been.

Pete, I will be monoing it up this weekend, good idea.

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Proper speaker system setup is one of the most important things to do. And it’s free! I don’t think many people overlook it, because almost everyone has to decide where to place their speakers. But short of a dealer setup, I suspect an awful lot of us don’t do it as well as we could. Here is the Genesis speaker placement process my amplifier maker recommended to me; it’s a bit different from many I have seen. Here is a Dynaudio video. There are others out there. I like Pete’s starting point.

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The Genesis method of setting up speakers recommended by Greg closely resembles that of Wilson Audio which I use. The latter refines things a bit by using masking tape on the floor to mark the points were the voice of your speaking friend changes and by using tape measures on the floor to ease checking the small movements required. However there is one major difference in that Genesis do not recommend using toe-in for their speakers. I would ignore that unless you use Genesis speakers as some degree of toe-in is often essential with other makes or in given rooms.

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I think that’s correct. Legacy recommends moderate toe-in, and I have found it works for me with almost all speakers I have owned.

Some improvement, many thanks. The room isn’t a perfect rectangle, there is an annexe off to the far left with my back to the speakers, moving the speakers to the left helped. The manufacturer also recommends no toe-in, not sure why but am inclined to agree it is a little less dueted if square to the wall.

Thanks again,

Took me a while to work out what Black Ravioli was, I am now wiser, many thanks ChrisK…

The most common reason why is that although toe-in may increase focus it often creates a narrow “sweet-spot” . Many speakers are therefore designed so that the tweeters are listened to off-axis ( i.e. they are not pointed directly at your ears as happens with toe-in that places the listener’s head at the apex of a triangle with regard to the tweeters). This creates a wider “sweet spot” which is what most people prefer. However to achieve this the tweeter output may be increased slightly which makes them too hot if heard on-axis.

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That makes total sense, a wider sweet spot at at he cost of a point where it might be a tad hot.

Many thanks for the explanation

A few years later……
I ordered one.


Nice. Please report back on how you like it.

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I have been using the ordered Shunyata Altaira Chassis hub for two weeks now. I have connected all Sigma ground cables behind a chassis screw of my devices. There are not that many so that 1 hub is enough. The devices are Vivaldi DAC and Clock, Auralic Aries 2.1 streamer and the PasLabs X-250.8 power amplifier. After plugging it in it sounded only partially better, sometimes thought, is this it now? Now, I can confirm that it will only get better after about 5 days. And how does it sound now? My biggest upgrade in years. For a description of what to expect I refer all the way to the test above, and if you have the opportunity, try it in your own set. Mine will never go away.

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One interesting point. I have spoken to a couple of Shunyata dealers in the last few weeks and both of them are getting (serious) pushback from a couple of their brands relating to the Altaira product. In no uncertain terms them have been told do not ask for warranty work on their products if they were connected to the grounding network. More to come.

I am am big proponent of Shunyata’s Everest and power cords but this gives be pause unless I was connecting to products with a ground plug.

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The review that Ruud shared was intriguing, but that info about warranty denials is daunting. I’m curious to know what sort of claims might be linked to the Altaira.

I forgot to mention that I connected Altaira to my Shunyata Denali 6000S V2 Power distributor. And very important, I first measured all devices with my multimeter so that I am sure that the earth is also correct there. I could also easily screw in a banana connection on my dCS devices. There are many pdf manuals on Shunyata’s website. Follow them exactly and consult a dealer who has been trained on this.