System grounding components

Hi fellow members,
Have any dCS owners experimented with grounding components? I’ve read a few reviews about Shunyata Altaira and Synergistic Galileo SX active grounding systems (among others) but have not seen them discussed via this community.

Any thoughts from those who have the above or have auditioned them would be most welcome.

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There are a few here for sure

Nice topic because I’m doing changes in power cables and also go to grounding the system.

I use all Nordost cables and ill go to their technology. Like me many people saw the importance of AC power in sound quality and grounding makes all the sense.

My darTZell have a special grounding output but in the dac ill connect in the USB.

Barry & Lima,
Thanks for your comments.

Barry … great to hear from you again! I hope all is well. I’ve heard interesting things on the Altaira but don’t know anyone who has one. What do you think it has done for the sound of your system? Has it been worth the investment, so far?

Lima … I’m envious, darTZeil are incredible components. I totally agree that the foundation of a system (power conditioning, power cables, grounding, etc) is critical to everything else that comes next.

I have an opportunity to try out a Synergistic Research Galileo SX Ground Block and I want to see if it will be worth it.


@naperaudio good to hear from you as well. Sorry but i havent tried but was leading you to other discussions of these methods on the forum. I have the fortune of my home being in its own transformer with the closest neighboring transformer probably at least 300-400 feet away as the bird flys away. My setup is on its own dedicated sub panel with with 6 isolated and dedicated lines and a totally separate ground rod for the dedicated panel being less than 30’ from the system.

The power side gear is directly fed and totally isolated to the buss and the source side goes through a high end power conditioner before heading to the buss. I havent had any ground issues whatsoever since creating this power labyrinth. Although i would be open to convincing, i feel im about as isolated from any electrical noise that could enter the system as i could get. Yes, i also use fiber isolation on the network side.

I did experience a 60Hz hum years ago prior to building the new space with a common panel ground on dedicated circuits. One ac unit had one leg run to ground due to a corroded underground conduit. The common panel ground there allowed a hum that made its way back to the main panel and fed back through the common buss to the amplification. Not saying it couldnt happen again but my backgrounds are pretty dark and i cant think of any other ways of getting better grounded. B


Just an update. I still like the Altaira very much and a friend of mine who has a Rossini DAC/Clock also bought it a while ago, connected everything optimally with him and he has the same experience. One of the biggest improvements in recent years. When I told him I was thinking about purchasing the new Shunyata Gemini for my Router, Roon Server, NAS and workstation. They are in a different room, but of course also influence the bigger picture. When he heard that, he didn’t hesitate for a moment and went to work on it. He has now connected everything. The Gemini is also a net filter and therefore the router, Roon Rock and SSD drives are connected to the Gemini. Both the power cables and the ground are now connected to the Gemini. You guessed it… same improvement as before, so he is very happy. And I’m glad he tested it out for me, so the Gemini will soon be here too.



I run all Conrad-Johnson top tube stuff. They, and my neighbors here at VAC say 'Don’t you dare" as respects grounding systems. One less thing to waste money on.

Indeed never do that. I also listen to what my neighbors recommend… Especially if they have never tried it…


My dealer demonstrated Altaira to me when I was buying my recently installed end game system. Frankly I was sceptical but the difference it has made is profound. I was so disbelieving that it was swapped in and out several times before I had to concede defeat. In fact I have two Altaira systems: one for the audio rack front of house and one for the cinema rack and power amplifiers which sits behind the screen.
Everything now emerges from a much darker and quieter background to the extent I now have another problem which is trying to track down why one of the ATC P4’s is emitting a very low level but now noticeable hum (most likely from the transformer and so not not electrical), which wasn’t evident before!


That’s unexpected. Humming transformers are often the result of a DC component on the mains. Maybe have a word with ATC?

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Thanks, Pete, ATC are aware of the problem and are investigating. The P4’s are connected to Shunyata power conditioning, and on a separate mains supply for the audio system., so hopefully that will have got rid of any DC.

@barryr1 …. You truly have a top shelf system and I have you to blame a few years back when you took me down the dCS rabbit hole with your Paganini stack :blush:. I now have moved from Bartok to Rossini (don’t even tempt me with Vivaldi or I’ll be single … and lose half my stuff). Your setup on its own sub panel and 6 isolated/dedicated lines plus other options offers a wonderfully isolated system, which I’m sure, dramatically lowers the noise floor. Thanks as always for sharing.

Rudd … Truly appreciate the pic and your comments. Especially your first hand insight as an Altaira owner. That’s exactly what I was looking for.

Murray … Also, thanks for your comments. It seems you and Rudd have had very similar experiences with the Altaira. It’s nice to see the experience duplicated, especially as I am a little skeptical, as well.

Based on your comments (Rudd & Murray) I think it is worth a try. As mentioned, I think I will take up my friend’s kind offer to try out his Synergistic Research Galileo SX active ground block. I have had some success with Synergistic cables in the past, so I’m open to their approach (although I would like to hear Shunyata’s Altaira).

I’ll report back my findings when I bring it home.

Thanks again,


@naperaudio Thx pal. Im still working on it and trying to learn. Certainly not one of those million dollar showcase systems that ive seen but it keeps me going. Im still trying to decide if ground assist at the component helps me too as well as additional isolation but its an adventure. Im glad that the pag stack got you hooked. It still is a great system. And rossini. My buddy dave has one. You’ve gotta be really thrilled ! Yes… chasing the almighty noise floor

Ah! now you have hit on my rather unusual desire to have switched mode power supply on the power equipment (power amps primarily). I suffered, at various times, with my Theta Dreadnaught (sic) power amps, Martin Logan subwoofer’s and (a little) with my PS Audio BHK 250. No hum using my Chord Ultima 3 monoblocs - bliss.

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Puritan Audio offer their Routemaster grounding system. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’ve read good things and it seems to be a good alternative to the already mentioned systems by Shunyata and Synergistic. I believe some users here might have it?

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There is some extensive bedtime reading available here. Its mainly about the Altaira system but the Puritan makes an entry at around page 16:


Purely in the interests of science(:smile:), I have acquired a Puritan Ground Master and have just buried an earth rod at the side of the house (surrounded by 50Kg of Marconite/cement mix) to ground it.

I need to wait for the cement mix to set before continuing (at which point I can install some short underground pipework to the house), but I’ll give an update in a few days (UK weather permitting!) if people are interested in the outcome.


Before the Marconite and cement went in…


That looks fun, Jeremy! Really looking forward to the day I get to do something similar.

In the meantime I have some Altaira gear on the way. Will be interesting to see how that pans out.