My Audiophool vote goes to the Furutech NCF Booster. Not because it doesn’t work, but because of its $350US price tag! Why would I buy a $350US cable riser when I can buy a set of (6) custom sized cable risers in exotic wood for about the same price & just stack ‘em? 🤔
Btw, I’m also not convinced about passive grounding boxes, but in the case of the Telos GNR V3.1 which is an active grounding conditioner, i’ve heard the dramatic improvement in my friend’s system with my own ears. Ok, It isn’t cheap, but neither is his system. So it’s all relative.
Similarly, having upgraded from $99 power cables to $5kUS pc’s over time, it’s been my experience that you can easily hear and appreciate the difference, with the caveat the rest of your system has to be up to snuff. I’ve done it the right way by upgrading the rest of my system over time, incl: speakers, amps, front end, a/c power & isolation.
My horror story was buying a 2nd hand pair of Infinity Renaissance 90’s back in 2009 from a Doctor in Texas called Larry Schwartz ('lwschwarz' on forums). When they arrived I found the cabinets had 'textor' repairs, there was a damaged unobtanium grill with cigarette burns on the grille cloth & broken pegs., and there was also evidence some of the drivers had been replaced. I obviously raised the issues with the seller who dismissed my concerns, then tried to ‘sell’ me a mint “NOS” pair of Ren 90 grills his “friend” just happened to be selling on EBay. I then went ahead and bought the grills using the ‘Buy it now’ option, but my purchase was cancelled without reason by the seller. Both that snake Larry Schwartz and his “friend” then stopped answering all emails. And since the Ren’s grills were critical to the sound (like Avalon), and were no longer available as spare parts following Harmon’s decision to close down production of classic Infinity speakers. And it was going to cost hundreds of dollars to ship the speakers back to the US per a Paypal claim, I ended up selling the speakers at a heavy loss. I’ve since learned there is a subculture of sellers, mostly from the Southern US selling ‘frankin’ Infinity speakers which are not as described & basically lemons.. As an Infinity lover, it is sad to see a few bad apples ruining it for the rest of us. That goes to show the dangers of buying 2nd hand speakers (or any Hifi gear for that matter) from an unknown o/s seller, much less gear which is no longer supported by the manufacturer. Live and learn.
Thanks for your kind words Sondek. Yeah he has some top flight gear for sure! Vitus Audio sounds natural/organic, resolving & tube-like operating in Class A mode. It is just a bit laid back which has good synergy with Magico. By “laid back” I don’t mean dark sounding, just more mid-hall than say Soulution or Spectral which sounds more forward.
Dave has a good collection of audiophile pressings, mostly purchased from Audiophile Reference Recordings in Victoria (disclaimer: I have no association with that shop). I particularly enjoyed the shootout we did between my copy of Anne Bisson’s Blue Mind (UHQCD) vs the same album on 180gm vinyl. A-B comparing the two recordings really showed what vinyl can do..