Did anyone experience Audio Prism's Ground Control

Fellow Audiogoner's

I wonder if anyone has any input on Ground Control spade versions? I am curious about the impact of these pigtails on your system's overall sound?

I also have their quiteline filter (4pack) installed in my HT room and they have helped lower the overall noise floor.

My gear -
Krell Showcase Pre-Amp / Processor
B&W 803s and 804s (rear)
Marantz UD8004
Audience aR12
Audience Au24e speaker/interconnects.
PAD Power Cables
I have had them installed in my system for a few weeks now. Even with the clean power of a PS Audio Power Plant running my system, I could immediately notice a lower noise floor, with dynamic and clarity improvements.

I have become a firm believer that anything you can do to reduce noise in the system will reap musical rewards. I should also add that I have always liked AudioPrism's accessories and have owned an AudioPrism Debut II amp and Mantissa Preamp for years. The company offers real products, not smoke and mirrors. The Ground Controls are easy to install and immediately hear. Try them; I think you will like them!
I have tried to find out some info on these items to no avail. Does anyone know where I can demo these?
Ozzy, Music Direct has them. $99 pair for spades.
I think they were more like $170 for the pair
I tried really hard to get a Demo set from the Manufacture but best he would say is to buy one from a Mail Order site and if it didn’t do anything try to get a refund.
Seems no real dealers carry it.
Probably a piece of junk if the manufacturer is so paranoid.
Hi Ozzy,

Sorry you couldn't score any samples, we don't have any to provide. You will have no trouble with a return from Music Direct, I guarantee it. These are not junk, however, if you have poured ground planes in all of your equipment in the amplification chain, or you have a fully differential amplifier, without direct reference to true ground, they will not provide you with any benefit. Otherwise what Deebill reported is what you will get.

Budp, Thanks for the response.
I've got to say the discription you have provided sounds a little like hocus pocus.
But, the tweaker that I am ,I would have loved to been able to try it and if it had merit I would have bought it.
But I am not going to try something this iffy for $150 plus shipping costs and then try to get a refund.
From what I have seen there will be a review in an up coming 6 Moons release. It has both sides of the story too, with someone who found little or no improvement just as involved as someone who found an improvement and liked it. This is the reason for the refund policy as we do not want anyone to feel they have been cheated.

Just in case anyone was lurking and has not seen the 6 moons report, here is the link.



Is this the same thing you were refering to as 'Electron Pools' on other forums?

John C.
It is an extension and significant refinement of the exploration carried out under the title of Electron Pools.

The 6 Moons review didnt sound too positive to me. One reviewer ( below) saw no merit to it the other (below at bottom) thought it maybe made a improvement.

First Reviewer
"After 'breaking them in' for the equivalent of 40 hours or so, I experimented with the devices in three systems in three different venues; with three different speakers, two different preamps, two different amps, one integrated, one receiver and one CD player. Over a series of sighted A/B listening sessions, I sometimes reckoned that I heard a touch more body and low-level dynamics in the mids. But the differences weren’t tenacious enough to trust. In unsighted—not double-blind—A/Bs it became clear that I could not dependably identify when they were in or out. The same held true over periods of long-term listening. Since I was unable to reliably detect the possible differences in or out of the various contexts explored, I have to say that the Ground Control devices aren’t for me. Your mileage may vary."

Second Reviwer
"I will go so far as predicting that some audiophiles might not hear any improvements either due to their systems not revealing them or their lack of sensitivity to the particular sonic benefits the GC devices convey."
Ozzy - I think you probably excerpted the only sentence in my review where I lent credence to doubters. I think it is fair to say that most tweaks do not find universal acceptance in the marketplace. That is the basis behind my statement.

However, you should note that everyone who was exposed to A/B'ing them in my two systems, heard the improvement and liked it. Subsequent to the review, I brought them to another friend's high end system and he was also favorably impressed. So, my own experimentation with audiophile friends has been 100% positive.

Regards, Steve Marsh, 6moons.com
Still for $150 bucks plus shipping it still sounds like a "maybe/iffy" product.

Well did you also state this???

"How large is the effect of these devices? More than I hear from the Isoclean fuses but not as much as an interconnect or speaker cable upgrade. However, what the GC devices do may be unattainable from a cable upgrade. I have rarely, if ever heard this combination of virtues from a cable upgrade."
Yes. My statement merely tries to convey their relative value. This is where your own decision making must come into play. It seems that you do not want to try them. There is nothing wrong with that.

Mesh50, I really wanted to demo them. But unlike for you a professional reviewer the Manufacturer does not support demos. There response to me was to purchase them and if I did not think they did anything try to get a refund.
I have bought items on those terms only to have a real hassle getting my money back
I suppose it is easy to paint all manufacturers with the same brush, when you've had a bad experience. I've read many such tales of woe on Audio Asylum and elsewhere. I think both Audio Prism and Music Direct are very reputable companies and Music Direct would happily refund you. Of course, it is your money and your decision.
I got a pair installed on my Duevel Bella Lunas driven by a Wavac EC300B. The effect is not subtle: much increased air and transparency in the treble (particularly noticeable on splashing cymbals and the like) as we as more articulation and speed in the bass. Weird but effective
Another review in Stereo Times.
I actually have the GC's on my amplifier (an AudioPrizm Debut with new OPT's and power supply mods) on my Sony CD/SACD player and my Planet 10 Fonken boxes with EnABL'd Fostex 127 eN drivers installed. The amplifier GC's provided about half as much back side of the wave information retention as the GC's on the speakers. The CD player GC retained the high frequency information as music, rather than the rather harsh, grainy, unmusical edge to sound that the unit came with. Not proselytizing here (much anyway) but I suspect some folks are wondering about uses in other locations and these have been my results. I do also have them in my transformer, stepped, isolated attenuator preamp, but most folks don't have one of these.

Budp, Dont you need to disclose that you are a dealer for Audioprism???
I am not a dealer. I am just the idiot with the idea. Music Direct and I think one other (I will check on this) are dealers. I don't even make the parts, though I do design and build high level audio transformers and provide EnABL patterns for free use to DIYer's and also as a source for those who want the benefits but don't want to learn to do the process. The Ground Control is just a spin off of R&D on cables, to obtain as sonically invisible a cable as possible, to allow me to further refine the transformer designs for audio reproduction.

AudioPrisim is an entirely separate entity and the GC's are being marketed and manufactured by them. This is actually the only way they could have been brought to market, as I do not have the contacts in the business they do. They are in fact the people who drove the commercialization of the idea, so without them, there would be no Ground Control.

Just to show how far away from the sales end of GC I am, here are the names of the four dealers involved. Acoustic Sounds, Elusive Disc, Galen Carol Audio & Music Direct. I hope posting these is still abiding by the forum guidelines.

I would like to know if anyone has tried to DIY?

Would running a wire from the neg speaker terminal to an electrical ground elsewhere have any detrimental effect?
In many elderly systems, pre WWII, they ran a wire from the neg terminal, on the driver, to the plated metal basket. This is a ground plane for the driver, there is no particular control over the materials affecting the electrostatic moments in the AC signal, but it has to be better than what is available in your wall, out in the yard and down the road to the substation. Not that service should be by passed in any way, but an alternate is advised, at least for the speaker.

I would absolutely NOT connect the speaker ground to the house system ground, under any circumstances. You are almost certain to form a ground loop antenna and many new and unusual sounds might be the result.

If you want to experiment with a loop of wire, use lamp cord, about 2 feet of it. split it into two halves, strip the ends of each piece and twist them together, making a shorted turn of wire. Connect this to your speaker,s black lug. This will not provide you with a carefully controlled set up like Ground Control does, but you should find some quite noticeable differences in performance.

Well, I finally bought a used pair of the Ground Control spades. Man are they really small.
Just hooked them up and I will give them a try for while.
i will report back in about a week.
Used Ground Control? Already? WOW. Were they from a dissatisfied user?

I dont think so. He said he had an extra pair.
Ground Control to Major Tom.....
yes.... exactly... we've been giggling over it for some time too.
Well I finally had one of the Ground Controls for about a week.
I will admit that these little things dont look like much but they do provide a marked sound quality, improvemnent in my system.
Music seems to be much more relaxed or natural and the soundstage is deeper and wider. Vocals are very nice and defined closer to the real thing.
I liked the Ground Control device so much that I ordered another for my Bi-wire speakers.

Now, I am using the Synergistic Research Apex Bi wire speaker cables and these have the active shielding. Perhaps because of this the Ground Control complements the cables.
I duuno, but they are worth the price of the improvement in sound even though they dont look like much.
Highly recommended
Hi, Ozzy. Glad to hear from someone else how has based his opinion on what they heard with there ears with the Ground Controls in there system. There is no substitute for real world hands-on experience with this or any other product in your system. The Audio Prism Ground Control makes it easy to doubt what it does in one's system, with it's small size, unassuming looks, and the very weak, vague, shaky interview given by the Audio Prism representative.
Nicely said guys. I appreciate your mention of the cables you use Ozzy, answers one of those blank spaces of system composition and their effect upon the Ground Control pieces.
Just as pleased as you are that the Ground Controls worked in your system.

Three days ago I loaned my transformer attenuator preamp to a colleague. He provided a SS Nikko Beta II preamp. Typical hashy leading edge to mid and hi frequency, SS sound, from products made back then.

It has two RCA output jack sets, so I plugged a couple of RCA Ground Controls in place and not even the reference ones either, one at a time, just to see what happened. I now have an extremely transparent, very sweet and colorful preamp... and I think I like it more than my stepped attenuator passive device, with my own high zoot transformers in it, just to add insult.

I will mention to Byron how weak, vague and shaky his interview was Jejaudio. Which review were you referencing?
He is one of those Afrikaners from So. Africa, so I suspect I will get a sharp response and a laugh back!

Budp 2/25/10: if you have poured ground planes in all of your equipment in the amplification chain, or you have a fully differential amplifier, without direct reference to true ground, they will not provide you with any benefit.

Ozzy 4/28/10: Well I finally had one of the Ground Controls for about a week.
I will admit that these little things dont look like much but they do provide a marked sound quality, improvemnent in my system.
Music seems to be much more relaxed or natural and the soundstage is deeper and wider. Vocals are very nice and defined closer to the real thing.
Ozzy, aren't your Pass Labs preamp and amp fully differential?

-- Al
Almarg, I am using the ground Control spades at my speaker ends.
Budp, I thought it was important for me to post since I was so negative previously on this post.
I dont have any idea why a short little thing like these Ground controls work, but they do.
My Classe S-700 is a fully differential amp. And I have used the Audio Prism Ground Control on my amp and speaker end with good results and no problems at all.
Hi, Budp. My criticism of the gentleman in the 6moons review was that his sidebar answers were described hear in this forum as non-answers and laughable. I will let those with that view answer for themselves. I don't know if those members have even tried the Ground Controls. I have used the Ground Controls and can speak to the positive effect they have had in my system. On my power amp and speakers. So for me it is more important to talk about what I heard with them in my system which was positive. And not let what in my opinion (and others) was not a strong defence of a very good product.
Well, that is quite interesting. The one reported failure, with a fully differential system, comes from Stuart Yaniger whose system is detailed here http://syclotron.com/ Stuart is a friend and a died in the wool objectivist, along with being a talented designer and builder and his system showed no changes he could detect.

I cannot personally make any claims as my personal system is all non differential, just report what I have had others tell me. So, thank you for that insight Jejaudio, another data point and a useful one too.

Now that I have installed the second set of Ground Controls on my biwire speakers (Andra 2), I cant believe how clear and defined the bass has become!
This product should be standard with all speakers!
How can I invest ?
I'm using a pair on my my tube driven Sound Lab A-1(PX)as well as my Duntech Sovereigns. Improvements are cleary audible as a lower noise floor for both systems, and for reasons I can't fathom, improved soundstaging on the Duntechs.In the world of tweaks, this is a good one for the price.
Hjs, Did you find much improvement with the RCA version?
Just to stick my two cents in. The RCA pieces seemed to make the biggest difference in ordinary commercial CD players, sub $500 products. Rendering the typical high frequency hash and garble, however slight, back into the musical information it actually is, before the op amps have their way with it. Then I got hold of this solid state Nikko preamp and now the biggest difference made is with the Nikko.

Our Asian markets seem to be much more interested in the RCA than the lugged speaker / amplifier Ground Control and the change in the Nikko's behavior may be a clue as to why this is true. In the other cases I have tried the change was subtle, being primarily in making three dimensional interpretation of the stereo illusion much easier and removing even more of the noise masking, small, wide band wide frequency response information difficult to interpret. This seems to be more of an ease in spaciousness than anything else.

Budp, So would you recomend plugging the RCA Ground Control into my Pass Labs Preamp or my Cary 306 Pro CD player?
Try both Ozzie. It takes about two hours for all of various charge states to get organized. After that time interval, pull the RCA out, listen for 10 minutes and plug it back in. Do thi for both, though you may want to check with Pass Labs to see if their ground design is continuous for both channels. If so, one RCA should do and I would place it on outputs in preference to inputs, but I doubt there is a rational reason behind this choice. Good idea to check out the Cary also, but I would expect it to be a continuous ground for both channels in the analog output buffer stage.

Under no circumstances should you introduce one of these Ground Controls to the digital ground of any digital section of any piece of equipment. Using it on the outputs for the Cary is all you want to consider and only for the analog outputs that drive the preamp.

Ozzy- I'm using only the version with spades. Can't speak to the RCA's.
Hjs, Thanks for the clarification. Are you using the Ground Control spades at the Amp and the speaker ?
I'm using the spades only at the speaker.
Just got my third set of the Ground control units. I now have 2 sets on my biwire speakers and a set at my Amp end.

I cant believe how much improvement these little items have made in my musical enjoyment.

The bass has become much stronger and defined. So much so that I had to turn down the setting on my JL Audio sub. Cymbals crash and simmer much more like real cymbals. Vocals sound much more relaxed and real.
And the soundstage is very deep and wide.
I cant say enough good things about these little Ground Controls.

The ONLY negative is they could be cheaper for what they appear to be made of. But sound quality wise the cost is cheap compared to the sound quality improvement.
Way better than HIFI fuses. Way better than most interconnect and power cable upgrades.

But I should note that I do have some rather expensive cables in my system.

All in all it could be the sum of all my audio parts.
I am quite sure you are correct Ozzie. The GC's are doing no more than retaining the coherence of the information, after it has passed through the various "loads" in your system, just prior to being pulled back through those "loads", to reproduce the back half of the wave forms.

What you are experiencing is just what your system really sounds like, and I for one have to say I am heartily in favor of just how good the designers and engineers have made modern audio. What you have commented on is exactly what I and many others have experienced, thank you for voicing your thoughts.