Ground 'box' what's in them?

Anyone have any idea what's going on inside these ground 'boxes' some companies are coming out with?

Examples are the Entreq, Synergistic Research et al.
Ifor the manufacturer huge, no wait, mega huge profit and for the buyer... A lot of hope :-). And a piece of metal with some screws and some wire and, very important, the Black Box...inside? All you can imagine...

And, very important, you will get tremendous impovement when you use Stillpoints below it ...
Pixie dust.

Good Listening

Yeah I would be interested to know just what these expensive "ground boxes" have in them.

I'm thinking it is a version of the Audio Prism Ground Controls just buried in dirt!
Wow -- does anybody (except Ozzy) have anything of actual substance to bring?

Peter -- you actually wasted the 46 seconds to type 'pixie dust': that's 46 seconds of your life you'll never get back.
I bought a $13 in line transformer to eliminate hum from my cable connection ground when attached to my system. Works like a charm by design. If its not clear exactly what ground problem a product solves and how though, and if the results cannot be determined clearly don't buy it.

Above link to a fairytale that very well explain my take on this

Good listening

Perhaps the first of the Ground Enhancers was the Acoustic Revive RGC-24. A wire from one of you components goes to a metal cyninder that contains Tourmaline and "other" minerals.Especially when attached to an unused RCA input of a preamp, there is a significant effect. High frequencies are diminished with the effect being a blacker background and better imaging.

The Synergistic Research Grounding Block is somewhat different in that the Grounding Block also plugs into the ground of a wall socket. Unlike the Acoustic Revive product multiple components plug into the Grounding Block. The effect on sound seems to envolve more frequencies than the Acoustic Revive unit.

I have tried both products in my horn speaker system and in my dedicated headphone system. Both systems due affect a significant change to the system's sound.

I think both are worthy of trying.
I have not tried the Entrigg System. It is very much more expensive but has a myriad of options. There is a thread about this product at the Whats the best Audio Forum that runs for 16 + pages.
Peter -- which of these ground boxes have you actually tried?

Please explain to us exactly how you've come to the conclusion(s) you have.

Had a demonstration of the Synergistic Research one in my system a few years back.

However, just try to think logically about it, all your equipment is already connected to ground via its power cord if designed properly. So all you do by adding a second ground connection is adding a ground loop - which are no good. In case you have double insulated equipment, indicated by a pair of squares, one inside the other usually by the ac inlet, and equipment usually supplied with a 2 pronged power cored, you are connecting "nothing" to ground.

I you really want to know about proper grounding I'd encourage you to read this paper.

Bill Withlock Ground Papers

Good Listening

Thanks Peter.

Interesting reading.
I wish some daring (rich) individual would take one apart...
07-01-15: Ozzy
I wish some daring (rich) individual would take one apart...

Very rare. A few years back a friend of mine bought some very expensive P*D cables, forgot the name but it was something about 3-4k per meter, after a while he wanted better connectors and opened the cable. Guess what he found? Belden computer cables, thin, cheap, surrounded by big foam. He was really mad about that... the question is: Do you really want to know what you have bought?
Syntax, I remember someone posting pictures of the inside of the Transparent "boxes" that are on their cables and it was just silicone glue and I think a resistor.
So, yeah, is there some individual with more resources than I have to take one of these Enteq boxes apart and enlighten the Audiogon community?
I'm hoping Miguel from Tripiont is going to jump in at some point. He, and others that own his products on these forums certainly make me curious about the positive effects they are said to have on their systems. am not convinced that it isn't true, although I do have respect for Peter's opinions.
Still, I'm reminded of a thread a couple of weeks ago where a member posted just to say that he was very happy with the performance improvements that he found with some Starsound supports. Two well known members immediately jumped on him, one calling it "a load of crap" if I recall correctly. I asked them both if they had ever used them, but of course, no answer.
I have also purchased tweeks that had little effect, but Starsound isn't one of them, and it is not responsible or intelligent to comment definitively on a product if you have never tried it in your own system. If we were making a metaphor with fairy tales, I would use the story of the Fox and the Grapes. Sometimes, just sometimes, people say that they don't want something because they can't have it. Other times, people say things just to hear themselves talk.
I am also curios to understand the technology behind Tripoint and Entreq, but I don't want to cry snake oil before I have any idea of what they do or how.
Let me take a shot at this ... first to answer the OP's original question ... "what's in the box" ...

I see at least 3 or 4 different schemes employed

First there is the use of strong magnetics ... second I believe Tara uses a special ceramic mix ...third and completely different is the use of the grounding box as a central single point ground and lastly is the use of crystals such as Tourmaline as Davidpritchard has mentioned

Starting with the magnets and ceramic mix ... electrical signals are always accompanied by magnetic fields ... electrical fields follow magnetic fields when magnetic fields are properly aligned in a North South orientation

Strong magnets when placed on the ends of a conductor will help draw the current through the conductor based on the magnet's orientation

The use of magnets and ceramic mixes are attempts to increase the flow in the direction of ground from your components attempting to pull any extra voltage riding on the components ground plane away from the component

Grounding boxes used as Central Single Point grounding scheme ... here this type of grounding box attempts to create a single point of ground and equalize all ground paths to a single grounding point ... similar to Star Grounding schemes

When ever there is a difference in the actual length of the ground conductor's length ... there are small difference in the ground potential which translates to additional voltage ... which translate into noise and ground loop

By using special cables of exact equal length connected from your component's chassis to the grounding box ... you are attempting to equalize all your components ground planes and then the grounding box is connected to the wall outlet attempting to create a single point of ground ... there is still a bump in the rug with this system I will explain later ... bear with me

Most common is when the cable company doesn't tie their ground to the house ground ... you get a ground loop that presents itself as a humming in the speakers or a bar traveling across and up your display device

You will also have issues if you use two separate circuits that are not on the same phase of your main panel box ... different length ground paths cause potential differences and ground loops

Here's another good one many audiophiles are guilty of and don't realize

You plug your amps directly into the wall but you plug all your sources and low level devices into a power conditioner and then plug the power conditioner into the wall ... there is a big difference in ground path length from your low level devices to your power conditioner to the wall than your amp plugged directly into the wall

Besides creating ground loops the difference in ground potential is a open invitation for RF to couple to that conductor and invade your components

For more on this check out the Core Audio Technology website where they discuss problems with different length ground paths and how RF is easily coupled to your components

The last in the box scheme is Crystals ... I don't see how they can draw Voltage / Noise away from your component ... I'm under the impression that when current passes through or near a Crystal .. the Crystal is heated up and emits a beneficial counter wave reducing RF ... sorry I just don't get how Crystal work in a ground scheme

Now the Bump in the rug I mentioned earlier

All components should have two separate and Isolated ground planes from each other

One is the Third wire safety circuit which provide a low impedance path way to the ground rod in the event of a fault or short circuit until the breaker can trip ... this circuit is completely separate from the audio signal circuit and only provide a safe path in the event of a fault or short circuit ... there is no audio signal content on the Third wire safety circuit nor should there be ... it's a safety circuit not and audio circuit

The other ground plane should be a separate ground plane in each component of 0 voltage for the positive half of the audio signal to reference to ... the ground boxes are an attempt to remove any voltage attached to this ground plane as this noise will increase the Noise Floor

Problem is most manufactures designing to a price point of "good enough for Audiofools mentalities" only employ the Third wire safety circuit and tie the Signal ground plane to it (the Third wire safety circuit)

Bump in the rug ...

The Third wire safety circuit is a cesspool of noise created by high soil resistivity creating high impedance at the ground rod and pushing current back to the main panel because the current sees the main panel box as a lower path of resistance ... your town's Zoning has a minimum spec for ground rod impedance .. check with them ... you may be SHOCKED ;-)

Chemical reaction between the copper ground rod and chemicals in the soil will create galvanic reaction and voltage ... RF is also picked up by the ground wire from the ground rod to the main panel box and all the other safety wire through out the house are acting as antenna capturing RF and carrying it to the main panel box where all the safety wires are bonded together on a ground bus bar

Impedance difference between you main panel box and the ground rod can also set up reflection back to the source for any current the ground rod can't dissipate

As you can hopefully see there is a tremendous amount of potential for voltage to be generated and transmitted back to the main panel box through all the Third wire safeties in the house and then back to each component through their Third wire safety connection to ground

This is why you need a separate isolated ground plane in each component lying at 0 volts for the positive phase of the Audio signal to reference to ...

If your component uses the Third wire safety circuit ( and almost all do) as the Ground Reference for the positive signal ... then the positive half of the audio signal will see all the voltage/noise floating on the Third wire safety that has accumulated and the noise floor of the component will be raised or much higher

This is possibly what all those mega buck ground boxes are trying to address

For more info on noisy grounds and how to defeat them google "Ground Transient Blocker"

Boxes like Acoustic revive and Entreq contain a mixture of solids, presumably "minerals". The problem is that most homes are inadequately grounded. In Arizona where I live, I'm sure that the outside ground bar is embedded in bone dry dirt. So those three prong plugs aren't really helping your rig to sound better. Some adventurous souls have claimed that chopping off the ground prongs from all the plugs will make one's system sound better. I use Entreq, and I like it in my system.
Davehrab, thanks for the technical help. But, it still doesn't explain how or what is inside one of these pricey ground boxes.

Psag, I have been very interested in trying one of the Entrq units but, I can't get past the price. For a unit to handle my whole system it is > $5000. I mean it doesn't even plug in the wall?

So, what the heck kind of high priced components are inside that unit that should warrant such a high price?

I have purchased some tweaks that really do improve the sound, and I have always felt that the tweak shouldn't be judged by what it is made of but what it does to improve sound quality.

An example of this would be the Synergistic HFT's and the Audio Prism ground controls.I applaud these companies for thinking outside the box.(pun intended)

But, even with that,the Entreq ground boxes still baffle me.

Now the Bump in the rug I mentioned earlier

All components should have two separate and Isolated ground planes from each other

One is the Third wire safety circuit which provide a low impedance path way to the ground rod in the event of a fault or short circuit until the breaker can trip ... this circuit is completely separate from the audio signal circuit and only provide a safe path in the event of a fault or short circuit ... there is no audio signal content on the Third wire safety circuit nor should there be ... it's a safety circuit not and audio circuit
07-02-15: Davehrab


The ground rod and Mother Earth has nothing to do with the circuit of a ground fault event on the safety equipment grounding conductor.

There are three components of a 120Vac branch circuit.
*The Hot ungrounded conductor.
*The Neutral, The Grounded Conductor.
*The Equipment Grounding Conductor, often referred to as the safety equipment ground or grounding conductor.

The typical residential single phase 120/240 volt electrical panel found in our homes has 3 service entrance conductors that are supplied by the Utility Power Company's transformer.
Two Hot 240Vac single phase ungrounded Conductors and one neutral conductor, that is a center tap connection on the secondary 240V single phase winding of the power transformer. The Utility Power Company usually connects the secondary winding low voltage neutral conductor to the primary high voltage neutral conductor and connects them to Mother Earth.
Why? Mainly for lightning protection. And it is also to help limit the high voltage from crossing over to the secondary output of the transformer in the event of a high voltage to secondary fault.

The low voltage service neutral conductor will be connected to Mother Earth again at the main service equipment disconnecting means. Translation the main electrical service equipment enclosure that houses the main breaker/s.

To keep it simple let's use an electrical panel for the house that has the service main disconnect breaker.
So after the Power Company's meter the 3 service entrance conductors enter the main electrical panel. The 2 Hot ungrounded conductors connect to the line side of the Main 2 pole breaker.
The Neutral conductor connects to the neutral/ground bar.
Per NEC code as well as State and local electrical codes, The neutral Conductor must be connected to Mother Earth again.
Why? Lightning protection and to limit any high voltage that may enter the service conductors from the high voltage feeding the power transformer in the event of a fault condition. (Remember the utility high voltage neutral conductor is connected to the low voltage neutral conductor and then connected to mother earth.)

Finally we are getting to the heart of the relationship of the neutral, (The Grounded Conductor), and the Equipment Ground, (The Grounding Conductor).

So the service entrance neutral is connected to earth using wiring methods and materials that meet NEC as well as AHJ, (Authority Having Jurisdiction), local governing codes in your area. The service neutral must also be bonded, connected, to the metal enclosure of the electrical panel either by a green bonding screw through a hole in the neutral/ground bar to the metal enclosure or a supplied bonding strap that will connect the neutral/ground bar to the enclosure.
We now have created a grounded AC power system with ONE electrical ground plane for the dwelling unit structure, the house.

If we measure from Hot L1, leg, to Hot L2, leg we will measure 240Vac nominal.
From L1 to neutral 120V nominal.
From L2 to neutral 120V nominal.

Note at the main electrical panel the neutral conductor bar and equipment ground bar are one in the same. This is the only place that branch circuit neutral conductors and equipment grounding conductors are connected together. They cannot electrically be connected together at any point thereafter.

Next, finally, lets look at a piece of audio equipment that uses the safety equipment grounding conductor.
If we measure the voltage at the wall receptacle we will find,

120V nominal from the HOT, (small slot hole contact) to the neutral, (larger slot or 'T' hole contact).

From the HOT contact to the U shaped equipment ground contact 120V nominal.

And from the neutral contact to the equipment grounding contact zero volts.

Remember the equipment grounding conductor is connected to the service neutral conductor in the main electrical panel.

So let's create a ground fault event inside a power amp that uses the safety equipment ground. For an example the hot conductor after the safety fuse was installed laying against a sharp corner edge of the iron core of the large EI power transformer. With passing time the heat and 60Hz vibration of the transformer wore an ever so small hole in the insulation just barely exposing the hot wire of the insulated conductor.

Houston we have lift off! If the equipment ground was not defeated and enough current is traveling now on the chassis of the amp to the equipment grounding conductor the safety fuse inside the amp will blow when the ampere rating of the fuse is exceeded breaking the HOT conductor to equipment grounding conductor ground fault completed circuit.

Mother Earth has nothing to do with it. She is not involved in any way. Now of course if you are standing outside in your bare feet on wet grass and come in contact with a hot wire, Ya, then she is involved!

It also should be said Mother Earth does not possess some magical mystical power that sucks nasties from our audio equipment.
Henry W. Ott , Grounding Myths

As for the OP's question about the ground boxes I do not have any experiences with them one way or the other.
With that said I can only add our 120V grounded power system is asymmetrical. We have a Hot conductor that is 120V potential nominal above ground and a neutral conductor that is at zero volt potential with respect to ground.

Food for thought. What is the reference ground plane for a Stealth B1 Bomber's electrical system? Not Mother Earth...


You are absolutely right that the Entreq system is expensive and with so many possible units and connecting wire combinations one could go crazzy trying to get the perfect sound.

The Entreq thread at Whats the Best Audio forum is hundreds of posts.

I have the Synergistic Research Grounding Block and at $599.00 it is not a major budget breaker.

With their friendly 30 day trial, I looked at it as an opportunity to learn how my system's sound could change.

I found it a worthwile addition to my system.
The Entreq boxes are effective tweaks- they have a beneficial effect, noticeable but subtle. If they cost less than a major component upgrade, I would say they are worth it.
I wouldn't name the product.
A well known friend open up 1 of the well known product & discovered that it consist of a brass plate covered with some kind of sand . I have it & it works fairly well with some equipment . I have a friend who DIY with many brass plates & it works in his syst !!!
Another expensive ground box I have seen a photo of it . 2 rods with brass rod through it & connected with 2 wires !!! & non of the connecting rods is isolated !!! Funny thing is that I have personally heard of demo with this product & it's eye popping - seriously effective . I m so tempted that I wanted to buy it . However couldn't agree with the price .
Another product u can try is from Telos Taiwan which came out with an electrical ground box where every terminal is rated zero ground potential . I have heard it . Fairly effectively
Correction - I meant none of the connecting post is isolated from each other
All very confusing. Jea48, you obviously know what you are talking about, I just wish that I did, and how it relates to these boxes.
The boxes conform to the laws of physics, and the laws of the marketplace. What's confusing?
Hey PNB you got a few things wrong. Like on creating a ground loop as you said this thing does. A ground loop is two or more paths to the same ground. So you are wrong on that as this device provides an alternative ground.

This is the kind of stuff that clouds the Internet that people take as verbatim. I'm not saying the product is good or bad, just that the point you tried to make in this instance is wrong.

What are we to think when we read conflicting views on an item? It's like the MSM and politics these days, They have one person on each side of an issue and when the show is over they haven't proved one right or wrong. You just get to choose whatever suits you which is usually the belief you had before hearing the argument.

This is why we all need to try things for ourselves. We also need to find dealers that allow in home demo or have a return policy where you can get your money back. With this we don't need to bother with those that speculate on things w/o even trying them.

I haven't tried one which I think is really required to do other than speculate. Speculation can be good and bad. Entreq's basic devices don't deal with AC safety ground. They seem to attempt to rid the system of crap that is present at other ground points like audio ground.

There are many tweaks for that like Bud Purvine's ground loop and the battery ground tweak. Someone talked about what could crystals like tourmaline do in this? This is a passive device and crystals passively remove RFI/EMI by being in proximity of it through absorption the noises energy is piezo electrically transferred to vibration then heat.

So in the end I have no experience with the product and would like to learn more facts not speculation. But I guess w/o facts and actual units to try speculation is all that can be done so I understand.


I encourage you to read the link provided above to Bill Withlock's paper on grounding.

Good Listening

I just read it. I was scared of the 200 plus pages but it was a presentation and was like reading maybe 30 pages. I agree with most of what he said. I don't disagree with any facts he presented.

In the end it was GLI recommendation which was a little disappointing. I used to install commercial audio and video and never needed a GLI and we used mostly unbalanced audio gear.

The video info is quite dated.

I love how he called out Paul McGowan for his liftable ground pin. But he has to do that in his position. He CANNOT recommend lifting grounds

I have lifted all my grounds and use all unshielded cables in my all unbalanced system. I mean unshielded power cords and interconnects.

I have no noise now and only had a little when the two amps I use in a bi-amp and my P-300 were grounded. My sound quality has improved a lot over the last ten years with all the tweaks and the same CJ, Placette, MF Trivista gear I've owned since 2003. Getting rid of my unneeded active preamp helped a lot too as I'm now passive. I also no longer use a cable between transport and DAC that links their signal ground either. I like DAC's that use an isolation transformer on the coaxial digital in.

AC delivery,unshielded interconnects, vibration isolation and room treatments brought my same gear from 2003 to way higher heights.

I'm glad I read it too. I was a bench tech that repaired/calibrated test equipment used by utilities. I always repaired those big ohm meters used to test grounds.


How this ground box works is a puzzlement. Does it really do anything? Well if we read posts from people who actually use it then the answer is yes.
Entreq Silver Tellus grounding/earthing system

Thread: Entreq Tellus grounding

This thing is a separate isolated ground plane. I guess the only thing I could of kind of compare it to is the chassis ground plane of a piece of audio equipment that has double insulated power wiring and does not use the safety equipment ground. But then not really like that at all....

Grounding Myths, Henry W ott
3.1.4 Earth grounds.
It is a myth that connecting equipment to an earth reduces noise and interference.
The ground box is not an earth ground. But is it a ground plane?

It does seem to have the ability to absorb RFI noise.
Not to be confused with Mapleshade's Ground Plane copper ribbon tweak.
Thanks to Pete,from PBN Audio, for a "real" informative post! Pete
So nice to have truly "illuminating",educational and clear posts : )
Looks like a worthwhile article. But it can't really be used to judge the value of ground boxes. To do would be analogous to judging an amplifier based solely on its specs.
To Electroid: Since you use a system with the grounds lifted, I hope you will try The Synergistic research Grounding Block as it has a money back policy.

You are the perfect person to do this experiment with one of these ground conditioning devices
BTW, the Entreq may decrease noise as an added benefit, but that's not really what its about.
08-10-15: Psag
Looks like a worthwhile article. But it can't really be used to judge the value of ground boxes. To do would be analogous to judging an amplifier based solely on its specs.
If one has a high resolution system, any change is easily audible. I can easily pick fuse orientation in a blind test.

After spending big $$ on a tweak, it can cloud your judgement. Whether it's different or an improvement is up to the owner to decide.
Agree. The tendency to defend one's purchase is there.