This is also on my list. Nothing negative about these cables or this idea of grounding on the web, except of course, the few Debby Downers with closed minds that post on this site.
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OP, I am looking forward to your review. The only downside I see with this solution is running out of wall outlets, should you choose to add grounding to rest of the components. That’s one of the reason I chose Nordost QRT components with QKORE6 for the entire system. And now I cannot imagine my system without it.
With drop in noise floor, I expect you to hear improvements in the areas of depth, clarity and musicality.
The bad news is that The Cable Company is waiting for a shipment from GutWire. They say it will be 9-12 days before I get it 😢
The good news is, my system already sounds great 😀 I recently got some RCA shorting plugs for the unused inputs on my pre. They definitely lowered the noise floor, and made a nice improvement. I do wonder if they are already taking care of some of the noise that the ground cable would otherwise?
That’s a very encouraging news! I am glad to hear your positive experience so far...
On another thread here, I acted on a lead and order a pair of iFi iPurifiers earlier today. They seem to be well thought out in their design philosophy at a very attractive price of $99.
Yes, definitely. My experience so far agrees with the reviews. The areas where I hear improvement read like the proverbial audiophile checklist (transparency, resolution, texture, sense of space & air, palpability, dynamics, musicality, involvement etc.). It still has that bit of brightness, or glare, that I’ve learned to expect during break-in, but pretty much everything else has improved quite significantly.
Installed the Gutwire Ultimate Grounding cable and was sort of hoping it wouldn't make much of a difference so that I could return and use that money elsewhere on my system but it's staying right where it is. As Tommylion pointed out it lowers the background noise allowing improvements across the audio spectrum to come forth. I too find it a tad bright but I only have about ten hours on it so far, I'm sure the sound will improve with time.
Between recently adding the Gutwire grounding cord to my preamp and the Isoacoustic Gaia I isolation footers on my speakers I'm experiencing the blackest background I've ever had and that really allows the music to come forth beautifully. If this keeps up I'll have to rethink my skepticism of audio tweaks :)
Following this tread with great interest, so please share whether the initial brightness of the Ultimate version subsides over time. Thanks.
I'm using a modest IFI Groundhog on an Aqvox switch that connects a modem, (2) routers, and server. I bought the $50 device as a "test" before spending serious money on an Entreq, Synergistic Research, or something similar. Once connected the modem, the Groundhog made a major improvement in SQ. In the quest for better sound, I'll probably replace it with either the Perfect or Ultimate ground cables soon and report back.
Am curious to see if that "bit of brightness" disappears over time. Or it may simply be a touch revealing and maybe the cheaper gutwire will work better in some systems? Just wondering. I can appreciate the Iso Acoustics as I'm using one half of my Iso Acoustics "original" stands under the Aero 6's instead of the supplied plinths because they work better for me. The Gias are very interesting. All the best of the season. Be safe, be happy. cheers, bluenose
I'm not sure if my Ultimate Ground has fully broken/settled in yet, but the break in brightness is gone, and my system is sounding amazing. Realism, musical involvement and enjoyment have been raised to a new level.
Prior to adding it, I had already taken extensive measures to deal with various types of noise. Most recently I put RCA shorting plugs on all the unused inputs on my pre. This made another very nice improvement. I was wondering how much further could the Ultimate Ground lower the noise floor? The answer is, “Quite a bit”.
One note: the Ultimate is definitely in the stiffer “garden hose” category of cables (although the section close to the RCA end is narrower). You will need some space behind the component to fit it. If this is a concern, you may want to consider going with the Perfect. The standard length is 6’.
Yes, they are also called terminators, or termination plugs. I use one on the SPDIF out of my CD transport and the BNC input of DAC. They made a difference (at least in my system). The nice thing is they are fairly cheap.
As far as the RCAs, make sure they are actual shorting plugs, with a resistor, not just caps, like these:
With about 30 hours on the Ultimate Ground it has loss that slight brightness and my system is sounding better than ever. Lower/eliminating noise does wonders by allowing the music to come forth with better tone, more air and allowing the most subtle details to emerge. The Ultimate Ground along with proper component isolation/coupling has brought about the lowest noise floor in my system yet.
Apparently it needed a little more break in. The sound opened up further today, and I am one happy camper 😁
The Ultimate has taken my system, which I was already very happy with, to the next level. If you haven't already implemented a grounding solution, you might want to see if it does the same for yours.
I’m loving what I’m hearing with the UG in my system. The bass is tighter, cleaner, has more texture, and is more impactful. The tone of instruments and voices are more realistic. There is more air around them, and the space they are performing in is easily heard. PRAT and dynamics are also nicely improved. There is a greater sense of ease, which allows me to relax into, and enjoy, the music more.
I am now convinced that dealing with noise in the signal ground is essential, if you want to hear your system at its best. The UG is one excellent and cost effective way of doing so.
When I first got the UG, I briefly tried plugging it into the unused SPDIF output of my CEC TL-5 CD Transport, to see if it would make any difference there. I believe I heard an improvement. With the excellent results on my preamp, I decided to order another one for the CEC. Looking forward to hearing what it does.
If anyone wants to try something like the Ultimate or Perfect Ground, on the cheap ($50), I found the iFi Groundhog.
It has an RCA on one end, and a female IEC connector on the other, with only the grounds connected. That way, you can use whatever spare IEC power cable you have lying around to connect to the wall.
Not much on the Groundhog online. They seem to market it as an audible hiss/noise killer, a slightly different tact than Gutwire.
At the CA iFi-sponsored area a couple people report the end-to-end measured resistance is 12-15 ohms and infer this might be a problem, but there is no response from iFi. I use the Gutwire and wonder how this is. In any case it sounds good.
I am sure the Gutwire Ground cables are very good, but after reading this thread, I became very intrigued by the "concept".
I ended up building a couple of my own cables, using decent AC plugs, NOS WE 10ga wire, connected from the ground pins to the pin 1s of a couple of Neutrik XLR connectors. I put one on my DAC (battery powered), and one on my preamp. I already thought my system was very quiet, but this tweak, while cheap, has a very positive affect on my system. Biggest improvements for me were in bass articulation and definition, and midrange clarity. I also saw some improvements in soundstage size and airiness. Yup, my DIY grounding cables will be staying in the system!
Got the second UG for my CD Transport today, and ran it from the unused SPDIF output to the wall. I noticed increased transparency, palpability, and a greater sense of ease, right off the bat. There is just a slight bit of haze (not unpleasant), that I suspect will disappear as it breaks in. One of my favorite songs, “Bad” off of my Mobile Fidelity UltraDisc II CD of U2's The Unforgettable Fire, sounds amazing.
Do you find the SPDIF out is better than the other RCA out in your system? Also, how much better when your UG is fully break in vs. when is brand new? 10%? 20%? I believe I have mine for about 25 hours now, I like what I hear but I expected more after reading the reviews here. Hope it will improve more after 50 hrs. Thx!
How long did you leave the cable(s) in your system? In my experience, cables (of any type) can sound like what you’re describing during the initial break-in period. I find that when you first put them in, they give you a little taste of what they will sound like after they are broken in. Then, things get strange, and the sound can vary all over the place, until they finally settle in.
Months so well broken in. I'll play with it again in different positions and components.
More interesting is RCA shorting pins. Had them in for months and sound opened up as each pair is removed. I use RCA caps without shorting pins that reduces HF harshness/noise that some claim useless but works for me. I trust my ear and can easily hear the improvements.
FWIW, I use audiophile fuses and hear direction on some components so have open mind.
Treating the Ultimate Ground with Total Contact contact enhancer definitely brings even more improvement, right away, at least in my system. I'll have to wait a bit to see if gets even better over time, as reported by others.
I've been trying to find reasons to return the UG. I kept saying to myself the difference is minimum and not worth the money. However, music becomes disengaged every time I disconnect the UG from my system. With the UG, it's more musical, 3D, let you get into music and forget about the sound. When I unplugged it, things still sound the same but it's flat and not fun to listen to anymore. Therefore, I am keeping the UG. Last but not least, thank you for your recommendation Tommylion!