Following the considerable success of Furutech’s remarkable accessory, the NCF Booster, the company has introduced a second companion edition, the new NCF Booster-Signal. Prepare to be surprised at the clear and positive difference that this innovative duo can make to your system’s performance.
Even the most cynical of audiophiles have to concede that cables and connectors can have a tangible effect on the performance of a hi-fi system. Japanese cable and accessories experts Furutech have spent decades investigating the hows and whys of the issue in pursuit of what they call ‘pure transmission’ – how to transmit a delicate audio signal from A to B in its most unadulterated form, neither adding anything nor taking anything away. With their latest duo of accessories, the NCF Booster and new NCF Booster-Signal, Furutech tackle the issue on a whole different level by addressing the interaction between cables and connectors and their immediate environment.
Both devices take the relatively common idea of cable support significantly further. Not only do they lift audio cables off the floor and enable optimum alignment between connectors and sockets, they also provide damping for both cables and connectors. That damping is specifically designed to reduce environmental interference, thus enabling a more pure and clear signal.
While the original NCF Booster was primarily designed for power cables and connectors, the new NCF Booster-Signal has been tailored for speaker and interconnect cables and connectors.
The key ingredient in both products is Furutech’s proprietary Nano Crystal² Formula (NCF) which features a special crystalline material with two active properties. First, it generates negative ions that eliminate static. Second, it converts thermal energy into far infrared. Furutech combine this crystalline material with nano-sized ceramic particles and carbon powder for their additional piezoelectric damping capabilities. The resulting Formula delivers superb electrical and mechanical damping.
“These are not ‘magic’ crystals,” Furutech emphasizes. “There is nothing mysterious about the way they work – quite simply, they improve audio performance in a very specific and measurable way.” They do it so well, in fact, that several other audio companies in Japan are now working with Furutech to implement NCF into their products. And audiophiles attending the recent Munich High-End Show may have noticed NCF Boosters and Booster-Signals in use in a variety of rooms and systems, where they gained fans among exhibitors and visitors alike.
The new NCF Booster-Signal features a complex internal construction quite different to that of the NCF Booster, designed to deliver a more finely-tuned and subtle damping effect for delicate signal cables (as distinct from higher voltage power cables).
In practice, however, the two are best used in tandem since much will depend on your particular system, its individual components, your specific cables and connectors, and your flooring materials (in the latter case think radiated resonance and floating static fields on synthetic materials). The most striking results can be achieved through practical experimentation. Consider the NCF Booster and Booster-Signal as a duo of tuning devices. Multiple units of each placed at various points along cables will deliver clear results and the more units placed, the more changes will be heard in playback. Hitting the real ‘sweet spot’ is all about discovering the various units’ optimum placement. Electrical and mechanical resonance can be focused at certain points (connectors, points where cables contact flooring or racks, points where cables are under stress – tight bends, sagging cables, etc). Placement of NCF Boosters and Booster-Signals at such key points will tend to deliver optimal results.
To aid experimentation, both units are constructed to be highly flexible. The NCF Booster comes with a top clamp (designed for power cables) which can be removed if an alternative position works better in practice. The NCF Booster-Signal comes without a top clamp (designed for signal cables) but with the option to add one, again according to what works best in situ. Additional extension clamps and lower cradles are available as optional extras, allowing for multi-level support structures.
If you’re expecting the difference the duo will make to a system’s sound to be subtle, prepare to be surprised.