If you’re still pondering the question of whether, how much, or why hi-fi cables affect the quality of your system’s sound, you’d do well to check out reviewer Paul Rigby’s comprehensive article on the matter over at The Audiophile Man.
Rigby sets out to review Furutech’s new NCF Booster and NCF Booster-Signal, two highly innovative accessories designed to tackle cable noise. Following a chat with Furutech’s engineers, however, Rigby’s review becomes a series of detailed tests and experiments, as he discovers just how great a difference cable noise can make and, more important, how best to address it.
“I learn more about hi-fi every time I hit the power button but this test was a real eye-opener in terms of how cables work, how and where noise affects cables and how you can change that. From this test onwards, I look at cables in a whole new light,” he writes.
Both the NCF Booster and the NCF Booster-Signal take the common idea of cable support uncommonly 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. This damping is specifically designed to reduce environmental interference, thus enabling a more pure and clear signal.
The NCF Booster is primarily designed for power cables and connectors while the 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 active crystalline material that 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.”
And Furutech can prove it, as the test results that they provided to Rigby, included in the review, clearly show.
Both Furutech and Rigby emphasise, however, that there is no ‘one size fits all’ and that NCF Boosters and Booster-Signals “need experimenting with in terms of position and configuration for your own system. Every hi-fi system and the room it sits in is different. Every user will require time spent to experiment to maximise the performance from the Furutech units. Any stockist of Furutech Boosters/Booster Signals should be able to provide a home loan agreement to enable you to test the units on your own system.”
And so Rigby sets to work doing just that, embarking on an extended, systematic sound test in which he tries different combinations of NCF Boosters and Booster-Signals, one at a time in a variety of locations throughout his system, comparing and contrasting the results. “I wanted to make doubly sure that each component was having an effect: whether that be good, bad or indifferent.”
Sounds like hard work? Rigorous, yes. “I found myself narrowing my eyes and saying, “Hmmm” a lot.” Job satisfaction? Absolutely! “I was grinning all the way through this test. They all worked brilliantly when used in the right places… I had the best of both worlds, an open and airy midrange with plenty of insight and dynamic reach but then a firm and sold bass attack with a rich maturity that pushed the track onward at pace.”
“After extended use, I found the Boosters invaluable… In fact, they solved so many noise issues in these positions, I couldn’t remove them. The resultant pain was too great!”
So impressed was Rigby that he has awarded Furutech’s NCF Booster and Booster-Signal a 10/10 ‘Golden Groovy’ rating!
Read Paul Rigby’s full review online at The Audiophile Man
To track down your nearest Furutech dealer contact UK distributor www.soundfowndations.co.uk