Furutech’s portable Destat III promises to remove static from your hi-fi, and audio and AV media. The Audiophile Man’s Paul Rigby conducts an extremely thorough review. Conclusion? The promise is measurably fulfilled, and delivers a clear improvement in sound quality as a result.
“We all know about static electricity. It’s a childhood treat!” writes Rigby, referring to the joy of rubbing balloons against your sweater before sticking them to the wall. For lovers of hi-fi, however, static falls more in the category of arch enemy than treat.
“Tiny levels are enough to make an audible difference… bits of reverb here, removal of air and space there, constriction of the mids here, squashing of the bass there. Trouble is, you add those hundreds – actually thousands – of little sonic nudges and squeezes and the overall effect of noise on your music is pretty nasty.”
However, one of the great ironies of these things is that “you only really hear the effects when, oddly enough, they’re not there. Until then, your brain probably will wonder what all the fuss is about. Get rid of the stuff, though, and then you’ll understand.” Which may explain why some people remain to be convinced about just how much difference an accessory like the Destat III can make. And so, Rigby embarks on a rigorous review.
The principle is simple enough. “What does it do? It pushes out ionising air. Which removes the static charge. Simple as that.”
Rigby was keen to probe deeper into the static problem before weighing up the efficacy of this particular gadget, and so he armed himself with a static meter. “I wanted to investigate static in two ways. Static as an attractor of dust to the vinyl groove but also static as a noise producer.”
In a fascinating and highly entertaining exploration, Rigby begins by testing various household items and home fittings for static (partly as a benchmark, partly for the fun of it!), before moving on to various electronic devices and then, finally, his beloved hi-fi. Different components were tested, ranging from the pre-amp, CD player, DAC and turntable, to cables and sockets. Also different processes were tested, including cleaning a vinyl disc in an ultrasonic record cleaner. Then, a record vinyl was tested before, during and after play, with measurement taken at various points on the record as well as up into the cartridge, tonearm and turntable.
All this before even beginning to review the Destat III! Which Rigby then did, of course, pitting it against the “very popular and almost legendary Milty Zerostat gun – a superb device and a great tool that performs superbly well for the cash”. And the Destat III? “Even better… for users out there where only the best is good enough.”
And so to the final question: “does static removal help sound quality in any way?”
“Now, normally, when I try to quantify an improvement in noise from a hi-fi component, I tend to generalise a bit but I could be wholly specific with the Destat III. The improvement in sound was purely down to a reduction in static. Clarity was the big winner here. The entire soundstage sounded like it was freshly scrubbed and shined. As if the hi-fi sound had an old, weary, slightly worn out feel about it before but now it was perky, sprightly and ready for action.”
Read Paul Rigby’s review in full at The Audiophile Man
See also Rigby’s review of Furutech’s NCF Booster & Booster Signal – another ‘Deeply Groovy’ award-winner (with a full 10/10 score!).