Hi-Fi Plus: Computer Audio Design’s Scott Berry discusses the impact of high frequency noise on audio system performance

In July, Hi-Fi Plus published a glowing review of Computer Audio Design’s Ground Control Reference (GC-R) system grounding unit. In the August issue, its creator, Scott Berry, answers questions about the impact of high frequency noise on audio systems and why addressing it can make such an audible difference.

In the development of his highly respected digital audio components, including the 1543 MKII DAC and the CAD Audio Transport, Computer Audio Design (CAD)’s Scott Berry discovered the impact of high frequency ground noise, and signal ground noise, on the performance of analogue components in an audio system. In the latest issue of Hi-Fi Plus he explains all about ground noise, why it’s a problem, how it differs from mains earth, and how the problem can be best resolved.

CAD GC-R Ground Control Reference

But why is it such a problem at all, given that high frequency noise is above the audible spectrum?

“All electronic equipment has legal limits for the amount of high frequency noise it can produce,” explains Berry, citing the examples of hospitals and aeroplanes, where we’re asked to switch off our phones due to the fact that their high frequency energy affects the sensitive electronics of medical and flight navigation equipment.

CAD GC1 (above) & GC3 (below)

“My experience is that this very high frequency, inaudible, noise also affects the sound quality of audio components.”

As Berry knows all too well, digital audio components themselves  – servers, streamers, DACs, CD players – contain electronics that operate at high frequencies, which can circulate through the whole hi-fi system. “Engineers take this into account with filters on signal and power circuitry, but typically little or nothing is done to clean up the noise on signal ground. But all the transistors, op-amps, integrated circuits etc are directly connected to signal ground, and these devices will perform differently as a result of this high frequency noise, and this in turn will impact the sound quality of the component.”

CAD’s series of Ground Control units are designed to solve the problem by specifically targeting reducing this high frequency noise on signal ground.

Discover more and find your nearest dealer at www.computeraudiodesign.com

Read the full Q&A with Scott Berry of the in the August 2020 issue of Hi-Fi Plus

Win a CAD Ground Control Unit!

The CAD GC1 is available in a range of bright colours, as well as the standard black

Computer Audio Design has teamed up with Hi-Fi Plus to offer readers the chance to win a CAD GC1 Ground Control Unit and CAD Ground Control Cable, worth £1,995 – so grab your copy of the August issue pronto, the deadline for entries is 1st October!