Noise is the scourge of any audio system and anything one can do to lower it has to be a good thing. Unused interconnect sockets effectively act as aerials for radio frequency interference (RFI) as they are a ‘floating’ wire disconnected at both ends – the input selector switch and the input socket end. This unwelcome RFI can easily find its way into the signal path of your system.
To combat this, Chord Company has introduced a series of GroundARAY high-frequency noise reduction devices. Designed to be put into unused sockets on your audio equipment, they provide a low impedance path to ground for HF noise to improve the noise floor of your system. Each GroundARAY can be used on any unused analogue or digital sockets.
The GroundARAY is made from precision CNC-machined thick-walled aluminium and is hand-assembled in a time-consuming process at Chord’s factory. Each unit contains a number of absorption materials, including a special filling created to deaden noise. The GroundARAY is available in a number of termination options, including USB-A, RCA, DIN, XLR, BNC, RJ45 and HDMI – the RCA and XLR versions are reviewed here.
Time for some jazz in the shape of The Yuko Mabuchi Trio. The live performance of Cole Porter’s What Is This Thing Called Love starts off with a furious introduction with Mabuchi on the piano, swiftly followed by the bass and drums as the main melody kicks in. With the GroundARAY fitted, I’m pulled further into the performance as the piano sparkles with clarity and energy. The hi-hats take on an extra tingle of realism and the fingering of the double bass is more evident. Here again, a second GroundARAY device enhances these improvements.
In my system, the effect of the GroundARAY is most apparent when used with a preamp. This is a great device for any high-end system and having one or two of these units at your disposal will definitely lift its performance to the next level.
Read the full review here: https://bit.ly/3oHTKiB