ENTREQ OLYMPUS INFINITY Grounding Box by Moreno Mitchell
We listen for enjoyment. We invest so much time and money in our audio systems to achieve the ultimate music performance from our audio system. For a music lover, there is no better time than cueing up a song, coupled with a glass of wine in a quiet musical environment, enjoying the experience for hours at a time. To achieve these moments, we invest thousands of dollars listening to good clean music, not to noise.
(Problem) Audio Noise
Noise in an audio system is a significant distraction that takes away from the ultimate listening experience. The term “lowering the noise floor,” is used in a plethora of audio reviews. This term is used to describe just how pure the signal sounds once the noise is eliminated. When an audio designer engineers a new audio component, they take all precautions to design all physical noise factors out of the audio component during conception. The elimination of noise cannot be accomplished if the definition of noise is not a known constant or understood. In other words, “what are some potential contributing factors that may cause this culprit.”
Just to name a few.
* The AC Supply
* Mechanical interference and component support
* Electro-Mechanical Interference (EMI)
* Radio Interference
* Airborne Interference
* Room Acoustics
* Signal Transfer
This review will only concentrate on the AC (Ground elimination) aspect of the potential contributing factors mentioned above. In brief, it is a known fact, Alternating Current (AC) is the bloodline of any audio system; without AC, a component will remain lifeless. Except for a few battery-operated Direct Current (DC) audio components, most audio systems operate off electrical current from your home’s main AC line.
Since I don’t have an electrical engineer degree, some of the statements written in this review will be opinions derived from personal experiences and research. Many negative attributes can affect incoming AC coming into the house and turning it into a noisy mess.
* Light fixtures (halogen, dimmers, LED)
* Switched power units
* Laundry machines
Incoming AC carries pollutants directly over the power lines, some in the form of high frequencies that can potentially destroy the sound in an audio system. Even if the incoming current was squeaky clean, it must also compete with the frequency noises and stay voltages created within our home. AC noises always look for the path of least resistance to eventually find a ground, and the path of least resistance may not be earth, but your audio system. The home ground will catch most high-frequency signals; however, the small milli-volts tend to escape and find themselves hunkering down in our HiFi system. So how do we eliminate such a problem?
Energy Transforming Equipment (ENTREQ) Philosophy
“The Entreq company Founded 1999 and today, a truly Swedish company. Entreq is one of the very few companies that develop, manufacture and produce all products in Sweden. Entreq is a family-owned company and boasts zero investors who can force them to create products that don’t meet their philosophy. Entreq trusts more what they hear and experience than what the gauges tell them. If it sounds better than anything else, then it is, no matter how it measures. It is that simple”. (Paraphrased). In 2007, after years of research, Entreq launched its first commercially available Ground box – The Tellus Ground Box really divided opinions and generally created two groups. Those who tried our grounding system were intrigued and often excited by the results. The other group just mocked & laughed at the idea of the product, saying there was no way it could work. Ironically the second group often never even bothered to listen to the product!
Tellus resulted from many years of testing and the initial attempt to create an artificial ground point for the drain wire in our cables. We had realized that the grounding plain carried a wide range of pollution that affected everything connected to it. High-frequency currents seemed to affect the sound very badly. In the beginning, we simply used generic copper cables to directly connect the Tellus to the electronics and our signal cables. But very soon, customers began to give us feedback that they were experimenting and experiencing different results depending on the type of cables they used to connect to the Tellus. Good and bad results. This kick-started a whole new era of investigation and testing over the coming years. Thus, resulting in many years of award-winning grounding products and success.
“With the Olympus line, we were free to implement all of our combined knowledge, using no fixed parameters to re-design from the ground up.
So in the Olympus line, we have an all-new mineral mix and a reduction of the quantity of some metal particulates. There is the inclusion of some all-new metals (for example, Magnesium). Olympus MinimUs, like our other MinimUs, has only one outlet, but in this case, it is now solid Silver. It is now the top model in the Mini Ground boxes. The Entreq Olympus is primarily designed around preamps and DAC’s. But it can also do an excellent job with the grounding of cables and our CleanUs line. Compared to the Silver Minimus, the most significant difference in performance is more texture and air in the lower frequency as well as more detail and better overall flow in the music”.
(Solution) The Entreq Olympus Infinity Grounding Box
Entreq claims the Olympus Infinity Grounding Box is the best ground box they have yet to manufacture to eliminate audio system noise. They also claim it to be their most costly ground box ever made. I decided to reach out to (Senior Scientist) Per Olof to request a review sample and put their claim to the test. When I read their claim and boasts about the new Olympus Infinity Ground Box, I had to get my hands on a review sample. From the start, I have always been impressed with Entreq products; I say this because, since 2012, I have never received a product from Entreq that was substandard, every product received, be it a ground box, cable, or accessory. The items were well constructed and meticulously packed in an Entreq custom crate with its logo. Upon uncrating the Entreq ground box, the first thing that hit my nose was the smell of fresh beeswax on the oak finish. This reflects evidence of attention to detail and company personality. The newly delivered Olympus Infinity Grounding Boxes were no exception to the rule. Each ground box weighed 9 Kg, measuring W 22cm – H 14cm – D 25cm. The ground boxes may be purchased in either light or dark oak finish—price: $4230.
Entreq offers various ground boxes, ranging from the 2-Kg Infinity Minimus Infinity to the huge 46Kg Olympus Infinity Tellus. Overall, there are ten ground boxes to choose from, depending on the application. Their excellent website will guide you to which package should work best in your system. Connecting the Olympus Infinity to my Behold APU768 preamp is where I began the critical listening phase, with plans to move it to another component later to get a different perspective. I can make the very first and most emphatic statement in this review; “the Olympus Infinity Ground Box is one powerful SOB.” I found this out within a noticeably short amount of time.
After one day of settling in, I connected the Olympus Infinity via an Eartha Olympus Infinity RCA Wood ground cable (photo above); system high-frequency improvements were greatly improved via added sparkle and improved dimensionality. A sense of rhythmic integrity coming from the high frequencies caught my attention straight off. Each note coming from my system was essentially more engaged with better attack, thus causing the sound quality to feel more alive. After a few days, all other sound quality improvements followed suit; it was as if the band were now all marching to the same beat. “I’m telling you, you can’t make this stuff up.” I became all giddy listening to the substantial improvements in sound quality and overall presentation, especially with the Entreq Olympus Infinity Grounding Box’s addition.
Transparency of the music was another heavy hitter, the way the music flowed so effortlessly was like listening through a glass pane cleaned with a can of Windex glass cleaner. I was delighted and shocked by the overall presentation of Chet Baker’s “Lament,” performed on his album “Chet Baker Live in Sweden” I have listened to this album countless times, but never with this kind of impact. The music had better pace, rhythm, and timing, all in spades. The enormity of the venue engrossed me, “captivated” is the correct term.
With the addition of the Entreq Olympus Infinity Grounding boxes in my system, music took on a new beginning. Older recorded albums and CDs took on a different meaning in sound quality, albums with vocals emitting a more natural harmony throughout the chorus, purity of sound was better defined, thuds from the drums transformed with better attack and purpose. As stated earlier, you cannot make this stuff up. I found myself listening to and enjoying the music at every given opportunity; overall, trying to validate and convince myself this was not a mirage.
Moving the Olympus Infinity Grounding boxes to other components such as my Laufer Teknik Memory Player Transport resulted in less similar results. I felt an enormous bang was on the Behold APU768 Preamp. I attempted placing two ground boxes on the Behold Amps. Behold designs their amps with an incredibly successful and unique design as 16 DACs are housed inside the amplifiers for superior sound quality. Connecting the Entreq Ground Box to the amps proved to be a mistake resulting in problems. Using a pair of Entreq Olympus Infinity boxes, both offering dual connectors on each unit, I hooked up a total of 4 ground cables to the negative speaker outputs of the 2 Behold amps. After one minute, my PS Audio P20 Power Regenerator supplies electrical power to both amps, overloaded and shut down, thus saving my system from severe damage. I mention this because I feel it necessary to warn that the Entreq Ground boxes are not to be experimented with. They all have specific applications, and I highly advise obtaining guidance from your dealer on the proper application of the ground box. I feel it’s imperative to use the ground box with the superior Entreq Eartha cables in receiving the perfect grounding effect. The cables are designed to complement Entreq ground boxes, and they work together as a well-engineered ground system. Leaving out one or the other is like having peanut butter without jelly.
As audiophile/music lovers, we would not invest major bucks into our systems if we did not expect to achieve the ultimate sound quality. My recommendation to this audience is don’t neglect the minor vital aspects of the journey. To achieve complete purity of sound, the noise elimination factor must be addressed. I do not consider the Entreq Grounding Boxes as a mere tweak; they are closer to a system component. Without the absence of noise, the end-user is benefitting from only a portion of the component’s potential. For over 30 years, Entreq has relentlessly engineered, manufactured, and improved its noise elimination products. With their products in my system, I can honestly say I am listening to the purity of my audio system as it was intended. Highly, Highly Recommended.
Phone: +46 (0)705 200 500
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265 90 S-Åstorp
Moreno’s Associated Equipment
Amplification: Behold BPA768 Amps
PreAmp: Behold APU768
Digital: Memory Player64 Transport,
Auralic Aries Streaming Transport
Analog: Project RPM10 Turntable
Cartridge: Van Den Hul Stradivarius
Speakers: YG Acoustics Hailey 2.2
REL 6 stack G1 MKII Subwoofers
Cabling: Hemingway Z-core Sigma Speaker Cables
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