AVA L O N audio-video consultants
in Bahrain since 1981 - company registered 1999

 nigel@AvalonConsultants.com

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ACOUSENCE

 

www.acousence.de

 

Acousence already has many years' experience of making fine, hi-res digital music
recordings (see website for
ARTISTIC FIDELITY REFERENCE RECORDINGS).  During this time,
thay have researched many aspects of audio engineering that affect their ability to
record the finest nuances (like: noise spectra associated with various DSD recording
standards and interfaces between analogue and digital devices). 

 

All their studios' digital devices have been converted to Cat-cable distribution as this
is the preferred, superior format for high sample rate data. 

 

GISO

Galvanic ISOlation when feeding a network-connected streaming player is a good idea:
this means breaking the direct electrical link, which probably carries noise and possibly
an earth loop, besides the music signal.  To keep the signal flowing (!) they use the
best transformers, developed to perfecty handle e.g. 192kHz sampling rates. 

tiny Acousence GISO network isolator - the label underneath confirms whether model GB or DS
 
Model GB
Data rates of 1Gbaud are unrestricted by their 4-transformer model GB, which - whilst
overkill for today's network streamers - is ready to accept audio-over-IP distribution. 

 

Model DS
The 100 Euro less expensive model DS is equally impressive, using only 2 transformers
as required for network streaming players, e.g. for Linn DS and DSM, whose inputs are
rated to 100Mbaud, which of course, by design, are completely adequate for the highest
rate music formats that they play. GISO-DS itself goes beyond the player's input rating.

 

Audio Effect

Each case could be different due to local circumstances, however, in a very
high-resolution system, this device brought further striking (not subtle) benefits!

Here are my notes from a recent listening session. 
Bear in mind, this system before GISO was already very fine indeed:

Equipment (Client's):
a) player: latest Linn Klimax DSM (no separate preamp)
b) amps: 2 x Spectron Musician II Mk3 with full, max upgrades
c) speaker cable: Kimber Select speaker cables (2.3m each):
      separate Silver on mid-high, Silver+Copper on lows
      all on speaker cable lifters
d) sensor wires: custom copper by AvalonConsultants.com
e) speakers: passive B&W N800 un-modded but special bases
f) isolation: Symposium Svelte shelves
h) power conditioning: Isotek
i) power cables: amps=top Kimber, Linn=stock
j) interconnects: top Kimber XLR
k) music server: RipNAS Statement v1-Cat5 UTP 2m-router-2m-GISO-KDSM
l) music files: standard FLAC of redbook CD

All items above chosen & accepted based on CRITICAL listening.
NB - this is not a test of Studio Master 192kHz - that would be pure bonus.

Conditions
Room ~5.5 x 4.5 x 3.5m, bookshelves + medium acoustic treatment, dead quiet.
Comprehensive Linn SPACE used up to 140Hz (room DSP: removes modal boom).
Volume equal. Only change: GISO-GB + its own, included 15cm link.

Observations
- Firstly, absolutely nothing negative when inserted.
- Within a few bars, one noticed more space around notes.
- Each note had a stronger, more defined power envelope: notes started, developed
  and decayed in a clearer fashion: they "shone" more brightly, vivid, dynamic,
  more full-bodied, like better color-contrast through cleaned or new lenses.
- Inner harmonics and timbre were easily heard (e.g. single high piano notes - I play a
  Pleyel grand piano as a reference), whereas before they were nice, glossy, but
  blended and relatively opaque.
- Transients were now more incisive and explosively dynamic - not in any harsh or
  unnatural way at all, just more precise, individual and obviously CORRECT... this
  actually SHOCKS, when you thought it was all just fine before.
- Musical and ambience detail so easy, as if it had all "slowed down" (not pitch!).
- GISO seemed to give a higher S/N ratio (even tho noise or hash hadn't ever been a
   problem) - as if by "uncapping" the dynamic peaks.
 

Conclusion

Revelatory.  Once auditioned, a "no-brainer" choice - but, hey, no pressure!
Whilst it might give a different degree of improvement elsewhere, on a different NAS
and router, it earns a maximum recommendation for e.g. Linn Klimax and similar.

 

Client's comments

over several days following insertion of a GISO-GB:

-  Still amazed at how much of a difference the little silver box is making…

-  Still in awe...

-  Still blown away by what I am hearing. Redbook is so good that I don’t even try
    to find hi rez material. Most of the music sounds as if it has been transformed
    into a higher being.  Amazing stuff...
(such) progress has me baffled.

 

To Buy

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